March Watercolor Videos

This month I began to paint some illustrations for a children’s book I’m writing. The book is going to be a short story anthology. The characters are based on animals I watched at my new window bird feeder all winter. At first, my new friends included woodpeckers of all varieties, sweet little chickadees, and the occasional cardinal.

After a couple of weeks, I made a new friend, a cute little charcoal-colored squirrel. He began to expect “his share” of the bird feed every week. He was determined and clever in his approach. He tried to use the screen as a launchpad to catch onto the bird feeder, but he kept missing it. I would watch him slide down my window, wondering if he’d ever reach the feeder. This became a daily thing. First, I heard knocks on the window from the woodpeckers as they ate the birdseed, followed by the antics of the acrobatic squirrel.

Sometimes, he would pause on the screen and look at me in frustration. He didn’t seem to care when I pressed my finger against the windowpane where he was on the other side. It’s amazing how he clung to the screen on the outside of the window looking at me. I haven’t named my new little friend yet, but one of the main characters in my book is a squirrel called Nimblefoot. He has the same determined personality.

The squirrel and his friends inspired me to write a new children’s book. Check out a short 30-second preview of the book on my YouTube channel.

Also new to my YouTube channel is my most recent painting video. You can see all three parts at once here. In addition to watching it (and other art videos) on my channel, you can see segments of the video on my TikTok. In the video, you’ll see much of my technique for watercolor. The paints I’m using are Windsor Newton. They’re great for the children’s book illustrations I’m creating. 

This watercolor was meant as an exercise to get inspired. With many things going on in the world, I realize that it’s important to take a deep breath and just make some art. Painting is great for relaxation.

I was satisfied with the result, and I may find a place for it in a book project. 

Self-Portrait from a Selfie Videos

As I continue my portrait series, my goal for the project is to create art inspired by the people I know. The first portrait I created was in pastel pencil and watercolor. A New Day is a portrait of Lisa at a Lake Huron beach. The second portrait, Bill’s World is a watercolor and pastel of my father fishing one of his favorite spots near Lake City, Michigan.

For this new portrait, I decided to go with a selfie that I took of myself. I tried to make it as simple as possible, focusing on my features including all my wrinkles, sloppy clothing and free of makeup. When I began the project, I was inspired by Andrew Wyeth and his realistic style. The subject of his paintings are people in settings that surrounded him.

Like myself, Andrew Wyeth came from a family of artists. With the addition working in the realistic style, that is probably where the comparison ends. It’s not my intent to attempt the precision he used in his art, but to simply choose subjects I know in settings I see every day in the spirit of his work.

Here is a snapshot of my current progress. There are many things left to fix and finishing, notably the right eye, more shading on the shirt and the blank spaces (the list goes on). I will post an update with the completed work in the future. I’ve been using Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground to fix my happy mistakes, and it’s been a helpful product. One of the reasons I moved to canvas was to have the freedom to rework the surface easier when compared to paper. The watercolor ground and random gel pens have been a gamechanger for my portrait series.

Work in progress, Patti’s Selfie.

I intended on making this a color pencil piece, but after seeing how long it was taking to lay down color, I have opted to fill in large areas with alcohol markers and apply color pencil on top.

The softness of the color pencil was perfect for hair and in the places I want the solid areas to shine. Fabric textures and highlights have been ideal for the color pencils thus far. I have yet to add any watercolor pencils, watercolor paint or pastel to this artwork, but as I like to mix things up, I can’t rule it out!

I’ve posted 5 videos on my YouTube channel showing the beginning process of the work. I began creating videos of my work as a way to demonstrate how I create art. Part 1 is below, and each video covers the entire process. In the future, I probably will just go with the highlights. If you have any questions about my work, have an idea for my next art work, feel free to comment or send my a message.



Illustrations for the New Year

I’ve been working on new illustrations for various design challenges such as those on Minted. Feel free to visit my profile there to see what I’ve been working on! I have my work on a variety of websites such as Vida, Society6, Displate, Cardgnome and more. Here is a complete list of where my art is being sold on my website.

What has always surprised me about my work when compared to other artists is that I do not stay in a subject or medium for too long. I wish my projects were streamlined, themed and organized, but they are not! As anyone can see by my blog (and my middle school sketchbook), my work is varied. I understand the need to organize these different types of work, so that will remain my New Years Resolution for 2020 and probably 2021, 2022 and beyond!

These recent marker illustrations I will probably use for product designs or perhaps a design challenge.