Besides circles, I have octagons for my class homework. The octagons are drawn on to graph paper first. Then the grid of octagons is to be used in a design.

This is the first ones I did. I was trying to use a “tetrad” color scheme of yellow, red orange, blue violet and blue green. I really didn’t care for the result. The octagons just seemed to be floating and the yellow was taking over the entire design.

So I removed the opposite page and used colored pencils to bring the blue green and blue violet out on to the background with cross hatching. I still don’t love it but I think it helped the design. Looking at it again, I might need to deepen the values on the cross hatching and add in more blue violet.

Next I enlarged the octagon patterns from small to large. I used acrylic paints and added a lot of glazing liquid to get transparency. There a many layers on this one.

The next step was to “distort” the octagons. So I scanned them into the computer and used Photoshop to distort the patterns. The one above was “twisted” and “pinched” in Photoshop and then I printed it out. I used the dark red cut out design on the gelatin plate to get a print. I liked the color on the paper so much I decided to glue it down as a design too.

Here’s the gelatin plate print. I added in some colored pencils to give the octagons more definition.

This is a another distorted octagon design that used “liquefy” in Photoshop. I drew it on to a magenta and violet background, used permanent black marker for the outlines and colored in with colored pencil. It was blah on the background so I decided to cut it out and put it on a different colored background. Here are the three choices, purple, yellow or turquoise? Which do you prefer?

It’s been fun playing with octagons. I don’t usually use such repetitive patterns in my work but I enjoyed it. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Playing with Stripes

I thought I had already showed you one of these paintings but apparently not. I did post a photo of the first painting on Instagram. I have been playing with stripes for my Level 3 Art & Design class. I liked how the watercolor stripes on wet paper gave an organic look like trees. So I wondered if I could recreate the effect with acrylic paint on canvas.

This is my first attempt. I didn’t really mix any of these colors, they were straight out of the bottle. I used a lot of water to get the paint to spread and many layers of paint.

Here’s a closer view. Click on the photo to see the textures. This was an old painting that I covered with gesso. It had a lot of texture on it before and now that I look at the close up photo, I really like those extra textures. For my second attempt, I used a new canvas. And it didn’t have that extra texture and although I like the second attempt, it would have been better with a textured background.

For my next attempt, I wanted to add some green and I wanted to see what would happen if I mixed my neutrals from red and green. I knew with the added water that the colors would separate out but I thought that might make it more interesting.

Perhaps you can see in this close up that the dark background stripes in the second painting are dark green. They are black in the first painting. I have some other ideas about how to take this idea further and I would really like to try stripes with deconstructed screen printing on felt. But I don’t have time to do that now. I am back to my class next week. So I’ll have to keep those ideas on the back burner for a bit. Thanks for stopping by and have a good weekend!

Adding to the Rock Studies

I thought you might like to see the changes I made in the rock studies I showed you last week. I added colored pencil to both. The photo on the left is before and on the right is after.

And here’s a close up.

Close Up Yellow Orange Rock Study

And then this one is based on the river rocks you see here in Montana.

And a closer look.

Close Up River Rock Study

I think the orange one is finished. But I think I might add some more “leafiness” to the green areas so that it is an overhead view looking down into a stream.

Playing with Paint

I decided to make some snowflake stamps and stencils today. I wanted to finish up a page in my sketchbook that I had started that had a winter poem on it.

Sticky Foam Snowflake Stamps

I transferred the designs on to paper backed sticky foam and started cutting. These were a bit intricate and took a while to cut out.

Stamps and Designs

Here’s the five stamps I made. I used copyright free clip art I found online for the designs.

Snowflake Stencil Design

I had planned on using this design as a stamp but then I decided it would work much better as a stencil.

Stencil Design Drawn

I traced it on to the stencil plastic.

Stencil Cut

And cut it out with my trusty X-acto knife.

Peel Off Paper Backing

I peeled the paper off the back of the stamps and put them down on clear plastic.

Paper Backing

I liked how the paper looked all curled up after peeling it off the stamps.

Painted Page

I decided to paint some papers blue first and then I would work from there. I didn’t take a photo of the paper just blue but while the paint was still wet, I put the stamp down on to the wet paint. I didn’t add any extra paint, just the dry stamp. And the photo above shows what happened. The stamp caused the paint to darken where the stamp was placed.

Back of Page

And the stamps even showed through to the back side of the paper. I really like this effect and will definitely try this again with other stamps.

Snowflakes 3

Here’s one of the pages after drying.

Snowflakes 1

I then added some white paint and some light blue paint with the stamps and stencils.

Snowflakes 2

It snowed most of the day here today so I’m sure that must have influenced how these pages turned out.

Winter Grace

Here’s the page that I originally planned to work on. The poem is called Winter Grace by Patricia Fargnoli. You should be able to read it if you click on the photo to enlarge it.


And I finished up a few of the pages that I had started before. I added a quote to the iris page.

Roses with Leaves

Added some leaves to my roses.


And colored in my ghost flowers. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and a Merry Christmas. Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate all your comments and support.


Color Homework

I have been really busy. So even though I haven’t posted, I have still been working away at my color homework, finishing up my umbrella tree and carpentry work for the yurt.  I thought I’d show you a bit of what I have been doing for my color homework.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThe class I took was Level Color Studies from Gail Harker Creative Studies Center. I highly recommend it. You can take it online or at the center.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve been making charts of all my different colored pencils.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAFinding color in magazines.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAPainting color schemes.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI think I am going to use this painted piece for the cover. I have really been enjoying playing with color. I will be posting about my umbrella tree on the Felting and Fiber Studio tomorrow. I hope you’ll stop by and check it out.