Still Scribbling…

Posted in Uncategorized on November 5, 2015 by rcscreations

I’ve become SO enamored with the whole scribble art technique. I can’t seem to stop.


It kind of all came together at the beginning of last month. I was on a plane to Chicago, and I brought along my Moleskine journal and pens to pass the time on the flight. And while I was drawing from references on my iPad, something just c.l.i.c.k.e.d.  I kind of figured out the whole scribble art thing, that I was trying to learn from the online class… it’s all about mark making and finding the values. And it’s about relaxing, getting into a rhythm, and enjoying putting pen to paper. 


It all started with this drawing…and went from there…


I did these two on the plane, and then I tried to keep the momentum going, and practiced scribble art in the hotel room.


And then on the trip home…


And then I decided to try at least a drawing a day. This one was a lesson in OVER scribbling…. live and learn.



Purple ink!


Oh, I LOVE this one!

Slowly but surely, day by day, I was filling up my formally dusty and blank Moleskine journal with marks…and faces…and goodness…

ABoyAndHisDogOne of our assignments was to draw a child and their pet. I found this image on Pinterest that I used as a reference. Look at me…I am drawing ANIMALS!


Yes. I. Am.

And I am trying out new papers too…this was on gray drawing paper, Neenah brand bristol vellum.


And a Pembroke Welsh Corgi!!! I want this puppy!!!  It was so fun to extend this drawing across two pages.


Instead of watching TV, I was drawing…paper and pens were my new obsession.


And I was trying images that I had never dared before.





And I was experimenting with different brands of pens, and the thickness of each pen. This one was started with a thick Sharpie marker…because I just wondered, “what if…?”  I went in with a thinner Copic liner pen for the smaller lines.


And I was drawing MEN.  Here is brooding Ross Poldark (complete with facial scar and furrowed brow)


There was a painting of Auguste Rodin that I used as my reference for this bearded man. I love the vintage illustration look of this…


I am working on eye intensity and correct proportions, but still having fun with scribbles.


And I LOVED drawing the graying hair of this handsome gentleman.


And you know, Vincent had to show up…in color! This is black pen, white pen, and colored pencil. I had filled up my Moleskine journal with continuous line drawings and scribble art…I had to move into another little journal that has tan paper in it. I love it. It is small, but filling up with good stuff!


Late at night, I scribble…




And sometimes a silly scribble shows up!


And the thing with scribbling…the more you do, the more confident you get, and your hand can just have fun putting down marks. And then the white pen comes out, and you get to play with highlights.


Can you see more confidence in my mark making??? Look, I drew a girl with a nest on her head (how’s that for confidence! :-)

Processed with Moldiv

These are my latest scribbles…done today, as preliminary sketches for an upcoming painting.

You see, I haven’t forgotten about painting. There has still been some painting, between the traveling and the scribbling.


In fact, one of the assignments was to use Payne’s Gray paint with Titanium White, and do a scribble painting. In the video, the instructor was scratching into the paint with a metal tool. I tried that too.


I found it difficult to translate scribbles into paint strokes…. but it was a learning experience. I worked on this Frida scribble painting twice. The instructor encouraged me to try adding the brush scribbles coming out from the portrait, like my drawings. So, I took her advice. It gives it quite a dramatic feel. 


But eventually I went back and tried this again…my style, my paint colors, my subjects, with a bit of swirly scribbly fun.



Bristol, Devon, and London – three acrylic beauties on 5 x 7 inch gessobord (Bristol and London are already spoken for, but Devon is still available in the Etsy shop)


I got an email from a lady who found my online shop, and asked me to paint two larger portraits to go with a painting of mine she bought.

This is Sienna II – 11 x 14 inch acrylic on Bristol paper


And this is Emily Rose  

When all three paintings arrived at her home, she sent me this message… “I received the paintings and they are awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot wait to have them framed.. Thank you so much again!”  Though at one time, I said I wasn’t going to do custom paintings…when I get these kind of messages of appreciation, then I know I did the right thing. (Look at all those exclamation marks…this makes me happy)


And last, but not least…

I have been playing around with continuous line drawings as well. This was inspired by one of my photos from The Art Institute in Chicago. I will have to spend a whole blog post just on ALL the wonderful art inspiration I found there! Wow! I was overwhelmed…but in a VERY GOOD WAY!  Degas Exhibit… magnifique!!!


And Renoir was there too. 


I will be painting more Rococo/Marie Antoinette paintings soon, so here are some of my continuous line drawings to get me prepared. The idea behind this, is to NOT pick up your pen while drawing…one continuous line. It’s not easy. But it is fun!


And I am a little addicted to this kind of drawing too!





Who knows…maybe one day, my continuous line drawings will be in a museum somewhere! (made with the PhotoFunia app)

This Scribble Art class with Julie Johnson was AWESOME…and it has provided me with skills and confidence to keep going. Julie is an awesome teacher, and the fellow students, and their art and feedback, has been a real treasure. I am SO glad I made the decision to take this class!


Many ink pens were harmed in the making of the art on this blog post…but they served their purpose! And I will remember them fondly! :-)




Teach me to scribble???

Posted in Uncategorized on October 2, 2015 by rcscreations

You probably didn’t think that scribbling was an art, or even needed to be taught. 

Well…let me surprise you…

Once I saw Julie Johnson’s scribble art, I knew I had to jump at the chance to take her first online class, through Jeanne Oliver’s creative network. Julie and I had been in some online classes before this, and I have always loved her work. I knew this would be awesome…and it was!


My first drawings of the class…contour and continuous line drawings were the first assignments. Love the looseness of the line, and learning to hold the pen farther back (less control, but more scribbly!)


I had to do a few self portraits…trying out different papers and different pens.


I worked quite a bit in my old abandoned Moleskine journal…


It is starting to fill up with continuous line drawings… I was sitting out in the backyard one afternoon, just enjoying the birds, cats and drawing exercise.



GracieContinuousLineThe point was, just care about the lines, and not picking up your pen…not about accuracy or perfection. Boy, was this fun!!! AND relaxing!


It was so much fun, I thought I would try more faces…so when I went to spend the day with my mother in law, I took my art supplies with me, and chatted with her, while doing continuous line faces, from portraits I had found online.

Continous2 Continous3 Continous4

I kept going…and going…


I embellished this one…quite a bit! She looks like a character from Cirque du Soliel!


Profiles are tough for me!

Continous7 ContinousLineMarie

And this one was drawn from a photo of a Marie Antoinette doll.


From our engagement photo…oh so many years ago, when we looked so young!

It is safe to say, that I am now a bit addicted to continuous line drawing!


This was the toughest assignment yet…Directional Line…all drawn in ONE DIRECTION…up and down…no hatching or cross hatching. This was H. A. R. D. It took a lot of discipline to stay focused on up and down lines!


Here’s a drawing I did while I was on the phone…trying to keep my lines loose, in order to try more scribble art…


Telling a story…with scribbles. Micron pens and white gel pen, in my moleskine journal


This is what was on my lap…a pillow, my iPad, my journal. And in my hand, a Micron pen.


Then I took the drawing slowly into the “scribble zone”…making loose circular and swirling motions with the pen.


It takes some practice to let go…


…and just keep going. I went a little wild with the scribbling. FUN!



So many scribbles… I am getting the hang of this now….


…and I just love the effects! This is a Micron pen, with added purple Stabilo fine line pen on top. And at the very last, a white Sakura gel pen.


And THIS is my favorite drawing of the class (so far!). I bought four Copic fine liner pens to try them out. I DO love them. This is drawn on 8 1/2 x 11 inch Neenah cream colored Bristol Vellum drawing paper. THIS is what I wanted to achieve by joining the class. Julie was an AWESOME teacher…SO many videos! Enough for a month long class! I haven’t even done all the assignments yet, but I have loved every minute of it. I am learning to love pen and paper…two simple drawing materials, that look sooo lovely together.




Even on my iPad.

I used the Pen and Ink app and a simple micro fiber tipped stylus to make this portrait. VERY cool!

If you are on Instagram, check out Julie’s drawings and paintings. They will inspire you! Her class is still available. She is an awesome teacher, with a big heart! And so passionate about art and drawing and scribbling!

I have a feeling there is way more scribbling to come!


Besides lots of drawing and scribbles, I have painted too! Mostly for friends and family.


Anniversary Sunflowers – It is kind of a tradition now, that I paint sunflowers for my friend every year (though one year, it was Jane Austen characters instead)


I painted four sunflower paintings at the same time on my easel. I used a painting by Monet of a bouquet of sunflowers…zoomed in, and used the placement of the flowers as a reference for painting these.

Three of these are now available in the Etsy shop.


I painted waterlilies too…for my sister who loves Monet’s paintings. I’ve missed painting these…the colors are very calming, and I find painting waterlilies very peaceful.

I had an idea earlier this year, to paint Mt Fuji for a friend of mine.

I have always loved Hiroshige’s views of Mt Fuji, and learned he did 36 of them. I have also loved Hokusai’s The Great Wave, which also features Mt Fuji in the distance.


So, I tried my own version… a 5 x 7 inch acrylic painting on gessobord, of Mt Fuji and Blossoms. I even found the Kanji script for the word “Japan” and included that in the upper left corner. I gave it to my friend, just as she was about to leave for a visit to her mother’s homeland…Japan.

This same friend, was kind enough to carry these works of art to my sister and her family in Thailand.


Hmong Beauty – 5 x 7 acrylic on watercolor paper (something lightweight for carrying so far)  

For my niece in law, that I hope to meet one day!


Thailand Beauty – 5 x 7 inch acrylic on watercolor paper  

For my sister…so far away


And for my niece-in-law’s sisters. 4 x 6 inch gouache portraits with lots of color.


Sometimes, I have to get away from the normal things I love to paint…to get out of my comfort zone. I saw something similar on Pinterest, and decided to paint a rock Minion, for my friend.


Hardest painting YET!!! It is tough to paint on a rock! I used all surface craft paint from Michaels. About $1 a bottle. Rock…free, from my yard :-)

And last, but certainly not least…are the little kitties that have adopted me and my backyard for the last two months.

Thunder and Bolt



When I am taking a break from art, and need to stretch, I love to go outside and play with them…and sometimes I catch a very silly face, just by accident!


If a cat can laugh…so can I :-)




Painting, Drawing, and Playing

Posted in Uncategorized on September 19, 2015 by rcscreations

I planned to come here earlier, to show you what I’ve been up to, but it’s been a full month of painting, drawing, playing…and a little vacation tossed in too! 

Let’s start with VACATION!

I am always thrilled to get away to the ocean!



Oh, those sunsets!!

And this trip was EXTRA special, because we unexpectedly saw humpback whales feeding so close to shore! It was an awesome sight!



We were standing on this pier, taking the photos.

It was so much warmer than I expected, so I ended up getting a sunhat, just so I could stand out there for hours and take photos with hubby. I also took a little mobile art kit with me, which includes lots of journals, paper, pencils, pens, gouache, watercolor…and more.



It was so fun to draw what was in front of me! Listening to the sound of waves and birds…doesn’t get much better than this!


I took a few journals with me…but this tiny one works well for drawing on the spot, in the shade, under a tree.


Back in the hotel room, still with the sound of waves coming through the window, I could get a few more of my supplies out. I bought a new Koi watercolor set. Watercolor is not my favorite medium, but that is because I need more practice with it. It intimidates me…and I need to get over that fear! So, before we left for vacation, I signed up for one of Alisa Burke’s online classes. Summer Sketch. 

I loved it, because it gave me assignments…and they were all about getting out of our own way, and having fun!



I brought a tiny Strathmore book with thick Bristol paper…you can see I am trying to get familiar with this brand new set of watercolors.


And I brought a larger Strathmore sketch book…




and I made LOTS of notes! Alisa’s online classes are wonderful…lots of videos, lots of instruction, and she is just so peppy!!! Once the notes were made, I started playing with pens and watercolor and markers…

JustDoodling feathers Kelp NewSunHat

(There’s my new sun hat!)

WAtchingSunset Pelican

My first time drawing and painting a pelican! From one of my husband’s photos… I used Micron pens and gouache for the bird, and watercolor for the water.


This one took the most time, and quite a few art materials, but I DID love how it turned out…look at those colors! Watercolors and markers and gouache and Micron pen.


The most fun :-)


I took photos during the day, to practice drawing in the evenings. It was a blissful six days!

Before I left for vacation, I did A LOT of painting!

These are all 5 x 7 inch acrylic portraits.


Jade (available at the Etsy shop)


Sapphire (available)


Savannah (sold)


Cornelia (sold)


Serena (sold)

And I made three commissioned portraits, for a lady and her young daughters, who picked out their favorite portraits of mine, in the Etsy shop, but they wanted them larger…


Lost in a Daydream – 11 x 14 inch acrylic on gessobord





When she and her young daughters received them, they loved them. It made me so happy to make these paintings for them…and to know they wanted to hang them in their home (how cool is that?)

The week after vacation, another online class started. This time, it was with first time teacher, Annie Hamman. She and I have been in quite a few online Misty Mawn classes. I’ve admired her work for a long time! So, I was thrilled to take her “Soulful Art” portrait class. Art that tells a story.


I started off doing some quick sketches, based on fashion images I found online.

And then I worked on two 8 x 10 inch acrylic paintings at once.

IMG_1284 IMG_1289 IMG_1298 IMG_1305

I really LOVED it at this stage…


After this, I let them sit for a few days…then I went in and added more detail and pattern…


Second Chances (sold)


Entwined (in the shop)


and finally…she came along. All whimsy and fun! And look…a hand! :-)

Blossoms and Butterflies – 11 x 14 inch acrylic on stretched canvas (SOLD)

I really enjoyed Annie’s videos, on her process of compiling, drawing and painting portraits…I learned SO much, and want to continue making more expressive portraits.

But, guess what? I am taking yet ANOTHER class!

And I will be back soon (I promise!) to show you what fun I am having! Here’s a hint…I am doing a lot of  

s c r i b b l i n g !!!




A Midsummer Art Making

Posted in Uncategorized on August 9, 2015 by rcscreations


I pretty much hate summer.

Yeah, I hate to start off a blog post that way…but it’s honest. And true. I hate the weather.  Thankfully, there are some days when the wind does blow, and cool us down. And then there are days like today, when little unexpected things happen…

Today, my first sunflower of the summer opened. Yes, it is late…I planted them late, so they are just now showing signs of blooming. But seeing this one open up…put a huge smile on my face! It made the summer day bearable.

Finishing art projects puts a smile on my face too! (Working on art in an air conditioned room, is NICE too!)

I was asked by my sister and my massage therapist, if I was going to paint any more hummingbirds. I was nervous to try again…soooo.I did a little research online about painting hummingbirds (I had only painted two before!) and found a nice step by step video…the artist painted the birds a dark color, then went lighter on top.

So, I went to work…

IMG_9963 IMG_9967





These four were all painted on 5 x 7 inch Ampersand gessobord. Two went to my massage therapist (and she loved them!), and the other two to my sister (who also loved them!)

I had so much fun with the first four, that I painted two more smaller ones to give as gifts…only 2 x 4 inches on stretched canvas.


On the days I can’t paint, I try to draw.

This is with a mechanical pencil, in a small journal. Drawn in a hotel room, from an photo I had on my iPad. 

JaneEyre DrawingConvention


And this was done at home, on a large 11 x 17 inch piece of cream colored drawing paper, with a bolder pencil…the cardboard backing behind the paper, made an unexpected, but nice, pattern on this man’s tunic.

Klimtdrawing223 Klimtdrawing222

I’ve been doing some pen sketches too…these two were inspired by a Klimt book I borrowed from the library.


I really enjoy the Pilot Precise V5 and V7 pens, especially for late night sketching!


IMG_0902 IMG_0904

I am learning that I don’t need tons of materials splayed out everywhere, if I want a little art time. Sometimes simple is better. Sometimes a line can say so much.

IMG_0913 IMG_0914

When I do have a little more time, I enjoy bringing out the pastels, or the Conte crayons, or Inktense sticks, to play around a little. I like these “free-form” faces…just playing around to see what happens.

I had some time for painting last week, and posted these three in my Etsy shop. They are all 5 x 7 inch acrylic on Ampersand gessobord.


Once Upon a Daydream (sold)


Lost in a Daydream (still available)


In Her Eyes (still available)

I am loving the bold brush strokes and the color here…inspired by Matisse, Jawlensky, and of course, van Gogh.

Earlier this spring, during my Art Entwined online class, Misty Mawn drew my attention to the art of Egon Schiele. And while I don’t particularly care for all his art…I DO love his use of line, and simplicity. Schiele was a friend of Gustav Klimt…so there are similarities in their art.

This was a canvas…a LARGE canvas…18 x 24 inches to be exact, that I started last year. I started with just an idea that I wanted to do a large portrait, but I didn’t really think it out. I just started painting. Sometimes that works…sometimes it doesn’t.

I’ll show you how it started…and how it evolved…and where it ended up.


Obviously, the ugly early stage…


I kinda liked where it was going…


Then she sort of turned into a self portrait… and she sat around like this for a long time (months)…but I didn’t know where to go next. I liked it…but it sure was a large face. And I knew she needed something…

Until one summer evening, I decided to gesso over the whole thing…and use my Schiele inspired pen drawing as my reference…


A little gesso, a little acrylic later…


Time Will Tell  –  18 x 24 inch acrylic painting.

Not my usual kind of painting, but I DO love the feel of this piece, and I love the line and pattern in it too. At the moment, she is hanging up in my living room.

Sometimes it is good to shake things up a bit…and do something a little different.  You never know what the results might be. And if I hadn’t been drawing in pen, and practicing sketching, and learning about artists of the past…I probably would have never tried this.

I am so glad I did.

So, it is the middle of summer…my least favorite season of the year. I try not to get too grumpy (I make no promises!). But I am making the time to escape into the cool art room, and make some art…so I guess it isn’t all that bad!




125 years ago today…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 29, 2015 by rcscreations

VincentSelfPortrait…the world lost a gifted painter.

It always makes me sad thinking about his life, his story, his surviving, his end. His art has become so much a part of my daily life…it is part of what makes me be a painter, it’s what makes me want to be a better painter.

I see Vincent’s face a lot… I’ve downloaded images of his self portraits, I have beautiful art books, and I have also seen a few of them in person, on my trip to Amsterdam. Vincent was the reason I chose Amsterdam in the first place.

And that trip was…remarkable.

I stood in front of THIS painting…quite a few times, staring in to those eyes. And it made me cry. How could it not, knowing the story behind those eyes. Of course, we don’t know the WHOLE story, or even the REAL story. But what we do know, is from his letters to his brother, Theo. They are quite personal and tell very much of his struggle…his struggle in everything. And we also have his paintings.

And we have those eyes, staring back at us.

I’ve painted Vincent’s face before…quite a few times. And I never get tired of trying to replicate his brush strokes…his colors, his love for putting the paint to canvas.

Well, I was at it again…using his self portraits as my inspiration. Eight portraits, on one 15 x 20 sheet of watercolor paper. They were painted in one day. 


It started with a pencil…


then went to paint


a lot of paint!









If you are thinking of Vincent, like I am today…you may want to take a virtual visit to the van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, and read about his incredible story, and look at his remarkable art. It will make you happy. It will make you sad.

It will make you want to paint.


“Well, right now it seems that things are going very badly for me, have been doing so for some considerable time, and may continue to do so well into the future. But it is possible that everything will get better after it has all seemed to go wrong. I am not counting on it, it may never happen, but if there should be a change for the better I should regard that as a gain, I should rejoice, I should say, at last! So there was something after all!” letter to his brother Theo. 




Settling into Summer

Posted in Uncategorized on July 9, 2015 by rcscreations

It really is the middle of summer here, my least favorite season of them all! I AM happy that the A/C has been working though, and on those really unpleasantly hot days, I can steal away into the art room, put the A/C down and the music up, and get to painting! For most of June, I concentrated on the rest of the assignments for the Studying Under the Masters 3 class. I kind of got stuck in Klimt mode for a while…must be all the shiny gold that blinded me for a while.


I re-worked “In the Garden of Tranquility” painting. I added more Golden brand, Iridescent Gold paint, and changed a few things, and I love it so much more now. This one is now in my Daily Paintworks gallery, and is up for auction…click here to take a look. If it doesn’t sell there, I will post it in my Etsy shop…which by the way, has seen quite a bit of action lately.

I pinch myself as I say this, but one customer purchased a painting for her sister…and then came back and bought ten more for herself, and has 4 more on reserve. I am safe in saying…she’s my best customer, and can now be called a “collector”…oh, that sounds so weird to say, I have a collector of my art! It’s a good feeling to know that others are loving my art enough to buy it!

She fell in love with the Klimt inspired paintings, and snatched a few of them up…


Sybille – sold


Alexandra – sold


Elisabetta – sold


She Walks in Beauty – sold

I guess she likes the redheads as much as I do! I had fun painting all these Klimt style paintings…I love the drama of the black and some of them have that gold shimmer in them.


Magdalena – still available in the Etsy shop  

She is my raven haired beauty, based on the paintings he did of Adele Bloch Bauer. I love the color combination of this one so much!

For larger images of these paintings, go to my Etsy shop or Daily Paintworks Gallery.


My husband and I took a little weekend vacation, and I took my little mobile art kit with me, (a tiny vintage suitcase filled to the brim with art goodies!) and worked on a few more Klimt pieces…


I didn’t take my acrylics with me, but I did take gouache. But…I forgot to take any brushes, so I had to find the nearest art store…because I really wanted to paint!

But until I got the brushes, I used what I had…


Another Klimt painting…I had it up on my iPad, and I drew it in colored pencils…which I am not really good with…but it was a fun exercise. I use colored pencils for embellishing a painting or journal page, but rarely do I do a whole piece in colored pencils. These are Prismacolor pencils (thank you, Marilyn!) and they are the best I’ve ever had!



And this was pen and markers


I wasn’t quite done with Klimt yet. I wanted to play more with the iridescent gold paint, so I started painting part of it on black gesso to see what it would look like. This is one of those paintings that came together so quickly and easily (that hardly EVER happens!) and I just love that quirky off the corner pose…basically that happened because I put the gold paint down, and decided to add a face when I was a third of the way down…yeah, sometimes I really PLAN out my paintings…HA!!!


Alma in Gold – acrylic on 8 x 10 inch Ampersand art panel – sold 

I listed this painting on Daily Paintworks, and this is how the buyer found my work. It arrived in her home last week, and she loves it…and that makes me so happy! Though I have to say, it was hard to part with this one…because I think this is my favorite portrait of the year, so far!


In between the Klimt inspiration, I decided to try one of the assignments for Studying Under the Masters 3…the week of Jean-Michel Basquiat…now, his art work does NOT resonate with me, AT ALL. It is more graffiti art, raw, and not very pretty. NOT my style. So, it took a lot for me to try this… but Alisa Burke was the teacher that week, and her awesome videos made me want to try this.


We were encouraged to paint on recyclable materials, like cardboard, as Basquiat used whatever surface he could get his hands on…even walls. I decided against painting a wall…and chose a piece of 2 x 2 foot cardboard I had in my art room. I used cheap craft paints, added words to the cardboard, almost like a mindless journaling exercise, and then added colors on top…


And then doodling with paint and collage and whatever came to mind…


And after a couple hours of play, I ended up with THIS. Which is kinda cool…and I let it sit in my art room for a few days. But as this art tends to do to me…it makes me crazy, because it is so BUSY and full of stuff! 

So, I pulled out the better paints…and the words kept going through my head as I painted over most of it…


“Turning chaos into beauty, one brush stroke at a time”

What started off as chaos, became calmer. I like it better now. It’s a prettier piece of painted cardboard :-)

Not fine art…but a learning experience.


The last thing I wanted to show you…is the latest thing I have been working on. 

100 Faces of Summer 

…a project I started this week, to paint loose and expressive faces, not to sell, but to have fun with, to learn from, and experiment with. I have done 12 already.

Face1 Face2 Face3 Face8

Face6 Face5 Face7 Face4

Face9 Face12 Face11 Face10

These last four, were done very quickly, from the paint left on my palette today. I didn’t think much, I just put colors down, and then added black gesso. When they dried, I added graphite and colored pencil doodling. For these twelve portraits, I have used three sheets of Strathmore Bristol paper, 11 x 14 inches each. I paint four portraits on each sheet, and then cut them into approx. 5 x 7 inch pieces after they have dried. At the end of summer, I will have collected 100 painted faces, and hopefully gained some experience and had fun in the process.

Anyone else up for 100 Faces of Summer challenge???


I only have 88 more to go!



Complete Opposites

Posted in Uncategorized on June 4, 2015 by rcscreations

This Studying Under the Masters III, has been a lesson in extremes…art styles, that is. From folk art, to abstract line drawing, to candy colored Rococo inspired painted ladies, to formally attired rich people in fancy clothes and dark backgrounds. Complete opposites, yes! And I am going back and forth, studying and working, and drawing and painting…loving it all!

Week three of this six week course was spent studying the art of Marie Laurencin. I adore her work, and I first noticed it about three years ago, when our ATC group suggested we do little 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch ATC cards with her art on them. I loved her simplistic forms and light colored backgrounds, and yes, the eyes…big dark ovals, with no light in them. Not my usually style, but hey, I liked it. I made four simple ATCs in her style. Three years later, and LOTS of paintings since…I am ready to tackle her art in detail.


We were encouraged to look at Marie’s drawings, and she made many of them, with either ink or charcoal. Here I started off with just a Pilot Precise V7 pen, and followed her idea of hatch marks…and those dark black pools for eyes. Those are signature Laurencin eyes!


Next, I pulled out the fountain pen and India ink, and went to work replicating one of her drawings. MESSY! But fun!


This one, was a mixed media piece…combining pencil, charcoal and ink.


Next, I was ready for gouache. This is my rendition of one of her portraits. This one was easy…


compared to THIS one! I struggled! 


Next, I was ready to try watercolor. I gessoed the watercolor paper first, so I wouldn’t have a lot of watercolor running around…you know, that is what I don’t like about watercolor, it soaks and runs and blooms, and I generally make a big mess. With a gessoed background, I seem to have a little more control. AND there is time to wipe it away if you don’t like it. It also gives it a lighter, almost pastel look, to the portraits.


I added a little white gouache to make the pearls stand out. I really love how feminine her portraits are. This is her style, combined with mine. 

The teacher, Ivette Newport, told us that Marie Laurencin was inspired by the Rococo portraits of the past…and that was eye opening to me, because when I started to look at those “Marie Antoinette” style portraits, I could see the similarities…the frou frou is there, but just simplified! A little “AHA!” moment for me.


I started loosely drawing from the Rococo portraits I found online.

Next, I was ready to jump in with acrylic paint. You have the “before and after” here…the first layer of acrylics, made with Golden Open Acrylics, which slide all over the place. ACKK!!!... kind of like the texture of oil paints but without the nasty odor. They dry slower than regular acrylics, and some people like that aspect of it. I didn’t like the fact that the colors were not saturated, and that I could see the gessobord behind the paint.


So, after a few days, I went back in with regular acrylic (quicker drying!) paints and finished them. I worked on all three portraits at the same time. They are all 5 x 7 inch acrylic paintings on gessobord.


Clementine (still available on Etsy)

I certainly love those pearls in her hair!


Claudine (still available on Etsy)

I think this one might be my favorite of the three…that combination of hat, flowers AND feathers…I LOVE it!



This one, was snapped up before I could even list it on Etsy…by a Rococo lover. Although these are not strictly Marie Laurencin styled portraits…they are more saturated than hers…I DID learn a lot from studying her art. And again it opened doors to learn about more artists of the past, those Rococo and Baroque painters, that were so detailed in their portraits. I’m learning to simplify what I see.


I worked on Laurencin-esque drawings, on the days I couldn’t paint. I am kinda liking those dark eyes. 


Laurencin’s portraits have animals included…dogs, deer, cats… so, I decided to find a vintage image of a girl with her dog, and draw this in Marie Laurencin style. As you well know, I hardly EVER draw or paint animals. And I think this may be my first drawing of a dog.


Ava and Her New Puppy – 11 x 14 inch acrylic on art panel (soon to be on Etsy)

I can definitely say this is my first PAINTED dog! I hardly ever paint children…I think this is my third. But I do love this scene, and I love the title too! I am enjoying the lighter palette here, and simplified backgrounds. I have one more on the easel, that I am struggling with. But that didn’t stop me from starting on another master artist!

Week Four – John Singer Sargent! A well known, and prolific artist.

JSSDrawing JSSDrawing3 JSSDrawing5

Late night drawings…especially trying to get comfortable with profiles! STILL working on it!

But I had to plunge RIGHT into portrait painting. No oils…just regular old acrylics, that I am used to, and love.


Lady Agnes – 9 x 12 inch acrylic on art panel (this one is on reserve)

I had SO much fun with this painting…I  love how she seems to come out from the darkness. And I really love that era for frilly clothing! This portrait was made very quickly. I love how that happens sometimes, no fussing, just brush strokes. I wish I could paint like that ALL the time! 


Lady Beatrice – 9 x 12 inch acrylic on art panel (still available on Etsy)

I had leftover Burnt Umber paint on the palette that I didn’t want to waste…sooo…I started another portrait. And I am so glad I did, because I really love her sweet face, and her fancy red bow! Here is the painting of Sargent’s that I used for my reference photo. I want to spend more time exploring Sargent’s style, because I am really loving the drama of the dark backgrounds, and the subtle color changes in the clothing, and those amazing brush strokes that he leaves in his work. But alas…Week Five has come, and our new master artist is…

Gustav Klimt…one of my favorites!!!!


In the Garden of Tranquility – 6 x 12 inch acrylic on stretched canvas (soon to be on Etsy)

This is my first Klimt painting for the week…hopefully not my last. I found a fashion image online, of a woman with gorgeous red hair, and used that as a reference photo. I found a blank canvas, in this long format, that I decided would work…and I painted it with black gesso first. After it had dried, I painted over it with the acrylics, and then some gold paint too. It took me a good while to get her face that serene. But now I like it. I think I’ll leave it. Lots more Klimt art to discover and imitate.

I’ll be back soon, to share the rest of the class with you!


In the meantime, I wanted to share a painting I made for my niece and her husband. They spent their anniversary in Eastern Europe this year and fell in love with Dubrovnik. They shared their photos on Instagram, and I painted this for them while they were still on vacation. When they returned, their anniversary present was ready for them.


Dubrovnik Harbour – 12 x 12 inch acrylic on stretched canvas

They loved it!!! YAY!


Hope you are all enjoying your Spring!!!





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