Inktober in Review

We’re going to call this entry “Adventures of Bumblebird” (or, “How Stephanie Attempted Inktober with Moderate Goals Attained”) About a week into the month, I heard about inktober, and I was so inspired by the ink drawings of my fellow artists, that I had to jump into the fray as well. I didn’t quite manage to do each day of the month, but I gave it my best shot. I blame fixation on sewing Halloween costumes, a family vacation, and a sudden burst of botanical art with deadlines for shows.   Anyway, here’s what I did manage to scrape together …

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Stag Cycle Sonata: Scherzando

Stag Sonata Cycle: Scherzando Medium: Watercolor, gold leaf, ink Size: 11×10 inches Photos of the process of creating this painting: Started off with a slightly different composition, with the tree extending up, and the dryads playfully taunting from above. I’ve been trying out some new paper because my old favorite seems to have changed up a bit and is no longer suitable for my style of working. So I went to the art store a month ago and bought a sheet of every hot press watercolor paper they had available and have been slowly making my way through the stash …

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The Art of Observation

 The Art of Observation Medium: Watercolor, ink, metallics, gold Size: 11×14 inches Detail closeups and prints ($16.95) and original painting ($1200.00)  -available here- Who is the watcher, and who is watched? She glides across the ground, no footsteps in her wake, no sound to mark her passage, no breath to stir the air. * * * Photos of the painting in progress: Earlier this month, I was off in Atlanta at DragonCon. I like to work on ink drawings when I’m traveling. I would like to work on paintings, but that usually entails bringing along too much stuff and I’m …

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Been on a tiny painting kick for the past few days. I think that of the hundreds of birds I’ve painted over the years, this little hummingbird takes the prize for being the smallest. Flying high above a jade green cup…. And many a night it seems That all the valley fills With those fantastic dreams. They overflow the hills, So passionate is a shade, Like wine that fills to the top A grey-green cup of jade, Or maybe an agate cup. – William Butler Yeats, “The Dreaming of Bones” And even when I’m painting in mini-size, I can’t resist …

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DragonCon art show sneak peeks!

Back in the inking groove now that I had a week to recover from my vacation. A few more of the matted pieces with remarques that are bound for the DragonCon art show. “Legato” – unmatted prints –available here– for $16.95 Having a lot of fun with these mandala type designs along the boarders. A touch of lighter white gel pen for contrast against the cream colored mat. “Fermata” – unmatted prints –available here– for $16.95 More rosettes. And of course birds. Because there’s always birds with me. A bit bird-brained.  “Amidst the Brambles” – unmatted prints –available here– for …

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Promenade Medium: Silverpoint & watercolor on wood panel Size: 5×7 inches This is only my third piece using silverpoint, so I’m still experimenting a bit with surfaces. This time I decided to try using a wooden board. 5×7 inch maple art board. In the photo, you can see the array of tools that I ended up using in the course of creating this piece. Silverpoint drawing ground (which feels a bit like a diluted gesso), a couple of white gel pens, a fine tipped silverpoint pen (like a .7 mechanical pencil), and a wider tipped silverpoint pen (more like a …

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Vigil Medium: Watercolor, ink, gold leaf on canvas Size: 10×10 inches Detail closeups and prints ($16.95) -available here- Initial inspiration for this one came from an earlier mini 3×3 inch piece I did about 2 weeks ago: It’s not the first time one of my minis has been the springboard for a more fully realized piece. And in fact, I am still tossing around in my head a possible series of windowed-tree pieces. Anyway, I was feeling a bit stuck lately, so I decided to keep this one simple in the pre-planning stages. Meaning, I did almost no sketching, except …

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Fugato: Two Part Theme in Stillness and Motion

“Fugato: Two Part Theme in Stillness and Motion” Original piece available for purchase during August 14th-18th, Facebook Auction $60.00 minimum bid. -Click here to bid- Size: 4×6 inches Medium: Silverpoint & gesso relief on illustration board I’ve heard about silverpoint for years, though I never really thought to look into what it was until very recently, when I was at an art store in Berkeley, and I came across a silverpoint stylus. It looked like a wooden stick, with a bit of silver metal on the tip. It intrigued me. I was in a rush that day, so I didn’t buy …

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Wildflower Botanical Illustrations

A week along the shores and woods surrounding Lake Manitou provided me lots of time for sketching and painting some of the wildflowers. These are all done on watercolor paper, with watercolors and watercolor pencils. The milkweed in particular was so fragrant, that even after I had come home from my trip, when I opened my sketchbook to that drawing, I could swear I smelled the ghost of its scent still. I don’t know if it was evoked in my mind by the image, or if some of it clung to the pages of my book!

Gleaming from the Catkins

Gleaming from the Catkins Size: 8×8 inches Medium: Watercolor & gold leaf on birch panel Detail closeups & prints (8.5×11 inch @ $16.95) -available here-  * * * This piece began with a session of brainstorming in my sketchbook. This portrait caught me. He was looking at me and wanting me to paint him. Something about him made me think about the birch tree that grows in front of my house. So I went outside and clipped a few branches (it was in need of a trim anyway!) and brought those in to use as reference and further inspiration. And …

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Stag Sonata Cycle: Resonance

 Resonance Size: 21×27 inches Medium: Watercolor, ink, metallic pigments, gold leaf Detail closeups & Prints (8.5×11 inch @ $16.95 and 11×17 inch @ $26.75) -here- The process: It started with this ballpoint pen piece I did a few months back. Wanted to develop that into a full painting.   Wasn’t quite sure how I felt about the girl.  Wanted to change her pose. So I tried a few thumbnail sketches to try out different things. In repose. Curiosity? Two equal forces. You can see I flipped things back and forth a lot to get fresh perspective on the composition. In the …

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Brambles Fae

Brambles Fae Size: 5×7 inches Medium: Watercolor, ink, gold leaf, on wood panel Prints and detailed closeups -here- I went wild blackberry picking with Claire the other day. I think I saw this prickly fae peering at me from between thorny hedgerows. The initial pencil sketch. Initial wash of green in the background, just trying to get some tones established. She didn’t like me taking reference photos.  Camera-shy! Worked on the face. And then further definition of the leaves in the background. And the blossoms. And finally the hair. Final touches of the headdress and gold leaf.