Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ceramic Beading Project

So I began to work on my pottery projects again.  I started with a recent purchase of English Porcelain clay.  I rolled out my clay and used some routine clay cutters to make my beads and buttons.  I also cut out some pendants as well.

I spent a lot more time rubbing my clay smooth, but I've realized that if you spend more time doing this at the very beginning you have less work to do when the pieces are leather hard.

Also I was reading somewhere that you don't have to fire your porcelain to cone 10 for the bisque stage every time, and it makes it easier to glaze if you fire somewhere lower, in this case, I fired to cone 06.

After firing I applied 3 coats of white underglaze.  I then brushed on one coat of Amaco Velvet Underglaze teal or blue, and then wiped it off.

I love the silky white color of my buttons with the dark blue wash faintly lingering.

However, at this stage, I made a mistake.  I wiped away too much of the darker glaze.  Some pieces came out ok, and some did not.  I should have gone back in and added more detail.  I added Duncan crystal glaze and then fired to Cone 06.

Barring the imperfections I mentioned above, my buttons and pendants came out beautiful.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Peerless Lavender Flower

I was reading a blog entry for one of my favorite Jewelry Maker blogs (Art Jewelry Elements).  It was on the subject of Book Review - Twenty Ways.  I decided to create my own interpretation on the topic, while testing the difference between the use of watercolor pencils and Peerless watercolors.  In the drawing above, I used water pencils on the the 2 outside lavender drawings (left) and (right), and Peerless for the inner flowers.  I don't know if anyone can tell, but the flowers on the top left and right are less defined, while the inner flowers have defined edges, and bolder color usage.  It's only the first layer (a draft), but you can definitely see that the Peerless is a bolder water color.  I like it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Watercolor Portraits

I painted with watercolor, portraits of two very different people this summer.  I'm not good with faces and features.  My brother called my previous paintings, pictures of aliens, but I'm starting to feel comfortable with the idea that I might not be able to paint an exact replication of the person, but I can get down the gist of the pictures I'm trying to copy.

One picture was taken of a friend while we were walking at the University of Washington.

The second photo I saw on Flickr, and I really liked her profile.

So what do you think?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lessons in Watercolor

I have taken to creating sketches for the purpose of watercolor.  Many from photographs, others from concepts.  Here are a few of my finished works.

The Eagle Flies 

This watercolor was inspired by a photograph taken by Jerry Cahill.

My Garden Design

This was my basic garden design.  While I have already changed some areas, I wanted to get my initial concept down so I could easily communicate my wishes to the guy building my garden terraces and installing fencing.

My Hand

I have found that sketching the details of one's hand to be especially difficult.  I just have trouble doing it, getting the dimensions, wrinkles and shading right.  But I am going to continue to  practice drawing my hand.

My Tools

This is an illustration of the common tools that I use.  

Saturday, March 1, 2014


I read a great e-journal posted the other day from Cloth, Paper, Scissors regarding painting your fantasy house, and thought I would take a stab at the job.  Staci Swider's creation was really awe inspiring.  She combined a lot of elements to make a welcoming home.

I also spent a lot of time looking through other people's houses in their own art journals and fell in love with this house here, created by beth Macre in Countdown to Summer.  Her house is so much better than mine, but I've tried to recreate in my own way.

I first drafted something in my art journal, and then decided to take it one step further and move it to canvas.  My house isn't quite as lifelike as the author, but it's so bright and bold against the dark background of the wall.  As I come into my house, it just hits me, and I feel good about being home.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


I like to create a mockup of a new art work first, before I put the time and expense into a canvas piece.  I try out colors and techniques to see if they work in my sketchbook before I upscale the piece to canvas.  Sometimes, I never get that far because after sketching the piece, sometimes it doesn't work for me.  There were a number of things that I changed from the piece below to the upscaled canvas.

For example, I muted the colors in the distant window, and increased the distance between my window and the child's.  Also muting the colors highlighted those eyes.  I really like that look.

Looking From My Window at Girl Looking at Me

Here are some of my other window paintings that I thought were equally inspiring.

Girl Looking through Blinds

Mountain Top

View From Window

Tuesday, December 24, 2013