New Art Supplies

New art supplies are fun and offer the promise of better art work, right? Just like buying new running shoes makes you run faster!

I’ve been experimenting trying to use more color and layers in my art.  I’ve been doing this because one of our class assignments is to try and find our own style. I feel like I mostly copy the look of Carla Sonhiem so I’ve been trying to do other things and find out what I prefer.

I like the look of all the colors and layers but when I draw something I tend to stick with simple lines and colors. Is it because I don’t know how to do the layers? am I too lazy to do all that work? or is my style more pen and ink? I guess I am still working on figuring that out.

Here are some attempts at using more color in my animals.


I did this guy with my left hand and an eye dropper. I really liked him when he was just on the white background. Not sure I like him as much now.


Using the fancy crayons and a little gesso. I thought the eyes turned out okay.


Glad I got a picture of this guy. I tried to put a matte gel over top and the whole thing smeared. 


Tried out a new pencil (Stabilo pencil) with my left hand on this guy. I like the pencil, it’s similar to a grease pencil but it can be activated by water. It goes on smooth and activates easily with water or gel. But see how boring the background is?


Ink Blot Chickens!

I’ve done a few pages of these chickens and here are a few for your viewing pleasure. They are fun!


I like the crazy legs on this guy.




This is my favorite.


Lots o Puppies

Scanned in a bunch of the dog drawings and cleaned them up a little in Gimp. Trying to decide which to make into prints.

Some of them make me laugh, they have such a personality. Here they are all in my DropBox. (It was the only way I could see them all in one place.) My favorite is 24 and 18. I may need to delete 23 and 14 they look a little angry.

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Reminds me of a happy puppy!



I usually have an image in my head but can’t seem to get it out on paper. I’ve learned that I can draw it over and over again tweaking this or that and eventually I am happy with comes out of my hand. It just comes down to having enough time in the day to keep drawing vs. going to work and sleeping and all the other chores of life.

What most people don’t see is the 100 rabbits or 2oo cats I drew before I started liking them. That is why I thought I would include some of the many dogs I’ve been working on lately…..make sure to scroll to the bottom to see the 1% of success!

Right now I am trying to replicate a certain dog. I’ve made some cute dogs, but out of the 100 I’ve drawn maybe 3 look like the picture. But once I got a few that I liked I started realizing the features that I needed to include in the drawing to make it be successful.

Here are just a few of the many dogs I’ve been drawing the last few days.

dog1 blog

Wrong hand drawing with watercolor added. I have a ton of these, because they are so fun to do! Some actually look just like the little guy below, I just didn’t scan all of them. On these I was working on the ears and shading.

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These are on 5×7 watercolor paper. I have tons of these, just trying to make different kinds of dogs. This was before I started the project below.

dog2 blog

This is a 14×11 piece of card stock from the craft store, there are more dogs on the top of the page but they didn’t all get scanned in.

So here is what I was trying to make.

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And I think I finally got somewhere! Here is my 1%.


Watercolor maker and waterbrush, once it dries I draw the outline with my wrong hand.


Pastel pencil and then smudged with my finger and then drawn wrong handed.



I’ve been wanting to learn how to improve my scanned images and I’ve finally taken the time to start watching the tutorial. (Only after wasting hours trying to figure it out on my own.)

I really don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars for Adobe software so I downloaded GIMP, but didn’t really know how to use it besides a few simple functions. Mostly I use Picasa to do all my photo editing and even then, I just crop or lighten, nothing too fancy. I needed something with a little a more flexibility.

What is GIMP? Here is a blurb from their website “GIMP is a cross-platform image editor available for GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows and more operating systems. It is free software, you can change its source code and distribute your changes. ” It is similar to Adobe Photoshop.

I’ve been working my way through a Lynda tutorial the last few days. So helpful! The purpose behind all this is to be able to scan in my artwork and then clean it up so I can create prints to post in my Etsy shop.

I now know how to remove the bumpy watercolor paper from the background!

Below is an example. The darker image is directly from my scanner and if you look closely you can see the bumps in the watercolor paper, this won’t look so great if you want to make this into a print. I’ve already made a few prints that had a paper texterure in the background.


Scanned image

I’ve only made it about a third of the way through tutorial but I did learn to use the Color Select tool. This allowed me to select the cat (since it is all black) and then invert the selection (to select all of the ugly white and then simply hit the delete key!

cat outline

Used GIMP to remove the dark background.

I am not sure if there is anything else I should do to this cat, (I’ll learn more as I continue the tutorial) but it looks much nicer and would make a much better print.