18 April 2018

time to re-ink

Some of my fountain pens were skipping a bit and some were nearly dry, so it was time to re-ink. I seldom completely clean a pen; inserting the nib and feed into the ink, then emptying and re-filling the converter a couple of times seems to lubricate everything. My pens then write like new again.

This old wooden box that holds my ink bottles (De Atramentis Document, Noodler’s, and J. Herbin brands) and a few pre-filled cartridges is from my grandfather’s print shop, and once held odd type, blocks, and bits for the monstrously big printing presses he kept in his garage. I can remember the smell of the ink he used a large roller to apply. His fingers were always ink-stained. As are mine after refilling my pens!

13 April 2018


Our daughter-in-law Carrie recently had a birthday . . . and she woke up to find that her yard had been taken over by plastic flamingos!

(Flamingo pink is a very hard color to mix!)

11 April 2018

which green?

I have tweeked the limited palette that I recently put together, replacing the raw umber with burnt sienna — I can always mix a near-match to the raw umber with ultramarine. Then I wondered whether to keep the one single-pigment green as perylene green, or replace it with phthalo green BS?

So I mixed it with my other colors. If what I’m after is “bright”, the phthalo is a better choice; for subtle, realistic color, the perylene works better. . . . . Still undecided. What do you think?

The other choices in this limited palette are quinacridone rose, quinacridone gold, Hansa yellow medium, phthalo blue GS, ultramarine, burnt sienna, Payne’s gray, and a dab of white gouache. Plus a  Loew-Cornell #8 round and a 3/4 flat for my brushes. The flat’s handle has been shortened to fit the box and pointed for scratching effects.

09 April 2018

a cleaning day

I store tubes and sticks of watercolor in a deep drawer of an antique wooden toolbox, with paints already squeezed into pans and allowed to dry stored in a shallow drawer just above the paint drawer. Over time, it gets vary messy, though I dotry to keep the paints in roughly the same order as I place them in palettes. There were several colors that I’ve stopped using or some I tried due to other sketchers’ experiences — I decided to clean these out and settle on just the ones actually used.

Some of those on the right hand side are only used once in a great while, or only in a special granulated palette. So my “core” palette is usually made up with 10 to 14 of these. I will miss the old quinacridone gold (no longer available). I still have some squeezed and dried in pans. But it has been removed from the overall stash.

08 April 2018

my REAL Etsy shop

While I was at church this morning, another one of my prints sold in my Etsy shop. (Woo-Hoo!)

For those not “in the know”, this is what my real Etsy shop actually looks like! A large paper bag with handles, full of plastic-sleeved pre-matted prints, originals, sets of note cards, padded mailers, and the binder where I record inventory, expenses, and sales. Not so exciting, is it?

My Etsy shop online can be found here.

06 April 2018

just for fun . . .

Once again, I am on the road as “granny nanny”, helping get three grandkids to and from school while their daddy drives the Needville Welding Team to a competition in Corpus Christi. (Welding team? Who knew schools had such a thing!?!)

Earlier this week, their mother celebrated another birthday; last night everyone tried to hit and break a piñata in her honor. Tons of candy and confetti fell out, along with this rubber ducky. So I tried sketching it, using watercolor as gouache by adding white gouache to regular watercolor. Seems to act just like regular gouache paints. 

I’m also running LOTS of updates on my lap top. I no longer have WiFi at home so whenever I am at our kids’ homes, I borrow their WiFi to update. Any offered internet where our cabin is located has terrible reception due to hills, valleys, and tons of trees. And being 12 miles from town, the larger companies aren’t that interested in providing to such a small population.

05 April 2018


Normally I feel a bit too intimidated to sketch people at church. Besides, we sit up front where I only see one family plus the pastor — and he changes expressions too fast to capture!

But last night I was jotting down notes and between that, I just started drawing Macy, our pastor’s beautiful granddaughter. She has the most gorgeous face, classically beautiful like Audrey Hepburn. And she’s tall (15 years old and over 6’) yet moves with such grace! Very athletic too.

04 April 2018

window view

As I sit inside our cabin watching the carpenter’s crew struggle to place an overhead beam for our new carport, this is the view out a different window. Sketched in De Atramentis dark blue ink with Daniel Smith’s lunar blue and a touch of other watercolors.

The hummingbird feeders are filled and ready; so far we have only seen one this year but the levels are dropping so they must be feeding when we aren’t watching for them.

(Anyone notice something missing in the sketch? I didn't until after posting this here and on Facebook: the sky peeking through the oak trees was brilliant cobalt blue . . . and I forgot to paint it!)

02 April 2018

a minimal kit

Although I am still working in my larger (5 1/2 x 8 1/2”) Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook, there are times when a smaller one comes in handy. Sometimes I might wish to carry a smaller bag, or maybe just stick stuff in a pocket and carry no bag.

I had one more Field Notes notebook from the set of three I purchased over a year ago, and the robin-egg blue just feels like spring, so I decided to start working in it as well.

To be truly minimal, I can just carry the wee notebook and a couple of pens: a Pentel Pocketbrush pen and a Sigma white gel pen. Color, if desired, can always be added later at home.

Having purchased a sample of QOR “earth color” watercolors years ago which I put together in an Ice Chips tin, I decided these might work well on this toned paper as the QOR paints seem a bit more opaque that my normal Daniel Smith watercolors.

A second lid friction-fits on the bottom to provide more mixing space. A bit of folded paper towel fits inside here as well.

I've added small pans of white and lunar blue watercolors to the set. Also fitting inside the box are my tiny Kaweco Lilliput fountain pen, 2 shortened pencils (one a white Prismacolor), a pencil sharpener, a two-piece water brush, and a bit of sponge.

A tiny card showing the QOR colors also fits inside the friction-fit lid on the bottom.

The whole thing can be held together using a terry-knit wrist band, which can also be used for wiping the brush on.

31 March 2018

early morning tea

Yesterday morning we drove to Lyons, Texas to meet a friend for an early breakfast. Micky, the waitress, always brings me a cup of hot water, knowing that I carry my own tea bags with me. She also always brings me a spoon . . . which I never use.

Just playing with a fude-nib pen and a bit of Daniel Smith lunar blue watercolor here; I even drew this without my usual pencil guidelines!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...