Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Illustration Friday - Mail

Santa's got mail!..........I love combining Illustration Friday themes with holidays. I guess I like more parameters when coming up with a design and holidays like Halloween and Christmas add to the fun.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Baby Watercolor

Yesterday I went see the Kent Bellows show at the Joslyn Art Museum here in Omaha. Kent died in 2005 at the age of 56, a tremendous loss to the art world. His work was extremely realistic with pencil seeming to be his preferred medium but he had works in acrylic, oil, pastel, mixed media, watercolor and it was absolutely stunning.

So inspired by his carefully rendered paintings I decided to really blend the skin out on this baby which is not my usual method. I also stuck with mostly burnt umber and permanent rose to paint the skin because I wanted a subtle almost monochromatic look.  7 x 5 inches.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Watercolor Self-Portrait

I really wanted to paint today and this happened sort of spontaneously. There are several watercolor portrait artists who I greatly admire and who have and continue to influence me. One is Roberta Carter Clark. She is an amazing portrait artist who is comfortable working in just about any medium. I love her watercolors and was going to copy one she had in her book Painting Vibrant Children's Portraits. Instead I decided to just try to emulate the style which isn't far off from the way I paint but lately it seems I've gotten back to being tighter and I want to get back to being looser and letting the watercolor do it's thing. It's a test of willpower to mix up a puddle of paint, lay it down and then let it dry without going back in! 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Portrait Swap

I teamed up with Mark Satchwill, a watercolor portrait artist who I have known for several years through some online groups for EBSQArt's annual portrait swap. I posted his a couple of weeks ago and here is the one he painted of me. This is actually the first watercolor portrait I have of myself. Didn't he do a great job?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Self portrait

I thought I was going to do a self portrait in watercolor today. I got carried away with my drawing instead. Too bad it's on tracing paper. :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

You Decide (M & M Series)

I've done a series of paintings in front of M&M machines over the last several years and this is one I painted over the summer for a local show. I had it professionally scanned and found the disk on my desk this afternoon and remembered I had never posted it. So here it is! This painting is on Aquaboard and measures 18 x 24. If you are unfamiliar with Aquaboard - it is a board with a textured clay surface that will accept watercolor. It doesn't have to be framed under glass and it's a board so you don't have to mat or stretch it. You just finish it with a spray fixative and frame it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

EBSQArt Annual Portrait Swap

This is my painting of Mark Satchwill for the EBSQArt.com annual portrait swap. Mark is also a watercolor portrait artist and we've been in a few online groups together. You can see his art at http://www.marksatchwill.com/.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Illustration Friday - "Afterwards"

This is my illustration for Illustration Friday's theme "Afterwards".  This is the sick mind of an artist although I would say this is still rated "G".  This is my first finished painting since I completed my pumpkin project 5 days ago. If you missed it, I put together a slideshow to your right. I learned that it pays off to have some kind of project or firm painting schedule to keep you going. Five days without painting went by so quickly. It is so easy to get distracted with other things!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

October Free Print People....

For all of you following who commented on this blog during October and would like a free print of one of my pumpkin paintings, please help me out and send me your name and address. You can add your information to my mailing list on my website www.kathyjurek.com or you may send it to me directly by emailing me through my website or through this blog. I have approximately 30 people to get in touch with and this would speed things up and help me out a lot.

Please get this information to me by November 15th.  Thanks a bunch!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins Day 31 - Happy Halloween!

You're all out trick or treating right now but tomorrow you can remember what the neighborhood looked like. Thank you to everyone who followed my pumpkin project and left comments.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins Day 30

I was determined to get at least one acrylic painting in this month and after two unsuccessful attempts, I got lucky today. I do prefer watercolor for the ease of mixing. I never have to worry if I run out of paint. I know exactly how to get my color again and no fussing with white paint or worrying about the paint drying out.

This still life is very similar to one I posted last week. I really like this arrangement of pumpkins and art supplies.

One more day to go. Feeling happy and sad at the same time.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins Day 29 / Illustration Friday "Spent"

For those of you who haven't been following, I've been posting a painting or illustration every day this month with some kind of pumpkin reference. I've attempted to also use pumpkins in my IF illustration. I used watercolor pencils on this illustration today so I could sit with my husband and watch TV rather than hide out in my basement studio where the light fixture bit the dust and I've been painting in the dark the last 2 days.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins - Day 28

This is the Pum-King. I've been wanting to paint him since about a week into my project. I just wasn't sure what he was going to look like. This is how he revealed himself to me today and the robins wanted to be part of the show, too. As I continue to work on my illustration, I realize it's best to go with my first instinct even if I don't know exactly where I'm going. Somehow the image works itself out once I put my pencil to paper. It's best if I don't think too hard. Also, there are lots of little things around for inspiration like the robins who were happily jumping around in the leaves the other day when I got home.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins Day 27

The countdown begins....four more after this and I want them to be really good. I'm not putting any pressure on myself, ha... I revisited my illustration from Day 7 because I was very happy with it and wanted to do something similar so here is a Pumpkin Mama and her babies. I just had to add the robin. When I came home yesterday there was a whole flock of them in my yard.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins Day 26

Today I grabbed a bunch of gourds that I bought and a handful of leaves from outside and arranged a still life on my desk. I actually made many arrangements and took a bunch of photographs but I painted this from life. I just had to add some watercolor tubes and a paintbrush. It seemed appropriate. To bid on Ebay, click here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins Day 25

Happy Monday!

This is a little watercolor from a still life I set up. It is painted on Aquaboard and measures 6 x 6. I really enjoy painting on Aquaboard and since I bought a 4 pk, you'll probably be seeing another similar painting very soon. I'm at Day 25 and I can see the end of my project coming closer to the end and I admit I'm a little sad. Six more paintings/illustrations to go......

This one is listed on Ebay here if you are interested in owning it. (FYI, the bumpy look on the background is my scanner picking up the texture of the board like when I scanned the 300 lb watercolor paper. It's not so obvious in real life and it looks "normal" if there is such a thing.)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins Day 24

I decided to do something different today, something I've been wanting to do for a long time - collage. But, I've been wanting to make my own paper on something that is thin like tracing paper but sturdy enough to take paint and not buckle.  I just hadn't figured out yet what would be the right surface. While I was in my favorite art supply store yesterday, I decided to check out the papers they keep in those flat files, and voila, Rice Paper seemed like a place to start.

Here are the results of my morning efforts. I tried watercolor, watercolor crayon and acrylic. Acrylic worked best. I used a hair dryer to speed things up.

Then I just needed a reference photo. I used one I took at my friend's house.

And what to put my collage on? I had a 5 x 7 piece of aquaboard and I hadn't been happy with the painting so I gessoed over it and loosely sketched my design on with watercolor crayon. Then I tore up pieces of collage paper and glued them down with PVA glue which is a ph neutral glue used for bookbinding and paper projects, something archival. I tore pieces of the rice paper and glued them down and then I went back over with paint in a few places. Tomorrow I will seal it with acrylic varnish. It was fun. I've worked on this pretty much all day though and my back aches, but I'm finished a lot earlier than yesterday so I have time to fold laundry, go grocery shopping and cook dinner. Yay!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins Day 22 / Illustration Friday "Racing"

Wow, I'm getting closer to the end of the month and I still have lots of ideas. I'm really excited about some of the illustrations floating around in my head. Today's Pumpkin painting is also inspired by Illustration Friday's theme of Racing.
The four remaining mouse racers flew over the hill desperately trying to outrun each other as they closed in on the finish in their pumpkin race cars.......

 I almost forgot to mention that my blog was featured on EBSQArt.com's "Friday Five" Blog post today. I've been a member of EBSQ for about 5 years. Go check it out!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins - Day 21

Thank you to all who have posted. I know people are watching and I know it might be intimidating to post for the first time but if you met me in person, you'd realize how artsy I am meaning quiet and introverted. The comments really do encourage me so please comment. I've jumped in with my give away not knowing how many prints I will make but I will keep my promise. 

This is a trading card. I used to do a lot more, and now that I've been working in larger sizes again, boy, did this feel small. I also used a piece of 300 lb. cold press watercolor paper which I actually hate. LOL. It might even be rough instead of cold or maybe it's just the brand but I really hate it. If I give it another chance, I think I"d soak it in water first. It's like painting on cardboard and the scanner picked up all the ridges in the paper. Enough ranting. I erased the ridges in Photoshop, and here it is. Hope it's not too boring. I needed to do something quick because I teach my watercolor class tonight and I've had a busy day. Guess what we're painting in my class?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins Day 20

This painting was done with Caran D'Ache Neocolor Watercolor Crayons. I bought a few about a year ago and this is the first time I've used them. Interesting. If you love watercolor but hate the lack of control, you might like these because you basically color and then blur it with your paintbrush but you don't have to use puddles of water. I did add some regular watercolor to darken my twig. Now I've to go buy some more colors. :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins - Day 19 - Get a FREE Print!

I decided today that I want to give some pumpkin prints away. I don't know which one or if you will have a choice and it depends on how many I end up giving away but if you leave a comment on my blog from now 10/19-10/31, I will contact you and you can let me know if you'd like a free print! So tell anyone who might be interested in my pumpkin project!

I love it when artists I admire post works in progress or sketches so I can see their process so I thought I'd snap some pictures of this painting while I was working. Sometimes I forget to stop painting to take the picture but I got a pretty good progression.

This painting is 11 x 14 gessoed watercolor paper like Day 5. The colors I used: Raw sienna and Cobalt Blue for background left side and down. Green Gold for background behind marigolds.

New Gamboge, Cadmium Yellow, Lemon Yellow and Permanent Rose
 Hookers Green, Scarlet Lake, Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, Winsor Blue
Foliage is different mixtures of Hookers Green, Winsor Green, Scarlet Lake and Permanent Alizarin Crimson.
 The shadow is Winsor Blue with a touch of Perm. Alizarin Crimson. I deepended the shadows on the pumpkin with Burnt Sienna and Alizarin Crimson, Hookers Green.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins - Day 18

Time for a portrait, my favorite subject. This is one of the little girls who lives next door to me and loves to model. My daughter took this picture at a pumpkin patch they went to. Little did she know....

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins - Day 17

You ever have one of those days when nothing comes out right? I'm struggling with an acrylic pumpkin painting and have decided that part of my problem could be my reference photo but the other part of my problem could be that I have to mix acrylics and I'm just not liking what is happening so...it must be my reference photo, right?

 "Mouse Meal" is an art card that I painted in 2007.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins Day 16

Just got back from a whirlwind 11 hour round trip but I started this one the other day so I didn't have to start completely from scratch.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins Day 15

I'm halfway!!

This is exploring the theme I started yesterday when I didn't have as much time to work it out. I'm also going to post this on Watercolor Wednesdays for this week's theme "Cat Magic" so hopefully, now you understand the illustration better. The more I paint with watercolor, the braver I am getting and I dared to explore with paint on the paper not sure exactly where I was going. I don't know if you can tell the difference on the screen but I used hot press watercolor paper and every time I use it, I like it more and more especially for illustrations. It takes a lot of abuse and you can build up your color if you're timid without making as much of a mess as with cold press.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins Day 14

This is a little one. I taught my watercolor class tonight and sketched this before I left. I did something I haven't done before but I will definitely do in the future. I made little ears out of my kneaded eraser and put them on my pumpkin so I could actually figure out how it might look. I won't necessarily use kneaded erase though it was handy but I'm all for making models and maquettes in my future illustrative work.

I may also post it for Watercolor Wednesdays theme this week of "Cat Magic" or I may try something else tomorrow. Nothing like a deadline to motivate me. ;)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins Day 13

This is another reference from my friend Theresa. Thanks, Theresa!!! Her dog, Belle, is the star along with her pumpkin co-stars. I started sketching this on a 7 x 5 piece of watercolor paper but my brain couldn't draw the dog that small and once I got the dog drawn, it would only fit on a quarter sheet of watercolor paper. This is my biggest pumpkin painting so far this month though I have one waiting in the wings ready to paint. Believe it or not I haven't run out of ideas yet....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins - Day 12

I knew I was going to be busy today and even though I had a lot of other things going on, I worked on today's pumpkin painting for several hours but it's not quite finished. It ended up being 14 x 11 which is partly why I haven't finished. I'm really happy with it. It's got an illustrative feel but from a photograph my friend let me use. I'll have it tomorrow. Until then, here is a little Art Card I did from life a few years ago that I never sold, It's up on Ebay here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins Day 11

This painting started out with my cat in front of pumpkins. I was going to leave the background white but it looked like it needed something more so I added the cornstalks. Well I wasn't sure if that was enough so I added the greenery to the foreground. Then heck, it needed a foreground and sky. This was a build as you go painting. :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins Day 10

Did you know today is 10-10-10? :)

I'm 1/3 of the way into my project! This is Katie, my friend's dog. She was kind enough to model for me on Friday when I went to Iowa to photograph pumpkins.

This is a trading card or art card, editions and originals (ACEO) because I sell them mostly on Ebay. To bid on this card on Ebay, please click here.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Illustration Friday "Transportation" / Month of Pumpkins Day 9

Here is my illustration for IF's "transportation" theme. It's also day 9 of my project to paint one pumpkin painting a day during October. Yesterday I went out to Glenwood, Iowa to visit a friend and photograph pumpkins. We encountered a few garden friends - a huge praying mantis and lots of box elder beetles amongst the marigolds and mums. I imagine later that afternoon they got together with some moths and took a ride in a pumpkin carriage pulled by a garter snake off to a Fall gathering somewhere in the Glenwood Woods.

Friday, October 08, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins Day 8

Today I started working on an illustration (with a pumpkin) inspired by Illustration Friday's theme of "transportation" and also a visit I made to a friend's house in Iowa to photograph her pumpkins. It was a gorgeous day, a little too hot for October (in the 80s.) Wish I had been able to stay longer and actually paint them from life but I'll have to go back another day. I got some great photographs. We even coaxed her black lab to get in some pictures. Unfortunatley, I haven't quite finished painting my illustration so I'll just give you a teaser - it has a pumpkin and some fall flowers and a few bugs that we encountered. :)

Until tomorrow, here is a pumpkin painting that I did in 2005 before I started this blog.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins Day 6 / Watercolor Wednesday

I'm using one painting for two blogs today. I posted this on Watercolor Wednesdays for the "Bewitching Hour" theme, too. There are pumpkins in this one. :)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins - Day 5

My friend Theresa shared some pumpkin references with me and this painting is based on one of them. If it looks a little different from my other watercolors that's because I gessoed my watercolor paper first, not completely, I dripped some gesso on it then swirled it around with my brush, let it dry and then painted on top. It gives some really interesting texture underneath the watercolor.

To bid on Ebay, click here.

Monday, October 04, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins - Day 4 "Pumpkin Truck"

I've always admired the daily painters and secretly wanted to be part of the group but always chickened out. I'm trying to take this day to day and see if I can make it through the month. So far so good. Here's my 4th painting. To bid on Ebay, click here.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins - Day 3

From  a reference photo from wetcanvas.com, here is Day 3.  To bid on the auction, click here.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

A Month of Pumpkins - Day 2

Two days down, only 29 to go. :)  Here's another pumpkin painting in my month long goal to paint a pumpkin painting a day.  To bid on this painting on Ebay, click here.

Illustration Friday - "Beneath"

Beneath...hmmmm....It's hard not to think scary and the idea just flowed into my sketchbook in about 5 minutes. I traced it, scanned it and cleaned it up a bit. I'm not really experienced in digital art. It took forever to clean up where the scanner had picked up spots I had erased. Probably would've been a lot easier to retrace it! This was really fun to though.

Every child's fear be it sofa or bed.

I decided to paint this after I posted and here's the colorized version...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pumpkins - Welcome October!

How can you NOT love pumpkins?

Sometimes you just have to go for it and see what happens. One of the wonderful things about watercolor is the beautiful textures you can make. You just have to let go. I wasn't quite sure where I was going with the background except I was going to use mostly the colors I used on the pumpkins or darker version of the colors (burnt umber vs. raw umber) and I wanted it to be dark so the pumpkins would pop out. You might know that certain watercolor pigments act differently and the same color in another brand can act differently too. So the Sap green I used in the background left some interesting patterns and I'm currently using Senelier Cobalt blue instead of Winsor & Newton which I prefer. This blue is chalkier and seems more opaque which could be a good thing depending on what you're doing. As I was painting the b/g I kept thinking about collage paper like what Eric Carle makes and uses in his books. Anyway it was fun and if you approach your painting thinking shapes and filling those shapes with color/textures, it could be a great learning experience!

To bid on this painting on Ebay, click here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A baby and a baby fairy

The reference is from the All Media Events weekend event on Wetcanvas. I felt like drawing and then I decided to use my drawing to stretch my illustration muscles and turned her into a baby fairy.

Drippy Daffodils

6 x 6 in. watercolor on Aquabord Daffodils are one of my favorite flowers and dozens of little clusters have been appearing in my yard s...