Live Life Like the Gate was Left Open – Counting Sheep #7


Artwork – Daniel Smith Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico on Fabriano Artistico in a Mary Roff handmade sketchbook

You may have seen the meme ‘Live Life Like the Gate was Left Open’, which usually features a photo of a dog running madly and happily. Well, in this case it’s a sheep. Personally, I’m thinking that the gate was not left open, and this guy has lost his marbles.

So I’m claiming it for the Doodlewash prompt of ‘Marbles’.

I saw this photo reference by fsHH on Pixabay and knew I had to include it in my Counting Sheep watercolor sketchbook.

You can read my review of Mary Roff’s excellent handmade sketchbooks here.

Sitting Down – Counting Sheep #6


Artwork – Daniel Smith Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico on Fabriano Artistico in a Mary Roff handmade sketchbook

With Christmas gift cards burning up in the pockets of those looking for places to use it, I thought I should mention Mary Roff’s excellent handmade sketchbooks once again. You can read my review here.

This painting didn’t work the way I hoped. I used the color-lifting method again, but instead of using my regular brushes, I used a scrubber brush.

If you are unfamiliar, a scrubber brush is a hard-bristled with short fibers and it is designed to … lift color. I tried one years ago, but didn’t like it. However, I’m much better at watercolor these days, and decided I really should try it again.

Nope. Still don’t like it. When you lift color from a page, in essence, you are lifting fibers and damaging the paper. By doing so, lightly, you can get a softly textured look. If you scrub too hard, you can get a muddy mess and paper that won’t let you apply any more color.

In my opinion, the scrubber takes off too much fiber all at once and moves the color around to aggressively. Perhaps, it’s my lack of experience with this kind of brush, but I was using it with with very light pressure. At any rate, I couldn’t add more color in some places, so I couldn’t continue as planned. I’m not unhappy with the finished piece though.

The sheep in this reference photo from Pier52 seems to have a ‘I’ve just got to sit down for a minute’ feel that I was going for, and I think I captured it.

REVIEW – Mary Roff Handmade Sketchbook


Recently, I bought one of Mary Roff’s beautiful handmade sketchbooks from her Etsy shop. It’s a piece of art in itself and a joy to work in, so I had to do a review for you.

Please check out my review of this lovely sketchbook at Doodlewash.

Zwartbles – Counting Sheep #4


Artwork – Da Vinci Gouache on Fabriano Artistico on Fabriano Artistico in a Mary Roff handmade sketchbook

Number 4? Where are Counting Sheep 1 – 3?

Well, check Doodlewash on Monday for my review of the beautiful Mary Roff handmade sketchbook that I recently bought and you’ll find those first three little, lost sheep.

I love painting sheep, and hubby gets tired of getting them in his lunchbag, so I decided this was going to be my book for Counting Sheep. There are 40 pages and I’ve already started painting, but I’m going to try and make it a weekly thing. Forty weeks of counting sheep – I hope that gives me plenty of sleep!

Oh, and Zwartbles is a breed of Dutch sheep, if you were wondering about that word.

Gouache VS Acrylic Gouache Part 2


Artwork – Da Vinci Gouache over Holbein Acrylic Gouache on Fabriano Artistico in a Mary Roff handmade sketchbook .

Yesterday’s post discussed the difference between watercolor-based gouache and acrylic-based gouache, and I showed you a background that I did using the acyrlic gouache. Which I’ll show you again …

Why so many streaks? The brush used was really cheap (like 25 cents on a bargain table). I knew that most of it would be covered over.

Reference photo courtesy of 422737 on Pixabay.

The watercolor sketchbook I’m painting in is devoted to sheep (more about that later this week). When, I saw this reference photo, I knew I wanted to do a stylized version of it, and decided to use the acrylic gouache background for it.

This was the first time that I painted over acrylic gouache.

What did I like about it most?

  • I was able to get some fabulous textures! The surface is especially good for dry brushing.

What did I like about it least?

  • It was hard to get good detail because the brush drags on the surface and the paint didn’t want to move.

So, in essence, what I liked the most about this medium is also what I disliked the most. The acrylic medium creates a surface that is rough enough to create interesting textures, but also makes it hard to get detail.

Lady & the Tramp – Counting Sheep #5

Most of that background above was covered over, because I kept trying to fix things (kind of like the hair-stylist who keeps clipping your hair to even things out). However, the background colors did subtly enhance the finished painting.

I wish I hadn’t chosen to do this painting in my Mary Roff sketchbook. It is filled with Fabriano Artistico, which has beautiful properties for a watercolor paper. Those properties were wasted because the acrylic gouache.

Will I use this method again?

Oh yes. Now that I know how it reacts, I’ll plan accordingly. The acrylic gouache replaces whatever surface a paper naturally has – so I’ll choose a cheaper paper (or wood or cardboard or whatever) to paint on. When I paint over it – whether with either kind of gouache or watercolor, I’ll use paint fresh from the tube that will spread more easily.

So now you know what I know when it comes to acrylic gouache. I’m looking forward to learning more!