Butterfly with Flowers – Postcards for the Lunch Bag


Artwork-Zebra Zensations Technical Pen and QoR watercolor on a Hahnemühle Cold Pressed Watercolor Postcard. Brushes: Jack Richeson Richeson Grey Matters Synthetic Watercolor Flat 1/4 Photo courtesy of Larisa-K on Pixabay.

My hubby took a butterfly in his lunch bag.

Did you know that the caterpillar lives to eat, while the butterfly lives to mate?

Doodlewash prompt ‘butterfly’.

Tools

And Where You Can Buy Them

Hahnemühle Cold Press Watercolor Postcards (review).

Zebra Zensations Technical pens (review)

QOR Watercolor Half Pan Set of 12 Ultimate Mixing Set

Jack Richeson Richeson Grey Matters Synthetic Watercolor Flat 1/4

 

The Bluebird Illusion- Postcards for the Lunch Bag


Artwork-Zebra Zensations Technical Pen and Daniel Smith watercolor on a Hahnemühle Cold Pressed Watercolor Postcard. Brushes: Princeton Neptune Round, size 8. Photo reference courtesy of skeeze on Pixabay.

Did you know that there are no blue birds -it’s all an illusion. Some birds are gray, but the way the light creates magic with the protein molecules in the feathers and voila! the human eye sees BLUE! This is called a structured color.

And by the way, it isn’t just flamingoes that get their color from the food they eat. Red, yellow, and orange feathers are created by carotenoids that the birds get from flowers, roots, seeds, and fruits.

Doodlewash prompt ‘Bluebird’.

Tools

And Where You Can Buy Them

Hahnemühle Cold Press Watercolor Postcards (review).

Zebra Zensations Technical pens (review)

QOR Watercolor Half Pan Set of 12 Ultimate Mixing Set

Princeton Neptune Travel Brush, Series 4750, Round, Size 8

Yes, I Have No Bananas- Postcards for the Lunch Bag


Artwork-Zebra Zensations Technical Pen and QoR watercolor on a Hahnemühle Cold Pressed Watercolor Postcard. Brushes: Jack Richeson Richeson Grey Matters Synthetic Watercolor Flat 1/4 Photo courtesy of Schmid-Reportagen on Pixabay.

My hubby took a bunch of bananas in his lunchbag. You may have noticed that some of my postcards for the lunch bag, lately, have been of something other than animals. Hubby prefers animals but I feel I’m going stale because sometimes I only have time to paint his card and I want to paint other things. So we compromised. I’ll still be doing mostly animals, but the odd item like this will pop up on occasion.

Did you know that the banana plant is not a tree, but rather a type of herb. In fact, they are the largest of herbaceous flowering plants. Their ‘trunk’ is called a “false stem” or pseudostem.

And does anyone else remember the song?

Doodlewash prompt ‘bananas’.

Tools

And Where You Can Buy Them

Hahnemühle Cold Press Watercolor Postcards (review).

Zebra Zensations Technical pens (review)

QOR Watercolor Half Pan Set of 12 Ultimate Mixing Set

Jack Richeson Richeson Grey Matters Synthetic Watercolor Flat 1/4

 

Chameleon – Postcards for the Lunch Bag


Artwork-Holbein Gouache on a Stonehenge Aqua ColdPress Black watercolor paper. Brushes: Princeton Neptune Travel Brush, Series 4750, Round, Size 8 Photo reference courtesy of cocoparisienne on Pixabay.

Today, my hubby took a Chameleon in his lunchbag. Doodlewash prompt ‘Chameleon’.

Chameleons are interesting critturs. Just a few of fun facts about them:

They don’t change color according to their environment. In fact, different species change color for different reasons. Some for anger or fear, while others respond to light, temperature or humidity.

They change color via nanocrystals – two layers of specialized cells under their skin.

Their tongues can be 2.5 times their body length.

Almost half of the chameleon species live in Madagascar.

They cannot regrow their tails like other lizards.

The smaller the chameleon, the faster the tongue. They’ve been clocked at 8500 feet per second.

Their spit is super sticky!

They do not have ear openings, but they are not deaf. They can detect sound frequencies in the range of 200 – 600 Hz.

They never stop growing during their lifespan.

They see better than humans, with vision in both visible and ultraviolet light.

Sky


Artwork: Various brands opaque Watercolor on a Stonehenge Aqua ColdPress Black watercolor paper.

Doodlewash prompt ‘sky’.

This is a case where the scan looks better than the actual piece. I picked up a glow that isn’t really there.

I used watercolor on black paper. I’ve done this successfully before, but I don’t think it was the right combination for the what I was trying to do. I just kept fussing and finally decided I need to walk away. I think I’ll start over rather than trying to get this to go the way I want it too.

But now I know!

Golden Snub-nose Monkey – Pencil to Paint


Artwork-Zebra Zensations Technical Pen, Daniel Smith watercolor and ARTEZA Real Brush Pens on a Hahnemühle Cold Pressed Watercolor Postcard. Brushes: Princeton Neptune Round, size 8.

This painting is what is known as a ‘line and wash’ because it is drawn in pen first and then painted with watercolor.

Before You Start

The BBC has been advertising their new series, Seven Worlds, One Planet, which features the Golden Snub Nosed monkey. Every time the commercial plays, hubby asks me for a postcard painting of one. Trouble is, there aren’t any photos of them on any of the photo sites I use for reference.

This means lots of prep, because I have to come up with my own composition, researching the subject and figuring out how to draw it without taking too much from any one photo.

Recently, I received a Hahnemühle 1584 Notebook (review to come in the near future) which has dot-grid paper in it. I decided it would be perfect for my studies.

First, I did a study working out a pose. I used the dot-grid to help me figure out proportions without using a ruler or getting too worried about being exact (sorry for the shade along the gutter, this was done on the first page).

On the next page, I did a study to figure out proportions of the face.

While working on this, I put some thought into what I wanted from the finished painting, and what ‘gotchas’ there might be.

I was choosing to do a baby, so I wanted to capture that halo of fuzzy baby fur. I also knew that even though in real life the snub-nose is cute, it also looks a lot like the nose on a skull.

Pencil

(This scan is darkened so you can see the pencil lines. You should pencil lines in lightly)

Using my studies from the 1584 notebook, I penciled in the monkey, focusing on proportions and placement of facial features and limbs.

Not sure if you’re up to drawing this? Art Tutor has a great grid program that will help by applying a grid to your uploaded photo. You can also crop and adjust color and value.

Pen

Values= dark to light. When you establish your values, you are deciding where the darkest areas are, and some of the important mid-tones.

The babies have very light fur, so I kept the pen drawing fairly minimal, mostly mapping out the sections of the fur.

Paint

I decided that the delightful blue face on these monkeys was closest to a cerulean blue.  Since I also intended to use Buff Titanium, an off-white that easily turns green when mixed with blue, I had to use some caution.

The monkey’s fur was done with a layer of the buff titanium, and a mix of Aussie Red Gold and Monte Amiata, leaving the lightest areas the white of the postcard.  

I used Cerulean blue for the sky, and various mixes of lavender, Rose of Ultramarine, Aussie Red Gold and the Monte Amiata for the rest of the background.  Then I let it all dry.

I’ve never used the color lifting method to try and get that fuzzy halo furry look and decided to experiment.  I began to lift color all around the edges of the fur.  This is done by wetting the brush, lightly brushing where I wanted to lift color, blotting the brush on a paper towel, then dabbing in the same area to pick up the water just applied.  Some of the color comes up too.

Unhappy with the background (I didn’t plan it – I usually don’t, but should have this time since I didn’t have a reference), I fussed with it quite a bit until I spilled water on the lower left corner, and then couldn’t get it to take color.  

I let it all dry.

With a purple Arteza watercolor brush pen (the type where the pen is prefilled with watercolor), I added color and pumped up my values so there was greater contrast. The color in these brushes is more of a dye, so it takes where the paper is too damaged to accept pigment watercolor. I used it throughout the trees to tie the colors together.

I decided that I wanted lighter fur around the face, and I didn’t want to lift more so I grabbed my Uniball white signo and added some white ink.

Overall, this took far longer than my usual daily postcard – about 4 hours.

Tools

And Where You Can Buy Them

Hahnemühle 1584 Notebook (this is a new item, so it may not be listed on websites yet)

Hahnemühle Cold Press Watercolor Postcards (review).

Zebra Zensations Technical pens (review)

Daniel Smith 15 ml watercolors:

Princeton Neptune Travel Brush, Series 4750, Round, Size 8

ARTEZA Real Brush Pens

Ruddy Shelduck – Postcards for the Lunch Bag


Artwork-Holbein Gouache on a Stonehenge Aqua ColdPress Black watercolor paper. Brushes: Princeton Neptune Travel Brush, Series 4750, Round, Size 8 Photo reference courtesy of kumararunprasad on Pixabay.

Today, my hubby took a duck in his lunchbag.

Doodlewash prompt ‘Duck’.

You know, I was actually trying to find an Australian Shelduck, hence the fiery sky in the background. Then when I went to look up some facts, I realized the Pixabay reference photo I was using was of a Ruddy Shelduck, who only visits Australia via the zoo.

Found in NW Africa and Ethiopia, with a breeding area in SE Europe across central Asia to SE China, this duck is your pretty average duck, although they have a honk and resemble a goose in the air.