Monday, March 29, 2010

Full Worm Moon • Full Crow Moon

Just a slight red/orange halo around the full moon this evening.

The Farmer's Almanac had wonderful information about March's full moon.

Besides being know as the Full Worm Moon and the Full Crow Moon, another Native American name is Full Crust Moon as the snow would thaw by day, then freeze overnight forming a crust.

One more name..... Full Sap Moon. Yes! It's time to tap the Maple Trees :) Isn't this a lovely time of year? :)

Early settlers also called it a Lenten Moon, the last full moon of winter.

I tried Canson Edition paper recommended by Ann of Blue Bird Hill.  Thanks, Ann.  I really like the soft feel and it accepts watercolor very well.  I shall be purchasing more for sure.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New Look

Blogger has introduced new page designs.  I've been wanting to incorporate my own artwork into the banner design for quite a while.  Why not do both??


Need your input, though.  I'm not sure if the banner is toooooo large now.  Perhaps it's just because I'm used to the older, smaller page design.  I've got a large screen though, so it works on my computer.  How about yours?


Thanks for your input!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Great Blue Heron & Derwent Watercolor Pencils

Great Blue Heron Portrait
I photographed this elegant heron a couple of years ago when visiting Sea Pines Forest Preserve on Hilton Head Island (SC).

I decided to use the photo, a couple of weeks ago, in a Watercolor Pencil Techniques Workshop I gave in Beaufort, SC at Coastal Art Supply.

First, I had everyone take their pencils out for a spin. I too, did a color chart in the latest sketchbook I've been trying out: Pentalic's Nature Sketch.

I love introducing watercolor pencils this way. Not only do the students get to see how many more colors they can get by mixing, but it's also a good way to get used to the Niji Waterbrush.

I demonstrated several techniques, then handed out a variety of photos for the students to chose from.  Big Blue was the one chosen for a demo.  I didn't get a chance to finish this piece in the workshop but did get the head and neck area done.

I am really quite pleased with the Pentalic sketchbook.  The paper, to me, is just as nice as the AquaBee sketchbook that I've enjoyed for many years.  There is a different tooth to the paper and it is a natural white, but still very pleasing.

You can click on the color study for a larger view.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Testing Pentel Sign Pen


Testing Pentel Sign Pen
Originally uploaded by PJBee
Jennifer, at Coastal Art Supply in Beaufort, found a water-soluble felt tip marker for me. It's a Pentel Sign Pen. I took it out for a spin today.

It has a hard tip that's very easy to write with. I like that with just a few marks on the paper, I can get a lot gray to black shades. I see great possibilities for fast sketching.

I also like that when I applied the waterbrush to the lettering, the letters stayed crisp.  Please click on the image for a larger view.

I say this pen gets the yummy award!  The pad is the Pentalic Nature Sketch sketchbook discussed in my previous post.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Watercolor Pencil and Paper Tests - Kimberly and Artist Loft Brand

I have a new sketchbook to test.  It's made by Pentalic and they donate a percentage of the book sales to the American Wildlife Foundation.  Pentalic is based in Beaverton, Oregon.  Locally, you can purchase them at Coastal Art Supply in Beaufort. 843-542-2887, 812 Port Republic Street.

The paper is natural white in color and accepts pencil, charcoal, pen & ink, acrylics, pastels and watercolors.

I have found the 130 lb (212gsm) paper quite nice to work on with watercolor pencils using a waterbrush.

The paper's color is creamy compared to my favorite AquaBee Sketch Book but it really lends a favorable quality to a couple of sketches I'm currently working on.

My favorite thing to do when trying out new paper is a color chart.  Today I tried out a new package of 12 Kimberly wc pencils...... Also, made in the USA!!

I like the Kimberly brand.  They are soft and it's easy to lay down a lot of pigment without the lead breaking. They also sharpen well.  Here is my test page.  I do wish the set included raw sienna.  I'd gladly give up the pink pencil :)
This set of 12 KImberly Watercolor Pencils was reasonably priced at 11.99 in Michael's Art's & Crafts store.  Derwent's brand of wc pencils was offered at $21!

While roaming around Michael's yesterday, I ran across a new brand of art supplies they just started to carry.  I'm not sure if it's their house brand or just a new manufacturer.... Artist's Loft is the name.
There were colored pencils, wax pastels and watercolor pencils.  The wc pencils were offered at $4.99 for a set of 24 pencils!!

Okay, at that price I'll give them a whorl - especially as I had a 40% off-your-entire-purchase coupon :)
I wasn't expecting too much. Good thing.  Sorry Michael's, but I wouldn't recommend these wc pencils to anyone.  The leads broke and they were nearly impossible to sharpen.

Check out the pencils on the left side of the image below.  I didn't use the white pencil.  See how small the yellow, brown and green pencils are - I can't get them sharpened without the leads breaking. The dark green pencil actually split.

Just remember, you do get what you pay for.  Not much pigment, broken leads, split wood.  Way too much frustration even for $4.99!

Please click the images for a larger view.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Marsh Tacky Run and Cup



Last Sunday we had perfect weather for the 2nd annual Marsh Tacky Race. This is such a great promotional event to try and save the South Carolina Marsh Tacky breed.

They are a rare, small, colonial Spanish horse breed unique to South Carolina. My favorite fact is that these sure footed, agile horses, that were left by the Spanish explorers 500 years ago and survived in the low country's swampy terrain, were the mounts used by General Francis Marion, aka The Swamp Fox, in victorious battles against the British troops who rode larger European horses.
The 'Swamp Fox' was one of my favorite Disney programs when growing up. I had such a crush on the actor that played Francis Marion.

To see these proud little horses in the flesh was such a treat. They range from 13 to 15 hands tall. The way the newspapers spoke about these small horses, I expected to see them at 12 hands high tops (15 hands isn't that small). My brother's Palomino, we had growing up on the farm, was 16 hands. That was a good-sized horse. The Marsh Tacky horses we saw at the race didn't look that much smaller.

I began the above painting (ATC size 2.5" x 3.5") at the end of the preliminary heats. The announcer said that the horses had to rest before the final race. I was able to paint the sky and beach when all of a sudden the horses were racing!!! What kind of rest was that?? I finished up the painting in my studio.

I'm disappointed with the scan. I've so much more detail in the darks. Oh well, not much time these days for fussing.

Here are some short videos of the activities. Finally a beautiful spring day. It was a tease as Monday once again turned cold and windy.

This is Blue Duck winning one of the heats.

Here is Molly winning the mare heat. I thought she would win the final race and almost did!


This is another heat with Blue Duck as the winner. His owner/rider is William Green. I wish I could say that this was the final race, but I couldn't get to my camera fast enough. Blue Duck, the final winner, is one competitive horse :) Only Molly challenged him. (way to go girl :) )

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sunshine Award!


Woo hoo!!  Maree Clarkson, the lovely, ever so talented, inspirational artist and blogging buddy has honored me with the SUNSHINE AWARD for "Creativity and Positivity in Blogging." I'm blushing, Maree!!  Thank you so very much!

If one accepts the reward ~ try and take it back, Maree :) ~ it must be passed on to 12 others.  One must also let them know that they are nominated. Everything must be linked to everyone.

Here is my list of creative and positive bloggers who inspire and give joy to others.  Please follow their links so you can meet these outstanding artists!

Elizabeth Smith
Joan Sicignano
Ann Thompson Nemcosky
Catriona Andrews
Liz Steel
Dave Linder
All the amazing artists at WaterMarks Blog
Laure Ferlita
Lisa Holtzman
Rene Tomczak
Aldolfo Arranz
Dominique Eichi

It is very tough to stop at 12 and I so wish my Flickr buddies all had blogs.  Please enjoy these blogs as I surely do :)