Tag Archives: painting

Watercolor Memories

I was excited to sell this little painting (3″x4″) at the reception for my “Quick Mini Morning Sketches” show.

As much as I was happy to get the money. And I was delighted that I successfully managed to charge the buyer’s credit card by using my phone (for the first time). These weren’t the things that gave me the most joy about the sale.

miniAll of the paintings from this series are done on a small scale without a lot of contemplation (as explained here http://moiraswiatkowski.com/2015/06/16/coffee-and-watercolors/). The idea for this one quickly came to my mind. I had recently heard a friend talking about their kids camping in the back yard which made me think of my own memory of pitching a tent in the backyard with my sister. Those fresh thoughts were right there for me to grab and put on paper.

The man who bought the painting saw the picture at the reception and it reminded him of his own childhood and an experience with his sister.

His sister is a friend of mine and that’s how he happened to be at the reception with her. While he was holding the painting in his hand he shared the story of how he and his brother would play army and make the sister be the red cross nurse. This role mostly involved sitting in the tent waiting while the brothers ran off and played.

I could see as he was telling the story that he was putting himself right back there and that’s what really made me the most happy. This little painting that was created out of a few sparks from my own mind could act as a little window into the mind of someone else.

To see more paintings for sale from the “Quick Mini Morning Sketches” series follow the link to my Etsy page https://www.etsy.com/shop/atlanticmo

Coffee and Watercolors

Every studio day starts with a bowl of Cheerios on the stairs while I watch the birds.
BreakfastThen I grab my coffee with just a splash of half and half and head to the art studio.

IMG_4349Before I get to any projects or paperwork I do my “Quick Mini Morning Sketch”.

The reason I started doing this is simple and selfish. I wanted a guarantee that everyday I would get to do at least one fun drawing that I didn’t over think or over work.

When I started I gave myself some parameters to keep the whole thing fresh and stimulating, much like my beloved cup of coffee.

I started with a list. I love lists.

I got this one from a talk Dan Santat did at the NESCBWI Conference.
listDan Santat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe this was a list of good things to have in your portfolio if you are illustrating for the children’s market. Perfect.

So I wrote all of these words down on slips of paper (I have since added new words) and folded them up and put them into a little pinch pot. Every morning I grab a folded slip as a prompt for a sketch. The surprise keeps me from over thinking. I have to come up with an idea on the spot.pinch pot paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have some watercolor paper cut into small pieces so I can’t work on it for too long or make it too precious. Also this paper will turn into a soggy cocktail napkin if it gets too wet.

If you want to give yourself limits I recommend watercolor. Once you make a mark that’s it. You’re stuck with it. I use a travel set and travel watercolor brushes because there is little to no set up time. I just open them and go.

It’s a lot of fun to work in a medium that you don’t know how to use.

I used to be afraid to use watercolors because it seemed like you had to have the painting all planned out if you didn’t want a muddy mess. Turns out you can be spontanious with watercolor…and bonus, you will make a muddy mess.

set up IMG_4216

 

 

 

 

 

 

I draw the first somewhat useful idea that pops into my head. Sometimes it is a memory or related to something I saw recently. Other times I’m inspired by what I see out my window.

When I’m done I post them on Instagram  and twitter.

Posting the picture means I’m done and I can get started on my other projects in the studio.

So far this has been a great way to start the day, almost as good as my coffee. Almost.
IMG_4351

Keeping Me on my Toes

My ballet dancing daughter, who sometimes acts as my art director needed a new bag to hold her dance gear and she had the great idea for me to make of a pattern with the five positions.

Ballet BagSo, once dinner and homework was done I went up in the studio and drew my daughter’s feet.

ballet sketch

Since I never took ballet classes, I used the internet to make sure I had the positions correct and in my research I learned the french names for the different positions. So, I added some hand lettered text to the pattern with the french names bellow each foot position. I added a touch of ballet pink and a few transparent butterflies.

As the French say, “Voila”.

ballet pattern

I got the pattern done that night and uploaded it to my Society6 shop.

A few days later the package arrived from Society6 and my daughter quickly filled her new bag and headed to dance class.

It’s always a good feeling to have a happy client.

ballet girl