Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Phew !

I'm falling asleep behind my computer and I still want to finish the thriller that I'm reading. So it's off to bed right now! Just want to post this lyrics-girl to keep up with my challenge. Oh my, where have I gotten myself into!? I need to learn to write these posts earlier in the day, 'cos I'm starting to suffer from sleep deprivation ...

lyrics from Heather Nova, markers and pan pastels

Monday, 30 January 2012

Made it!

About bedtime again, but I managed to squeeze in some art time today.

Ayala Art, the hostess of 29 faces, was so kind as to explain how to put labels to a post. So I'm gonna try that right now! And then I have to figure out how to join the event on Facebook. Facebook is another thing that still holds a lot of mysteries to me. Phew, so many things to learn, so little time ...

I felt like making a lyrics-girl with markers again. Here she is:

lyrics from Evanescence, markers and pan pastels

Sunday, 29 January 2012

A quickie

Wow, this challenge of posting something every day is harder than I thought. The days fly by and even though I think I may say I'm a regular poster, posting every single day is something else entirely. But I'm gonna try it anyway!

This is a sketch that I started today, but I'm not sure whether it's finished. Usually I start something and then the next morning I look at it with fresh eyes, see things I don't like and start playing with it again. No time for that now, since I have to post something ;-)

So here she is, not quite ready, but it's bedtime here, so it'll have to do:

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Surfing again

I have been surfing on the internet again, watching all those beautiful blogs and getting inspired. And I decided to challenge myself again. I signed up for the 2012 challenge of Fordie Fresh, which basically involves the same challenge I set myself at the start of this year, and the start of this blog actually. Which is: trying to draw every day. Or paint. Or do something creative. And post about it.

And while I was going, I also signed up for the 29 faces challenge of Ayala Art. I managed to put the button on my blog, yesss! Now I'll just have to figure out how to add a label to my posts. Since the 2 challenges kind of overlap eachother (I usually draw faces anyway), I hope I'll be able to keep up.

I made some more lyrics-girls, but I feel it's time to do other things again as well. Just don't know what yet, there are so many ideas fighting for attention in my head. And I really need to make new things to sell at art markets. I sold most things before I left Belgium, and now I want to start doing art markets again. Which is a bit difficult if you have nothing to sell ...

I'm thinking of turning these lyricsgirls into postcards. That could be a start ... Although, then you have the problem with copyrights for the lyrics again. I'm always bumping into this problem, since I love to use poetry and quotes and lyrics in my work and share it with other people. I should start writing my own poetry, but alas, that's a talent that I don't possess. Anybody out there that knows the solution?

lyrics of Evanescence, markers and watercolours

lyrics of Tori Amos, markers and watercolours

lyrics of Tonny Makem, markers and watercolours

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Results of week 4

I finished the last week of Traci's workshop. I kept adding things to it, it really was a lot of fun. I'm not so sure about the result, but I tried a few new things and I like the combination of the different art materials that I used.

So, even if it's a bit busy, it's colourful and it makes me smile. And that's what counts, isn't it? Doing things not for the result but for the pleasure of doing them.

Here are the in progress pictures:

This is the background that I started with. I had actually written words in 3 different colours, but for some reason the red colour just kept peeping through everything I put on top.

This is my doodle-page in Indian ink. Since Traci is always doodling flowers, which are not "real" doodles in my opinion, I thought I was allowed to "doodle" birds and fish.

The first stage: painting the base of the face and collaging doodles (and discovering that my waterproof Indian ink is not so waterproof after all)

Painting the face with inktense pencils (my favorite! the colours are really intense), gesso and blue acrylics.

Filling in the background and getting a bit carried away ...

The result after playing with coloured pencils and paint and markers. I could've kept going, but it is very busy already and I think it might have been too much. So I stopped...

Now I'm going to have a look at what other people did this last week. It's always very inspiring to see how different the outcomes are while following the same guidelines.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Doodling away ...

I'm doing week 4 of Traci Bautista's workshop. And it's fun! I did the background last week, and now I'm doing my most favorite part: painting a girl on top of it. For me a painting is not ready without a person in it. Or at least some kind of animal. Which is not to say that I can't appreciate abstract paintings. They can be really beautiful, but it's just not me. For me a person in there makes it come alive, puts some emotion in it. Maybe that's why I had trouble just doodling.

I'm not posting any pictures yet, since I'm not at all finished, but they should be up here in the next few days. I hope...

Just one lyrics-girl today:
lyrics from Enya (beautiful song btw), markers and watercolours

Monday, 23 January 2012

Endless inspiration

Oh, those lyrics just keep me going. It's so much fun to draw something and then search for the right lyrics. And when I'm listening to music I keep thinking "hm, that would be a great quote to use".

I am practicing body postures now. I love to draw the curvy flowing lines of women, and I also like to bring movement into my drawings.

lyrics from Keane, markers and watercolours

lyrics from Leonard Cohen, markers and watercolours

Friday, 20 January 2012


Made a lyrics-girl with watercolours this time. Fun and different to working with markers. And I have been practicing hands. It was way too long ago that I did it, and last night I was drawing, or better make that trying to draw, hands on a girl and I just couldn't do it. I must have erased it about 20 times.

So I went over to Audrey Kawasaki's site and started practicing. I love the hands she gives her girls, it's exactly the kind of hands I want to be able to draw. Filled a few pages with hands, until I almost fell asleep on my keyboard. I'll practice some more today.

Lyrics from Sarah McLachlan, marker and watercolours

one of my "hands-pages"

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

I just want to paint and draw and play ...

but time is catching up on me. Managed to do one lyrics-girl today, and that's it. Lost way too much time on the internet reading other people's blogs. There are so many creative people out there, I keep adding to my list of "blogs-to-read-whenever-I-have-a-spare-minute". And every now and then I find a real treasure that I just need to look through right away, and before I know it 2 hours have passed and it's time for bed.

I need to change this. Maybe choose one day a week that I don't go online at all, not even to check my mail. Hmm, don't know whether I'm capable of doing that. Might be better to choose one day in the week that I can surf on the internet as much as I want, while on the other days limit my time on the computer to the necessary things like mail and administration etc...

Yeah, I might give this a try. In the meantime, here's today's lyrics-girl:

lyrics from Macy Gray, markers and pan pastels

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Playing with watercolours

Up until now, I've mainly used acrylics in my paintings. Thanks to the workshop with Traci Bautista I'm starting to experiment with watercolours, and I must admit I like the transparancy and fluid lines. I still have a lot to learn, but for now it's just fun playing with colours and trying out different things.

And me being me, I cannot just splash colours and leave it like that, I have to make a drawing on top of it.
It started out like this:

and it ended up like this:

I'm not happy with her hair, but once it's on there you can't get it off again. At least I wouldn't know how to. That's the downside of watercolours. With acrylics you can just keep going over it until you're satisfied.

Oh well, it's all practice and play, and I promised myself to put everything on my blog, also the things I'm not so happy about, or the projects where I'm stuck. There just might be someone out there who can give me a hint ;-)

Monday, 16 January 2012

Soul challenge

I've decided to go ahead and participate in some online challenges. I just discovered "Artists in Blogland", a place where artistic bloggers meet. They have a monthly challenge and interviews with bloggers, which I think makes very interesting reading.

The challenge for this month is "soul". I was making another lyrics-girl and while I was looking through my lyrics to find a quote that fitted, I thought I could use this as an entry for the challenge. No idea whether this is what they mean, but hey, I can try, right? It was fun to do anyway.

lyrics from James Blunt, markers and pan pastels

Sunday, 15 January 2012


Lately, I'm having fun with trying out different techniques and ideas. Whenever I'm painting, I always smear the paint I didn't use on a page in my sketchbook/art journal (let nothing go to waste, right? ). Now I decided to make a drawing right on top of it. I first whitened the spot where the face would be with a bit of watered-down gesso, and then I just used my graphite and colour pencils. Got over it again with a brayer and some white paint afterwards because I thought it was too dark.

I still think it's too dark, but I'll leave it for now. Maybe I'll change it again later, maybe not...

Friday, 13 January 2012


Okay, I finished the first lesson of the workshop with Traci Bautista. I must admit: I'm not crazy about the result. I'm not crazy about the process either. I like making backgrounds and trying out stencils and stamps and paint techniques, but if I have to doodle with the sole purpose of doodling, I kind of get a "doodle-block". I have to be able to really draw something, not just make circles and stripes and marks.

Anyway, I'll post the Work-in-Progress pictures. I have taken the habit of making WIP-pictures of paintings since last year, and I always like to see the very first beginnings.

The first step: stencilling. This was fun!

second step: adding acrylic paint and washes

Here's  where it started to go wrong: adding the oil pastels. I rubbed it out with my fingers, and as a result I got oil pastels over most of the page.

Added some more acrylics, and went way over the top with Chinese ink. It got too dark because of that, and I discovered that I couldn't go over the oil pastel with the ink. Smuggled in some fish and birds.

The end result. Scribbled something on it with markers, but didn't use my paint markers because the oil pastels would ruin them. Tried to lighten it up with white dots, but overall don't really like the result.

What did I learn?

- I don't like doodling when it's just about doodling. I like to use doodles in my backgrounds, and in small amounts, but not as an end result. I don't like scribbling either.
- I will never ever use oil pastels again if I also want to use markers. When you use markers, they should always be used before the oil pastels (unless of course, you are blessed with money growing on your back).

I'm not sure whether I'll try the second week of the workshop. I didn't like Traci's end result, so I don't even want to think about how mine would look. I'll have to watch the video again, it might be fun to play a bit with water colors. Don't have much experience with that kind of paint.

And for a nice ending: here's the painting that my daughter produced:

After seeing my disaster with the Chinese ink, she wisely decided not to use it...

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Still experimenting

No pictures yet of the Traci Bautista workshop trial. I have added the oilpastels and the Chinese ink, discovered that I used too much oilpastels and can't draw over it with ink. And at the same time realised I am going to ruin my markers if I happen to go over any oilpastels (which I used all over the page and can't remember where). So now I either have to start all over or find an alternative to the markers.

Maybe tonight inspiration will strike ....

But I did try to doodle something Traci-like in the background of a drawing I made in my sketchbook. Doesn't look like much, as I said I'm not very good in doodling, but I'll post it anyway.

graphite, coloured pencils, acrylics and markers

lyrics from "Phantom of the Opera" (I think...), markers and pan pastels. The pattern in her dress is a zentangle, that I thought fitted well with the sad expression on her face.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

painting again!

I have subscribed for the free online Strathmore workshop with Traci Bautista. Watched the videos last week but couldn't bring myself to start. There was always an excuse not to, but in the end it came down to the fact that I hadn't a clue how to start. I'm not very good with just doodling. I never know what to doodle. I always seem to end up with faces and birds. Which is not the aim of this workshop.

But today I filled up my spray bottles and just started, together with my very enthousiastic 9 year old daughter. And we had fun! Only did the first 3 layers (stencils, acrylics, washes), because then time was up and I wanted to let it dry thoroughly before using my expensive markers. So no pictures yet (but there will be!).

Meanwhile started using some color again in my sketchbook. And made 2 more lyrics-girls. Seems like up until now I'm keeping my promise of drawing daily ;-)

done with graphite, coloured pencils, acrylics and oilpastels

I got the inspiration for the pattern in her shirt from an assignment my son got in school: start a line within a form, don't lift your marker of the page and make sure you fill up the whole form with one continous line. Fun to do and gives nice results I think.

lyrics from Evanescence, markers and pan pastels

Monday, 9 January 2012


I'm exploring the bloggers world again, and I want to add some buttons to my blog from sites that I want to share. Well, I must admit I don't know how to do it. Sometimes I see blogs from Blogger that make me wonder how on earth they ever got it to look that way. I just seem to manage only the most simple lay-out. And I know I will find out how to do it eventually, but it just takes sooo much time. Time I'd rather spend doing something else. Like drawing for instance.

Still didn't get around to painting. We have only been living in this house since November, and since it's a rental, we're not allowed to do much with it. It's also a lot smaller than our house in Belgium, and sadly this means I don't have a room to paint anymore. Lucky for me, I have a very handy husband who made me a paintingtable over the weekend. But I need to get over the fear of splashing on the walls. They're very strict with rental properties here in Australia. Every 10 weeks someone from the agency pays us a visit to see whether we take good care of the house ... And remembering all the paint splashes I found all over the place when we were emptying our house in Belgium, I am feeling a bit apprehensive about starting again.

Well, at the latest on the 6th of February I need to get over this. because then I will start an online workshop with Flora Bowley, Bloom True. I am really looking forward to this, I have been a fan of her work since I discovered her last year, and was thrilled to see she has her first online workshop now. When I see videos or pictures of her and her workshops, everybody AND everything is always covered in paint. How I'm going to manage that in this house I don't know. But I will find a way.

In the meantime, I just keep drawing and making my "lyrics-girls" with markers. Actually, I always use a LOT of color in my paintings, so this black and white is really something different for me. It's a boost to your creativity to never stick with the same thing all the time, right?

Just 2 pictures and then I'm off too bed. Getting very late now ...

lyrics from Lutricia McNeil, markers and pan pastels

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Some more drawings

Wasted a whole evening today looking through my lyrics. Didn't draw and I missed it. Ah well, better tomorrow.

Here's some drawings that I did last week.

might be fun to try and find a quote for this one ;-)

And one more with some lyrics from Nat King Cole

markers and pan pastels

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Here we go

Since the new year has started I have been drawing daily. I discovered again how much fun it is. Here are some drawings I did in the last few days and months.

Drawing in my sketchbook. Graphite pencil. Might be an inspiration for a painting one day.

I am forever practicing hands. I love those elegant womens 'hands that you find in art deco illustrations. Takes a lot of practice though.

Now that I see her on screen, I think she has a bit of a conceited look about her...
Also drawn in my sketchbook with graphite pencil.

And this is a new kind of experiment which I'm having a lot of fun with. Have you ever noticed the beautiful sentences in lyrics? I am a big fan of poetry and have been collecting it since forever. And I love combining it with my paintings and make cards out of it. Now I noticed that it's really fun to make a drawing and then search through songs until you find just the right sentence that fits with the drawing. This is the first one I did. Lots more to follow I guess.
Lyrics are from a song of Evanescence. I used markers and pan pastels (for the background).

Friday, 6 January 2012

The beginning ...

and where do I start?

Well, I'll keep it simple. I have been creating all kinds of things for as long as I can remember. I come alive when I have a paintbrush or a pencil in my hand, I sew my own clothes, I make mosaics, and generally have more ideas in my head than I have time to realize them. And a few years ago I discovered a wealth of information on the internet which gives me even more inspiration and less time to do it.

And now I just want to share. Share my trials and errors with like-minded people, discuss new techniques, inspire others and get inspired. Because I have learned so much from other bloggers, people who are kind enough to post tutorials for people like me, who share their inspiration and their art, people who introduced me to a whole new online community of creative souls.

Because a new year just started, I also made myself a promise: to make more time for what I enjoy doing. And starting a blog might help with that. Because if I want to post something, I first have to make it, right?

And last but not least: I find that in the past I've sometimes tried out techniques that I want to use now but I simply can't remember how I did it. That seems like such a waste. So I'm also going to use this blog to try out new techniques and at the same time document how I did it.

That's it! Just one more note: my mother language is Dutch, but since I want to communicate with as many people as possible I'll write in English. I always hate it when I find an interesting blog and I don't understand a word of what's written. So I may make mistakes in my English, feel free to correct me if necessary. I won't be offended ;-)