Why do so many artists watercolor this rabbit?

Why do so many artists watercolor this rabbit?

Some subjects are just….well, odd to me. We’re all different and that’s great, but frankly I’ve not understood artists who paint the same thing all the time. It’s totally fine if they do but – that’s not my jam.

This particular rabbi, is one that’s ubiquitous no the web. In stamping. In home decor. In all sorts of places, a hare with eyes bulging out to the sides is just seemingly THE rabbit to paint. Why is that? I decided to paint it and see!

Tutorial: Why do so many artists watercolor this rabbit?

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

So, why this rabbit?

My guess: it’s pretty simple to draw. It doesn’t require getting a profile headshape right. And then the ears of a hare are so strangely big and exaggerated — if they’re off a little, it’s okay. It’s possible, too, that hares often pause and look at photographers this way>

The expression may contribute, too. It can be a happy or surprised rabbit, and with a little line here or there could be an expression that has a range of emotions.

I love you, Mom

As I mentioned in the video, I’m back on the east coast with my family.

In EXCELLENT news, Mom began rebounding. She’d called for a priest early on, and the doctors said to come immediately. But they’d begun antibiotics, oxygen, and more – and miracle of miracles, she’s been taking little steps of improvement.

I’ve visited with her daily, and had all kinds of conversations with medical staff about the effects that one line of treatment or another will encompass, and for those who’ve been through this, it’s lots of new terminology and much googling!. How didi people get through things like this without the aid of smart phones??

You might remember this photo of her, taken just months ago. She looks so proud and happy! Her smile couldn’t make my heart any more delighted. Mom is an artist, as you can see by the photo. She had won a competition for the company Christmas card design for the owners of her senior apartment building. She won a donation for a charity of her choice, and a big old dinner to invite all her friends and family to. Wish I’d been able to go!

It’s somehow perfectly appropriate that I had already decided to paint a rabbit today. It wasn’t inspired by Mom specifically, I’d still had that question about why folks paint this particular view of a hare.

But – all Mom’s life, she’s had a rabbit collection. Little figurines of all kinds. She’s given me several of them as she downsized over the last bunch of years, and they’re my treasures now. Along with the yellow ceramic cookie jar that my sisters and I fought over, one of our most precious memories of stealing cookies as kids! You may have spied that in some of my videos, behind me on the counter! 

This sweet little yellow rabbit has had his ear fall off and get glued back on time and time again. And I’ll keep gluing it as much as it requires!  just love him. And all the other bunnies that have been snuck into my birthday and Christmas packages over the years as she disbursed her collection among her daughters and granddaughters!

For the moment Mom is doing alright. She’s 94, and doing fabulously for her age! She battled cancer last year, followed by a fall/rehab, then Covid, then pneumonia and flu. Any of that might have been the instigator of her troubles this week that caused the family to all zip home within hours of a phone call.

But as always, Mom’s shocked us with just how strong she is. Actually, shocked is the wrong word. It’s no longer suprising that she can take a licking and keep on ticking!

We’re continuing conversations about what care she wants and needs going forward, and your prayers are welcomed for our whole famile, especially my mama. 🙂 

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Two birthday sales

In honor of 1) my mom and 2) how proud (and shocked!) she is that I am still in business, and of course 3) my 60th birthday tomorrow – I’m going to do the marketing thing now. (I guess reason #4 is that I need to pay for this emergency trip, too!)

Know that my two sales are Mom-endorsed! She’s an artist and believes in studying your field; and she also thinks people should buy art (mine, lol) for their Mother’s Day gifts this year. She’s told me I should paint a lot of mom-friendly things in the next few weeks to add to the shop as well, and I don’t disobey my mama.

So…..the two sales share the same coupon code because in the state I’m in while typing, I literally have no brain cells left. So use coupon code HBD60 – seeing as how tomorrow is my 60th birthday – at both places:

  1. Get 15% off any adult art class at https://art-classes.com using code HBD60
  2. Get 10% off any fine art at https://sandyallnockfineart.com/store using code HBD60 – once I return home I’ll take care of shipping as soon as I can.

There Mom, hope the marketing made you proud.

PS That bokeh video…which has another bunny too!

Supplies

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Watercoloring Dew Drops on Clover

Watercoloring Dew Drops on Clover

Have you ever painted dew drops – on clover or anything else? They can be a lovely addition to a rose or other flower….anything in springtime if your spring is as wet as mine has been! We have some sunny warm days coming at the end of this week I hope!

I’ve been away from adding to the Green Thumb Watercolor Sketches class for some time now. This will be the fifth lesson in the class, maybe the last; it’s only $7 so I can’t add to it forever, ha! But today I’ll show you a quick version of the lesson in the class, and if you find you want more discussion on each step, or to paint other plants – sign up for the class!

Pop over to my Fine Art site and sign up for my quarterly newsletter on the homepage – I’m about to send out a newsletter tomorrow with a coupon vode, so you might like to take advantage of that 🙂

Tutorial: Watercoloring Dew Drops on Clover

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

A few Tips for Droplets

Start with a light wash – and if you’re bold enough, just paint right through the droplets except to leave white highlights.

Dry the paper well, then add a second pass of thicker pigment. Leave the droplets open, or let a little color in.

Not all the leaves have to be the same – ie not all need a “split”, not all need the same shape. 

Let some droplets melt into the color around them – you can’t always see every edge of a drop.

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Also when learning droplets…

Less is more. It’s real easy to look like you’ve got a clover with measles.

Green Thumb Watercolor Sketches

This is one of the least expensive classes on the website! It’s now got five lessons, which might be it, since $7 for that much is a great deal.  Pop over and try painting some plants with me!

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

EASY! Draw a Celtic Trinity Knot

EASY! Draw a Celtic Trinity Knot

St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner – and making art for holidays can be just for fun or perfect for a card to send good wishes to an Irish friend! Today’s project is easier than you might think it is – give it a try!

What’s a Celtic Trinity Knot anyway?

Celtic knots have a variety of stories associated with them – including Christian!

The three points of the knot are symbols like the divine trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit;  love, friendship, and strength; and so many more you’ll find listed all over the web. The interweaving lines, without beginning or end, symbolize eternity.

Tutorial: Celtic Trinity Knot

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

How easy is this?

I know some of you may think this looks hard. But I made it easy! There’s a PDF you can get for free HERE – and it has the basic math *SIMPLE MATH* and instructions.

First is making the “trefoil” – the three interwoven “leaves” of the design. If you can measure a SQUARE, then you can locate the three points on the outside of the circle and the center of it. Then let the compass do its work!

Interweave the lines

Make them look like they weave in and out by erasing either the vertical or horizontal lines from each section.  Just remember that each trefoil has a “left” and “right” side – once I kept that in my head it was something I could follow. (Don’t do all three leaves at once; focus on one so you don’t get lost.)

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Embellish – or not!

Knots can be very basic, or extremely fancy! Google the knot and you’ll see many examples for inspiration. I decided on one simple leaf repeated three times. Placing your repeating object in a way that it starts/ends in a location you can easily find is helpful. Tracing paper can help too – trace that thing three times and lay it over the page to arrange them and see where you want to start/end.

Add color!

Not all Celtic Trinity Knots are green, but many are – I did see some lovely purple ones, rainbow ones – so basically you can do whatever you like! Mine’s in watercolor, with glazes of watercolor that helped me shift the color as I went.

Give it a try!

The free PDF is available to help you out! I’ll be posting a few more of these this week on social, so keep your eyes open for those in different mediums!

New Zooms Scheduled!

Head over to Artventure to RSVP in the Events tab.

EduZoom Color-along

The pot of gold image will be provided for those who sign up, so get yourself registered. Free!

Birthday Open Studio

Last year I had to work at my party, but this year we’ll just do a normal open studio. Bring your own birthday snack! Also free.

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

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I BIT MY PAINTING SUBJECT!

I BIT MY PAINTING SUBJECT!

I don’t usually recommend eating your subject matter for a still life. But this case required an exception! I wanted to paint a realistic candy – and “had” to take one for the team and buy the BIG box and bite one to photograph myself!

Once I bit it (okay I had to do it a few times to different candies….getting it to look good wasn’t easy! Pinky swear!) I placed it on the puffy insert in the heart-shaped box to take a photo on my iphone. I set up lights so the open caramel part would show up best, then in Photoshop I added the dark background. Coz I’m no photographer and wouldn’t know how to do that! Feel free to use my picture for your reference to draw or paint from!

(Side note: How on rearth do candy manufacturers put so many strawberry and vanilla cremes and toffees in their boxes of chocolates? More caramel please!)

Tutorial: Painting chocolates!

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Gouache

I’ve been taking oil painting lessons in gouache (very similar techniques) – and trying to turn my brain upside down to paint dark to light. It doesn’t always happen that way! BUT the thing that is the same in both is that SHAPE and VALUE matter a lot to create realism and depth. 

Watercolor

I came back to my sweet spot where I know how I want to plan a painting. It’s much more natural for me! I know how life goes when starting light and going dark, and can “see” the process in my head without nearly the effort that gouache takes. But again – shape and value are crucial.

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Comparison

Each painting has its own problems and areas of excellence! With my limited experience, I’m just figuring out how to handle a background, especially a blended one. (I’m debating whether I should start painting really loose and impressionistic so I can skip worrying about blending, HA!) But a rich black background is easy to achieve in the matte medium. The watercolor background in the light area looks excellent by contrast – and until it was right next to the gouache painting the background looked pretty decent; but watercolor simply hasn’t got the “oomph” of guache. But I’m not unhappy with either painting!

Zoom call today!

We’re working our way through the 30 Days to More Confident Sketching class, and seeing a lot of student work all at once has helped me see some areas that I think I need to spend more time teaching – and that’s how to see shapes and values better. It’s a very natural thing for me after all these years, and I need to figure out how to communicate it in ways that’ll make sense to students!

In a little while – 2 hours after this post is live, as a matter of fact – I’ll be hosting a zoom session about graphite and charcoal, and I think I’ll be demonstrating trees since that’s the subject for the day in the class. Trees are often a frustration point for students! If you’d like to join in, pop over to Artventure, we’d love to have you join in! (It’s free!)

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

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Watercolor a Mixed Bouquet (from a dream!)

Watercolor a Mixed Bouquet (from a dream!)

I had another art dream. This keeps happening! But in this case, I’m ok with it. In my dreams I have some pretty wicked watercolor skills!

In today’s video I’ll be sharing some clips of the process, but I don’t have much in terms of explanation; I was trying things I’ve not done before but could picture maybe working, and planned some workarounds that seemed to have worked a bit. But…..in any case, I hope you enjoy the crazy dream stories I’ve got to share!

Video: Watercolor a Mixed Bouquet (from a dream!)

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Dreaming about art

I don’t know if I’m the only one who regularly dreams of painting or drawing, but it’s a pretty regular thing for me. I’m chronically under-rested since I have insomnia so maybe my brain tries to stay awake so at least I’m not painting while I sleep?

However – unless it’s a crazy thing like making tiny cannons that shoot real cannonballs, or bows that shoot arrows that can really hurt……I recommend following any art dreams you do have! If you’re clueless about HOW to achieve what your sleeping brain understood, take some baby steps. Paint in ways you DO know. See what you can learn from the piece of paper. Who knows!

It may take me a while to figure out that painting technique, as well as how to explain what I did in today’s video. But I’m going to get there. I’m determined! 

Watercolor Bouquets Class

I hope this is a course you’ll love for spring! These are not tiny paintings for cards – it’ll be hard to paint them that small. But rather than make them the size I prefer (1/4 sheet), I’m teaching them at 1/8 sheet – knowing a lot of my students are only just getting used to painting a little larger. 🙂

This course is listed as between level 3 t0 4 – which means that the flowers are about a level 3-1/2, the vases have some aspects that are maybe level 4…..it’s always hard to assess what to label a class as when there’s different aspects! 

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“Let’s Draw Together” has begun!

A group of us have started going through the 30 Days to More Confident Sketching Class, and will be posting daily at Artventure….I’ll also be posting mine in the classroom lessons for each of the days, along with some extra tips. I’m kind of excited – when I filmed the sketches, I was using weird paper in a weird sketchbook, which had quite the effect on my drawings. This time I’m using charcoal so I can practice the techniques with the medium, and am working in a nicer sketchbook!

Watercolor Bouquets – from the car!

Watercolor Bouquets – from the car!

As they say – if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry, right? I’ve had one HECK of a week fighting this cable slowdown! The company came out to our neighborhood to “improve” service, and all week it’s been half speed. GAH! But I’m going to laugh about it by vlogging from my car and using even MORE expensive phone data (I already used up the extra I had left on my account, phooey!) and get a video out today anyway!

The vlog:

Stay tuned to the end!

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Watercolor Bouquets Class!

While I didn’t get it ALL done and launched when planned (thus disappointing my hopes to cover the mortgage, gah!), I did get the preclass lesson uploaded as well as lesson one. And Lesson one is all about thumbnail sketches which can keep you busy for a week anyway 🙂 Sign up right now for a $10 discount!

GIVEAWAY: if you sign up for the class and then win, I’ll just refund your fee. That way you get to start on lesson 1 this week!

Artventure Zoom TODAY

We’re gathering on Zoom for an Open Studio session – no agenda, just making art and chatting. Join us anytime in the 2 hour window! I’m turning off every bit of internet-enabled stuff so hopefully will be able to host a stable Zoom with my slow internet. Oh and I’ll be working on my birdos for Whimsical Sketching class.

Check the events calendar in the top menu at Artventure for the zoom link.

 

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Coming up

February 1 is around the corner! A growing group of us will be starting (or restarting) the 30 days to more confident sketching class! I’ll be redrawing them myself too (no video) and checking to see if I have additional tips to provide inside the lessons. Probably no Tiny Tutorials, that’s a lotta content, but we’ll see!

If you’ve wanted to learn to draw but need someone to walk alongside you, this is the best opportunity! We’ll all get through it together. Again its being hosted over at Artventure.

I need a nap!

After the Zoom I think I’m gonna log off EVERYthing and bake. Or something…..how can slow internet make you so tired!?!?

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