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Doodles of my Favorite Art Supplies

March 3, 2018

fave art supplies

A couple weeks ago I painted a few of my favorite things to create with. I thought it looked really fun next to some of the things my kids use to create with. Especially since they’re not so different. (My oldest thinks it’s pretty funny that I have somehow digressed to using “crayons” again. That tickles me.)

My sketchbook is almost full and I am kind of thinking it would be fun to do a sketchbook tour video. That’s an internet trend I actually love partaking of. This sketchbook has seen some serious growth and change in my mindset as an artist. Plus, isn’t it fun to see what people create when they are working through an idea or just need to blow off some steam?


February Sketches: More Farm Damsels and a Pretz

February 19, 2018

“Sketch Dumps” were a pretty popular thing on deviantArt back when I was in high school. Artists I followed would post a weekly “dump” of what they had added to their sketchbooks that week. I always really loved seeing what people created in a relaxed, pressure-free setting such as a sketchbook. 

That’s pretty much all I am creating  these days aside from pixel art for Creature Valley. I love filling sketchbooks with everything from actual sketches and paintings to lists, pasted in photos of things/places/people/clothes that inspire me. I’ve rediscovered the magic of rubber stamps. My mom had the most impressive collection of stamps when I was a kid, and we always enjoyed playing with them when she would let us. 

In this season of my life, when time for art is limited to the late evening, I have pretty much evolved into a sketchbook filler and that’s fine with me. I’m never quite sure what to do with my traditional art after I’ve finished it, so having it already committed to a place in my sketchbook works out great for me. I have been doing exclusively digital art for so long, that the debacle of storing finished art wasn’t ever really a problem I had to deal with. 

So, today I am sharing a “sketch dump”.  Three little farm girls! One holding a black rabbit, which I was very pleased with, another with an arm tenderly slung over her lamb, and a somber looking, little thing with a pail of eggs. I just love her work gloves. 

And of course, we have a huge pretzel. Someday I will have to compile an image with all of my pretzel drawings/paintings. haha. How ridiculous. 

Also, a note:
I am greatly reducing my presence as an artist on social media at this time. I have stopped using my art account on Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter and have only responded to facebook messages to let people know that I am no longer taking commission work. I won’t be doing any Christmas cards this year as I will be focusing on my family, my personal growth as a Christian, wife, mother, artist, musician, homemaker, etc. In this season of my life, social media has done more harm than good, and since I am no longer trying to build a business, it seems more of a distraction than anything else. 

I have created so much more art since relieving myself of the pressure to post what I create.

This blog will continue to be a hub for my art whenever I feel like sharing something I’m working on, which will be pushed through automatically to my facebook page, but that will be the extent of my social media presence for now. As always, thank you for your support and interest. 

Pretzel hugs.




Gouache Houses

January 28, 2018

gouache house painting

Here are a couple of cute lil’ houses I painted a couple nights ago in my sketchbook. I’ve been painting a bit more, and my sketchbook is half-full, but I’m having issues with my scanner. I took a photo of this one on my phone, in mediocre lighting and fiddled with it in photoshop. The colors are close, but not exact. 

Anyway, that’s definitely a skill to work on. Digitizing analog art. 

I’ve had so many funky houses floating around in my head that I need to paint. Far funkier than these. This was a really fun little drawing because I am still learning how to find that ideal consistency with my gouache paint, especially because I prefer painting out of a pan rather than tubes.

I made myself a gouache palette using one of these cool Mijello Watercolor Palettes. I have the desire to do more acrylic painting and someday learn oils, but the convenience and easy clean-up of watercolor, gouache and pastels/crayons just fits my current lifestyle so well. 



art supplies


Farm Sisters

January 19, 2018

I’ve been exploring this idea of two sisters (or siblings in general) enjoying their freedom exploring in a field or forest. There has been a lot of really inspiring reference material on Pinterest, so I’ve been learning a lot about my new medium, watercolor. I just love mixing new colors and the challenge of getting correct values. It’s something I am still not super awesome at and I find watercolor especially challenging in this regard. The values and contrast in most of these studies are not very good, but I just love the brightness of these colors. 

Success and Failure
On the same page.

The paintings on this first image (above) are all referenced from Pinterest photos. I’m embarrassed that I cannot find the photo for the first one, I thought I saved it. I’ll do better of that next time. 
The other two are here and here. Obviously very loose, unfinished color studies. The one on the bottom left just made me mad, so I stopped right there and started on the next one, which I enjoyed much more. 

Farm Girls

This one (above), a much brighter, sloppier version was from my imagination. The girls were supposed to be holding farm animals, a goat and a chicken, but as you can see, there were some… complications? hah. I had just gotten myself a small set of Caran d’Ache Neocolor II Pastels and I wanted to give them a try. They are soooo cool. They are like crayons for grown-ups. And when you went them, they turn into the funnest paint/watercolor. I’m really excited about scribbling on everything with them. I just love the texture and effect you get by mixing mediums like this. I’ve been having a lot of fun playing with watercolor and gouache together, and now I will be adding these pastels to the mix. 

Almost Impressionistic

This sketch is from this photo. Again, pretty crude by comparison, but very helpful as a study and most importantly, therapeutic. That’s what I’m really trying to accomplish here. Artistic expression with absolutely NO strings attached. 

Thanks for reading!

Materials Used

  • Schmincke Horadam Watercolors
  • Holbien Gouache
  • Winsor and Newton Gouache
  • Turner Acryl Gouache
  • Caran d’Ache Neocolor II Pastels
  • Canson XL Mixed Media Sketchbook
  • Prismacolor Col-Erase Pencil
  • Simply Simmons Round Brush Size 6



Fresh Start

January 18, 2018

I had a fun experience this evening. Shortly after sitting down at my computer I found myself staring at one of my first blogs. I wrote it back in 2010. Most of it is down right cringe-worthy, but once I got past how “out there” I was, I noticed the amount of art I had been posting. Almost every single post I hit “publish” on had some doodle or sketch included. And I was a prolific writer of short, quippy posts. So there is a ton of really, really crappy art on that blog. 

I mean, look at these two drawings side by side. 

Now, I have to say, I’ve always been really proud of my art. To an extent that is now a little embarrassing as I look back at “what” I was so proud of. And maybe “proud” isn’t exactly the right word, but it’s always been a really important way I’ve expressed myself. Which is what really struck me about this old, zany blog. It is chock full of drawing after drawing that I created on a whim to either illustrate a moment I experienced or imagined. A joke. A comic. Whatever was on my mind.

And it made me a little bit sad. 

I’m guessing there are about four years between the two images above. I fought so hard to get to that drawing of Zelda (on the right). Not the illustration itself, but that point in my artistic ability to actually transfer the image in my mind to a medium that could be shared. At that time, I believe I was still heavily motivated by the love of creating and the desire to explore art and my own ability. 

Somewhere in there, I stopped having fun with the art. Not that I really stopped enjoying it, but it became about something else. Other people, really. It was less personal. That’s probably why I’ve been struggling so much with my art this past year. In a season of my life when time for making new art is so scarce, I was not satisfied with the majority of what I was making.

I have been completely crushed by the pressure to monetize any skill I posses. Art, blogging, the dolls, sewing, designing, any stray idea, BOOM. “I have to do this. I have to sell this. I have to turn this into a business.” But I can’t do it anymore. It is killing my creative soul. I admire deeply anyone who can take their passion and turn it into a career. I am just not one of those people right now. 

I noticed recently that most of the art I chose to display on my online portfolio, pieces I am still very happy with, are not actually pieces I created for a client. The majority of them were things I drew in my spare time just because I had an idea and I could do it. 

Most years, I don’t make real resolutions. But 2018 is going to be the year that I resolved to make art for me again. 

Pardon my reminiscing, but I wanted to post one more drawing to really remind myself down the road that it’s really okay that I am just making art for no reason other than that it makes me really really happy in a goofy grinning, full of myself kind of way. 

These Galaxy Princesses are characters who have really stood the test of time for me. The reason I created them was insignificant and even a little pathetic in hindsight, but I remember finishing them and being so incredibly satisfied with what I had done. 

I guess I’m posting this because I feel like I need to bid farewell to that old mentality in some way. So, hopefully PIXELPLEAT can become a little more like the outlet that my old, embarrassingly open and weird blog was. A place for me to share my thoughts, ideas, and experiences the way I see them. 

As always, thank you for taking the time to read.