Monthly Archives: January 2013

February Printable Calendar

February calendarCan you believe it? February is tomorrow! As I was planning out this month’s calendar I was hoping that instead of a month of snowstorms like we usually get, Spring might actually come early (please don’t see your shadow Punxsutawney Phil). Even if there is more snow and cold weather in our future hopefully this calendar will brighten your days.

Download the February calendar (PDF) »

Cheers!

Kelli

Parsley

Parsley
Click thumbnail for larger image

This week’s herb is parsley. While many westerners consider this aromatic herb to be simply garnish on a dinner plate, parsley has a wonderful past. Ancient Greeks used parsley to adorn the tombs of their honored dead and herbalists in the Middle Ages recommended boiling the seeds in ale and drinking the mixture to cure poisoning. It still plays a major role in the cuisines from the Mediterranean region where it is cultivated as an herb, a spice, and a vegetable. If you plant it in your garden you might get a wonderful surprise, parsley is the host plant for a few species of the Swallowtail butterfly[ref.].

This sketch uses a new technique for me, shading with ink. The premise is the same as any other drawing, you begin with a simple outline sketch and then using hatched lines, stippling, or scumbling you add in details. This was a challenge…this is ink, once you make a mark it is on the paper so you need to really observe your specimen and plan out the lights and darks. I used a very fine pen (01 micron) for the hatching and stippling, next time I try this I may try the 005 micron pen to see if I can get even finer control so that I can make the piece feel even lighter.

Next up: the feathery herb of dill or fennel (depending on what the market has…)

Cheers!

Kelli

Zendala Dare #41

The more I practice the lovely patterns associated with Zentangle the more I am drawn to creating Zendalas. A Zendala incorporates the principles of a traditional mandala with techniques used to create a Zentangle. Since I am new to the world of Zentangle I thought it would be fun to challenge myself on a regular basis. This is my first “dare” and it comes from The Bright Owl.

Black and white Zendala
Black and White Zendala

I couldn’t resist doing another and adding a bit of color to it with my Derwent Graphitint pencils
Colored Zendala

Cheers!

Kelli

Basil

Basil Image Gallery 2
Click thumbnail for image gallery

This week’s culinary herb study is basil, in Elizabethan times it was a popular test for romantic faithfulness. The story goes if you gave a sprig to your sweetheart it would immediately wither in the hands of the impure. Whether or not you believe the story basil does wither very quickly so I bought a plant to work from so I would have plenty of time.

My first attempt lacked depth so I spoke with my art teacher and she suggested I look at my specimen again to see if I hadn’t missed any really dark shadows. I was too tentative, I had missed some rich, dark areas and as soon as I added them the leaves became more realistic. You’ll see what I mean if you look at the before/after image in the gallery.

In drawing, like so many endeavors, it is good to step away from your work and go back to it later with fresh eyes, that is when you will see what you had previously missed.

Cheers!

Kelli

Tangled Up

Bauer inspired tangle Image Gallery 2 Image Gallery 3
Click thumbnail for image gallery

This is the first post in what will hopefully be many inspired by the art of Zentangle. According to zentangle.com “Zentangle is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.” If you search online you’ll find many opinions on the subject of Zentangle. People will tout it as a creativity booster, or yoga for the brain, or some other insightful reason. I’m trying it because I can incorporate my love of botanicals into a new medium. You can use existing tangles or make up your own – as the saying goes you are only limited by your imagination.

My gallery (click the thumbnail on the right) includes three pieces of Zentangle Inspired Art (or ZIA for short). Quick tip: there are no mistakes in tangling only happy accidents so if something unplanned happens just go with it. So now that you know it’s easy why not pick up a pen and have some fun!

Cheers!

Kelli