Monthly Archives: February 2016

Modern Versals

Modern Versals - Koi Fish and KFor week three of creative lettering we drew modern versals. Versals are ornamental letters usually found in old manuscripts and they are often illuminated (gilded with gold). The class projects included drawings of the moon, Zentangle inspired letters, white letters on a colored background, birthday greetings, and even a dog with bones! It was a great night and I am so proud of all wonderful art that was created and I feel privileged to work with such a creative group!

One the pieces I drew for our demo was this K and koi fish. It is outlined with gold ink to give it a touch of illumination. I am please with how the fish’s tail mimics the curve in the lower swash of the k.

For our next class we’ll be working on hand-drawn script lettering styles. They’ll be lots of swirls, swashes, and flourishes to really get our creativity flowing.

Until next time…keep those pencils sharp!


Bamboo Birds

Bamboo Birds - ChickadeeI spent the weekend painting birds out of bamboo strokes. I know, that was a weird statement…in Chinese Brush Painting everything is made from simple brushstrokes. The marks you make to paint a bamboo leaf can easily be turned into birds or as I am calling them “bamboo birds”. My state bird is the Black-capped chickadee so for hubby’s Valentine card I painted the little guy to the right perched on, what else, a bamboo branch. He is made from leaf strokes that are curved and widened to form the head and throat patch. The red seal at the top means “joy” and the one in the lower right is my name seal.

By changing the width and length of the brushstrokes you can change the size of the bird, then by changing the length of the beak you can change its species. The bird below is similar to a wren resting on a simple bamboo branch. You can see the similarity between the leaves on the branch and the shapes in the bird’s body. When you can break things down into familiar shapes it makes it much easier to achieve your desired result.

Bamboo Birds with Joy mood seal

Interested in seeing a variation of the wren? Visit my art shop to see these birds as greeting cards. If you are interested in learning how to paint your own bamboo birds I will be teaching a class on Chinese Brush Painting this summer. If you have the time I hope you’ll join us.

Until next time…keep those pencils sharp!