Thursday, April 27, 2017

Brown Calf and Cow

5x7 ink sketch on Bristol cropped at that size on a 9x12 sheet.  Tombow black brush pen was used to put in darks first followed by a rigger brush dipped in water to make the grey areas; white is the white of the paper.  I loved the long cast shadows the cattle made in my original photograph.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Horses Running

5x7 watercolor and ink using Staedtler 0.3 pigment liner pen on old discarded book page done today.  Ref courtesy WetCanvas from current weekend drawing event in which participants have 30 minutes to choose an image and 2 hours to complete; mine took about 1 hour.  The ref had mounted horses running behind these in front but I omitted the riders and just showed the herd of wild steeds.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Rose Bouquet

11x14 watercolor on Kilimanjaro 140 lb cold press paper done today in about 2 hours.  This one is with a group of other floral images I've featured on a WetCanvas April challenge.  I decided to not let the stems touch the paper bottom and might go back into it and add a green background using Brusho.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Cactus Call

8x10 alcohol inks on white foamcore board done today on the backside of a failed AI from yesterday.  This reminded me of red cactus flowers blooming right now in town.  Only three colors of ink used here green, yellow and red.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Chasing Darkness panther

7.25x4.75 watercolor and ink line on discarded book page done a few days ago.  Since this panther was out hunting for prey the chapter title I thought would be a great painting title.  Ref photo is courtesy of Pat in the WetCanvas Animals & Wildlife forum April challenge.  Micron 01 pen used to sketch the cat.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Yellow Tulips in Blue Vase ~ plein air for Earth Day

10.25x9 watercolor and ink on paper done today plein air with Watercolor Horizons group.  We had a paint out at Alldredge Gardens in Midland, TX.  With temps in the low 50s and a north wind blowing, I chose to stay inside the building and sketch from life.  I've been a member of the Odessa WH group for many years now and it was encouraging to see a new member bringing her two young sons with their art supplies.  Earth Day is a good time to connect with plants.  This was drawn with Micron 01 pen.
Image COPYRIGHT Kay Smith.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Posh Poppies

15x11 watercolor on Canson 140 lb cold press paper done today using no reference and little pencil drawing.  I used the back side of the paper as it is slicker and allows for freer runs, drips, and blooms when water is spritzed with a fine mister.  In this vignette two orange red poppies were painted with Daniel Smith transparent pyrrol orange, aureolin, permanent rose, gamboge, indigo, ultramarine, quinacridone orange, cerulean, thalo yellow green, and green gold.  Tomorrow I'll join our Odessa painters, the Watercolor Horizons group at Alldredge Gardens for an all day plein air paint out, so watch for more luscious and loose florals here on this blog.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Indigo Tulip

7x5 alcohol inks on Yupo, synthetic paper, painted Tuesday night.  I have used Indigo ink and Emerald ink colors along with canned air to blow from its base upwards.  Background is left the white of the Yupo.  Although there are black tulips I've not ever seen an indigo hued bloom.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Fluffy Parrot Tulip

11x9 alcohol inks on white 3/18" foamcore board done this evening as a quickie since studio time was short today.  Only four colors of ink was used along with canned air to force ink to spread upwards and in streaks.  Background is left white of the board and is not enhanced.  Tulip stem is made with drops of ink on tip of a wooden chopstick to control it; I used two greens, Juniper and Lime.  Flower bottom edges were smoothed using cotton swab tip dipped in 91% alcohol.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Indigo Iris

7x11 alcohol inks on Yupo medium weight synthetic paper done this afternoon as I was in an iris mood.  They're blooming everywhere you look.  With this floral abstraction I've used three colors of ink:  Indigo, Eggplant, and Watermelon.  Canned air was used to blow the ink from the bottom up and the white of the paper is its only background for simplicity.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Lotus Pods in Grey Vase

30x8 watercolor on Kilimanjaro 140 lb cold press paper completed today.  As a lotus seed pod fan, when I first saw these green ones on long stems I knew they must be painted.  Here they reside in a grey tall vase with vertical textural lines.  The dramatic darks in the background set the stage for the light greens in this still life.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Peekaboo Bird in Brusho

12x9 watercolor Brusho completed yesterday; sketched in pencil on a sheet of Canson put behind larger work you can see the chickadee peeping out.  Featured on current weekend drawing event on WetCanvas, the refs provided by Bonnie, the host, showed a fake bird in a nursery garden.  I had turned it horizontally in a landscape format but like it better vertical/portrait.  I used blue and black Brusho crystals on dry paper to start.  The pink lilac was already on the paper as was the turquoise blue Brusho area.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter Floral

7x5 alcohol inks on Yupo transparent (by Tim Holtz) done today for my Easter floral.  A bit abstract and contemporary, this flower has orange and yellow mainly along with a bit of green and pink/purple in the background.  For the blue I used Stream diluted with 91% alcohol and blending fluid.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Ziggy cat with Brusho

6x9 watercolor and Brusho on Canson 140 lb. cold press paper done today as part of our Watermedia forum April challenge.  Hosted by fellow artist Joanne Nemeth, Ziggy is one of her three male cats who happen to be brothers.  I sprinkled Brusho on dry paper then made small brush water marks letting the pigments run.  After blending orange and yellow, I added ultramarine blue to the rest plus black.  Brush work and negative painting were then done and finally stamping his cat bed with bubble wrap painted with quinacridone violet completed the pet portrait.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Downtown Graffiti

5.5x8 watercolor and ink line (Micron 01 pen) on Bienfang mixed media sketchbook done today.  The English ref is courtesy of Bonnie in Canada who hosted our last weekend's drawing event on WetCanvas.  Some of the graffiti text was about Charlie Hebdo and the 2015 attack there in France.Image COPYRIGHT Kay Smith 2017.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Talking Giraffe

5.5x8.5 watercolor and ink line on Masters sketchbook paper completed today.  Yesterday's ink sketch with Micron 01 and 05 pens is featured below.  This was part of a monthly challenge in the Pen & Ink forum on WetCanvas; reference courtesy vmrs from ref image library.  Splatters were added with raw umber and a mixed grey when dry to imitate leaves.
COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Micron 01 and 05 ink pens sketch

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Hydrangea Bouquet

18x11.5 watercolor work in progress is now complete.  There is a window behind the blooms.  The rest of the white, pink, and lilac colored hydrangea heads were put in with their dark leaves followed by the blue vase and its rusty areas.  The bottom portion does not show here but extends down a little more.  Splattering with various colors including thalo yellow green was done when dry.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hydrangea Bouquet WIP

18x11.5 watercolor work in progress (WIP) begun a few days ago using only a 1" flat sable brush.  Sketched in pencil on wet Canson 140 lb cold press paper, I put in the varied greens in the background first, not the darks first I usually begin doing.  Next was pale pink and white hydrangea blooms followed by deeper pink and peach toned ones.  The old vase colors were actually two:  Blue Bice and Andrew's turquoise.  I was inspired by my own plants that have leafed out by the front door and am trying for a nice and soft floral arrangement.  Stay tuned for the finish.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Palm Sunday Rose

7x11 alcohol inks on Yupo done today for Palm Sunday and in honor of those Egyptian Christians attacked and killed while worshipping.  Aqua used for the sky, Willow, Botanical and Sunbright Yellow for green areas, and new Flamingo at flower top along with Valencia (also new), Poppyfield, and Senorita Magenta for the entire flower.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Tree Swallow ~ Draw a Bird Day

9x12 watercolor, gouache, ink, and acrylic on Canson 140 lb cold pess paper done today for National Draw a Bird Day.  It is almost as if he is singing and notes are the colored marks in acrylic coming out in song.  I've used a sheet of wc paper as backing underneath smaller works and these are the random marks seen.  Each year I try to remember 8 April is a day for artists to remember birds; multiple refs online used to sketch the flowering tree, branches and the swallow.  An oblong black ink mark fit nicely underneath his tail feathers while a white dogwood blossoms behind.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Rabbit Noon

5x7.25 watercolor and gouache over ink line with Micron 01 pen done yesterday, another black & white bunny in my series.  Sketched on old discarded book page paper this little animal could hop right into your lap while we wait for Easter to arrive.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Inner Beauty ~ alcohol ink floral

18x10 alcohol inks on paper done yesterday after starting it the day before using only two warm colors of Senorita Magenta and Sunbright Yellow inks (Pinata).  Stem was put in with a wooden chopstick, dropping Lime Green and Juniper to its tip then the tip to the paper.  The abstract flower has an inner beauty as the viewer can see into it practically with its transparency.  This could be a parrot tulip or some other bloom.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Adobe Shadows

12x9 watercolor on Canson 140 lb cold press paper sketched this weekend then finished yesterday in the studio.  The adobe sits in New Mexico and could not resist the ladder shadows and building side shadows in that amazing light that exists only there.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Lonnie's Ladies (cats)

22x15 watercolor on Saunders 140 lb cold press paper of a group of barn cats our friend Lonnie had.  There are seven cats, maybe more, depicted here.  An older wet in wet painting, this work is SOLD. 
Image is COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Gladys Girl chicken

5.5x8.5 watercolor over mechanical pencil drawing done over the weekend of another artist's chicken named Gladys.  Sadly she said the hen is no longer with us.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Rabbit Morning

7.25x5 watercolor and gouache over ink line drawing with Micron 01 pen done over the weekend.  As a companion piece to Rabbit Days, this black and white rabbit is sketched on a novel page from a discarded book.  He appears ready to hop right onto your lap with this macro view.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Climbing White Roses

22x15 watercolor on 140 lb cold press Saunders Waterford. These climbing white roses were by our front steps and I snapped several photos when they were blooming at their peak then painted them. Not happy with the mid section it was reworked and more negative leaves, stems, and thorns added. My favorite part is the rosebud upper right. It was painted wet in wet and colors allowed to mix and mingle.  Daniel Smith paints used.
Image COPYRIGHT Kay Smith.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Midge Half Asleep

9x12 Brusho watermedia on Canson 140 lb cold press done yesterday of my rescue kitty Midget. I used the complimentary set of 12 colors Dick Blick sent to the moderators who do watercolor as a thank you for working on WetCanvas.  I sketched kitty in pencil then lightly spritzed with fine mist water sprayer and shook out the black pot of Brusho, transparent ink powdered crystals. This was fun.  Lots of youtube videos are out there and take a look at Ward Jene Stroud's website, the king of Brusho, which is amazing to see. Brusho is made in the UK and has been in Europe for 40 years but only recently been used and learned here in the US.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Flower Hill

11x14 alcohol inks on Yupo done yesterday, an imaginary scene made by applying drops of ink with blender solution and 91% alcohol.  Aqua blue was put on first and allowed to swirl around aided by sprays of canned air to resemble sky and clouds.  Next gold and yellow large areas added for background floral color.  Individual blooms with pink, red, and tangerine were put on then greens in foreground were last.
Image COPYRIGHT Kay Smith.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Rabbit Days

5x7.25 watercolor, gouache, and ink line on old novel page of a discarded book done today.  Sketched with Pigma Micron 01 pen I put in the dark mixed blacks and browns first then added white gouache on his fur.  Whiskers were drawn with white gel pen.  Now that Spring put in an appearance we are seeing rabbits everywhere so rabbit days are here again, yay!  Love to paint black and white subjects so hope you enjoy.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Hydrangea Explosion

6x9 alcohol inks on white freezer paper finished yesterday that was an ongoing work in progress that kept getting better as I went along.  That is the case with these ink paintings; you can add to them forever and not be through.  Or a new color mingle will happen exposing unseen territory.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Windblown Petals

7x5 alcohol inks on Yupo synthetic paper by Tim Holtz done today.  Two reds were used, a light hue and a darker one. For the stem, grasses and leaves, one green and one yellow and were applied using a wooden chopstick (put a drop of ink at the tip then draw with it).  No pencil or reference was used so with your imagination think what this one is.  A parrot tulip? A poppy? A red weed?
Image Kay Smith COPYRIGHT 2017.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spring Burst

6x9 alcohol inks on paper done yesterday using canned air instead of my own with a drinking straw.  This flower whatever it is looks happy to be burst open for Spring.  Two ink colors were used for the blooms, Santa Fe Red and Sunbright Yellow, and two greens Willow and Lime for foliage and stems.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Oregon Building

10.25x9 gouache and ink on paper done today as part of another weekend drawing event on WetCanvas. The challenge set by the host, Holly, was to work only from a monochromatic image so that is what I did here, not using a colored version of the building scene.  Sketched last night with a Pitt XS pen, it was painted today, reminding me of the white stucco structures in Greece.  Stained glass windows decorate its lower half and hollyhock flowers were imaginary added by me for balance.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Lonely Longhorn

4x6 watercolor, gouache, and ink done yesterday on a New Mexico magazine subscription card as I had no sketchbook handy and was in a longhorn mood.  Any animal that is white or has spots as well is an added bonus I can't resist.  Ink sketch below was drawn with a Pigma Micron 01 pen. 
Images COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.



Thursday, March 23, 2017


5x7 alcohol inks on white freezer paper done at beginning of spring earlier this week using only two colors of the inks, Pink Sherbet and Sunshine Yellow.  The pink shape could be any flower and reminds me of a poppy with its paper thin petals.  No pencil or reference was used, only a large drinking straw to blow the pigment around.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Florida Egrets

24x18 watercolor on Canson 140 lb cold press paper, a recent bird painting of a group of white egrets lined up watching along the waterfront.  I so enjoyed living in Florida and go back there periodically to visit and see the wildlife activity.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Poppy Prize

6.5x7 alcohol inks on paper that is today's work.  Starting off with only three primaries of pale pink, turquoise, and yellow gold I covered the area then blended with blending solution.  When dry within a few moments I added lime green then more yellow around edges.  Sangria Magenta was added which is a pink but over the yellow gold it turned more red.  Center dark areas were blown with a large drinking straw and a coffee stirrer.  Juniper green was last and leaves and pods done with it; stems made by ink drops on tip of a wooden chopstick for thin lines.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Floral

10.5x8.5 acrylics on dark pink matboard done today to herald the first day of Spring! So glad it has arrived and was long awaited.  Although I looked at a blooming rose this resembles a tulip more.  Painted with only a 1.5" brush there was not any detail to be had.  To paint with that size or larger brush (any subject) was part of a WetCanvas monthly challenge in the acrylic forum.  Actual time about 20 minutes.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Soft Yellow Rose

12x12 watercolor of a soft pale yellow rose on 140 lb Saunders cold press paper, done for an online timed contest.  Total time was 1.5 hours and this image is now SOLD.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Geisha Girls

22x15 watercolor and gouache on 140 lb cold press paper, an older work that is SOLD. 
These women figures were drawn from small figurines.
Image COPYRIGHT Kay Smith.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Time for Rabbits

8x5.5 watercolor and ink line (Micron 01 pen) on Strathmore Visual Journal for mixed media done yesterday.  This hopping animal is getting ready for Spring to arrive on Monday just as the rest of us are.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Time for Geraniums ~ alcohol inks demo

6x7 alcohol inks on Yupo synthetic paper done yesterday.  As usual I had no idea what might develop from dropping inks onto blank white support.  A usual rule of thumb, at least for me, is to always start with the most pale or light colors as the dark ones tend to go to black with only a few applications.  An informative demo with photos illustrating each step including supplies used will follow this image.*
*All photos COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

SUPPLIES:  Alcohol Blending Solution (Tim Holtz), alcohol 91%, fine mist sprayer filled with alcohol, large red drinking straw, Yupo, assorted alcohol inks (Jacquard Pinata brand and Tim Holtz Adirondack Ranger)
Do not use alcohol 50%.  I place all on a 11x15 sheet of foamcore to protect my table.  No pencil or brush used in this demo.  Five colors:  Shell Pink, Senorita Magenta, Willow, Juniper, Poppyfield were used and will be shown together at the end.  Yupo is 6x7 inches and is adhered on back with masking tape on a sheet of white printer paper that sits on the foamcore

Spritz or spray 91% alcohol onto Yupo then add Shell Pink (Adirondack) ink, the lightest pink value

After blowing through the large straw to push ink around, add 3 puddles of Senorita Magenta

Another view

Turned a different way

Adding blending solution to top of magenta shapes

Blowing with straw again quickly (canned air is also used if available).  Ink is feathering outwards

Spritz or spray with fine mister the alcohol 91% again which gives tiny droplets over the surface.  Blow again with the straw or add more blending solution if you need to do so

Adding greens.  This will no doubt be a floral of some kind with the 2 pinks and now my lightest green, Willow

Place Willow in 3 areas as shown for balance, add blending solution to move the inks, and blow air again to widen and spread

Adding second green, my darker value Juniper 1-2 drops at edges.  Inks starting to bleed into each other,  mix and separate


Continue adding Juniper around 3 sides at least

Turn the Yupo several ways to get a sense of what it will be, a floral or an abstract

Add a stronger deeper warm hue such as Poppyfield, a rich red for single drops as seen below

Continuing to add Poppyfield

Adding more Poppyfield with this orientation, having the leaf shapes mostly at bottom

Separated single drops of Poppyfield ink to mimic geranium blooms and florets (upside down view).  I've not blown air on these final drops

Five colors used for this demo in order of application L to R

Signing my name with Sakura Pigma Micron 01 permanent ink at lower right

Finished alcohol ink "Time for Geraniums" 6x7 on Yupo