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

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Cat with Green Ball

5.5x8.5 watercolor and ink on Masters sketchbook paper done over the weekend.  Our old cat Bootsie who had long thick hair loved to play with the soft spongy balls.  Here I have used a four color combination to make a mixed black:  First pairing was ultramarine blue + quinacridone burnt orange application, and second was alizarin crimson + thalo green.  The ball is thalo yellow green and some of that opaque color is mixed in his tail.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Peace Rose Petals

12x6 watercolor on Strathmore 140 lb cold press paper begun yesterday and finished today.  No pencil drawing or use of a reference was used.  I was thinking of peace roses as some had bloomed last week at my studio.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Monday, March 13, 2017

City Rain

12x9 watercolor on Canson 140 lb cold press paper, finished late last night while we were still in the isolated mountains.  As a timed WetCanvas exercise I had to complete within 2 hours but did go over the limit.  Photo courtesy Bunny from a street scene in NYC,
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Cafe Cat

15x11 watercolor on 140 lb cold press paper, a composite of more than one separate photo of a sidewalk cafe bistro set and calico cat.  She is enjoying her day waiting on shoppers to stop by and give her a biscuit.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Sunflower Jewels

5x7 alcohol inks done yesterday just imagining how decorated the center could be of this common yellow summer flower.  This is on freezer paper mounted to a thin support.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Barn Chicken

22x15 watercolor on 140 lb cold press paper by Saunders with Daniel Smith/Da Vinci paints.  Done wet in wet quickly, this work is showing a curious hen looking back where she came from.  This work is SOLD.
COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Poppy Poetry

15x11 watercolor on Canson 140 lb cold press paper painted this afternoon using only a #38 round brush (no pencil drawing) and totally imaginary.  With spritzing and using lots of water I came up with this poetic arrangement of poppies swaying in the pre-Spring winds.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Fat Faux Batik Pear

12x9 alcohol inks on wax paper, one of the demos done last Thursday night for the Die Kunstler Von Fredericksburg art organization.  I was showing them how to make a faux batik painting by crumpling wax paper (after felt tip marker drawing was done), smooth it out and apply the inks, then let dry.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Painted Poppies

5x7 alcohol inks on Yupo done yesterday, another abstract background I was not fond of, so diluted the inks with blending fluid then dropped two different reds.  Blowing through a straw from the bloom base, the round poppy shapes appeared.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Roxy the Boxer

5.5x8.5 watercolor and ink (Pigma Micron 01 pen) on Masters sketchbook, done this afternoon.  This boxer pup belongs to EP, another artist active on WetCanvas who is hosting our current Watermedia challenge.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Almost Spring Tulip

7.5x5 alcohol inks on white freezer paper using only 2-3 colors of ink, done as one of the demos Thursday night in Fredericksburg, TX.
I put the light colored background on first then the warm red/pink and blowing the ink from the flower base up and out.  This gave it the tulip shape.  Lastly the stem was added using a cotton swab and a dark green.  This exercise took about 5 minutes for the Die Kunstler Von Fredericksburg (translation:  The Artists of Fredericksburg) art group.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Porch Detail

15x5 watercolor on Saunders 140 lb cold press paper done today.  This view is a detail from a larger piece showing more of the building.  It is the porch of a local realty.  Of course I used artistic license on the flowers showing more lush blooms that what is there.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Underwater Iris ~ alcohol inks

5x7 alcohol inks on Yupo synthetic paper, one of several demos done last night in Fredericksburg, TX.  For the Die Kunstler art group I was tasked to present a program on the application and attributes of the inks.  This one reminded me of a submerged iris bloom in an abstract design.  Support and inks are by Tim Holtz.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Redwinged Blackbird

15x22 watercolor on Kilimanjaro 140 lb cold press paper painted from one of my redwinged blackbird photos shot in Ruidoso in the fall.  Lots of these birds are seen around wet marshy areas where cattails grow.  When in flight the reddish orange on their wings is a nice contrast against their black feathers.  There is a large rocky formation behind him.  I usually stop on Warrior Road and take photos of the wildlife in their habitat.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Psychedelic Owl

12x9 watercolor of a great horned owl literally glowing with every color in my palette.  I have been working on him for 3 days, a different twist on a brown and white subject that previously had been sketched and painted in reverse.  He needed some jazzing up so this is the result, a departure from my usual realism.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.