Sunday, November 30, 2014

Chester Cat Slap

6x8.5 watercolor of our adopted altered male cat, Chester, who is the meanest cat on the plantet.  Not even Jackson Galaxy could tame him.  I took a photo of him trying to slap me and if close enough, the claws come out.  He has been with us 3 years now along with a very sweet little black and white female named Midget.  Both were rescued from our Animal Shelter aka the pound, a kill shelter.  Chester is missing his top eyebrow area whisker and another prominent one by his nose.  No doubt he was sticking his nose in someone else's business.
Image is COPYRIGHT Kay Smith 2014.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Condo Kitchen Sketch

8.5x5.5 watercolor and ink sketch of our mountain condo kitchen, done two weeks ago, one of our last Sketchbook Skool assignments.  In the lesson, we were instructed by Tommy Kane to sit and sketch in ink our kitchen, ignoring perspective, and adding as much detail as possible.  So please excuse the wonky stove range top! On the wall is a very long chef painting on tar paper done by Leada Wood. In the corner is red, black and white chef ceramic pitcher given to me by Barb Miller.  A reflection of the painting can be seen in microwave window, chef spoon rest is on range, red handled knives sit in knife block and you can see the dark plank flooring just installed.  Quartz counter tops are black, white with gold flecks.  Hanging on the oven door rack is a chef themed kitchen towel.  This was all the detail I could get as I was backed up to the sink in the narrow kitchen.  I love the warm golden apricot painted walls.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Plein Air Sketch: Alberto's Crystal Cafe Downtown Big Spring TX

9x10.25 ink sketch using new Lamy pen which I didn't realize had blue ink that was not waterproof.  After Thanksgiving dinner, I drove downtown and drew this townscape plein aire in about 30 minutes, focusing on the cafe and leaving back buildings unpainted.
A prominent landmark for decades, this TexMex restaurant is now closed and relocated to north Hiway 87.  Our family ate here weekly while we were in school and many years following.  Note the pigeons on its roof.  Across the street is The Chalet, a resale shop that benefits the state hospital.  Now there is a large ugly weed growing in front of Alberto's on the sidewalk, a silent salute to one of Big Spring's finest and most colorful buildings.  This work has been posted to Urban Sketchers of Texas Facebook page.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Late Rosebud for Thanksgiving

12x9 watercolor on Canson paper started yesterday and finished this afternoon, a late rosebud just in time for giving thanks for our flowers that brighten our days.  Happy Thanksgiving!
COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Rust in Peace (old car)

11x15 watercolor on Arches 140 lb hot press paper, of an old antique jalopy car, broken down and giving up the ghost on an abandoned road.  Parked and left to rust in peace, this ancient vehicle slowly crumbles and settles into the earth.  I did negative painting around its sides and background for trees and branches, overgrown and reaching out to cover the junked metal automobile.  For this work I used only 3 colors:  Winsor Newton Alizarin Crimson, Antwerp Blue, and Arylide Yellow which were spritzed onto dry paper, blended, then developed.  (Ref courtesy WetCanvas)
Image is COPYRIGHT 2010 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Canning Tomatoes

9x12 watercolor and ink on Bristol 400 series paper/Micron 05 pen finished today, a country still life of Ball canning jars and fresh tomatoes.  This common imaginary scene will bring back memories for some when times were simpler and summer was longer.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Monday, November 24, 2014

November Country Road

11x15 watercolor scene of a muddy country road in November.  Fall leaves have been disappearing just as the warm days have; recent rains add to the ambience of autumn with just a hint of colder weather to come.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Downtown Big Spring TX, 211 Main St.

5.5x8.5 ink and watercolor done this afternoon plein air in our historic downtown. Parking across Main Street I sketched this old corner brick building with Micron 01 pen on Masters sketchbook. The store next door does not have a red awning but it seemed to balance the red sign of The Chalet seen to the left which is on 2nd Street. Two other signs were on the antiques building, The Record Shop, and Militaria, but those were left out as they did not add anything to the composition.  Neither did the sandstorm add anything!  I've joined Urban Sketchers of Texas so today's work will be posted on their Facebook page.  Stay tuned for more from our quaint town in Big Spring, TX!
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Spruce Cones

7.5x5 watercolor and ink (Uniball pen) on Moleskine done today in under 2 hours for the weekend drawing event on WetCanvas! where you have 2 hours to select a photo then make a painting or sketch.  I worked from a black and white image and added my own color choices.  White gouache was splattered for snow when dry.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Politician Cats

22x15 watercolor of 8 different cats who reminded me of politicians, hence its title.  Some are asleep and oblivious, others chewing on everything, one hiding, one sinking maybe drowning (Obama), one cunning and crafty calico, one smirking, and my favorite is the pale tabby licking his chops and winking.  Too funny for words.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Red Laundry Basket

7.5x5 watercolor on Moleskine done today of such a mundane subject, the laundry.  Everybody's got it.  Mine keeps getting piled higher and higher waiting on the weekend.  Here you can see pink socks, bright shirts, and of course, blue jeans which are always at the bottom.  Painting the clothes was easy but the basket's holes were not.
Image COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pear Study

8x5.5 mixed media of my pear, drawn today before I ate it.  At first it was too pretty to eat.  After studying it awhile I got out my black Pigma Micron 01 pen and Strathmore Visual Journal for mixed media and drew the whole pear.  Then I cut it in half until seeds visible, and drew that along with its end and other sections including the core.  Then I took apart the seeds and sketched those.  Crosshatching was done for dark areas.  Media used was ink, watercolor, and colored pencils; the CPs were "color-sanded" into wet areas with fine grit sandpaper so the tiny specks you see are CP pigment bits.  When dry, I stamped 'pears' in black ink at the top and flicked wet paint spray.  An enjoyable Bartlett pear for sure after studying it first.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chickadee Cheer

10.25x9 watercolor and ink of a chickadee in a willow tree of which I've tried to do negative painting in parts.  Some branches and twigs were left natural while others are positively painted.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Monday, November 17, 2014


8x5.5 mixed media on Strathmore Visual Journal for mixed media done today.  Drawn with Uniball black ink pen from life, the first pigment was Sharpie markers at random, then watercolor colored pencils, two different brands, finishing with watercolor for background.  I did wet the colored pencil areas with a 1/2" flat brush to see how/if colors would mix and blend.  Opaque watercolor for the persimmons' green tops was placed over blue green using Coastal Fog, Prussian blue, and Mint Julep.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Condo Living Room

10.25x9 watercolor and ink on sketchbook page, part of an assignment in Sketchbook Skool to do a detailed scene with ink then add color.  Tommy Kane is this week's instructor and he did an demo of his kitchen.  I've also drawn our condo kitchen with its wonky appliances for the homework.  Our condo living room was done last night and took over 2 hours.  From its stone fireplace to Mexican metal sunflowers to ceramic owls it spells fun.  Today just finished reading An Illustrated Journey by Danny Gregory, one of the Skool founders.  I did not realize keeping sketchbook journals was as popular worldwide as it is.  This weekend also was trying out new Uniball black ink pens found in Walgreen's that lots of artists use; I've employed it here in this scene from our Pinon Park condo, and really love its effect gliding across smooth paper.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Black Cat

11x15 watercolor of a fellow artist's black cat outside sunning herself. Background and her chair are imaginary.
Image COPYRIGHT Kay Smith 2014.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Poppies in Jar

4x2.5 watercolor and ink on 140 lb cold press paper of various red and yellow orange poppies in canning jars, a popular version of an earlier artist trading card that sold quickly.  This work is SOLD.
Image COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cedar Waxwing Sketches

8.5x6 ink on grey toned ColorSketch paper done this week for an assignment in Sketchbook Skool.  The actual bird I used for reference was a window kill unfortunately so had to imagine it alive and alert.  Three different black ink technical pens were used for these sketches.  I'm unsure at this point if color needs to be added; other artists are saying No.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Blue Bike

15x11 watercolor on Canson 140 lb cold press paper done yesterday in a timed WetCanvas weekend drawing event.  This is a crop of a larger photo, one of 16 the person hosting provides to participants.  Once you make your selection you have 2 hours to draw and paint.  If unable to finish you're asked to photograph and post where you were at the 2 hour mark.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Storing Fruits and Vegetables

9x10.25 ink and watercolor on paper, drawn yesterday and painted today, a grouping of various vegetables such as purple and yellow onions, garlic, leeks, carrots, mushrooms, potatoes, beets, pomegranates, etc.   Instruction text on how long to store them is written to the right in ink.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Jezebel Napping on Old Chair

6x6 ink on paper using Tombow brush pen completed this weekend of studio cat Jezebel.  One of our Sketchbook Skool assignments was to draw or sketch a live animal asleep every day for a week; not a problem as she sleeps almost all the time now at 14.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


9x12 watercolor and inks on paper done yesterday as an assignment homework for Sketchbook Skool.  The week's lesson began Friday and is on animals.  We were encouraged to visit a zoo or natural history museum to render animals from life.  If you had no such around you were to use toy figurines, a practice I've been doing for many years.  I had a mama and baby zebra so used those with the poses you see here.  At the end watercolor was splattered and washed at random, then letter stamps used to spell out zebra.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Patio

6x8.5 watercolor and ink line on light blue tinted ColorSketch paper done for illustrated journaling Sketchbook Skool assignment.  Soon these geraniums et al will be moved indoors as cold weather should begin next week.  The blue green bistro set will stay out.  This year my pink hydrangeas did not bloom due to lack of water but here I've included them along with tiger lilies that were not too plentiful either.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Feedlot Cows

9x10 ink and watercolor cows featuring one of them with the number 7 on her forehead, and her friends at the feedlot, done with black Tombow brush pen on hot press sketchbook paper. I've omitted the other cows and extra background clutter and worked from a black and white photocopy.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tea Aboard the Titanic

15x22 watercolor on cold press paper of an imaginary teapot and cups along with sugar bowl and topsy turvy background shapes.
Image is COPYRIGHT Kay Smith 2014.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Garlic and Onions

9x12 mixed media (watercolor, ink, acrylic) on Cheap Joe's sketchbook that is hot press paper.  This was done yesterday for Sketchbook Skool in which we had to mark 2"-3" grid areas in pencil, then draw anything from life, paint in watercolor then do ink last going over pencil lines, then erase.  I used a fat garlic and three onions along with my small white ceramic garlic pot.  First I used a stencil and with dilute white with orange acrylic making a peach colored paint, did the stencil at random.  When dry, I drew in pencil with no preconceived ideas of what to put where nor what colors to use, so all is intuitive.  Lastly, Micron 01 pen covered the lines and extras were erased.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Homestead Carriage and Barn

9x4.25 watercolor completed over the weekend for a drawing event on WetCanvas hosted by Kate Scott in Canada.  In this landscape, a carriage sits in mid-foreground on a narrow gravel road while old wooden barn flanks the vehicle.  When dry I splattered various neutral colors for tiny rocks and rusty oranges for leaves.  A challenge was to include both orange and black as it was Halloween weekend.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Monday, November 3, 2014

As the Crow Flies

10.5x8 mixed media collage on matboard started yesterday and finished today.  There are 3 birds in this composition.  Materials used:
watercolor, stamps, handmade paper w/acrylic, India ink, Staedtler Lumocolor black pen, old paperback novel pages, black felt tip pen. I did this for Sketchbook Skool and any chance to paint crows I jump at usually or any bird.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Peas and Beans

5.5x8.5 watercolor and ink done while in my hotel room last week in Albuquerque.  This ink and line wash illustration shows a rusty blue and white colander for shelling blackeyed peas while an old slotted spoon awaits its assigned duty.  A bowl of purple hull peas sit idly by a vivid red and white kitchen towel in this simple country still life.  This was planned after much thought of Sketchbook Skool's teachings but I've not posted it there.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Carriage Horses

5.5x8 watercolor done a few days ago from some horse photos I'd been planning on using but just hadn't.  These two were hitched together to pull their owner's carriage around the city.  Support used is Strathmore Visual Journal for watercolor and pigments are Winsor Newton travel kit.  I used a #1 rigger or script liner brush on the animals then a #6 round for background foliage and street shadows.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.