The Portfolio | Wednesday Behind-the-Scenes

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 in Art Journal, Wednesday "Behind-the-Scenes" | 0 comments

Yes!! I finally have a portfolio! That is, an updating portfolio … in other words, I’m still working on it! ;) But it’s here! Once you click on a picture, click the “more info” link on the right hand side to see a bigger picture of the artwork. Feel free to leave your thoughts and critique on the artwork!

Click here to see the portfolio!
And something else that’s “behind-the-scenes” is my mentorship with the artist Lisa Mistuik! We started almost exactly a year ago and it has been such a HUGE blessing since! Lisa is an awesome mentor and I am looking forward to what we will be working on in the months ahead! This illustration for the book “The Tanglewoods Secret” by Patricia St. John was one of the projects we worked on together!

Are you an artist? What kind of artwork do you like creating?

Is there any artwork you think should be subtracted from the portfolio?

What kind of artwork is your favorite?

10 Tips for Painting Outside | Tuesday Tips

Posted by on Sep 15, 2015 in Art Journal, Tuesday Tips & Art Tips | 7 comments

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Painting outside is the focus of today’s post! Whether you’re hoping to capture some of fall’s beauty, waves crashing on the beach, or a brilliant rose blooming in the garden–I hope these tips will inspire you! :-)

Tip #1 – Keep Your Supplies Simple

Keeping your supplies to a minimum can be so helpful! If you’re using watercolors, bringing a sketchbook, small case of watercolors, a paintbrush or two, pencil, water jar and some paper towels should be fine! Sometimes hiking a little could be involved before deciding where you want to paint.
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Tip #2 – Contain Your Artwork

Sketch a light square or rectangle around the space where you plan to work. This is a great way to help yourself keep your work contained. Have you ever had the experience where you start drawing something and then end up with not enough space to continue the rest of the dress, tree, etc? After creating your square or rectangle, put some light marks to place things inside of the space. Start with one object. A tree, for example, and use that to guide where you will place your other objects.
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Tip #3 – Mix Your Colors

When you begin to paint, try to keep yourself from using one color straight from the pan. (This is if you are using watercolor.) Try to make your mixes at least two colors each.
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Tip #4 – Small Jar with Lid

When painting outside, take your paint water (or turpentine if using traditional oils) in a container with a lid that does not leak. A simple canning jar like this one can work well!
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Tip #5 – Lean Your Artwork on Something Steady

When painting outside, using an easel, table, or other sturdy object can help in keeping your artwork firm and in place. For a simple, makeshift easel, use a board and lean it against a table.
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Tip #6 – Squint and Squint Again

This is probably one of my favorite tips! Squint! When looking at your subject, squint your eyes and you’ll find that the values become easier to see!
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Tip #7 – Paint on a Sunny Day

When first starting out, I’d highly recommend painting on a bright, sunny day. This creates stronger shadows and lights, providing an easier to follow pattern to copy. Cloudy days can be a little more difficult as values can be less clear.
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Tip #8 – Bring Paper Towels

Whether you’re using watercolor, oil or acrylic paint outside, bring paper towels and a small garbage bag to throw them away in. A rag can work well too, although it can provide a bigger mess as the rag tends to be used longer, and its easier to get your hands messy with paint.
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Tip #9 – Clean Your Brushes

While out in the field it can be difficult to clean your brushes in dirty water. And I certainly do not recommend washing your brushes in a creek, waterfall or stream. ;-) If you’re using watercolor, rinse out your brush in the dirty water that you have so at least the brush is lightly diluted with paint and wait till you get home to wash it out.
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Tip #10 – Have Fun!!

Enjoy your time painting outside and try not to expect a masterpiece. Let your time outside simply be a time to study and take notes. When you’re back inside with painting and pictures, you can do a larger work that you can take more time on. Allow yourself to enjoy the process of collecting information and let go of the inner expectation so many of us artists possess to create something beautiful straight off. ;-)
I hope these tips are helpful! Please do share your tips in the comments!

Do you like painting outside?

What kind of supplies do you like using?

What is your favorite subject to paint?

Many, many, thanks to my dear friend and wonderful photographer, Elizabeth for the pictures in this post!!

Post edited on 1/29/17.

Ruth Ann Harrison | Monday Littles

Posted by on Sep 14, 2015 in Art Journal, Monday Littles | 2 comments

YES!! My dear patient blog readers–Ruth Ann Harrison is FINALLY here!!! The little housewife of a small cottage with auburn hair is ready to meet you! She’s excited to join the Melissa Jacie Paper Doll family and is also looking forward to playing with you!
The era of her clothes is inspired by the early twentieth century, 1903, and are based from McCalls patterns from that time period!
Click Here to Download Ruth Ann Harrison
Also, there is something exciting coming next Monday!! So stay tuned!

Practical Ways to Study from Life – 4 | Tuesday Tips

Posted by on Sep 30, 2014 in Art Journal, Tuesday Tips & Art Tips | 3 comments


And this is our last post in the series of posts on practical ways to study from life! You can view the Introduction, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 if you’d like a refresher on what we’ve already covered! Today we’re going to talk about motivation.

Tip 3: Stay Motivated

If you’re anything like me, sometimes motivation to actually get up and do it can be hard to come by. So in this post I’m going to list some ideas on how to stay movtivated, and then you can share your ideas in the comments!!

Ways to Stay Motivated


– Pray!

Make your sketching from life start with prayer. Pray for help in staying consistent, for ideas, for guidance and for inspiration.

– Look at Other Artists’ Work

Carefully select some artists that you admire and be inspired by their artwork. It is a good idea to ask one of your parents to help you make your selection. (Your parent can protect you from inappropriate artwork.) Study what the artists do and ask yourself questions as you study. How did they create the leaves? What kinds of brush strokes or pencil strokes did they do? How did they handle the lighting?

– Get Connected with Other Artists

Find some artists that you can get connected with and share what you’re working on with them. Ask if they’d like to share on a regular basis and perhaps decide on challenges to complete together.

– Become Accountable

Commit to doing a sketch a week and have someone hold you accountable to see that it gets done. You could even start a mentorship with an artist you admire and ask them for advice, assignments and guidance in your work.

What are your ideas on how to stay motivated? I’d love to hear them!!