Idea Maps

I have a bunch of these. Depending on the project I fold the paper in 8 rectangles or 16. Sometimes it’s an idea map and other times it’s a story map. I sketch little page layouts. I use the back for even more pages. I should use only one side and then I can cut up the squares to play around with sequence.

Took me a while to get started but I’m liking where this is going. Ok now I’ll go and research for a mixing color wheel activity for tomorrow.

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Texture Exploration

I borrowed this idea from a watercolor class on skillshare by Ana Victoria Calderon. Oh and the acrylic class. I’ve been searching for the right blue purple galaxy sky. I want to explore black and gray tones to create the desired pink. For making clouds it’s important to allow layers to dry. I’ll share a few ideas for the book cover this weekend, maybe Monday? Then it’s focusing on creative exploration.

Creative exploration is good because you can:

  1. Learn what to do and not to do.
  2. You can discover simple ideas that can make a huge difference in your art.
  3. You relax

Have a good weekend? Please subscribe. Now let me go take a look at my notes and begin the first story map for the next book.

Painting & Practice

Not the post I had in mind b3cause this is even better. For a while, I’ve been wanting to paint nature’s heart shapes. I feel as thought these hearts have always told me,”No matter what, love is here.”

I love nature and naturaly I use lots of blue and green tones. Last nght I painted. The color mixing was great but the flowers and butterfly, not so good. That’s ok because I painted a beautiful flower the day before.

And then I realized…I’m good with mixing color! I enjoy working with watercolor. Watercolor is so free flowing. You can create many tones with one hue. I love transparencies but the vibrancy of an opaque pink and green like the flowers on the left…amazing.

What brings all of this up? I’m taking this watercolor + Gouache+ Acrylic with Ana Victoria Calderon. Gouache is much like acrylic but it works like watercolor. I really like acrylic but sometimes it dries up to fast. Where am I going with all this? I may have discovered how to improve my paintings. I’m not good with painting realisim but I believe color is my talent.

In the coming weeks I will contiune to explore all of these paints and practice. Practice helps you come into your style. I get that now. I have a way to go. I’m soon arriving! I saved tons of heart shapes found in nature. I’II be painting and exploring. The best part is I can use these paintings for my next book, LOVE.

Still working on edits and layout for Different Is Beatiful. The lauch date is April 21. Happy Friday! Thanls for reading! I’d love to see what you are working on? tag me on instagram @hellomireya

Investing In Myself

I’ve been stocking up on supplies. I am gathering my thoughts.

I want to have a book on my shelf that containes all of these easy wonderful textures. I can fill the first pages with my collage animals. I can have pages filled with 50 ways to paint a flower. I can have pages filled with letterforms. These letterforms could be fonts.

On the subject of letter forms, I can paint on colored paper and use various tools to create layered textures.

I was supposed to use these aniamls sketches to creaate my collage animals. At some point this voice said,” oh come on, just draw.”

I just read about rhythm vs. counter rhythm.

I don’t need facny pastels. Certain paints do make a differnece.

I think, say and write these ideas often.

If you want it then never stop fighting. Keep moving. These are the words I read in a Martin Luther King Jr. book. Just what am I doing to frully trully live my freedom? I know I need to invest in myself. How and where I choose to spend my time is a reflection of how I feel about me and my dreams. I apreciate the positive feeback for my books. Your kindness means the world to me. Monday will be a great day to work on the book layout.

I’m reading Think and Grow Rich and all I can say is I’m feeling vulnerable. I know what I want and yet my focus gets lost. It’s time to get real. Have something to say and say it. Go get em’. I’ve got to go.

Book Update & Painting Insects

This book process has been different from the previous books. With the other books I had a summary of the story idea and created from there. This time I’m researching and painting animals.I’m relying more on my curiosity and imagination. I’ve had to review what this book means to me. I’ve always been curious about animals. What they look the way they do. How did they get their names. What’s it like to be them. Weird I know, but when I admire all their color I can’t help but see that it’s natures way of showing us that weird is beautiful. This is what I want my book to be about.

I’m still working on the creative exploration class. I’m learning to work through mistakes by painting and incorporating various tools. I like this. I’ve been finding a quiet place and writing. Even if it’s 10 minutes, I write. I think about why I want to write this book. Then I write. The deadline for this book is December 31.

Animal Sketches + Blending Techniques

I finally started writing today. I have a great starting point. I’ve been painting animals and experimenting with colored pencils.

Yes I’m using Crayola and they’re great for practice. I have found these inktense soft pencils. They’re on my Christmas list. My creative exploration class is about experimentation and finding your style. This class is helping me open up and explore until I find my way… the way Wise Animals needs be illustrated.

I came across blending techniques with pencils. I’ve been sketching animals ever since.

Blending makes pencil drawings look smoth and enhances color. Here’s the video that inspired me. I’ve been doing a lot of creating and it feels good. What are you working on? You can tag me on instagram @hellomireya

Creative Exploration: Animals

Now that I’ve explored textures with water and brushes it’s time to paint some animals. No sketching just paint or what ever it is you have. Project rules are to choose one animal and explore various ways you can draw it. We can change the mood, character and emotion with various elements. There are many ways to draw.

Bird ( This was the warm-up which involved painting a bird with watercolor pencils and marker.

I really had to work through the bird. I had an idea of a flying bird yet it has a fish tale. Not to worry. I may have a story about a bird who looks like a fish. I’m going to seriously think about this. I’ll write about it tomorrow.

First bear on botton left

I wanted to test out some of the textures I created. I messed up on the mouth but this is practice. The importance is I now have a bear who seems sad. Why?

Scary Bear

I love this one. I was instructed to take the brush and spread some paint on the paper. then observe shapes and form a bear. Maybe this bear is misunderstood becasue he’s a bear and unusual.

Draw a bear using geometric shapes (bottom right)

I should have used a better contrasting color.

Use an unusual color and observe changes

Pink makes the bear seem goofy and maybe this could be a story about a bear who changes color.

Big Orange Brown Bear

Love this bear. Here I was able to fully use the texture I discovred with the 1/4 angled Princeton Brush. I believe I have a smaller size brush.

Here are my bears. I admit that I was tempted to give up and call some of these bears faliures. Instead, I let Adolfo’s words guide me. This is practice. Experiment and play like you are a kid. See what happens. You never know where ideas will take you. There’s no perfection. Don’t think.

Hope you enjoyed this. I’ll keep posting and working. This weekend I have a couple of projects planned. I’ll be swatching my new paint palette. I have an fun paiting project to test out my new paint. I’ll be planning the fall workshop. As always, I invite you to create with me.

Oh, I used colored pencils, markers and a little watercolor.

Happy Friday!

Fun + Art History + Creativity

These are some of my supplies. The old Crayola educational set is now filled with Mission, Grumbacher and Cotman. I’m in the process of organizing a new paint palette. Today I didn’t work on the book. Instead I worked on a project for the creative exploration class.

The assignment was to choose an art painting and create variations. I chose Bridge over a pond of Water Lilies. I love nature and I wanted to use various tones of green and pink to convey the majesty and warmth of nature. I mixed up the galleria blue with the green acrylic. It was amazing.

Why this painting exercise? What does this have to do with Road Trip? Adolfo Serra instructs his classmates to play. Gather up as many supplies as you can and create variates of the art. Art is open for interpretation. There are many ways we can choose to express if only we allow ourselves to play.

Today I timed myself for 45 minutes. I sketched with just a pen to observe the shapes. My phone battery was also dying so the screen blanked every 30 seconds. Still I drew. Then I painted. I painted a second variation. I mixed paints. I used a make-up brush to cover up some mistakes. No pencil. No thinking except to choose a tool. I just painted. More importantly, I painted my love for nature.

I realize that I need to take a step back and allow my self to develop, to come into my style. I can do this and I will. Now that I’ve relaxed and had some fun I’ll be ready to finish the book doodles tomorrow.

Eric Carle Collage

…there’s a book inspired by Eric Carle’s collage technique and many MANY watercolor beautiful messes …

There comes a time in every project when you realize it’s time to alter coarse. I wanted to make good use of these messes but it’s hard scanning 140Ib paper.

I said goodbye and recylced most of the lovely textures. It felt weird. And then it hit me. I can keep use some pieces to test ideas. I’ve been seeing lots of collage work these days and today I had to try.

…inspired by a movie quote about making the impossible possible.

This one is inspired by long lazy days writing and sketching. It didn’t work out but I don’t care. I had fun.

Ahh… I long for those days again. The days of me and my Roxy. The summer days will soon be here.

I’ll do much better with thinner paper. Thinner paper will help me layer and scan easier.

I just remembered this Elmer’s liquid glue I saw at Target. It’s Wise Trees all over again!