New Website with Online Graphite Course!

Come check out my new website, constancereeder.com, and my very first Online Graphite Course coming up on August 1, 2017!

I would love you to consider joining me as I put this course together and prepare to offer it to you this summer of 2017!

Trio Graphite Course

You can click on the image to the right and follow instruction to register for the class or just let me know that you would like to receive more information as it becomes available.

Thank you so much for visiting this blog and reading along in my journey to becoming a botanical illustrator. This year will be fun with lots of new things in store and I love that you are along with me for the ride!

Blessings!

Constance

The Storyteller’s Art Class

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I have been taking this wonderful on-line class with Robin Laws called “The Storyteller’s Art Class” and I am really loving the techniques that she teaches so well.

We are working with acrylic paints and an acrylic glazing medium, and I specifically used Liquitex Glazing Medium.  So far we have made story cards and a fancy box to store the story cards in, and have painted our first storyboard painting which I have now completed.

I wanted to take some time to share the last step of my first storyboard painting which I completed just now while I took pictures.  I love my finished painting but this last technique, although a little scary, adds so much to the overall look.

Here is a picture of my finished storyboard before I did the last step:

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I really love the look of this painting using a simple palette of only 4 acrylic paints; i.e., True Blue, Van Dyke Brown, Yellow Ochre all by Folk Art and Titan Buff Fluid Acrylic by Golden, as well as white Gesso.

But now I’m about to show you the last step, that frankly, when I saw Robin do for the first time, I immediately decided to skip that step!  I just didn’t want to take the chance after putting so much time into making a piece of art 🙂 Well, as you will see, I changed my mind and went for it! 🙂

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I used wax paper, 50/50 of Van Dyke Brown and Glazing Medium, a medium flat brush, and baby wipes.

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After my painting was completely dry, using my flat brush I mixed the paint and glaze then painted over my entire DRIED painting – Then I let it sit for about 1 minute.

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After one minute, I took one of my baby wipes (I used four total)…

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and began wiping off the glaze mix…

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I decided that I wanted the Bride to stay white, so I wiped her off first and then proceeded to wipe away the glaze around her moving outward, leaving most of the glaze mix around the edges…

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I decided to add another layer of the glaze mix, just around the edges and waited another minute before wiping again…

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You can see how I was able to keep the Bride fairly white…

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It’s kind of messy, but it’s fun and I love how it turned out!!!!

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I absolutely love the end result and can’t wait to continue on with my class – There’s still so much to learn about Storytelling with Robin Laws 🙂  

Here are my before and after glazing pictures:

Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance

You may also like to read: A Beautiful Day! with beginning photos of this painting 🙂

 

A Beautiful Day!

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Today was such a beautiful day!  The day before Spring and it was 60 degrees and I just had to play outside all day 🙂  First thing this morning I checked to see if my five new chicks did fine through the night in their first outdoor run – and of course I found them happy and playfully enjoying themselves in their new (temporary) home.

As you already know if you follow my blog, I have an established flock of chickens – one rooster and nine hens:

“Big Red” – a Road Island Red Rooster
“Tori” (named after Queen Victoria of England) –  White Plymouth Rock
“Brahma Girl” – a Light Brahma Cochin
“Lacey” – a White Laced Cochin
“Egger Allen” (named after Edgar Allan Poe) – an Easter Egger
“The Aussie Girls” – five Black Australorps

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Here’s an interesting picture I accidentally took of three of my chickens…

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I purchased the five new chicks when they were just one day old and they are now six weeks.  In ten more weeks (16 weeks old) I will be adding them to the rest of the flock.  But for now, they have moved from my 6 foot long brooder to their very own little chicken run with homemade coop and heat lamp.  There are three Easter Eggers, one Golden Laced Wyandotte and one Mottled Java – all of which I hope are hens and seem to be so far 🙂

In May I have three more Light Brahma Cochins coming!  I can’t wait for these three because they are so adorable with their feathered feet (you can see Brahma Girl’s feathery feet in the picture above) and they have the cutest personalities, even when full grown. Our Brahma Girl is like the little princess of our flock!

Later this week I will write a blog post on how to add new chickens to your existing flock and tell you all about what I have done so far to make it as much of a SimplyLiving transition as possible for all involved.  It should be VERY interesting indeed!

Enough about my chickens.

I also spent a lot of time outside just tidying up after the winter months and the crazy wind and rain storm we had last weekend.  I put pretty pink flowers in pots for the patio, washed down the outdoor table and chairs and put them out. Set up my new bird bath (a personal early Mother’s Day gift), swept and raked all the wondering leaves, and laid down some fresh bark. Just Heavenly!

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This evening I had some fun indoors as well while I continued working on a painting I’m doing for a new class I’m taking.  If you haven’t heard about it – I HIGHLY recommend the class and the teacher!  Robin Laws is a most excellent storyteller and artist who has totally caught me off guard by her wonderful class called “The Storyteller’s Art”.  Even though this class is currently sold out, you can get on her waiting list and again, I highly recommend doing so.  You can click on the blue link to get on her list.

This class has truly brought a new kind of joy into creating art for me.  It has helped me to give life to my paintings through storytelling in a way I have never thought to do. I’m so glad I took the time to take this class!

Below are some pictures of things I have made in The Storyteller’s class so far:  A special Story Card Box, my personal Story Cards, and my first Storyboard – which I absolutely love working on – and I’m still not done  🙂

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And here’s what I added to my Storyboard painting today:

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When I’m finished with the class, I will tell you the story behind the paintings I create and more about the characters, including the observer in the window of the church…

It reminds me of a song by Leeland, “Pure Bride” , have you heard it? – You’ll want to click on this link and listen all the way to the end because there’s a great question we should all ask ourselves. It’s beautiful!

Well blessings for the first day of Spring to you all! With the Sweet Love of Jesus your way…

Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance

You may also like to read “The Storyteller’s Art Class” to see the finished painting.

Are They Worth It?

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In the past couple years I have been taking notice once again of a life-long passion I have had for the arts.  I grew up anticipating that I would some day become an interior decorator because I thought that would fulfill my desire to work with and be surrounded by color. But as I approached college days, I made some other choices that led me in a direction that used my organization skills instead.  As always, God knew just what He was doing and it all worked out well with me ultimately becoming a stay-at-home, homeschooling Mom.  Best job EVER! 🙂

As a Mom I continued creating colorful things, painting pictures for my new baby’s room, crocheting, cross-stitch, sewing – basically anything that brought color into our home and relieved me of my deep, deep desire to create.

Many of you can probably relate to my post so far, and I wonder, have you considered taking online art courses, but find that you are just not sure where to begin and if they will be worth the money?

Just in case you are wondering, I wanted to take some time and write a post on my recent experience with online art classes.  I consider myself to be a sort of connoisseur since I have taken so many classes as of late and would love to share my experiences with you – I hope you don’t mind… 🙂

One of the first classes I took that really changed my art and helped me get excited about mixed media was Cathy Bluteau’s class called “It Takes A Village”.  I loved her class and give it 5 stars!  This is one of three projects I made in her class:

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“HomeSweetHome” by Constance

Here’s the link to the class I took with Cathy:  It Takes A Village

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After taking Cathy’s class I was on a roll and wanted to find some more great art classes to take.  While searching, I came across Jeanne Oliver and found many wonderful classes of which I have now taken 14! Jeanne’s Network consists of many wonderful art teachers and many of the classes she offers are free.  As a matter of fact, it was in a free class that I learned how much I loved working with white Gesso, Charcoal and Stabilo pencils.  I easily give all of the classes I have taken in Jeanne’s Creative Network 5 stars and I can’t wait till I have the time to take more!  Here’s a recent portrait I created with just one of the skills I have learned from Jeanne…

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“With All Your Heart” by Constance

Here’s the link to the courses that Jeanne offers:  My Creative Network

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Around that same time, I came across a tutorial by Ivette Newport on Pinterest and checked it out.  I remember loving Ivy’s free video on creating a Plaster of Paris cover for my art journal so much that I just had to take a class from her.  Well since then I have taken two amazing classes:  Flight & Feather and Shades of White.  I give both of these classes 5 stars and highly recommend both of them.  I simply cannot wait to be able to take another of her classes and I would love to go on one of her art retreats someday as well!  I learned so much from these two classes, but something I did that was really special was finish the Plaster of Paris cover to my art journal.  Ivy showed me how to cover this mixed media art I made with hot encaustic bees wax!!!  It is truly sublime!!!!!  You just have to try it for yourself!

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My Art Journal

Here’s a link to Ivy’s courses:  Ivy Newport Art Classes

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One last class I want to talk about is with Kara Bullock, called Let’s Face It, 2016.  I have never taken a class quite like this, in that we are given a new project to work on each week over 50 weeks.  It is an all portrait class taught by many artists and each one brings a different perspective and technique to creating a portrait.  I am only in my fourth week of this class, but Kara Bullock is amazing me with her organization skills of over 16 art teachers and over 650 students, online, all together in one place creating some of the most amazing portraits I have ever feasted my eyes upon!!! WOW! is truly all I can say!  After this course is over, I know I will never be the same creative in so many wonderful ways!  I give this course 5 stars for every week we go through – and that’s a lot of stars!!  Here’s a portrait I created with Petra Stein just one of the many wonderful guest artists on Let’s Face It, 2016:

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“PetraGirl” by Constance

Here’s the link to Kara Bullock’s Art Classes – and it’s not too late to join her “Let’s Face It, 2016”!  I highly recommend it 🙂  Kara Bullock Art

Well, there you have it.  If you would like to see more classes I have taken or would like to take in the future, you can see my wish list HERE.  I hope you will check out these wonderful artists and the many amazing online courses they offer – you really owe it to yourself to try at least one of them and grow in the artistic you in 2016!

Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance

Learning a New Art Technique!

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threehearts2I have been taking a new online art course called “Scribble Art” and I have come to a video that presents a new technique that I found quite difficult.  In fact it was so difficult that I threw a fit and put it all away for a few days!

Well, I’m glad that my friend, Victoria, encouraged me to try it again and also suggested that I look at some illustrations from “Mr. Gumpy’s Outing” on Amazon.  It wasn’t until today that I decided to take her advice, but I’m glad that I did.  It was inspirational and I quickly set out to pick my own picture to practice on.  I chose this card I drew and painted last year at harvest time.

Photography by Constance of SimplyLiving101.com

Harvest Card by Constance of SimplyLiving101.com

Photography by Constance of SimplyLiving101.com

Crosshatching, Double Crosshatching & Directional Line Drawing Video – “You have to make yourself uneasy at times to make a drawing/painting successful.” – Leslie Toms

Photography by Constance of SimplyLiving101.com

“When it’s hard, it only means we have to try harder to make it work; but hard work always pays off!”       –  Constance

Photography by Constance of SimplyLiving101.com

You can join this online art course through Jeanne Oliver’s Creative Network. Look for the “Scribble Art” course with Julie Johnson! It’s a fun class that I definitely recommend 🙂

Please take time to leave a comment below – I love hearing from you.
Also, you can “Like” me on any of the social medias you might enjoy below or on my SimplyLiving101 Facebook page in the right side bar —-> 🙂


Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance

Driftwood Girl

Banner3333333threehearts2You may remember a while ago I painted a picture in my SimplyLiving Art Journal of a girl, that I was practicing to eventually put on a piece of driftwood.

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I had gone on a short drive with my kids along the Puget Sound and picked up some driftwood along the beach.  Of course being in the Puget Sound, the wood was all very wet, through and through and I had to sit it out to dry for quite a while.

Once the driftwood dried out, I was able to sand it down using a 150 grit sand paper.  I then covered it with a light coat of Clear Gesso to prep it to receive paint. I planned to use my Stabilo pencil, charcoal, acrylic, and watercolors.

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Using the original painting in my art journal as a guide, I used my sharpened Stabilo pencil to draw a rough image onto the driftwood.  At first, it was hard to get the hang of it, because it’s a much smaller area to be drawing eyes, nose and mouth on. There are also the natural cracks and crevices of the driftwood to work around.  It was a fun challenge though, and I like the results.

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Driftwood Girl by Constance of SimplyLiving101.com

Driftwood Girl by Constance of SimplyLiving101.com

Driftwood Girl by Constance of SimplyLiving101.com

If you are interested in the class that I am taking to learn how to do this, you can visit Jeanne Oliver’s Creative Network and find the class titled “Nature’s Canvas” with Tania Bain.  I have really enjoyed it and there are still many more projects to do.

I pray blessings for you to have a wonderful day with our Lord Jesus Christ.  Please join me in a prayer of healing for my beloved sister-in-law who needs healing from cancer. Together we will ask of the only One who can heal her.

“Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed;
Save me and I will be saved,
For You are my praise.”
Jeremiah 17:14

Constance

Faces on Sticks?

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I am taking an on-line course called “Nature’s Canvas” by Tania Bain on the Jeanne Oliver Design Creative Network and I am loving it so much, I just had to tell you!  I went for a drive along the Puget Sound beach with my two youngest kids today, and collected some drift wood.

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Here’s where the fun begins.  But before I can begin this fun, that I haven’t told you about yet, I have to do some face painting practice…

This is my first face and I’m so glad I put her in my SimplyLiving Art Journal because I think she turned out so cool!

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Now I just have to get her on one of my pieces of wood.  If all goes well, I will show you that tomorrow – Hopefully! 🙂

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Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance