Day 48!! #jyportraitchallenge

Lori @rubysshoes1

Popped out of bed at 7 am when I saw this sweet face. But 1st I got KOW-FEE as Al would say.

Otherwise no time for art today. Hmm she could go pinker.

Color is somewhere between the multiple pics. Annoying iphone camera messes w ths color.

Sorry forgot to take pics!!

TIP: Bytw i found out u can erase watercolor pencil and smear it to get rid of the pencil lines. Who knew?

Watercolor pencil in my stillman and birn alpha Thanks! Judith and Lori @rubysshoes1

An odd choice

Trying to loosen up some. Posting the process of this drawing. Day 5 done. #jyportraitchallenge! @mychorrhizal_arts #stillmanandbirnalpha #prismacolorartstix #portrait #portraitchallenge #portrait #dailydrawingprompts #peoplesketching #sketchingideas #challenge
When u arent invested in the subject its a good chance to loosen up.
Hmm. As i said not invested and hanging loose.
Almost done. Really should fix the ribbing on this sweater but why?! Rather play with the beard and udon’t want to spend too much time on this sketch.
Calling him done at least for the moment. prismacolor art stixs faber Castell watercolor pencils and 1 white prismacolor pencil. Where oh were are they ?! Stillmanandbirn alpha 8×10”
Worked on her some more trying to get rid of the yellow. Used a prismacolor pastel stick on her teeth. How dod i not notice i didn’t center her teeth on her nose. Duh?! The neck is not that dark. Chalking it ip to the stupid iphone.
A presie from a friend. Love it.
And doesn’t this photo of my grandmother remind you of the sketch of Emily metalksin Will repost it below!
Grandmother always did think she was a vamp.

Margaret done for the night. xoxoxoxo

When you draw in the dark

Day 3 #jyportraitchallenge @juttama_rie She might get a little to yellow even for a cancer survivor. But isnt she joyful?! Also a gusty woman going public with her baldness. LOVE Her!! Makes interesting art too. Her page is mostly in German so good luck with that. She has a few en francais which i could read most of.
And oh my goodness does not Emily metalskin do a great vamp. Reminds me of my grandmother who was young in the 1920s. Have long admired Emilys modeling sessions on judith yaws page. Judith who lives in the Asheville are holds lifemodeling sessions via zoom for $15. She does them via zoom I think. Never quite got around to them. Maybe i will soon because her models are outstanding.

Stillman and birn alpha journal Prismacolor art sticks w some Faber Castel watercolor pencils.

Margaret xoxoxox

30 day portrait challenge

Judith Yaws @judithyaws is doing a 30 day portrait challenge on ig @jyportraitchallenge Shes posting awesome photo references for the challenge. Thought i would join my friend Ruth @britpeach in this challenge.

Day 1 done. 10-15 min drawing. 8×10” stillman and birn alpha w prismacolor artsticks #jyportraitchallenge #portraitchallenge #prismacolorartsticks #stillmanandbirnalpha Thanks @prettywackbeats
Day 2 Done. Did i say i started out three behind?! Hope to be caught up by Saturday. Took too long on this one but she is interesting so fun to do. Hard to maneuver the artsticks which are conte crayon shaped prismacolor pencils no wooden case. No sharp edges on them. Hmmm gotta be a way around that. Thanks!@artzkt83
Cant wait to do this one tomorrow. Love her look.
Using these prismacolor artstixs. Hard to tell where the flat edge is so that causes problems. Wondering of breaking them into pieces would help?! Might just get out my colored pencils and use them when i need a straight exact line like for the eyes or the edge of the face. Now where did i put my colored pencils. Hmmm.

These are done by drawing the large shapes first then the details. I am bad abt starting with the outline and details then filling it in like a color book so trying to change. If Mary Whyte can draw the big shapes first so can i?!

Peaches visiting at our house with our sister in law. Sweet puppy but big feet. You know what that means?!

Margaret xoxoxo


You can hear the pilleated woodpeckers hammering away when u go out in our yard. And we do have all of these woodpeckers in our yard too. I almost got a pic of a pilleated today but he was too fast for me. Watercolor ink neocolor ii oil pastels. In other words i used all my toys!
However I did get some great osprey pics on out boat ride this evening. They are nesting on the railroad trestle at the end of our neighborhood.
The osprey did not like the boat bear their nest. You could hear them shrieking til we drove off.
There were three nests on the trestle but only seems to be one active now.
All in all a nice river ride. More tomorrow. Margaret xoxoxox

A lazy Saturday

Drawing at the Farmers Market this am. Thought I would get it colored BUT couldn’t find my caran dache neocolor ii.
It was a gorgeous morning blue sky temps hit 80. Perfection for a spring day in the south.

I was hoping to sketch when we got to Aiken and I schlepped the big sketchbook and the neocolor now found in my purse along with an assortment of pens and pencils. Well I am now ready for the next happening l, right?

I did manage to get some nice riders and horse when we rode thru the horse district. Maybe a future painting?!
Then it was outside watching the river float by hoping for an osprey pic which was not to be. A perfect day all in all. Hope yours was as lovely. Margaret xoxoxox

A history with birds

Worked on the goose some more. Funny thought about my bird drawing. I remember in third or fourth grade making bird books. Probably traced the birds and copied the descriptions. All in pencil because god forbid the kid had an ink pen. She might be lethal then. Evidently the bird affair is a long standing one with me.

Funny the things you forget til something jogs your memory. The jog was an old paper my brother wrote about the brown thrasher the Ga state bird. It was in a bag of papers my mom saved for him that I need to mail to him along with his less than stellar report cards. His daughters will enjoy those. I for one would have loved to see my dads.

The goose before i worked on jt some more. You know i think the neck is too short. Odd. I watch geese alot. I should know better. This was not deliberate like the neck of the heron. Hmm the things u dont notice when u r in the heat of drawing.

Drawings are all done w watercolor, Caran dache neocolor ii,some prismacolor art sticks in an 8×10” stillman and birn alpha. NO PENCIL drawings aka direct painting. All done with a watercolor base first.

I have alot of trouble telling the difference in these two birds when they come to the feeder. So do others. Alot of people identify them both as flickers. Like my mom a bird nut if there ever was one. These two birds sure did get cute. Except for the ink smear. No idea where that came from.
In my dreams they would all be as good as this crow. Something to strive for right?!!

Anyway enough birdie thoughts. Nite note Margaret xoxoxo

Sandi Hester and some birds

I ran across Sandi, a terribly charming Nashville TN artist, when I subscribed to her substack An Artists life a few weeks ago. I am kind of hooked on her entertaining youtube feed. She talks about everything from art supplies to art books and how to lake the most art possible. I could spend entirely too much money with her helpful tips. Oops. Been trying to swear off art supply buying.

Having fun playing in my big 8×10” Stillman and Birn alpha. Watched a youtube by Sandi Hester who said leave everything set up so all you have to do is sit down and draw something. So I did. Something i had been meaning to do anyway. She suggested drawing birds from a book but i have so many pics on my phone I don’t need to. Somehow I discovered that they are NOT Canadian Geese but actually Canada Geese. Too late. I had already written the name. Sigh.
Anyway this is done with all that leftover watercolor from pouring and Caran dache neocolor II. Oh and Moltow paint markers. A true mixed media bird.

Was just thinking of the diff in these two birds and WHY did i like the heron best? I drew the goose with caran dache and sprayed it to wet the color. I used the watercolor in the background with a big Chinese brush wet on wet with cobalt and indigo. Smack smack and it was done.

The egret was painted first with the cad yellow light indigo and raw sienna. The water is cobalt. I let the bird dry and then drew on it with the neocolor ii. Too much fun. The grass is neocolor ii and prismacolor art sticks. The water. I got the tipples by folding a kleenex w a knife edge dragging it croswise in the paint. It lifts it and leaves a wave. Hmm or is it a reflection?!!🧐🧐🧐

And i drew a Great Blue Heron who hangs out on our river bank eating I have no idea what. This is also done with that same endless watercolor, neocolor ii and prismacolor art sticks. And yes hes my fav. I did use my artistic license and shorten its neck so it would fit on the page. Hmm maybe I will do this one again on watercolor paper and slap her in a frame.

Margaret xoxoxoxo

A few more scribbles

Not what i meant to post today. have another painting to pour half way done but got sidetracked spring cleaning. Exhausted i noticed a sunflower volunteering from the bird seed out the den window and drew it.
My silly tortie kept begging for kitty snacks instead of letting me take a nap when i was slowing down. She was below me on the floor so this is a wonky drawing.
Tried out two new pens today that some people recommend for sketching. All are supposedly waterproof. I just felt odd drawing and writing w the bic and the zebra. I dont think the lines are thinner so will stick w my fav uniball micro pens.

Interesting recommendations for your ig feed to improve it from a woman who has a zillion followers. Thinking abt taking her class at the end of the april. Obviously she knows something i don’t know.

From Dina Brodsky! Her Ig is @ dinabrodsky and she has 772000 plus followers! So she must know what she’s talking about!!

Today, a few thoughts on your bio.

Why your bio is important and how to optimize it

  • Instagram is the platform of choice for the art world, and most galleries, collectors and critics will look at your instagram account before they look at your website or CV. Most people’s first impressions are formed instantly, so the first thing to do is to make sure your account is the best possible impression of you as an artist.
  • Your name/handle: make sure this is what you want to be known by in the art world. I would suggest sticking to your actual name, or, if that’s already taken, Yourname_artist, yourname_paintings, etc. Since this is your professional account, keep it professional, rather than charming/whimsical/clever. 

Your Profile Photo

  • Since most people are looking at instagram on their phone, your profile photo might be too small for them to make out. That being said, make sure its a photo of your art, you, or you and your art.

Your Bio

  • This is a place to say a few words about yourself as a person and as an artist. Also, a place to direct people to what’s happening in the link in your bio, which is the most important part of your profile 

Link in bio/website 

Why it’s important:

  • This is the only place on Instagram you can place a live link. This should be the place you direct people to the most important thing happening in your career at the moment  – your next exhibition, a write-up in a major publication, or something actionable like a workshop you’re trying to fill or a studio sale.

Why it’s really important:

  • Did you know that the Instagram algorithm puts a disproportionate weight on whether people click on your link in bio? This means that if you direct people to the link in your post/reel, and they click on it, that post will get prioritized by the algorithm and become visible to more people. 
  • DON’T put lots of links in your bio with tools like Linktree. Less than 1% of your audience will click your link–send them to the ONE place that’s most important to you. 
  • Pro tip: if you do want your link in bio to direct people to several places, don’t do it via Linktree, or other third party apps. Instead make a Links page on your website, like this:

    That way you are driving people to your website instead of a third party app.

Insights For Artists

Dina Brodsky, Boston, MA

31?! Key West Cycles

Pouring after watching a Linda Baker segment on Watercolor live 2023 which has been worth every penny. You really should consider this. Finally finishing it up. We got a 60 day extension which cost $200 more. Cheaper to sign up now than wait. Price increases. So glad Mike talked me into it. U can hit the pause button and do it at your leisure. If u do tell them i sent you. I don’t get a thing i just want them to know i am doing it. Truly a bargain at $297 right now.

I think i love pouring. May make a bigger one of these tomorrow. This is a quarter sheet of fabriano cp artistico. 300#.
The photo i took in Key West. Sucker for bike pics. I have abt 255 of them.
First mask
First pour. Cobalt Yellow ochre raw sienna
Second pour Yellow red and antwerp blue
Pouring indigo. I may have gotten carried away. You add masking before each pour.
I also added a grinder of salt all over it. The small bottle is soap to wash out the masking in the brush. It survived.
Oops getting a little too dark aka too much indigo
The masking off was not a pretty site. I guess i should have take A pic anyway. Adding paint w a brush to get rid of the hard edges left by the masking.
Quitting for now. This is the color it is now. No idea why my iPad pro takes accurate color like this and my iPad phone 13 does not. The phone is so much newer than the ipad. Maybe two years newer?!

Now to do a bigger one. But first the grocery store

Also made a jar Martha Stewarts sweet red onion pickles today. They are pretty even if they don’t taste good aren’t they? will have to try them shortly.

Margaret worn out exhausted w an unmade bed. Sigh. Xoxoxo