Thursday, March 19, 2015

At The Beach In March

I took Maggie to the beach yesterday.
That's downtown Vancouver way in the distance.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring Blossoms

These photos were taken on March 13 while I was walking with Maggie, my little dog.
I used the camera in my iPad Mini and adjusted images with Photo Shop Express APP. A free app which is useful to adjust photos. One thing is for certain. Spring in Vancouver is beautiful.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Sunshine and Spring flowers all over the place. After so many months of grey overcast skies the earth is coming alive again. What a relief!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day dear friends wherever you are. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Ipad Drawing Pad App & Percolator App For Effects

I used an app called Drawing Pad to draw the fist part. Then I took the drawings into Percolator App.
Green Fish - Took a photo of a watercolor green wash into iPad. I brought it into Drawing Pad from Photos and used it as a background. I took an eraser brush and created the fish drawing. I saved the drawing to iPad photos. Then I opened Percolator App and brought green fish up and adjusted Percolator until I found one effect I liked best.
With the second fish, I took a photo of a watercolor wash, saved it ti the iPad photos. Then in Drawing Pad I brought it in as a background. Then I painted black all over the screen on another layer.  Then I erased from the black to create the fish drawing.

Then I saved the image to iPhotos and then into Percolator.

I hope this does not sound complicated. It isn't complicated really.
I recommend one just play and fool around a bit and have fun.

I think anyone with an iPad can play and create. Who knows what one will come up with. Just have fun.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Music and Albert's Old Shoes as a Play

Well I am back to our little book 'Albert's Old Shoes' this month and I am writing a musical play of the story. I suppose I would call it creative process that emerged out of the bleak grey days of Vancouver winter.
Because I am to work with a music teacher this spring in some kind of artistic way, I have a dilemma because I am not certain just what exactly the teacher will be expecting me to do with his grade three class. He is so busy he doesn't wish to discuss anything with me until after spring break.

For me this is hard because I like to plan and prepare for projects and there will not be much time for that part once we are into April. After stressing out and worrying through January, I woke up one morning at four AM with an idea. I will write a musical of Albert's Old Shoes! Brilliant idea you say? I agree. However I have a problem. I have never ever written music let alone a musical. But what the heck! I decided I have nothing to lose. So I am giving it a go.
I have spent the past week with my iPad and Song Writer app and Loopy app and I have been having so much fun!  So even if the teacher never agrees to a musical play idea, I have been learning this wonderful new world of writing songs. They may be awful. But I like them. So there it is.
And best of all, my son Stephen thinks they are 'fun' and since he wrote Albert's Old Shoes in the first place, that is a perfect push ahead for me to stay with it.
I am creating the words with Song Writer and the music by singing with Loopy and adding harmony. Now I need to know how to convert the music sounds to sheet music. And I need to write the play. The pictures above are from the book. I did the illustrations long ago with pencil crayons.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Combination Watercolour and Digital Effect

It has been raining and the sky is so grey and I've been trying to work but there are some days when nothing seems to work out.

I thought I'd post something tonight because my last post, that owl with nowhere to go has been bothering me. I think I might even take him down.

But for now here is a little experiment I did with a salted watercolour, my scanner and the software application Corel Painter. One could do this with other software applications such as Photoshop Elements brushes or Art Rage or Adobe Sketchbook Pro and perhaps even an iPad. I am assuming you have a Wacom tablet connected to your computer with the Wacom tablet stylus pen that comes with it. If you are using an iPad you could use your finger, but better to have a stylus for your iPad for better drawing control. ( To avoid confusion about stylus pens remember An iPad stylus is completely different from a Wacom Tablet stylus.)
Each one of the three images are from the saved scanned and painted file image on the top left. Just remember always to save the base so you can use it over and over again.

Here are the steps.

1. Paint a sheet with two colour washes, let them flow into each other and before it dries shake salt over all of the painting and set it somewhere where it will dry. The salt creates delicate sparkly starry effects. I prefer to use two colours because it is so easy to get mud if you mix three together and I hate mud and I think most artists do as well. 

2. When it is dry, scan your painting into your computer and name it and save it as a jpeg and remember where you saved your file.

3. Open your PAINTER or Photoshop or Sketchbook or whatever your painting/drawing program and then go to FILE and then open your saved jpeg file.

3. Give it a new name and save a few copies of your watercolour in order not to lose that base painting image.

4. Now use the eraser tool brush with a fairly small line and draw shapes into the colours with what is now a white line image.

5. Next remove areas with a larger eraser brush point. You can adjust the eraser point to any size that you want. A large brush is great for removing larger areas.

6. You can create a woodcut effect using this drawing method.

7. REMEMBER TO SAVE your work under a new name and keep the base jpeg painting in case you ever want to use your watercolour image again in a digital manner.

I hope this is helpful to someone out there one day. If anyone has a question I would be glad to answer below.
And for now, the rain pours down into the night. But I can rest knowing I posted something more interesting than that darned owl.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Procrastinator Owl?

I am not sure why this owl appeared today. But I thought I would post this little fellow. I am trying hard to get back to my project which has nothing to do with owls!

I need to focus. I know I am procrastinating.
I thought about getting out the paints but instead I used an old scan of some watercolour paper and I made a digital vector shapes collage using Corel Paint X5.

I cut out shapes, copied and then pasted into CorelDraw bit by bit until I had the owl down.

The original watercolour is rather bleak. The green leaves are from another watercolour and the colour isn't working.
This is my procrastinator owl I think. He is telling me to get back into my other much more important project. Do you ever procrastinate?

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

More iPad Art

This is another demonstration of making art on an iPad with two APPS. Sketch Pad and Percolator.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Making Art With Two Apps

Two of my favorite iPad APPS are Sketch Pad and Percolator.

Here is an example of how easy it is to create a beautiful image from simple image of hearts.
I use an iPad stylus with a fat rubber tip which takes a bit of getting used to.

1. When drawing something like hearts or circles or boxes or whatever tickles your fancy, you will quickly realize how you can control the thickness and color of your lines by adjusting the control boxes on the screen.

2. Once you have a drawing you like, save it to photos.

3.Open Percolator and call it in from your photos files.

4. With percolator you have a variety of controls and many choices about what you want to do with your image.

5. You can save many different versions of your image to your iPad photo files.

Click the image above for a more accurate view.
If this is helpful to you I'd love to know.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

I send my very best wishes to friends out there. May the new year be one of happiness, good friends, great conversations, dreams fulfilled, peace, harmony and creativity.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas was for me

Christmas was for me

  • Making Christmas cards for friends
  • children dressed in costumes for the tableau at the Cathedral
  • a time with family, 
  • time with my grandsons,
  • opening gifts 
  • having the pleasure of watching others open gifts
  • smiles and hugs, 
  • too much good food, 
  • lively conversation,
  • taking photos 
  • making yet another family Christmas movie, 
  • six active and overly excited family dogs, 
and at the end of it all
  • being very tired and 
  • feeling grateful for this time of being alive and living in Canada with such abundance all around us.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Puddle Card

I have been away from drawing and writing for twelve weeks. Now I am so happy to be back! A wrist injury is now pretty much healed. Thank goodness.
I think the days of walking with my dog Maggie in the winter rain are affecting my focus although the sun did shine today. 

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Reindeer & A Tree

It's a little late to be trying to think up a Christmas card design for this year but since it rained today I made myself try and I feel like I have wasted the day ditzing around with this one. However it is at least something to post.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

First November Morning

On the first November morning, there was glorious sunshine. So when I went walking with my little dog Maggie, I took along my camera. Thinking about Picture Book Idea Month I came across this little squirrel as it darted about under Chestnut trees gathering a harvest and I am trying to think of how to create a story idea with him as a character. The remnants of Halloween displays were still in good shape so I took some more photos.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Midnight on Halloween

Happy Halloween again. Spooky witches are finally finished and it is much too late to scare anyone. But at least I managed to post today.
November begins tomorrow with PiBoidMo.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

VSB Artist In Residence Program

It's the time of the year when the new Artists In Residence program booklet is released from the Vancouver School Board. Teachers can browse through the booklet to choose any of the artists to visit their classrooms.
A little video I made of projects with a  kindergarten class at Sir Guy Carleton is on the Fine Arts webpage page. I have already posted the video link on this blog, but I thought I'd post a link to my Vimeo version of it again in case any teachers want to see what happened with the class over five 90 minute sessions over two months. It was a privilege to be working with those wonderful kids.

Incidentally, I designed this year's AIR program booklet cover using the iPad APP CLOUDART along with CorelDraw on my PC to add extra bits.
And the watercolour effect photos are created with photos and the APP Waterlogue for iPad.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I won some books!

It is a rainy soaking day in Vancouver and in spite of the grey outside I had a lovely surprise at noon. Canada Post delivered a package of books which I won in a draw associated with a summer writing event online. Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, a talented writer for children and the host of the event, spent a small fortune for postage to mail them across the border to where I live in Canada. I am thrilled with the books. I am always interested to see what is happening in the Kids Lit world especially since I am trying to write for that world myself.