Secret Solstice Gifts: Boston Terrier ATCs

Joy's Boston Terriers 2.5" x 3.5" ink and watercolor on Illustration board
© 2014 Mellanie Collins
Joy’s Boston Terriers
2.5″ x 3.5″
watercolor and markers on Illustration board

Happy Solstice everyone!  The year is just clicking by isn’t it?

A couple of months ago I signed up for a Secret Solstice swap on my one of my mail art trading sites:  It’s like a Secret Santa, only we do it in the spring.  Each participant is assigned a person to make gifts for.  Fortunately each person fills out a profile detailing the sorts of things they’d like to receive.  My gift recipients opened their gifts earlier this month so now I can share the art I made for them.

I agreed to make little gifts for three people.  My gift category was “mini” meaning I would agree to make a smallish art piece (like a 4×4 chunky page or a 5×7 or postcard sized painting) and then some candy or ephemera that they might like.

I was thrilled when I found that I had been assigned to make something for Joy Northrop (she makes fun mixed media collage pieces).  I had just made an ATC trade with her and I knew she loved Boston Terriers so it was fun to make a couple more dog drawings for her.  I liked how they turned out.  I was tempted to keep them.


More gifts to come!


More Ink and Watercolor: Looking Forward

ATC:  Looking Forward II
2.5" x 3.5" ink and watercolor

My watercolor experiments continue.  So far my favorite colors for portraits are:

  • scarlet lake
  • raw sienna
  • golden yellow
  • french ultramarine
  • violet
  • a touch of burnt sienna

I mix scarlet lake and raw sienna on the palette for the base color.  After that I go wet into wet and and apply an individual color on the painting moving it around to see how it looks.  I let it dry for a bit and then apply another color.

I’m getting so excited about this medium!  Do any of you have any favorite instruction videos to recommend?  If you could leave them for me  in the comments section I’d really appreciate it.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Ink and Watercolor Wash: Back to Sketching


I had been neglecting my sketchbook so I got out my dip pen and did a bunch of sketches.   The best of the bunch is this cartoon of my husband.  I found a picture that I had taken of him more than ten years ago and took a few liberties with it.  I applied an indigo watercolor wash because coolness of the color seemed to match his expression.

It felt so good to just let go and not worry about the outcome or even finishing the thing. Coming back to my sketchbook is a lot like coming home after a long trip spent in too many hotel rooms.

I’m a Winner! Thanks Karen Blados!

Karen Blados ink and watercolor

© Karen Blados

4″ x 6″ postcard print

Artist Karen Blados recently celebrated her 500th blog post with an art giveaway.  I’ve been following her daily journal post on her Flickr pages for about a year and just recently subscribed to her blog.   She’s one of my inspirations for illustrated journalling.   Being such a big fan, I had to enter for a chance to win one of her pieces.

I was so jazzed when I got an email from Karen telling me I’d won one of the three items.  As luck would have it, I received the one I liked the best.  It’s a postcard print of an ink and watercolor wash drawing.   I’m starting the year on a lucky roll.  I’ll see where it takes me.

EDM#201 – Draw a Stapler

watercolor on moleskine

I thought I would round out the week by posting an Everyday Matters challenge.   These are great for my watercolor practice.  I’m actually not doing too badly with my watercolor experiments.   I’m so proud of myself.  At the beginning of the year I swore that no one could ever convince me to try watercolor.  Now I’m just naturally attracted to it.  It must just be the right time…

Having a Merry, Merry Time

2.5" x 3.5"  pen and watercolor wash
2.5" x 3.5" pen and watercolor wash

This has been a great season for me.  Usually I fall into major winter funks that always seem to coincide with the few weeks before Christmas.  This year is different.  Maybe it’s because I’m spending so much time drawing and painting.  All that creative energy flowing seems to push away any funky feeling.   It’s really so important to find time to spend on things you love doing.   Make the time.   It’s always worth it.

Here’s a little self-portrait artist trading card (ATC).  I like this expression a lot.  It seems to be somewhere between naughty and nice.   My husband was nice enough to tell me that I actually look like this.   What a nice guy!