Secret Solstice Gifts: A Cowboy for Joan

© 2014 Mellanie Collins 4" x 6"  watercolor and markers
© 2014 Mellanie Collins
4″ x 6″
watercolor and markers

Here is the last gift for the Secret Solstice gift swap that I participated in last month.  This was the one I was most nervous about.  This cowboy painting was for my new art pal Joan.  At some point we had done an ATC trade and she had requested a cowboy drawing.  I made her a little pen drawing with a lot of hatching.  She liked it, so I thought I would surprise her with a larger cowboy painted in color.   The problem was I hadn’t worked in color for quite a while and I wasn’t sure if I could get my groove back by the mailing deadline.  But fortunately, I pulled it together and made some decent color choices. I sure would like to get more comfortable with the medium though.

Joan told me how much she liked the painting.  Boy, was I relieved.

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Fall is here. Back to Blogging…

ATC:  Langelbleu (traded)

Hello there! Can’t believe it’s September already. Now that summer is almost over I feel a little more like spending more time at the computer. I’ve spent most of August trading a lot of custom portraits on atcsforall.com and illustratedatcs.com. It’s been challenging and fun.

Here’s one of the cards that I made for a trade on illustratedatcs.com.  I like the way the eyes turned out in this portrait. I’m still not comfortable with watercolor, but it’s not bad. Just a year ago I was so terrified of watercolor. I’m so glad I decided to just get over myself and give it a try. Perhaps I’ll be able to take a class next year, but right now I’m just going with my instincts.

I’ll post a few more of these portrait cards next week.

Thanks for stopping by!

Every Day in May: Day 21 – Mysterious Man ATC

2.5" x 3.5" watercolor
2.5" x 3.5" watercolor

Here’s another artist trading card.   I was watching  an old movie called  Ten Minutes to Live , which is a 1932 independent film by African American film director Oscar Micheaux.  It was included in a box of public domain DVDs we bought a while back.  There was this scene where the villian is coming down a flight of stairs.  I loved the way it was lit, so I paused the film and made a rough value map and a quick sketch altering his features to make him a more romantic sort of mysterious stranger.  Later I did this drawing and painted it with indigo blue watercolor.

Every Day in May: Day 20 – Portrait ATC

2.5"x3.5"  watercolor and colored pencil
2.5"x3.5" watercolor and colored pencil

I’ve been spending the last few days just making cards.   I have a long list of requests.    I’m expecting a flurry of cards to arrive  in the next few days.    It’s so wonderful to get something in the mail besides bills and yet another flyer trying to convince me that cable TV will complete me.

Every Day in May: Day 12 – More ATCs

2.5" x 3.5" watercolor and colored pencil
2.5" x 3.5" watercolor and colored pencil

I’m still working on this dreaded IllustratedAtcs.com PAT.    One of the themes is the Welsh goddess-queen  Rhiannon.  She has a pretty sad tale.   Her child disappeared when she was asleep and her ladies-in-waiting, fearing they would be blamed,  killed a puppy and smeared the blood on Rhiannon while she was sleeping.  They them laid the bones around her to make it look like she killed her own child.  Dang,  those Welsh myths are pretty gruesome. Well, she was punished and forced to spend her days sitting by the gates of her castle  and carry guests up to the castle on her back.

Well I came up with this.  As you can see, I’m no illustrator.  Rhiannon is associated with a white horse and the number 7 so I included them in the picture in an attempt to identify her.  Well, two more to go.

Every Day in May: Day 11 – Playing Catch-Up with ATCs

2.5" x 3.5" watercolor
2.5" x 3.5" watercolor

I’ve been working on sketches for cards I have due soon.  I’ve been having a heck of a time.  I signed up for something called a PAT or Pick-a-Theme.  You sign up for a group (usually about 5 people) and each group member chooses a theme for the others to work on.   Well, when I signed up for it two months ago I was all for moving out of my comfort zone and not being afraid, yadda, yadda…Anyway, now they are due soon and I’m panicking!

I’ve been making sketches, which I will not share, and I managed my first card on Monday.  It’s supposed to be a “wisdom-filled crone.”   I think I did pretty well considering I was working from my imagination.  Maybe she looks more cynical than wise.  I don’t know.

Well, three more cards to go.

Every Day in May: Day 7 – Incomplete Watercolor Portrait

8"x10" watercolor
8"x10" watercolor

I’ve been working on this for a few days. I’m getting close finishing it.  I’m still trying to figure out what to do with the background.  The hair needs work as well.   Heck, I’m still just trying to figure out watercolor.  I get some good effects, but they just seem so accidental.  I want to know what I’m doing!!!!  Argh!

*Whew*  Tantrum over.   No point in stressing about it.

I’m putting this aside for a few days and coming back to it.

ATC: Self-portrait in Indigo

2.5" x 3.5"  watercolor
2.5" x 3.5" watercolor

For a recent trade I was asked to do an artist trading card of half of a face.  So I used the least expensive and most available model I know–me!

ATCs: Lillian Gish

2.5" x 3.5"  watercolor
2.5" x 3.5" watercolor

I made these cards for a trader who liked my Buster Keaton card.  She asked if we could trade Lillian Gish cards.    I’ve seen lots of her silent movies and  find her face fascinating so I agreed immediately.  I decided to use the trade as an opportunity to practice a little brush work and move away from markers. These cards were done with Ultramarine and Indigo watercolors.

2.5" x 3.5"  watercolor
2.5" x 3.5" watercolor

Lillian Gish (1893-1993)  made 119 movies from 1913 through 1987.   Most of her films were silent.  One of her more famous (or rather infamous) films was D.W. Griffiths The Birth of a Nation (1915).