A Week of Art in LA- Hotel Room

My first art sighting happened to be in out very hotel room. I was so surprised to look out the window and see this beautiful pop art mural. Very cool! Love all the colors :)

Sketches- Watercolor Pencil

This week I worked on some drawings with the new watercolor pencils I got. Enjoy!

Emerald Eye
The Fine Touch Watercolor Pencil
By Vivian

Bejeweled Mermaid
The Fine Touch Watercolor Pencil
By Vivian

New Watercolor Pencils!

I took a trip to Hobby Lobby and was able to purchase some of these watercolor pencils! So cool! The brand I purchased was The Fine Touch. They seem to work quite well and were pretty cheap at the store I went to. If I remember correctly I think they were about $7 or $8 dollars for a set of 24. Here are some pictures. I will post some drawings I did using them so check that out too.

A Week of Art- Matilda at the Ahmanson

I was privileged to get to see the play Matilda at the Ahmanson theatre in Los Angeles. The actors and actresses were all so talented. The composition on the play was overall very whimsical, as well as humorous. I was not allowed to film any of the play (sadly) but I assure you that it was an amazingly artistic play, and a wonderful spin off the book.

A Week of Art in LA

So this week I am taking a trip to Los Angeles, CA, to experience various forms of art and self expression. I am very excited, and look forward to seeing all different forms of art styles and types. I will post each excursion, and be sure to include pictures. Enjoy and don't forget to be inspired!

Blueberry Picking

     My fingers pushed their way into the bush, brushing back spiny leaves and rough branches. My eyes were fixed on the prize, the plump, purple blueberry clinging to a twig in the center of the mass of brambles. Eventually my hand reached it, my purple-stained fingers pulling it out and admiring it. I glanced down at my bucket, then shrugged and popped it in my mouth, enjoying the brief burst of purple, blue, and red flavors that lingered on my tongue. Then I dove my hand back into the bush, grabbing for clusters of fat berries hidden deep in the shady parts of the bush.
     Blueberries are not really blue when you pick them off the bush. They are more a shade of purple. This shade of purple is almost like a powder that entirely coats the blueberry, that starts to rub off as soon as a single finger touches it. That is why the blueberries you buy from the market will always be that rich shade of navy blue, but never the deep blue-violet of the berries still on the bush. They taste different while on the bush too. For one, they are never cold. They bake all day in the hot sun, so by the time they reach your mouth they are very warm. I like them better this way. It almost accentuates the flavors, so that they leave a bright bang in your mouth.
     When partaking in such a monotonous, repetitive activity as picking blueberries, you mind has plenty of time to wander. Mine skipped all the formalities and headed right to the questions of the very universe, puzzling the endless puzzle. Sadly, I quite forget exactly what I was ruminating on, but I do know for a fact that by the time we needed to leave the patch, I had formulated a very rough, if not entirely ridiculous, hypothesis about something.
     But that's beside the point. At the end of the day my stomach was full of warm blueberries and I was hot and sticky and covered in dust and purple stains, but most of all I was content.

Tips - Choosing a Sketchbook

Todays tips are about what I take into consideration when choosing a new sketchbook. Apply these next time you head to the Art Supplies Store to get a new sketchbook.

1. Paper Weight- When choosing you book it's important to consider the different weights of all the options. If you just want to stick to dry medias, you're fine with a lighter weight. 60 lb. is a popular sketchbook weight for dry medias. If you want work with ink in the book than you need a 70 lb. or heavier paper wight. If you want to paint, than 120 lb. or heavier is a good weight.

2. Binding- How do you want your book bound? Spiral bound is the cheapest, but falls apart the easiest. Tape-bound sketchbook are good if you're hoping to tear out your masterpieces, and book-bound ones are the sturdiest and hold up the best. It really depends on how much you plan to abuse your book (personally, I take my sketchbook all over and fill it with things I've picked up for inspiration, so mine gets pretty worn).

3. Paper Texture- Different books will have a larger or smaller tooth on the paper. If you are inking, you want a paper with not much tooth. If you are watercolor painting, you want a bigger tooth. Look into the amount of tooth you need for your art form and use what you find to guide your decisions.

4. Size- How big do you want your book? If you like to do large, scrawling, gestural drawings than you want a fairly big book. if you're thinking of something more portable, like a field sketchbook, go for smaller. Look at all different sizes at the store to get a feel for the size that best suits you.

So I hope these tips help you when picking out your sketchbook. Remember, it's your artwork, so don't feel pressured to choose a specific size or weight because somebody told you it was the best. This is about your preference. You want to be comfortable with your sketchbook.

Also, whenever I get a new sketchbook I write my name, the date I started it, and the number sketchbook it is (I keep track of how many sketchbooks I've had) in the corners of the cover. You might want to consider sticking a return address sticker on it, or writing your address out by hand, so that it could be returned if you misplace it.

My New Art Books

So I got to purchase two new art books, which I am so excited about. Personally I love art books because they give me so much inspiration and always make me want to improve my drawing. So the art books I bought are Fantasy Art Drawing Skills by Socar Myles, and Dreamscapes Magical Menagerie by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. I am especially excited about the Dreamscapes one because I already have the first one, which is just called Dreamscapes, and Stephanie Pui-Mun Law is one of my favorite artists! I simply love her work. I am enjoying both of the books so far, the first one is very informative and has inspiring styles I've never tried before. I really like how Socar Myles makes his work very connected- a lot of the times the piece looks as if it is all one line that weaves itself into different forms and shapes and figures. I think it has a really beautiful and mystical effect. The second one is a great companion to the first Dreamscapes book- the tips can help you create more detailed scenes with more depth that tell a more intricate story. Overall I love both of these books!

Check out Stephanie Pui-Mun Law's website here

Check out Socar Myles' website here

Sketches-Marker & Colored Pencils

So this week in my sketchbook I did a marker study on different desert plants and a marker and colored pencil drawing on Merida from the movie Brave. Enjoy!

Please note that the materials used are not the highest quality and not what I would recommend for the best possible outcome. If I had my choice I'd be using Prismacolor pencils and Copic markers, but those are expensive and I'm still saving up for them. So I just work with Artist Loft for now.

Desert Doodles
Artist Loft Markers and 2B pencil
By Vivian

Artist Loft Colored Pencils and Markers
By Vivian

Free Book Day

Hey everyone-
So the other day the best thing happened. The library at my school was giving out free books for summer reading! It made my day! They were apparently given to the school by a bookstore. Brand new and unused books. And get this- they aren't even published yet! These books are the advanced readers copies, or the pre-edited books. So I got these brand new, unpublished books for free at my school library! How cool is that? Here's the ones I got--Illuminarion and The Empire of Night, which is the sequel to the Serpents Shadow. Sorry the picture's not that amazing- I took it at school.

New Sketchbook- Yay!!

So if any of you are like me than you know that getting to pick out a brand new notebook or sketchbook is one of the most gratifying experiences available to us here on planet Earth. So I was very excited when I finished my old sketchbook (which was literally falling apart- the cover was no longer attached and the rings of the spiral binding were so mixed up and unwound I'm surprised the entire thing didn't just randomly explode in my backpack) I was so excited to take the trip to Michaels and choose a new one. After pouring over all the different options for a long time, I ended up choosing this Strathmore Mixed Media spiral bound sketchbook. It's 5.5x8.5 inches (14x21.6 cm) with 90 lb. paper. I wasn't to sure about the paper weight at first since you are usually supposed to have a weight of 120 lb. or higher for wet medias, like watercolor. But it says its good for wet and dry media so we'll see how it goes. It's a nice tiny size which I like better since it is easier to carry around. Hopefully the binding will stay in place this time. There were no mixed media sketchbooks that weren't spiral bound so I had to go with this, but it seems to be holding up ok so far. Besides the horrid cover (honestly, mustard yellow? Who designs these things?) I think its an overall good sketchbook.

Good Drawing Book

This is a great drawing book for people with drawers block. It's full of blank pages with small captions in the corners that give you seemingly random subjects to draw. From skeletons to computers, this book will have you sketching it all. I think it's a great exercise to practice drawing all sorts of things, instead of staying in your comfort zone (which I am guilty of doing). I'm about one-third of the way through, and hope to finish the whole thing. I take it on vacations with long plane rides or car rides and work on it.

Thoughts to Think About

Hey viewers--
Sorry I missed posting stuff the last few days-I've had TONS of studying to do for finals and not much time to do anything artistic. But this is me we're talking about, and I'm always artistic, even if it's just in my head. The thing is, I think it's pretty much physically impossible for me to be awake and aware without being creative. I think the imagination part of my brain is just permanently working over time. So even though I was supposed to be pouring over math notes for my test, my mind was also solving more interesting and relevant (ok maybe not but in my world they are) problems. Or at least considering them. So here's a couple things I  was mulling over this week. Let your imagination do what it will with them.

You know how in the Narnia series there's that whole in between world that Polly and Digory go to using the rings, with all those puddles that lead to different universes and whatnot? Well I have a theory that that's essentially what a library or a bookstore is. It's an in between world that you can go to, and all the books are the different pools that you can jump into to visit different worlds. And the only rings you need are your imagination and the ability to read. Isn't that awesome?

Music is the only language the whole world speaks.

Art is rebelling against the rebels. My friend said this. I think it's pretty funny, but also pretty true.

Technically, as a non-conformist, aren't you conforming to the non-conformist criteria, which is not conforming? So really you're still a conformist. I think that's kind of a weird paradox.

A new box of markers has magical powers that so far seem to be able to solve almost any problem.

If you're looking for something and you're  not sure what it is, it is almost certainly God.


I spent yesterday at the beach tide pooling! There were so many beautiful animals--and lots of tar from the recent oil spill on the coast. Seeing all these amazing works of nature really made me reflect on how we need to work together as a planet to save our wildlife from oil spills and other human-caused disasters. These creatures need our help! Here are some pictures of the trip--might be fun to do a watercolor or sketch of one of these. Enjoy! <3

 Beautiful day!

 Panorama of the beach.

Barnacles and sea anemones.

Sea Anemones

Mussels clinging to the slippery rocks.

In the tide pool.

Ocean view

 Hermit Crab!

Look at that beautiful sea hare. We got to stroke its back. It was slippery to touch!

Pelicans flying over head.