Linwood Avenue

colored pencils

simplicity and a daisy

botanicals, colored pencilstiffin mills4 Comments

happy monday! i finished another botanical drawing over the weekend - this time a daisy, the birth flower for april. i was struggling a bit at the start with how to draw a white flower on white paper, but in the end, it came together pretty quickly and i love the lightness of the piece. i am also in love with the leaf, because if you didn't know, i dread drawing leaves. it is really tough for me to get them to look dimensional, especially with this one because the leaves on my daisy were pretty old and shriveled, so there was a lot of improvisation.

up next is a gladiola for august.

art and design

botanicals, colored pencils, drawing, graphic design, printstiffin mills3 Comments

since my days are my own again, i have finally found time to digitally finish my botanical drawings. yay for me!

my prints begin as fully finished colored pencil drawings, then i scan them in and add the words and border digitally. i love combining my two passions of fine art and graphic design to get something complete unique and totally me. this batch brings my total of prints up to 8 which means i only have 4 more to do before i have enough for my calendar dream. well, actually 5, because a hydrangea is not associated with any month, i just did that one because they are my favorite!

what is your favorite flower? i just might throw one into the mix as well :)

gardenias and sunflowers

botanicals, colored pencils, drawingtiffin mills2 Comments

something inside of me has been dying to sketch lately. i am craving colored pencils as well as ink which has led me here. these are just some of my doodles of late - a gardenia and a sunflower.


with the kids still on summer break, i don't have much time, so these drawings are under an hour and the perfect little escape in my otherwise crazy days.

what do you do to sneak away from the noise of everyday life?

wishes and books

colored pencils, papertiffin millsComment

i cannot believe i did it - i actually wrote on the first page of a journal! back in this post, i explained that i have a thing about never writing on the first page because i feel like it is such an important page and i don't want to mess it up. crazy, i know!

anyway, i've recently finished the book "the wishing year" and it really spoke to me. it ended up being a book heavy on references and light on actual story line which wasn't great, but i did end up learning a lot about the art/history of wishing. i learned that in order to truly wish for something, you need to be very specific in your desires and very discerning. no wishy washyness allowed. no generalizations. wishing is heavily grounded in the laws of positive and negative energy. if you direct a lot of your attention towards your wish, you will attract positive energy into your life which will then usher in the manifestation of your wish.

when i finished reading, i decided i needed to do something about my own wishes - that's where my new journal comes in. the cover is really a bunch of doodles that came from my rapidiograph and colored pencils and i have already created a few pages of wishes the same way. so there you have it, a photo of "my very own wish book". but i will only ever show you the cover because after all, we all know that a wish told never comes true ;)




trespassing and a work in progress

botanicals, colored pencilstiffin mills2 Comments

to make progress on my flower of the month calendar, i have needed to find an iris to draw. who knew they were such a hard flower to find??? i visited 2 florists and explained that i draw flowers and could i buy an iris stem and they both looked at me like i was crazy and one even added that irises are very temperamental flowers. thanks for the info.

last friday, a friend and i went to a community yard sale in the fanciest subdivision of our little community. people come out by the hundreds to be let behind the gates and sneak a peek at how the other side lives. we stopped at one sale in a culdesac and i couldn't help but notice the un-kept yard next door. this is very unusual because most houses in here have yard crews. upon further inspection, i noticed that a section of the yard was overflowing with the most beautiful irises. i quickly asked the lady running the sale if the house was empty and when i found out it was, i hurried over and snuck away with 3 iris stems safely tucked in my car. score!


the hardest part about drawing flowers is the time constraints. they literally change minute by minute, so you have to draw part by what you see and part by intuition. a teacher of mine said to photograph the flowers, then draw from the photo. i find this really hard to do though because i feel that the photo always looks flat. so i suck it up and sketch as much as i can before the flower wilts. the above photo is after i have done my sketching and before i go in and blend out all the harsh lines.

i can't wait to add this to my calendar pages. february will be checked off shortly!

experimenting and doodling

botanicals, colored pencilstiffin mills4 Comments

i did it! i finally got the courage to "enhance" book pages. part of me felt like the book police were going to show up at my door and haul me off, but the other part was wildly excited. the book was purchased at a yard sale, so no big investment if i screwed up. i absolutely loved the sweet poems and black illustrations when i found it and knew that colorful doodles would be a perfect compliment. i used black micron pens and my prismacolor watercolor colored pencils. if you know me at all, then you know that painting is not for me. i have nothing against it, i simply have other artistic ventures that i am dying to tackle. if you have this aversion as well, you should try watercolor pencils. you draw on the paper with the pencil, then take a wet paintbrush to the color and you instantly have the look of watercolor. i use a very stiff flat brush because it lets me drag the color exactly where i want it to go (as in the downward motion of the raindrops in the above image). if the page is wet, but you still want to add more color, you can run your brush against the tip of the pencil and the color will come off that way too.


after a night of experimenting and doodling, i was so happy with the finished results. while i have no idea what i am going to do with these pages, i am extremely excited that i stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something new. 

what new technique have you tried lately? who knows, i might need to add it to my "experiment" list :)

orchids and pansies

botanical class, colored pencils, flowertiffin mills1 Comment

i finished my orchid piece at the last colored pencil class and i am pretty happy with it. i have to figure out a better way to photograph my drawings though, because straight photography/scanning, doesn't show the subtle variations of color. it ends up looking a bit more saturated and rough than it actually is.


i have one class left and will be working on replicating this pansy photograph i took last year. i'm excited to work through the dew droplets on the petals and to use colors i don't normally. stay tuned, hopefully it will be a masterpiece!

oranges and pinks

botanical class, colored pencilstiffin mills2 Comments

for my colored pencil class, we had to choose a 4x6in photo to replicate. i immediately fell in love with this orangy fuchsia orchid. the image on the left is the photograph and the image on the right is my drawing, in case you couldn't tell ;) i am only half way finished, so no judging! i am so bummed that i mis-drew the petal in the upper left corner, but i am hoping in the end it all turns out right. to finish, i need to fill in the background stems that run along the bottom and them amp up the color throughout the piece. i can't wait to pull off the framing tape and see the crisp straight lines i am left with.

art and supplies

colored pencils, drawingtiffin mills1 Comment

i'm taking another art class at callanwolde fine arts center which starts this thursday. its focus is strictly on colored pencils, so i hope to find out tons of new tips. from the class list, i know the teacher is very serious about technique which makes me ecstatic. my last class was great, but it turned out to basically be open studio time, with very little instruction.


the same thing goes as my last class - i will post everything i do, good or bad :)

colored pencils and a budget

colored pencils, drawingtiffin mills1 Comment
ok, so i splurged. i bought the whopping 120 set of prismacolors which are not too cheap i might add. we have been buckling down our budget for a while now, so i was feeling a bit guilty. but to quote my husband "these are the things you should be spending money on". is he trying to say that art supplies are more important than my new boots or bag???

anyway, they are lovely and helped me out so much with my tulip drawing. yes, technically you only need a few colors on the spectrum to make any color you want. but i must say that technically, it is so much easier when they are already "mixed" for you.

the pencil case came from cheap joes and is so much better than keeping them in the original tin. it has 2 sleeves, so all 120 fit and it zips up really tight. perfect for traveling.