After flicking through several art posts on Tumblr, I was struck with a burning need to create something loose, sketchy and expressive. I took an empty bin and filled it with grungy, earthy colors of my favorite materials, as I thought the limited palette would keep me focused and the piece cohesive.


For my grand, elaborate, sketchy vision, I was feeling toned paper, so I took the biggest white, mixed media paper I had and made it a soft grey with an ink wash.

While this was drying, I took some lesser quality paper and kept the creativity flowing by doodling. Little did I know that this doodle would suck me in and I’d end up with a full blown… thing…


It’s a little quirky, and I wish I could have made it a little grungier. The paper just couldn’t handle any more media. I used a Blick drawing pad with 80lb paper. The dimensions are 12” x 18”.


Writing over writing for texture/stress-relief.


I absolutely LOVE the textures here, especially where the paper began to ripple and pill.

This piece took me less than 2 hours and 8 minutes (because that’s how long the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice is).

It would be easier to list the materials I didn’t use! But, here are the materials I can remember using:

  • Caran d’Ache Neocolor II watersoluble wax pastels in Prussian Blue, Aubergine, Pale Yellow, Black, Silver Grey, English Red, Moss Green, Ochre, Russet, Saffron, Indigo Blue
  • Prismacolor Premier colored pencils in Cloud Blue, Warm Grey 20%, French Grey 10%
  • Black 3B Conté pencil
  • Liquitex Basics acrylic paint in Ivory Black
  • Liquitex white gesso
  • Black Stabilo ALL pencil
  • Derwent Graphitint in Juniper, Meadow
  • Prismacolor Watercolor pencils in Terracotta, Copenhagen Blue, Black
  • Derwent dark wash watersoluble graphite
  • General’s 6B charcoal pencil
  • Faber-Castell Pitt pen in Black Fine
  • Ink wash with gesso-y water and black Daler-Rowney acrylic ink
  • Carpenter’s pencil
  • Shiva Artist’s Paintstik in Iridescent Gold
  • Prismacolor Nupastel in Black, White, Iron Blue
  • Faber-Castell Gelatos in Black Licorice and Coconut

I think that just about rounds out the list.

Sometimes it can be hard to know when something is finished. Luckily, my paper stopped me before I could ruin it by adding too much, and my movie ended so I felt like I needed to move on. If you’re having trouble knowing when to stop or working in art time into your day, set a timer, be it for ten minutes or two hours. When the timer goes off, stop working on that piece; you’ll be surprised how much you can get done in that space of time and you’ll thank yourself for not having too much of a good thing.

4 thoughts on “Seasmoke

  1. What emotion do you think the face and the piece as a whole ended up with? It seems to me that that the emotion is very serene but still powerful. Also, at what point in the drawing process did you come up with the title?

    1. I agree; it has a tranquil, but powerful presence. I think seasmoke popped into my head as I was adding the hair (which I did before the breath). It was very rhythmic like the ocean and the colors were dusky. It just came to me and I embraced it!

  2. Well, it’s certainly an expressive title! In my opinion, the hair has a wild, androgynous quality that ties in well to the title and the air (wind?) that the face is blowing out. I love the detail and the energy in the piece!

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