Wednesday, April 29, 2015

//Spring Blooms//

Winter has finally passed and spring has arrived.

For the last few days I feel that spring has finally came. I see young green leaves are starting to sprout out of the branches. I hear birds chirping a way  and finally I bought annual flowers to plant on the planter outside and the back of the house. And I am happy that winter is behind us, well at least for now.

I am very sorry for I have not posted anything related to photography. Things has been very slow lately especially during winter but I will get back to it. I promise.

So yesterday I was driving around doing some errands and passed by a beautiful street that has trees on both side that covered with white and pink little flowers on our neighborhood. As soon as I got home and waited for the sun to go down on the horizon a little like 5.00 pm, I went back and shot some pictures of the spring blooms. 

Let me talk about how I took the picture technically a little.
I shot with my Nikon camera and only with one lens; 50 mm f/1.4 G Nikkor Nikon lens (here). Let me make a confession that I love this lens too much! It is fast and sharp. I owned f/1.8D before and used that a lot but this is by far the best lens I ever own.

The first 11 pictures wwere taken at 2.00 pm on a different location than the rest of the pictures. If I can make a suggestion please avoid shooting before 4.00 pm during bright sunny day. The pictures will look a little washed out. That is because the sun is high up and very harsh so the highlight is very strong on the picture especially on the tip of the petals. You can avoid the harsh light by shooting under a shade like with a lot of trees around it. But try to avoid shooting in an open area during that time.

I tried to higher the aperture a little but there is nothing I can do about it.

The rest of the pictures were taken around 5.00 to 5.30 pm where the sun shine has became softer.

I shot with 100 ISO and with different size of apertures. If I wanted to focus on one particular flower I like to shoot with the smallest aperture like 1.4.  If I wanted to get the whole  picture sharp I set the aperture higher like 4 or 5 something like that. Explore with different setting of aperture to see what the lens can do.

Composition is also important since when you look at a tree covered with so many little flowers, you tent to get confuse of which area you want to be as a subject in the picture. First of all, do not afraid to move around a little. Walk around the tree and look straight up. And don't be afraid to sit on the ground and point your camera straight up to get an interesting composition with a little bit of blue sky on the background. A tip of group of branches sticking out is also a good composition. Also look another color of tree as a background next to it. As you can see some of these pictures below I shot deliberately with the pink flower tree as a background while the white flower tree on the foreground and as my object. Then you can decide the aperture of which how blur you want the background to be. It is a good idea as well to carry a plastic stool for you to step up because I am 5'1" and sometimes I can not get a composition I want because I am not tall enough so to have that little stool would help a lot.

Once you have finished taking pictures than it is up to you to edit to get the perfect picture you like. I used Lightroom 5 and I did not use any presets for below pictures.

So here are the pictures.

Note; Please don't use these pictures without my permission. These pictures were taken by me and only used for blogging purposes. Thank you.

Thank you for reading!

Monday, April 27, 2015

//Unwrap Water Color Art Materials//

Today I am going to talk about what beginners need to know about water color materials. These claims are based on my own experiences I am not in any way paid by these companies.

First about the paint. There are a wide ranges of water color paint out there in the market. I suggest and as beginners, you need to invest a good or medium level water color. The reason is the cheapest water color does not have the same flow and pigment as the good water color brand. Therefore a good water color paint help improve your technique because the pigment and water is easy to manipulate and handle. Unlike the cheap one - it does not have a good pigment hence will not help at all.

When I started to paint water color - I used Sennelier brand. It was my very first water color. Sennelier is a good brand and as you can see I used it a lot. Then I remember very well I bought the very cheap one at Marshall called the W water color. It is the worst water color I have ever purchased - it cost USD 15.00. Don't buy water color paint  cost USD 15.00 - chance is that it is for children to use. The only thing I like about it is that it has a water color palette. My next one is Holbein. I like it very much. The only thing is that they are in tubes. I found that tubes can be dried easily especially if you do not close the cap tightly. This is a good water color and I like it a lot but the fact is in a tube. Then I wanted the cake water color. So through Ebay I found St. Petersburg White Night. Ordered from Russia through Ebay (here). And I love it very much. So far this is the water color  I am using right now.

So let's take a look at these water colors.

These are Faber-Castell water color pencils. I rarely use these.

Sennelier is good water color but I found that the color is not as vibrant.

W water color. Do not get this one. As you can see the tinting and flow of the water color does not blend very well on the tester card.

Holbein. Very good water color but it is in a tube.

St. Petersburg. I love these water colors. The color is vibrant and the tinting blends very well. You can see my tester card on the right. It is reasonable price through Ebay (here) and it comes with a case that you can add water color cakes. This seller also sells water color cakes individually. It also comes with a blank card which you can paint and identify each color. This is a set of 24. I think I bought for USD 36.00 plus shipping. So it is a good price.

I think to choose water color paint is a matter of personal taste. As long as you buy a good brand, you will be just fine. You do not need to get the very best quality of water color if you are a beginner. These are not the best out there but they are good brand.

I am using synthetic brushes bought from Michael art and craft store. I only using the round and flat brushes no. 2 and no. 4 plus the detail brush the smallest one since I only paint a small art. It all depends on what you paint. If you paint a scenery or landscape you might need a bigger no brushes and other type of brushes for texture, etc. I am planning to get one good brush like natural bristle brush like Kolinsky, but it is quite costly. A good brush should carry a lot of water color in it's belly and Kolinsky does the job. More information about water color brushes, here.

Again, I am using paper bought from Michael art and craft store. I used cold press heavy weight Strathmore and Arches water color paper. I love the rough texture and thickness on these paper. Again, this is a personal style you can explore by using different thickness of paper to see which one you like. To learn more, here.

So these are  materials I am using currently. Over time I do want to improve the type of water color materials especially brushes. But for the time being these materials suits my style and does the job for the type of art I am doing. 

I hope the above information help you to start to purchase the water color materials you need. 

And thank you so much for reading!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

//Practice Makes Perfect//Rose Water Color//

For those of you who are interested in starting to learn water color - I can only say 'one' word for you - practice, practice and practice. You can learn the basic of water color on your own from Youtube, here, here and here. You can watch my sunflower water color art in Youtube as well, here. Or if you have the time - it is always a good idea to enroll yourself to a local art class in your area.

For me, painting a rose flower is a little challenging because rose has many layers of petals. Therefore I need to practice before I start to paint the actual art. 

Here are the roses water color study. As you can see they are far from perfect. I thought I share them with you.

I promise in the next two days I will post about water color materials.  I already shot photos of my favorite and less favorite water color set, brushes and paper. I can't wait to share them with you. So come back in a day or two!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

//10 Thing You Didn't Know About Me//

Okay I am ready to make a confession. I am going to reveal 10 secrets about me.

This is harder than I thought it would be but I figured by now I need you to know a little more about me.

Are you ready?

Here they are.

1. When I was 10 years old I had a giant brown asian praying mantis living on a plants that I put on a vase on the night stand next to my bed. I know. You would think I am crazy but actually she was kind a nice. Just stayed crawling all over the guava leaves on the vase and sometime she laid eggs. So cute and tiny.

2. I am a classical piano player

3. I bungee jumped off of a bridge in Queenstown New Zealand

4. I met my husband through the internet dating site.

5. My husband said I am a champion sleeper. I love sleeping that I am having difficulty waking up in the morning. But if I have something important to go I will be on time on the spot.

6. I like watching science chanel on TV especially about the universe, galaxy and stars. Oh yess...I know a little bit about it too.

7. I was hospitalized for 2 months for aortic anneurism. It happened suddenly then my life changed completely.

8. I love my Keurig coffee machine very much that I have a cup of coffee every morning when wake up.

9. I carry a sanitary wipes everywhere and I wipe arm rest, tray table in the plane, telephone wset in the hotel room and the inside of a rental car like steering wheel, radio, shift gear, everything that my hands touches.

10. I sewn my son's first birthday party outfit complete with a little red bow tie.


So what do you think? Was I a weird kid for having a praying mantis as a pet while other kids had puppies. How about bungee jumping? Glad I did it but if you ask me if I will do it again, the answer is no!
Carrying a sanitary wipes and wipes the inside of a rental car, a telephone in the hotel room and sits on the plane? I feel save with my sanitary wipes in my purse. It comes in handy in any situation. I don't leave house without it.

Thank you so much for reading!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Water Color Perfume Arts

What started just an experiment turned to be a hobby and a small business. I love how these watercolor perfume arts being displayed and add elegance and beauty to a room. Although these arts are not for everyone, I know someone who is feminine, delicate and elegance would like to have one of their personal room to be decorated by these arts. And of course this person must like perfumes.

Well, these arts are now available at my Etsy store, here.

I am selling only an original art, so these arts are very limited and none of them are a like although I might have painted them twice or three times of the same perfume.

I will keep adding more perfumes as I do enjoy very much painting them.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

//Water Color Flower Sketch Part 1//

I have been loving painting using water color lately.

Today I wanted to share a flower water color sketch video with you.
These are only a sketch. It does not shows the detail or I have not gone to that stage yet.

As I mentioned in my blog in the past - I am in love with these tiny little petals of 'Stock' flowers. They are dying and drying right now so I am planning to buy some fresh one tomorrow.

If you are planning on to learn or a beginner water color painter - I suggest that keep practicing is the best lesson there is. Get your self a simple petal of flowers, put them in a vase (preferably a single stem) and put in front of you with a lot of natural light coming to your working desk.

Have a different shades of main colors ready in your water color wells so it is easy for you to paint. Start with the very light or base color then work on to the  darkest shades.

I am by any means not a great water color painter and I never had a teacher. I pretty much learn everything by myself. 

If you love what you see and feel like wanting to learn on how to use water color then start now. Get yourself a good space and a time. Find a quiet place, and listen to your favorite music. I always listen to Pandora for a spa music from my phone. This helps you to stay focus and believe me it is so much fun - very relaxing and soothing for your mind.

I will talk about materials next time. 

So let's take a look at the video and some pictures.


I painted these yesterday.

And today I continued on.

These are the Stock flowers I have in the living room. I took a stem and put it in a small vase and had them in front of me while painting.

These are the stock flowers I have in the living room. Aren't they pretty?

Thank you so much for looking!