Buttons and Clouds
This week in my classes our "warm-up" was painting a few small white buttons.  I can't take credit for an original idea here.  I saw buttons done in watercolor posted on Pinterest and followed  it back to the blog of Jane Minter. 

In yesterday's class, we each took a few buttons, sketched them, and started adding shadows and detail and background.  That's the one on the top right.  Today's class did the little paintings by painting a very wet wash without mixing the colors up too much, and leaving some white of the paper in a few spots.  We lifted some color here and there to leave some lighter spots for more buttons.  This is the one on the bottom right.  When the wash was dry we lightly drew some buttons, and then added a little detail and some darker shadows around the buttons.

The buttons at the top left were done in prismacolor pencils on Mi Teints paper in my sketchbook.
Bottom left -  everyone in the class is working on a different theme, and this was a little demonstration for one of the students doing clouds.

The buttons have me thinking that it might be fun to do a series of very small things grouped together  -  thumb tacks, sticks of pastels, pen nibs, corks, combs and barrettes, pretty stones .  .  .  what else?

I hope this will inspire you a bit.  I think we all need a little help this time of year to keep our creativity going and our brushes moving.


Anonymous said...

oooo, this is lovely, they have a some what vintage look, beautiful!
Happy New Year!!

Unknown said...

I like your new look on your blog and love the image on the top with the negative painting. What a fun idea to group small things. It is always a challenge for me to find something to paint in my journal.Thanks for the ideas... E

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful and fresh idea. thanks
Love the buttons and I have a whole mason jar of them somewhere
peace n abundance,

Vicky L. Williamson said...

I love the two pages of buttons side-by-side. A happy memory, playing with my grandmother's button box!

Catherine said...

Thanks Laurie - they are old buttons with some interesting variations in color. Happy New Year to you too!

Oma/Elizabeth - thanks. That's the winter view out my classroom/studio window.

CheyAnne - dig out your buttons - they're nice to just look at and touch. What is it about buttons? Peace n abundance to you too and happy new year.

Vicky - thanks! I played with my mother's buttons and spools of thread. The spools were ladies in bright dresses and the buttons were their fancy hats.

Helen Sturgeon said...

Love your new look! Love, love, love the button idea! I, too, played with buttons in a Leo peppermint candy tin.. lots of good memories! I'm addicted to Pinterest! Sooo many cute craft/art/recipes/etc... out there!

Catherine said...

Thanks Helen. I was looking around the house for something small and multiple for my classes to warm up with, and then I saw the button paintings on Pinterest. I spend too much time on Pinterest!

Claire M said...

Gee.... I really like this idea of the buttons and other groupings of small things. Thanks for the idea. Love your pages!!

Jane said...

I love old buttons and have so many of them that belonged to my Gramma. I never thought to paint them...thank you for the inspiration!

jsicignano2.blogspot.com said...

Excellent work. What fun, buttons.
Thank you for sharing.

Catherine said...

Thanks Claire! Small groupings of tiny things sounds kind of fun, doesn't it. What else can we think of?

Get out Grandma's buttons, Jane, and start painting!

Thanks, Joan. One thing leads to another - what will come after buttons?


hello catherine ...thankyou for linking back to my blog and button paintings which you were inspired by.

Catherine said...

Hi Jane - your blog is beautiful - I enjoy visiting it!