Once a Beach Gurl


Random images from my journal
during a friend’s surgery.

©D. Katie Powell.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back  to dkatiepowellart.

W14 4 27 WC PALMS PAT SQAs my Patreon supporter, you will have
access to some content not on this website,
sneak previews, goodies, discounts on classes.

I will teach architectural sketching,
art journaling (art+writing), creativity, watercolors.
That annoying loud-mouth editor/critic in your head?  GONE!  How great would that be?

Posted in art journal, memory, painting, pen & ink, virtual sketching, waterbrush, watercolor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gratitude, not just at Thanksgiving


One key to surviving depression is gratitude.
Every day I write about what I am grateful for,
even if it is just a line during the day in my journal.
The more depressed I am the more I do gratitude if I want to move away from the dark matter
looming in the corners of my vision, waiting to slip into my consciousness.

I record joyful moments.


But no mistake, I also record the horrendous.
Right there in my art journal or writing journal next to the gratitude.
Writing it down, sometimes creating an image, releases it from my mind.

But daily I write and draw gratitude.


This morning I am grateful for sleeping in late again.
I am grateful for Mitchell doing “Tiger Cat” with Izzee on the bed,
and that he loves her more than a perfectly made bed..
I am grateful that we get to have the cats with us while we work.
I am grateful that the crows and pigeons love my feeding them,
and that we have good food to eat.
I am grateful for making marks, and sharing them with you all.
I am grateful that Mitchell gets as much joy from the huge cat forts I build to amuse them,
even though we have to walk around them all day long (image coming)!
I am grateful that he cleans up the vomit!
Most of all I am grateful for Mitchell loving me, and for loving him.

Posted in art journal, food, ink painting, journal, memory, pen & ink, sketchbook, watercolor, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Accordion Hearts


Home sick last week, a cold… Feeling really punky.
Not able to wrap my fuzzy mind around anything, so went to
icon I’ve doodled and painted all my life, hearts.
Cheery.  A symbol of love.  What’s not to like?

I drew them all first using a Platinum Carbon pen…
In a folding journal that is about 5×3.5-inches.
Then began to play with color.

Wishing you a Heart-Filled Holiday!

💚

💚

💚

💚

💚

To hear about classes, follow me on Facebook
or check out my new, improved dkatiepowellart.com

Posted in art, art journal, color, ink painting, meditation, painting, pen & ink, series, sketchbook, watercolor | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Tools: How I Make My Swabs

I am asked this a lot,
and it is on my inks page,

but thought I’d repost it here.

W20 7 ROBERT OSTER MOTOR OIL INK-1346For my large ink test
I laydown roughly
a half-square of ink, above.
I let it dry, then load
the bottom half of
the imaginary square
with water, and just touch
the edge of the dry ink…
except for the far right corner,
where I scrub the ink with
my brush to see how it moves.

Occasionally you will see
two images for the same ink.
This is because it is a color
that changes in different
lighting so very much!

I like to use the paper that I am going to use in my actual artwork, so I
use Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook or Hahnemühle Watercolour Journal,

Love me some Robert Oster Motor Oil!

To hear about classes, follow me on Instagram, Facebook
or check out my new, improved dkatiepowellart.com

Posted in art journal, drawing, ink painting, journal, pen & ink, process, tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Tools: TWO Bamboo Sketchbooks by Hahnemühle

Hahnemühle makes two bamboo sketchbooks:
the Hahnemühle Bamboo SketchBook, shown below, which is 50lbs;
and the Carnet de Voyage, aka the Bamboo Mixed Media journal by some, shown above,
spiral bound and coming in at 265lbs, which I reviewed in 2017.

This review is for the 50lb Bamboo SketchBook from Hahnemühle. I love that it is made from a sustainable ecological material: 90% bamboo + 10% cotton!
The fast growing bamboo ensures less sustainable raw material resources are conserved.
I like the off-white color, and with the bamboo-textured covers it is an eye-catching sketchbook, and still can accept stickers if you are inclined (I am.)

I was given a large (for me) A4 portrait format; it also comes in A5 portrait.
Each has 128 natural white, not bright white, pages.
At 50lbs, it is much lighter in weight than my normal sketching journal.
The Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook** is my daily sketchbook,
and has smooth white 90lb paper.
But then, it is intended for pencil and chalks!  From the site:
“The natural-white sketch paper with its slip-proof surface is perfectly suited
for sketching and drawing with pencil, coal and red chalk.
Its abrasion properties make for brilliant colours and clear contrasts.”

I tested writing with an HB and very soft 6B pencil, above right,
and this paper loves my Pentalic Woodless pencils.

I tested an EF nib with Platinum Carbon (waterproof) ink over the HB pencil sketch.
The nib was a little scratchy on the lightly textured paper,
but I soon got used to it and then it did not bother me at all.
The ink, and a large dot of DeAtramentis Document Black ink,
did not ghost nor seep through the other side.
Pencil erased completely.

I don’t use colored pencils often but have a nice set of watercolor pencils and tested those;
again, this paper was made for pencil — it was a lovely experience laying pencil down.
I used a fat waterbrush to push the watercolor pencil around on the paper
and the good news: while it is not meant for wet mediums,
it also held up and did not ghost nor bleed on the back side!
(Tip: clip the corners of the pages to keep them flat while drying.)

I didn’t think that this journal would take watercolors, but gave it a try to test it anyhow.
I began with an ink drawing, and then began with the wash of the sky.
The biggest issue was the wash caused the paper to buckle,
making a nice sky a little difficult.  However, adding the clouds to the bottom was easy,
and going over watercolors already on the page went well, which surprised me.
What surprised me more was that the paper didn’t fail altogether, being that the weight is much to light for watercolors.  My overall feeling about the experience though was that I was fighting the nature of the paper, which is clearly not meant for watercolor,
which you can see from the backside, it stood the test of taking wet material,
however, the paper still is not MEANT for watercolor.
But if you were out with this journal and were moved to go for it,
it is nice to know the paper can take it.

The Bamboo Sketchbook is, as are all of Hahnemühle’s journals, a lovely journal.
Because I have it I will push myself to play with watercolor pencils a bit more,
and combine a the ink and colored pencil.  However, for those that follow me, for the artwork that I normally create, I am better suited to the heavier bamboo Carnet de Voyage.

Full disclosure: the Bamboo SketchBook was given to me by Hahnemühle.

In the USA the Bamboo Sketchbook can be found at Wet Paint Art and Hyatt’s:
https://wetpaintart.com/hahn-bamboo-sketch-a4-64sh/
https://www.hyatts.com/art/hahnemuhle-bamboo-sketch-book-a5-B22062
https://www.hyatts.com/art/hahnemuhle-bamboo-sketch-book-a4-B22064

The spiral bound heavier Carnet de Voyage which I reviewed earlier can be found here:
https://wetpaintart.com/bamboo-carnet-de-voyage-6×10/
https://www.hyatts.com/art/hahnemuhle-bamboo-mixed-media-travel-journal-B10995

Sending you to their home site because you are all over the world.
**Reviews for my Hahnemühle go-to sketching journal are below:
Tools: Nostalgie Sketchbook by Hahnemühle;
and Nostalgie Book 2017 shows the first year, 2017.

Posted in art journal, creativity, ink painting, journal, pen & ink, process, review, sketchbook, watercolor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

VSW: New Caledonia Hut, Two


The Virtual Sketchwalk group on Facebook explored New Caledonia
in October with wonderful images from Aniko Szedlak (pic below)!
They are a balm to this beach-loving gurl’s soul.

I want to live here...

My books might have to go into a library
but I can work with the rest of the lack of personal items!


Used the leftover greens to finish off this last image of the hut!
Love the pop of red!

This last one was finished in about 15 minutes.

To hear about classes, follow me on Instagram, Facebook
or check out my new, improved dkatiepowellart.com

Posted in art journal, creativity, drawing, journal, landscape, painting, pen & ink, sketchbook, virtual sketching, watercolor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

VSW: New Caledonia Hut, One


The Virtual Sketchwalk group on Facebook explored New Caledonia
in October with wonderful images from Aniko Szedlak (pic below)!
They are a balm to this beach-loving gurl’s soul.

I’d like to be there NOW!


I love all the greens!

I put Sap Green and Leaf Green and
Diopside Green and Serpentine (all Daniel Smith)
on my palette and then mixed for each area.
Added a little red to the green to get a burgundy for some of the leaves.

Very fast sketch, and what took long was letting the colors dry.

To hear about classes, follow me on Instagram, Facebook
or check out my new, improved dkatiepowellart.com

Posted in art journal, creativity, drawing, journal, landscape, painting, pen & ink, sketchbook, virtual sketching, watercolor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bright Ideas: Blue Cat Salt Shaker


We found this somewhat angry
little palm-sized blue cat salt shaker in one of
our treasure hunts in second hand store.
A treasure.
I am looking forward to Covid going away
so we can search for treasures again.

Happy Halloween!

Bright Ideas multi-color journal
(which I am not sure is still sold at Barnes and Noble),
Lamy Joy pen with De Atramentis Document Black ink,
Platinum Carbon Pen (no longer made)
with Platinum Carbon ink waterproof cartridges.

w16-5-13-bi-patricks-sanddollars-01-sq  w16-10-6-bi-rhinestone-stars-sq  w16-4-25-bi-silver-buddha-sq

To hear about classes, follow me on Facebook
or check out my new, improved dkatiepowellart.com

Posted in animals, art journal, drawing, journal, memory, pen & ink, sketchbook | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bright Ideas: Waxed Linen Twine


Mitchell goes through so much
of this twine in a year when he has upholstery projects.
This is the twine that ties the seats and backs!

Bright Ideas multi-color journal
(which I am not sure is still sold at Barnes and Noble),
Lamy Joy pen with De Atramentis Document Black ink,
Platinum Carbon Pen (no longer made)
with Platinum Carbon ink waterproof cartridges.

w16-5-13-bi-patricks-sanddollars-01-sq  w16-10-6-bi-rhinestone-stars-sq  w16-4-25-bi-silver-buddha-sq

To hear about classes, follow me on Facebook
or check out my new, improved dkatiepowellart.com

Posted in art journal, drawing, furniture, journal, making a living, memory, pen & ink, sketchbook, tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bright Ideas: Venus of Willendorf


Venus of Willendorf is palm-sized.
I think she is a poured modern fetish;
The bee-headed goddess!

I have painted her HUGE, see below…

Bright Ideas multi-color journal
(which I am not sure is still sold at Barnes and Noble),
Lamy Joy pen with De Atramentis Document Black ink,
Platinum Carbon Pen (no longer made)
with Platinum Carbon ink waterproof cartridges.
Big canvas is acrylic paint.

w16-5-13-bi-patricks-sanddollars-01-sq  w16-10-6-bi-rhinestone-stars-sq  w16-4-25-bi-silver-buddha-sq

To hear about classes, follow me on Facebook
or check out my new, improved dkatiepowellart.com

Posted in acrylic, art journal, drawing, gods and goddesses, journal, memory, pen & ink, ritual, sketchbook | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bright Ideas: Tiny Dewar’s Bottle


Mom was a scotch drinker
but not a Dewar’s fan.
Not sure why we have this palm-sized bottle
but it has been around forever.

Bright Ideas multi-color journal
(which I am not sure is still sold at Barnes and Noble),
Lamy Joy pen with De Atramentis Document Black ink,
Platinum Carbon Pen (no longer made)
with Platinum Carbon ink waterproof cartridges.

w16-5-13-bi-patricks-sanddollars-01-sq  w16-10-6-bi-rhinestone-stars-sq  w16-4-25-bi-silver-buddha-sq

To hear about classes, follow me on Facebook
or check out my new, improved dkatiepowellart.com

Posted in art journal, drawing, food, journal, memory, pen & ink, ritual, sketchbook | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bright Ideas: Waterman Inks


Waterman inks are ancient,
not a trendy newcomer.
They come in few but lovely colors,
are a great price,
and they take good care of our pens.

Happy New Moon!

Bright Ideas multi-color journal
(which I am not sure is still sold at Barnes and Noble),
DeAtramentis Document Urban Grey ink,
other inks from Birmingham, Pentel Waterbrush,
Lamy Joy pen with De Atramentis Document Black ink,
Platinum Carbon Pen (no longer made)
with Platinum Carbon ink waterproof cartridges.

w16-5-13-bi-patricks-sanddollars-01-sq  w16-10-6-bi-rhinestone-stars-sq  w16-4-25-bi-silver-buddha-sq

To hear about classes, follow me on Facebook
or check out my new, improved dkatiepowellart.com

Posted in art, art journal, drawing, ink painting, journal, memory, pen & ink, review, sketchbook, tools, waterbrush | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bright Ideas: Platinum Carbon Pen


I adore my Platinum Carbon pen>
They made a HUGE mistake when they discontinued them…
I bought a few when I heard the news
(guess that makes me a hoarder)
because this is my workhorse pen.
I free-handed this wonky image and it shows.

Bright Ideas multi-color journal
(which I am not sure is still sold at Barnes and Noble),
Lamy Joy pen with De Atramentis Document Black ink,
Platinum Carbon Pen (no longer made)
with Platinum Carbon ink waterproof cartridges.

w16-5-13-bi-patricks-sanddollars-01-sq  w16-10-6-bi-rhinestone-stars-sq  w16-4-25-bi-silver-buddha-sq

To hear about classes, follow me on Facebook
or check out my new, improved dkatiepowellart.com

Posted in art, art journal, drawing, journal, memory, pen & ink, sketchbook, tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bright Ideas: Cleaning Brushes


Used daily, my metal brush cleaner
takes good care of my brushes.
It is filled with
Gamblin’s Odorless Mineral Spirits (OMS).

When you use watercolor on these pages it ghosts!.

Bright Ideas multi-color journal
(which I am not sure is still sold at Barnes and Noble),
DeAtramentis Document Urban Grey ink,
Lamy Joy pen with De Atramentis Document Black ink,
Platinum Carbon Pen (no longer made)
with Platinum Carbon ink waterproof cartridges.

w16-5-13-bi-patricks-sanddollars-01-sq  w16-10-6-bi-rhinestone-stars-sq  w16-4-25-bi-silver-buddha-sq

To hear about classes, follow me on Facebook
or check out my new, improved dkatiepowellart.com

Posted in art journal, drawing, journal, memory, oil paint, paint brush, pen & ink, sketchbook, tools, watercolor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bright Ideas: Malachite Buffalo


My malachite buffalo totem is palm-sized.
Inlaid with turquoise and onyx and just beautiful.
the backside has a lovely turquoise arrow
that floats from his feet to his back.


Bright Ideas multi-color journal
(which I am not sure is still sold at Barnes and Noble),
Lamy Joy pen with De Atramentis Document Black ink,
Platinum Carbon Pen (no longer made)
with Platinum Carbon ink waterproof cartridges.

w16-5-13-bi-patricks-sanddollars-01-sq  w16-10-6-bi-rhinestone-stars-sq  w16-4-25-bi-silver-buddha-sq

To hear about classes, follow me on Facebook
or check out my new, improved dkatiepowellart.com

Posted in art journal, drawing, journal, memory, pen & ink, pencil, series, sketchbook | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mimi and Me


My grandma could do not wrong…
I called her Mimi but have no idea where that came from.
When I took my first Communion they drove down from Grass Valley:
her coming to visit was the best thing about Communion.

To hear about classes, follow me on Instagram, Facebook
or check out my new, improved dkatiepowellart.com

Posted in art journal, history, journal, memory, painting, pen & ink, sketchbook, virtual sketching, watercolor, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

VSW: Fast Echinacea 3


They can’t all be good….
Or even acceptable.
Other artists should show their duds.
Here is mine.

To hear about classes, follow me on Instagram, Facebook
or check out my new, improved dkatiepowellart.com

Posted in art journal, creativity, drawing, journal, landscape, painting, sketchbook, timed painting, virtual sketching, watercolor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Inky Thots: Robert Oster Muddy Dragon

Swatched on watercolor paper, as that is the paper I use the most when not writing.

I am a fan of all the “Muddy” colors (see below) but I must admit that this Muddy Dragon is one of my favorite reds.  I am rapidly working my way through the bottle.  SO many colors come from this ink.

Muddy Dragon is one of the Mudpack set sold directly from Robert Oster, shown left, and I am begging him to eventually release them individually for those of us that are in love with them!  I  love all the muddy colors!


Others review these inks just for writing;
I am also interested in how they are used for ink-painting!

Properties of Robert Oster’s Muddy Dragon :

This ink is well-behaved,
and does not feather on
any of the papers I normally use,
even Post-its, left, which
are not fountain pen friendly.
I consider it a medium ink,
neither wet nor dry,
and it evaporates quickly.
It has never smeared on me.

It has a hint of a graphite sheen,
barely seen top, and
when hit with water it moves
easily with no ghosting,
so is not at all water resistant.

When the edge is touched with
water it moves into bright reds,
dark red, pinks, and purples —
and then that lovely charcoal grey
(see it along the top ridge, left?)

Compare the pink and lavender tones
above to the nearly black-red.

Looking at watercolor comparisons,
below, good color matches are
Perylene Scarlet, Mayan Red,
Rhodonite, Shungite, Amethyst,
and Dioxine Purple, all from
from Daniel Smith Watercolors.

*Above, watercolors  from Daniel Smith.*


My Dragon Flower was drawn in Muddy Dragon, in my Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook.  You really experience the range of pinks to deep blood red! It is a lovely ink for sketching! The fire breathing dragon  was drawn on cold press watercolor paper.

Both sketches were created with a TWSBI Eco 1.1  then the lines were touched with water with a Pentel Aquash waterbrush.  The lines do not stay visible but quickly lose themselves in wet color; I was able to gently build up layers of color by dipping my brush into the pen and picking up more ink. Some lines were added back in after the water moved the ink and dried!


The Sleeping Beuaty Poison Apple was drawn on
smooth paper in my Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook,
adding color with a paint brush and layering once or twice.
This produced the deepest range of Muddy Dragon.

I love all the Muddy colors!
Get them while they last!

I have reviewed many other Robert Oster Inks
reviewed in this manner to date;
you can find them here!

RO is experimenting and
testing lightfast properties…
MOST water soluble ink companies do not pay attention to these things
because most artists who use ink are making prints of their work.

The non-toxic inks come in 50ml plastic bottles that are environmentally friendly using recycled plastic.  They can be tippy, so I put them in a steady container to decant if I am dipping my pen into the bottle. All my pens fit easily into the bottle opening to fill.

To hear about classes, follow me on Facebook
or check out my new, improved dkatiepowellart.com

Posted in art journal, creativity, drawing, ink painting, journal, painting, pen & ink, process, sketchbook, watercolor, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments