Morning Coffee #28 – Art Blossoms . . .

I love drawing and painting flowers.

This photo was actually taken last fall when my love affair with Hibiscus was just beginning because I had bought some plants at Trader Joe’s! Sky dog had been painting earlier but she wore herself out and needed a nap.

Here is the blossom I was painting . . .

And here is the finished painting . . .

I painted it in one of my very favorite watercolor books – the American Journey Travel Journal. Page size is 12″ x 9″ and the surface is 140lb Hot Press. Finding hot press watercolor paper in a book is rare. These are not inexpensive, but they are on sale for $19.99 at the moment, and they are worth every penny.

American Journey Travel Journal

A really important part of being able to paint flowers is being able to draw flowers. If you have taken my Art of Photography Workshop, you know that I did not even allow you to take photos of flowers for your first challenge, maintaining that a monkey with a cell phone could take a great photo of a flower because they are so darn beautiful.

Not so with drawing flowers, though, because they are complicated. Lots of folks are afraid to try because they don’t know where to start, and monkeys are especially afraid. I’m not talking about doodling fantasy flowers here, which is easy. I’m talking about drawing flowers that are recognizable, even as a line drawing.

You know I like to make complicated things easier, so back around January, I started writing a book on the subject. I was also trying to see if I could create a whole workbook just on my iPad. I have worked on it now and then since, and yesterday, I finished it. Ta-Da!!

It’s a 60 page, instantly downloadable, PDF E-Workbook, and it teaches you how to look at a photograph (or a real life flower), and draw it. I have a formula and a plan to follow that makes it all very easy.

This is the first in a series of Draw Simple Books (I hope), and I did create it entirely on my iPad. It’s available now for $15 here:

Draw Simple Flowers

Suzanne McNeil Wannabe

Not really, but sorta.

I would be surprised if many of you did not recognize that name. Suzanne is an artist who started a company some years back called Design Originals. She publishes single subject art and craft books that are only about 35 pages long and sell for $12.99.

I remember thinking that was pretty pricey when I first encountered them, but then I bought a couple and realized how chock-full of information they were – no waste, no filler. I bought more and so did a lot of other people.

Design Originals grew into a very successful company.

Now – switch the subject to me.

I was publishing PDF ebooks 12 years ago – when everyone who did not have a computer art background was still saying “Huh?”

Well, now ebooks are “all the rage” as they say.

The best format for an illustrated book is still the PDF. Everybody can open, read, and print them, and all the pictures and type stay where they are supposed to. They are better than a real book in that you can zoom in for a closer look at details, and they are searchable.

You can also put them into iBooks on your iPad and read them, search them, zoom them, there.

I think some other tablets can also accept PDF files, but I don’t have any other tablets, so I don’t know which or what. I do not think Kindle can because their format was set up for text only books, and has a hard time with graphics still.

ANYWAY, one big thought blossom that did get put into the permanent To-Do vase was that I want to publish Art-E-Workbooks of all kinds, and that is the business I want to build along with my Sheer Heaven business. Hopefully, I’m off to a good start.

In fact, what do you think of that as a name for them – Art-E-Workbooks? Arty – get it?

The Banana Slicer

You really must visit this product on Amazon if you want a good laugh. Don’t bother with the product, but read the customer reviews. I don’t know where the Review Police were, but the reviews are hysterical. It’s sort of like a flash mob happening in the review section. People just picked up the humor and kept it going . . . hurry before the Review Police get wind of this . . .


Artist Showcase – Nagai Hideyuki

Honestly, I could not wrap my brain around this until I watched the little video provided, and then still . . . These are just two flat sketchbooks! And the artist is just 21!

3D Sketchbooks

It’s a Beautiful Day . . .

And I am going out to the garden to draw flowers. You can too. I know where there is a great how-to book! (grin)

17 thoughts on “Morning Coffee #28 – Art Blossoms . . .

  1. August 19, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Sorry! Broken Links have been fixed! I don;t know what’s with the Links gremlins this morning. Too much coffee maybe?

  2. Mary Darling
    August 19, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Just ordered the Ebook and some journals. Can’t wait to get started. Thanks Jessica.


  3. Cathy
    August 19, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Love the hibiscus, beautiful in real life and in your painting.
    I’m interested in learning more about Nagai Hideyuki. I thought I’d let you know, there isn’t a link, guess I’ll do a google search.

  4. Lorraine Kirker
    August 19, 2012 at 10:18 am

    The Amazon Review Police haven’t gotten there yet! What a hoot. What I want to know is how you and all those people found the product in the first place!

  5. Adèle Farley
    August 19, 2012 at 10:31 am

    When I took your ‘Art of Photography’ class you said that my flower photographs were good. I guess that I must be a monkey :-). I love your flower painting but wonder when you fit in all you do in your very busy life!!

    I had to look at Amazon’s American site to see the hilarious comments re banana slicer. The UK doesn’t seem to have taken to that gadget with the same enthusiasm.

  6. Colleen
    August 19, 2012 at 10:51 am

    First, the reviews for the banana slicer are fabulously hilarious! I am thinking about printing them out for a laugh at any time! Who knew! (Although some of the “serious” reviews for products are sometime unintentionally funny.)
    And an ebook on drawing simple flowers? I’m in! I have taken your art journal and Art School 101 courses and gained a lot from the instruction. My friend took 101 also and loved it. So I am signing up!
    Thanks for the great news!

  7. August 19, 2012 at 11:02 am

    What I love most about the Banana Reviews is how everybody got in the game. Wonderful when people co-create, isn’t it?

    I especially love the guy who says his bananas curve the wrong way! I just they are stuck to the counter and don’t turn over – poor guy!

    The link to Nagai’s work was fixed and does work for me now, Cathy. Let me know if there is still a problem.

  8. August 19, 2012 at 11:04 am

    PS – the words 3D Sketchbooks are a clickable link.

  9. ani
    August 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Hi Jessica,
    Is the workbook available for PCs too? Or only iPad users?

  10. Nancy
    August 19, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    I still eat my bananas monkey fashion, but I remold my butter into a banana shape and get exqui-size slices of butter, thanks to the banana slicer ;-}

  11. Sally
    August 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    So funny, the banana slicer comments. Thanks for directing me to a good laugh! The 3D street- type drawing in the journal is mindboggling! Very cool.

  12. August 19, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    HI Ani – my books are PDF files – for any computer and for any tablet that can read a PDF. All you need is the free Adobe Reader software on your PC to read and print any PDF file.

  13. Jan
    August 19, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Another great buy from Jessica! I think I’d buy all of your ART E Workbooks..or whatever you call them in the future. Flowers have always been one of my favorite things to draw (along with plants and trees) and you always seem to simplify everything for me! Thanks so much Jessica. I used to be a bit jealous of all the folks who could travel around the country taking various workshops from talented artists…then I found you!

  14. Jerrie
    August 20, 2012 at 6:23 am

    I sent the banana slicer link to all my friends….I’m even thinking about making a journal in noteshelf of all the comments…This morning I got an e-mail from one of my friends asking me not to laugh at her, because she actually has one of those things! Said she got it at Kroger several years ago!

    Haven’t had a chance to see the Hideyuki site yet…but am going to today…Have been a fan of anamorphic art for years and am a fan of Julian Beever the street artist. Found a site… There is a tattoo artist there that has developed a photography “how to” for printable anamorphic art……I played around with it and figured out how to do it in photoshop and it does work! I also found a free pdf on anamorpic art….I’ll see where I found it & post if anyone is interested.

  15. Louise W
    August 20, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Okay, I’m going to give your book a try. I retire in January and am looking for new things. This may tax my artistic abilities but I’m game for anything!!!

    And I laughed so hard when I was reading the banana cutter reviews . . . well, you know the rest. Thanks for my laugh today.

  16. August 21, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Your website is very artistic. I enjoyed the writing. Flowers are a true blessing. Everyone to enjoy. I have bookmarked your site for my family and friends.

    Thank you

  17. Jane Kimball
    August 27, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Love your flower and the painting is so wonderful. Thanks. Now off the subject question. Years ago I took a journaling class from you and we used watercolor pencils – I still use them all the time BTW- you gave us a list of the colors of pencils you take with you when your are traveling. I wonder if you still have that list. I’m off to Nevada for a week and will of course be taking my journal with me. Thanks so much. Take care.

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