Plein Air San Diego Watercolor & Waves

Painting outside is the single mandatory activity for any serious artist. Luckily, in San Diego, it’s pure joy. Especially when the dolphins show up; they are the only reason for me to drop my painting supplies and run down the beach to get a better view. We’ve seen them three times this month already; they run up and down the coastline twice a day so a little observation goes a long way. They are like joy arriving in an adrenaline rush; I love watching them jump over the waves and clear out of the water!

A light wash, layered with a darker color to indicate the shape of the water.
A light wash, layered with a darker color to indicate the shape of the water.

 

This is one of my favorites - the skim of water on the sand as the next wave rolls in.
This is one of my favorites – the skim of water on the sand as the next wave rolls in.
Love that emerald green that is the wave with the light shining through it like cut glass.
Love that emerald green that is the wave with the light shining through it like cut glass.
My first sketch - just getting the colors and shape of the wave. The yellow topographical lines is pastel.
My first sketch – just getting the colors and shape of the wave. The yellow topographical lines is pastel.
Using a silver paint pen to indicate the reflections on top of the water.
Using a silver paint pen to indicate the reflections on top of the water.
San Diego plein air painting.
I love San Diego; plein air painting here is just FUN. Look at the little sailboat in the distance.
A color study of ocean waves at the beach.
A color study getting the gesture of the waves.
Amazing plein air watercolors all done in one day!
All of my plein air watercolors all done in one day!

Drawing Pretty Girls’ Faces on Index Cards

SIMPLE PEN AND PAPER

Get out some index cards and a black pen, and use these tips to improve your drawing skills! Index cards and a black pen make for a lot of small drawings  — this collage was made up of a bunch.

1. DIVIDE SHADES INTO LIGHT AND DARK AREAS

There are so many ways you can draw faces — many different approaches. Giving attention to light and dark areas (ie. the sunglasses, the top of the lip, the shadow caused by the lid of the eye) will dramatically improve your drawing. Don’t obsess about the many shadows on the face, simply divide it into two groups: light and dark.

2. KEEP PROPORTIONS IN MIND

Most beginners get distracted by focusing on drawing super-accurate eyes, nose and mouth, and forget to make the actual skull – the egg shape those features sit on – to be the right size. Give attention to keep the features in the right location. (ie. the eyes the correct distance apart, the right amount of space allowed for the forehead).

3. PRACTICE

Most professional artists do a number of studies (fancy word for practicing) focusing on small aspects they plan to include in a larger work. That’s what index cards are great for – quick and dirty practice. Drawing faces is no more difficult than anything else; in fact, it could be easier, since we all have a first-hand knowledge of our own faces and have spent our lifetime looking to other people’s faces in social situations.

4. IGNORE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN

The most difficult part is not trying to include too much information. An artist must practice solipsism – if it is not visible from the angle you are viewing, do not include it. (ie. look at how little information I give you about the nose – often just the shadow that falls under the nose, rarely do you see both nostrils depicted separately). Even on the highly detailed face in the collage below, only the shadows are really drawn – the nostril that is in the light is not actually drawn but the shadows give the illusion that the nose is a full, complete shape.

drawing pretty girls faces collage

Butterfly Fae Paintings

A collage of most of my recent paintings featuring the Monarch butterfly.A collage of most of my recent paintings featuring the Monarch butterfly.
A collage of most of my recent paintings featuring the Monarch butterfly.A collage of most of my recent paintings featuring the Monarch butterfly.

I’ve been painting the Moon, in all aspects, lately. There’s Monarch Queen, a butterfly-winged fairy perched on a crescent moon; there’s Golden Sunset (the moon is there by association only); there’s a full moon in Lotus Lake (upcoming); a woman’s face in the crescent moon on a yet unnamed painting of the northern lights; Isis (eye of Horus, moon in Scorpio); is it the moon or the white dot of the yin-yang in Luna Love? 

 

 

 

Discover Your Night Sky & Painting the Constellation Leo

I am currently wrapping up this painting, featuring a black cat named Leo, who’s watching the pendulum of the phases of the moon. It’s a beautiful and mysterious painting that captures the microcosm and macrocosm in one image — the small panther-like black cat and the vast spaces of the constellation, the wax and wane o the moon and the swing of a diviner’s pendulum.

 

 

Constellation Leo

The Magical Gift of Butterfly Medicine: Fine Art Monarch Butterfly Painting

More Than A Coincidence, A Butterfly Waiting For Me in the Morning The Very Week I’d Been Painting Butterflies Is A Gift: Happy Thanksgiving, Enjoy all the Magical Gifts that Come Your Way, Starting with the Monarch Butterfly ….

More Than A Coincidence, A Butterfly Waiting For Me in the Morning

When I came into my studio on Sunday, the first thing I noticed was this tiny moth or butterfly carefully perched next to the vintage camera tripod, leaning up against it like it was tired. The frail creature was dead, and delicately sat on the white tablecloth like she was waiting for me.

I questioned everyone who lives here; someone must have noticed how many butterflies I’ve been painting lately, and found it and brought it to me. But no, everyone said “What butterfly?” when I asked them about it.

The Very Week I’d Been Painting Butterflies

So magically, I’ve been painting butterflies, and a whole beautiful one gifts itself to me right on the desk.

Jody says, ‘that’s medicine.’

So I spent Sunday morning painting this beautiful small creature with its mosaic patterned wings, delicate and tiny and precise. How I wish humans were patterned so! (Is that what tattoos are for?)

A Gift: Happy Thanksgiving,

So it’s such a gift, since last week when I’ve been painting monarch butterflies left right and center. It’s a lesson for me in really getting into a subject and contemplating what I’m painting. I’ve thought a lot about butterflies and their migration and their cycle of metamorphosis and the journey they take that no single one completes.  A beautiful symbol of wax and wane, like the moon.

I painted four and immediately mailed them off to their wonderful recipients, and the main work Monarch Queen, is now available ($600 contact me)

Enjoy all the Magical Gifts that Come Your Way

Starting with the Monarch Butterfly ….

( If you would like a canvas reproduction, contact me. )

Monarch Queenby Katana Dufour
Monarch Queen by Katana Dufour, holding the pendulum of the four directions. Aids in Migration and Navigation. Available.
Monarch by Katana Dufour
Monarch 2 by Katana Dufour
Monarch by Katana Dufour
Monarch 3 by Katana Dufour
Monarch by Katana Dufour
Monarch 4 by Katana Dufour

Happy Thanksgiving!

What Painting Is Your Favorite? Comment Below!

The Story of Isis, the Moon and Scorpio Goddess

SOLD
$600

The Story of Isis, the Moon and Scorpio Goddess, and her connection with the Eye of Horus.

This painting depicts the moon in the form of Isis, a modern portrait of an ancient Goddess.

She is depicted here with the moon and sun symbol; a variation of the Cow headdress She often wears, and the stars of the Scorpio Constellation.

Isis is a Mother, a Moon Goddess and a formidable Scorpion Goddess. In this guise, She is called Iset Ta-Wahaet, Isis the Scorpion. In other texts, Isis is joined with Serket Hetyt, the Scorpion Goddess, “She Who Causes the Throat to Breathe,” as Isis-Serket. In one instance, Isis heals Horus from a lethal scorpion sting with a magical spell.

There are two eyes of Horus: the sun and the moon. Isis has rescued Horus’ left eye (the moon) destroyed by Seth, and is depicted here as the moon, the left eye, before returning it to him and healing him. Isis often is implored to “use the true name of Ra” in the performance of rituals.

The presence of this painting in your home will remind you of the serenity of the moon, and the wax and wane; the emptying and the return to fullness. Isis is the friend of slaves, sinners, artisans, and the downtrodden, as well as listening to the prayers of wealthy, maidens, aristocrats, and rulers. No matter where you may be in life, the nurturing Isis will be your ally. She has healing powers, and the ability to restore that which is lost or stolen.

Collect this painting and bring the power and wisdom of Isis into your life.

The Story of the Creation of this Painting:

I was inspired to paint a women’s face with the eye of Horus. I thought this was a beautiful image, but was not familiar with the myth of Isis until the name of the painting landed in my mind

“Isis (Moon in Scorpio)”

When I came to the internet to research, I was surprised to find that many aspects of the painting (The left eye matching the Eye of Horus representing the Moon), that Isis was a Scorpio Goddess and a Moon Goddess, were present in the painting I had done.

Add to that, the painting went so efficiently, as though I was simple observing the painting process as it chose the right colors for Herself. Because of these two factors in the creative process, I believe this painting is imbued with the spirit of Isis and that She will quickly find the home of the person She intends to bless.

 


Line Drawings For The Four Winds And For Christmas

It may be way too early to think about Christmas, but it takes me about two months to start something and then finish it. It doesn’t seem to matter how important it is; so this year I will start thinking about Christmas now.

And these wings and winds are for an upcoming WalksWithin Guided Meditation. 

How I Painted Nautilus Cloud: Acrylic On Canvas

Nautilus Cloud Acrylic Paint by Katana Leigh Dufour
Nautilus Cloud 18×24 Acrylic Paint on Canvas by Katana Leigh Dufour

 

Process:

Drawing sketches – I don’t have future plans when I’m sketching. It’s just, me, my pen, and some paper. If I scan them later or keep them for something else, is to be decided afterwards; no judgement in the moment. These shells also ended up on my wedding invites.

Nautilus – The shell form originally took up the whole canvas, tried to turn into a weird-shaped globe with the sun and moon tucked into the corner, quickly became unwieldy, so I did the hand as a study for Pendulum-Moon (unfinished). Then I started painting over the nautilus with sky blue, when I had some leftover paint from one of the other paintings I’m working on (untitled).

At this point, I realized the hand could be holding a little match, or incense, and I could use the paint ridges from the previous Nautilus as swirls for the smoke, which I laid down in black outlines. As it began to look again like a Nautilus, I realized the smoke was also the shell. Then I added in the white, followed by the blues and the greyscale off-whites.

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