Extra Protection When Posting Your Art

Owl 2015I belong to a few on line groups and over the years I have heard some horror stories about artists getting their images stolen on line.  It almost makes you afraid to post anything these days for fear of being ripped off.  An artist can watermark their name across the whole image and somehow thieves find a way to photo shop it out and display it as their own. (If they only used their powers for good, huh?)  

The way I see it we only have two choices:  One to post and the other not to.  Personally, I like seeing all the beautiful art in the blogosphere and I love sharing my art.  Its scary knowing that there is no full proof way to protect yourself before the art gets stolen.   But we can after… and have been doing something to protect my work if it gets stolen.  Now as far as I know no body wants it, lol….but you never know!

Over the past couple of years I have been embedding stuff  with in my drawings that can’t be cropped out like my signature or a traditional watermark.  I mean it could be anything, a word, a symbol, a tiny picture, just anything your heart desires.  But it has to blend in using the same medium and so discreet that no one knows it is there, but you have to be able to find it.  I use to embed different things, but it was just getting too hard to remember what I did where, so now I use the same thing over and over.  Say, for example you are working in acrylic and you chose a heart to embed in your art.  So you paint a hidden heart in your painting.  Sounds easy, but it is pretty hard to do.  Because although it can’t be found by anyone at the same time it has to be proven intentional when it is found.

The owl above is embedded (and no I won’t tell you what or where it is, lol).  It is completely obvious to me but I welcome you to try and find it.  Enlarge the picture as large as you want…I bet you won’t find it 🙂

I hope you guys find this helpful and that you all have a great weekend and wonderful week!

What do you do to protect your work?

Be Well and Happy!  

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Same Blog, New Look, New Name…

Hello Everybody!

I guess you noticed that I updated the look of my blog. It is a lot different from the orange paisley, isn’t it?  I enjoyed the old look, but it was a little busy and kind of clashed when I posted art work. I really like this new one. It plain, straight forward and I hope you like it too and find it easier to navigate.
What may not be too noticeable is that my blog is now cjottaway.com. No, I do not go by C.J. but it is how I sign my artwork and I thought it would be appropriate and easier to find if I changed everything to my art signature.

The reasoning behind my signature:
My Dad is an artist and this is as close to his signature as I could get considering my last name is different and that is why I kept the J. after him as well. My Dad is very talented and I am extremely proud of him.  He is so supportive and has helped me a lot in learning to draw and I think this is a good way to honor him.  It doesn’t hurt that I love him to pieces as well 🙂

I hope this finds everyone having a great weekend. Here, the weather is cold but we are enjoying some sunny skies. It’s still a little too cold for my liking but at least it is pretty when I look out of the window from my warm house.
I hope you guys are staying warm as well!

Be Well and Happy!
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Uhhh…Happy New Year?

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Brothers

Graphite on Bristol Smooth, photo from Wet Canvas

This has been one crazy year.  It’s been scary, difficult, awesome and life changing.  Starting a career in your late 40’s is pretty daggone daunting (especially after being a house mouse for the last 10 years).  But I’m getting the hang of being out there again, and I am meeting some great people.   The downside of all this that I have been M.I.A. on my blog and art in general.

I am hoping to get on some kind a schedule.  I am at a point  where my life is running me and I am not running my life.   But there are people that work full time and still manage to find time for art and blogging.  And I will be one of them…eventually.  I guess in a nutshell, I just wanted you to know that I am not giving up my blog and I haven’t quit drawing or painting.

Now on with the drawing,  This thing was a beast to draw and I thought about throwing it away a hundred times. If you draw and paint, you know about the ugly stages and how you are suppose to work through those ugly stages.  But I was so frustrated.  Those ugly stages were fighting and clawing and just didn’t want to leave.  Even though the photo quality isn’t that great, in real life this is one of my better pieces and I am so glad that I didn’t give up.

So, How long are you willing to work through the ugly stages?

Be Well and Happy!

My <3 Belongs to Brody…

Brody 2014

Brody

Graphite on Bristol Smooth

Yes, I’m in love…Sorry David, but I am…

     Over the weekend we took the opportunity to deliver this housewarming portrait to our nephew and his girlfriend.  And this sweet four-legged fur baby met us the door.  Brody licked my face, laid his head in my lap and just let me rub and love on him as long as I wanted.  He is just precious as could be and (sorry guys) but if I could have slipped him out with no one noticing I would have dog napped him.

We also got to hang out awhile and have dinner together. We had a very good time.   On the way home we could get over the fact that they remind us a lot of ourselves back in the day.  Well except for they are smarter, prettier and more successful, but I can see many great things in stored for  them.  Anyhoo, They seemed to like the portrait, so that’s a good thing too 🙂

Well, since I didn’t post anything Friday, here is my sketch.  I love my erasers and I spend as much time drawing with an eraser as I do a pencil.  This was a quick sketch so it isn’t very detailed, but I suppose it is much better than a staple, lol

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Be Well and Happy!

Friday Sketch…

staple

Draw the office supply that you find  you can’t live without?

     This is a staple.  It may seem like a cheat, but this little guy has saved my butt on so many occasions at home and on the job. And the lack of using a staple has also on occasion made me scream, “Why! Oh Why! didn’t I take the time to staple my pages together”! lol   I was going to draw a staple gun, but the gun is just a vessel, and during the times I had to search for 3 out of 10 pages, it was mostly due to the stapler being empty and I was too lazy to fill it back up.

     On the home front, this is the last week Alana will be home for a few months as her new adventure begins in college.  Luckily, it has been too hectic for self-analysis, but as I type this, I really don’t know how I feel.   On the one hand, I’m so proud and excited for her that I could burst.  But on the other….she’s my baby and when I’m 80 she will still be my baby.

     Lots of changes…Lots of uncertainties and lots of praying and that is my only certainty. Okay, this is too much reality for me, so I am going to end my post here. Have a great weekend!

 Drawing Prompt

Draw the art supply that you find you can’t live without.

Be Well and Happy!

Friday Sketch….

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#1 Draw a doorknob

What in the world was I thinking.  Well, I will tell you. Probably what I was thinking was that this was going to easy peasey…Pffft…..I started over so many times that I almost put a hole in the paper.  So after that, I held the knob in my hand choose the easiest angle.  It still doesn’t look all that great, But hey!  Pencil was put on paper this week AND I know that I need to work on the ellipse shape and my circles are all that hot either.

Drawing Prompt

Draw the office supply that you find  you can’t live without?

Well, that’s about it for me and I hope you have a great weekend!

Be Well and Happy!

Something New, Shoes, A WIP, A Haul and a Prompt…

Something New

I have added  two tabs to my bar (above).  The Portfolio tab has some of my previous artwork and Zentangles in 2 slide shows. The Tutorials Tab  include links to my previous tutorials and patterns, all for easy access 😉

 Shoes

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I thought I would post the shoes that gave me the shakes Zentangling.  I think they turned out really nice and I hope my m.i.l. likes them.  My sister wants me to Zentangle her golf shoes….her Foot Joy golf shoes!  My goodness, I don’t how I am going to manage that one.  I did tell her, if I mess up and/or you don’t like them? It is on you and she still handed them over to me.  So we will see, so far I don’t even have the guts to pull them out of the bag.

 WIP

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This is a WIP of a pet portrait that I have been working on for my nephew and his girl friend as a housewarming present.  I have been having trouble with this little guy, and so far there are a lot of redos.  I haven’t picked up a pencil in a while and I’m rusty, but I hope that I can give them something special.

 Haul

booksAlso, we went Dorm shopping with mini me last weekend.  And I found these awesome hard covered spiral bound sketch pads.  What’s so great about these pads, for me at least,  is that the paper is smooth. If you have a Ross, TJ Maxx or Burlington Outlet near you?  You’d better scoop these puppies up!

Prompt

This week, I am going to commit to a sketch in one of these little beauties and we will call this Sketch Crawl Out Of Bed, LOL

But what will I sketch? Hummmmm……. What. will.  I.  sketch?…I think I shall sketch a door knob.  Exciting choice huh?  (Yesterday,  I took the knob off the door to paint and as I type this, it is glaring at me from the console.)

Would you care to join me?

  If you do, please comment in the post next week with a link to your sketch.  I would love to see it!

If you read my blog and don’t know how to draw, but always wanted to here is your chance.  You can only learn by doing.  I did not know how to draw until I started small sketching exercises.  So grab a some paper, a pencil and give it a go.

We will meet back here on Friday!

Be Well and Happy!

 

Checking in…

Hello!  It’s been quite a while since I last posted.  Life has a way of  getting away from you if you aren’t careful and I suppose that is what has been happening to me.  Although I don’t have any art to share, I wanted to touch base with you guys so I will call this post the Art of  Life.

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Well, I guess I will start off by sharing the exciting news of the smallest Ottaway, Alana.    In June, after many years of hard work she graduated from high school with honors and accolated with an advanced diploma and an aviation seal in the magnet program.  Her dad and I couldn’t be any prouder of her.  The weekend was full of family  and we all had a great time.  I could tell that the family  was betting to see how long David and I  would last before the tears fell but  I am happy to report that although her dad and I teared up, none were shed.  And I am very proud that I didn’t run down to where she was standing grabbing at her legs, screaming, ” I wanna do over!”

In the fall, she will be headed off to college.  I am so excited for her and I’m more than a little terrified.  So, when I feel a panic setting in, I remind myself that I am not the first parent to send their child off to school and I certainly won’t be the last.  Which doesn’t help much, lol but I guess it will have to do.

For the next Ottaway, my beloved David.  After years of dedication and hard work,  got another degree.  His job is demanding and he travels a lot often times working at night.  So his dedication to school and the completion of his degree (on the President’s List) is no small feat.   I am so proud of him!  And I am certainly grateful that I don’t have to share him for a bit.

And then there is me, lol and I’m still plugging a long… My nest will soon be empty, so there is no telling what kind of mess I will get into!

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copyright 2014 Alana Ottaway (used with permission)

My sister and brother in-law hosted a week-long stay in Hatteras celebrating my mother-in-law’s birthday.  Oh my goodness, we had so much fun! The house was so beautiful and had a pool.  So when we got tired of the beach we could lay out by the pool.  We ate fresh fish caught by the fisherman of the house that were so tasty  and laughed until our sides hurt.  It was especially nice catching up with everyone and just enjoying each other’s company.  Thank you Vicki and Chris for a wonderful time!!!!

My sister-in-law and I zentangled shoes.  She was good and finished hers, I just got too nervous.  The shoes I was working on were  leather  so I waited until I got home to finish so I could use a soft pencil to make the design first.  Vicki’s shoes are so cool and she’s a pro at zentangling!!!!

****If you are a Zentangle artist you may want to read her post.  CLICK HERE. 

And also, check out the beautiful quilt she made Alana for graduation. CLICK HERE.

I guess that’s about it for now.  I will be posting my Zentangle project very soon.  I am working on an art project that will be house warming gift  for my nephew and his girlfriend that I will be able to post after delivery. So, until then…

Be Well and Happy!

Have my Supplies, Now What…

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You’d be surprised how fast your mind draws a blank when you are searching things to sketch.  Nothing seems to be appealing for some reason, so you spend a good chunk of time looking for that perfect item that you never find. Don’t be so critical of your objects.  You’d be surprised how nothing becomes something quite spectacular.

I remember sitting on the couch and there was a Mountain Dew can sitting on the coffee table. I had my sketching supplies out and being too lazy discard the can, I decided I would draw it.  To this day it is still one of my favorite sketches.

Below, I am going to give you a few ideas to get those sketching fingers a movin’:

1.)  Sit in a room and just draw random items that you see.  Everyone has at least a couple of chatskis that could be rendered.  Bathrooms are a great place to sketch small items.

2.)  Get your children (or grandchildren) in on the fun.  If a child was particularly well-behaved, tell them that you will sketch whatever they choose.  Trust me.  It is like a sticker to them…

3.)  Join the Every Matters Group on Facebook.  This group is based on the book written by Danny Gregory.  The EDM Group are the most supportive group of artists that I have encountered so far.  They provide a weekly prompt for you to sketch.  You can share or just sit back with some coffee and peruse some of the beautiful sketches from other members of the group.

4.) Gather some like-minded friends, hop in the car and go riding around in town. Stop at a great location and sketch what’s around you for an impromptu sketch crawl.

5.) Join or Start a sketching group.

I hope you find this helpful and a great start on a very fulfilling sketching  journey.

Where do you find your inspiration to sketch?

Be Well and Happy!

 

 

My Sketching Essentials…

There are so many supplies available for the artist to work (or play) on the go.  The equipment can get really elaborate as well as expensive.  So, I have put together a few things I have carried with me from time to time with no problems.  By problems I mean,  I have never sat down to sketch and said, “Man! I wish I would have brought_____!”

Sketching

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I am first and foremost a graphite girl! I like to draw on a smooth papers. And the above are  my papers of choice.

400 Series Strathmore Drawing Pad – 8 x 10, 80 lb., pad is coiled so it folds flat (which is awesome).  Paper has a slight tooth, but I still consider this a smooth(ish) paper.

400 Series Strathmore Sketch Pad – 5.5 x 8.5, 60 lb., pad is also coiled, slight tooth and not as thick as the 80 lb.

-Canson Drawing – 5.5 x 8.5, 70 lb., pad is coiled and has very little tooth.  It is the mid range weight between the two pads above.

-Canson Drawing – 5.5 x 8.5,  65 lb., pad is coiled, slight tooth and also a good mid range weight

The two Canson pads are not available, but here is a link to see the Canson line.

Moleskine Journal – unlined, stapled and smooth tooth, compact and very versatile.

Tools

pencil

These are all the tools I need to keep me happy!

A stump – for blending

A kneaded eraser – erasing mistake of course 😉

2B lead – a very versatile degree of graphite. Depending on the amount of pressure and using a stump, this one soft graphite can give you anywhere from a 4H, 3H, 2H, H, HB,  as well as 2B!

Lead Pencil – Trimming your pencil may not be an option, so for me a lead pencil is a definite must.

When I want to sketch on the go and I don’t want to or can’t take a bigger pad.  I throw a Moleskine, stump, kneaded eraser, lead and a lead pencil in a Ziploc baggie and off I go!

Colored Pencil…Would be essentials

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I rarely take colored pencil on the go.  I may if we are traveling by car, but not usually as a rule.  If I decided to and I had no plan in mind, this is what I would probably take with me. I bought this portfolio from Dick Blick many years ago, and I love it.  The portfolio holds a pad of paper, 12 Prismacolor Pencils, and a sharpener.

The additional pad:

300 Series Strathmore Bristol Smooth – 6 x 6, 100 lb. paper, heavyweight paper that will hold many layers of pencil.

Tools

-Colored Pencil Portfolio – I bought this on clearance for a whopping $20.00…ikr, yay me!  Sadly, I don’t think this is available anymore.

A 12 color pack of colored pencils

A kneaded eraser

-Sharpener

Lead Pencilnot shown.

typing eraser – great hard eraser

Prismacolor blender pencil

-A Baggie – for pencil shavings

Watercolor….Would be essentials

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I haven’t had the pleasure of working in watercolor (yet).  But I do have a few things that I would choose as my essentials if I were to paint on go.

Paper

300 Series Strathmore Bristol Smooth – 6 x 6, 100 lb. paper, heavyweight paper that will hold many layers of pencil.

Other watercolor pads

Tools

Loew-Cornell dry watercolor pan

-12 color pan no longer available
Winsor & Newton – 12 color travel set – linked to a similar set

or Watercolor Pencils not pictured

Travel water brush

-A Mister

-a folded paper towel not pictured

A stump

A kneaded eraser

2B lead

Lead Pencil

Ink

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Sometimes, I want to  Zentangle  and this is perfect to throw in my purse!

Paper

300 Series Strathmore Bristol Smooth – 6 x 6, 100 lb. paper, heavyweight paper

Moleskine Journal – unlined, staples and smooth., compact and very versatile.

Tools

Micron Pens

2B lead

Lead Pencil

A stump

A kneaded eraser

I think oil and acrylic would fall under the en plein air category.  And since we all can’t know everything I have no idea what a charcoal or pastel artist would carry.  But I would definitely be interested in finding out.

Nothing is set in stone and you should carry what makes you feel comfortable. For me these things mentioned is what makes me comfortable to sketch in the past and what I shall continue to have with me in future.

What are your go to sketching essentials?

Be Well and Happy!