Tag Archives: drawing

Inspired Mandalas

31 Oct
fruit and logo

Simple Shapes to Inspire Mandala Drawing

madala flower with logo

Mandala Drawing

Mandala Fruit with logo

Fruit Inspired Mandals Drawing, Ink & Watercolor

Mandala flower with logo

Mandala Drawing using stencils

Mandala means “circle” in Sanskrit.  It signifies wholeness and usually begins with a central point with patterns that radiate outward.  Louise Gale (Mandala For the Inspired Artist by Walter Foster Publishing) explains that we are “to think of a mandala as a sacred space.”

Mandalas can occur in nature and are seen in flowers, the moon, the sun, and more.  Although Mandalas are specifically associated with Hindu, Buddhist and Tibetan artwork the geometric patterns can be seen in other cultures.  Often you will see them on buildings, in various art forms, and in religious text and religious items around the world.

I photographed some fruit I had in my home.  The kiwi, clementine and tomato were sliced in half and have some very interesting shapes within.  They gave me a creative starting point for my drawings.  I found the process very relaxing, giving me time to reflect on the intricate beauty of simple things.  Take a look around your home or office and see if you can find simple items to inspire your own Mandala drawing.



Traveling Watercolor Kits

14 Jun



When I prepare my travel art bag, I’m always struggling with the desire to bring every art supply from my studio.  By trial and error I’ve figured out what my bare necessities are.  The picture above shows my two favorite traveling watercolor kits.  The white one is made by Sakura Color Products Corporation and it’s called a “Koi Watercolors Pocket Field Sketch Box”.  It has a removable mixing tray, 24 colors, a nice space for brushes or pens and it even has a pop-out thumb hole on the bottom making it very easy to hold.  My second traveling watercolor set is by Lukas and originally came with tubes of watercolor paint.  Those tubes of paint have been used and now I use the plastic tray to squeeze my own favorite colors into.  Underneath the tray there is room for more brushes or a few paper towels or a small tube of paint.  I have a small blue handle brush on the side of the plastic tray, as you can see in the photo.  The lid makes a great spot for mixing colors.

My favorite sketchbooks have heavier watercolor paper inside but sometimes I just use regular light weight sketchbooks to paint or sketch.  It’s nice if the sketchbook has a heavy cover and a rubber-band to hold it closed.  It will be less likely to fall apart from wear and tear if it’s bound.  I usually throw a pencil and pen into my bag for sketching and a Sakura Aqua-brush.  I also use Pentel Arts brand Aquash water brushes.  The water brushes have a refillable water chamber which makes it possible for me to pull out the brush and immediately start painting.

Making art every day is important for me and bringing supplies along makes it possible.  Travel doesn’t mean I have to give up painting – I can just bring the studio with me.   Painting while traveling is a great way to remember the event and it always makes me smile.


Painting on the Edge

29 Dec


“Three Dancers in Yellow Skirts” by Edgar Degas c. 1891

Degas is one artist that is widely recognized to be among the first to break from traditional composition with his arbitrary edges.  Similar to how a photograph has edges which cut the broader landscape, Degas makes a sharp cut in his painting, “Three Dancers in Yellow Skirts” above.  Of course edges in a painting are far less arbitrary due to control by the painter, but I see this as a fun challenge and a great opportunity for experimentation and creativity.

French Impressionists Deliver Inspiration

20 Jul
dancer by degas sketch by Katie Turner

Degas Sketch by Katie Turner

Dreamer painting sketch by Katie Turner

Sketch of Chagall painting – Dreamer – by Katie Turner

The Joyous Festival sketched by Katie Turner

Sketch of Gaston LaTouche painting – The Joyous Festival – by Katie Turner

Sketch of renoir painting by katie turner

Sketch of Renoir painting – The Wave – by Katie Turner

Watercolor sketch by Katie Turner

Watercolor Sketch of Marc Chagall’s Bouquet of Flowers with Lovers 1927 by Katie Turner

It’s fun to take a field trip once in a while and summer is the perfect time for it.  I drove about an hour to Utica, New York  for the “Monet to Matisse: The Age of French Impressionism” show at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute.  My watercolor sketches above show a couple of my absolute favorites.  You can get an idea of how I sketch – I do make some notes on the colors, and I really only sketch my favorite parts of the paintings in order to remember.

I found the show very inspirational.  I can’t believe I can get that close to these original paintings and really soak them in.  The tour/talk the gallery offers is terrific but I went back and spent another hour just sitting in front of my favorite paintings and really studying them.  I pulled out my sketchbook and got busy because the gallery doesn’t allow pictures.  I spent some time roaming around other rooms after a delicious lunch at the gallery café and discovered a tiny room with Pratt Student works.  I was very impressed with the amazing work these students had on display.  There were paintings, sketches, collage, 3-D objects with moving parts and more.  These talented students were:  Maxine Greij, Nichole Hess, Jared Diaz, Caleb Wesley Young Shelton, Taisha Carrington, Ji Hye Kim, Madaline Gardner, Adam Heisig, Ching An Wu, Ruby Ann Munoz, Francesca Volerich, Shannon Nisiewicz, and Adrianna Enoch.  For those who live in the area, make sure you check out the student’s work and the Impressionists show.  You will definitely be inspired!