Wednesday, 27 April 2016

WOYWW 360–Technology and Narrow Boat Painting

Better late than never – it’s now Wednesday evening and I have yet to show the world my desk! I couldn’t seem to get myself going this morning and all I managed to do was some singing practice, and then this afternoon I was busy producing something to show you!

Here is the corner of my studio to the right of the window, with my main work area on the right, taken from across the room. I took this photo this morning.

WOYWW 360 Technology

Yesterday I rolled up my sleeves and decided it was high time I got my cutting machine going again. She is called Sheba and is a Black Cat Cougar from Thyme Graphics, and I haven’t used her for several years, what with everything that’s been going on in my life over the past few years – problems with elderly parents, moving house, illness. During the past year I haven’t used my iMac much and like Sheba, it was in the corner of the room gathering dust. When I got it, I had the cutting software licence transferred fro the PC to Mac but never got round to setting it up, so I had to start doing that yesterday. Open on the screen you can see Final Cut Pro X, the Rolls-Royce of video editing software (available only on the Mac, unfortunately) – this is something else that I haven’t looked at for ages and wanted to revise my knowledge! On the right is my old laptop which works OK for some things but was replaced a few months ago with the one I am using to type this.

Hopefully if I can get Sheba up and running soon, I should be able to start producing more flowers and butterflies, and make some stencils etc. for my art. Watch this space.

Last week I began practising my narrow boat painting skills and soon realised that I didn’t have the right brushes so I ordered some on Ebay:

New Royal & Langnickle Brushes, April 16

They came a couple of days ago, so this afternoon I did a bit more practising.

09 Practising

11 Practice Sheet

I am very grateful to Diana Taylor for her hint about translucent acrylics – she suggested mixing a bit of titanium white with the yellow and this certainly worked. The square of yellow roses bottom right was done this way, and the randomly-spaced ones have another coat of paler yellow on top which I quite like. I thought the spontaneity of the single brush stroke for each petal might be lost if I added more, but it seems to be OK. I can always add more yellow if I want. The new brushes are much better, but I had to experiment to get the right size, and also the right flow of paint – too thick and you can’t tail off the small petals to a nice fine line – too thin and the paint becomes translucent and too watery. Anyway I think I’m getting the hang of it now. In some ways it’s a shame that the boxes are painted red because it’s not an ideal background colour for this technique – a dark green or blue is better. Anyway I think I shall proceed with the acrylics and not bother to get any Humbrol enamels which I might not use again.

Happy WOYWW everyone, and a good productive week ahead on the creative front!


  1. love that yellow, it really zings now! have a great week re-acquainting yourself with the technology!! Helen #1

  2. I have to say that I am always impressed with people who decide they want to learn a technique and then go and fuss around with over and over again, trying different mediums and the like until they perfect it. Me, I just want it to be right the first time. Or maybe the second. You sure have a lot of technology! It's good to see Sheba front and center again. PJ & Dio #57

  3. Hi Shoshi, pleased to see you enjoying the crafting again. I do have some photos on my blog, I will put you a link to them next Wednesday. Thanks for the visit to mine and happy woyww, Angela x 21

  4. My goodness, Shoshi. You have been industrious! I'm so glad you are feeling up to it, and seeing so many things beginning to come together for you both now. Well done. God spoke right the way through your illness, and you stayed faithfully at His side. Great stuff!! Enjoy retirement and your crafting and singing and guitar playing!
    Take care both of you. God bless.
    Margaret #2

  5. Hope you get Sheba up and running soon. Now that you've got the right brushes the painting should come along nicely. You're doing a wonderful job so far. I took a look at your garden in one of your posts - what a wonderful space!

    Have a great week
    Sharon K #46

  6. I have never heard of your Sheba but sounds a bit like the Cricut or Silhouette machines. Love the painted flowers. Have fun relearning your machine! Happy WOYWW!
    Carol N #41

  7. your practice looks great. Good job relearning you machine!
    Have a great day.
    Diane - WOYWW #36

  8. Hi Shoshi, Hi again Sheba!
    I love all the roses- the titanium white seems to have done the trick but I actually quite like the translucent qualities of the yellow. I feel it looks like a development of the original art if that makes any sense.
    I got a scan'n'cut for my birthday to join the cougar and I love it. It was much faster to learn and master but the Cougar still gets some use. I hope you get back into the swing of using Sheba quickly- I always love the flowers you produce on her. X

  9. Hi Shoshi, I missed WOYWW this week! Glad to see you made it! I haven't done much since last week, except for some photo morphing, but that wasn't enough to make a post. At one point, I didn't touch my Cameo for years either, but it worked just fine when I got it going, although I had to reinstall the software. Love the name Sheba, which incidentally Oreo's favourite brand of cat food, haha! I bet Phoebe and Beatrice like it too. It smells good enough to put it in your sandwich, LOL! Those are good value brushes - I've got some too! Great idea with the titanium white though it will pale the colours a little. You could also try painting white first and put yellow on top. Happy bank holiday weekend soon!

  10. Well playing with paint looks to be a lot more fun to me than getting back up to speed on electronics. Happy crafting! Susanne #38

  11. Your flowers are looking fab, and I'm glad the idea of adding white worked. I love the red background but I do think a deep green would look very authentic - I'm looking forward to following this art journey you are on! Have fun with your cutting machine, it's great to see it out again after all this time!
    Diana x

  12. Wish I lived close by and could come and be taught how to do the narrow boat painting. Something I have admired for years. Is there no end to your talents Shoshi?
    Lovely to see your room in such a closeup and I just gasped when I saw Sheba had not been used in such a long time. Shows how time flies.
    Hope you are feeling well at the moment - now don't do too much, remember "rest and play are the orders of the day".
    Hugs, Neet 3 xx

  13. Thanks for popping over, Shoshi! I clip Oreo's claws as well, but I can only do it when he's in a lazy mood. When he's in a crazy mood, forget about it! He's already ruined one of our armchairs using it as a scratch pole, even though he's got his own. Luckily, it's an old one, destined for the dump, but now we can't buy a new one in fear of him ruining it just the same. Hope Phoebe's condition has been sorted once and for all! It can't be nice to live in constant fear of what might happen.

  14. I think your paintings look gorgeous. Do you think Acrylic Glazing Medium might help for the look your going for? I am so happy to see Sheba again. I was following your blog when you got her. Black Cat cutters are so nice. I now have a Cricut Explore & Cameo. I am thinking of getting a heavy duty cutter. I have been looking at the BC again. I always recommend them.

  15. Thanks for visiting, Aiyana. I do hope one day you will start posting to your blog - I'd love to see what you do. So you are already acquainted with Sheba! I've got to put her through her paces again soon. If you are thinking of upgrading your cutter, this is definitely the way to go - the Black Cat Cougar has now been superseded by the Silver Bullet - expensive but well worth the investment because it's streets ahead of any of the competition. I am going to try going over the pale flowers with more yellow acrylic, and to finish I will paint the whole thing with acrylic varnish to seal it all and protect it, as the boxes will be in the garden.


  16. Good morning, Soshi. Sorry I'm late getting round this week. Way too much going on. Looks like you will be busy. Learning/ re-learning how your toys work. Lovely paint strokes. I bought an entire set of brushes last year and have yet to give them a go. Eventually. LOL Right now I just want things put away. Your space looks very well organized.
    Hugs and Creative Blessings! Kelly #52

  17. Well that is certainly "technology" corner! Amazing what kit is out there these days. I have recently got my first (yes first) smartphone (although had a tablet for a few years now) and the stuff on there is blowing my mind! I even managed to record myself playing my harp and upload it to a ringtone! You'll be glad to know I set my sunflower free last week, although I have since planted 2 more seeds in the CD case, about to blog it..... Thanks for visiting me, sorry the reply is so late, long weekend here in the UK so not much time at the main PC as hubby was home LOL BJ#32

  18. Lovely to see Sheba out & at the ready! I've just come back from the Spring Retreat so am briming with ideas.


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