Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Farmhouse Style Watercolor Cows

A friend of mine got me thinking about painting cows.......... not such a bad idea! 

With farmhouse style making a big scene, I think cows are a good thing to get into right now.  They can be cute, especially if you paint them with flowers and put them in a distressed frame.

Brown Watercolor Cow with Flowers by Elise Engh: Grow Creative Blog
Brown Watercolor Cow with Flowers by Elise Engh: Grow Creative Blog
Farmhouse Style Watercolor Cows with Flowers by Elise Engh: Grow Creative Blog

I think watercolor cows can be cute even without flowers.  I'm getting into painting with browns and grays, which is unusual for me. I'm all about bright colors, but sometimes I find so much satisfaction from painting with purple or blue tinted browns.  I've been discovering just how many shades of brown and gray there are......... infinite! 

Isn't color miraculous? I rediscover that miracle every time I paint.

watercolor cow painting by Elise Engh: Grow Creative Blog

Friday, April 21, 2017

Vintage Car Soap Illustrations

I have exciting news!!!

Vintage Car Soap Illustrations designed for Anthropologie by Elise Engh

I've partnered with Anthropologie to design some fun summer soaps!!! I just got my samples in the mail today! 


Last fall, a nice lady from the Anthropologie Beauty Department contacted me about creating some illustrations for their soap program.  At first I thought it was a joke-- I love that store--- how did they find me?! I replied and said yes, I'd love to work with you guys! Then the ball got rolling and I got to work sketching, painting, scanning, emailing, etc.

It was a ton of work, but oh so worth it!! 

yellow VW van illustration by Elise Engh: Grow Creative Blog

After a couple of months and many many revisions later, I handed over three large watercolor and ink vintage car illustrations in digital form to Anthropologie!  They put them on their soap packaging and now they are being sold in their online store and some of their brick-and-mortar stores too.  These little babies will be in all 215+ Anthropologie stores this summer!  I can't wait to see them at the City Creek store in Salt Lake City!!


Ok, enough exclamations, time for some photos....

Mint Wagoneer illustration by Elise Engh: Grow Creative Blog

Vintage Car Soap Illustrations designed for Anthropologie by Elise Engh
Pink convertible watercolor illustrations by Elise Engh
Vintage Car Soap Illustrations designed for Anthropologie by Elise Engh

Monday, April 17, 2017

Photos of the Week

I carved out some time to enjoy nature last week and nature did not disappoint!

pink blossoms: grow creative blog
pink blossoms: grow creative blog
black bird on a ranch in Spring: grow creative blog
Russian Olive Branch in Spring: grow creative blog
utah lake shore

Lately I have been given the gift of gratitude, and subsequently, the gift of joy.  Spring has that effect on me.  I live for the colors, the smells, and the energy of this time of year.

We haven't had any interest in our family adoption wise so far.  It has been four months with no contact with any birth parents and it is easy to get discouraged.  I keep hoping and praying that if we are meant to raise another child, that the birth mother of that child will find us when the time is right. I pray for her, whoever she is and cling onto hope and gratitude, for that is my road to happiness.



Monday, April 10, 2017

More Watercolor Easter Eggs

Watercolor Painted Fake Easter Eggs: grow creative blog

I got some last minute Easter egg painting done, just in time for Easter!!!

My little sis told me about these fake eggs you can buy at walmart and I had to try them out. Blowing eggs is so time consuming and messy and this seemed like a much easier alternative! The consensus is....... these fake eggs are decent, but can't quite match the beauty of real eggs. The floral eggs I painted last year were real blown eggs and they are still my favorite.

The good thing is that the paints stay on these eggs a little better.  It's harder to wash it off, but it is also harder to get some good dark color.  The colors look more light and pastel on fake eggs. Oh well, it was still fun to paint these! 

I tried my hand at a floral monogram,

Watercolor Floral Monongram Easter Egg: grow creative blog

 some abstract watercolor eggs,

Watercolor Painted Fake Easter Eggs: grow creative blog

Watercolor abstract Easter Egg: grow creative blog
Watercolor Painted Fake Easter Eggs: grow creative blog

and a cactus egg! Which is your favorite?

Watercolor Cactus Egg: grow creative blog


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Pushing the Boundaries of Scale

I am totally comfortable painting tiny flowers at this point in my career, but the way to grow is not by staying comfortable. Am I right? So I went for a large floral watercolor last week!

Yes, it was a little scary to paint so large (it's an 18 x 24 inch piece), but also very rewarding. I love the scale of this one! So much texture, color, and movement to examine. I have to stand back a ways from this piece to take it all in.

watercolor flower illustration: grow creative blog
watercolor and ink flower illustration: grow creative blog
Elise Engh Watercolor Flowers: grow creative blog
watercolor and ink flower illustration: grow creative blog

This started out as strictly a watercolor painting, but I didn't like how it looked, so I rescued it with a black sharpie.  A little ink does wonders if you find your flowers a little lacking.

The art lesson #1 learned here is this: don't be afraid to push some boundaries, whether it's with scale, color, or medium. You'll never grow if you don't explore.

Art lesson #2: even though watercolor is known for being the most unforgiving medium, there are other mediums you can use to save a botched watercolor painting, so don't give up so easily! Paint on!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Inspiring Spring Paintings

Watercolor and Ink girl with flowers by Elise Engh: grow creative blog

One more mini contribution to my Flower Girl Series I started last year.  I haven't painted any  versions since my "Flower Dreamer" last summer.  It was time for another and it was fun to go small this time. This is a 5x7 inch piece and it's in my shop!


Watercolor and Ink girl with flowers by Elise Engh: grow creative blog
spring watercolor paintings by Elise Engh: grow creative blog

And since poppies are my favorite flowers, I painted a pale pink poppy piece with some ink outlines.  I might want to keep this one for myself!  

Spring is such an inspiring time of year.  I'm reminded what colors look like, how many shades of green there are, and what warm sunshine feels like on my arms.  It all leads to good painting, so hooray for Spring!


Pink Watercolor Poppies by Elise Engh: grow creative blog

Monday, March 27, 2017

Photos of the Week


Yes, I have some photos for you!! I haven't had much energy left over to get out with my camera in quite a while.  I've missed it.

I caught our white blossoms just coming out on a sunny warm day.  Few things make me happier than watching plants come to life in the spring.  It's nothing short of a miracle that you can so easily miss, if you aren't paying attention.




Tuesday, March 21, 2017

How to Leave White Space in Watercolor Painting

creating white space in watercolors

Hi friends and Happy Spring!

I've been busy with family and house plans so I haven't been getting much up on the blog lately, but I do have a new watercolor post up on the Craftsy Art Blog that I wanted to share with you.

Learning to leave white space in watercolor painting is one of the most basic and most challenging steps to creating a great watercolor piece.  In this post, I share seven ways to help you get that white space in your painting so that it can live and breathe!  White space gives life to watercolor painting. Without it, paintings look flat and dull.

So check out 7 Simple Strategies for Creating Watercolor White Space!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Watercolor Floral Pineapples

watercolor floral pineapple painting by Elise Engh

Almost everything I paint these days is tropical.  I love the vibrant colors and interesting shapes of tropical plants and fruits.  I guess I just have spring fever really bad!

So I painted three tropical floral pineapples in watercolors! I did three versions, with my first version (shown above) being my favorite.  Even though I love this design, I don't love painting the same thing over and over again.  So these will probably be the only versions I do.  Enjoy! 

watercolor floral pineapple paintings by Elise Engh

watercolor floral pineapple painting by Elise Engh

watercolor floral pineapple painting by Elise Engh

I have two of these paintings left in my Etsy Shop.  The first one went super fast, so check them out before they're gone!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Watercolor and Washi Tape Tags and Cards

happy birthday gift tag with watercolors and washi tape: grow creative blog

Last week I was sifting through old watercolor paintings and decided to go on a card and gift-tag-making spree!  I had to put some of my new washi tape to good use!

Some of these designs were from watercolor stamping experiments.  Others are some old watercolor cut-outs. I just added some fun floral details with pens.  I'm all set for gift giving this year!

happy birthday gift tag with watercolors and washi tape: grow creative blog

happy birthday gift tag with watercolors and washi tape: grow creative blog
happy birthday gift tags and cards made with watercolors and washi tape: grow creative blog

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A New Way to Paint Flowers

 I've been playing with different ways to paint flowers.  These are not the realistic kind, but they are oh so fun to paint!


Watercolor sunburst florals by Elise Engh

You start with a simple flower shape in the middle and work in rounds, varying the sizes and shapes of the flower petals.  Keep moving outwards until the flower is larger enough to strike your fancy. Then you can add leaves, dots, even some gold ink- if you feel like it.  

These two paintings are small and I'm dying to try this out on a larger scale! 

Watercolor sunburst florals by Elise Engh
Watercolor sunburst florals by Elise Engh


This 5x7 floral sits on my bookshelf in the family room right next to my little cactus painting.  They were meant to be together!

watercolor cactus and flowers by Elise Engh

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Four Abstract Watercolor Canvas Paintings

As promised, I have some more photos of my abstract watercolor paintings on canvas!

First up, the tropical palm leaf......  I like this one so much I hung it in my master bedroom. I painted the leaves on the sides of the canvas to continue the design. That way I didn't have to frame it :)

abstract palm leaf painting on canvas: grow creative blog

This piece is full of my favorite colors: blues and greens.  I once read that the human eye can distinguish more shades of green than of any other color. Once you start mixing greens with your paints, you see how that is true.  There are so many possibilities in greens and they play so well off of one another.
watercolor abstract palm leaf painting on canvas: grow creative blog

And my salt and glue experiment turned out lovely.  I could drool over the textures all day! 

Green Abstract Watercolor, Salt, and Glue Painting: grow creative blog
Green Abstract Watercolor, Salt, and Glue Painting: grow creative blog

Now, onto the watercolor cactus paintings!  

These were the most fun to paint, because I love cactus and I love the process of painting watercolors on canvas.  At the time I painted these, I had no idea that they made canvas specifically for watercolor paints! I just gessoed my own canvas and went to town with runny, messy paints. One day I will try the watercolor canvases though. They sound amazing!

painting watercolors on canvas: grow creative blog
abstract watercolor cactus paintings on canvas: grow creative blog

DCMA

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...