Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Working my way through Karen O'Brien's book Imaginary Characters

Do you buy books by your favorite artists and work your way through the techniques in search of the magic that spills out into their art?  One of the artists whose work I truly love is Karen O'Brien.  She has a book out called Imaginary Characters which I adore.  I've been having fun trying to imitate her wonderful creatures.  Her technique tips use all of those hoarded supplies like watercolors, Distress Crayons, acrylic paints and of course my ever present, Stabilo pencil.  Today's project was executed on a wooden canvas from Hobby Lobby that measures 8" by 10" that I first coated in white gesso.  Then I drew my image in Stabilo pencil and painted it with watercolors using a water pen.  When it was dry, stamps were applied with StazOn black ink and the edges were distressed with MementoLuxe Gray Flannel ink.

Supplies used:
Peerless Watercolors
Stabilo pencil
StazOn Black ink
MementoLuxe Gray Flannel ink
Delicata Gold ink

Ranger Distress Crayons

Dina Wakley
Stampers Anon

Stencil by Momenta

8"by 10" wooden canvas

Let go of expectations and just dive into a book by your favorite artist.  Use new techniques and tips with abandon, have fun.  We don't need anyone's permission to play and art is a great place to exercise that right.
Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate your visits, leave a comment if you have the time!  Hugs ~ Renee


  1. In answer to your question, ... No. I would be lousy at this. LoL. But you are good at it and your sweet character is fun.

  2. Renee
    She is fabulous, you captured a beautiful quality to her eyes, she definitely has a story to tell.
    I've had this book on my Wish List at Amazon!

    1. I've had my copy for months and finally have been reading and using it! Well worth the price.

  3. She is COOL!!! I love all the layers underneath too...what fun!

  4. She is wonderful, Renee! I admire your "stick-to-it-ive-ness" in working your way through Karen's book. It's how one learns, right?! Applause! Applause!

  5. Fantastic artwork! I love her - so full of character.
    Alison x

  6. Hi Renee, always happy to visit you and look at your wonderful art makes.
    This wooden canvas is simply marvelous... Totally in awe!
    I don't know well this artist, I've just have a look on her blog and book cover on amazon... Will think about the possibility to buy it though I'm not very good at drawing faces at the moment, I have (not yet) investigated this area full of possibilities I guess. But I really enjoy seeing your way of doing faces, your result is always really superb and original. Hugs ~Coco

  7. A great artwork with a fabulous character!

  8. You did a wonderful job on her! Love her and that background!