Don’t Desaturate, Greyscale!

I was pretty surprised to realize that after many years of using Photoshop Elements Desaturate (or “Remove Color”) to make images black and white, guess what, that is the total pants wrong way to do it! The values are way off! I’ve been learning a bit of the Munsell method from Paul Foxton at This was my first non-black and white value study and I’ve learned something new and unexpected — use the Mono filter on the iPhone or use Photoshop Greyscale mode to pull the color out whilst retaining the values — job done!

Jovian Cuties

What sort of cuties are floating around the seas of a Jovian moon?

Working on these gouache paintings trying to focus on something lovely while my personal life is in a fairly challenging state right now…

There is a real possibility that despite the enlarged nature of my paintings, these creatures are very, very small.

Jiffy panda pizza mix – just add panda!

I’ve got a few disjointed things to say… First, when is anything good enough? I feel like I should paint this ten more times and then post it, but I do sort of like this also for it’s charm and expediency. 

I’m separated from my oil paints right now and have to paint in gouache, an opportunity to practice speed and getting in and out and done. Calling something done seems to take more practice than anything else, and there is always a problem that if I try to fix seems to ruin the looseness of it all so there has to be some balance between fixing or allowing bad drawing or problem areas and continuity and overall feel. Maybe I just have to practice more and get better, and then the question is, should I share or not share things that aren’t perfect?  Can it be worth sharing and not perfect?  I do think my cube paintings have helped me paint this box, thank you Paul Foxton for encouraging the value studies.

Have I mentioned I used to make assemblages? I made this box like 15 years ago and I enjoyed doing assemblage but it takes a lot of space, both to make things and store all the bits and bobs, space which for the last 15 years I have not had. I have a little space to oil paint nearby, not big enough to even stand up and back up away from the canvas but I’m away from even that for a few weeks (by choice) so this will be good practice with the gouache which needs even less space. 

One main reason I started painting at all two years ago was because I haven’t had the space to build these things but if I want to paint them, ok, I can do that now, I am learning to paint.

My next thought then is like, how or should I explain what this is about?  I think the most important thing i think i can do right now is just paint more and finish more, then i can practice writing what it’s about…  although maybe it’s completely transparent and obvious and you are left with a feeling like you don’t know if you should like it or not…  liking it but some vague dis-ease?  That would probably be the best reaction I could think of.

Thank you for considering what I am blathering on about… new information has come to light.  These were fresh thoughts, at least to me, 15 years ago but what I really want to know now is how do we change the course of civilizations when they are going in the wrong direction?!?  All I can do at the moment is change myself and hopefully share my changes in a visually appealing way I guess…

xoxo, k

Yōkai (Kitune & Kokkuri-san)

I love kawaii, so after I researched “Yōkai” a few days ago, I knew I had to draw a super-cute nine-tailed trickster fox spirit before midnight Seattle time on Oct 7! Possession seems pretty fitting for Halloween plus I love numismatics, so it’s all coming together in this one.

I honestly knew very little about Yokai and hadn’t even ever heard that word before it showed up in the Mabsdrawlloween list. Kitune is the fox spirit and Kokkuri-san is like Ouija played with a coin and the fox possesses you.

I found a tutorial online for how to draw a kawaii cat by @tatyanadeniz that I used as a guide. I’m also calling it #wip because this had to be done very quickly so it’s not nearly as worked over as I’d like to to be, but you get the idea. Want to play a game?

xo, k

#mabsdrawlloweenclub2019 #mabsdrawlloweenclub #yokai #kitune #kokkuri-san #pencilsketch #photoshopelements #tatyanadeniz #kawaii #fox #spiritchanneling #halloween #donotplayalone

Loo Roll on Unbleached Muslin


Oil on paper, 4×4 inches, Kato D, 2019

This painting uses three colors, titanium white, unbleached titanium and raw umber.  I bought the video of Scott Conary‘s Perception and Inspiration online course, which is awesome, he is awesome, and he talks about the movement of light and shadow around a form and the melding of foreground and background:  they are one, grasshopper.

I find the computer moire of the paper’s linen texture really annoying.  I tried blurring but it looked worse.  I pledge to start painting on smooth panels soon.