A Bit of My Day, Art Techniques, Artist Gems, Thank You, WarmUps

Wednesday WrapUp NaNoWriMo Less Digital

Junegrass in the mountain meadow near Conconully, Wa


I’ve enjoyed providing each week a “Wednesday Warm Up,”— a day of usually quick drawing, inking, brushing as warm up to our serious art. I’ve been sharing a strategy to try each Wednesday using the iPad app ProCreate. I’ve decided to change it up a bit for a few Wednesday Wrap Up— a wrap up of my project tips for the past week or something I’ve learned that may also help others with the same #warmup4art hashtag.

This Month: NaNoWriMo Goals

First Goal: Write Daily

My CLmooc friends doodle every day. During November, my doodles will usually be from the writing for National Novel Writing Month: NaNoWriMo. My personal goal has been to write 2000 words a day until I reach the 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo, and I’ve kept that goal. Take a look at my stats as of November 13, the day I passed the half-way mark of 25,000 words!

Second Goal: Draw Daily

My second goal is to draw something everyday about my novel, So Says the Dragon, which is part two of last year’s So Says the River novel. I’ve kept that up daily too, using ideas from prompts I made up for myself.

So far, I’ve drawn characters, scenes, settings, and props, as well as written poems for the story, all uploaded to my Flickr album:


So Says the Dragon

Today is Day 17. I’ve written 33,501 words, well ahead of the word count needed to finish at 50,000 by November 30th. One of the characters has discovered a spirit within the mountain meadow — the lovely lacy fronds of the Junegrass – see the top photo I took in 2019 which became my inspiration. In the story, the Junegrass breaks up the “shadows” of the “other world,” to keep the worlds in balance. So I wanted to illustrate these delightful grasses.


Here’s an excerpt from the story that fit with the mountain meadow:

Reading through my botany articles from Grandma Rose’s special edition, I loved learning how valuable the Junegrass is to the critters of the woodland. Not only do they provide cover and shelter, but are also places for small nests and other homes as well as nutritious feed in the seeds. I also discovered that the best time to gather Junegrass derives from its lovely color. Junegrass, the lovely, lacy grass with seeds the color of twilight- a light purple that nods a greeting to the ebb and flow of light and dark and, as I’ve learned the past few days, that is also a powerful spirit for easing the balance of the two, light and dark, from one to the other.

And so now I walk to the spot of the gently waving fronds, just before dawn in the twilight time, singing a song to them with thanks:
Junegrass fronds in the meadow lean
With wildflowers many in the breeze,
With lacy tufts, soft purple seeds,
Ready feed for creatures many,
Dinner ready, always plenty:
Thank you for your gifts.
Aye Tynks, Aye Tynks.

After the song, I walk along and pick one here and one there, up a step and over two so as not to disturb the growth in one spot only.

Excerpt From
So Says the River E2 /So Says the Dragon
Sheri Edwards
This material is protected by copyright.

Illustration Goal and Process

I wanted to recreate the mountain meadow with a focus on the Junegrass, and make it less digital, more painterly. My strategy to do this is two-fold:


My brushes for this attempt included those from both Brenda’s acrylics class and Jennifer’s Less Digital/Textures class. In addition I’ve also purchased Freya Kotchakorn‘s excellent watercolor brushes, which include “tip” brushes to paint just certain areas with texture.

About texture brushes and layers: Choose the middle color grey and adjust the blend mode; color burn works well, but play around with blend modes and even the color to find the effect needed for your illustration.

Illustration: Junegrass in the Mountain Meadow

The Steps:

  • the background layers using Brenda’s technique
  • Junegrass with textures
  • Distant meadow with textures
  • Mountains and sky
  • Highlights
  • Play with blend modes on many different layers to achieve an effect I liked

Video Explanation and Replay

Try It

So, that wraps up this Wednesday Wrap Up. This journey is one I’ve taken for ten years, so its a part of my life, and I hope these weekly posts will inspire you to join in– or start your own goal of writing and art, perhaps a storybook or poetry book with illustrations. It’s another way to share your beautiful work. Put it on your November calendar for next year!

Thanks to Jennifer, Brenda, and Freya — check out their classes and brushes for tips and brushes to improve your illustrations.

I look forward to your sharing, and please continue to be a part of the  #warmup4art series to learn and enjoy our work together! See my sharing at IG @42Sheri and Twitter @42Sheri.

#NaNoWriMo #NaNoWriMo21 #NovDoodle #CLmooc #SoSaysTheRiver #SoSaysTheDragon #junegrass #warmup4art #mountainmeadows #shadows #twilight

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