Aster Mandala


My roundish doodle around an aster became a mandala. It was fun to draw, and it provided a new challenge.

I’m noticing right away, though, that there could be more contrast between the background and the linework.

Here it is again, after some layer adjustments:


Which one do you like better?


Leaf Season


Cooler weather brings fall colors.

Orange Flower


The colors I used to doodle on the sides were sampled from the glowing orange part of the flower. I was originally going to doodle over the flower itself, but it already looks pretty busy.

Doodles and Daffodils


In this piece, I’ve played with transparency vs. opacity. I alternated black lines over a solid yellow background with yellow lines over the dark parts of the photo.

I used a grey mask behind the text. The yellow text was still a little hard to make out, so I added a drop shadow, plus bevel and emboss, to give it more dimensionality.

A Methodology for Fierce Love


What does it mean to love fiercely? Right now, to me, it means increasing my capacity to love far beyond my comfort zone.

This is another masking experiment, combining a flower photo, text and doodling. The best way to explain my process is to show you a screen shot of the layers in Photoshop.


I started with the photo on Layer 1.

Then I typed the text Fierce Love over the top of the photo, spending plenty of time picking out a font. This is one of my favorite parts. I ended up using Segoe Print.

To use the text as a mask, I had to move it one layer below the photo (more on how to mask at this video from Howard Pinsky — yes, I keep going back to watch it, since I don’t have the process memorized yet).

Layer 4 is a yellow background, using a shade that I sampled from an earlier flower photo. I keep using the same yellow to give my current series some consistency. A big difference with this piece is the size. I optimized the aspect ratio (before I started anything else) for viewing on a Facebook mobile newsfeed, since I love to share my art at my Facebook page.

I created Layer 2 to doodle around the text, making sure my layer background was transparent before I started drawing.

Next is where some finessing came into play, taking advantage of my mask over the photo on Layer 1. I painted white on the mask under the doodling. This allowed the photo to show through. But since some of the photo is dark, the black lines of the doodle weren’t showing. So I painted some black back into the mask, which allowed more yellow to show through underneath. Since I am still learning, there is a lot of trial and error involved. But masking keeps the original pixels intact, so it’s easier to experiment.

It almost looked done, but the “L” with the yellow flower showing through didn’t stand out much from the yellow background. I created the black Layer 5 at the bottom, then made a mask on Layer. Doodling in black on the mask allowed the black layer to show through the yellow.

Then it was done!

New Bloom

A welcome arrival to my garden — the Stokes Aster I planted last year finally bloomed!


Garden Days

These are the days when yellow flowers bloom.