I’m Still Here…

Isn’t that a movie with Joaquin Phoenix… or something like that…? (And yes, I googled to make sure, and while scanning wikipedia,  I only needed to see the words “Buffalo Soldier” to then have that song in my head.) Totally not the point of this post, but is a very accurate depiction of me. Ugh, I’m all over the place. And you know that’s exactly how I write this blog thing. My husband was the writer, not me. Anyway, so, yeah, I’m still here. I’m actually not sure how to write this – do I gloss over my absence or do I just go ahead and talk about the elephant in the room? It’s not like I’ve NOT done any art since then, but it hasn’t been at the same pace. My family has weathered some tragically rough patches since the fall of 2014 (I’ve not talked about it outside my private facebook page so don’t worry about searching for it…

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"Painting" a Himalayan Cat

I recently painted a Himilayan cat who passed away unexpectedly. He was definitely the king of the house as can be seen by the photograph below. The owner is a dear friend of mine and a photographer. I chose this photograph, even though it looks a little dark and doesn’t show his eyes as well as another photograph I had. Sometimes, I just go by feel what I think would work better as a painting, but having several photos is always a plus when doing a portrait. I used Mi Tientes pastel paper cropped at 16″ x 20″. Of course I have to provide you with the work in progress photos! You can see the color of the paper in the first step. I cropped the background to concentrate on his face and body. How could I crop out his paws? This was part of his personality and was told he loved to hang out “at the bar”. Obviously, I

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WIP: Elk

This is the WIP for the Elk. In order to depict the massive rack, I wanted to do this on the largest surface I had in the studio. So, I used my only 18″ x 24″ pastelbord (gray). If I had something larger, I would have used it. I’ve found I like to work large when working on animals…maybe it’s because I prefer to stand when using charcoal and pastel, maybe it’s because the nature of the subject warrants to me really get in the fur without getting bogged down with the detail.  On the other hand, the colored pencils are the opposite. I prefer to sit down, work smaller (for now), and concentrate on the details. So let’s get back to the elk…I’ve added captions to each step. I guess I didn’t take a picture of the drawing, but my favorite step is below…right after I’ve drawn in the subject, and I pick up the first and second color.

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Goat WIP

After I completed the donkey, I started to do this guy…and was asked by a few people to do it in pastel. OK…I hit a few bumps in the road since I haven’t really worked a lot with pastel. This was my first pastel animal (before the Alaskan Malamute). I was working on two photos, but not on purpose. My reference was the black and white copy at the top. I realized I needed to go back to my photos and print out a color copy to work with pastels. The photo I chose wasn’t a perfect match, but I went with it anyway. (Not to self…delete the reference photos you decide NOT to use…or…don’t take so many photographs!) Basically, blocking in color…but I guess I didn’t use a lot of charcoal in the beginning of this one. Here’s a close up.   Adding more to the nose and face…note the lavendar/purple? Working on the head and fur a little

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New Pastel Painting: Alaskan Malamute

So the original post disappeared shortly after it was highlighted on another webpage. Sorry it’s taken a few weeks for me to get the energy to piece it back together. (Very strange and since I don’t know WHY it happened, or even know HOW to find out why, I’m just going to add the photos back and go from there). The beginning didn’t start out the way I wanted and I quickly discovered that my sketch wasn’t right. I remedied that by covering the entire panel in charcoal and then bringing out the lighter pieces with a kneaded eraser. At this stage, it’s pretty loose and messy looking. Beginning stage using vine charcoal and a kneaded eraser Now I’m adding more detail now that I’m satisfied with the placement, but still using just charcoal and eraser. (There might be a little bit of pastel on the right ear). Refining the detail It becomes more obvious that I’m adding color now,

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Donkey: WIP

I’ve been working on my newest animal piece on pastelbord. As you’ve seen, I did this cow with charcoal and a kneaded eraser. (For you city folk, this is NOT the donkey…)  I used vine charcoal only – which are the skinny ones on the left. This eraser is my favorite…my progress stops completely if I can’t find one of mine…it’s called “kneaded” because…well, here’s what Cheap Joe’s says on their website: “These erasers are great because they can last just about forever. Many beginning artists don’t understand just how great a kneaded eraser is because no one ever shows you how to use one.But, here is a tip. These erasers are stretchy. This is great when you want to shape these erasers to fit into tight spaces or when you want to ball them up to eraser a swath a few inches wide. They are also kind of like silly putty in that you can shape them, then place

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Carnation Flower: Update

Another update – I’m adding the red (crimson red) to the flower now. I’ll have to go back and forth with the colors to keep the values where I want them. After looking at the grey value on this, I want to push the darks more. (That’s something I tend to be timid about. I can put them in for my portraits, but not when I switch to colored pencils!) I’m a little frustrated because my favorite pencil sharpener is at the gallery, so I’m working with a manual and a battery powered pencil sharpener. I guess I sound pretty silly – my husband thinks I have a pencil sharpener fetish. If he could read the art forum posts on supplies, his eyes would glaze over… For now, I’m stopping here since it’s 3:15 am. I’m going to sleep…maybe. (Oh yeah – better images, right? I ended up scanning it. Forget the camera!)

January Flower: Carnation WIP

I worked at the gallery yesterday and was able to get quite a bit accomplished. I love to do flowers…but less petals! This is taking a lot of time and concentration. Of, course, it’s a WIP (Work in Progress). This is the January Flower, taken at the gallery with my phone. I tried to fix the brightness and contrast, but it just made it worse. Just imagine the paper is actually white. And yes, the flower is green for now. It will be red in the end…trust me. 🙂 For those that haven’t figured out the flowers, I’m working on a series of Flowers of the Month. This is what I’m planning:Jan: Carnation (WIP)Feb: Violet (Not Started)Mar: Daffodil (Not Started)Apr: Daisy (Not Started)May: Lily of the Valley (Not Started)Jun: Rose (Not Started)Jul: Water Lily (Not Started)Aug: Gladioli (Not Started)…although the back up for this is the poppy…I might have to go with that.Sep: Morning Glory (Not Started)Oct: Cosmos (Not Started)Nov:

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