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Blue Butterly Graphite Boy Portrait

One good thing about having multiple paintings/drawings in process is that when you get like I do, either fatigued after completing a bigger painting, idealess, can't concentrate or just listless, you can pull it out and finish it.  In this case most of the heavy lifting was completed and all I had to do was to add some final touches and hair on the right side of the painting.   Not really sure why I just didn't complete it when I started it months ago.   I think this was after the move, so I can't even blame that.
I like the way color pencil looks over the graphite.  I know it blurs and the color gets grayed, but, well, that's is what happens anyway with graphite, you get tones of gray, right?  To me it kind of gets that soft pastel-like finish that just graphite by itself doesn't really have.  Also, I also used a big brush, my fingers and a chamois-like cloth to buff the surface.  Using those tools helps to spread both the CP and graphite around the surface of t…
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Stardust Mixed Media Woman Portrait

Well, finally some art room time and boy, was I ever ready.  With all the commotion this week we were out a lot more than usual.  I actually missed my peace and solitude, so it was a relief yesterday to be able to concentrate on completing this painting.  I don't know about you, but when I paint I go somewhere else.  I always end up refreshed, even when I am fighting a painting, it is just magical.  I was able to finish another mixed media portrait in my woman's series, again a combination of acrylic and pastel.  Since I was using the blue tones I decided to put her in a starry sky.    I really love the galaxy look, and yes Sheila, this is a lot like my Selkie picture and I thought of you while I was doing it.

Anyway I do fight with losing the likeness as I paint through the picture.  When I realized I was starting to lose the likeness I went to my trusty proportional dividers (thanks again to Stefan Baumann whose video on how to use and why, make me find them and use them) a…

Venetian Mask Figure Portrait Woman Doodle

Had a lot of sit time yesterday and had received some new sketching toys from a friend at Zebra Pen, so took the opportunity to work on a sketch to see how they performed.  This Venetian Mask is a mixed media sketch, or I should say doodle (I will explain below) and is done with pointalism, color pencils, technical pens, fine tip markers, Pentel white gel pen and I hit it with a brush or 2 of gold paint.
I watched an interesting video from Stefan Baumann where he talked about the psychology of sketching.  He prefers we call it doodling as it takes the pressure off to produce something good enough to use that pristine white paper that comes in sketchbooks.   Doodles can really help you learn to draw and improve your drawing skills.  Doodles also imply fun, no pressure or expectations, something that sketching inherently does imply.  He also suggests that you do about 100 doodles, (Joan, I think you are the only one in the group that is hitting this stride and then some on a weekly bas…

Hanging pictures

Ok, have to admit there has been a certain amount of procrastination involved in this, but I do like to take my time as well.  I knew I wanted to put my art up in this house but wanted to take my time
selecting the right pictures and utilizing all the frames I have collected over the years.  I also wanted to put the right pictures in the right place and not create a ton of excess holes in the walls.  I also admit that I am not handy, I absolutely hate measuring, nailing, screwing/unscrewing, ladders, etc.  But the weather has shifted now, got no outdoor work as an excuse, so .....

I have been researching hanging systems, and while they are sleek, sophisticated and versatile, I got to admit that I am cheap, cheap, cheap.   I just can't do it, as we are the only ones who will really ever view it.   So, am going back to the old fashioned way for the individual pictures and have an idea - got the stuff, now the work to put it together to see if it works - for the areas I want to hang…

Dappled Light

First of all thanks so much my friends for the kind thoughts, made my hubby smile, he has a couple of rough weeks ahead so your encouragement and thoughts are really appreciated by both of us.
Dappled Light is my latest mixed media piece, primarily acrylic with some pastel accents over it.   I love the palette colors of ultramarine blue, teal and sap green.   I decided to put the background in hoping it looked a bit like the garden leaves.  I had originally planned to do flowers in her hair, but decided I didn't like it so quickly wiped it off.   Thanks to Alex Lee Johnson at PMP for another fabulous shot.
I heard an interesting thought on portraits - that basically it is a problem somewhere between the eyes and the mouth.  That you really don't need to obsess on the nose and mouth but just "nail" one of the eyes.   Humans, when we look at each other, actually only see one eye, that is what we tend to focus on.  The other thing is when we look at pictures of ourselve…

Secrets Mixed media portrait woman

Well this turned out to be a very interesting experiment.  When I got interested in doing the mixed media portraits I found that in the journaling community many folks had been incorporating figure collages into their work.  One of the reasons why is they used this method is that didn't actually draw/paint portraits, but wanted figures or faces in their work.  Also by painting over the magazine image you get another image and I guess the rule is that if more than 40% of the picture or image was changed, then you are not plagiarizing their photo, work or ideas.
For someone beginning to paint portraits it is a good way to learn about shading the face, painting over a photo.  Especially in black/white, you really see the light and darks on the facial planes.  So this started out as a black/white photo in an ad from one of my junk magazines, on a bit thicker paper.
I put on the abstract background with acrylic using stencils (adding paint onto paper through the stencil to make design…

Her Highness mixed media woman portrait

I just absolutely loved the expression on this lady and knew I wanted to try to capture her elegance and serenity.  I knew that I didn't want an exact portrait and decided to try another mixed media piece.  

 I added blobs of paint and used my large scraper to make the areas of color.  Just put paint on a piece of watercolor paper.  Then I inscribed and mixed the colors together with the end of my brush and got all the wavy lines (in real life they actually stand up so there is a 3D effect to the background).  Where I thought I wanted the face I really scraped most of the paint off, and ended up with color blotches and tones, and if you look in the forehead you can sort of see the design that was left.  I thought it would add some variance to the skin tones.

I also want to keep her very soft so I tried to stay in the pastel tones, even with the lips.   Once I got shadows and lights added in, and went over it with some skin tone and more blue colors I let it dry completely.  At t…