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Showing posts from 2015

A Little Attitude

A Little Attitude
                                                                   Color Pencil
I had a couple of titles for this picture, Little Geshia or In Training, but I really like the pose and the attitude she is holding so hence the name. An artist at PMP, Sally Ann, does the most beautiful color pencil pictures and inspired me to dig out the pencils and do a pidcture as I haven't done one for a while.  I was not only intrigued with the subject but the intricacies and silky patterns of the kimono.   I hate backgrounds as I am never good at them and decided to utilize a background effect I had seen previously keeping it simple but effectively framing her. 
Ever since I found a sharpening tip I have gotten such better tips - hold your pencil (color, charcoal or pastel) in your left hand.  Snugly put the sharpener over th…

Merry Christmas to All

Oh yes, it seemed so far away and now it is here, the holidays are definitely upon us.  Thanks to all who hopefully enjoyed this blog over the last year.  Appreciate very much your support, comments and feedback.  I hope all have plenty to eat, enjoy your families and have been good so Santa comes to call. 

Thanks so much for stopping by.


Well not sure what is going on but am in one of those times when I drive Paul nuts because I have at least 7 pictures started.   I have good intentions for all of them but can't seem to stay focused on them. 

Did my review of goals for 2015, am setting new ones, and am trying something I thought was neat - coming up with 20 "personal" wishes.  Read a book about a groups of ladies who did that and well, they came thru - the power of writing things down.  They went so far as to actually create scrapbook pages.  But darn it is hard to come up with 20 things I want just for me, just haven't been programed that way.  So it is a tedious process, lots of adds, cross offs and added back again.  On well only have to figure out…

The Cocktail Party

The Cocktail Party
Initially I was going to call this The Pig and Hare, but when I saw the wine glass I changed it and thought they looked like they were at a cocktail party.   The rabbit with the pipe and the pig with the wine glass.

When I was looking for inspiration I saw these guys from one of my favorite artists/photographers, Steve Lyddon on PMP.  They looked like they had a rusty crust on them that comes from outdoor exposure.  I remembered in an obscure watercolor book I had gotten years ago that it showed how to do stone or rust work.  So for this week's experiment you use a combination of household items.  The process is wet the paper (matboard in this instance), add watercolor, dab in olive oil to act as the resist, sprinkle salt and flour where you…


 One thing I love about these koi paintings is that you can hang them
most anyway.  Here is the same picture just turned to all four sides.
This is sort of more abstract as I put the fish in first and then put the background in.  Since the paint for the background is so liquefied it really spreads when you put the saran wrap on top of it and I think it makes it look like the water is actually more over the top of the fish.  You can compare to the previous post where the fish have all found edges and let me know which you prefer.  Also which way would you hang this picture?
Thanks much for stopping by and have a great day.

In The Flow II

In The Flow II, I wasn't really happy with how this picture came together.  As Val mentioned, the big blob gray fish wasn't reading correctly.  So I changed it up, experimented with adding more background and leaves overlapping the fish themselves to see if could add depth, added in the water bubbles.  Hoping everyone else thinks this is an improvement.  Am thinking of putting it into the shop but don't want to add crappy work - so your thoughts?  Thanks for stopping by and letting me know your thoughts.

In the Flow I

In the Flow
Seems like it has been a long time since I posted anything.  Took a little hitaus and saw some super paintings in National Gallery of Art, Portrait and American Art museums.  Really inspiring.  Had fun doing these koi as I love these balls of energy.  I think I am going to try to do them again, but do the fish first and then put the background in and let those colors overlap the fish to see if it gives it a more "water effect" 
Thanks for taking a look and hope you are having a super week.

French Angel

French Christmas Angel
                                                                Acrylic/Gold Leaf
Given the events of the recent days it seemed appropriate to do this French Victorian Christmas Angel.  I got crazy and stippled liquid gold leaf over a doily for the circle surrounding the angel, kind of like using a stencil (which I am going to try more stencils incorporating into more work for subtle textures).  Then the rest is done in acrylic.  Tough to get the facial features, and that is one thing I am working on, getting features with fewer strokes.  Am thinking too, all the Christmas commercials are making me think that it is coming soon and angels seem like a good thing for a card. 
Thanks much for stopping by and hope you are having a great week.

Garden Angel

Garden Angel
I almost called this little guy "Chubby Cherub" as I really loved his chubby cheeks and plump little arms and the stubby little feathery wing.  He is deep in the garden and the shadows.  I did the backgrounds that I am beginning to love, with sloppy acrylic and saran wrap, I just love all the different textures you get (I also hate doing backgrounds).  Think I did a better job of controlling the where the paint went in this one.  I put on the gloves (no more green/blue hands for me, thank you) and kind of finger paint where I want the colors to be.  Of course you never know what you get until it's dry.  Aslo trying to get that blotchy stone work where the stone discolors for a variety of reasons.  There actually is a tinge of gre…

Dream Ballerina

Dream Ballerina
                                                                    Color Pencil
We all have people or things in our life that boss us around.  In my case it is paintings, some just demand to be done now and can't wait.  So you put the others aside and just do it so you can sleep at night.  I actually used this ballerina for Splash Ballerina and she had such a lovely pose and I wanted to try to get the translucence of her tutu.  For some reason trying to capture that see-thru look really fascinates me.    I wanted this to be a very soft piece both in image and colors.  The background is a bit of pastel and then the ballerina herself is in color pencil.  Haven't done much in pencil lately and just wanted to use it again.  There is a lot of color in this piece but again it reads relatively light from a distanc…

Garden Fairy

Garden Fairy
Well been in a slump where everything I touched went into the trash.  Felt like angels might be a good inspiration and found what I think is actually a little fairy.  Thought the challenge of taking an inanimate object and trying to give it personality would be fun.  I used the slop the paint on the background, cover with saran wrap technique and we were off.  Hope he or she makes you smile today.
Thanks much for stopping by and have a great weekend.

Splash Ballerina

Splash Ballerina
                                                                 Pastel/Copper Leaf
Well here is another version of Splash Ballerina.  I used the copper leaf which I think I got down a little too solid compared to what I was going for, but ....  Anyway, the ballerina herself is in pastel.  I really like the look and feel of the movement of the piece.  One of the attractions of these dancers is the sheer elegance of how they use and place their arms and legs.
Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.

Fall Leaves

Fall Leaves
                                                          Watercolor with Copper Leaf
We are having one of our typical dreary days here in Atlanta.  Guess it is going to get worse before it gets better as they are calling for 3 days of rains, but at least we should get something wet if it is going to be gray.
Yesterday I was able to collect more leaves from the trees in our development and wanted to try to get them onto paper - just overnight they dried out and lost a lot of their color.  I wanted them to curl up but guess I really need to keep them under glass to keep the colors more intact.
I am having a ball enjoying doing the leaves this year.   Maybe it is true the older you get the more you enjoy the simple things in life.  Anyway, more copper leaf as the background as it makes the colors pop.  But leaves bits …


Well today is date day with my hubby, and since it is a beautiful day, might be the last this year before we get cold and rainy again, we are going to picnic in the park.  We are fortunate to have a beautiful state park not far from here that has ruins of mills destroyed during the Civil War.  They also created, in modern times, a reservoir from the rapids that ran the turbines for the mill.  So posting early so I can enjoy fresh air, turning leaves and my hubby - not necessarily in that order!!
Here is this week's experiment, this zebra is in copper leaf except for the eye and the nose.  I am out on the nose and am seriously thinking I am going to put the nose to copper leaf - but before I do what do you think?  I am thinking right now the gold leaf which I didn't like, covered with several glazes makes your eye go right to the nose and really the eye should be the focal point I think.  
Thanks much for stopping by and have a great weekend.

Swiss Miss

Swiss Miss
Here is the second in the series of Domestic Divas.  While I didn't think I would do them in watercolor, she came out in a more traditional watercolor form than Blue MOOn.  I also toyed with using the complementary colors.  At first she was kind of a shy, shrinking violet, then I jazzed her up using more darks and hope she translates and that her blue eyes stand out.

This Swiss Miss is very patriotic and really enjoys her sports.  She is from the area around Emmental Switzerland.  She is medium bodied, pretty agile, but while she could, she doesn't melt easily into the background.  Her coat has a very lacy appearance and she sports a unique mane braid.  Her BFF is Arnold, a pig, they pair very well together, guess it's that…

Autum Leaf

Originally I wasn't going to post this, but have had such a good reaction, thought I would do,so.  This is another attempt at figuring out how to use copper leaf.  I like the color,of the copper almost better than the gold, but remember the gold I Have is a liquid gold paint and really doesn't have the same refractions.  Walked In our neighborhood and the leaves are just starting to,change, so magnificent knew I had to try to get it on paper  Thanks for stopping by and take a look.

Blue MOOn

Blue MOON (aka Blue Cheese)
Got to thinking about all those cows out there that are so popular and thought for Christmas I would try to put together a series, going to call it "Domestic Divas", and maybe set up a shop on DailyPaintworks to see if I can sell some things.  Would like to get rid of some picture inventory and also make some money that might pay for some of the supplies that I use and want to keep trying.

So here is the first in my series that will introduce you to the girls, with personality, that make up the various cheeses that we all love.  This one happens to be in watercolor, not sure that they all will be.  Ok, so my right brain might be going a bit outside the nine dots, but ....    Part of the fun thing is I can let my imagination go …


I feel like a bit of color and like the graphic nature of this piece.  Although I think it is softened by the flowers.  Thanks to Rosemary Clark on PMP for the poppies to kind of use as a reference.  I find now that I really don't see the final product until the end, just like you, until that point I am only trying to paint shapes.  Mostly it surprises me to see that yep, it does kind of fit together better than it looks like while it is in process.
I think this might be the first of two pictures that were meant to hang together, but could still stand just as a single picture.  I am working my way up to doing a triptych.  This is the first pass of the design and practice on painting the flowers, while I am trying to decide if I will like it enough to buy two gallery wrapped canvases to do the final paintings on.  I still haven't found really reasonable prices on frames, but have a new option I need to check out.  I think even on paper it would look good framed in a black fram…

Rrrrruff Day

Rrrrruff Day
I had so much fun when I did Terrie, Renate's dog, during the challenge I thought I'd take a shot at rying watercolor again. Then I saw this dog that was foreshortened, which is a challenge, but just loved the expression.  I thought he just really looked like a dog's life was pretty tough and he was weary - guess he had to chase and not catch too many squirrels.  I do get impatient however and it takes multiple layers and combinations with black  to get rich darks.  I also try really hard to not get hard edges and for me that is a challenge. Hoping he puts a smile on your face.
Thanks for stopping by and hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend.

Day 30 Motherly Love

Motherly Love
Final day of the challenge and hooray, I made it!!!  Now back to real life and my new color studies that I want to work through.
This is the third time I did this challenge, but the first time it wasn't a tremendous pressure, I changed my mindset I guess and it worked.  As always it was worth the effort and I learned a lot, enjoyed just playing with some things and experimenting which I don't always do in real life.  Not sure however, if I am going to do the January challenge as it is only a couple of months away.
Who knew how much people love cows, I know of one person that only does cows and sells everything she can make.  Go figure.  This came from a reference photo on PMP by Diane Mowery.   When I saw this I thought it was pretty coo…

Day 29 Terrie

Well Sweetie, this is for you.  Hope it makes you smile and please, get well soon.  Also, guess who else has a hummingbird tatoo???
This little cutie is, gosh I don't know what breed they are, but he is one of two that my friend has and they have a really round blunt snout.  I was originally going to really get wild and crazy with the colors on this, but backed off at the end and did her more true to life.  That is why I did it in wsatercolor as I wanted to drop in and let the colors bleed.  Maybe next time she will have more unusual colors.  And yes, she really does have this little heart shaped nose in the picture.  Not real sure that the hummer reads as a tatoo or if it is more like she is watching the hummer. 
Thanks much for stopping…

Day 28 Venetian Mask

OK so technically I didn't do this in a day, but it was sitting around half done so I tried to finish it as after the challenge I have some serious studies that I want to do and wanted to get things cleaned up.  I am so into it I even started cleaning the studio.  Since I have done a lot of pastels I have a lot of dust accumulated along with just plain dust.  I really need to do a complete reorg and sort through and throw out. Sounds like a plan and it isn't even the beginning of the year.
This is a mixed media piece, I have white acrylic, pastel and a little gold leaf.  
Thanks for stopping by and have a good one.

Day 27 Splash Ballerina

Most of us don't have the perfect art space, but having been without for a week it sure makes me appreciate what I have.  It felt so good to be back in my creative space where I had things at my disposal.  I loved the flow of this piece but found it was difficult to make a wet splash effect with a dry pastel.  Think I will try this again with wet paint for the splash and figure.  Who knew I'd develop such a love for black paper?
Thanks for stopping by and have a great Sunday.

Day 26 Thistles and Dandellions

Well this is my last experiment with the fluid acrylics.  I like the  way this one turned out and The way that the Dandellions interplay with the blue arching lines, think it gives it interesting movement.  Back home now sitting on the porch watching the rain fall and glad not to be driving in Atlanta traffic with the wild drivers and the rain.  Content to just stay put now for a,while.  Got to get back into the swing of things for the final days of the challenge. Thanks for stopping by and have a super weekend.

Day 24 The Web

Well here it is day 24 and I will soon be back on track.  This was another of my experiments with fluid acrylics on Bristol board and as before I didn't have the same run out.  Guess the gardening season should be over when you start to see spiders in anything, must be because all the Halloween stuff is out in the stores, just barely dig glut Christmas, peopel it is only September!! Thanks for stopping by and have a super day.

Day 23 Nettie Huxley

Again anther John Singer Sargent, this is Nettie Huxley, done in 1888.  I first drew her in 1997 and now again.  I think I captured her feminine features better in the second attempt.  Did have a rough go with the nose this time around and seems to me the eyes not the same size (thought I had corrected that)  Oh well, back to,the drawing board.  I am using my site measuring but think as I'm actually drawing I am distorting.  Not on my drawing table at for a few more days so that might be affecting it as well.   But overall I am pleased with her. Thanks for taking a look and hope you are having a super day.

Abstract III

My hubby has put up with me for 348 months, yes he has the patience of Job, hope we have that many more to enjoy!!! The experiments continue.  This time I tried liquefying acrylic using water and pouring on Bristol board that wasn't primed.   I found the paint quickly sinks into the board and really doesn't spread like it did on the Yupo.   Playing is just so much fun. Thanks for stopping by and hope your weekend is great.

Day 21 Hands

Was counting on using my iPad to post to Leslie's site but is too big so just posting to big and Facebook I guess.  Today's project was to do hands.  For me they are one of the most expressive parts of the body, but also one of the hardest to work with.  I certainly need more practice to be able to get the shading without lines.  For something like this I think charcoal may be preferred over graphite to get the softer edges.
Thanks for stopping by and hope you are having a great start to the week

Day 16 Abstract 2

When you have the paint mixed up you got to use it, so here is my second adventure with the Yupo and pouring acrylics.  Renate I have so much respect for what you accomplish using this Yupo paper.  I tried really hard on this one to stop blowing and artifically moving the paint around so I did get harder edges.  This sort of looks either like a lilly pond or shamrock to my eye.  That the heck do you see?
Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Day 17 Coco

This little fuzz ball is Coco, the fairly new puppy of one of my friends, Kimberly, who was kind enough to let me try to capture her.  One of the biggest challenges with either people or pet portraits is the reference photos because there are always dark black spots in the shadows.  So you make it up and hope that you have done it right.  One of the fun things about this piece is that white really isn't white and she was just full as of much color as life.
Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Day 15 Abstract I

Well my dear friend Renate can make magic happen with Yupo paper and watercolor, me, not so much. 

So I wanted to try an experiment with liquefying heavy acrylics (using the airbrush medium) and then pouring onto the Yupo paper and let it do it's thing as it blended and dried.  It goes through all these stages before it finally dries.  As usual with the Yupo you see things you would like it to stay at, but just like a glacier it just keeps moving around.  I don't know, with these abstracts I always try to see things, but only thing I could come up with here was the base of the toadstool!!!!  Ah well was great fun and will try again.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look and have a great week.

Day 14 Young Girl

Today I am using a drawing I did a while ago, as I took yesterday off and just thoroughly enjoyed cutting grass when it wasn't 90s and sitting on the porch.  The weather is definitely feeling like Fall here and not sure how long it will last.  I really like doing this graphite piece, she has such a happy carefree mood about her.
Thanks for stopping by and hope you will have a super Monday.

Day 13 Bella

Bella - The Second Time Around
My friend, Diane, was kind enough to let me do her dog again.  I first did Bella back in the January challenge when she was just a puppy.  She has posted some really cute pictures on facebook, and Bella is quite the diva now.  This took me more time than some of my other daily drawings because I really  wanted to try to get her more accurately.  And of course I reverted back to pastel because it is my security blanket.  But pastel is ok, since the first time I did her was in oil. 
Thanks for stopping by and taking a look, have a great weekend.

Ballerina in Purple

Just a quick sketch today as Friday is "date day" and Atlanta finally got a break in the weather.  So it was lunch on the porch with a bottle of wine and I have been kind of fuzzy this afternoon.  Tomorrow nose back to the grind stone, but this sort of does go along with my minimal stroke concept.
Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

Day 11 Elephant

Elephants are such fascinating animals, very intelligent and quite structured.  I love the texture of their hide and always enjoy drawing them.  Just plenty of places to put squiggles and lines.  I always am amazed at how small their eyes are with such a gigantic body, but they seem to have no issues seeing.  The Washington DC Zoo has several elephants and it is always fun to watch them interact with their trainers. 
Thanks for stopping by and hope you are having a great day.

What? I'm a dog!!! Day 10

What?  I'm a dog!!!
When I went looking for inspiration I knew I found it when I saw this expression.  This is a photo from Paint My Photo, such wonderful, talented and generous photographers that share their work, this is my second photo from Mido Modi.  What a face!!!  So thankful for the black Artagain paper and my pastels and we were off to the races.  Went fairly quickly, although had to redo one of the eyes as it got a bit too large.  And had fun adding color to the black sections of the fur. 
Thanks for stopping by and taking a look and have a super day - Thursday already!!! 

Day 9 George Eye Study

This is a rough up of an eye study in my sketch book for a pastel portrait I have done.  George was a centenarian and a mountain man who lived around Waynesville, NC in one of the hollers.  Always got to work on those features and noses are tough for me.
Thanks for stopping by and have a great day

Night Lanterns Day 8 30 Day Challenge

One of the hardest things for me in trying to be an artist is to see something in my head and not be able to get it onto paper.  I took a shortcut here and tried to make translucent lanterns on black paper, got the buckle and black always eats color.  While I did under paint the lanterns with white gesso and used glazes made with the airbrush acrylic fluid medium these didn't turn out as I initially saw them in my head.  However I do like how the colors show up off the black.  And certain parts do have the translucence I was looking for.  So I guess that's why we keep coming back and trying again and again to get the look we think we see.  Know I learned something from this exercise.
Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Silky Day 7 30 Day Challenge

My favorite watercolor artist is Hubert Shuptrine, his books were released in the 1970-1980's and I have fortunate to have two of the tree Jericho books.   He has an incredible talent, painted on location, uses a low-key limited pallet and put out several books on the South where he met "the people" with unique stories.  So this is a try at Silky, always one of his special subjects, a hill country young girl.   I always thought if I could paint all the pictures in the two books that I have (my treasures) I would finally learn how to paint with watercolor.
Thanks for stopping by and hope you are having a great day.

Helen Sears Day 6 30 day challenge


B                       This is Helen Sears, another of John Singer Sargent drawings, done in 1912.   Wouldn't he have been an excellent and very interesting person to have to dinner?   This time instead of graphite I used white/black hard pastel sticks.  As Paulie says this picture is unusual as in the original the background is black too, so, most of the picture is very dark.  This drawing came together quickly, probably less than 30 minutes, and was hard for me not to overwork it.  I tried leaving stokes in her dress but did smooth out the face, sort of wish I would have left it with original stokes as I think it was fresher.  (Ok, went back and did a rough up more on the face, which do you like better, A or B?)  Oh well, note for next drawing. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

The Bow Day 5 30 Day Challenge

Back to ballerinas and light and shadow on this one.  Actually there were several more girls, or partial girls in this lineup, but decided to keep it simple but hope that it draws you into the painting.  Might do this one again as I would really like to work more on the shadows of the first ballerina, but you get the point.
Thanks for stopping by and hope you  have a great day.

Kenneth Grahame Day 4 Masters Copy

This is Kenneth Grahame, drawn by John Singer Sargent in 1912.  Sargent is one of my favorite artists and you will see more studies of his drawings as we go farther into the challenge.  He is the absolute master of minimal strokes and as you can see much of this is really in shadow.  I actually lightened it up a bit with accents of light gray for the highlighted areas and used the gray of the paper for the midtones.  This actually is the second study I did today as I just didn't connect with the first one, it takes a bit of doing before I can into the rhythm of his drawings.  But hope by the end of this challenge that won't be the case.
Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.  TGIF

Style Day 3 - 30 in 30 challenge

Well finally decided on what I want my goal/theme to be for this 30 day challenge, going to try to keep it to minimal strokes, no matter if it is a drawing or painting.  Actually I have a book on John Singer Sargent drawings and am thinking you will see a lot of them, as he is the master of making a stoke count.  This will also expand my working with the Old Masters as well. 
Then will try to expand on that goal/theme by working on becoming  a  more accurate measuring kind of girl.  Accurate measurements are so necessary in both figures and portraits.  So that will incorporate my Bargue and Andrew Loomis work as well.
 This picture however is fashion, I used to sew a lot but never really drew fashion but like it and while this isn't cutting edge fashion right now I really like the lines in this piece.  Remember hats - wow, nobody wears them now but the guys to cover their bald heads (sorry, the devil made me say that!)
Just so you don't think I am totally slacking I am a…

Casual Dining Day 2 - 30 Day Challenge

Casual Dining
Ok, so call me crazy, just decided today I would try to do the 30 day challenge by Leslie Saeta.  Have done two before (both in January) and know you always learn a lot, however I do sucumb to the pressure after a while.  So this time I am going to try to do a good deal of the 30 days of the 30 day challenge but not beat myself up if I don't do every day.   Going to enjoy watching other artists do their thing too.  This is one of the pandas, think it is Tian Tian,  at the Washington DC zoo, and is from a shot that I actually took.  He was just kind of hanging out, doing what they do best, resting while eating.  By the way, the flower was actually there and I think it adds a little Oriental flare.
Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.