Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2017

The Challenge acrylic buffalo

The Challenge

Well I think I am finished with this piece.  Will let it sit around a bit so I can look at it and might still add some additional color in places, but I like the fact that I didn't get too hung up on detail.   I still need to work on being bolder to get those vibrant colors that I originally envisioned.  I just chickened out although there is a lot of color in this piece.

Today I pretty much just tweaked a bit, added in the lighter colors on the shoulders/chest and cleaned up the white.  I repainted for a bit more opaque coverage the graphic elements to the background and painted the white so I could kind of clean up the smudges and make the edges a bit crisper.

I am really pleased with the differentiation of the dark value tones.  I…

The Challenge acrylic buffalo WIP

Well today was about adding color and modeling the face a bit more.  Actually what isn't showing up here and I guess will try to photo it in more sunlight is a lot of purple and teal colors along with the reddish brown tones.  They say that you can use any color as long as the values are right, and I am trying to make his darker tones colorful and not just straight black.  Also there is a lot of blurring of dark tones in his head/chest/foreleg area and I am trying to differentiate the areas by different dark values.  One area I am struggling with is his beard, might need to work a few lighter colors into it around the edge to  make it stand out a bit more.

I seem to be reworking a lot of the same areas and am still not sure if I like where the left eye is positioned, there is a slight tilt to the head but I am not sure I captured it correctly.  Your thoughts?

I keep trying to find the bolder colors and they just aren't popping.  I think tomorrow I am going to have to try to p…

Buffalo acrylic WIP

Ok, I got to admit it, I just couldn't stand not having at least one of the eyes in.  I want to be sure that this guy is looking right at us, challenging us.  Matter of fact I might call it "The Challenge".  Do you feel challenged yet?

In addition to putting in more color around the face I am going to be adding lighter color, so I can go over it again with darker color to develop the coarse hair.  I also want to put in the lighter colors on the back so I can really see just how dark is dark.  I am not using black in this piece, instead I am using Dioxazine purple, ultramarine, burnt umber along with various reds and burnt sienna.

I am trying different brushes, trying to feel my way along to see which one I want to use for the top coat.  In this piece the clumps aren't distinguished by individual hair, but more by just marks in different shades.  I keep telling myself that as my inclination is to try to get realistic - NO NO NO, just stay loose and see what happens.…

Buffalo acrylic WIP

I find myself working on a picture that is going pretty slow and it is going to take another week or so to come together.  It is out of my "normal", but I am also learning that will acrylics you just have to keep on layering and seems like most really super acrylics are done in that manner.

So, to keep myself from overthinking that picture I decided to start a new one, going to be called "The Man".   Personally I would run like crazy if he were standing there looking at me like that.  Originally this was going to be done with the alcohol ,marker base and color pencil over it.  But I knew I wanted to try to use some non-traditional colors and figured I needed all the forgiveness I could get so switched to acrylics on this piece as well.  However, I don't want to be super realistic in either color or brushwork so the challenge here is to get loose or when it ain't loose, try "painterly".

So here is the initial block in.   Don't ask me what the …

Little Star acrylic child portrait in nebula

Little Star
Well my experiment is complete, I think.  I guess my head was more organized around it than I thought as it went pretty quickly once I started.  Let it sit overnight to see how I felt about it this morning and only had to add some additional things this morning, more stars and some highlights, and called it done.  Just really don't want to fuss with the things that I see wrong with it as it would only create more issues.  Rather go on and try another on as I think I really need the additional practice on the portraits themselves.  Overall though I am really happy with the nebula and I do like the colors and how the stars just seem to swirl around her.  I don't think she looks stuck on and that is really what I was looking for, trying to incorporat…

Nebula I

Well am working on a space scene, using acrylics, a nebula that is formed primarily by dust and gases.  There are just fabulous photos of outer space galaxies and the colors and shapes are quite extraordinary.  I don't think there is any wrong way to do a nebula, it is just learning how to get various strokes and as always with acrylics, add layers until you get when you want.   Actually I think it will be great learning on how to use a brush, different parts of the brush, to get different effects.

Ok, this isn't completed, but I wanted to show it as I am about to perform an experiment and I wanted a picture of what it looked like before, in case it doesn't turn out as I expected.  I am going to put my first star layer in and then try to utilize my transparent white.  I want to mix that white with other transparent colors to see if I can come up with realistic skin tones and then superimpose a portrait over the top of the nebula background.  You see how in the middle I so…

The Sentinel acrylic landscape

The Sentinel

Over all these years we have gone to the mountains we have always taken pictures.  So we have documents the wooly adelgid's demise to the hemlocks.  Now they are telling us there is a new one, Asian Longhorned beetle that will probably decimate 20 more species of trees, no solution once it takes root.  This particular hemlock tree sits with a sister (this one is still among the living) on an overlook on the Blueridge Parkway.  Each year we check it's progress and think it won't make another season as life is tough at elevation.  But yet it still stands, a testament to a plant's stubbornness.  

I wanted to jazz up the picture by trying yet another night sky so added it in and made this another silhouette picture in the cele…
My Hubby dubbed this the "junk room"
Did you ever wonder where it happens?  Well here it is, the unvarnished truth in all it's disarray glory.  this is the "wet side of my art room" and right now it is pretty much a mess.  I have several projects going at once so there are lots of things out and about.  I really never have enough horizontal space but have learned to use - see those yellow trays on the right bottom corner of the drawing board? - well they are Styrofoam and from sausages.  I use one of these to put the color pencils, pastels, graphite pencils, etc. that I use for each picture palette.  Makes it easy to find the color and also try to limit the number of colors I am introducing.

Tomorrow I will show you the "dry side" of the studio, but got to clean it up a bit so you can see what is actually underneath all of the books, paper, pencils, etc.

Thanks for stopping by and hope you are having a…

Poetry in Motion Cougar Color Pencil Portrait

Poetry In Motion
                                                                   Mixed Media
Well finally I get to post this project.  It has taken a while but I have tried to take it to the distance.  First off, this is a reference from pixabay, they are fabulous high definition pictures to work from.  These truly are fabulous animals, such fluid grace and motion.  Seems that puma, mountain lion and cougar and panther are all interchangeable.   Think I will change mountain lion so as not to get confused with older women cougars!!

Anyway this started out as an adventure using alcohol based markers for the underpainting and then going over it with layers of color pencil.  I had dug out my old book, Color Drawing, for architects, landscape architects and interior designers.   It seems they commonly use marker and CP together.  I …