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Showing posts from November, 2018

Christmas Card #4 Silent Night pen/ink

Ended us doing a different look and media yesterday due to time and place, yet another doctor's waiting room.  Hopefully the last for procedures for this year.   Anyway I always like the look of these graphic pieces, although I am not all that good with them.  It requires such precision, so I think that requires lots of practice.
I did this on a watercolor card, they really need to learn how to fold correctly.  And boy, this paper really loves to suck up the inks.  There are a lot of layers on this to get it dark enough.
If you have a chance, please either make/send a card to: A Recovering American Soldier c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital 8901 Wisconsin Ave Bethesda, MD 20889 I don't usually mention these types of things, but this really strikes a cord, these folks could really use the thoughts/prayers and something to make them smile, especially during this holiday season.
Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.

Christmas Card #3 Christmas Lantern

Well after days of inactivity I tried to venture outside with a quick walk.  Good news is I got it in, bad news is it was darn cold!!  But, supposedly we are going to get high 60s by the weekend, and I can feel like I live in the South, not the North.
Sorry about the glare, but this is a combo of acrylic underpainting with oil over the top, so since I have Liquid on there along with the oil, it has a shine to it.  I know this isn't nostalgic but I like it and was intrigued by the ornaments that compose the background.  Also like trying to do the pinecones - just like pineapple those guys are tricky.  By the third one I was kind of getting the hang of it and it really wasn't that difficult.  I always have to remind myself that this is impressions and illusions.
Thanks much for stopping by.

Christmas Card #2 Nostalgic Santa

Giving up here as I have tweaked this several times and this is just one of those that looks better in person.   I just can't get it color and light adjusted in the Mac.  By the way they really have enhanced the adjustments you can do in the photo program.

 I am still sticking to my nostalgic theme for my cards.  This Santa was popular in the 30s and 40s.  I like how he has the holly in his hat brim.  I also really liked the crinkled, apple cheeks and twinkle in the eyes.  It was rather strange though in that the reference had five fingers with no thumb and a funky arm part showing, so I had to do a little tweaking before I posted this.   In comparison to last year's cards these are turning out to be more mini paintings, rather than a quick card.   But that works well using the miniature skills I have acquired this year working with the ATCs.
Thanks much for stopping by.

Christmas Card I

Well every year since I retired in July I think that I might begin my Christmas cards.  Of course I don't.   Only one year did I ever start Christmas shopping in July and was finished well before the season - no problem!!!   Was wonderful, why didn't I do it again??

Then about November through this time of year I think I won't make any cards this year.  I still have a few singles from previous years, or a few store-bought cards - why make them.   But then I see something that  makes me want to go ahead and make a few again this year.  So, here we are, the first one of the season.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.

Reflection Acrylic Portrait WomanReflection


Just got this finished, I think, and it is time to clean up the kitchen, again, and then start setting up my Christmas tree.  Big old turkey a little later this afternoon.
This is a bit of a different style, a kind of mysterious portrait.  I wanted it to be kind of dreamy instead of the wallpaper the reference had, and I liked the title because it alludes to several different of types of reflections.  The skin tones in this piece also are very grayed out which I think helps create an interior scene feel.  
This is an acrylic piece and I did have fun with the mirror and the mirror reflections.   While it isn't perfect I think it gives the impression of an ornate mirror and in real life you really see the gold sections metallic look reflect much better.  The necklace chain I did do with a metallic colored silver pencil and it does give it nice shine.
Thanks much for stopping by and I hope everyone had a wonder…

Dancer mixed media figure painting

Well my inspiration for this was Joan's sketching at the High School of Art and Design.  I decided it would be fun to work on some clothes figures and spent a lot of time looking for online sites that feature clothes models.  I do like to use Croquis Cafe for my gesture and timed drawing, but most of them are nudes.

So anyway, I have these pieces of cardboard and decided that I wanted to try painting on that with the ridged background.  This time I used oil pastels - I still might overwork this somewhat with the oil pastels just to see what I get, especially on the skirt.   for the most part this is acrylic on the figure with a couple of places some fine-line markers or CP to get some of the details.

I have to tell a story because I think it is so unbelievable.  Earlier right after we moved here I opened the front door at night and we had a bird fly into the house.  Finally got him out, but thought that was pretty peculiar.  Yes I did look up the old wives tale of what that means…

Study of Grace pastel portrait girl

I didn't have a lot of time today so decided to see if I could capture Grace.  She is in a downward looking position and I think I missed the mark on getting her nose long enough and he mouth tilted just right.  But, I learned a lot by doing this quick sketch, and hope to put what I learned  into a painting of her.
Again I tried the cardboard as we have been getting lots of packages lately, these were precut to 10"x10", so I didn't even have to cut anything.  Yes, I am lazy about some things.  So anyway thought it would be a good surface and I do really like how the backgrounds come out and how it contracts against the smooth of the face.  I tend to  usually blend my pastels so, it works.  I think when I start my class in the first of the year will probably utilize cardboard as supports.
Thank much for taking a look.

Mary Crowley ATC acrylic portrait

Ok, here is my second fan art piece for my ATC exchange this month.  I decided to try to capture Mary Crawley from Downton Abby.  I have to admit once we started watching that series we were hooked and were really sad when it ended.  Seems like we like a lot of the English shows and still follow several series today.  Anyway hoping that this does come close to catching her.  We have Downton Abby marathons occasionally too, just like Harry Potter.   And when I watch the earlier episodes I always forgot just how nasty she was.  I guess it ended up all right though as Edith ended up really more royal.  
thanks for stopping by.

Harry Potter Fan Art acrylic portrait

Well I have to admit that I have been procrastinating on creating this month's ATCs because I really wasn't sure what the theme was.  It is FanArt, and I guess since this is just a card trade I won't get into too much trouble using some pictures of Harry Potter.   Yes I am/was a big Harry Potter fan, more so of the books than the movies.   We still get out the videos and do Harry Potter marathons.  Surprisingly enough I usually see something I didn't before.
Again this is tiny size, 2.5"x3.5", or about a credit card shape.  What I hope this is showing is how he looked when he was in the first movie, to his more mature look in the last movie.  This was really fun to do and I am pretty happy as I think I got pretty good likeness.   I also really like how I blocked in the skin tones and you see the natural variations.
Thanks much for stopping by.

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…

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…