Sunday, November 8, 2009


Just a Minute
11" x 14"
Colored Pencil on Pastel Board

Finally finished with this one. Now all that's left to do is color the outside edge (not necessary, but I think it looks better), spray it, attach a hanger or purchase a stand for it. I am really happy with the way this turned out. Hopefully, my son will pass it down to his children. For now, though, it's Mama's.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Almost Finished

I have been taking classes and, as a result, haven't had too much time for anything creative. I decided that I was going to do my best to get this finished before classes start again. They start on the 11th, so that doesn't give me much more time...but, I think I can finish this. After that, I am planning on going back to a drawing that I started over a year ago, and see how far I get. Hopefully I'll get it finished soon. There is no way to get it finished in between this term and the next, so it may take another year-smile. So it doesn't become jinxed, I am not even going to mention anything else about the next drawing until it's finished and ready to post. I plan to take photos of the continuing stages. Well, that's enough typing for this post, hopefully there will be a final entry for this portrait before too long.

Just A Minute
Colored Pencil on Pastel board

Monday, July 27, 2009

Just a Minute

Just A Minute
11 x 14
CP on Board

This is what I am working on at the moment. I just started it today. I am experimenting once again with different supports (surfaces). This is an ongoing, slow, process. I have been busy with other things lately, so this is the first actual sit-down-take-a-bit drawing I've started in a while. All I've had time for has been a few "skudies"--my new word for projects that fall somewhere in between a sketch and a study. It's either that or "stetches."

I've worked on pastel board before. The first time was in a Nicole Caulfield kit that I purchased. Since it was from a kit, I'll ask her permission before posting my results here. When working on the kit, I kept thinking, "This stuff would be great for portraits!" I've had this particular piece laying around for some time with this particular portrait in mind; finally, I got to take the plastic wrap off and get started. One of the biggest challenges for me when using a colored surface is getting the final drawing transferred to the surface. I never draw directly on the surface when creating the preliminary drawing, so that it won't suffer the brunt of my many mistakes (smile).
So far, this is my favorite surface/support for colored pencil because it allows so many layers and holds up to my heavy-handed drawing style.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Apple: Colored Pencil Study

This is an apple drawing from the pages of my sketchbook, but I would consider it more a color study than a sketch, due to the greater detail involved. Hey! I think I'll Google the difference between these terms that are often used in the art world to see how they differ...I'll be right back, but before I go, I want to explain what I think the basic difference is.
I consider a sketch as a quick, loosely-drawn rendition of a subject to capture the general shape, feature placement, proportion, and/or movement.

I always think of a study as a quick drawing with elements similar to a sketch in that it's a rough draft. However, a study differs from a sketch, in my mind, because it involves a bit more time and detail for a specific focus area, or areas, that an artist feels the need to "study" in order to improve his or her knowledge or technique. (e.g. the various colors used, how the colors work together, the proportion, minute details that add character to the subject, composition, etc.) Writing detailed notes about these observations, I also relate more with a study than a sketch; although a sketch can have notes and notes are not a necessary component of a study. I know, I overthink everything...I had someone tell me once that I got too caught up in minor details.

What do you think the difference is between the two terms?

Most of my sketches end up somewhere in the middle of a sketch and a study, as defined by the Merriam-Webster Online dictionary. Should I call these "skudies" or "stetches?"

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Sketchbook

I haven't posted in a while, so I thought I would post a few of my sketches that were created from photos found in the WetCanvas Reference Image Library. I did most of these while watching TV and viewing the photos on the screen of my laptop. Practice, practice, practice!
my sketchbook

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Just a quick note to say that I posted an illustration for this week's IF on my Illustration Blog. I decided to create two separate blogs; keeping this one for my more elaborate endeavors and the other for IF fun. If you'll notice, I left a couple of IF posts here instead of moving them. I did this so the links from the IF site would still work.

Anyway, check out the illustration and leave a's kinda lonely over there at the moment.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Tiger Swallowtail
Tiger Swallowtail
5 x 7
Prismacolor Colored Pencils
on Strathmore Bristol
This small drawing was done from one of my reference photos and, after being sprayed with a fixative, will be given to my daughter.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Weaver - Stage 2

Here is the second installment of Weaver, I would have had a bit more to show, but I worked on something else yesterday an didn't get around to doing anything to this one.
I've only progressed a bit today; adding some color to the ground and deepening the existing values. I also added more shading to the front of Weaver, a bit of shadow on the rear legs, and used a colorless blender pencil in a few areas. I layered indigo blue over the black in the background to try to darken it a bit while still trying to maintain the fairly even texture that I've got going on now. I know that it doesn't sound like much, but even these little tweaks took quite a bit of time.
I still feel that the background needs darkened more, but I am hesitant to add more layers or colors. I'm also trying to go for a more abstract muted background with only specks of detail here and there to keep the focus on the subject.
What do you think, do I need to go darker with the background? Don't be shy...I could use the help. I'm a very indecisive person.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Weaver - Stage 1

approx. 8 x 10
Prismacolor on Bristol Vellum

This is a drawing of my friend's dog, Weaver. This isn't finished because it needs a few more layers of color, and the ground needs to be finished so that you can see his feet. This is not really what I would consider the first stage, but it's the first stage that I will post. The first stage would be a really light layer of color to establish the base color map (I call it) and fur direction.
I've read where and I've seen how black dulls color, but there are times when black is appropriate. Complementary or analagous colors are often used by artists to create shading and shadows.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Zoie II

Zoie II
3.5 x 5
Prismacolor & Derwent
on Bristol Vellum

I drew this version of my Silky Terrier, Zoie, specifically for my son. The actual drawing didn't show as much of the paper through the pencil strokes in the background as the scanned version. I edited it in a graphics program to blur the background a bit using a depth-of-field filter. This filter is usually used on photographs, but I wanted to see how well it worked on this while trying to smooth the scanned version a bit. I also added a bit to the overall texture of this version using a paper texture filter.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Illustration Friday: Flawed

"Somehow, Felix knew, before even trying, that his plan was terribly flawed."

This week's Illustration Friday illustration was done in a photo editing program using vector layers, raster layers (a lot of layers), and the end result was filtered to look like it was done on slightly textured paper.

It was fun to work on. It started out as a sketch on paper, was scanned in and modified. I love my computer!

I'm slowly learning to keep working past the "ugly" stage of images, whether I'm creating something digital or traditional. Ever onward!

I'm also trying to improve my observation skills...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Illustration Friday: Climb

This is what I was working on for last week's Illustration Friday (and it's still not finished). I didn't get it posted last week because we had a major ice/snow storm that knocked out the electricity for four days.

Two small pine trees fell on my daughter's new car, and the top of a medium-sized pine sheared off under the weight of the ice and fell on the cab of my husband's truck.

My daughter's car came through it okay. The branches of both trees held the trunks up and her car was coated with a layer of ice and snow before the trees fell, which kept the branches from doing too much damage, if any.

My husband's truck has a dent in the cab, but it's still driveable.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thank You

Just a quick note to thank everyone that has shown interest in my blog and those who are following it. I am amazed and incredulous, while at the same time glad that I actually have something of interest to share! Again, thanks for stopping by, it's appreciated!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Illustration Friday: Pale

This is my first post featuring an illustration for Illustration Friday. Just a quick digital illustration to practice my vector skills.

I had done a few sketches in graphite for this topic, and this is a digital version of one of them. I'm not an illustrator (as you can probably tell), but any experience can't hurt when it comes to creativity.

I'm pretty satisfied with the way it turned out. I may add this to my long list of resolutions—participating in Illustration Fridays.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Catchin' Creek Critters

Lazy Summer Days
Colored Pencil on Strathmore 400-Series
Drawing Paper
approx. 16"x20"

Maybe if I post this here, it will give me the push I need to get back to work on it. (Excuse the poor quality of the photo.) I started it in August 2008, got this far, started to feel overwhelmed, and gave it a rest. In the interim, I've done some sketching from life, a couple of CP kits by Nicole Caulfield that I purchased from Ann Kullberg's site, and some smaller pieces that I have posted: namely "Zoie" and "Early Morn."

I don't know how other artists feel but, for me, if a piece is going to take a while and I know it, I get tired of looking at it fairly quickly and have to make myself stop so I don't totally screw it up or overwork it. I then go on to simpler, less time-consuming, smaller formats, or sketches until I feel that "okay, I'm ready to attempt to be a perfectionist again" feeling. Notice, in that last sentence, I said "attempt."

Nobody's perfect, but when I'm working on a piece that I really care about, I want to do my best—preferably doing it right the first time, so I won't feel compelled to scrap it and start all over. If I get tired of looking at the original not too far into the process, how far would the process get if I had to redo the entire piece! I guess that might be part of the challenge of creating for some. Perseverance. And I guess, for those whom derive pleasure from the process instead of the end result, this feeling is not a problem.

I think I see the process as a means to an end. I am after the end result and the pleasure I derive from the process depends on my mood, mindset, how well I feel the piece is progressing, and how much time I will have to invest in the piece. Will all the time and angst spent be worth it in the end?