Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"A Quiet Conversation" ~ Colored Pencil, WIP the Beginning

A dozen years or so ago my husband brought home a mule. Oh.. that mule! His name should have given him a clue, it was Dudly. Dudly was a dud. The only thing he did well was eat. About a month later, my husband saw a truck on the freeway, which had a Queen Valley Mule Ranch logo on the door, a local mule man...fantastic! He called the number on the truck, made and appointment and in a couple days, we were off to visit with Steve and Susan at  QVMR.

The first moment I met this mule man, I had this overwhelming need to draw his portrait. Sure, I had always drawn horses, cowboys and stuff but this was different. There was something about him that inspired me, more than just a face, or features.. something deeper that I needed to capture on paper.. but what? We left that day with not only great mule advice for my hubby but an intense desire to create a portrait for me!

Time moves on, and we now consider Steve and his wife Susan friends. It had taken me a while to actually gather the courage to ask Steve if I could take pictures of him for my artwork. I finally attended one of his clinics, just to take those all important resource images. However, for whatever reason, I never started creating anything from them. Until 2012 when I played with his portrait, trying to get back into work mode but I wasn't able to finish it until late last year, here:

Fast forward to 2014, my studio lights are finally back on, Uart is ready, pencils are sharp, the music is playing & Steve has finally made it to my easel. After years of waiting, now, now is the right time....

"A Quiet Conversation"
16" x 20" Colored Pencil on Uart 600 Pastel Paper

 After finishing my transfer, I began laying my under painting in on New Years Eve..
 and worked right on into New Years, the BEST way to start my new year this year!! 

I'm coming to the end of the under painting, just a few more hours and on to the next phase!!! But first... I have a couple little paintings to do! 

Keep Scribbling!

"Capturing the spirit of a portrait, the sparkle of a moment in time, or the soft sounds of your memories."

Saturday, January 4, 2014

#4/30 & 5/30

Looking at my past it's prime produce you would think I never cook! Funny, but I'm going with the excuse that it's much nicer to paint like this..right? lol.  As I mentioned yesterday, a new subject and format. These are both 4"x5" on stretched canvas. This support is a little finer than I've been using, it was nice, I liked it.

4/30 in 30 days....Sprouted Onion #1 (lol)
I see a little tweaking I need to do yet..whoops!   

5/30 in 30 days...Sprouted Onion #2. 
Spent a little more time on this one, but in the end I like this one better myself. 
Back to work for me...have a great weekend!


"Capturing the spirit of a portrait, the sparkle of a moment in time, or the soft sounds of your memories."

Friday, January 3, 2014

#3/30 Paintings in 30 Days!

Yup.. it's this same OLD pepper again! This is the last time you'll be seeing this specific specimen though, it was a tad bit on the soft & wrinkly side, with a few age spots thrown in for good measure. Sadly it's modeling career is now over. Sad I know, but .. on to new challenges!

Something I've learned already... this is fun! This pepper was rushed early this morning. It's getting easier,  and I am having so much fun with loose imperfect paint applications..  stay tuned....


"Capturing the spirit of a portrait, the sparkle of a moment in time, or the soft sounds of your memories."

Thursday, January 2, 2014

#2/30 Red Bell Pepper 2

Such a challenge... painting 2 is done in much less time. I like the messy, and this is allowing me to come to terms with it, I don't know where it comes from, but I find it fun. My goal is to use this project to help re-develop the confidence I had lost last year. I hope you follow along on my journey with me!

Red Bell Pepper 2
 5"x7" oil, on canvas panel

"Capturing the spirit of a portrait, the sparkle of a moment in time, or the soft sounds of your memories."

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Starting 2014 with 30 paintings in 30 days!!


No one is more surprised than I am! It didn't take much for me to be talked into joining this project late last night..nothing like waiting until the last minute! This project is certainly going to be a challenge for me, but I am excited!

Tomorrow I will do a little highlight touch up but for now I'm calling this one done. #1 of 30, 5x7 oil on canvas panel, done from life.

"Capturing the spirit of a portrait, the sparkle of a moment in time, or the soft sounds of your memories."

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Winter & Fuzzy Wild Horses

After Thanksgiving we decided we needed a little get away, so off we went, camera in hand. We had no agenda this trip, just goofing around. 

We took a little drive one afternoon, to see if the wild horses were around. We only found this one little bunch, the two mares (there were only 4 horses) were heavy with foal and quite content to just stand there looking at me. The other two were back in the trees and not very photogenic. 

 Even though it's the last day of November, they don't look very fuzzy. 
 Beautiful, sunny and clear.. it was going to be a great weekend for photos!! 
 Then, on Saturday... we awoke to a heavy fog. A cold, heavy, dense wet fog.  It'll lift of course, right? WRONG.. so wrong. It stayed all day and well into the evening...sheeze. 

Sunday morning the fog was still hanging around, but lifting it seemed. So we loaded up our gear and off we went. The fog wasn't gone but patchy, and now it was overcast. Oh well, we shall enjoy our outing anyway. 

Right off the bat we ran into this herd. This is the same herd I searched for all summer! We had a close encounter with them back in March of this year. The beautiful buckskin mare was ready to foal and I wanted to see her new baby so badly. Sadly for me, they disappeared. Looked high and low all summer, never saw them again. (Here is a link to the images from that first encounter,  )
 Until Sunday morning... 
 With age comes maturity, the mare above has lost all of the youthful appearance she had back in March. She was one of the ones that approached us that day. I figure she's most likely in foal this time around, hope to find out in the spring! 
 Ah... here is the brat with all the close-ups, He is definitely fuzzier! He looks like he's doing well too. The sorrel herd stallion is just beyond him. 
 Ah... now that mare I looked for all summer, here she is, palomino foal by her side. Guess that mystery is solved. lol. She is the only buckskin in this herd. The stallion is sorrel. Can a buckskin and sorrel produce a palomino, or was she stolen from another herd? lol... such are life's dilemmas. 
 LOL.. then there is this poor guy. He was lingering on the outskirts, only to have the stallion in charge run him off a few yards. Funny, this is the one horse I saw several times over the summer, always following another stallion and mares. Poor guy can't seem to get a mare of his own. He  is bearing some new battle scars, I know he'll earn more as breeding season approaches. 
 This cute little mare and the buckskin stallion below were together. Even this guy has his own mare lol. 
 So far the fog had stayed above us, but the temperature started dropping...
OOOoooooOOOooo  LOVE IT!! 

 BRRRRR lol.

 Then, as we were calling it a day, (time to head home, booooooo) we came across the same 4 horses we saw on Friday. This time, I did get to photograph all 4 of them. Check out the face on this black one, I should call this one 7 lol. This is the first time I've seen this youngster, I would have remembered that face. 
 While this baby mare was quite docile on Friday, she was rather grumpy on Sunday.. "back off" is what she's telling us. 
 The Stallion.. no identifying marks, so I can't say if I've seen him before for sure. 
 Then as we were leaving, the black youngster turn around.... what kind of tail is this? lol...Hmmm I definitely want to see his/her summer coat!

So we headed down off the mountain to the desert below, where the temps are warmer but boring. So, so soooooo boring. 

Until next time, stay creative!!

"Capturing the spirit of a portrait, the sparkle of a moment in time, or the soft sounds of your memories."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fast & Loose & Untitled... *sigh*

Pastelbord, not my favorite support, but when I found a couple of pieces packed away in a box the other day I figured I might as well put them to use, right?  My thoughts were perhaps I would change my mind.. maybe? Why not give it another chance.. I mean they were already here.

A few years back I had asked my daughter to pose for me, but I never did anything with the images. This 6"x 18" Pastelbord (it was a greyish green color) would be a nice format for what I had wanted to try with those pictures ... so, off I went. 

My resource photo I used for the pose only, this was not to be a portrait, but a figurative work.  While my model was wearing a dress, it didn't look like this dress. Using artistic license, the intent was to change the model and dress quite a bit, creating something fun, and quick, soft, yet moody, mystical, dreamy and maybe even a little romantic. So the figure had a resource image for the pose, the rest is out of my head.

I started by drawing my figure right onto the Pastelbord, then blocking in her dress and body using my colored pencils. I then applied several layers of my background color dry,  then used OMS to manipulate the color, added more color and smooched, pulled , brushed and repeated until I had the desired texture and look I was after. Then before the blues were set and dry, I pulled some of the background color into her dress and the shadows on her skin. Then is was time to let it sit and dry. 

Next it was fun time..more layers on the figure, I blended the dress with a brush and OMS but not her skin. Edges edges....I know what I wanted but wasn't quite there yet. Refining layers, shapes and values as I go.

Funny thing.. I dislike indigo blue, how come I've used so much of it as of late? lol. 

She's complete below, although I did rework the highlight on her cheek and temple since I took these images. It was fun for sure. I am past the point where I need something to "look like a photo", I would rather have something more artistic and creative. 

I think this piece pretty much does that. 

The big question, would I use Pastelbord again? Jury is still out.. I have one more piece left to play with... However it will never give me what I get from my Uart. Uart would be perfect if it were mounted on a solid surface like Pastelbord is, not the paper board they have now. 

Enjoy... and keep scribbling!!!!


"Capturing the spirit of a portrait, the sparkle of a moment in time, or the soft sounds of your memories."

Thursday, October 31, 2013

She's back..... and fixed!!

I love, love, love my Uart!!!

I have no doubt that the support I used was the reason I was able to repair this piece. So, here it is, with before and afters... WHOOT!!

*Doin a happy dance!* 

"Capturing the spirit of a portrait, the sparkle of a moment in time, or the soft sounds of your memories."

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Trials and Tribulations - Vintage Allure

Last weekend I finally christened Vintage Allure finished, celebrating with several coats of Lascaux fixative. Ah, it feels good to finish and this piece was something I was really happy with. Although it wasn't exactly what I  had in mind ( I will try it again) I was pleased with the outcome. So, after spraying several coats over the weekend I had set her aside, to "cure" before removing her from the board.  

After working on a different painting all day Monday, I called it a night, and head downstairs to fix dinner.... 

I hear a bang....




I find this...

I can fix it, I can fix it, I WILL fix it.... stay tuned. 


"Capturing the spirit of a portrait, the sparkle of a moment in time, or the soft sounds of your memories."

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Calling This One Done!

I haven't decided on a title yet, but I'm pretty sure this is done. (All except my siggy ;) )

The colored pencil over oil was fun, but not especially easy to do. The entire surface is covered with  colored pencil, honest. I did resort to blending with a solvent.  I might even do this again sometime, I do like the way it turned out. 
Usually when I lay out a drawing, a title will kind of evolve, but not this time. *sigh* I have a hard time naming them after they are complete. Buggers. 

Ah well... I shall think about it more.  Any ideas?

Keep Scribbling!!!

"Capturing the spirit of a portrait, the sparkle of a moment in time, or the soft sounds of your memories."