Thursday, January 31, 2008

All Cozy In Their Nest...

Here is the drawing that I did for my PIF, this went to Jan at Pets to Posies. I did this drawing right after I did the little lesson for Wilson and I. The lesson was basically about getting depth to your drawing. Here you can see how I applied this lesson to my drawing of the cygnets. The first photo is before I checked my drawing in black and white. The last photo is after I darked up the drawing, (staying away from black). The middle photo is of course my source photo from Hotblack at the Morgue files (Scott has some great photos to check out). With the black and white photos I exaggerated the whites and darks so it is a little easier to see where I needed to go darker and where I needed to go lighter. I do believe I managed to bring more form to my drawing. Although as you can see, I could still push it further. I also see that I need to keep an eye on my colours. A Black Cherry might have been a better dark than the Indigo Blue.

William's Drawings....

Hungry Wolf
Drawn by William, age 11
Graphite and CP

Eating Wolf
Drawn by William, age 11
Graphite and CP

These are my son Williams drawings. He very proudly informed me that they were done by eye, no tracing. These are from a book called Predators from Bold Print.
I would hate to run up against these guys!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What 's in the Mail....

Drawn by Jeanette Jobson-Illustrated Life
Graphite Line drawing

Drawn by Jeanette Jobson-Illustrated Life
Graphite Line drawing

Don't you just love the mail? I don't mean the bills and the junk. I mean the things that bring you up close and personal with another person. Of course checks and ordered items bring a good amount of pleasure too! Receiving a note or a gift or in this case a pair of drawings, brings an amazing amount of pleasure. Someone is thinking of you!

I was double blessed with this mail offering. I joined Jeanette's Pay it Forward and these drawings are what I have received. The double blessing part.... these are my boys! A while back I put their pictures in a Drawspace Challenge and these are the line drawings that Jeanette drew. Cool, eh? I'll be studying these line drawings to see how Jeanette goes about starting a portrait, I know there will be lots to learn! Thank you Jeanette!

I have never really used the mail system until this past couple of months. I grudgingly sent the odd payment in through the mail, and I tried Christmas cards once in a while. Really though I just didn't get it. I now realize that it is the personalization that makes it so cool. Doing the ATCs, the Christmas card and a PIF drawing have shown that there is fun to be had sending a piece of yourself through the mail. Two of my brothers and I sent my brother Paul a book we made of his carvings. What a thrill it was to hear his voice after he opened it. This really brought home that not only is mail fun to get, but it is also fun to send. I might have to make a habit of this!

Monday, January 21, 2008


I am a born doodler! While art is very new to me, doodling has been with me for a lifetime. I am the person sitting in a meeting or class and my pen is going none stop. When I doodle, I listen better, I come away with a full understanding of what went on. When I just sit and listen, my mind takes over and I hear nothing of the person talking. Back in my grade school days, when teachers wouldn't let you doodle, I would start my homework while they talked. I have been to meetings now, where the lecturer will hand out blank paper and pens. It is a known fact that some people need to be busy in order to listen.
My doodles of the past were flat flowers, geometric designs and just pencil on paper or more preferably pen. Now my doodles include eyes and mouths, lines for shading, tones and values and a whole lot of.... just pencil on paper. You would laugh to see me doodle, it tends to be in the semi dark while watching a movie. I have been keeping a pad of paper and pencil next to my chair. I have been told by a certain someone to practice, practice, practice. Having paper and pencil handy will certainly help that.
Do you doodle? Do you fill the paper, or is each page a separate drawing?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Quick drawing....

It was suggested at Let's Make Art that we should do some one hour painting/drawings or what have you to loosen up, go with the flow and trust your instincts. Stop worrying about colours and placement, just get it down on paper. So here is my quick half hour bell done in colour pencil.
The photo is from a set of bells I liked by Noblejose on Morgue files.

I sent out my first Pay it Forward drawing to Jan at Pets to Posies. I still have two openings if anyone is interested in doing a PIF. Jeanette over at Illustrated Life says she is sending hers out in the next day or two. I can't wait to see what comes in the mail!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Roosters bringing together friends and art???

Okay... it's not a rooster but it is one of those cool photo ops that appear every here and there and... you already saw my rooster. Course it does have rooster like colours and a colourful plumage so... maybe?

I thought I would point out some great roosters that have shown up. There is of course the roosters on Drawspace that came about because of the weekly challenge. If you go here you will see them.

Then at the same time Jan at Pets to Posies was painting a rooster for her local animal shelter. You can see her wonderful rooster here where she speaks on the coincidence of several of us doing roosters.

Then I had the opportunity to see the wonderful art of Bonnie Luria at St. Croix-nicity when she left a nice comment on my rooster. Bonnie has a story and a great drawing of a rooster here. In fact her words inspired me to do this post and not only include the roosters you have seen so far but to go out and find a new rooster or two... if you will.
This is what she had to say...

The serendipity of these web wires is like having a box of Cracker Jacks every day only the surprises are not junky trinkets.
They're unexpected treasures of some amazing talents that you'd never otherwise see.

So then I went to find some other treasures.
Sheri Johnson of Sheri Johnston's design and Illustration has a rooster here and if you move on to her other blog you can read about her life in St. Kitt's as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Then there is the artist Kacey who is part of a zodiac project. Since she was born in the year of the rooster, she did this most amazing rooster, here.

Crazycollie1 at Art Cards Editions and Originals has this wonderful ACEO rooster and poem, here. All her art has poems or stories to go with them, quite enjoyable.

Pepe at Astig Museum does drawing on the computer about his life in the Philippines, he now lives down under. Here are his rooster and hen done with corel draw.

This rusty rooster lurks in Claygirls yard. You can see it here on Flickr.

I got caught up in reading the posts at the Perfect Neurotic. Here is her post on Sock Monkeys and Chickens with... of course, a sock monkey and a rooster quilted and stitched to a towel. Wonderful reading!

arcia Baldwin at Daily Paintings has the most colourful work. You will see a gorgeous painting of a rooster here.

There were many other roosters out there but these were the ones, along with their blog that caught my attention. Some treasures for you to check out!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New ATCs....

You might recognize these guys. They are sprites that I have made in the past. After going to the trading evening at Artcite and seeing all the different cards that get made and traded, Jim and I had some ideas. For myself I was thinking that I could make cards out of my sprites and Jim came away thinking about all the different things you can use to do cards. So I put my sprites on a background of colour and had them printed off like a photo. Then Jim backed them with playing cards and then framed them with veneer. Cool eh?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


This guy showed up on the weekly challenge at Drawspace. He was ripe for doing one of my sprites. He is done on MS Paint and is 100 pixels x 100 pixels. Jeanette from Illustrated Life put the challenge pictures up this week. She says this is the look he has just before he attacks!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A Lesson for Wilson and I....

Uncle Wilson and I were talking about art the other night. We were talking about colours and giving depth to a picture. Basically, to my way of thinking, how to make your art come off the page and be visually interesting.
On Drawspace I manage the weekly drawing challenges. When I am looking for new hosts to put up their photos, I give them some tips on how to pick a good picture that people will want to draw.

Here are some guide lines for picking successful pictures. 1. There should be no blurry areas, except artistic, the pictures need to be sharp. 2. When you put the picture in grayscale, you should see a full range of tonal values, (black thru white) not a general shade of grey. 3. There should be no flash used (unless you are a professional photographer and know how to light a picture), natural light is preferable.

Okay now you have a great photo and you have drawn or painted the picture. Why does your drawing sometimes make you go "Wow, I did that" and sometimes feels like it has missed the mark? The thing we were discussing is depth. I was showing Wilson, on PhotoFiltre, how you can grayscale a photo and then posterize it to exaggerate the shadows, or tones, in the pictures. This can really help teach you to see the values in the photo that you want to get in your drawing. What I didn't get a chance to discuss (with Uncle Wilson) was that you can do the same thing to your drawings. This is what I did this morning. I took a look at my recent Bird of Prey pictures as well as my owl from Halloween. I was very happy with how my owl turned out and I had varying degrees of happiness with the rest. I then applied greyscale and posterizing to the original photo and my drawing. Here are the results.

Bird of Prey 1

Bird of Prey 2

Bird of Prey 3


The photos that I worked from are beautiful works of art in themselves and this shows through. If you look at the greyscale you can see a wide tonal range in each picture. Now in comparison that is not always the case in my drawings. I do believe this is one of the reasons why I have those varying degrees of happiness with my different drawings. Now with the posterizing (exaggerated shadows and tones) I can see where I needed to go darker with my colours and where I needed to go lighter. One thing to note when working with colour pencil, and I would think any other colour medium, a heavier hand does not make a darker colour. Certainly you have to fill in the paper more solidly but you also have to use darker shades of the colour and more layering of complimentary colours. For example, the yellow of the owls eyes, I used various shades of yellow as well as purple in the darker shaded areas.
Anyways...look and compare and train your eye to see the different values in the picture you are drawing.
Please click on the titles of the photos to go to my original posts, I give credit to the photographers and you can see more of their work.