Thursday, October 1, 2009

Teddy bear......

This adorable guy came up on the weekly challenge at Drawspace.  Siks did a great job photographing him, beautiful shadows and highlights. 
I have been doing sketches in charcoal lately.  It is a great medium to work with.  It lays out really fast and mistakes can be corrected on the fly.  I finally stopped trying to work small and have taken out a big 11x14 inch sketch book to draw in.
I tried to give the bear some texture by dotting on some charcoal and then using my figure to tap in more texture.
Now I have to figure out how to preserve my pictures so they don't just disappear.  I suppose a spray finish.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Jeanette's Apple Challenge......

This apple was inspired last night by Jeanette's apple challenge on Drawspace and her blog.

Jeanette was looking for inspiration and found it on her counter in the form of an apple. She decided to put out an apple challenge to us to join her in finding the beauty of apples. The lovely highlights, colours and shapes of our fall harvest.

Monday, August 31, 2009


I haven't done a pencil drawing in ages! This one is 4x6, graphite on stonehenge.

I know this llama is female, she is probably pregnant and I am not sure on her name. Llamas have one year gestation periods! The matriarch of the group is pregnant and has passed 13 months already. When my cousin talked to the vet, she found out that the older llamas can take as long as 18months to have their babies!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Llamas and such.....

This past week we were in northern Michigan, spending time with family. We camped in the rain and had dinner and fires under a wild range of tarps and canopies. Luckily before we were ready to leave the weather cleared up. We went to my cousin, Jenny Rose's farm to help with chores and of course to see all the wonderful animals. She has llamas, alpacas, turkeys, a wild variety of hens, a peacock and an aging horse. I snapped as many pictures as I could and have now set up a drawing challenge over at Drawspace.

This guy I added after someone mentioned that all the pictures looked difficult. I used one of Brenda Hoddinott's lessons, Emma Emu, to see how easy it is to see shapes and start filling in detail. I started with a large circle and a triangle just like in the lesson and was surprised to see how easily the drawing started to come together.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Strawberry light.......

I am doing a OSWOA trade at Lets' Make Art this month. I did this strawberry for it from a picture I took, the background was horrible, but the play of light was really great. The strawberry is sitting on my grill cover and the light is coming from the glass block windows behind it. It is done on a 4x6 drafting film with Prisma colour pencils.
My new goal with my art, besides trying out new medias, is to make more of an atmosphere or story with my work. Not just copying what I see. Let me know what you think.

Friday, August 7, 2009

1,000,000 Giraffes.......

This young man or woman, I don't think it says, is collecting one million giraffes. Here it is in his own words.
My friend, Jørgen, doesn't believe I can collect one million giraffes by 2011. I'm gonna prove him wrong, but I need your help. You can create your giraffe(s) in any way you like, but not on a computer and no store bought objects. You must create your giraffe(s) yourself! Click here to read why. So far I've got 39.499 giraffes, so I need 960.501 more! And I have 511 days left to get them.
Let's show Jørgen how amazing the internet is.
Siksnosparnyte brought the project to our attention over on Drawspace. She asked us to join in and help him out. Here is a link to the very cool drawing that Siksnos sent in.

While I was at our Friday morning breakfast I had everybody including the waitress draw a giraffe on the menu. Then when I got home I had my teen age sons and their freinds add their own giraffes. We managed to send 21 giraffes to the project.

Check out his statistics page, it's pretty amazing. Anyone want to help this person get a million giraffes? Just go to his page and click on the green bar that says "Please send in your own giraffe!"

Thursday, August 6, 2009


You are beautiful!

I found this on Kim Komando's Video of the Day.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New tricks.....

There are several people working on stippling or pointillism projects around the web and I have wanted to give it a try. Jeanette and Jennifer are working on rock drawings for Jeanette's rock challenge. There is also M.Ramos over at DS that does amazing pictures.

I found a pack of Staedtler pigment liner pens for reasonable. They say they are pigmented ink, archival, acid-free and come in 0.1, 0.3, 0.5 and 0.7. I also finally found a sheet of stonehenge paper.

I did this duck with the 0.1 pen on stonehenge, 3.5x2.5, ATC size. I am pretty happy with how he turned out. My Study of a Mallard Duck came in handy for having a good feel for how he looks.

Let me know what you think. Also am I using the right supplies and using the right terms to describe what I am doing.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

William's deck of Cards......

William, my 12 year old son wanted to share the deck of cards that he has been working on. They are all from his imagination, except Stewie from Family Guy. He wants to know if you get whats funny about Stewie being there. He came up with all the designs on his own. William is my guy who is always drawing, not to bad, eh?

Birds, Birds, Birds......

More birds......

This guy just looked crazy, like he was doing some kind of Voodoo on the bird ahead of him. I couldn't get the other bird in, who looked like he was hunching his shoulders in and running, so I represented him with a feather. He was on the beach in Sanibel.

This poor bird didn't make it despite all the care he was given by the local children. They found him on the ground and he was a sorry sight in deed. I think this is my niece holding him. I decided to keep this one at home. All the bird photographs for this trade are from my own family photos. I am finding it harder this time to send out the finished cards. I keep thinking, I want to keep that one, and that one, get the point. I also kept two of the wood ones as they were a bit simple when separated out. (the neck and the front chest)

I do have the sketches that I started with so I suppose that if I get too sentimental I can redo them. This is the other page of sketches.

Farm Birds.......

The gossip pack here was a challenge for me as there were so many and they are such a light colour. I ran into some problems like being a bit too heavy with my pencil on out lining. The birds are a very soft gray and slightly darker on the bottom with white flecks. I think they are called guineas, but I wouldn't quote me on that.

This guy here I have to show the photograph for you to believe. He is so fluffy, with an almost jewel like colour on his/her face. He is being held by my sister in law, she was in love with the fluff ball.

These two are a beautiful rust colour. My colours are a bit nicer than this photo shows, but I am thinking I could still have used more layers. The farm birds are from pictures taken at my cousins farm in Michigan.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Swan time......

The photographs of these swans are from my husband. They were around on one of the school field trips that the kids went on. The trip was for one of those old fashioned villages. Nothing to do with swans but who could resist taking a picture when they sit there so beautifully.

I had to show the photograph for this curious guy, because I know my drawing looks funny. I was trying to recreate the dappled shade that the swan was standing in. Not an easy task as I found out. Both drawings are CP on drafting film.

Birds around my house......

This little guy was Gracie's toy bird, one of her first toys. This thing lasted for ages, which is always a big surprise for dog toys. The challenge on this one was to keep the toy looking yellow and still having shape and form.

Here is a Cardinal, the picture was taken out our back door. There were a couple of challenges here. One was getting the feeling of a lot of branches, without losing the bird as focus. Another was showing snow on the branches, while at the same time having snow in the background.

This tree is about a foot outside my front window. It is an over grown ornamental White Pine (if I remember correctly). The birds just love it for nesting in and the cats next door just love that they do! I am not sure if this was the mother or an older baby. The challenge here was the grayish-brown colour of the bird and the bit of sunlight shining through the tree lighting up the front of the bird.

I let you guys decide on how well I handled the different challenges that I faced doing these cards. All are Prisma CP on drafting film.

An updated picture of the pet chicken. I put in more colour and did a bit of burnishing with a colourless blender.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pet chicken......

I wanted to try something different with this one. I wanted to be minimalist, having a sweeping s curve fading off to the sides. Well I didn't do so great but every body has to start somewhere. I knew I wanted the hen to be the main focus, as this is a bird trade, and I didn't want to go into the detail of his face. I also so admire a piece of art work with empty space, yet I always seem to fill in the whole page. is my start to white space. This was done on drafting film with CP.

This is one of my cousins kids. He raised his own set of chickens, I can't remember what kind, but they are small and fluffy and they have tiny eggs. It was a riot seeing him playing with his toys and holding one of the hens at the same time.

Here is the page of rough sketches I told you about. So far I have done the three on the diagonal, top right to bottom left.

Fishing birds.....

This bird was waiting off shore for some fish to swim by. The pictures I used are from our trip to Sanibel Island. I used drafting film for these two. I rough sketched the birds on printer paper, then put the drafting paper over top. This allowed me to put the colour in without having to transfer the drawing. A big time saver, as I am down to my last week. I have 9 left to finish now.

This guy already caught his fish and had him up on shore. A good thing as he dropped it a couple of times. The background is the beach with small shells everywhere. I wanted to catch that look with out tons of detail. My bird looks a bit cartoonish to me.
I have 18 sketches done of birds that I have taken pictures of over the years. That will be enough for me to pick and choose and maybe have an extra or two. I'll take a picture of the sketches next time.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Study of a Mallard Duck........

We have a new exchange going on over at Drawspace. This one is Birds, Birds, Birds. This time there are 18 people in the group! I have a love-hate thing going for these big groups. I only do a card a day and it takes me forever to figure out what I want to do.

This was going to be 18 cards, done as a study of the pair of Mallard ducks, but I started looking at the female, she is going to take a lot of work. She might look all brown, but close up she is very detailed!

I do believe I am taking the thinking cap back out and doing something else for the rest of the cards.

I did these cards on plywood again, it is neat seeing how it affects the drawing. I had a hard time with the green on his head, it is very dark yet glows in the light. I did an underpainting in red to help push the darks.

I think I had some success with my Mallard Study and I got to try out some new things. I tried making gray for the birds side feathers using colours other than gray. I pushed myself for detail with the duck butt and did a fair job of it despite my whining (not quite as happy with the chest and back, despite same said whining!) Oh well it is all learning and I am off to do 11 more cards!

The photographs that I used for my study were all taken by my 10 year old son Douglas. The birds were living on my brothers pool cover.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Jim has this real thin birch plywood, you remember, the stuff that he cut the cats out of. I wondered how it would take coloured pencils. This sunrise is the result. I used a picture from our trip to Sanibel Island, Florida, one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to.

The plywood took the colour very well. It is kind of cool to see the wood grain through the colours. If you look closely you can see some of the more prominent grain coming off the sun on the right side. I'll have to try something else that leaves more of the wood bare or that uses it as the median colour.

This was done in ATC size. Funny what your brain sees and makes important. Planning wouldn't hurt, but I just wanted to jump in.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Colour Mixing Wheel.....

This after noon I found a colour mixing wheel in my bookmarks. I have ignored it until today. When I found it again I thought to myself this is exactly what I need to work on. In my thought, colour mixing is an art form all its own and if you can't do it you will be limited in what you can paint.

I started a thread over at Lori Andrews-Come paint with me. Asking that beginners jump in and try their own colour wheel and that the more experienced artist give some constructive critiques.

I had a hard time making my purple and my yellows seem similar. I found out that you use a lot of yellow, a bit of red and a touch of blue when you are mixing colours.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bubble , bubble......

Kim started a new project at Drawspace, Let's use our coloured pencils. She put up this great picture of a bubble for us to try out, as well as showing the steps and colours that she used to draw it.
Well I meant to do it in CP but I have water colour on the brain right now and well, out came the paints. I tried hard to keep the layers from mounting up, but wasn't so successful. Oh well its more practice and maybe not so bad.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Maple syrup......

I ran a weekly challenge at Drawspace this week. I based it on my trip to Northern Michigan, where I visited my Cousin. They were in the process of collecting sap to make syrup. My Cousin's Father in Law worked the evaporator, kept the fire going and watching the temperature on the syrup. He was able to explain to my younger boys and myself the whole process. The boys helped out with all the different jobs. Then we were able to bring home a jug of syrup.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Maple leaf......

I was reading through a water colour thread on Drawspace, where I found an image posted by Adolpho. He suggested laying down a wash of yellow on the leaf and build from there. I found I got lost on the leafs vines, probably because even though I started slow, I sped up after awhile.

Sarah on the same thread suggested that only two or three layers of colour should go down, so I think that will explain some of the muddiness. Sarah also suggested cutting yourself some post card size papers and keep practicing, which sounded like a great idea.

I am using 140lb strathmore CP water colour paper, I wet it down and then taped it. It still buckled, I am thinking this is because I didn't soak it, just ran it through the tap water. I'll try soaking it next time. Oh, might also be because I taped it too close to the edge, or the paint tape I have isn't strong enough.