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Friday, May 28, 2010

2 shows in one!

Just talked to the Librarian at the Plaistow Public Library, here in Plaistow NH, and they are looking for artists to show their work in July and August and I will be included in the show! I'm psyched! So I asked if there was a possibility to have a show all by myself and she said YES, they are always looking for artists, and gave me the Directors email so I will contact her and maybe have my own show in the fall! Double psyched!!!

close-up of white dove

White Dove Bird grounded at last!

Well I took the advice I thought was correct and added some grounding and here he is finished. I'm going away for the weekend and will be bringing my colored pencils to color while my husband and Cleopatra our German Shepherd are swimming and playing fetch the stick! I think I might do a zebra finch if I can find some good reference or another sea bird. I also want to do a house finch, state bird of New Hampshire. I'm bringing some of my bird prints up north and will be visiting some galleries to see if I can get any "ins" for upcoming shows.

I might be doing a horse show (go figure!) because one of my husband's friends at work, has a daughter who has a table in Deerfield for an upcoming show, and I think she sells horse art. You never know!

I also got a good lead from Nancy for a bird shop in Michigan and need to call them today. I've just been swamped with design work all week and haven't gotten to it. I really need this weekend off. Hope you all have fun plans. It's supposed to be in the high 80's here! Happy Memorial Day and thank you to any veterans or soldiers who are serving and my heartfelt thank you for your service!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Julia Randall

Stumbled on this great colored pencil artist. It's amazing that these are not photos! Her name is Julia Randall. I searched for her own personal site but gave up after 3 google pages of reference to her. If anyone knows it I'd love to know the url! This is where you can see some of her work: http://designcollector.net/3577

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

White Dove Bird finished!

Can't decide if I need to add any background. Votes? He just looks so clean and pure, I don't want to mess him up!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Visit the Birmingham Pre-Raphaelite site!

Awesome resource. You can zoom in on the paintings and sketchbooks for great detail! I could spend all day on this site!


White Dove Bird stage 2

Well I tried different ways of doing this, white over gray and gray over white, etc., and ended up using both methods! Isn't that always the way! I must admit I may have been able to finish drawing him, except for the season finale of 2 of my favorite shows. And Sunday is my birthday so my husband and I will be cleaning the yard and the house before all the guests arrive, so I don't know how much I'll get done this weekend. The weather is perfect and I feel like going outside and just weeding in the garden all day, but I have a brochure to design for a client! Off to work!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

White dove stage 1

Here's a rough sketch which I will entirely erase as I add the white to the dove. I can't decide if I should try white over grays or the other way around. I'll have to do some tests on another piece of paper. There isn't much more color to a white dove. A little pink around the eyes and beak. This should be very challenging and I love a challenge!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Stellers Jay final

Finally blogger let me upload this picture! He's all done and his head and feet are complete. I went in with some pen and ink since the shadows wanted to be deeper and the black colored pencil just wasn't cutting it. On to q white dove for my next picture! I'm psyched!

Stellers Jay final

Well, Blogger is not cooperating, so I will upload that photo when I get a chance. Here's one with him in a matt.

Stellers Jay final closeup

Heres a close-up of his face. Lots of colors to break up the black and show some dimension.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Step 6

Well, I thought I would finish this guy up last night, but the head took more work than I thought. Started with a medium dark gray, colored in very softly under everything, Then went to a medium blue, then added more and more dark blues and finally some dark grey and black. It really makes the white pop once the darks are next to it. Then I reworked the cape a bit with darker colors and threw in some purples, using small and medium thin strokes of color.

Also added some more purples and dark blues for the shadows on the feathers and the stripes. I think I can safely go on to the feet now! Or I may add a bit more black on the face. We'll see! Hope you enjoy his cute face!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Step 5

Finally back to a scanner image instead of the phone photos!

In this step I have started to add the stripes on this gorgeous birds feathers! I just love the design! I wish I had some of these guys in my backyard! I have more stripes to add and then I'll start working on his head. It's very dark blue almost black so it might take a while to get it to look right and have some dimension. I'll probably work with all dark blues and highlight with some cool light grays and white to make it pop, and some black pen and ink to the very darkest of the areas.

Then I'll go back to the cape and darken some more areas there. Then add some more layers of color to the striped feathers to create more depth and shadow.

Then on to the feet and branch which I always leave for last!

Step 4

Now I've added more layers of an in between blue to add more depth and some area of grey in the cape area from neck down and overlaid that with small individual pencil strokes of more blues and some touches of white where the highlights hit the feathers. I've added more medium blues over the dark blues to fill in the rest of the large feathers and in some areas added more dark blue in the shadows.

Step 3

Next I grab a medium blue and start defining the edges of the feathers and add some shading under the feathers where there is a shadow from the feather above. Also on the belly I have added some darker blue where there are shadows under the white fluff of the feathers. Started to take shape!

Step 2

Now that the pencil drawing is complete I kind of go backwards...I erase each area where I want just white and draw in the white areas. White over 3B pencil just doesn't work in colored pencils, at least not for me! Then I find the next lightest color, which is a light blue and start adding a bit of that to the lightest areas.

Sorry for the horrible images. I thought my camera phone would do better than it did!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Stellers Jay Bird stage 1

Whenever I start drawing a bird, I generally make sure I have all his parts in the right place before I get into any detail. I use a medium soft pencil and gum eraser so I don't damage the paper as I erase. I compare large feather to feather, head to eye, beak to eye, beak to feet, etc., so all his parts are where they are supposed to be.

Then I slowly add one feather here, and compare to the rest, I also add tiny light lines to show where the color might take a huge change from dark to light or change altogether. In this jay, he has a large white patch above his eye and a streak of white on his head, also a tiny amount of white in the feathers below his beak. When I go to add the white, I erase the area of pencil first because the white won't flow smoothly over the pencil marks, it's too oily and dark. I don't seem to have that problem with the darker colors so don't erase the pencil marks for those. This initial sketch took me about 2 hours. Hope to work on him more tonight!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cleo flying...all four feet off the ground!

She loves to run! She's such a sweetie!

Cleopatra eating a tree

I haven't updated any photos of my gorgeous long haired Eastern German Shepherd, Cleopatra, Cleo for short. My knid husband, taught her how to eat trees and she loves it!

Eastern Blue Bird finished!

Well I added a background and I really like the green beside the blue and orange. Drawing the piece of wood beneath him was a bit of a struggle but I like how it turned out. Looks just like my porch railing!

Birds are going crazy at my feeder. I also took a ride to see the gooslings and got some great pictures. I saw one group of 12 babies in the lake with mom and dad! I don't know if they were babysitting or the if something happened to the original mom, or if they just had 12 babies! I'm used to seeing between 3 and 6 babies most of the time. It would be awesome to draw the entire group. I'd need a really large piece of paper to start! I may do a small group of the babies first!

And I sent my husband to get some photos of a robin's babies in his daughters lilac tree, but they are soooo ugly at this stage. I may have to send him back in a few days when they have some feathers! And Mary directed me to her blog for some shots of some baby bluebirds! Again, so ugly they are cute!!!!

Eastern Blue Bird close-up

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My wall at my brother's furniture store!

My brother has a display of my giclees in his store and I just love to look at this!l I have sold some prints since he opened and need to send him some more. I am amazed that they look so good in the orange frames. He told me they have also tried them in black, white, cream, green and blue frames and they look good in all of them! It must be the neutral tan background on them. And they are very colorful creatures! I've got to get down there some time this year. He's in South Carolina if anyone lives there!

One of my cats...Kangi

Kangi likes to sleep on the back of my chair. This is the chair I sit in in the evening, to draw all of my birds. He's so fat I have to chase him off the chair to sit down. Then after a few minutes, he climbs back up and gets comfortable. I DO like to listen to him purring in my ear!

My studio

Here's where I do all my graphic design work. It's very colorful and very messy most of the time. I just picked some nice white tulips and wrapped hosta leaves around them to cheer me up when I get busy!

Tulip from my spring garden

I may try to paint this! Or maybe colored pencils!!!!

Eastern Blue Bird stage 3

As you can see, I have added many more layers and he's brightened up quite a bit! I'm really happy with how this is coming out. I just have to figure out what to do for the background. I'll probably do that tonight and start on my next bird.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Eastern Blue Bird stage 2

I've added lots more layers of colored pencils, each changing the color of the layer below just slightly. I think I made his tail a bit too long. What do do you think? I'll have to find a few more reference photos! Enjoy.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Went to Art Walk in Portland, Maine

Had a great time. Didn't get to show my portfolio to anyone, but learned some important things. Most Galleries line up their shows one year in advance! I don't know what I was thinking! Maybe 3 or 4 months in advance? Not so. Important lesson. So if I get someone who likes my work to hang a show, expect them to plan it months in advance. No more worries about last minute shows and how am I going to pay to frame all of these before the show! I'm joining 3 art associations right off the bat to be able to put pieces into their shows (usually not planned out as far in advance!) in my driving area. Portland is about an hour and a half away. Also starting a mailing list of nearby galleries to do a regular postcard mailings until I get some nibbles.

Also got some great shots of a red winged blackbird while I was in Portland and my sister-in-law saw some cedar waxwings! Darn I wasn't with her and didn't have the camera ready. Next time! Also got more shots of a woodpecker and some squirrels and chickadees I will be using in upcoming drawings. And my daughter told me the geese just had gooslings in a pond near her house, so I may drive over their this afternoon or tomorrow and get some shots before they get too big!

Got my first check from my brother who sold 3 of my bird prints in his store! That's a great feeling!

Now back to work and my bluebird! I've got a lot to do!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Eastern Blue Bird stage 1

Lots and lots of blues on this bird, and lots and lots of feathers with little to distinguish one from another in the way of color. Some has a slight white edge which helps a lot. This one is going to be a challenge also!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Snowy Owl close up

Snowy Owl finished!

Well folks, he's finally finished and now I want to do another one, but maybe not until next month! Allergies are driving my eyes buggy!. He was such fun to work on and had so many feathers. I looked at so many images of them and I wish one lived in my neighborhood!

Each stroke of the pencil is hypnotizing and when I'm creating art, I'm in "The zone", you know, where time has no meaning and you look up and its 3 hours later. It's meditative. Love it! Now I have to decide on a new bird...hmmmm. what will it be???

Monday, May 3, 2010

Snowy Owl stage 3

Well, I'm getting there. I want to add some snow below him and do a bit more shading. These creatures are so fantastic. I may have to draw another one later!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


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