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Friday, December 28, 2012

Ulustration Friday post: theme is "new"

This illustration was created in Photoshop, using some scanned images of old woodcuts that I cleaned up and rearranged with my own little "egg" inspiration. Enjoy!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Joining Seacoast Artist Association in Exeter

I'm joining the Seacoast Artist Association in exeter, NH this year as a hanging member! I'm really thrilled. Getting my Lion drawing framed this week to show in the "Black and White" exhibit for January. Here's a close-up. I'll be showing my colored pencil drawings and perhaps some oils and acrylics. If you are in the neighborhood, stop in in January!

Friday, November 2, 2012

I have artwork in 2 shows

I have 6 pieces of artwork in shows in Exeter, NH. Two pieces at the Exeter Town Hall and 4 pieces at the Exeter Chamber of Commerce. Stop in if you live in the area! Here's a close-up of my "Llama".

Monday, October 1, 2012

My llama in acrylics

I started painting a llama this weekend. Sometimes it's nice to work in acrylics because they dry so fast. Kind of instant gratification. I have a few more layers to do on this, but thought I'd post it so far. I think I'll use it for a Christmas card design.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

You can't use my artwork unless you ask me!

"Good morning!
Just wanted to let you know that I added one of your works as my cover page. I have attached a link to your page and hope you see an increase in traffic and visibility to your work. I love your work! Enjoy the day!"

I was welcomed this morning with this FB message. I was horrified at how the general public treats artist's work as something they can just grab and use because they like it. I asked her nicely to take it down and she stated that other artists had reacted  in a positive manner. I explained how the copyright law works and that her usage was against the law. I checked out her supposed "link" to my web site worked, when I went to check it out. It only linked it an image she had saved to her photos. This reminds me yet again that I really need to include copyright info on every image I post. This is a wake up for me and I'll be more careful in the future. I promise myself!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Birches Academy Learn to Draw Class postponed one week

Birches Academy class, Learn to Draw, for children, has been postponed. It will start on September 17.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Lion prints available at my Etsy Shop!

The original pencil drawing is also available. Please contact me if you would like to purchase the original.


I finished this lion last week and I'm just getting around to posting it. Sorry for the lousy photos! Here he is, step by step as I drew this in pencil on vellum bristol board.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Pencil drawing of a Corgi

The breeder I got my German Shepherd from, also breeds Corgis. Since seeing them at her house, I seem to be seeing them everywhere. I decided to draw one. So, that's story!

 It was difficult getting the ears right and even, but I'm happy with this final art. Pencil on Bristol Board

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Step 14 final step, painting is finished!

I added the red glazes and this was taken outside in the shade on a sunny day. I also signed the painting. I don't do that until I am totally finished. I am thrilled with how this came out. Now it just has to dry for several more weeks before I can ship it. I hope you enjoyed watching my process. Let me know if you have any questions!

Step 13

I fixed her tag. Much happier. Worked on her belly, adding a nice roundness to it. Made her right foot a bit smaller and left foot a bit larger. added more detail in the grass. Now I start adding some glazes. I thin down my oil paint with a mixture of stand oil, damar varnish and mineral spirits. I only add a touch of color and thin it way down. You can see I've added a bit of yellow and greens to her coat to make it blend well with the grass. Later, I'll add a bit of red the same way. I also lightened up the inside of her ears. Almost there!

Step 12

Legs in front are coming together. I added some flowers to the grass. Her tummy is looking too flat. I'll have to adjust that! Still adding more and more layers to her coat.

Step 11

I have started adding more dark thin strokes that will go under her fur. It's a brindle coat with all sorts of browns and siennas and not really easy to portray. I'll get it slowly to look the way I want. I also added more grass in front of her and beside her. Painting grass is really fun. I often paint with both hands so it looks more irregular. I still haven't got the tummy and back leg and foot to look how I want it. Bulldogs love to lie down with their back legs out straight. It doesn't look too comfortable! Also added more highlights.

Step 10

I added more dark colors to mark the shadows recede. I'm not crazy with how the tag looks. It's too thick. I went to the pet store and took a couple of snapshots for reference. Tooth is all gone! Mouth more refined.

Step 9

More color on her legs, deeper color under her body. Need to delete that tooth!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Illustration Friday "Bounce"

This is my entry for Illustration Friday's weekly challenge. This week it was illustrate "bounce". I did this oil painting for my granddaughter!

Step 8

I go over the darker areas with small strokes of lighter colors to create a nice curve where her many folds of skin are. The body gets some attention and I define the belly folds. There are so many! LOL!! I think I can see a tooth in the photo (it's good to check with the owner because it ended up just being her gums, so I took it out later). More detail on the tongue.

Step 7

I think the shadows need to be deepened on her forehead so I also add some browns and sienna. I've added a bit more to her fur areas for shadows that will also be built up over layers. Her tongue has some blue brown added to deepen the shadow.

Step 6

As you can see, I've added some more of the dark areas. I also like to add some depth to the white areas so I've added some pinks, yellows and blues to her forehead and muzzle. The nose has gotten darker and more defined and I've added more color to her tongue and gums.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Step 5

I get leery of all that brown in the background and wonder if I will ever be able to fill it with grass, so I squeezed out some yellow, black and several greens and blues and go to town. Some people don't realize that a nice lemon yellow and black makes a beautiful set of greens. Mix yellows and blues and you get many many more. I also include some blues and blacks in the grass to indicate shadows behind the grass. It's far from being done, but that brown is not a solid block any more. All of her wrinkles on her forehead and nose are also blown out to white in my reference photo because it was taken in the bright sunshine. So I have to try and create what they really look like. Lots of back and forth on these! Then I realized she had a spot of brown on the top of her head from another photo. Might as well indicate that too! Added some more dark blue pink grays inside her mouth.

Step 4

She's started to loo a bit like a bulldog! Yeah! Next I have some fun, adding the eyes. Here's are a black blur in the photo, so I used several photos of English Bulldogs' eyes for reference. I love to add a lot of color into the eyes to draw the viewer to them. Her eyes ended up with some brown, blue, green, purple, black and white. In various amounts! Also added some green to her nose. Green? Why? It's the opposite of orange (sienna) on the color scale, so it adds a nice contrast when you paint over it with more layers of thinned paint. Also darkened up the tongue. Adding blue to the alizarin crimson makes that peculiar color that dogs' noses have and the tongues also have. Added some purple in there in the mix. I also started to add more dark browns to the shadow areas of her coat.

Step 3, lips, tongue nose pink!

Next steps were to mix up some nice pinks with alizarin crimson, some white and blue. Dragging the gray of the pencil around with a bit of turp, helps to put the lines I drew into a bit of gray that I can use for guides and add to the under layer. I also went in with some more whites over the grays and pinks. The owner wanted me to add a collar and a heart shaped tag that wasn't on the original photo either. Happy to comply! More reference needed.

Oil Painting of an English Bulldog Step 2

The next step is to throw in a nice underlayer. She had lots of tan and brown on her, and the background was to be grass, so I used raw umber and burnt siena. This gets the canvas all colored up so you can continue and not be afraid of a big blank white canvas staring at you. I really enjoy most of the steps. I kept the client updated as I went, so this is usually the hardest one for them to look at. They must cringe and say "I thought she could paint?" But thankfully it is laid down with lots of turpentine so it dries pretty quickly and off you can go.

Step by Step to Paint an English Bulldog

I received a commission to paint a beautiful English Bulldog about 6 weeks ago. I've been really busy ever since. I've been wanting to post some of my steps so I'm doing it now!

It was to be in oil paint so my first step was to collect as much reference material on her as possible, and find other reference on specific parts like bulldog eyes, which were blown out in the photo. You find something to work with in all cases. So I had about 8 photos to work with. I started with a quick pencil sketch on the canvas. It ended up being too far to the right, so I carefully erased and redrew my sketch. This is what I started with.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pinecone trick

I've attempted to draw pine cones many, many times, and they always looked fuggly.

So while on vacation I decided to draw one again. First I did a blind contour drawing which you see on the left. Picture it without the color. It was pretty strange looking and off to the left. I did the drawings in pen. Blind contour drawing is when you look at what you are drawing, but you do not look AT the drawing. You keep your eyes on the object. That allows your brain and your eyes and your hand a chance to get comfortable with each other!

The second drawing I did while looking back and forth at the pine cone to the paper, and I'm very happy with it. It actually looks like the pinecone I was holding in my hand!

I then went in with a bit of watercolor on both drawings.

 I highly suggest if you're having a problem "seeing" what you're trying to draw, try a few blind contour drawings of it first.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Boston Terrier Dog finished

Finally finished my first Boston Terrier. I'm very happy with the way he came out. I think I may be brave enough now to try my German Shepherd, Cleopatra. She has tons of black in her coat. This was a good learning experience.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Boston Terrier 4

Moving right along! I'm adding more purples, blues, dark reds and finally some black. I've also added more color on his nose, muzzle and chin. I'm kinda liking him! I need to tone down the highlights on the right side of the face and add more darks and mid tones around the muzzle and the right side. I find it very helpful to put the work away for a day or two and come back to it with fresh eyes. And seeing it on the computer monitor, next to the previous layers, always helps me "see" what changes I want to make.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Boston Terrier 3

My little boston Terrier is coming along. I've started to define the edges of his skull and ears as well as the many foldes under his chin. I'm increasing the number of layer colors where his fur is black, made up of indigo blue, magenta, dark brown and orange. I will continue to work on the darks vs. lights. I've added a lot more to his nose and muzzle.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Boston Terrier 3

I've started to define the dark areas more with some indigo blue and magenta. I'll slowly work those areas darker, as I add more lights to show contrast. Not happy with the nose yet. Dog noses are really difficult things to draw in case you didn't know. This one already has four or five layers of color!


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