Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Work has been crazy busy lately (have I mentioned how much I hate being stuck behind a desk all day??) and I'm moving in two weeks so the packing has begun!  All this has led to very little painting time!  :(  The current painting project is for my first joint giveaway with Adam at http://roofbeamreader.wordpress.com/, but I don't think it'll be ready for another week or so.  I don't want to go too long without updating this, so here are a few pencil/charcoal sketches done recently. 

 I may turn this elephant one into a painting at some point.
 My dad made these candles for me and I thought it'd be fun to give the shapes/colors a try.
The fist doesn't look too bad, but I struggled with the open hand.  I kept referencing it at a slightly different angle lol.  The thumb in particular is goofy.  Well, they say hands and feet are a couple of the hardest things to draw!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Moving On

This painting is for Wet Canvas' May Different Strokes Challenge.

The colors in this painting are bright and fun.  It is probably the loosest painting I've done so far and that's quite an accomplishment for me.  It seems like a big trend in painting right now is to paint loosely (i.e., don't use too many brushstrokes, don't paint every detail, go for the feeling more than what's observed).  I don't entirely understand the method and though it sounds easier than being really detailed in a painting, I've found it to be really hard.  I start loosely but it ends up looking sloppy, muddy, and chaotic so I end up falling back to painting things exactly as I see them.  Anyway, this is the loosest attempt I've managed so yay! For an example of loose painting, here are links to the blogs of a few wonderful artists I'm following: Celeste Bergin and Carol Marine and Pam Holnback. 

Overall I'm really pleased with this.  I did have a couple of problems.  I started the background with a more haphazard sky and when I painted over it some of the texture from the first draft stuck around.  I'm not sure how to get rid of that-sand it down before applying the next layer?  Also, I'm still trying to get the knack of taking photos of paintings.  This was taken outside, facing North, at around 7PM.  There probably was not enough light.  My camera's having trouble with zoom also so the quality isn't the best.  I'll get this eventually!

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I was informed last night that I hit 100 followers.  Wow, that is pretty incredible.  I didn't really think I'd want people to know about my blog.  It was more just a private place for me to post what I was working on and get some suggestions from other artists.  I am pretty unsure of what I create because I don't have formal training and am still working on technique and skill.  I have the enthusiasm and imagination, I think, but I still need to get what is in my head on the canvas.  There is so much to learn about color and composition and texture... the list goes on and on.  But all I can do is keep practicing and creating and studying how the pros do it and hopefully I'll improve!  Most importantly, playing with paints and charcoal is really, really fun.
I haven't set up a way to sell my paintings for a couple of reasons.  For one thing, places charge to host your work and I’m just not sure enough people would want to buy my work for it to be worthwhile.  The other thing is that it’s scary for me to give people my work.  What if they don’t like it?  It’s hard enough giving paintings to friends and family as gifts, but to someone who pays for it?  That being said, if anyone sees a piece on my site and would like to make an offer, I’d be happy to consider it.  It would be an honor.  And if there’s a subject in particular someone would like interpreted into a painting, please let me know.  I like the challenge and if you’re happy with it and want to purchase it, great!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Taking a Peek

This is my final, for now anyway, version of this barn owl.  I am pretty happy with the shape of the face and the color of the fur.  I still wish the colors would have blended together a little better...it was a tough balance to find.  I would like to paint some more owls, maybe try one that is a little more abstract and further away.  Something to look forward to!  Now, as President Bartlet from The West Wing would say, what's next?

This painting was done on an 8" x 10" panel with acrylics.  The reference image can be found here.

Owl Update

I worked on the painting of the owl for almost two hours last night. After a full day of work, that was all I could manage.  Unfortunately I'm still not happy with it!  The colors of the body should show off its fun shape and texture but have to stay soft and light.  I'm posting two in progress shots and will hopefully get the final one up tonight.  If I'm still not happy with it after another hour or so tonight I'm going to put it on the back burner for awhile so I can move on to new things.

Here was my first attempt:

With some significant changes, here's the second draft:
Suggestions are always welcome!  Thanks!

Monday, May 2, 2011

My excuse for not having an update sooner than this....

My project for the last couple of weeks has been an 8x10 painting of a barn owl. Usually I complete a painting a week, at least, but I know this one can be better than it is so I just keep plugging away.  I am going to make my last effort tonight and then it is what it is!  There's a great community of artists at www.wetcanvas.com that has been willing to look at my work-in-progress pictures and offer advice.  Since I don't have any training, a lot of times I will know something is off but can't really pinpoint the problem.  Their suggestions have been invaluable and I recommend the site to anyone interested in art.  I'll post the progress photos and the final product tonight.   I really can't wait to get on to new things.  There are a couple of challenges this month I want to participate in and I'm going to produce my first painting that'll be given away on my brother Adam's literature blog: www.roofbeamreader.net. 

Also, I just wanted to thank all the people that are following my blog.  It's very kind of you to be interested in my development as an artist.  Critique and requests are welcome!