Friday, May 30, 2014

Donna Keyanna (and the Feedburner issues - Please Read!!)

"Donna Keyanna"  (pastel, 10x10 inches)  click here to bid

This lovely donkey I saw on my way north last month, just down the road from the Angora goats. She was sharing her pasture with a handsome llama. I might paint him some day. It was about 5:30 in the evening. Love that light!

On another topic of some importance to all of you who subscribe to my blog... I found out recently that I had some errors in the settings of my Feedburner (That's the thing that schedules and delivers my posts to your inbox) and for most of the month of May my posts were only reaching one or two subscribers (probably the new ones since May 3rd or so.)

Since everything I know about pastel is balanced 10-fold by everything I don't know about internet techie stuff, I took a self-scheduled emergency crash course called "Feedburner 101" at the ITU (Internet Troubleshooter University, aka: "Google search") and I'm still not sure if I passed or failed, but I changed a couple of settings, and at least one subscriber has said she received a late delivery of my 5/28 post today, and my 'reach' was up to 21 today. I have 192 subscribers though, and gained 10 of them in this broken month of May.

SO, I am requesting of all the rest of you 190 subscribers PLEASE respond in some way to let me know that you are getting my posts! Leave a comment, or reply to this email. I changed my 'from' email in the feedburner to my main email address of rita(at)ritakirkman.com, so PLEASE add this address to your contacts or your 'safe' list as well!

And if you've missed my posts in May, please visit my blog Here, or by clicking on the links at the top of this email, and catch up on the action!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!! (Hopefully the problem is solved. If not, another crash course will be imminent...)

For your enjoyment, after that annoying technical stuff, here are a few shots of my progress on Donna Keyanna:





Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dry Bath

"Dry Bath"  (pastel, 8x8 inches)  click here to bid

This is one of the 32 new baby Pygmy goats from a friend's ranch last spring. (The same owner of the goats in "Lunch Al Fresco".) They were all adorable, and I'll be culling pics from the supply for a good long while!

Here are some progress shots:





Thanks for watching, please share!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Jed

"Jed"  (pastel, 6x6 inches)  click here to bid

Jed is a family member of Shaggy Ray. But with better eyesight.

See progress shots here:







Thanks for watching! Please share!

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Shaggy Ray

"Shaggy Ray"  (pastel, 6x6 inches)  click here to bid

Sorry for the long delay. Here's an Angora goat I saw on my way to Kansas last month. I wonder how he sees things.







Thanks for watching. Please share!

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Havarti (and New Workshop Listing!)

"Havarti"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)  click here to bid

The newest addition to my cheese names, Havarti was fun to paint because she is a great warm color and I was able to let a lot of the primer show through.

Here's what the primer underpainting looked like:
For you visitors who are new to my work, I like to start my pastel paintings with an underpainting that I make using a couple of acrylic based pastel primers that contain pumice and so hold on to pastel very well. I start with Golden (brand) Fine Pumice Gel with Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold liquid acrylic color added. This is semi-transparent and so will get darker with each application. I'll do 2 or 3 layers of this, building up some of the light/medium values in my subject. Then I'll add some Art Spectrum pastel primer in the terra cotta color, and will scuffle/dry brush this in some areas, to continue the value scale into the medium/dark areas of the image.

I teach this method and other tips for fast and simple small-sized paintings in my popular "Pastel in Miniature" workshops. I've just added one on to my schedule for October 17 & 18, in Marble Falls, TX! Click the image below for a better view of the flyer, and visit my Workshop Page of my website for more information and links.
I'd love to see you there!

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Pretty Pony

"Pretty Pony"  (pastel, 6x6 inches)  click here to bid

I saw this adorable miniature horse somewhere between Blanco and Fredericksburg when heading up to Kansas last month. He was several yards away, peacefully grazing and minding his own business as horses do, and I was trying to think of how to get him closer to the fence.

First I stomped around and made some noise in the dry underbrush. That works for most ranch animals, to get them to look up, but other than a moments notice when I stopped the truck, this one wasn't paying me any mind. "Oh, you're so pretty, I wish you'd come closer!" I murmured to myself, and then, not really expecting any response, and feeling slightly silly for talking out loud, I raised my voice.

"Hi there pretty pony!"

He looked up!

"There you are! Come here, pretty pony!" And he started right towards me. I wore a huge grin as I snapped away and continued to sweet talk. He let me take a couple good shots before sticking his head through the fence for some petting. He was as tall as my hip. I said to him "Aren't you sweet! I bet some lucky little girl calls you Pretty Pony every day."

He didn't disagree, as he munched on the grass near the fence line.

Here are some progress shots:
This underpainting uses gold, terra cotta, and black pastel primers.







 This is my second 'official' painting exclusively using colors from my Terry Ludwig full set! You can see here the colors I used for "Pretty Pony"


Here's a sneak peek at the primer underpaintings for my next paintings. The big one on the left is a white donkey with gray spots; she still has some terra cotta primer to go on...

Thanks for watching! Please share!

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Chick Profile #1

"Chick Profile #1"  (pastel, 4" circle)  click here to bid

That pesky thing called life (aka: '...with teenagers') has been slowing down the painting production lately. (Ok, to be honest, it's also because I'm not a morning person.) But today I did get a few new small paintings primed, and then managed to get this little chick finished just before I had to leave to pick up my son from school. (Tonight was Karate-and-Boy-Scouts-Night which keeps us out from 3:30-8:30.)

This chick is on Wallis Belgian Mist, since my usual primed gatorboard is too thick for the frame I found.

If this one survives the auction, I have a cute little frame from Hobby Lobby that had a mirror in it, which I might refinish in some kind of gold, although right now it's yellow with a touch of country-ish distressing on it and actually looks quite good on the chick, so maybe I'll leave it as is.

Anyway, the auction bidding is for this painting, unframed. (But now you know where to get a cute round frame!... And most dedicated frame shops can cut glass in circles.)

Here are a couple of shots while I was working on this chick:


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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Don Keanu

"Don Keanu"  (pastel, 12x6 inches)  click here to bid 

I think there's a little bit of a resemblance... ;-)

This was started but not finished in my Kansas workshop last month. Finally got around to it. This is painted on the new Olive green Art Spectrum pastel primer for a change. No underpainting. You can see bits of the green peeking through the fur. It was a good under-color for a warm brown donkey. Here are some shots of the progress:







Thanks for watching! Please share!

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