Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

A Pastel Pencil Portrait Commission, 16x12 inches, sold

This was by far the cutest job I had this Season. And what a perfect image for the "New" Year!

May 2013 bring all of you new goals, new surprises, new challenges, and lots of laughter!

Below is the photo reference with the portrait:

Visit my Drawings site,, for more samples and ordering information!

Thank you all for following my blog, and please share!!


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Lexi - portrait commission

"Lexi"  (conte and pastel pencil, 10x8 inches)  sold

A lovely little girl from a less than ideally clear photo. The photo sort of looked like it was scanned from a print from an image that had been downloaded and then forwarded. ...Or it could have just been a low-res file. But her radiant expression showed through with just enough of the right kind of lights and shadows for a wonderful drawing!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Irving House

"Irving House"  (conte and pastel pencil)  sold

One of my more unusual commissions this season, and only about the sixth house I've ever drawn. Houses are both easier and more difficult than human faces. They're more geometric, so it's easier to get a likeness; all you have to do is keep things in line. But they tend to be profusely laden with varieties of detail that, while not technically difficult, can become tedious and time consuming.

This one was a special challenge, since the client wanted the yard 'cleaned up' and the the viewpoint on the house centered between the posts. The intricate (and slightly spooky) shadows of the trees were the icing for me, and what made the job worth all the effort!

Below is the reference photo:
 Houses usually start at twice the price of a face because of the time involved, and are individually custom quoted. Visit my drawings site at, to see human and pet samples, and price information.


Friday, December 28, 2012


"Frankie"  (pastel pencil, 16x12 inches)  sold

Here is another Christmas commission for a couple who is having me draw their dogs as they pass away (A bit sad, but what a lovely memorial, especially from good photo references!) I drew their dog Kasey ten years ago. This year was poor Frankie's turn. They have several more dogs, but are getting lots of great pics throughout their dogs' lives so that the posthumous portraits will be excellent!

I love smart people who plan!

Below is the portrait with the reference pic:


Thursday, December 27, 2012


"Lauren"  (conte and pastel pencil, 10x8 inches)  sold

One of my commissions from the Christmas season. I've drawn this girl a couple times each year since she was two years old! Below is the reference photo.

My commissioned Detailed Pencil Portraits start at just $100. Visit my drawings site to see more samples or to place an order.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012


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

Back to the easel after a busy Christmas season! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Here's one I had the underpainting done with the gold and terra cotta pastel primers from a few weeks ago. The photo was from a hazy, overcast morning. A bit different from my usual bright sunlight. She was a lovely warm white color, but mostly backlit in the morning glow.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Frog #16 (Sumo-Toad)

"Frog #16 (Sumo-Toad)"  (pastel, 6x6 inches)  click here to bid

Here's a toad that I discovered half-finished from my late summer frog series (plenty of Terry Ludwig Eggplant in this one!) so I finished him up for posting. Doesn't he look like a wrestler? Wouldn't want to meet this one in a dark alley...

On a different front, I've been drawing away at Rolling Oaks Mall in San Antonio, as part of the Showcase Arts & Crafts show continuing through Christmas Eve. Been doing lots of portrait sketches, caricatures, and detailed pencil portraits, like the one below (this one from last year, so as not to spoil anyone's Christmas surprise!)

See more samples and prices at my Drawings Site


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Audrey with Flowers at Seven - in Southwest Art mag!

"Audrey with Flowers at Seven" (pastel, 28x22 inches) is a finalist in the Southwest Art magazine Artistic Excellence Competition, and is on page 90 of the Southwest Art December 2012 issue! 

"Texas Pride and Progeny" (pastel, 32x32) below, is also in the magazine (page 93) as part of the "Meet The Finalists" special advertising section for the competition. 

Both originals are currently at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas through January 13, 2013. 


Friday, November 30, 2012


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

The moon was full two nights ago. It was quite a beautiful clear night where I live.

I love the symmetrical white 'moon-mask' on this cow. So it's not round as a full moon, but still reminded me of one.

This also happens to be the painting in which I finally used up my tiny shard of Terry Ludwig Eggplant (You can see evidence of it in the eyes, the side of the head, and right side of the body.) Though I used the black pastel primer under the black hide, it still felt odd not being able to make my blacks any darker once that TL Eggplant was gone. But perhaps I need to take a deliberate hiatus from the TLE for a while, because I do like how this cow came out after all. The marks somehow seem more interesting. The subtleties visible in the overall lower contrast have a sort of calmness, and I kept the whites toned down in brightness to balance.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012


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

I know this one was named Snow, because that's what it said on her ear tag, which I decided not to include in the painting. Her ears look better with no adornment.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012


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

I found the name Shimon, a variant of the Hebrew names Simeon and Simon, to be a name meaning "to hear, or to be heard." Since this is a lady cow, I added an "a."
She certainly looks like she can hear very well!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Up the Tree Again

"Up the Tree Again"  (pastel, 10x8 inches)  $375

This was from a photo of a friend's cat from way back, but she looks just like my husband's "Taffa" who passed away (after 23 long years!) just a couple of years ago.

I loved the warm afternoon light, and the fearful expression. Cats don't really have much expression in their faces like dogs do; with cats it's in the eyes and the body.

This painting is available at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas, through January 13, 2012.

EDIT as of 8/28/2015: This painting has a new life, cropped as a 6x8 closeup titled "BlueEyes" and is on auction for a limited time at!)

Friday, November 23, 2012


"Alba"  (pastel, 8x6 inches)  click here to bid

Alba is my little sequel to Yuki. They are twin baby goats from a petting zoo at the North Texas Irish Fest in Dallas.

Below is one of my better caricatures from last week's ISCA convention. Visit my Art Journal Blog to see the rest of them!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


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

Back to the cows! This one's on a combination of gold and terra cotta primers. I thought she had the look of sunshine, so I set out to where I find names, to look for a synonym for sunshine, when I realized - why use a synonym? "Sunshine" she is!

Below is another favorite caricature of me from last week's convention. See the entire collection of Forty-Four 'Rita' caricatures on my Art Journal Blog!

by Jeff Pecina

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


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

This is a new one from the same set of photo references of the same bison as "Buford" (below) from a few years back. (It was a different photo from the same day.) It's interesting to see my change in style and color use.

On a different note, below is my 'wall' from the ISCA convention last week. These were the few caricatures I managed to get done of some of the other artists attending, during the three days I had there (I missed Wednesday to go to a gallery reception at Brookwood.)

Visit my Art Journal Blog for more wall pics and some of my favorites!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


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

I caught a chance to paint today, along with labeling the postcards for my pencil portraits Holiday mailing, finding new friends on Facebook and photographing and cataloging the more than forty caricatures I brought home from the ISCA convention on Friday!

Below is Derek Brennan's winning caricature of me, which was #4 of the Top 10 Caricatures of the Year for 2012.
 See more of the 2012 ISCA (International Society of Caricature Artists) Convention experience on my Art Journal Blog.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Frog #16 (The Frog Prince)

"Frog #16  (The Frog Prince)"  (pastel, 6x6 inches)  click here to bid

I managed to whip this one out this afternoon. Doesn't he look a lot like Kermit?

Tomorrow I'm down to San Antonio for the ISCA (International Society of Caricature Artists) Convention, which has finally come to S.A. I've been trying for years to fit this into my schedule. It will be awesome to see a lot of my old friends from my theme park days, and to watch and learn from many superb caricature artists!


Saturday, November 10, 2012


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

I've taken a bit of a hiatus from painting for the last couple weeks. I've opened a show, had a 3-day portrait workshop and a one day pastel workshop, two pastel demos and two caricature gigs, re-organized my daughter's home school curriculum, composed my Holiday marketing email and ordered my Christmas business postcards. All in the past 15 days. And next week I'm in San Antonio for the International Caricature Convention, so I'm not through yet!... Maybe I'll get some painting done over Thanksgiving?

Meanwhile, here's one that had slipped past me from my rush of paintings before the show. I remember now I held this one back so I'd have something to post on the auctions later... Well, now is later!

The name "Maximus" is a bit of irony; this one, which could have curled up inside two small hands, I painted larger than life in an 8x8.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Summer Storm Gathering

"Summer Storm Gathering"  (pastel, 5x5 inches)  click here to bid

This was the last in my short spurt of sunsets and skies before the desperate rush of my 2-woman show last week. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I've decided to offer this one, and maybe some others I've got laying around, to the relief effort. 100% of the proceeds of this auction (minus the shipping) will be donated to the American Red Cross to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. I've reduced my usual auction starting price of $100 to encourage bids! Please be generous!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Nancy - 15 minute Quick Sketch Portrait

"Nancy"  (approx. 17x13 inches)  sold

Boy, I've had a busy weekend! My 2-woman show opened at Cactus Jack's with a reception on Friday evening, demos by Jeannette and I on Saturday, a caricature gig on Saturday evening, and another demo on Sunday for the Austin Pastel Society.

Well, I don't quite have pics of either demo yet, so today I'm going to promote my Quick-Sketch Portrait Workshop next weekend at the New Braunfels Art League Gallery. Last month I was fortunate to have demonstrated at the September meeting of the Art League. Here I want to show you one of the 4 quick portrait sketches that I did that evening. This is Nancy, a past president of the New Braunfels Art League. I believe this sketch took me about 16 minutes, but I was talking and answering questions as I drew. My average time for a portrait like this is about 12 minutes. When I'm really in a rush, I have been clocked at 7 and 1/2 minutes. Admittedly, that's with not much shading. But I still got a decent likeness.

I do these sketches at the San Antonio Rodeo in February each year, and also at a craft show at Rolling Oaks Mall in San Antonio for about 3 weeks at Christmastime.

I'm offering a workshop to teach this method and philosophy of drawing the portrait very quickly, next weekend, Nov 2-4, 2012, at the New Braunfels Art League. Click Here for an informational flyer! There are still just a few spaces left in the workshop, for anyone interested and close by!

Below are the progression shots of Nancy's portrait.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Longhorn and Friend

"Longhorn and Friend"  (pastel, 24x36 inches)  $3400

Here's another painting at my 2-woman show with Jeannette Cuevas, at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas, through January 13, 2013. The reception was tonight, and tomorrow (Saturday) we both will be doing demos. Mine is from 10am-noon; I'll be working on a 24x24 Hereford calf. Jeannette will be demoing a pear still life from 1-3pm.

The reception tonight was great fun! Here are Jeannette and I in front of some of my work!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lunch Al Fresco

"Lunch Al Fresco"  (pastel, 18x14 inches)  $950

My last post before the opening of our 2-woman show. I'm glad I got up the nerve to try the dappled light. This became one of my favorites! It's on the gold and terra cotta colored primers. My demo Saturday at Cactus Jack's (10am-noon) will be another on a multi-toned primer underpainting.

Tomorrow (time permitting) I'll post some photos from the reception.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Twin Fawns

"Twin Fawns"  (pastel, 10x17 inches)  $650

These two were the perfect back-lit subject. I saw them at  petting zoo in the late afternoon. I used artistic license to remove the chaos from the background.

Twin Fawns will be at my 2-woman show (with Jeannette Cuevas) this weekend at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas. The reception is Friday, October 26, 6-9pm. Saturday we will be doing demos; Mine is from 10am-noon. Jeannette's is from 1-3pm.

Come for both and stay the weekend! The Texas Clay Festival is just down the street Saturday and Sunday!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012


"Yin"  (pastel, 10x10 inches)  sold

Something about Yin makes this one a favorite of mine. It might be that patch of icy blue shadow in the sea of warmth. Or maybe it's just his expression.

Yin will be at Cactus Jack's Gallery in Gruene, Texas, this weekend for the opening of my 2-woman show with Jeannette Cuevas. The reception is Friday from 6-9pm. Saturday I'll be doing a demo from 10am-noon, and Jeannette will demo from 1-3pm.


Monday, October 22, 2012


"Marjoram"  (pastel, 12x12 inches)  $550

Marjoram will be at my 2-woman show (with Jeannette Cuevas) opening this weekend at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas. The reception is Friday, October 26, 6-9pm. Saturday we will be doing demos!

Come and enjoy the weekend in historic Gruene, home of the famous Gruene Music Hall, and host of the Texas Clay Festival, also this weekend!