Tuesday, February 28, 2012


"Cocoa"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)   

This one I started last Friday and wasn't able to finish during the busy rodeo weekend. I squeezed in the extra hour today to get it done! This might be my last posting until Sunday; I'll be in Rockdale for my pastel workshop and the Tejas Art & Book Fair this weekend.

Cocoa will be with me for the Bayou City Art Fest in Houston, March 23-25, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Quick-Sketch Portrait - day 18

(the portrait sketch: conte and pastel, 15x12 inches)

Well, the Rodeo is over now, whew! It went by fast, but it's always exhausting, especially the tear-down and pack-up! Sunday was the last day, and here's a sketch of a mother and daughter. I think I got a great likeness in the faces, but I didn't quite do justice to the hair styles.. Fitting two faces on the same page, while keeping in mind the size of the matting in hopes that one can sell a frame with the portrait, can sometimes be a challenge!

This Thursday and Friday is my workshop in Rockdale, TX, "Pastel in Miniature". I may not have time to post again until Sunday, but I'll be sure to try and get some shots from the workshop!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Quick-Sketch Portraits - day 16 and 17

(The portrait sketch: conte and pastel, 15x12 inches, about 15 minutes per face)

Today, the last Saturday of the San Antonio Rodeo, was our busiest yet! I did several portraits that I would have liked to photograph, but when I get in that 'zone' of busy-ness, I don't want to stop for anything that might delay the next customer in the chair!
For this one, though, I made an exception. This couple was so distinctive looking, the portrait almost drew itself. Now I wish the lady hadn't been half hiding behind the frame in this shot -- I loved her hair! It had a life of it's own, floating around her head in fluffy waves!

I've been proud of myself for being so consistent in posting through this entire busy event. I was sorry to miss posting yesterday, but my body demanded sleep instead!
So here I've included twin portraits from Friday, literally. These ladies are identical twins who 'like to look different,' evidenced by the fact that one sister had her moles removed. I recognized a family resemblance, but never would have thought that they were identical until they told me.

...and her sister:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Scotty (and the Quick-Sketch Portrait - day 15)

"Scotty"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)  sold

OK, I've drawn this calf I think 3 times now ("Flekk", and "Spot"-reversed and with a smaller spot) I've decide that I finally need to get out and replenish my supply of photos, because I'm using up my supply and I find I'm getting drawn back to all my favorite pics that I've already painted! I guess there's nothing wrong with that - my paintings have evolved over the last year. I could probably start over with the same images and repaint them all, and they'd all be very different! But for my own need for variety and freshness, I do need some new references.


Here is today's Quick-Sketch portrait from the San Antonio Rodeo. I did several more as it got close to closing time, but I tend to get into the 'fast' mode when there's a rush, and I don't want to take the extra minute to ask if I can photograph the model with the portrait.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Quick-Sketch Portrait - day 14

(conte and pastel, 15x12 inches)

Today was a busy day. No time for a cow painting. This was my favorite quick-sketch of the evening at the San Antonio Rodeo. Her father dropped of her photo and picked up the portrait near closing time. He has another photo to bring back tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Quick-Sketch Portrait -day 13

Here's today's Quick-Sketch Portrait selection from the San Antonio Rodeo. This one took about 10 minutes per face.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Scarlett (and the Quick-Sketch Portrait - day 12)

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

Titling one's painting is definitely part of the creative process (or struggle, as it may be!) And I admit, after 100+, names for ranch animals are beginning to be hard for me to think up without repeating any. Sometimes I'll simply consider whatever name first pops into my head, and if it doesn't seem overtly wrong, I'll go with it. Sometimes I'm lucky, and the name is obvious from the first look at the photo reference.
This one took some thought. No name seemed to fit, that I hadn't already used. Then I decide to ignore the look and coloring of the cow, and began to look for clues in the painting itself. This is a more contemporary feel, bold colors, in-your-face pose. She looked to me as if she was on a stage, like a starlet. Ah! The rhyming "Scarlett" popped into place. I laughed. "There's not much red in this painting," I thought. But then my odd sense of humor said "It's perfect!" What else could you name a black and white bovine stage actress on a blue and gold field?


And here's today's Quick-Sketch portrait from the rodeo. It was a day for cowboy hats!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Circus (and the Quick-Sketch Portrait - day 11)

"Circus"  (pastel, 6x6 inches)    sold

I love how her face looks like circus makeup.


And here's my quick-sketch of the day, from the San Antonio rodeo. With the color option this time! This young lady had the perfect 'model' smile, and held perfectly still throughout the entire 20 minute portrait.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Linus (and the Quick-Sketch Portrait - day 10)

"Linus"  (pastel, 6x6 inches)   sold

I finished this one this morning, and didn't quite have enough time to complete the next.  Another busy Saturday at the Rodeo!


Speaking of ...  Here's today's last Quick-Sketch. I was exhausted and ready to go home, but this couple's contagious optimism gave me the burst of creative energy I needed to make this one of the best sketches of the day!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Curly (and the Quick-Sketch Portrait - day 9)

"Curly"  (pastel, 6x6 inches)  sold

I decide to move to a 6x6 format for some pastel cows. I'm finding some great shots that crop much better as a square than as a rectangle. I managed to take some progression photos of  Curly:


Below is my Quick Sketch selection from today at the rodeo!
This lady had her portrait drawn once before (not by me!) and said it didn't look like her. She took a chance on mine, and was quite happy!

Workshop "Pastel in Miniature" - spaces still available!

Still space left in my workshop "Pastel in Miniature", in Rockdale, Texas. Conveniently located 1 hour east of Austin.
Information here: http://files.faso.us/7688/1771.pdf
Registration form: http://files.faso.us/7688/1772.pdf
Supply list: http://files.faso.us/7688/1773.pdf

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Copper (and the Quick-Sketch Portrait - day 8)

"Copper"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)   sold 

His name brought to mind a bright shiny penny - precisely the color of his coat!


Below is my Quick-Sketch of the day from the San Antonio Rodeo:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pirate (and the Quick-Sketch Portrait - day 7)

"Pirate"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)     sold

This cute baby practically leaped out at me from my photo collections, begging to be painted! So I had to oblige!


Below is my Quick-Sketch portrait selection from today at the rodeo. This young man is one I've drawn several times over the years. He's grown so much recently I didn't recognize him!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Grazer (and the Quick-Sketch Portrait - day 6)

"Grazer"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)   sold

Grazer's name was sort of obvious. I debated whether to put the grass in his mouth (as my photo showed) and in the end decided that the distinctively clenched teeth looked better for having a purpose!


Below is my Quick-Sketch portrait selection for Day 6 of the San Antonio Rodeo. This young man was very eager to have his portrait drawn; he sat vary patiently!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Gracie (and the Quick-Sketch Portrait - day 5)

"Gracie"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)  sold

I finished this pretty Brahman today. I loved her elegance and sweet expression. Her subtle gradations of color and tone were challenging, but I'm happy with the result!


Today at the Rodeo was quite slow, as expected of the first Monday. Here's a Quick-Sketch Frontal of a girl from west Texas. Bought by her husband as a Valentine gift.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hortense (and the Quick-Sketch Portrait #4)

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

Hortense has a slightly different look. I used more colors on her, with smaller, more impressionistic strokes. I think this is because I started on a busy day, with many interruptions, and finished on another almost-as-busy day. But through it all, the light, and her expression, stayed true. So I'm happy.

I named her Hortense because the name, for me, calls to mind an old fashioned, respectable, mature lady, whom no one could possibly put anything past without her being wise to it. This lady's expression says all that! I also found out from Wikipedia that 'Hortense' means 'gardener', so the fact that she's claimed her spot in the cool grass, giving her this visual connection to horticulture, seemed appropriate.

Here's "Hortense" yesterday as I left her, half completed:


Today at the Rodeo was somewhat less busy than yesterday. More people wanted profile portraits than frontals. Here's one I did today of a family's 3 children, in profile:

 ...and the 'profile' pose...
They were a fun bunch and very appreciative!
(these side-view portraits take me about 4 minutes to complete per face!)

Looking forward to what tomorrow brings!