Monday, April 30, 2012

Nothing to Do

"Nothing to Do"  (oil, 6x6 inches)  click here to bid

My last oil painting from the past few days. This girl's mood was echoing mine! (sigh) One can almost empathize with the feeling of being caged, in this modern busy life of multiple obligations pulling one away from what one would most like to do (roam free!) (or paint!), and not in control of ones own life as a person (or a cat) would most naturally want to be.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


"Squirrel"  (oil, 6x6 inches)   click here to bid

Here's the squirrel I mentioned a couple days ago. Finished him today. I know, not a very imaginative title, but some days are like that! Below is the umber underpainting that I had done on Thursday.

Thanks -- share with your friends if you like this!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Effie Trinket - Pre-sketch caricature

"Effie Trinket" from The Hunger Games Movie, Pre-sketch caricature (colored pencil over inkjet print, 14x11 inches)

This is my second stage pre-sketch of Effie. I started with the first sketch, below, and realized I needed to fit in her puffy sleeves to balance the composition, and besides, Effie is not really Effie without her fashion statement!
So I put this first sketch into Photoshop, and sized it and printed it on a new 11x14 sheet (above) and continued to sketch the rest of the caricature. I also made some modifications to her hair and giant flower, which I felt needed to be a bit larger.
I'll put the new revised pre-sketch under another sheet and draw the final caricature from it. (Although I really like how the 2cd pre-sketch is looking on it's own... it has a kind of Toulouse Lautrec look to it...)

I also have an impulse, if I have the time, to complete this caricature of Effie as a finished fine-art oil or pastel painting, and submit it to the cover contest for the Exaggerated Features magazine of the International Society of Caricature Artists. They will be selecting one caricature from the "Showcase" entries for the next issue (Summer 2012) to put on the cover. That would be really cool to win!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Katniss pre-sketch caricature

"Katniss" Pre-Sketch  (colored pencil, 14x11 inches)

I had a cute 6x6 squirrel painting prepped in burnt umber and ready to finish today, but instead I got distracted by the characters of one of my new favorite books, "The Hunger Games". Having just seen the movie, I'm determined to get a new triple caricature ready of Katniss, Peeta and Gale for my festival display. It's destined to be the hot image of the summer!

Above is my pre-sketch of Katniss. When I have the pre-sketches of Gale and Peeta ready, I'll put them all in Photoshop to size and arrange them all in an 11x14 composition. This is what I'll set under my next sheet of paper to sketch out what will be the final original caricature.

Below is my pre-sketch of Gale. The one I tried of Peeta didn't work. I downloaded a better photo today and will be doing another of Peeta this weekend.
"Gale" Pre-Sketch  (colored pencil, 14x11 inches)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Zebra Close Up

"Zebra Close Up"  (oil, 6x6 inches)   click here to bid

Maybe, just maybe, I have finally gotten tired of cows... I feel like I'm flittering around aimlessly, trying to find another subject to rest on. Meanwhile, I've gotten some inspiration from the great DPW Challenges. This one is my entry to Taryn Day's "Close Up Animal Challenge".

This was from a photo I had taken at a wildlife ranch years ago; one of my favorite pics and one that I also exhibited as a photograph way back when.
 (here it is with the underpainting, mostly umber with a little blue)

In fact I've found right now that I'm gravitating to all my favorite old photos as references, and in the next few days you may see some widely varying subjects. I think I want to paint whatever takes my fancy at the moment of preparation. You've got to 'paint what you love' after all, right? And I'm tired of the 'painting block' I've been in for a while, darn it!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Classic Lines (my DPW Challenge - 4th painting!)

"Classic Lines"  (oil, 8x4 inches)  
(2015 update: Available again, framed, for $225! See current post!)

Here is my 4th (and maybe last, for a while,) painting from my Daily Paintworks "Cropping" Challenge. I was in the mood for oil today and also felt this contemporary cropping of such a classic car would work better in oil, especially for the size.

I did also remember to get some shots along the way...

 I started with a loose wash of umber and ultramarine.
 Lifted off the light areas...
 ...and painted in the darks, with pure umber and ultramarine...
 ...and in some areas added some pthalo blue and/or alizarin.
 Then started in on the colors, until...
... I decided it was finished...

Thanks for 'watching'! Please forward to friends if you like it!

PS: Anyone know what kind of car this is? (I don't but would like to!) A more complete reference photo is below..
Update (4/28/12):  I just got this pic from a friend (Thank you, Polly!) identifying the car as a 1928 Chevrolet National Model AB Roadster. Very cool!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Side Garden (my DPW Challenge - 3rd painting)

"Side Garden"  (pastel, 12x9 inches)   click here to bid

Here is my 3rd painting from my Daily Paintworks Challenge. For this one I reverted back to my favorite surface - terra cotta pastel primer on gatorboard. I like how it gives a warm undertone throughout the painting.
I'm not too fond of painting buildings (straight lines are hard! lol) but this one's more a supporting cast for the garden itself.

Below are some shots I got along the way while painting this one...

Here's my board with the cropped reference photo
 I start with the darks and work up to some mediums.

 Here I've put in a few spots of my brightest lightest colors, to help me see where the midtones will need to be.
 So I can start on the midtones of the porch. It's a white porch, but in shadow, so the whites here are cool and warm grays, not as light as my lightest light.
 I continue to work on the mid values throughout the painting...
 ...and then into the lighter values.

 After that previous shot I was in the zone for a while... until it was almost finished!
Then, a few finishing touches...  I blurred out the back tree with a cool medium green to help it recede. I smoothed the columns a bit with a light blue, and added more lights to the cornices for definition. Finished the urns, and a few more flowers in the bushes and basket, and it's done!

Thanks for 'watching'! Share this with others if you like it!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Garden Angel (my DPW Challenge- 2cd painting)

"Garden Angel"  (pastel, 11x8 inches)   click here to bid

Here's my second painting from my Daily Paintworks Challenge this week. I used the same method on this one; pastel over watercolor on Arches w/c paper. I managed to get some progress shots on this one!

Here's my studio setup. I wanted to paint this one for a specific old frame I had (see it resting at the top of the easel)
 Below is my chosen palette of colors, to harmonize well with the frame, which is a sort of tarnished silver look (it's actually a stained wood)
The watercolor underpainting I had done last week. On this, I started with my darkest pastels...

 The shadows got a little dark, so I began to lighten them, below.
 Here come the warm mediums that I specifically chose to match the frame.
 ...and the burst of color...
 At this point I checked it with the frame to see how it was working. looks good! I plan to order a 1 1/2 to 2" linen liner to fit inside the frame - that's why you see the painting is smaller.
 Just a few finishing touches...
and it's all done!
I'll be offering this painting on the DPW auction, unframed, until the linen liner is ready. If no one snaps it up at auction, I'll frame it and reprice it at retail.

If you haven't seen the DPW Challenge yet, that inspired this painting, click here! Below is the photo that I cropped to compose this painting, and yesterday's. Can you find the angel?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spring Garden (my DPW Challenge - 1st post!)

"Spring Garden"  (pastel, 6.5 x 6.5 inches)  click here to bid

This is my first painting from my first Daily Paintworks Challenge that I authored myself! (Click here to see the challenge.) I chose a photo of a driveway of a historical house in New Braunfels that is always in perfect beautiful condition of landscape and mood (complete with a horse-drawn buggy and mannequins in the front yard - not seen in the photo; that would have REALLY been an overload!) The photo is beautiful, but has TONS of information, so I decided to call this the "Cropping Challenge" since what I typically do to find a good painting composition is to hone in on a simpler subject and crop out the rest.
This painting is a view of  the plants that border the side porch of the house, and a bit of the garage in the background.

It's done on Arches watercolor paper with a watercolor underpainting, and pastel on top. I've not used this particular surface before, but wanted to try something different, since this was also a different subject matter than my usual. I enjoyed the process and it was fun to see how the texture of this paper affected the result. I like the impressionist look.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


"Brassy"  (psatel, 7x5 inches)  click here to bid

Here's a cute calf I've painted before from another photo, and from the same photo, flipped. It's been a while, though, at least a year, and I just love the look of this young one.
Returning to the same subject after time has passed is a great way to track your progress. I see some changes in my style developing...

"Arlan" (pastel, 7x5 inches)

"Raff"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)

Monday, April 9, 2012


"Cayenne"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)  sold

This one I had started at a recent art fair, and it sold before it was quite done! Now that it's finished and framed, I'll be shipping to the buyer.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Audrey With Flowers at Seven - First in Show!

"Audrey With Flowers at Seven"  (pastel, 28x22 inches) has won First Place in Show at the Austin Pastel Society Juried Member Exhibition! The exhibit will continue through may 4, at the Chase Bank Corridor of Art, 7th and Lavaca, Austin, Texas.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012