Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Family Portrait Commission

A Family Portrait Commission (conte pencil and pastel pencil on paper, 24x36 inches)

I know I haven't posted in a while. December was my annual Christmas craft show at my local mall, which I've been doing wherever I happen to live, every year since 1988. It's kinda hard to give up! The bulk of my business is detailed pencil portraits like this one (only usually smaller, with one or two or three faces.) This client wanted one "as big as you can make it, Rita!" So I hunted down my full sheets of the paper I ordered in bulk years ago, and turns out it was 26x40! Wow! I was able to draw these faces just about life size. Fitting in the drawing time between the other, smaller, faster orders, it look me nearly the entire craft show to complete.

Now that Christmas is over (and I've had my few short days of 'rest') I can start posting some of this year's results.

Here are a few shots of my progress on this huge portrait. It barely fit on my easel! In order to hang my iPad nearby, and rest my hand to the right, I had to cover the immediate areas with paper to protect what I had already done.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Got Milk? (revised)

"Got Milk?"  (pastel, 12x24 inches)  $975

Available at the Lee-Bunch Studio Gallery in Del Rio TX, through mid January, 2015.

Invited as the Featured Artist for the Del Rio First Friday Art Walk, I had a great weekend taking a load of paintings to the gallery owned by Pam Bunch, a wonderful lady and an excellent artist, especially with watercolors! She graciously hosted me in her home for two nights, and organized a beautiful reception Friday evening.

During the day on Friday, I made some long-over-due revisions to one of my favorite paintings from last year, "Got Milk?" The horrid bright green grasses in the background had always bugged me, so I wiped off that part and made up a new background with some depth, and I used several colors I already saw in the painting to improve the color harmony.

(Here's the old version:)

A couple shots of my 'corner' of the gallery, right as one walks in!

The December first friday in Del Rio is also the Christmas Parade, which goes right past the gallery windows -- a prime spectator spot!

Later, the two young Misses, Miss Del Rio Texas and Miss Del Rio Texas Teen stopped by the reception with their families to see the artwork! (I took advantage of the photo op!)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

November 31-in-30!

Well, I didn't do my original 60-in-30 personal challenge (see my Nov. 1 post) but I did have a painting to post every day of November, and even with using two posts to brag about older paintings getting published, I still created 31 works of art in November. Two of them were portrait commissions, which I couldn't post the actual works yet, but instead posted older portraits. And that left 3 extra 'dailies' which I posted in the first days of December!

This poster is late because I was out in Del Rio TX over the weekend to show my work during the First Friday Art Walk at the Lee-Bunch Studio Gallery (Her site will be updated soon!) A large selection of my work will stay there through most of January 2015.

Tomorrow I will try to post pics from the weekend, it was a fun time!

(btw: the poster collage above was created on picmonkey.com.)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


"Munster" (Pastel, 7x5 inches) click here to bid

This one might be my last 'daily' painting for a while. The craft show starts next week where I'll be exclusively working on commissioned portrait drawings and portrait sketches, from life or photos, (at Rolling Oaks Mall, San Antonio TX, Dec 9-24.)

This weekend I'll be taking some paintings out to Del Rio TX, for the First Friday Art Walk, and my work will remain at the Lee-Bunch Studio Gallery, 100 W. Greenwood in Del Rio through the month of December, and possibly January too! I'll get some photos during the Art Walk so I can post them later.

Meanwhile here are the few progress shots of Munster I managed to get:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


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

After more than 400 miniature paintings of ranch animals, probably several dozen black ones, I don't know how I still come up with fitting names. But somehow I manage! Thank you Google search and Thesaurus.com! Lol.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tofu - day 30

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

Quick post today. Today I'm cooking our turkey, since Thanksgiving we went to my sister-in-laws and ate their turkey! Yes, our holiday plans are always last-minute, and not well organized.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Kebab - day 29

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

Sorry I didn't get progress shots on this batch of cows lately. I painted these last four on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, forgot to take my camera out to the studio with me, and said "heck with it, I'm not goin' back to the house!" Today (Saturday) was my docent-day at the New Braunfels Art League and I got four more done, but was so 'in the zone' that my photos were pretty sporadic. It's actually kind of nice to work right through without stopping to think (or shoot.)

I've been enjoying some new varieties in my background colors lately. I'm finding that pinks work really well in grassy-ness!

And, YAY! My month of November is officially done! Today's paintings will carry me to December 2cd! I'm glad I got those extra 2 in... that makes up for the 2 days I posted older paintings for 'brags' this month, and it means I really did paint 30 new paintings in November! SUCH a feeling of accomplishment! Y'all should try it!! :)

(Dec 3 I'll make a new poster like I did in September..)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Daughter & Mother - a portrait commission - day 25

"Daughter & Mother"  (conte pencil and pastel pencil, 8x10 inches)  sold

'Tis the Season! As Christmas approaches, my commissioned portraits will be taking precedence over my daily paintings. As I complete one, I'll post one from an earlier year, to protect the current Christmas surprises!

To inquire about commissioning a portrait for a Christmas gift (there's still time!) visit my Drawings Site: www.ritakirkmandrawings.com.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Chick Profile #4 - day 24

"Chick Profile #4"  (pastel, 4.25 inch circle)  click here to bid

A young rooster today, to go with yesterday's gal. On auction for a limited time unframed. The paper (about 5" square) is stretched and primed Arches 300# hot pressed watercolor paper, suitable for matting or trimming to fit a round frame. Progress shots below.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Chick Profile #3 - day 23

"Chick Profile #3"  (pastel 4.25 inch circle)  click here to bid

I'm planning some more circle paintings as a possible theme for a small solo show that I've been invited to have in Rockport Texas next May.

For a limited time I'm offering this little gem of a study on auction, unframed. It's painted on Arches 300# hot pressed watercolor paper that has been stretched and primed with my usual pastel primer underpainting method. This has the advantage of a surface essentially the same as the primed gatorboard, but in a thinner package that can be matted, or trimmed to a circle and framed without a mat. The paper is approximately 5x5 inches square.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Lunar - day 22

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

Well, it happened. I missed yesterday's post. I had it ready, but got invited to go see "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1" and forgot all about my blogging! Scandal!! (What can I say, I'm a fan.) So what to do? Well, I saw that Blogger will allow scheduling a post for an earlier date, so I posted "yesterday's" painting ("Bruiser" pastel, 10x8) and scheduled it for Nov 21. Voila! It's dated Nov 21! Downside is it didn't get sent out to any subscribers in time for the feedburner (or the DPW email, although it did show up in their main page when I pulled the post over.) I'll have to squeeze in some extra FB posting for both paintings today.

Today's painting I really like. I decided to go with a similar background to what I saw in the photo, because I liked the look. I think the expanse of coolness throughout really sets off the slices of warm light on Lunar!

See the progress shots:

Thanks for watching! Please share!


Friday, November 21, 2014

Bruiser - day 21

"Bruiser"  (pastel, 10x8 inches)   click here to bid

Doesn't he kind of look like a bouncer or a hired thug? Something about a rooster viewed directly from the front that's a little bit scary. I decided to set him slightly off center in this portrait, as if he wouldn't hold still for the shot.

Here are some progress shots:

Thanks for watching, please share!