Thursday, September 29, 2016

Big Mama

"Big Mama"  (pastel, 36x36 inches)  sold

My newest show-stopper for upcoming art festivals, since I took my other large works to the Gallery at Round Top over the summer. This one will be with me at the Bayou City Art Festival, downtown Houston next weekend, October 8-9, 2016.

If these calves look familiar, one or both have featured in a few other of my paintings over the past couple years. They're from a herd that used to be near Walburg, TX, just north of Georgetown.

I took copious amounts of progress shots throughout this very long process. Here are just a few, starting with the underpainting..
 I start with an initial layer of gold acrylic pastel primer spread across a large piece of Gatorboard. This is Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold fluid acrylic color mixed into Golden (brand) Fine Pumice Gel. The gel is clear, so the color mixture is semi-transparent, and gets darker on each application. I usually then apply a couple more layers of the gold to start building up my values of my drawing.
 This time, however, my drawing was so hard to see, that I decided to start my next layer of primer with the terra cotta instead. Usually my final layer of primer, the Art Spectrum (brand) Pastel Primer in the terra cotta color gets in my dark values..
 I use a damp sponge with some of the terra cotta, to get a little bit of variations in my values here.
Then, I went back in with more of the gold primer to catch those in-between values.

 Then comes the pastel.

 Before I get too close to finished, I like to check the painting with the frame to make sure it's going to be harmonious. This looks like I'll need to add some warm greens to the shadows tone down all those violety-reds and pick up some of that gorgeous wood color from the frame.

 I didn't like that solid dark background...

 That's better.

All done! (I hang the frame on my easel to see how it looks. Now off to my framer to put it together with the glass!)

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Stella, a pet portrait commission

"Stella" (pastel, 8x10 inches)  sold

Finished with a commission of a dog over the weekend. This is not it. I never post new commission work until after the 'surprise'. I might post it later. Instead, this one's from last year, and was one of my favorites so I'm happy to finally show it off!

I will generally do pastel pet portraits if the photo is good, for the same retail price as my other animal paintings of the same size, starting at only $200, unframed! See a more complete price list on my website here (and scroll down for pet portraits.)

Meanwhile, I found progress shots of Stella!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Bubba Bunny (Real-Time Video!)

"Bubba Bunny"  (pastel, 12x9 inches)  click here to bid

Bubba was underpainted at my Rockport workshop earlier this month. The students really wanted to see me finish him, but we just ran out of time with everything else. So I made a video while I worked on him today.
I got the 40-minute painting edited down to 12 minutes in the video, but it's real-time, so you can see a lot of the actual pastel technique.

Let me know how you like it!


Saturday, September 17, 2016

J is for Jaguar

"J is for Jaguar"  (pastel, 8x10 inches)  click here to bid

NOTE from 9/19: This was quickly identified as a Snow Leopard, so I'll be finding another "J" for the alphabet! ;)

I started this one in my workshop last month in Little Rock, but the lighting in the photo was a bit more challenging than I was up to for a workshop demo, so I put it aside for later.

I got in the groove with it today in my studio, listening to Pandora on my new iPhone. I think it worked.

Here are progress shots, from underpainting at the workshop to the finish in studio:

(The color balance that my camera was catching was way off... the finished image at the top is the scanned painting, and quite accurate!)

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Flamingo 2

"Flamingo 2" (pastel, 12x9 in.)  sold

This was a request from a client who missed out on the "F is for Flamingo". I like revisiting the same subject (as if you didn't know...) and sometimes when I've done something very new to me, I'm happy to have an excuse to paint another one right away!

Here are some progress shots:

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Thursday, September 15, 2016


"Macaw"  (pastel, 12x6 inches)  click here to bid.

I was pleasantly surprised to find such a great shot in my photo files, after someone asked my if I had done any parrots, and I realized I had only done one parrot painting many years ago:
"Two of a Kind" (pastel, 12x9 in) 2001
So I threw this one into my latest batch. It's fun to see my changing style. I got into the zone with this one and it flowed really well!

Here are some progress shots: