Sunday, June 30, 2019

Little Moo

"Little Moo" (pastel, 6x6 inches) $265 framed

Another of my IAPS workshop underpaintings, just finished pasteling him yesterday in between caricatures at the Luling Watermelon Thump. (Got to break in my new Heilman Sketchbox!)

Little Moo will be with me at the Rockport Art Festival, July 6 and 7, 2019, in Rockport Texas. Hope to see you!

with Heilman Sketchbox and little Rembrandt set

Friday, June 28, 2019


"Zinnia" (pastel, 6x6 inches) $265 framed

Managed to get the pastel on this little one finished today, in between caricatures at the Luling Watermelon Thump. This was one of my under-paintings done at my IAPS demo or workshop.

Zinnia will be with me at the Rockport Art Festival, July 6 and 7, 2019, in Rockport Texas. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Sunset Grove

"Sunset Grove" (pastel, 8x8 inches) $350 framed

This will be with me at the Rockport Art Festival, July 6 and 7, 2019, in Rockport Texas.

I've had landscapes on my mind lately. Slowly, some of the multitude of tips and teachings that I've gathered from a half dozen instructors over the past decade or more finally seem to be sinking in a little bit. I thank Lorenzo Chavez for being the 10th or 12th landscape instructor to demonstrate the thumbnail sketch (yes, it's taken me this long to willingly adopt the practice of thumbnails!) and several artists who's work I have gradually downloaded for inspiration, including Julie Friedman, Lisa Ransom, Lyn Asselta, and Tom Weinkle. And I noticed that many of my most recent favorites have a striking harmony with popular 2019 interior design colors... hmmm. What a great concept!

So, today I tried to emulate the styles of some inspiring favorite artists and use a palette of this year's design colors while improving my composition using a thumbnail sketch.

I figure one out of three ain't bad. I'm pretty happy with my composition!

But I've decided that I'll never be able to paint like Julie Friedman or Lyn Asselta and the next time I try to use a color scheme I really do need to choose one color scheme and not three or four at once, lol. I was trying for cool blues, but the golds and greens found their way in anyway; I couldn't help myself!

I've also decided I like small mark making, and that's ok. The main thing I was trying NOT to do was reproduce the photo exactly, and I like my result.

It's been a fun change to get back to some landscapes after all the animals. (Though I do have 3 more animal underpaintings I'll be pasteling this week, to get them done.)

Here are some pics of my progress:

Sunday, June 23, 2019


"Redhead" (pastel, 7x5 inches) $265 framed

This vivid rooster is the only painting I've got left from my IAPS demo and workshop that didn't sell at the time. So, of course, I tweaked it up nicely in the studio at home before calling it done. He was rather dark when I got him home so I'm kinda glad no one bought him earlier.

Redhead will be with me at the Rockport Art Festival in Rockport, Texas, July 6 and 7, 2019.

At the end of the demo...

The photo (left) showed an amazing glow through the comb that I wanted to capture better...

Saturday, June 22, 2019


"Arroyo" (pastel, 9x12 inches) $475 framed

This was my painting from Lorenzo Chavez's workshop at the IAPS convention earlier this month. I'd had no time to come up with any photo of my own so I used one of Lorenzo's pics that he graciously supplied to his students.

Lorenzo is a wonderful teacher, and gave the most creative demonstration of reflected light I've ever seen, using a rainbow umbrella and a white cloth and a fountain in the courtyard of the Hotel Albuquerque. I highly recommend his workshop to anyone wanting to improve their landscape painting!

I did get some photos of Lorenzo's demo, which I've posted on my Art Journal Blog.

Here's my attempt:

Thumbnails... an excellent tool!
 I'm not usually a thumbnail kind of artist, but for landscapes I'm learning that a few thoughtful thumbnail sketches can go a long way to simplifying a vision and improving composition. Most landscape photos have more information that a good painting really needs...

It was the red wall of the arroyo that first caught my eye in this photo of Lorenzo's. So I honed in on that rather than try to include the mountains, the plains, the plants, and the arroyo equally. (Though the photo is gorgeous as is, and would also make a beautiful painting with much less editing..)

At end of workshop

Tweaked a little at home.

  I enjoyed Lorenzo's workshop very much... except for the fact that he uses Canson paper. I grew up on Canson in my early years of pastel, and thought I would take right to it again, but I found it a little more challenging than I anticipated, after so much time using sanded surfaces. I guess one likes best what one gets used to over time. I do like my result with this painting, but I'm eager to try more landscapes on some sanded papers!

Thanks for watching! Please share!


Monday, June 17, 2019

Nabi - a commissioned cat portrait

"Nabi" (pastel, 10x8 inches) sold

Back from the International Pastel Convention (IAPS) and sloooowly re-adjusting to real life again. While I get my convention paintings sorted and my new pastel goodies organized, I thought I'd post this cat portrait from a little while back, since my son recently finished editing the video.

Nabi is a client's beloved kitty who had passed away. Luckily my client had a really good photo showing her curious personality!

This full length speed video shows my entire process, from the drawing through the underpainting to the pastel finish... enjoy!

If you are curious about commissioning a pet portrait, you can see more samples here, and a price list here (scroll down to second list.)

Sunday, June 2, 2019


"Gumdrop" (pastel, 6x6 inches) $200 unframed for a limited time.

Like Waffles and Russell, Gumdrop is a repeat of Baldy (another that sold quickly.) This one is a good example of how each painting can take on a life of it's own... Gumdrop is so titled because of the candy-coated colors that manifested during the painting process. (Or was that because I've just cleaned out and re-organized my pastel box? ;) Anyway I was attracted to the chartreuse and cerulean!

Gumdrop and the others from this week will be with me at my Wednesday workshop at the IAPS convention. I'm on my way there!
the underpainting

How she will look in a frame, for $265

Saturday, June 1, 2019


"Waffles" (pastel, 6x6 inches) $200 unframed for a limited time.

Waffles is from a reversed image of the recent "Russell," which sold over the weekend. Sometimes the cute little calves go so fast I just have to repeat myself!

Waffles and the others of this week's practice batch will be with me at my IAPS pastel workshop on Wednesday, June 5.

My practice batch of underpaintings this week