If you’ve been following the last couple of posts then you know I spent some time doing a series of colorful/fun portraits of my seven grandkids this spring. Today I’m sharing the last of those, my twin granddaughters. I worked on these at the same time, adding to one as the other dried. The process began with a sketch and proceeded from there with black & white underpainting, backgrounds and the final layer of color.
The image I was work from had Miss A’s hair pulled back in a tight ponytail. She did NOT care for the look, feeling it wasn’t “girlie” enough so during a visit I sat with her and changed it to her natural, gorgeous, head of curls. I have to say, it captures her much better! Below are the two final images of these beauties:
I still haven’t figured out where I’ll hang all these fun pieces together, right now they are placed across the side of my desk and I’m enjoying seeing them each day. Next up? Well, firstly I decided to go “old school” artist and do a self portrait, which was an interesting experience. I also received a commission to do two more adorable “Grands” which will be fun too!
Hope you are enjoying the onset of summer and keeping yourself safe, healthy and well. Love to you from your randomly creative friend,
In my last blog post I featured the first two colorful portraits that I created of my grandkids. I’m continuing with that topic today. This one is actually the one I painted first, just to see if I could! It kicked off the whole idea of painting each of them! My youngest/teen grandson (and yes, he had pink hair at the time!). These are some of the progression images:
I got a little carried away with the hair and had to go back in a shorten it up, then re-do the background and did even more fine-tuning before I was finally satisfied! This guy spend his first five years of life growing up at our house and has a pretty special place in our hearts!
Although not in chronological order of creation, I’m sharing the working images from his little sister, my next-to-the-youngest granddaughter. I actually did one entire painting of her that I disliked enough to paint completely over it and start again! This process is still not the easiest for me, but once I get it right I am a happy artist! These images are the steps of the “do over” painting of my Sweetpea:
I was surprised how many times these youngsters started off looking like old people!! Thankfully that had improved before the final image:
Last, for today, is the artwork of our youngest granddaughter. She is one of the most joyful kiddos I know – and also the one that I collaborated with to create a special book all about her. I call her my Sunshine!
My next post will feature the last two of our Grands, who happen to be (non-identical) twins! Twice the fun!! Until then!
As I’ve navigated these odd times, with no art events on the horizon yet, I’ve spent more & more time working on personal art project. Last post I shared about an online portraiture course I’ve been working through, which inspired me to attempt some portraits on my own – starting with my fur babies! They all turned out a bit different that each other, I can’t say I’ve settled on a “style” just yet but they all make me happy anyhow! My first attempt was to create an image of my sweet old gal, Emmy. She recently turned nine, we rescued her over two years ago and she has stolen our heart, and we have hers – although she’s not a lovey/friendly gal with just everyone. 😉 The best guess is that she is black lab and perhaps a bit of Rotwieller. Here are the images of the painting process:
I had so much fun I immediately jumped in and started working on my second image – this time of our not-quite-as-old guy (he just turned eight), Carl. Carl joined us a little over a year ago and kind of turned our world upside down – in a good way! He is smart, curious, full of energy and LOTS of fun. The calm and quiet is gone by the happiness has increased for sure! Carl is several inches and a few pounds bigger than Miss Em, he’s a mix of black lab and possibly Great Dane. He has these eyes that are so bright and direct and seem to look right through you!
Well now I just HAD to try my hand at my oldest pet, Miss Amy, the tuxedo cat! We adopted her about ten years ago and guess she is about twelve. She was a feral/outdoor cat that we adopted to be a mouser in our garage. She wouldn’t come near the door, let alone in the house for the first year we had her. That slowly changed and when we moved several years ago she decided being a house cat was a pretty good life! The last five years she has been my “studio cat” and has the run of the studio.
Last, but certainly not least, I created a painting of my good friend, Corey! His momma and I have been friends for years and he’s been a frequent visitor here at our house (although not so much now that Carl joined the pack). He is part Corgi and part Beagle and just as sweet as he looks. This was a gift for his mom, who really enjoyed it – even if Corey wasn’t all that impressed!
Next up? Both my grandson’s have their own pups so they’ll be on the easel soon!
Late last year I purchased an online class titled “Adventures in Portraiture” by Dana Bloede. Although no one is exactly enjoying this pandemic, I did find that it freed my schedule up enough that I had the time to actually sit down and start the lessons. So, bonus points for that anyhow! It has been a lot of fun, and I still have a couple lessons left to look forward to! I thought it would be fun to share what I’ve done so far, here are the progress & final images for the first lesson:
The second lesson went like this:
What fun! I was picking up some techniques along the way but still felt like I was very much trying to follow right in her footsteps with the composition and brush strokes, if not the colors. Something else I noticed now though, when I was watching television or looking at images online I was really paying attention to the shadows, darks & lights and how they played on different peoples faces! After these two lovely ladies our third lesson was to create a male portrait with a limited color palette. I like that the faces that were chosen to use as models were all so different in each lesson!
I will post more of these “adventures” as I continue the lessons. Most of you who know me won’t be surprised that after getting a taste for this process I have got “rogue” for a bit. 😉 But that’s for another day!
As I continue randomly exploring different forms of art I branched out a bit into musical instruments! Not hand-built or fancy but an easy kit and lots of creativity. 😉 I purchased three of these kits and have had them in the studio for quite some time. I’m not sure what happened but last month it was finally TIME. So I pulled out the first one and got busy.
After a bit of sanding the painting commenced! Layers of acrylic ink in randomly colorful streaks were the first order of business. A great base to add to, with lots of designs, doodles, more ink, paint pens and fun.
It took several sessions to complete all the details, then it was time for assembling the pieces. No instructions included but a couple of YouTube videos spelled it out pretty clearly. The waiting time for the glue to dry as pieces were added seemed like it took forever but, finally, it was all put together.
I found a handy app for tuning eukeles and had it strumming at last! The included strings were not inclined to keep a tune so I have a new set that arrived the other day that I’ll be switching too. This one was for fun, for practice and just for ME. I’ve got it hanging on the wall in my studio.
The next two? Well, I’ve had a request or two already so we’ll see what happens. The possibilities are endless for design, the hard part will be making up my mind!
I love to include words, quotes and text in my art but, despite some instruction and practice, I’m not always thrilled with the way my hand drawn letters turn out. This little hack is a favorite of mine and I thought you might find it useful as well! This was just an impromptu, messy fingers project that popped into my head one day. The first step was to add acrylic paint to the board I was painting. Somedays my favorite paint tools are my fingers, and this was no exception.
I have accumulated a large selection of fonts on my computer (there are many resources for free downloadable fonts available online) and have fun using different ones in digital creations, advertising and such. They are especially handy when lettering on artwork! Some of my batik work is done on Unryu paper which is transparent enough you can actually just trace the letters onto the paper as they are visible when placed underneath.
If I’m working on wood or canvas I have a way of getting the letters on my art that works very well. First I measure the space where I want the words placed and create a blank file in Photoshop Elements that is the same size. Then, using the type function I type, resize and arrange the letters to suit my project. This is what the file looked like for the project I am showing you:
I printed it the exact size as the file (which meant it had to be printed in two sections) and then taped together the pieces. The next step was to turn it over and take either pencil or charcoal and cover the back of the paper where the letters were printed.
You want to cover it fully, the pencil or charcoal is going to be used like copy paper to make outlines of your letters onto your art. Turn it over and position it where you want the letters to be on your art and then take a ball point pen and trace the outlines of each letter. I get excited and always want to rush things so come to find out my paint wasn’t as dry as usual, I ended up lifting some of it from the wood when I applied the marks. It still worked!
Now that I had the outline on the artwork I could use markers, paint pens or a really steady brush to add the colors and outline for the lettering and any details I decided to include. I decided to just handwrite the “hello” portion of the lettering and kind of wish I’d have traced that too. Oh well! Here is the final piece.
Let me know if you try this technique for adding letters, I hope it’s inspired you to get creative!
I recapped the online sale from December a few months ago and, now, it’s time for the Spring version! Think Mother’s Day, Graduation, Weddings, Birthday gifts….or just because you are looking for art and gifts at a great price.
I’m still creating the listings and trivia questions for the contests but the image above gives you a little peek at some items that will be available to claim throughout the hour-long event. I’m even going to include an exclusive class that can only be purchased during the sale:
The items that are listed begin with a 20% discount and the discount will increase as people make purchases, so be sure to share this event with your friends and family to boost the savings for everyone!
It seems like a long time ago when I first posted about a project I was working on that would become my first color book. I found out last week that it is now available for pre-sale on Amazon, at a $2 discount! Click on the image below to go directly to the book page on Amazon:
Although it says the publication date is February 2016 I’ve been told by my publisher that it should be released within the next two months. I’m excited! I’m working with a gallery to perhaps have a weekend event with a related class or two available as well as a “book signing” party. Details will be announced as they become available.
In the meantime I’ve already started drawings for a second book! Details on that later. 🙂
I’ve been working on two large pieces of art featuring butterflies. Today as I was waiting for some of the layers to dry on those two pieces I took time to create three smaller butterfly pieces. Using the batik style I’ve been fond of lately I started by drawing them with a Sharpie on some hand made paper.
After the outlines were down I added color with my Pitt pens that are full of india ink. Love me some Pitt pens!!
The next couple of steps involve wax being applied on the surface to make a resist when I spray liquid watercolor onto the paper. The first layer of wax just covers the part of the the drawings I don’t want to blend with the background color. After that has been sprayed on and dried I cover the entire piece with wax. Then comes the part that continues to make me nervous – wadding up the paper into a tight little ball to crack the wax in a random kind of way. Then (gently) unfolding it and spraying the piece again, this time with a contrast color to make random lines throughout the piece. I used black watercolor on these pieces but have some white ink on order than I’m anxious to try for a different result.
The final step is to place the waxy art between sheets of newspaper and iron it with a hot iron, which pulls the wax out of the art and leaves it on the newspaper. Sometimes this takes a few ironings before it’s totally wax free. Ta-da! Art! Well, okay, I did go back in with some gel pens and add a few details. Then the ta-da happened. 🙂
Rather amusing is that these quick little pieces are more exciting to me than the larger ones are right now! Go figure. I’ve added these three to the “Giftables” page on my website so go pick out your favorite and give it a home!
This month I am celebrating Spring…no matter how long it takes to get here! As part of that celebration I invite you to visit my studio as I participate in the third “Second Saturday Studio Tour” for 2015. The tour is part of the Rural Routes to Main Street Cultural Trail. Visitors are welcome from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday, March 14th, 2015.
I’ll have some treats to nibble, something to sip and a small Spring themed “make & take” art project for you to get creative with. As an added bonus I’ll be sharing flower seeds that I harvested last fall for you to take home and plant in your Spring gardens. I hope to see you then!