Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sketching Chucks

I couldn't resist sketching my favorite pair of Chuck Taylor's! These are my Warhol Chucks. :)

In keeping with my sketchbook practice I switched it up a bit and decided to try and draw these. It took a LONG time but I'm happy with it. This is ink, graphite and colored pencil. 

In my 100 Wonky Portrait project I am up to number 13. Here are a few of my favorites so far:

So I've been busy sketching away every day! I'm really hoping I can make it 100 days straight. Fingers crossed. Will post more from my wonky portraits next time.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Contour Drawing

One of the ways recommended for strengthening your skills is to start a project where you draw your subject repeatedly. There are a ton of projects on the Internet where artists pick a subject and commit to drawing or working with it for a set number of days (30 days, 100 days, etc.). I am starting a 100 day project for portraits.

Will I draw a portrait 100 days straight? I hope so (but probably not). But I will challenge myself to draw more portraits. The catch: DON'T stay in your comfort zone. Do something completely different, mix it up and see what results. You won't learn anything if you keep drawing/painting the same way.

Here is the first in my series. No I won't post every single one. But I really like this first attempt. I used the half-blind contour technique. You get a reference photo, place your pencil on the paper and slowly draw what you see. You only look at your paper when you have to move the pencil to another place in the portrait. Then continue with the drawing.

You end up with wonky lines, strange shapes and a completely different look than what you normally draw. I would never draw that wonky shoulder bump or the shape of her back intentionally this way. And certainly not the lips misshapen like that. But I LOVE how these turn out. You then look at what you've got and work with it. No erasing!!

For my next portrait I'll use the blind contour. You can't look at your paper AT ALL after you begin. It ends up really distorted and usually pretty cool.

So that's one of the projects I'm working on. I really want to challenge myself to see what I can come up with that is totally different from my usual way of working.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Portrait Sketches

Here are a few more portraits I sketched while taking Gillian Cox's portrait class. She taught us a lot about how to sketch from reference photos.

These are taken from my sketch book so the quality isn't the best. In class we were then supposed to work from our sketches and build a painting. I haven't done paintings of any of these yet but I'm really happy with the sketches themselves.

I did do a final painting in the class. I used an earlier oil portrait I had painted as reference and then painted another one. Here is the original painting I had done years ago:

Here is the new version this year (both done in oil):

I'm not thrilled with the photo. It's hard to photograph a painting! Ugh! But you get the drift of it. It's actually a lot more vibrant than this.

I would like to eventually start paintings on the sketches I've completed in class. I have to be in the right mindset to start a big project like that. So far, I'm still sketching small studies in my sketchbook.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sketchbook Skool!

Oh yes! I have entered Sketchbook Skool. I LOVE it! I'm trying to establish a regular habit of sketching every night. So far, so good. These are a few of the sketches I've done while in the classes. The top one is probably my favorite. It's a sketch of one of the teachers. She gave us a PDF of her using different expressions. I LOVE sketching expressions and had a blast with this one. :)

Here is another one I did and practiced sketching with only a little color added (with colored pencils).

Here's my calico cat while she was sitting beside me one night on the sofa.

I love creating little characters out of the top of my head. She popped up when I glued down the "hair" that I cut from a magazine. Even SHE looks happy with her new do! :)

I just started a new class called "Seeing" to get us to really look at the world around us. I can't wait to see what it brings forth in my sketchbook. Stay tuned!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Memory Lane

I'm taking a couple of classes right now that use collage along with illustration. I love the concept and am learning a lot. I pulled together different images and effects to create this one. The street sign is an actual sign here in town that I ran across last week. The lade was pulled from an archive images file and the skyline was created digitally. Lots more in process..

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Little Combination

16"x 20", mixed media

This is a fun piece I did in Gillian Lee Smith's workshop. I'm now addicted to this process. You first make two pretty large drawings of two different people. I did a male and a female. Then you cut up your drawings into squares. You combine the two and assemble new faces from pieces of each drawing. After you've glued down the pieces, you then paint it out. FUN!!!

The top photo was the first of the combined pieces. I then added a hat and the drippy sweater. Male or female? Hmmm... I don't know. Whatever you want it to be.

Here is what I did with what was left over from the pieces:

I call this the sister of the first one. :) In this portrait I added a hat, and collaged a coat. Then made it all blend together. Also I played with proportion and exaggeration. I love the looks you get when you just experiment.

Definitely more of these in the works!

Sunday, February 12, 2017


 Working in my art journal. It helps to vent...Art is my therapy right now.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Take Me Away

New Year, new projects. Art is taking some new turns. I've taken a portraits class by Gillian Cox and right now I'm taking an illustration class taught by Lilla Rogers. We are creating characters for children's books in Lilla's class, but I'm really more interested in the illustration process. This is just a quick sketch I played with. Nothing special, but a lot of fun. After one week of class, I'm really enjoying it, especially the loose style of working.

This is one of the projects from the portrait class taken last month. It was wonderful to be working in oils again:

These classes are what I needed to get some focus on new subjects. I'm looking forward to seeing where they take me.