Friday, October 21, 2016

inktober 2016

Every October, artists all over the world take on the InkToberdrawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month. Jake Parker created InkTober in 2009 as a challenge to improve his inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. you can check out his work by clicking on the link below.

The Inktober Initiative - Mr Jake Parker

This October I  decided to work with walnut ink,which has a lovely warm tone.   I was asked to do a
 series of Sepia tone drawings for a commission and walnut ink fit the bill for that as well.  

walnut ink
9" x 6"

"Klaus" 1,2, &3
walnut ink
all 9" x 6"

walnut ink
5" x  4"

walnut ink in sketchbook

walnut ink in sketchbook

So far this October I have stayed on the subject of dogs but I have squeezed in a portrait or two as well.  ( Last September I did only portraits, of my daughter, using walnut ink.)

Whatever the subject, it is always good to get back to basics, and polish those drawing skills!

Monday, August 29, 2016

What I did over summer vacation...

Suffice it to say this summer has been busy.  As summer winds down and we get ready for the kids to start school I can't help getting a little (okay, a lot) excited to get back into my daily routine.  I have a lot that I want to accomplish in the coming months and I am excited to start. I plan to ramp up my marketing, build a website, and look into making prints of my work.  With the kids home for the summer I've only managed to squeeze in a hour or two here and there, completing a few commissions but being able to sink into any longer projects...


"Vicky was one of my favorite commissions that I did over the summer.  The client supplied a ton of great reference photos, and was in no rush for the finished piece.  So, I took my time sketching out a bunch of different views and compositions.  I worked in charcoal and watercolor and really enjoyed trying to get a feel for her personality.  In the end I asked the client to choose which he liked best, and this was it, which was my favorite too.  Funny thing was that this was from a crumby reference photo (dark, oddly cropped, not in focus) but it really had a nice feeling to it and I think that's what came across in the painting.  That's why I always ask for a few different reference photos, because you never know whats going to work, especially when working in a looser more expressive style like this.  I hope to do more like this!

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Sketchbook Project, completed!

another 100 Day Project...

"German Shepherd"
10.5" x 14"
charcoal on paper

Sometimes when I'm working on a commission, the client will give me a ton of great reference photos...  This is from one of many gorgeous photos of Klaus, the German Shepherd.  He is perfect for charcoal, with his dramatic black muzzle.  Funny how different breeds look best in different mediums, like my Golden Retriever, Clover, always looks good in watercolor, yellow ochre particularly... 
Anyway, I've started another 100 Day Project, 100 charcoal dog drawings. As much as I love watercolor, my quick morning sketches were getting too time consuming and involved, cutting into commisssion-painting time.  I love starting my mornings with a quick sketch to energize me and get the creative ball rolling.  Also, committing to a 100 days makes me work everyday, even if its just a 15 minute sketch.
The above sketch is one from this series, as well as the following...

10.5" x 14"
charcoal on paper

10.5" x 14"
charcoal on paper

10.5" x 14"
charcoal on paper

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Day 12 - Basil

6.5" x 10"
watercolor and pen

So, I have a new project in the works, a sketchbook project, actually part of THE Sketchbook Project with the Brooklyn Art Library.  I just got my book in the mail yesterday and I am dying to get started.  The way it works is that they send you a sketchbook, you fill it and send it back to them to become part of their sketchbook library (How cool is that?!?) Also, it will be digitized so that anyone can view it online as well.  So today I started the rebinding process, as I plan to use watercolors and wanted a heavier watercolor paper in the book. Once I have it bound I will get started painting.  I have choosen as my theme "Familiar Friends" (from their list of suggestions) and will call my project "Fur-miliar Friends", because, you guessed it, I will be painting dog portraits.  
That's where Basil comes in.  I posted a request on FB and IG to my friends and family asking them to send me photos of their furry friends.  I got a ton, which is awesome because now I could probably fill 5 sketchbooks!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Days 9, 10, & 11


Okay so, it turns out painting isn't the hard part for me, its posting!  I don't get to the computer very often... I find it much easier to post to Instagram much more often because I can do it from my phone.  Anytawho... these are my most recent paintings for the challenge...

Day 9 I had my ipad(source of my reference photos) hijaked by my 5 year old and I was enjoying some quiet time on the couch with her, so I just drew from a magazine that I'd been looking at while we snuggled. I later added a few washes of black watercolor.

Day 10 is Mandy, a 7 month old Bernese Mountain Dog.  This was done in my 9" x 12" sketchbook.  I will be including Mandy in my upcoming sketchbook project (stay tuned) but I just couldn't wait to paint her.

Day 11 is Oliver, a 9 month old Bernese Mountain Dog, and Mandy's "brother". I did this in my smaller 6.5" x 10" sketchbook.  I keep starting paintinging/sketches in my sketchbook thinking I'm just playing around or warming up, then regret that I didn't do it on better paper...

Friday, January 8, 2016

Days 7 & 8

Yesterday I didn't have a lot of time but I managed to sit down and do a quick sketch.  I love the reference photo for this but it is tough to make it readable...

Today, I started this guy, still in progress but I might just start fresh... sometimes there's a mistake in the original drawing that can't be overlooked (or overpainted...). Anyway, I've got other things on my mind and so I'm not really giving my all.  it happens.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Day 6, Clover

"Good Morning Golden"
10" x 7"

This is my Golden Retiever, Clover.  I love the head tilt he does, as if to say, "What? You don't want to bring me out in this 16 degree cold morning?"  Good thing he's cute!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Day 4

5" x 7"

Yesterday I experimented  some bigger paper and although I liked working bigger and on the easel,  I didn't like how abosrbant the paper was.  I was using a printmaking paper which was smooth (I don't like the watercolor paper texture of a Cold Press) and thicker, like a 140lb.  But it sucked up the watercolor so much that I had to layer and layer to build darks. Also I could move the paint around like I like.  So today I went back to my little sketckbook, and tomorrow I'll try some Hot Press watercolor paper...

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Day 3 Cat Stevens

"Cat Stevens"
17" x13"

This is another subject of a past commission that I thought I'd play around with some more...
More on this tomorrow!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Day 2, Potter

14" x 11"

This is the very handsome Potter, a Vizsla from Colorada.  I did a commissioned portrait of him in December and wanted to try him in just black for my new series.  The client gave me a bunch of great photos to work from and it was hard to pick just one for the portrait, so this gives me the opportunity to experiment more.  

His coloring is such a pretty golden tan and the painting was for a six year old girl, so this palette was perfect, I just couldnt help wanting to try it in grayscale!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy 2016!

14" x 11"

Happy 2016!
I am looking forward to the new year and starting new projects.  December was chockfull of painting for commissions (Yay!) but I didn't get a chance to post here in the blog. Now that things have quited down, I am committing to another 30 in 30 challenge, focusing on my black and white watercolors of dogs.  I will work im my sketckbook everyday as ususal, but I hope to do some larger works as part of a series.  I find that focusing on a project like this works well for me, so here goes...