Thursday, July 30, 2009

J 37 - Cow Face Pose #1

This is the completed painting of J37. I am really happy with it. I think it conveys the sense of light I was looking for as well as depth. The background trees are just barely suggested and I purposely left her body very rough in order to keep the focus on her face. The two photos below her are of two other stages in the painting that I took photos of.

Part of me wanted to keep fiddling with her but I told myself to put down the pastels and stop. she was finished and anymore mucking around would either have the potential of making a mud pie out of her face or of distracting from her face.

So here she is:
(J 37 - Cow Face Pose #1, 8x10, soft pastel)

(Stage 3)

( Stage 2)

Sunday, July 26, 2009


As part of my vacation I was able to go and see my parents in Saskatchewan. Because of financial reasons I haven't been able to get back fo about 5 years. I got to hang out with my Dad and we checked the cattle twice a day. I took my digital camera to take photos of everything and one of the unique things about the cattle is that since they don't know me they are curious and on alert for the first while that I get near them and they all look at me. That meant that I was able to take alot of portrait type photos. The candids were harder to get. But I decided that I wanted to do drawings of my folks' heard. This is the start of the fist one. She is J37 and is 10 years old. The interesting thing is that I want to differntiate them based on who they really are and not based on an arbitrary number that I give them like #1, #2 etc based on the order I draw them in. Now I realise that Dad and Mom gave them arbitrary numbers but I want to use those ones and not mine. So I decide who I'm going to draw and then I call Dad and describe her to him and he tells me who she is. Alot of the older cows have lost their ear tags but Mom and Dad know who each one is.

I'm torn about what to do here though. Part of me wants to just leave this as it is because I think it works just like this. the colours are "wrong" but they work in relation to each other. This was just a first impression of what I would use as my base colours. I think I'm going to continue and "finish" it off but I would be tempted to do some of these and leave them this way.

The reason I'm convinced that they can work like this is that my mother-in-law and niece saw the roughly laid in colour of the old man on the chair I'm working on and thought it was finished. Even though the colours were obviously "wrong" because they were just really basic primaries but that showed me that I had gotten them right. And I find that interesting. So we'll see. for now this girl is going to get to have more colour added and fine tuned but for kicks I may just do each of the cows very primitively as well and see which I like better in the end.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Quick Birthday Gift

(Strawberry Bowl, 8x10. pastel)

This was a quick one, from concept to initial sketch to complete and framed it was about 2 hours. It is my sister-in-law's birthday this weekend and I wanted to get a gift for her. She has always given me thoughtful things on my birthdays and I wanted to do something special for her this year. It is still strawberry season here and every summer she does strawberries - jam, fresh, with ice cream, shortcake, sugarred... I had taken some photos of some strawberries I had myself and immediately thought of those reference shots as a subject for her gift. This is the finished product. I double matted it in a linen cream-coloured mat and then framed it in a sort of rustic dark brown wood frame with hinges in each corner - she has a 100 year old home with some of the original cabinets and so this should work in the house really well. I sure hope she likes it.

Working On It

I'm making progress on this painting for DSFDF. Was away on holidays so haven't worked on it in about 10 days. But it's coming along. I know Karin said to finish the figure and stay away from the background until the figure was complete but it just felt like he was floating in space and if I put some of the background in I would be able to get more harmony in the painting as far as the way the colours were working together. I was getting too focused on the clothing and needed to get a view of the "big picture" so I stepped back and worked on something else for awhile. Still needs work but I was going to muck it up if I didn't give myself some space. Still have 6 days left so I'm hoping I'll get it done in time.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Work In Progress

I started the next DSFDF challenge last night and this morning by making a sketch of the image Karin Jurick posted for us. I guess I'm trying to get ahead of the game and not end up trying to finish at the last minute. Tonight I started adding the basice colours and refining the jeans and shirt as a start. People aren't my thing. I think I got a pretty good sketch down as far as the figure, the chair is a bit wonky but not horrible. We'll see how I do with the colours I guess. The top layer of bricks is getting cut off, literally, with scissors so that I'm not tempted to mess around with it. Sometimes I don't know when to stop and that last layer of bricks should have been left as the black paper it originally was. Looking at the photo I'm thinking I'm on the right track with the shirt and jeans. Further along on the jeans. But at least the colours are working - blue, yellow, red and green. The shirt need some red in some areas yet but I'm tired and gonna go to bed. I'm hoping this turns out OK. We'll see I guess.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

On The Lake

On The Lake (pastel, 12x12)

This was my response to Karin Jurick's latest challenge over at DSFDF. I think I may have missed the deadline. But that's OK. It didn't photograph that well. Much better IRL. I was trying hard to concentrate on the colours and on seeing what was there and not what I thought was there. I think I did OK. The girl in the boat isn't the best but people aren't my strength and she looks better IRL as well.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Chicken and Rooster 1

Chicken and Rooster 1 (11x14 Soft Pastel)

(Chicken and Rooster 1 detail)

I have been thinking about drawing chickens for a little while and today I thought I'd give it a try. I may give it another try and see what I can do. I'm pretty happy with this. It isn't the best and There are a couple of things I would change but not bad for a first try. I may actually crop it down and frame it as a gift for a friend's wedding.

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Poem

Cheeks was the theme over at IMT today, well yesterday I guess. A poem sort of popped into my head. Here it is:


Soft, round cheeks
Precious baby fat
Mama’s gentle touch
Learning to make sound

Freckled, fun cheeks
Six year old surprise
Daddy’s whisker rubs
Playing in the sun

Make-up, pimples, cheeks
Sweet sixteen desires
Monumental blush
Persuading dimples

Smooth, refined cheeks
Mother, wife, daughter
Pastry flour smudged
Navigating mines, falling way behind and trying to be kind

Wrinkled, worn cheeks
Velvet textured smile
The purple hat club
Weathering the storm

Hope you like it. The topic just made me think about how our cheeks change as we grow older. From something smooth and soft like a baby's cheeks to our Dad's that used o give us whisker rubs, to the first bit of a woman trying to get out of a pimply face as a teenager to the grown woman that is trying to be everything for everyone to the older gal with the velvety feeling cheeks that has been through it all. The thing to me about this was the physical feeling of the cheeks at different ages and trying to combine it with the emotional feelings you' might have at those different ages. Not sure how I did. Some of it's good but some of it needs a bit of work. First one I've written since high school not counting song lyrics which are a different sort of bird altogether.

yamaha rhino class action