Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mixed Media Dogs

The "Year of the Spark" began with that great one-liner exercise (see this post) and then the mixed media exploration.  I posted images (here)  but only one image of the DOGS... this little guy:

I want to share the other ones also.  Here are my other interpretations of a single one-liner dog using at least two different media:

Pigma Micron pen and graphite

acrylic paint, wax pastels, gel ink and graphite

acrylic paint, pastels

acrylic paint, graphite

Isn't it interesting - the choice of media and the how it affects the direction of the piece?

The Year of the Spark just began... and it is being co-taught by Carla Sonheim and Lynn Whipple :-)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Glazing is amazing :-)

I enjoy using a couple of techniques (a lot) - glazing and sgrafitto.  My focus on these techniques came straight from "Table Top: Drawing and Painting", an online class taught by Diane Culhane.

A few days ago I completed a Table Top-inspired still life.  It began like this:

From "Transparent Layering" blog post

(transparent layering blog post )

The next phase is about adding color - layering glazes:

At this point I was unsure of how I would develop this painting differently from previous ones; time to put this aside for a while.

Some days later I came back to it. Next steps:
  • Add more glazing. 
  • Add definition with opaque layers.
  • Sgrafitto for revealing earlier layers and to add texture.

And the finished piece:

"Three Vases with Flowers"

For more about Diane's class, here's a short video

Friday, January 23, 2015

Wolfhound Whippet Warm Up

Just before leaving my studio for the evening last night, I used a broad acrylic marker to lay down the basics for a little dog.  It was waiting for me this morning, but, I restrained myself :-) and did a couple of warm up sketches:

A Wolfhound.

And a Whippet

Okay, warmed up... time to break out mixed media :-)

I had a little Westie many years ago and I was thinking about him as I began working.

The result:

"Pensive Little Dog"

Media: acrylic paint, acrylic ink, ink, graphite, charcoal, and pastels

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Giving body to the one-liner bird... with mixed media.

I had so much fun making these birds; they are from the current Year of the Spark assignment.

During the entire process, I kept this in mind... Let the medium rule.

This one was done using a fine line marker and oil pastels on card stock:

 Next up, acrylic paint, acrylic ink, watercolor, gel pen, and pastels on gessoed watercolor paper:

And the final one, acrylic ink, graphite, Neocolor II waxed pastels, and charcoal on gessoed watercolor paper:

As you can see from the different interpretations of the original one-liner (see the bird montage in this blog post ), the kind of medium and sequence in which it was used created the flow to the finished bird.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Media Montage of Dogs and Birds

"Year of the Spark", the year-long online class I am taking, kicked off with a lot of drawing.  All of the one-liner drawings of dogs and birds (see this blog post ) were useful in more exploration and experimentation.

I chose two to develop further using a different medium for each critter.  These are the ten variations for the dog and the bird:

All manner of dogs :-)

Um... birds :-)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Scribbly warm up

I head into my studio full of energy, ideas, goals, deadlines...

But, there are times when the convergence of it ALL in my head at the same time creates a conflict... "I am ready to dive into three things at once, but where do I actually begin?"...

This is when I do the scribble exercise:

1. Use pen
2. On paper
3. To scribble

Here is one from this morning:

"Little Dog Sitting"

No pressure… have fun.

By the time I have completed three to five quick drawings,  a truce has been declared and I pretty much know what to do next.  If not, I keep scribbling :-)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Spark Those 1-Liners

Plunging into part one of the first assignment from Carla for 2015: Year of the Spark, the task is a fun warm-up exercise, one-liners.

One-liners are continuous line (can't lift the pen from the paper) drawings that get the hand moving.  They are very quickly rendered to help push thinking, or over-thinking, out of the driver's seat.  These one-liners took 10 - 12 minutes to complete.

Ready for lots of drawings?

Fun stuff :-)


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Layering transparent colors

New still life where I used layers and layers of transparent paint.  I have always loved transparency even way, way back when I used an air brush to create colored screens and glass-like panels in imaginary landscapes.

This time I incorporated the techniques of glazing, sgraffito and painting negative shapes that Diane Culhane demonstrated in her online class, Table Top: Drawing and Painting.  For more about Diane Culhane, visit her website

For my still life I chose vases; here is the beginning phase:

Basic line work

An interim phase:


An the finished painting:

"Five Vases" :-)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Landscape of Attraction

I have some paintings-in-process of vases, and vases with flowers.  O, there also might be one of a quartet of dogs, too :-)  I am experimenting with glazing, a technique which does require time for the paint to dry between layers.  Not a huge amount of time, but enough to get on with something else.

I have several canvases that already have backgrounds of random colors, but this particular one was also pretty heavily textured.  I enjoy having something down on the canvas to start.

Out of the background emerged this:

"Attraction", acrylic painting

Now back to glazing.

Monday, January 5, 2015


Another critter I love - the bunny.  Even more fun... more bunnies!  Here they are:

"Secret Society", mixed media painting
To create the background layers of this painting I used some techniques (glazing, sgraffito and masking) that Diane Culhane demonstrated in her class, "Paint Your Garden" - the class that keeps on giving.

I have several canvases with backgrounds done in much the same way.  I set them aside; later on I will return and continue painting :-)

Serendipity!  Carla Sonheim is offering Diane's class again later this month.  I highly recommend "Paint Your Garden".

Paint Your Garden class -
Diane Culhane's website -

Saturday, January 3, 2015

joy Joy JOY

A Christmas present to me from me :-)

"Dog On Board" painting by Diane Culhane

I was able to acquire this absoultely delightful "small works" painting by Diane Culhane.  I have taken several of her online classes and she is one of my favorite artists.

As you can guess, I am so pleased and happy to have this cheerful, colorful work on my shelf; it just makes me smile.

You can see more of her paintings here,

Thursday, January 1, 2015

First sketch of the New Year

A scribbly sketch of a little dog:

"Little Black Dog" in ball point pen

Scribble exercises are great for loosening up... just like morning stretches :-)