Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015

So many bunnies

When Remy and I go for our early morning or early evening walkies there are bunnies everywhere.  They go still immediately and give us the "whale eye" as we approach. 

It's fun to see just how long they will watch us before they decide we are just a bit too close and they take off.

I am teaching Remy to not chase after them.  He knows it's okay to look but he cannot pursue - and he's doing really well, too.  What a good dog!

I suppose it isn't surprising then that I drew a bunny as a warm-up exercise this morning :-)


Friday, August 14, 2015

Ignoring the inner critic

Carla's current assignment for 2015 Year of the Spark is to create a large painting from a childhood photograph using the approach I would have as a child.  I haven't created any art of this kind since I was an actual child :-)

I made a first attempt at it and called it done.  But in looking at the painting the next morning, I realized I completely missed the goal of the assignment.  Throughout the creation of this first painting I was conscious of the inner critic - thinking about correct proportion, color mixing, value, and so many other things I never considered as a four- or five-year-old.

Thinking back to my childhood, I recalled that I used crayons for most of my drawings.  For my second go at the assignment I chose oil pastels because for me they are an adult version of crayons, but with richer color and a luscious feel.

I worked from a reference photo of me at about three years of age.  It's a murky black and white photograph with many dark areas and some blurry vegetation.  (This is the link for a sketch I made of that photo.)

The child in me would have added color, a lot of color, a critter - most like a dog, and flowers and trees.  Accordingly I did:

Why the brownish hair?  As a young child I didn't like drawing black hair because when I would scribble it using a black crayon I thought it looked very scary.  Therefore I changed my hair color to match the dog.

I guess it's obvious that I had fun making this drawing - I benefited greatly from letting go. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Remy keeps me company for much of the time I work in my studio.  He's a restless snoozer.  I looked down and managed to just capture him in a pencil sketch before he decided it was time to move:

Quickly, now :-)

I've been watching animals and people from the back and observing how expressive body postures are.  This is another Golden (done in ball point pen):

"Come home soon."

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Little girl in graphite

The current assignment in Year of the Spark involves acrylic painting of pictures of oneself or one's drawings from childhood.  I have none of my drawings from way back when, but I found a picture of me from when I was about three years old.

Having nothing to do with the actual "Spark" assignment itself, here's my sketch:

"Within Reach" - graphite and pastel

What appeals to me about the original photo is the unabashed effort I am taking to stretch out to touch the leaf.  I like that aspect of young children... and dogs.  Undaunted, they go for it completely :-)

O, wonderful news, I spotted Bud the squirrel four days ago.  He was larking about in a nearby tree.  If you missed it, here's the link to my post about Bud.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Working on toned paper

I love drawing my golden retriever, Remy.  This time I made a sketch of him using charcoal, pastels, and graphite on toned paper.

The light was streaming in the window and he was completely lost in the warmth of the sun:

"Sunlit Golden"

Remy has a "snow" nose (not dark, dark black) and light-colored eyelashes.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Change of pace

Time for COLOR and to turn some doodles into a mixed media painting:

I call this one "Instances".

I like both the checkerboard grid and the random grid equally :-)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Absent squirrel

After early morning walkies, Remy and I sit out on the back deck.  I drink my coffee, listen to the beautiful tweeting and twittering of the birds and Remy sniffs and sniffs the air.  His nose definitely works differently from mine because if I were to sniff for as long and as deeply as he does I would pass out :-)

Of late, we are missing out gray squirrel friend, Bud.  He would run along the top rail of the fence and use it as safe passage from one tree to another.  He would perch on a branch and eat pine cone seeds and absolutely litter the grass with the inedible bits.  Bud's flicking tail particularly fascinated Remy.

I found a photograph of a squirrel in a beautifully expressive pose and I thought about Bud.  I've been working in graphite and drew this:

My focus was on tonal range.

I discovered later that the subject of the photo is a popular squirrel named Punky who lives (as of 2012) in a Durham county park in the UK.

I hope we see Bud again.

Source photo used with permission - North News and Pictures Ltd.  If you want to see the original color photo of Punky, here's the link:  Punky