Thursday, January 26, 2012

Back to the painting chair

So here's another portrait sketch I've been "working on," although the photo's lighting kinda stinks. I put that in quotes because that means that I started it a week ago Tuesday, and then finally got around to picking up a brush and finishing it tonight. I've been working hard on some other non-painting creative projects that have taken up my painting hours, but there done so I should be able to hopefully be a little more consistent again, because it sure felt great to be painting tonight! I think the sketch is lovely but sadly lost the young girl look a little too much. She has these gorgeous huge eyes with quite enviable lashes but when I painted them, it made her look more like a teenager. And I sure wish there'd been better lighting in the photo. I'm not experienced enough with portrait painting yet to be able to just make that sort of thing up.

But in a different matter, I got some good news! My painting, Deserted Splendor (seen in this post), got accepted into a national competition. I've never got into a national competition before so I'm pretty stoked! I'd never applied to one before but I sent some out a few months ago and had been discouraged by just getting back rejections until this one. It'll be in the Western Colorado Watercolor Society's 20th Annual National Exhibition that starts March 1st. I'm totally bummed that I won't be able to go see the show in person but airlines and doctors have that pesky rule about not flying in your last month of pregnancy and the show opens less than two weeks before I'm scheduled to have a baby so that's pretty much out. But it's cool nonetheless! Oh and that would be my other reason for me not painting enough lately. My hard, wooden painting chair is so not meant for a 7 month pregnant lady to sit in for more than a few minutes. I've got to figure out a different arrangement.

Monday, January 16, 2012


I love that my girls are so close. They're only 18 months apart and really are each others' best friend. I painted this "sketch" trying to catch that bond. The photo I was working from didn't really do me any favors, but since I took the photo guess I can't complain too much. My redhead's face was particularly difficult to get right. I'm not sure why exactly - the angle, the nearly closed eyes, the lost edge in the photo that I didn't make as dark? But by the end, I could see her in it so I'm happy. I think I used too dark of a pencil on their soft faces, and it is a little more illustration-ish than usual, but there is something about the childlike, soft, light-filled "feel" of it that works for me. What do you think? Can't wait to see their reaction in the morning. They LOVE it when I paint them, vain little darlings that they are! Oh, and here's the reference photo since some of you have said you like it when I include it:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My First Miniature

It's all done but the signature! Which, speaking of, is it okay to just sign it with a pen? I don't have a brush small enough. I tried. But it's only a 5 x 5 canvas, and I don't exactly want you to look at it and have my name be what stands out. So it needs to be small. I think, though after a late night of working on it last night, I'm happy. I had to re-work the hand on the right a gazillion times because it was too small and I kept not fixing it enough. And I got bold with the reflective light on the face, which was a little scary as I didn't want it to be confusing which was the pumpkin, but I think it works. My daughter was very disappointed I didn't add the flower print that was all over the hoodie in the photo, but I wanted to keep it simple. Limit it mainly to those two complimentary colors.
So just to sign it and name it. "Just My Size?" "Found One My Size?" "The Perfect Size?" "The Perfect Pumpkin?"
Oh, and this wrapped canvas thing was a new experience for me. I've never painted one of these before but here it is at an angle. Tad tricky for sure but oddly satisfying. Next time I'll continue on to the edges at the same time I paint the front. That way I won't have to remix paint to match later. You'd think I'd think of these things.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year!

So it's totally crazy but it's nearly been a month since I last posted. How awful is that?! I knew it had been awhile but phew, time sure does fly. I mean it's 2012 for goodness sake! But the holidays are now over, family is all back home, girls back in school, our camera is found (not in time to take any holiday pictures unfortunately but thank goodness we found it!!! It's actually one of the big reasons I haven't posted. I couldn't photograph anything! It was awful!) and it's time to get back on track. So here's what I'm playing with right now:
These first two are for a local miniature show. I don't do miniatures. In fact, I might have to go buy a little brush to be able to finish. On top of that, they're acrylics, which I also don't do. But Aaron Brothers was having their penny sale on canvases and I wasn't excited about trying tiny watercolors, so I thought why not? Can't say I felt the same as I struggled getting going, but I am happy about where they're at now and having a hard time stopping, so there's that.
Also, the other day I wanted to play around with a watercolor portrait sketch. I didn't get around to the eyes, which are clearly the most important part but all I was focusing on was experimenting with skin color. Wish the photo was better because I was pretty happy with the color variety and freshness.
So I guess I'm starting out the new year trying new things. I wish I could say that was one of my resolutions, but I haven't actually got around to making those yet. I mean to. But like last year, and the year before frankly, I keep trying to figure out what they should be, and in the meantime we're getting further and further away from New Years. So my goal will be to actually set goals this year. Here's hoping! And just for kicks, here's my son making artwork of himself with his spaghetti. Looks like creativity is a riot!