Monday, August 20, 2012

Finding My Mojo

                                                                                                                                  
I lost my mojo for awhile, a long while. Today I actually did a quick freehand drawing of someone. Yep, she's a little crooked and distorted, but it is what it is, a start, and it didn't take me weeks and weeks.  Just sat down and started to draw realizing how out of practice I had become. Maybe she's my crooked and distorted alter ego. She does have a smile on her face though and obviously younger than I am. I might need to change my style and possibly medium too. I need and want things quicker and maybe stop trying to be so precise. Might just change to graphite drawings, with only a touch of color. I should also stop being so attracted to portraits and start drawing anything that catches my eye or imagination. So now I'm struggling with myself. Whatever I do, I need to just do it. Not because I have to but because I want to, realizing that it makes me happy. It doesn't matter if it's good or not. It's my outlet and I do it for me. I see some trees coming in the future and sunset on the Mississippi.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fishin Buddy

This is a portrait I titled "Fishin Buddy". It's for a client in Kentucky and from what I understand it's his first fish. I love doing portraits like this! You know it's a moment the child won't forget, not only the fact that it's his first fish, but also the fact he's spending time doing something special with someone special. Although right now he doesn't realize how special the moment really is. I'm hoping this portrait will truly be a keepsake for them and when he's older he'll have it hanging in his house. The portrait is 20" X 16" in prismacolor pencils.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Portrait & Ashes in Custom Frame

This project has been in the works since I heard about adding cremation ashes to portraits. I looked into it and gave it some thought and decided adding ashes on the portrait just wasn't for me. I didn't want to disturb the ashes. I did like the general idea though, so I designed a custom frame.

The frame is 20" X 16", designed with an opening for the portrait and space for ashes or a memorial keepsake. The keepsake size urn safely holds approximately 2 - 3 tablespoons of cremation ashes, a lock of hair, flower petals or other loving memento. It is secured so it will not tip or fall against the glass when moved, but can also be removed. A collar and tags could also fit into the keepsake space on a pet portrait.

The picture here shows a pet portrait with the keepsake urn. It is also suitable for a portrait of a much loved person. The frame is designed for portraits to be hung either portrait or landscape style. It is a nice way to display a respectable remembrance of that special someone.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Finished portrait of Marine

This portrait was done for my daughter, it's her boyfriend. He's out of the Marines now and looks a little different, but she loves the picture of him in uniform. Something about a man in a uniform I guess. Of course she likes his looks now too. I had a little trouble seeing the buttons and pins so I just got as close as I could. The portrait was done in prismacolor pencils and it's 20" X 16". Next up will be a new project I've been working on.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Cheerleader

The Cheerleader is finished. She is 20" X 16" and all packed and ready to be mailed. The background was an experiment. Different brands and colors of colored pencils were used and blended together. The tiny strands of her hair can be seen along the side so her hair doesn't appear to be flattened on her head. It seems there is always something different to explore with each portrait. She was fun to do, looking at her, I could almost feel all the energy she had in her. Ahh to be young again! Not that I was ever a Cheerleader, but I'm sure I wanted to be at one time. Now...on to the next portrait, that gives me my energy.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Introducing my recent work.

Just finished a portrait of 3 little kids today. It is 16" X 20".  I'll have it packaged and mailed tomorrow. Next up will be a portrait of a cheerleader. It shouldn't take as long being there is only one subject. I am anxious to get started on it.
When I do portraits it's usually all night long on the weekends and before and after my other job during the week when there is time. I have audio books on my Ipod. I put the earphones in and I'm in another world.  I love drawing and I love books, so this way I can do both at once. It's pretty easy to concentrate on both, it just happens. I have no doubt that I could crank out more portraits if I didn't have the other job during the week. It's a step I'm considering since I have been getting more offers and I now have a waiting list. It is hard work working for yourself. I would say harder than any other job I have had. It's not all about doing the artwork, it's also about promoting and keeping up with technology and continued education. Not to mention record keeping and meeting deadlines. The difference between that and working for someone else is, I love artwork and all the things that goes with it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Colored Pencil Portraits in Progress

Creating a portrait in colored pencils is a lengthy process. In the beginning the most important step is getting a good outline that actually resembles the person you are drawing. Every line, curve and shape needs to be where it belongs. Skin tone is also important. It isn’t like you just find the colored pencil you need for skin and smash it on. It involves building layer upon light layers to get the skin tone fit for the subject being portrayed. If these two beginning steps are not followed the portrait is going to end up looking like someone you might know and recognize, or someone you wish you knew. Detail, precision and patience go into the making of a colored pencil portrait. It’s what I do. I draw portraits all night long on the weekends and before and after my other job during the week. I obviously don’t do portraits to make a living for myself since the other job is needed to pay bills. I do portraits to live. I enjoy the process, the finished artwork and maybe most importantly, showing off my work. I like it when I can do a portrait for someone and they love it. I feel a sense of accomplishment when what I do makes someone really happy. That is living. Maybe I am a work in progress too. Maybe doing portraits will be my retirement income. I believe I will be drawing portraits till the day I can no longer sit up with a pencil in my hand. As long as I can do that, I am living.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Three Young Ladies

Another portrait that I truly enjoyed doing is finished. Of course I don't think I have met one I really didn't like doing. Working in colored pencils is definately a slow process and at times I have thought of switching mediums to something else. Especially since I have other employment. Then again, it's the process that I love. Well, that and portraits. It's the detail and the inch by inch process. The blending, the colors, all of it, and then it all comes together. Sometimes slowly but I wouldn't change it. To me it has nothing to do with the time it takes. It's getting a likeness and building it step by step. It's very meditative to me.
My favorite time to work on portraits is in the middle of the night. It's quite and peaceful and it gives me time to reflect. So now I'll introduce the completed portrait of the Three Young Ladies.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cathy in black and white

I finished a portrait of Cathy this weekend. I thought it was the perfect picture to try out the graphitint pencils. I'll have to experiment more with them, all I really used was the black and grey and a touch of pink. I finished it in one night up until 4 in the morning. Seems like that's when I can really get into artwork. There's no one up, no interruptions and it's peaceful. Not that I have a madhouse, but I do have time to myself then. Weekends are also the perfect time. It doesn't matter what time it is when I don't have to watch the clock.
My granddaughter took the reference photo and I've been wanting to do it for awhile. So now it's done. It's 14" X 17" on bristol vellum paper.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Three Kids Portrait

Just completed a portrait of 3 kids. I thought the whole photo reference was so good. A lot of unique, cute things from the background door and steps to the bottom, laceless shoes. The plaid shirt, the red cast and little tutu, were all added attractions and of course the cute kids. I really enjoyed doing this one. I enjoy doing all my artwork but with a good clear photo reference, it makes the final portrait so much better because the detail is easily seen.
I took pictures and updated it regularly on facebook as it progressed, so that the person it was going to could see the progress. I have to admit, it was a challenge! A challenge that I loved. It took a lot of time in colored pencil, but it was worth the time. So here's the completed portrait. It's 16" X 20" Colored pencil.