Monday, February 28, 2011

Stepping Out

Stepping Out (8x10, soft pastel)

Did this painting today. I did the pencil sketch for this months ago. The photo it was done from was taken almost a year ago. I'm very lucky in that I have some neighbours with a mixture of farm animals that allow me to go up and take photos of the animals. The idea for this painting has been with me for a loooooong time and finally today I decided to do the painting.

When I looked at the sketch I realised that if I did the composition correctly it could look almost as if this chicken were about to step right out of the picture.

It is done on red paper and I like the way in some places that red comes through the painting and the underpainting to give a bit of a glow to the entire piece.

I feel so risque using coloured paper! Until yesterday I had only painted on black paper.

This would have gone better and easier if I had chosen the same colour to underpaint the chicken's right side as I had for the deepest parts of the barn behind it. I chose a lighter colour and had to fight with things a bit to get as dark as I wanted it to be.

But I'm happy with how it turned out and just ordered a bunch more coloured Mi Tentes papers to try. I feel bad for the stash of black that I have. It may be hanging around twiddling it's thumbs for awhile now...

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Knee Deep (8x10, soft pastel)

This was a halleluja moment for me...

I have read and read about underpainting as a technique for painting with soft pastels and have never tried it. Alchohol - ethanol - is supposed to work. I searched for some but I was out of that. Hopefully no first aid will be needed in our house until I get some more. I remembered reading somewhere in the last week that you could use mineral spirits. I had some of those and so I dug them out and used my rubber silicone brush thingies from the art supply store.

I laid down my first layer of pastel on an orange (!!!) paper and then spread the mineral spirits with the silicone "brushes".

I just went from there with this painting.

These dairy cows were grazing one day as I was driving by just near sunset and I had to stop and take a picture. The idea for this painting has been in my head for a long time and I'm glad to finally have put it on paper.

Underpainting is definitely in my future!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Lookout

The Lookout (5x7, soft pastel)

This is the second painting I did for the February Virtual Paintout hosted by Bill Guffey. This month he took us too Romania. There were many things that caught my eye but this horse and the valley below him grabbed my attention.

It was less of a struggle than my first painting.

The horse sort of looks like a horse. At least My Tool Man knew that it was a horse...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Round 3

Romanian Valley (5x7 soft pastel)

This painting was done for the February Virtual Paintout in Romania.

I was going to say that the pastels and paper had a TKO on me... but then I changed my mind.

This is the third time I painted this and I can see improvements in this last version and I learned some things. There are some problems with the trees but...

Monday, February 7, 2011


Hello! (5x5 soft Pastel)

This little fellow showed up in my window yesterday. He was peering in my front room window at me and so I decided to take his photo and do a painting of him.

This little painting went through 3 incarnations tonight. The first one is on the back of the final version. I wasn't happy with it. So I did the one below. I just took the fat side of some pastels and drew very spontaneously and made big marks, trying to leave out all the minute detail. It loosened me up and I started over. The result was Hello!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Robin Sketch - Starbucks sketch #2

This little robin sketch is the second sketch I've done from photos I have on my ipod. I want to try and do something everyday if I can and these little sketches are at least a way to keep up my practice of drawing.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sketch of Three Ladies - Starbucks sketch #1

This is a sketch I did at Starbucks today. I seem to have accidentally joined a little group that vaguely reminds me of Cheers! only it's located in Starbucks! The people are incredibly funny and have been gracious enough to allow me to join in. I don't say much. I mostly just listen to all the conversation and sketch something off of my ipod. Today I did these three sheep. I hope eventually to turn it into a pastel painting.

We'll see I guess.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Gentle Giant

Gentle Giant (5x5 soft pastel)

This was done from a photo I took of an elephant in Singapore.