Monday, October 18, 2021

Katie Looking Down - original charcoal and compressed pastel stick portrait drawing


charcoal and compressed pastel profile woman gray paper white accents
 This paper, a Strathmore 400 cool gray mixed media sheet, is one of my favorites.  It is 100% recycled and contains kraft and bark fibers, which is perfect for my tree drawings, but I just wanted to use it for a portrait - crazy as it sounds.  Art is about experimentation, right?  You should really try this surface if you haven't already - got mine at Hobby Lobby - it takes all kinds of media and all kinds of punishmentπŸ˜„.  I matted this down to about 11 x 12".  After I finished the charcoal part of the drawing, I used some General Pencil Co. compressed pastel sticks for a little tint to her face.  These sticks are so useful and can be used for portrait drawings all by themselves.  They come in just about all the colors necessary for portraits.  Thanks for looking and happy drawing!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Today's Drawing - figurative charcoal drawing

Young Woman playing guitar black and white drawing

This drawing of a guitar player - still in progress I want to emphasize - is an idea for a larger and more finished drawing, probably using a combination of graphite and General Pencil's Primo Euro Blend charcoal pencils, which are so easy to work with.  This one was done mainly with vine charcoal - 17 x 14".  Thanks for looking!  
 

Sunday, October 03, 2021

How I capture movement in figures - original oil pastel figurative drawing

loose figurative drawing dancers colorful energetic

One of my very favorite artistic endeavors is capturing the energy of dancers.  For jitterbug dancers I just turn on some rock 'n' roll music, then start making gestural figurative marks with my black oil pastel; I rely mainly on my memory of jive dance performances to flesh out the figures, adding very little detail. 
And yeah, I do dance a little - such great music, who could resist!  The lines are mostly in segments with a little smearing to indicate movement and energy.  Even when a bit of line ends up in a place I might not have intended,  I often just leave it - a surprise here and there.  Music is really inspirational when drawing dancers so I have lots of rock, tango, flamenco (gypsy) and some salsa music to get me going.  I used to attend a life drawing class where the monitor had mambo music playing as we drew from the model.  We all agreed we had never done our gestures so fast and with such emotion!   Of course, there are many different things that encourage artists to make art - what inspires you to draw or paint?  

This drawing - "More Jivin' #5" is on 5 x 7" Pastelbord.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 20, 2021

The Model Looking Down - original oil pastel drawing of a nude model


small oil pastel nude loose abstract drawing

 My favorite subject - the nude model - and in this case, drawn on Judson's carton board  (a type of paper, actually) - probably my all-time favorite for oil pastel.  It has a texture that grabs and holds the oil pastel and I find it especially great for a more loose drawing.  I can't really explain the texture, except that it's slightly rough, but not really gritty. It works for oil paint, too and is very good for plein aire.  Many artists will give it a coating of gel before painting with oil, but it's archival, either way.   After it's finished, I bond it to a backing, usually hardboard.  This drawing is about 8 x 6" - thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Blue Kimono - original pastel pencil portrait

portrait drawing blue kimono geisha pastel pencil




 Pastel pencils are so wonderful to work with, especially for someone like me who really loves to draw.  They also don't seem to have the problem of floating bits of pastel in the air, particularly the Caran d'Ache pastel pencils which is what I mostly use.  My only concern is that they are fragile - not that there is a longevity problem, because I know they are very archival, but much care has to be taken in framing to prevent smearing.   Actually I suppose every medium has its drawbacks and this is a small one, so I either frame with spacers or a mat arrangement that creates a gutter for the loose pastel to fall into.  Problem solved.  This drawing is on Canson pastel paper, about 11 x 8".  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, September 13, 2021

Barrel Racer #11 - figurative oil rodeo painting

small oil painting barrel racer loose colorful energetic
Here's a small and very quick (5 x 5") rendition of a barrel racer from the Junction rodeo this past summer.  It's done very loosely as preparation for a larger one?  Maybe.  I don't know.  Am currently working on other drawings and paintings, but like my little dancers, rodeos always show up again.  I think it's really instructional to set a timer and get busy - one of my books suggests 45 minutes, which I like, and it makes you work really really hard to get finished, so while you leave out stuff, you still end up with something lively - and fun.  Whew!  Sorry for that long sentence.  Thanks so much for dropping by!


 

Monday, September 06, 2021

Lissy on Red - acrylic and oil pastel portrait

woman with hat on red background portrait mix media
Something so much fun to paint - started with acrylic and finished with oil pastel.  These two media work so well together.  It's done on acrylic paper by Strathmore, which has a great surface and is very easy to work with.  I could have made it more realistic but it was so enjoyable to just roll with it - and Lis thinks it looks like her, so who am I to fret?  

Hope you're all having a great Labor Day - thanks for stopping by!
 

Monday, August 30, 2021

Bedtime Braid - original oil pastel portrait


 This 12 x 9" oil pastel was done on Strathmore black mixed media paper, which is great for oil pastel.  I liked the casual - kind of messy - way she wove the ribbons into her hair.  This started with a live pose, but like so many, ended up with a photo.  Oh well, one does what one canπŸ˜• Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Julie - original pastel portrait drawing


pastel drawing young woman profile looking down
Every now and then I get the urge to get out my pastel pencils and do some drawing.  I love them, especially my Caran d'Ache pencils, used in this case on the smooth side of Mi-Teintes.  Framing something so delicate is a problem for me, since I always do it myself.  I usually make a gutter for the loose pastel to fall into with acid-free foam core or use spacers that attach to the glass.  Either method stresses me no end, which is probably why I don't do soft pastel any more than I do, because I really really love to work in this incredible medium. And then the requirement in so many shows that plexiglass must be used.  I've heard that the anti-static spray works great for awhile, but must be reapplied.  How does one do that without unframing the artwork?  Bound to be solutions but I haven't come across any yet.😟 Thanks for stopping by and I would love to know if you have any answers!

 

Thursday, August 05, 2021

A Maiko in Pink and Green - original oil pastel portrait


 My all time favorite combination -  pink and green - Yum!  IMHO you can't have one without the other.  I'm continuing my obsession with maikos and geishas and their costumes - all of which have meaning rooted deep in their history.  I really hate seeing the geisha numbers dwindle, but of course, Japanese women have many more options now, which is a very good thing. 

This 5 x 7" piece is done on the ever wonderful Pastelbord (made right here in Texas) and painted using nearly all Sennelier oil pastels, with a few Caran d'Ache Neopastels and CrayPas Specialists.  My oil pastels aren't sharpened because I fear killing my art with overworking, but I'm kind of rethinking that approach because maybe a little sharpening would make life easier.  For now though, I use some Eye-Tees, those make-up things that resemble Q-tips, but have a very sharp point on one end for doing a little smoothing so they aren't too raw.  Perhaps a combination of sharpening and smoothing will be my new technique.

For exciting paintings that have lots of texture check out Victor Wang.  I love his work!

Thanks for stopping by - have a great day and happy art-making for all you artists out there!

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Mrs. Kelly - An Amusement in Monotype - a reductive method monotype plate

I did this monotype plate on styrene - don't have the print anymore, but inked up the plate again and it's still hanging around.  They're fun to do - monotypes - and goofs are always pretty interesting, like the way a blind contour drawing always seems to turn out.  I had never used styrene before - it's okay, but I still prefer the zinc or copper; however, for the price, styrene suits me perfectly! About 7 x 5", Mrs. Kelly appreciates your stopping by!


 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Head of an Ancient Soldier - oil pastel on paper

Here's an oldie I don't even remember doing - not simply old age can't remember - just did this one such a long time ago.  Apparently had some metallic Caran d'Ache wax crayons and I'm sure had great fun with this piece. I don't know the sculptor, but if any of you do, please shoot me an email.  Drawing from those magnificent ancient sculptures is very instructive, I think, and I still do that even though it's nearly always from photographs. 😟  Seems to be on the textured side of Canson Mi-Teintes paper, 9 x 12" - thanks for stopping by and happy art-making!

 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Sketch of the Model Zette - original oil pastel portrait sketch

portrait woman curly hair oil pastel on acrylic

 This quick portrait drawing is done with Caran d'Ache oil pastel over a dash of ochre acrylic - I especially liked Zette's expression and she was able to keep that slight smile, which isn't easy - have tried it myself.  I did several sketches of her but picked this one to post.  Instead of working on one drawing the whole time, I sometimes do several using different media and often moving around the room to get a different view.  On Canson Mix Media, 8.5 x 5.5" - thanks for looking!

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Drawings from My Sketchbook - original charcoal drawings

black white portrait figurative drawings on grey paper
I was experimenting mostly with different figures and portraits - and decided the drawing of the Aphrodite and the loose, informal charcoal lines was something I would repeat.  I think the contrast of the smooth sculpture with the sort of random vertical lines works.  Might be especially effective in, say, a drypoint etching.  All of the subjects are from some of my earlier drawings, except for the Praxiteles sculpture.  I used General charcoal pencils and white charcoal pencil.  I splurged and purchased a David Kassan Limited Edition Signature Drawing Kit from General Pencil and I love it!  All the drawing equipment I need in a sturdy wood box.  I've always liked kits and I really really like this one!  The paper here is Canson smooth side - I bought some discontinued tablets of the paper at Michael's for a nice price - I think it's just the store discontinuing and they are still being manufactured.  Hope so, anyway. Thanks for stopping by!

 

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Mixed Media Figures - original mixed media figurative drawings

Loose portrait of woman and contour drawing of woman with fan
 Just having fun - moving forward without any plan at all.  These two drawings have absolutely no connection to each other except for being on the same page.  The squinting woman and the contour drawing of the lady with a fan are even from two different drawing groups - being economical with paper, I guess.  The unfinished painting has so many media that I'm not sure I can remember them all, but here goes -  watercolor, watercolor pencil, ink, charcoal and acrylic (whew) and the contour drawing is simply charcoal pencil. On 8 x 10" Canson Mixed Media plein aire board, which is so sturdy and a real delight to work on - I love it!  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 26, 2021

What I'm Working On - ACEOs in Progress

tiny paintings nudes angels figurative ACEOs

Here are a few of the ACEOs I've been working on - mostly nudes so far, but starting on a few angels, all drawn with Caran d'Ache Neocolor 1 (a couple of sticks showing at the bottom).  They are done on Strathmore illustration board (3.5 x 2.5").  Some of them are drawn straight onto the board, others are given a coat of watercolor or acrylic before I begin drawing.  I think it's easier to start with some color underneath, so I'll probably keep that up.  I love doing these little pieces and, surprisingly, they're not that easy to do - and I think some artists work on even smaller sizes!  Don't think I'll be doing that, but you never know😊!  

After these drawings are posted, I'll be going outside - the weeds are waiting - and I'm hoping to beat today's 95 degrees!  Hope you have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 06, 2021

Two Women - original acrylic figurative abstract painting

loose painting bright colorful women abstract
 I did this very quickly because I had such a tiny bit of time, so my brush was working at a feverish pace.  That's why there's not a lot of finish, but it was a fun exercise.  No time to change brushes, so it was done with one brush that was larger than I would normally use for the whole thing.  On 10 x 8" gessoed board - thanks for stopping by!


Monday, May 31, 2021

Hmmm - original oil pastel portrait painting

woman w/hand to face narrowed eyes looking to side

 This 8 x 10" drawing on Canson mixed media board is a mostly fun thing for me - I drew it from an old drawing of a model, but then added the dark blue-green next to the orange glints in her hair just because I wanted to - artist's choice, right? - then added a grey and white version of my favorite wallpaper.  

More on the wallpaper - I have been looking for that paper for ages for my entrance hall - the background is a medium green and it's probably from the 30s or 40s - good luck with finding any of that!  Plus it would definitely not be strippable, so I'm actually toying with the idea of just painting the wall instead.  Making those stripes will get pretty tedious, though.

Back to "Hmmm" - when I originally drew the model, she had briefly been looking at something going on to her right in the drawing group.  It's been so long now that I don't remember what it was, but I was lucky to capture her while she was looking toward the "activity".   That has happened a lot in my drawing adventures.  My teacher, Priscilla Treacy, taught her students to get it down in three minutes - I don't mean every pore or detail, but the gist of the drawing.  So, there have been many times when the model hasn't completely settled into her pose (and maybe gotten a little sleepy),  that I've been able to grab that very first expression. Thank you Priscilla! In this drawing, I felt that the model was thinking critically about the conversation to her right, hence the title "Hmmm".  

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Seated Nude on Blue - original oil pastel figurative

drawing of seating nude woman blue background

I began this drawing with a graphite pencil and then worked on it with Sennelier oil pastels and a few Caran d'Ache on Strathmore 8 x 6"mixed media paper.  Didn't do a lot of blending and and finishing (obviously) - just left it pretty raw which is kind of my favorite thing.  Loved her sort of dreamy expression.  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Ink Dancers #3 - original ink drawing of tango dancers

loose quick ink drawing couple dancing black white

 Here's a quick ink drawing that I did with ink pen and brush.  The ink was water soluble of course, which made it so much fun and totally unpredictable.  I don't remember the nib I used to do the lines - I love using different nibs - then went over it to restate some of the outlines after it was dry.  And not "finishing" it also appeals to my art senses.  This piece is 8 x 6" on mixed media paper.  Thanks for looking!

Monday, March 29, 2021

Woman with a Fan - original oil pastel portrait painting

Woman seated looking to side holding fan

Here's one that I'm trying before painting the same pose in oil.  I'm pretty happy with it. A problem arises though, when I don't get the same feeling in the oil painting that I have in the original drawing - plus no more model.  I think there's just something spontaneous that happens in a drawing group but when I'm back in the studio, it's tough to reconstruct the emotion.  The artist's reaction to the live model is what painting from life is all about, I think (when it's not a commission and must look exactly like your subject).  And even with commissions, there's a bit of the artist's reaction, as well.  Hey, I think I just figured it out - I'm going to stop with this one since I'm happy with it.  See what talking it out can do? 😌  This piece was done on 7 x 5" Pastelbord using mostly Sennelier, with some Caran d'Ache, too.  Thanks so much for stopping by (and listening)!  

Thursday, March 11, 2021

A Winter Day - original oil pastel portrait painting

portrait, girl, orange cap, snow, ginger hair


I think everyone in Texas is sick of winter - especially what this winter has brought.  We were lucky, but I know so many weren't!  Texas just isn't set up for merciless temps and failures of the power grid.  Closed up inside, I was able to do lots of drawings and other artwork and here is one from those days.  It is, of course, made from a photo I took early in the winter with our first little snowfall, never dreaming what was to come.  

This one is on 12 x 9" Pastel Premier paper, using mostly Sennelier oil pastels, some Caran d'Ache and Cray-pas Specialists.  She was standing in front of one of our pecan trees with the branches almost touching the ground.  Thanks for stopping by!
 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Barrie - original oil portrait painting


oil portrait woman head turned slight smile gold earrings

Texas is probably just about done digging itself out of the ice and snow of this past week.  Our family fared pretty well, but sad to say, lots of folks didn't.  We're just not prepared for this kind of weather - 3 degrees - and I'm hoping this really was a once in a century thing.  And if I didn't already love summer, I do now!

This piece, lurking in my studio, is painted on 8 x 10" stretched canvas, beginning from life, then on to photos.  I like it for her sweet expression.  Thanks for stopping by!
 

Friday, January 29, 2021

From an Ancient Torso - original mixed media figurative drawing redux


So great to sketch from these beautiful creations - in this case, using charcoal, graphite and Caran d'Ache neocolor 1 -  on Strathmore 300 mixed media paper which I use as a sketchbook because the paper is tough enough for any dry media but not quite as expensive as the 400 series.  Somehow, I just feel a little bit freer to do things on the less costly paper that I might not otherwise do on more expensive paper.  Ever have that feeling?   I love the 400 series though, and when it's on sale, I stock up!  Thanks for stopping by!


 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Krista on Black Paper - original oil pastel portrait

soft colors oil pastel portrait painting on black


Strathmore's black mixed media paper is such a perfect support for oil pastel, which is what I used for this piece.  Drawing a model seated in a chair while I was perched on a barstool isn't the usual arrangement,  but it worked so maybe I'll use this set-up in the future.  I did some smoothing with my finger on this one, and maybe could have done more, but I do like strokes to show at least a bit.  Using black paper here with my Senneliers, but I also love Strathmore's blue mixed media - haven't tried the gray, but I will soon.  Am going to give the gray a try with my Caran d'Ache pastel pencils.  These pencils are expensive, but they are worth it! This little painting is about 5 x 5".  Thanks for looking!
 

Friday, December 04, 2020

Two-Step Scribble - charcoal and oil pastel figurative sketch

drawing of western two-step dancers

This sketch is one I did from the 2019 rodeo dance (didn't have rodeo in 2020😞) and sometimes I just get such satisfaction from one of these drawings, even though it lingers somewhere between drawing and painting.  As a line lover, I'm always looking for ways to incorporate line in what I do and not totally cover it up with paint.  Will just leave this one as it is and do a painting from it.

I hope everyone out there had a great Thanksgiving!πŸ¦ƒ Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 05, 2020

A Little Sketch of the Model - original charcoal portrait drawing




black and white art, drawing, woman, profile, Connie Chadwell

I absolutely love to work in black and white, especially when drawing from life. I did this drawing using a General's Peel and Sketch with a 'hard' rating which I rarely use, but am actually really pleased with this little sketch.  The paper is Strathmore Mixed Media, 8.5 x 5.5".  Some of the lines are restated, which I left (obviously) because otherwise, it's easy to keep making the same mistake, plus leaving the lines lends movement and also tells the viewer the path the artist took in making the piece.  Thanks for stopping by!
 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Looky What I Got Yesterday!

I splurged a little and bought several CrayPas Specialists, some Caran d'Ache Neopastels and a few of my usual Senneliers.  So exciting for an oil pastelist!  I like to use Caran d'Ache lime green for glazing skin and decided to try a lot of other colors for that purpose just to see how it works out.  Much fun ahead!
 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Reluctant Vera - original oil portrait sketch





Here's one from a drawing group where the model didn't show, and in those cases, everybody takes a turn as the model - or most everybody, since I think I avoided it that time - so I call this one 'Reluctant Vera', because she wasn't thrilled to be the model, but she was a good one, nevertheless.  Drawing group attendees who have to replace the model soon find out how really tough it is to be a model - staying completely still for 20 minutes at a time, then trying to get back into the same exact position after the break.  Models earn every bit of their pay! 
I used mostly Gamblin and Blue Ridge paints and a couple of Grumbachers on this piece.  I shouldn't use a lot of colors, because as one of my painting teachers told me, I always turn everything into a basic limited palette which I did on this one except for the blue, so I think I'll just save the money and go back to the four or five colors.  πŸ˜€ Thanks for stopping by!




Sunday, October 04, 2020

Ready for Night - original pastel pencil portrait drawing



 
pastel pencil drawing of a red-headed woman
Here's a pastel pencil drawing that I did some time ago, using a very limited palette of Caran d'Ache pencils.  At that time, I only had a few of this brand that I was trying out and since they - unlike most pastels, even in pencil form - didn't make me sneeze, get in my eyes and just generally make me feel itchy, I've acquired a nice collection of Caran d'Ache.  Most likely, how I use pastels is the problem, but since I'm mainly an oil pastelist, problem solved!  This was a pretty quick drawing - don't remember how long - but I was mainly interested in the satiny strap over her shoulder.  It's on toned paper, 12 x 9".  Thanks for visiting!