Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!


I want to wish all my visitors the very best for 2011. We will shortly be entering a brand new year. At this time many of you may set goals and make resolutions. Personally I like to roll with the punches. I learned long ago to make plans but not to plan outcomes. Goals are not outcomes but aims. May you all reach as many of your goals as possible. Resolutions are another thing entirely. I'll leave you with these quotes.

Many years ago I resolved never to bother with New Year's resolutions, and I've stuck with it ever since. ~Dave Beard

May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions. ~Joey Adams

Saturday, December 25, 2010


To all my visitors...thank you for visiting my blog and special thanks to those who took the time to leave comments and feedback. It means a great deal to me. The image above is the last Christmas card I painted which, as predicted, I finished just in time for the holidays.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Now Playing~Catitudes on Broadway!

HA! I can pretend...right? Courtesy of Photofunia. Myrna Wacknov posted the URL on her blog:

Friday, December 17, 2010

Making Christmas Cards

This year I decided not to do cards for printing. My printer is acting up again and I don't want to pay a print shop right now. Instead I'm painting individual cards for immediate family and I've worked all afternoon on just these two. What have I gotten myself into?! Of course this is a labor of love and I want them to be special for each person. These are the two 'guy' cards I've created for the men in my family. I used black, some muted colors, plaid, metallics...guy stuff. I'm not the least bit concerned about minor imperfections. They are homemade after all and come from the heart. I have to add that crafters impress me more and more. I'm not terribly crafty anymore. If I ever decide to make handmade cards full time I would definitely have to develop a better system.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter Scene on Matboard

One surface I love to use for painting is matboard, not to be confused with mountboard. Whenever I mention matboard in a post I'm referring to the paper plyboard that is normally cut to frame a piece before the actual glazing and external frame is added. This time I decided to try working on the reverse side of the board. This side has a small amount of texture to it and it looks like it might be more absorbent. I wanted a soft muted appearance for my winter landscape so I coated the entire surface with white gouache and let it dry before beginning my painting. This worked to soften my colors as I painted and allowed for better lifting where needed.

When a painting is completed many artists clean their palettes and begin again with fresh paint. I like to dabble in 'palette muck', the leftover colors that have inadvertently run together. I've discovered some amazing greys this way and for certain applications the low chroma colors that the muck can produce are perfect. This scene was painted entirely with muck. I finished it off with white fluid acrylic 'snow', spattered on with an old toothbrush.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bandit & 8 Ball~update


8 Ball~closeup

I made a few adjustments last night and called this done. Working without a reference photo certainly has it's challenges. I also added whiskers with colored pencil. They aren't as prominent IRL as they appear in my images. I wasn't able to tone them down in my photo editor unfortunately.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bandit and 8 Ball w/ WIP

Close to completion. Bandit's fur beneath his chin got a little heavy. It looks more like a goat's beard at the moment. I'll probably try to lighten it up a bit with white gouache and see how that works out.

The second series of washes. Bandit gets his mask.

The first washes

I wanted to pay homage to Bandit the lop ear which I mentioned in my previous post. I gave him a friend aptly named 8 Ball, a black rabbit with one white spot on his forehead. They turned out looking like a couple of rabbit desperadoes which I find amusing. My palette was very limited. Just Phthalo blue, burnt sienna and a little Quin gold deep.

Since we're experiencing an ongoing winter storm here I decided to pick up my brushes and finally get to work on the lop eared rabbits. I had been doing sketches of lop ears, working from online resources including Youtube videos. The videos definitely tested my sketching skills as I'm not used to drawing moving targets. Some of these videos were very entertaining. These rabbits are quite the little characters it seems. I also noticed a lot of variation in their facial features from rabbit to rabbit.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Cutie Pie

I've had the urge to paint lop eared rabbits but I don't happen to know any at the moment. I do remember a boy in my childhood neighborhood that had a pet lop ear named Bandit. What a character that rabbit was. He acted a lot like a little dog and the bond between that boy and his rabbit was amazing. Bandit would fetch for him and they'd lay on a fold out chaise and just hang out afterward.

I wound up searching online for photos to reference and found dwarf lop ears. Talk about cute ! These rabbits look like a cross between a guinea pig and a basset hound. I plan to do several of these sketches to become familiar with how they look from different angles, study their markings and color variations, etc. I'd also love to find some videos so I can see them in motion. I have an idea for a painting but I want to be as familiar as possible with my subject first. Always a good idea.