Friday, December 21, 2012

Counting My Blessings

Christmas is just a few days away. I managed to get everything done (shopping, wrapping, mailing cards and presents) around the 17th of December. A personal best!

I'm trying to keep things normal and keep my eyes and ears away from the news. The tragedy in Newtown, CT last week really shook me as a person and as a parent. Seeing flags around our town flying at half staff make me tear up.


I am trying to live in the moment. I'm remembering Christmases' past.




And trying to create new memories for this Christmas. Almost every night we drive around and look at the decorations. We're painting ornaments. Baking cookies. And maybe we'll even visit with Santa.

Every moment I am counting my blessings.

I hope you and yours have a joyous holiday filled with laughter and love.

In the words of Tiny Tim, "God bless us, everyone!"



Saturday, December 15, 2012

Experimenting with Faces

I think faces are a challenge for every artist. Getting the depth and personality can be very difficult. My shading has been hit or miss in the past. I really want to achieve depth and texture in my faces since I'm not going for realism. I went through my Paint Your Story videos again and played in my sketchbook. I decided to write down the steps I took to hopefully achieve the look I wanted.

I started with a head shape and then scribbled in my shade colors with pencils.

Then I used my favorite paint colors with some GAC 100 (this helps thin the paint) and tapped it onto the face with my fingers. Pretty scary looking, huh?
Then I used a bristle brush and scrubbed white gesso over the whole face. Not so scary now, is it?

I kept repeating the process adding heavy body white paint into the mix as I added more layers. I also used my Neocolor II crayons. By the end of the process I was using my paint brush instead of my fingers to apply paint.

Here are some details of the face.



I really like the texture and the depth of color I achieved. I need to keep practicing and find the methods I like best. I want my faces to each be unique and filled with personality. The more I practice the better I will get.

If you haven't checked out Mindy Lacefield's E-course, Paint Your Story, you really should. It has really helped me blossom as an artist. It's the best course out there to help you find your style.



Friday, December 7, 2012

Squeezing Art In During the Holidays

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

And the craziest with how busy it is around here. Today is the 7th and I feel like Christmas Day is tomorrow. On the bright side, I'm pretty much done with shopping and I am in wrapping mode. There are a few other things to do. Christmas cards need to go out for example. I don't want to think about it.


I'm trying to squeeze art in and get things finished so I feel a sense of accomplishment as well as maintain my sanity. Working small helps. I finished these two pieces in the past week or so.

This is on 5x7 hot press watercolor paper. I used inks, water soluble crayons and pencils. My daughter requested the mermaid.


This is a 5x5 mini canvas created with paint and inks. I love these little doggies. I'll definitely be making more.


I'm not putting too much pressure on myself to "finish" things. It is the Christmas season after all. After Christmas is my son's 5th birthday (I can't believe it)! Once all the parties are over (one for family and one for friends) I can really buckle down and make some art.

I hope your holiday season isn't too crazy. Remember to take time for yourself so you can remain sane!