Saturday, December 18, 2010

Southern Comfort II

Here is the second ink drawing of my front porch.  I lightened up on the perspective a bit so it wasn't as severe as the first one which you can see below dated November 30th.  I'm still not as happy with this one as I was with the original sketch which you can see here.  Most likely the perfectionist in me talking.  I think I need to use a different kind of shading for the ceiling, too.  I like it better than the first ink drawing, so I'm making progress.  It's really hard for me to not use a straight edge to make my lines!  Micron pen on Stonehenge paper 3.75 x 6 inches.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Note Cards

 This is a set of professionally printed notecards that I'm offering for sale.  The set contains 3 cards, 1 of each design shown, including envelopes for $3.50 + shipping.  The cards are 4.25 x 5.5  inches and blank on the inside.  If you would like to purchase a set, please send me an email (located in my profile) and I'll get them into the mail to you.  From the top:  Natural Sole, Praying Hands, and Seashells On the Seashore. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Southern Comfort

I did this ink drawing from a pencil sketch that I did 3 years ago.  You can see the original sketch here.  The perspective is a bit different and I tried not to use a straight edge.  BUT, when I went to ink it, I chickened out and used a straight edge for the longer lines.  I like the look of this in ink.  Micron pen on Stonehenge paper, 6 x 8.75 inches,  $75.  


If you're going to be in the vicinity of Front Royal Virginia this weekend, you need to visit historic Front Royal for Christkindlmarkt.  It's a day and half festival with lots of art for your viewing and buying pleasure, music and food, too.  I will have a booth with my friend Michele Erickson-Sommers of Sommer's End Originals.  We'll have prints and originals on display and for sale and we're both taking commissions.  We've combined our names for this event, so look for Sommer's End Under a Smoky Moon and come say hello.  The festival runs from 4-8pm on Friday evening and from 10am-8pm on Saturday.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Praying Hands

This is a commission for a friend of mine in Texas.  She had seen my drawing of the hands and the coffee cup which you can see here.  This is the first draft, drawn literally from my reference which was a photo I took of my husband's hands.  I did the sketch from life.  I put a lot of detail into the fingers themselves because I wanted the wedding ring to stand out.  The back of the hand I used quick, broad strokes and worked with values and shading instead of tight detail so that the eye would be drawn to the fingers.

This is the finished piece as specified by my friend.  I added hints of fingers behind the forward hand and shading to the background.  Size is 4 x 6 inches, 2B pencil, carbon and charcoal pencil on Stonehenge paper.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

When the Raven Comes to Call

This drawing was done specifically for a new gallery that is opening in Wilmington, NC.  It caters to those artists who are darker and more edgy than myself.  I did this one based on a photo that my friend, Julianne L took.  You can see her original photo here.  A little Hitchockesque.  This was a difficult one for me, working from very little reference, but ever since I saw her photo, I had this idea in my head.  So, when Christina invited me to show at 1 Wicked Gallery for the opening, I decided now was the time to do it.  Thank you to Juli for giving me permission to use her photo.  I hope she likes what I've done.  2B pencil, charcoal and carbon pencils on Stonehenge paper.  7.5 x 7.5 inches.     

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pear, grapes and blueberries

I finally finished this little still life that I started months ago.  It's not a very good scan.  I burnished it after I was done with it and the paper stretched, so I couldn't get it flat.  Those shadows on the pear are from the waves in the paper.  I would need a vacuum frame to get it flat.  I won't be burnishing anymore.  I liked it much better before burnishing.  The writing on the left side of the paper is all the colors I used.  Even though tedious, I am very satisfied with the result.  There are more than 10 layers of color on the paper.  I'd like to get my time down to a week when working on one of these pieces.  I have about 27.5 hours into this, so finishing in a week's time should not be a problem.  I'm not real happy with a couple of spots;  the hard line of the shadow on the left side of the pear.  I tried to softened it up to no avail.  And the red grapes are too red against the purple grapes.  I followed Ms. Steinberg's directions to a T, but I am a little heavy in the hand when laying down color.  Must work on that.  This is 5 x 7 inches on Strathmore paper done with Prismacolor pencils.

Monday, August 23, 2010

9th Annual Downtown Wilmington Artwalk 2010

If you're going to be in the vicinity of Wilmington, North Carolina on September 11th, be sure to visit the Artwalk.  I've been invited to participate with some awesome artists from the Feral Art Collective.  So look me up and if you're interested in commissioning a piece, we can talk about it.  The festival is from 10 am until 5 pm on September 11th.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

WIP Muddy

It's been slow going working on this drawing, but I'm enjoying the mud splatters which is basically just doodling inside the lines.  I've gotten this far and I'm pretty pleased with how it's turning out even though the mud looks stylized.  We'll see what happens when I approach my old nemesis the rear wheel.  I'm using my old standby, 2B pencil but I'm also using the charcoal pencil and a carbon pencil that I bought.  I'm really liking the look of the dark blacks without a shine. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I am rarely given to abstract subjects, but once in awhile an idea just flows from me and onto the paper.  So it happened with this piece.  This was done many years ago, but I was looking at it the other night and I still really like it after all these years.  The simple lines with the varying thicknesses and graceful curves allow my eyes to wander around and through the figure viewing it almost as a landscape instead of a series of organic shapes.  I apologize for the poor quality scan.  I didn't want to take it out of the frame and the decision to post it was spontaneous.  As usual, this is 2B pencil on Strathmore paper.  4 x 6.25 inches.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shiny Things 2

Sometimes no matter how much you like your subject or how you try to portray it, it just doesn't work out.  I just don't like how this turned out because I wasn't as successful as I was with the first piece.  Sometimes a good piece wasn't meant to be duplicated.  I'm posting this anyway because when I started this blog I made a decision that I would post the bad along with the good.  Actually, I like the clover leaf coin much better than the star.  I should just photoshop the star out, but it seems a lot of work for something I'm just not feeling the love for.  So, there it is.  I'm done.  Going to go work on my color WIP for a while.  Charcoal, graphite and 2B pencil on Strathmore paper.  5.5 x 6.5 inches. 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

WIP IF Muddy

As soon as I saw the concept word for Illustration Friday, I knew what I wanted to draw;  my muddy mountain bike.  But, I didn't realize just how difficult an endeavor it would be.  It has taken me a whole week just to lay out the drawing.  You can see all my erasure marks on the paper.  I was doing well until I came to that back tire. The bike is positioned at such a slight angle that I couldn't get the ellipse right for the tire.  It looked so bad in just the line drawing that I was thinking of scrapping the tire altogether and just showing the muddy frame of the bike.  But, I'm stubborn and bullheaded and kept trying everything I knew how to do without just printing out the photo and tracing over it (that would've been too easy!)  

I actually went so far as to make a grid and lay it over my monitor.  That got it close, but then I realized the front of the bike was off.  Argh!  I didn't touch it for a day.  I was actually thinking about giving up.  Then I went back and turned it upside down.  I could see where it was wrong, just couldn't correct it.  Sigh.  Then I got an idea.  It was still cheating, but I figured, it was my photograph!  When I was a little girl, I had received for Christmas one year a drawing set, and for the life of me I can't remember what it was called.  It consisted of a piece of tinted plastic that you slid into a stand that held it upright.  Whatever you wanted to draw went on one side of the plastic, what you were drawing on went on the other side.  Then you  copied your subject and the result was perfection!  I had some plexi in the garage and took a small piece and fixed it with red tape, propped it up on my light table and went to work.  By this time, I found that the outside diameter of the tire was really close to what I had drawn, but the inside of the tire and the negative space was what was giving me a headache.  It is now right, and I think it's safe to go ahead and add shading and details. 

All this frustration took away from the happiness of using my new graphite and charcoal pencils.  I'm really enjoying putting in my dark areas with these pencils and having no shine from the lead. I'm also having fun drawing the mud splatters on the frame.  The abstractness of these patterns on the traditional drawing is interesting.   

I'm only writing out this whole sordid tale, because I especially want those newer members to EDM to know that even experienced, seasoned artists have troubles  with subject matter.  I have some very wonderful friends that help me out in situations like these.  I sent my sketch and the photo reference to one such friend, thinking a fresh set of eyes would help.  She was able to guide me and offered a few suggestions on how to resolve this issue.  In the end, I got what I wanted, but with some misgivings as to what I did to achieve it.  I will never tackle another drawing like this. Anymore wheels for me will be straight on circles or viewed as a straight line from the front.  

This is the fifth WIP I have on my table.  I have so many ideas and I feel like there is not enough time to do them all!  I'm going to spend some time on my other WIPs and leave this sit for a little while.  I feel the need to distance myself from it since we've had such a rocky beginning to our relationship.  This is about 7 x 10 inches and done on Strathmore paper.  Please share your own frustration stories that you've encountered in your art with me.  It'll help me feel not so alone. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Shiny Things

I was taking a break from my WIP color piece.  I began this drawing while not feeling well and on pain meds.  Needless to say, laying it out was an adventure and I had a really tough time with the perspective.  Imagine that!  I was not happy with it until today when I almost started over.  But, I tweaked the shading and worked on the highlights and voila!  I am feeling a little timid about using the charcoal pencil and stepping out of my comfort zone, but I will try to keep utilizing it and hopefully it will grow on me.  I'm going to try another of the coins and use both the charcoal and the graphite, too.  2B pencil with charcoal pencil for the real dark areas.  4 x 4 inches on Strathmore paper.  I picked up these little trinkets while I was in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia for a girl weekend a couple of years ago.  We were doing the whole spa experience and we were so relaxed.  The town is small and quaint with galleries and boutiques everywhere.  I found these little coins in one of the shops and couldn't resist.  They have little totems on one side and words on the back to describe them.  The backside of the man in the moon with the star says DREAM, the music note says LISTEN and the heart says LOVE.  I have about half a dozen of them that I keep in a little black satin pouch.  Sometimes I put them in my pocket and just like feeling them there and rubbing them like a worry stone.  Buying these little coins earned me the nickname Magpie from my friends.    

Thursday, January 21, 2010

WIP pears & grapes

I finished putting on the third layer today.  It was rainy and gloomy out, so a perfect day to concentrate on art.  Looking at the scan now, tho, I see my line on the pear is pretty hard and needs to be softened a bit, so I'll go back and take care of that this evening.  The book says that the first 3 layers are the most crucial and your strokes need to be very close together.  After that you can loosen up a bit.  This layer I used Black Cherry, Tuscan Red and Goldenrod.  Once you start adding the color, you can really see it start to come together over the shadows that have already been laid out.  I'm keeping track of my hours on this project and so far have almost 14 hours in.  So, I may have more than 25 when I'm done.  Seems daunting, but I think that anything that looks good is going to take time.  I'm doing this on 5 x 7 inch Strathmore paper using Prismacolor pencils.  Would love to get some Stonehenge paper to try this on, but will have to wait until I get to Raleigh.  

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

3 new WIPs

 Here are 3 new pieces that I've started.  The first one is another exercise out of Masterful Color.  I just love this book and I'm beginning to really enjoy the actual application of the color.  Where I once thought it would be tedious, it's now becoming a kind of meditation.  I find I look forward to seeing what the color will do when I layer it.  The second one is something I've had in mind for awhile now.  An extreme close-up of the front tire on my Cannondale mountain bike.  I think the knobbies on the tire just scream design.  So we'll see how that's going to turn out.  The last one is another sketch of my '66 Mustang. Y'all really didn't think you'd seen the last of my car, did you?   I just love drawing shiny things and this one has lots of shine.  The chrome wheels, the badges and then the reflection of the badges in the paint on the fender.  I'm going to be trying that technique with the charcoal and graphite pencils that I talked about in a previous post.  I don't know which of these 3 will win out and capture my sole attention to completion, but I have my work cut out for me for at least the next 3 weeks.