Welcome, Visitors

This blog is here, so I may as well use it to display the art pieces I create. More than four years after I started, my main medium is still graphite and colored pencil, but I am also now experimenting with watercolor paints. Such pieces as I deem worthy will be displayed here, however, after posting the few back-dated pieces, my postings may not be too regular. I've been known to destroy unfinished pieces I do not like or to just not finish those pieces and move on to something else.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Art Journals

I have long thought about starting my own art journal, but then, I realized two things.  First, and foremost, I haven't a clue what I'm doing.  I've studied art basically on my own since 2006, using various texts... Second, I think this blog is (or could be) an art journal of sorts, although it's sometimes altogether too public for my comfort, whereas, in book form any art journal I work on would be much more private.

True, I haven't posted much lately, or done much with my art either.  That's my sole resolution for 2015 - to work on my art more, and  perhaps start that private art journal - in a real sketchbook.  The only thing I really lack is the motivation to do something out of my comfort zone.  The Artist's Community Project on The Artist's Network might just be that motivation. Comments anyone?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

No Up, No Down

This project is the result of me being a goof-off.  One day, I sat doodling and sketching some basic shapes in my sketch book with no intent whatsoever of doing anything with the project...

About four years later, glancing through my sketch book in an attempt to find a blank page, I ran across my first version of this drawing.  I traced off the drawing so I could have something to work on without actually revising my original, and also to be free of the confines of that dratted sketch book. At that point I decided to rework parts of the sketch and revise the concept somewhat.

No Up, No Down photo Cp_noupnodown_lo-res_zps572580e5.jpg

When I liked the outline I had, I added colors.  I used Derwent's Inktense and colored pencils from one or two other product lines from the same company.  Again, I failed to keep a record of which colors from which lines were used. I avoided using water in the colored pencil area, even though the brands used are water-soluable. I wanted the texture of the pencils strokes to show. On the original, they do show, quite nicely.

For the background, I used a mixture of watercolor paints that appears to be black, but is not a true black. It is mainly a mix of red, yellow and cobalt blue, but I also added some Indigo to further darken the paints. I then applied the mixture thickly, without much water, as this paper would not stand up to a very wet paint mixture.  Completed about mid-September, 2013, this project is intended to be framed, and could be hung in any desired orientation because I deliberately left off the shadows.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Still Life in Colored Pencil

I had been working on this one several weeks off and on, so once again no clear dating. I should have cleaned up this scan, because the white paper/lack of background shows a lot of stray marks near the top of the page that shouldn't be there.  Oh well... It's not as if this drawing is worth anything more than a record of my progress.

This drawing was done on cheap 8.5 X 11 inch paper with mixed brands of colored pencils.  I didn't keep a record so can't say which colors from which brands made the cut. Somewhere along the line, I lost my highlights on this one, which I repaired by using a white, soft pastel stick.  I'm calling this one finished as of sometime in May of 2013.

Still Life photo cp_Still_Life_lo-res_zps074d47ad.jpg

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lily - WIP

No doubt I've mentioned that one of my favorite drawing books is Drawing for Dummies by Brenda Hoddinott.  I'll clarify here that I mean the first edition, because there is also a second edition.  The publisher got someone else to do most of the work for the second edition, and used artwork from several contributors, so there's a lot of difference between the two books.

At the end of most chapters in the first edition, there is a project to complete that helps let you know if you've understood the material presented in that chapter.  For Chapter 14, beginning on page 185, the project is titled Lovely Lily.

The lesson as written is done in graphite, but I wanted color, so I used my set of 150 Prismacolor Premier colored pencils after I had achieved an acceptable outline; from that point on, I disregarded the project instructions. I did not complete the shadows or highlights, which are both important and something on which I tend to do substandard work, therefore, I'll label this a WIP... because I can still go back and correct and/or revise the drawing.


The scan you'll see here was done in May, and shows the progress on Lily that I had achieved as of the end of April, 2013. This drawing is on cheap paper, which I cut to 8X10 inches to fit a frame I have on hand. I foolishly disregarded the orientation of the paper when I began to sketch my flower, using the horizontal, or landscape orientation when I could have used the portrait orientation to better advantage, so the version you see here has had the resulting excess white space cropped off of each end for better display.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wild Poppies

It's been awhile since I posted anything here for the simple reason that I have not finished a drawing or a painting for a very long time.  Or, at least not one that I felt was worthy of inclusion in this blog.  Below is the painting that has changed all that.  Wild Poppies is acrylic on canvas, with silverleaf accents. The original is 11 X 14 inches.  I had fun painting this one.  As usual, you should be able to click the small version to see the full-sized photo of this painting.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Untitled Still Life

I completed another colored pencil piece Thursday, March 8. I didn't give it a name or much thought about framing, because the original has a defect in the paper that I didn't notice until this piece was nearly finished. Other than the defect that you won't find in this scan, I kind of like the piece.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Great White Heron

This outline comes from Terry Madden's Wonderful World of Watercolor: 1200 series, Volume 2, which I bought used... and, like last time, I've ignored his instructions on painting the picture... instead I did my own thing with Heron and Dragonfly (his name for the picture).

I used Derwent Inktense water-soluable colored pencils to complete the picture on a standard medium-weight drawing paper.  Until I went to do the background, I hadn't intended to use any water... but then I determined that I couldn't get the effects I wanted with dry pencils, so this background was painted over with clear water after the pencils had been applied. I also used a colorless blender on the foliage and reeds and parts of the dragonflies and the heron, which brightened some of my colors.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Exercise in Shading and Highlights

This was a simple lesson in shading and highlights, but, I think it turned out well.  Graphite on Blick Studio by Fabriano 140 lb cold press watercolor paper. 9.5 inches high by 6.5 inches wide.  Mock framing done in Paintshop Pro. After looking at the first version - that on the left - I decided that it needed something, so I worked on the darks a bit more... I like the way it looks now, especially since the watercolor paper gives this drawing a bit of depth that I didn't have to work hard to achieve.  As is most often the case, clicking the small version takes you to the full-size drawing.  The original piece looks much better than either of these scans.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Colored Pencil Drawing

Prismacolor Verithin Colored Pencil on coldpress watercolor paper. My finished piece is 9 inches wide by 6 inches high, yet would also work as a vertical display. The basic line drawing I used here was inspired in part by a lesson from Watercolor Painting for Dummies by Colette Pitcher, although I didn't trace, so my freehand drawn start is different than hers... and of course, I listened to my own muse rather than following the instructions given in the book... I like how this turned out. As with most of my blog entries, you can click this image to see the full sized version.

  1. The background appears darker here than on my original... darned scanner.
  2. For those who haven't used them, it should also be noted that Verithin pencils are harder and sharpen to a finer point than the basic Prismacolors do, hence the appearance of scratch-marks near the center of this piece.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Village

The outline to this painting came from Terry Madden's Watercolor Workshop 1100 series Volume 1... but instead of following instructions given in the book, I decided to pretty much do my own thing... playing with colors.  My original version of this painting hangs in my living room.

13 x 9.5 inches watercolor on Blick Studio Fabriano watercolor paper.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Handy Rose

One attempt at a mixed media piece. Basic drawing in colored pencil, chromatic black background in watercolor paint. The rose is one of an artificial bunch I bought a couple years ago... the hand is my trusty manniquin hand I purchased for just such purposes.  Glad I was able to find the hand used; it's not nearly as flexible as I had hoped, which strictly limits the positions in which it can be posed.

Colored pencil and watercolor on Bristol Board. 7 x 11 inches.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


There's a number of things wrong with this, the shape of the flower being just one of them... but there's something else, too. The longer I look, the more I like this poppy.  The original sketch was done based on a photo of a flower, but done in the style of Georgia O'keef - where the flower was enlarged to occupy nearly the entire paper.

Watercolor on Strathmore Cold Press Watercolor paper. 7 x 11 inches

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The River

Once again, the trees here look nothing like the photo reference used to create them.  This one was fun, though I probably should have tried putting a boat on the water.

Friday, September 24, 2010


I love old barns.  I used a photo reference for the basic shape of the barn, but I didn't try to replicate much other detail in that photo... Watercolor again...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bottle Blues

Called Bottle Blues for obvious reasons, this watercolor painting was a class assignment that, I think, turned out well. This picture was painted from a still life setup; only four of the bottles were in the setup, I added the others...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beach Scene

The use of photos to get shapes right is one thing, making a direct copy is another. My chair in this painting doesn't look much like the chair in the photo I used as a reference... but it does look like a chair.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Path

I've now been working with watercolors for about three months... these next pictures are my attempts at getting something artistic onto the paper... 

Friday, July 9, 2010

Stuff You Can Learn From Kids' Paints

I'm painting now, with watercolors... but one of the first experiments was with Tempra paints.

Sharpie markers - like you can buy at most office supply stores in the US, and Tempra paints - some of you might remember those from school. Three primary colors, three secondary colors, plus black and white... or essentially the colors you'd get in a box of 8 crayons. Some of what you see below is mixed colors, and some colors straight from the factory-mixed bottles. I learned that small amounts of a darker color added to a lighter color change the hue much more than you might think.

Signing your name with a paint brush is an acquired skill that has not much to do with how well you can write with a pen or pencil... My signature was cloned out of the graphic below both for asthetic purposes (it's horribly sloppy)... and because I don't like posting my real name online.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Medieval Fantasy

My Latest Sketch.  The frame and mat seen here were digitally created.  The original hung in my livingroom for awhile, but has been given to my mother-in-law, and now hangs in her livingroom. I worked on this sketch for quite awhile during March and April.  Click picture for larger view.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Quickie Sketches



Here's a couple of the quick sketches I did this week. Lessons from About.com  Sea Turtle and, Dog. I used Derwent Studio Colored Pencils and Pro-Art, 90# [147gsm] paper. On one 9 X 12 sheet, both of these sketches and room for a few others... No, they're not large at all.