Thursday, April 30, 2009


Here is my palette for the cat painting that I will posting tomorrow. The colors look like candy colors, not what you would guess would make up a cat huh? Look how messy I am with my white paint... shameful.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Perfect Day for Painting!

Today was a beautiful, rainy day!  Perfect for staying indoors and getting some painting done!  Unfortunately, I can't show you my work because they are commissions.  Soon, I will post them and you can see what I've been working on.  I have also been taking many pictures with my new camera so I will have plenty of inspiration for future paintings! I am very thankful for rainy days because if it had been warm and sunny I wouldn't have gotten anything done today!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ode to Ranunculus!

tangerine ranunculus
from alt_prospettiva's flickr stream

The painting is pretty slow these days because I have been working so much at the flower shop! It is prom and wedding season and we have been busy making corsages and boutonnieres.  We actually had a lot of ranunculus in the shop this week, which happens to be my favorite flower :) Aren't they beautiful?!  I could just eat them.  Anyway, they are very inspiring and I should do some ranunculus paintings don't you think? So I apologize that I don't have a new painting for you, but I offer you a delicious flower photo instead!  

Also, side note, we just upgraded our camera so I can take (hopefully) inspiring and paintable photos like the one above! I haven't had a chance to play with it yet... maybe this weekend... 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cat Eye

This is a portion of a commission that I am currently working on.  I will show you the final product after my client has seen it! It is a 10 x 10 oil painting of a cherished feline companion.  I absolutely love cats so it is a joy to paint them!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


14 x 18
mixed media

I used to have a pen pal/sponsored sister in the DRC through Women for Women International.  That is what inspired this painting.  I now have a sister in Nigeria.  It is an amazing organization that supports women survivors of war all over the world.  They equip them with the skills they need to survive and feed their families.  Many of these women have lost their husbands and several children.  They are so thankful to receive help and a letter from someone who cares.  Check out their website if you think you might be interested in donating or becoming a sponsor!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My Blog Post on

Hey all, just wanted to let you know that my recent blog post on portrait thumbnails was featured on a great blog and website! You should check it out, especially if you have any interest in portraiture.  There are many useful tips and topics related to portraits of all kinds. 

I am really grateful that I started this blog.  It is really just a journal on my thoughts about art and the creative process.  Last night, my husband and I were talking about how beneficial it is to have a blog as an artist.  It helps me collect my thoughts and realize how many ideas I have.  It also helps me to get a little feedback! I love exploring other artist's blogs and learning from them too! Check out my blog roll for some really beautiful artwork!

Friday, April 10, 2009

How to Capture Movement

Salsa Dancer
18 x 20

This is a quick sketch of a salsa dancer that I did a while back.  It is fun to pick an artistic element to focus on when sketching. Drawing dancers are a great way to study movement.  I love a piece of artwork that captures movement. I grew up fascinated and somewhat obsessed with dance and ballet in particular.  So much so, that for a while I spent every waking moment (aside from school) dancing.  Dance is such a beautiful way that people express themselves and drawing or painting is a great way to capture that expression!  I may not be able to pirouette through life anymore, but I can certainly draw those that are! 

Some tips for capturing movement in a sketch: 

1. Draw with a loose hand.  If you are too meticulous and rigid, you will have a tough time communicating any motion in your drawing.

2. Look at your subject more than your paper.  I know this one is hard for many of us, but if you are concentrating too hard on your drawing rather than your subject, you risk missing the essence of your subject.  Especially if you are drawing from life, don't look away from your subject!  If you have to look at your paper, make it quick!

3. Use a blocking-in technique. In the drawing above, you can see how I "blocked-in" her sleeve.  It is a quick way to capture the shape of something and it doesn't have to be perfect! Even if it take you a few tries, blocking-in can give your drawing a rustic, loose quality that can be quite charming!

4. Don't forget value! The darkness or lightness of something can help translate movement to the paper.  Having light, dark and medium values is crucial to almost any piece of artwork, but especially when one is trying to capture movement! Think of a light, quickly sketched line vs. a dark, heavily sketched mass vs. a broad swash with the side of your charcoal.  These different techniques all describe a different kind of movement and all are really useful.  Variation is definitely more exciting to the eye and helps to move the eye around the paper.

5. Draw in circles.  This is definitely one of those rules made to be broken, but I find that it is easier for me to draw with a loose hand when I draw using quick circle-like movements that describe my subject.  My great-aunt Harryette showed me this trick when I was 7 or 8 years old and it has really stuck with me.  She was a genius at drawing horses.. she could draw them in her sleep!  She taught me that a horse can be drawn using all circles and it really works!  I think any animal or human can be drawn the same way.

AND finally.... LOSE THE ERASER!  This is the best way to learn to draw!  It teaches you to get it right the first time and so what if you have a line out of place?! It only gives your drawing more character!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Portrait Thumbnails

Portrait Thumbnails

Here is a peek at my sloppy thumbnails that I do before painting a portrait.  I spend more time if I have been commissioned to do a portrait, but if I am just painting for myself I am usually pretty anxious to get to the painting part.  As you can see, sometimes I get distracted or maybe I was on the phone and started doodling.  It is good to take advantage of the benefits that come from drawing preliminary thumbnails.... so I am going to try to focus next time and maybe do a little less doodling and a little more problem solving!

Thumbnails are a really useful tool before starting a painting.  Especially if you are able to spend a little more time working out the composition.  It saves so much time in the end.  Anytime you can prevent having to paint over something, it is a good thing!  The most effective way of using thumbnails would be to test out different compositions, different values and even the shape of your canvas or paper.  It's amazing how many different versions of the same subject can be created!  So, I would challenge you artists out there (including myself!) to experiment a little more with thumbnails and we will end up with artwork that is fresh, well planned and maybe a little unexpected!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Make Me Over

Make Me Over
16 x 20
mixed media

This painting is actually from a few years back.  I was feeling a little more abstract and experimental at the time.  I was happy with how it turned out though.  It probably seems very blue and depressing, but I think it is rather hopeful.  When I became a christian, I realized that God is continually renewing my mind and "making me over" into a new person.  Like everyone else, I go through "blue" periods and I think it is good for us to be humbled and realize that we can't do it alone.  God knows I'm not perfect, yet He loves me more than I can ever know or understand.  I am so grateful I don't need to be perfect in order to receive God's love and forgiveness.  Jesus did that for me.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17

Friday, April 3, 2009

Water Study II

Water Study II
7 x 9

Available for purchase through my etsy shop!

Here is another black and white watercolor study.  I'm having fun doing these quick studies.  I am anxious though to do them in oil!  This is another painting from the hot springs outside Salida, CO.  Ahh... to be there right now...