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Monthly Archives: October 2013


I have been feeling like I have been painting rather tight, lately. The above image was taken from a really abstract photo reference I found on wet canvas. I cropped the image to create a panoramic scene. I like how the light fell on the distant hills and the moisture came up from the surface of the ground in steamy looking fog. The whole scene, in the photo, was darker and cooler throughout and I added my own choices of color to this. I wanted the ground to cool in the foreground and the hills and middle ground to be warmed by the light coming through the clouds.

I am working with a new paper called Huile or Arches Oil Paper and I am really liking that I can paint and lift on the surface of this paper. It allows for me to play with the water and my brush longer than any of the other watercolor papers.


Every so often, I try drawing and painting my portrait while staring at myself in a mirror.  I had asked my portrait students to paint their self portrait for their last assignment for class. Some painted from their image in the mirror and others used a photo reference. This painting was done in an alloted time of 2 hours. I drew it, first, in line contour and used  permanent rose, naples yellow, quin burnt orange, alizarin crimson, burnt umber and Andrew’s turquoise.

Mary Smierciak3

Mary Smierciak3       Blind Line Contour

Lisa McGuffey3

Lisa McGuffey3  Blind Line Contour

Jerry Young

Jerry Young  Value Study

The above drawings are from my beginning drawing class that just finished up. Over a six week period, they worked their way through blind line contour, negative space, perspective, simple value studies and still life. They worked from both life and photo reference and learned how to use their pencils for measuring, a viewfinder for focus and a simple crosshair grid for perspective.  If you would like to view more of their drawings, click here.

David Hess

David Hess

Dianna Burt

Dianna Burt

The above paintings are examples of portraits painted in the six week watercolor portrait class that just finished up. They concentrated on facial features the first week and then worked their way through using a grid for obtaining a likeness, skin colors, color combinations, and compositon as it pertains to portraiture. The last night of class was devoted to painting a self portrait. If you would like to view more of their work click here.

Thankyou to all the students who have contributed their art to be viewed here.


The above painting is my Granddaughter with her “PINK” hat, which she loves, and her horse, Duchess, who she also loves!

About halfway through this painting, I started chuckling when I remembered my sister, then 4, and I, then 6, riding our rocking horses in the family room while singing along to this at the end of the show.  🙂

blindapple  Blind continuous line apple

blindhand  Blind continuous line hand

handlinecontour  Continuous line hand (looking)

negspacestool   Negative space of stool

stooldrawing   Negative space study of stool completed drawing

bottleandglass   Value study of clear glass

valuestrips   Value studies

We cut strips and traced the format on our paper and chose values, light medium, and dark to the patterns of value we saw.

cornerofroom   Perspective study of the corner of a room

selfportrait2013   Self portrait

The above drawings illustrate some of the work my beginning drawing class has been working on in the first four weeks. We began with blind line drawings and worked our way through contour line, negative space, value, perspective and are even working at drawing our reverse images in a mirror. All the above drawings are either demos from class or examples I drew to share as examples.

This weekend I worked with my Granddaughter from a book I purchased that I learned about from Sherry here. The book is titled Amazing Crayon Drawing with Lee Hammond by Lee Hammond. I thought the Granddaughter could use these skills at home in her free time. We drew from tutored examples of a palm tree silhouetted against a sunset and a mountain scene. Here are our finished crayon drawings:

palmtree    Granddaughter’s Palm Tree

palmtreegr   Grandma’s Palm Tree

mountains   Granddaughter’s Mountains

mountainsgr   Grandma’s Mountains