Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Unawares - SOLD

6" x 6" watercolor SOLD
$100 plus $7 US shipping or $15 International

One thing that always draws me to paint children is their completely unguarded expressions. You look at a child and you see exactly who they are and how they feel about you and everything else around them. 

I've yet to find an adult model who has this same candid expression when looking at me straight on. Which is not a bad thing, it's just. . . different. And different is good. My adult models give me lots of other good expressions that children haven't mastered yet. :)

In other news, we took a family trip to the zoo this last weekend and I found a very willing model for something I've wanted to paint for a looong time. Check him out!
I've always wanted to paint a boa, and this guy is green too! An Emerald Tree Boa is what he's called. Pretty sweet right? He's added to my TBP list (to-be-painted).

Me and the boys by the giraffes. :) Hubby's behind the camera. 

 And here's littlest Cook boy being our 'crocodile.' 

What? You didn't know that's another word for navigator? Well it is, at least according to littlest Cook boy. He heard us calling him the navigator (see him holding the zoo map?), which he thought was 'alligator' and from then on proclaimed himself as the crocodile. :)))) Cutest. Thing. Ever.

And one last thing before I go. Tomorrow morning at 9 AM PST I will be a guest, along with the awesome Carrie Waller, on Artists Helping Artists radio show. If you want to listen in then you can, but it's also available on iTunes later on in the day. Click here to listen in.

If I start rambling random things about Huzzah, or cupcakes, or HARRY POTTER, and I make absolutely no sense then please just tell me I was awesome anyway okay? *gulp* I'm not nervous. Nope not a bit. ;)

Special thanks to Lauren Nelson for the use of her reference photo. Thank you! 


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Moose - SOLD

"Moose Man" SOLD
6" x 6" watercolor on paper

"When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself.

He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant.

His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever—in case I need him. And I expect I will—as I always have. He is just my dog."
Gene Hill

My friend Carrie Waller sent me a photo of her dog Moose when I put a call out for dog photos on my facebook page. Don't you just love his face? All love and devotion. He has very soulful eyes. He's a bull mastif I believe, and quite large, but a real sweetheart with her two small boys (sounds just like my dog :), even if he is large enough to eat the breakfast off their plates at the dining room table. ;)

This is my entry for this week's Daily Paintworks challenge, which was to paint a close up of an animal. That's kind of my thing so I just had to do it right?

See you next week everyone! Huzzah!! :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Full Cheeks - SOLD

"Full Cheeks" SOLD
6" x 6" acrylic on masonite

Last week I took my youngest son to the park when the older two boys were in school. That doesn't sound like a very big deal does it? And really it wasn't. But at the same time it really was.

We played on the playground, raced down the slides, ran across the giant grassy field and pretended to be trapped in the soccer net. We rolled down the hill and got the dried grass leftover from last fall all over us. He held my hand when we climbed the stairs to the playground and he told me I was his best friend.

That night I wrote in my journal about that small and simple thing, calling it one of the very best days of my life. And it was.

I look down at this little boy that I love more than anything and I can't feel anything other than an immense gratitude that he's my son and I get to spend this time with him every day. That I don't have to leave him with someone else and go to work.

He's my last, my baby, and soon he'll be going to school with his brothers and I'll look back on these days and wish there had been just a few more.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

So Serious - SOLD

'So Serious'
6" x 6" watercolor SOLD
$100 plus $7 US shipping or $15 International

I love this little girl's face. Her dark, sparkling eyes and her pouty lips. I love the subtle colors in her warm skin tones, and of course that pink helmet. She is a sweetheart. I just want to cuddle her.
But, man, was she hard to paint! This was my second attempt (the first one was on aquabord, which is dead difficult to work with, so I don't think that one should count) and it took me a long time, mostly because of the subtle value changes in her skin tones. That took a lot of careful observation, and planning, and then speedy execution. 

With a painting like this, there is absolutely no chance to go back in and move the paint around once you've laid in a wash. In order to get smooth, soft skin tones, you have to get in and get out. No overworking! Easier said than done right? Yeeeep. :)

I love that soft, diffused lighting, and I plan to use more of it in my portraits, because I love the sparkle it gives to the eyes, but it is tricky to paint. There's not a lot of clearly defined shapes so you have to really, really, reeeeealy look for them. 

She was quite a challenge but a good one. :) I really like this painting. 

Have a great rest of the week everyone! Huzzah!

Photo reference by Steve Evans. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Sunny Spot (WIP)

"The Sunny Spot" - work in progress
8" x 10" watercolor on Aquabord

Sometimes I reach a point with my art where I'm not exactly sure what direction to take. I have a hundred ideas roaming around in my head, drawings completed, and watercolor paper stretched and ready to paint on, and yet. . . I can't really seem to find my way to express what I'm striving to. To capture the image with my hand that's so vivid in my head.

When that happens I press forward. I keep making finished drawings that are waiting to be painted, I pick up halfway finished works that I set aside months ago hoping to feel a spark to get them finished this time, I look through photos for that one perfect image that's calling me to paint. I do this knowing that eventually I'll find what it is I'm looking for, and I'll be able to paint without inhibitions or fears once again. 

It's not really a block. . . But it's close to it. That's where I am now. And that's why there's a sudden rush of work in progress pieces on my blog. :)

This piece is close to being finished, I just need to strengthen the colors and fine tune the details. I plan to leave the background white because I really like the shape of his little seated figure in that spot of sun. 

There's just nothing like painting sun kissed baby skin. It's the best thing ever. :))

Until Thursday my friends! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A closer look at the WIP, colored pencil on pastelbord

colored pencil portrait (of my handsome oldest son. . . sshhh, don't tell him I said so, "EMBARRASSING Mom!!") 
work in progress on Ampersand Pastelbord
5" x 7"

Here's a closer look at my colored pencil piece I showed you the other day (the one I worked on while waiting in the car for my kids to get out of school).

I'm really happy with how it's coming along. I always forget how much fun it is to push pencil around on paper (ahem, or board as is the case here) and watch colors begin to glow and the face start to come to life layer upon layer.

Art is really kind of like magic right?

Yes. Why yes it is.

Know what else is magic?

A quiet moment in my house when the kids have been home all week for spring break. I've just tucked them into bed and the only sounds remaining are the click of the dog's toes on my kitchen floor, and the dryer quietly tumbling a load of laundry down in the basement.

Just listen. . . Wait for it. . .


Le sigh. Who am I kidding? I miss those little voices! Except for when they argue. That I don't miss. :)Off to paint I go. I hope you all have a very Happy Easter weekend with your family. :))

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bunny Bunny

Bunny Bunny
6" x 6" watercolor
$65 plus $7 US shipping

So, it's spring. And Easter is on Sunday. And bunnies are unbearably cute and fluffy. And Watership Down is one of my favorite books. And, and, well. . . I just really wanted to paint a bunny. :)

Also, bunnies remind me of chocolate milk which is one of my favorite things. We drink a lot of this in my house:

Because we love chocolate. And yes, it has to be this specific kind of chocolate milk. The one with the bunny on it. When my youngest son started talking, at around eighteen months old, he would always ask for a sippy of chocolate milk. It's still his favorite drink even now at three and a half.

And the thing I loved most about his request? The way he asked for it.

He'd toddle over to me, grab onto my leg, lift his empty sippy cup up to me, and say, "Bunny bunny?" in the sweetest little voice you've ever heard.

Since then chocolate milk has always been called bunny-bunny in our house. And I hope it stays that way forever.  

Until Thursday my friends. :)) May your milk always be full of chocolate! Huzzah!!

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