Saturday, June 30, 2012

Swishy Hair Sketchbook Saturday

teen girl caught mid hair flip
prismacolor in my sketchbook

There's a park close to my house that is one of our favorites. It has a duck pond, two huge playgrounds, swings, one of those metal merry go round death trap things (yay. . . said no one ever), endless grassy fields and trees, and something that really appeals to me, le artiste, a high school just around the corner.

There are endless subjects for smitten paintings and other great figure paintings. Which is something I really want to focus on more, even though I find it challenging. It's hard to focus on detail so much in my close ups and then switch to the bigger picture and suggestion for figure paintings.

But I'm working on it.

I loved that I caught this girl flipping her hair around to impress the boy who walked along side her. Heh. That's so something I would have done too.

Happy Saturday everyone!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Debbie's Boy - sold

Debbie's Boy
8" x 10" watercolor - sold
private commission

A few weeks ago I got a commission request that I couldn't wait to start painting. This portrait is it. This is my good blogging/facebook friend, Debbie's son. Debbie is a wonderful watercolor artist herself, click here to visit her blog. :) 

There was such variety of color in his skin tones, and a lot of contrasting warms and cools. It was a real challenge to try and capture that. But I really enjoyed the process of figuring out what colors to use and how to mix them.

I learn something new with every portrait I paint. Sometimes I forget it (drat!) and have to re-learn it with the next portrait I paint, but that's ok, maybe one day it will finally stick!

There's always something new to learn when it comes to painting. It's what keeps me excited to pick my brushes up day after day. The prospect of discovering something I never have before. . .  Or remembering it at least. ;)


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bella Luna - sold

'Bella Luna'
6" x 6" watercolor - Sold

I love painting Gypsy horses. They are so incredibly beautiful with such kind eyes. And their feathered feet and luxurious manes and tails make them look like a My Little Pony come to life! This little girl is my friend Sue's (Sue raises Gypsy horses in Texas) new foal from this year. And although she's just a baby you can see that she will one day have that long mane and tail and feathered feet. One day I want to own a Gypsy. . . One day. :)

And thanks so much for all the words of wisdom and advice from my last post asking for tips for time management. I know it's common sense: there's never enough time to do everything you need to do, so time must be found for priorities and the rest left to the side. But. . . I was having one of those days where everything was crashing down on me and the weight of responsibility seemed too heavy for me to carry. I guess I needed a shoulder to cry on, and you guys were it.

Last week on a very busy day, I was in the car with my husband and three kiddos. We were on the way home from two back-to-back Tae Kwon Do lessons, and an archery coaching session for my oldest son. I sat in the car, listening with half an ear to the chatter from the boys behind me, feeling so overwhelmed about everything that I still had to do that day (even though it was already nearly ten o'clock at night) that I almost started to cry right there, in front of my kids. Almost like he knew what I was feeling right at that moment my husband reached over and drew my hand into his, locking our fingers together.

Supermom I was not, and I knew it, and I was afraid that it was painfully obvious to my kids too. One of my greatest fears is letting them down, not being what they need me to be.  

And then my oldest son started being silly, and doing impressions of a cowboy, and Madame Maxime from Harry Potter (we've been listening to the Harry Potter audio books in the car) and  suddenly we were all laughing, and then I'm really crying, but it's because I'm laughing so hard instead of feeling sad, and it was one of those moments where you know you'll remember it forever you know? And I felt better, just like that.

Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of laughter, and love, to make the darkness disappear. :)

Now that, my friends, deserves a Huzzah don't you think?? HUZZAH!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Arabian Horse Sketchbook Saturday - sold

Arabian Head Study sold
Prismacolor pencil on Bristol
4" x 6"

A drawing of a beautiful Arabian horse that lives behind my house. She's been my muse several times. She is always so friendly, her ears prick up and she gracefully walks over to see me whenever I get close to the fence. I secretly wish she was mine. :) I drew this little sketch today because I knew I had a sketchbook post coming up. That's one benefit of blogging, it forces you to GET TO WORK!

In other news, life is crazy-hectic-busy around here lately with the kids home for the summer. We're having all kinds of fun and athletics and enriching activities. And all that essential non-fun stuff like laundry, and lawn mowing, and laundry, and weed pulling, and laundry. . . Can you tell I hate laundry??

But I love having them home. I really do. Even with all the busy-ness and extra laundry. :)

In other words I'm struggling to find a balance here. In other-other words, this is a plea for help! Help! Any one have any tips for good time management when there is no extra time to be had?? Usually I feel like I have a good handle on time management, but not right now. I could use some tips. Please?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


6" x 6" acrylic on masonite panel
$65 plus $7 US or $15 International shipping

One of my mom's favorite stories to tell about me is the time I went to see our new doctor for the first time. I think I was about five years old. I remember sitting on that exam table that seemed so very tall, with my hands under my legs, listening to the paper covering crinkle under my fingers, and the swish of my legs swinging back and forth.

I don't remember much else, but I do remember what the doctor said. Or maybe I just remember my mother telling me about it.

He studied me, then finally he pushed his thick glasses further up his nose and looked at my mom. He took a deep breath then said, "She doesn't say much, but you can tell she's a thinker."

The little girl I painted reminds me of me when I was tiny. Always far away and thinking about something. I had dark hair as a kid too, and big chunky cheeks. :)


Monday, June 18, 2012


5" x 5" watercolor
$45 plus $7 US shipping or $15 Int.

I'm really excited right now about painting close-ups of eyes and faces, of all types. I guess it's something that I've always done, subconsciously focusing on the face and letting everything else sort of just not matter. But now I'm doing it consciously! Heh. :)

When I first saw this guy (who is an Eagle owl in case you were wondering) I was a little overwhelmed at all the details in his feathers, which were even more apparent in the photo when seen from this extreme close up. But once I actually started painting him I realized that it wasn't the feather details I was painting, but the pattern of color and lights and darks. There goes that subconscious mind of mine again making decisions for me. Pushy subconscious brain thinking it knows better than me. Hmph.

In any case, I think it worked out pretty well. :)

Photo reference by Amanda Richard. Thank you!! :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Pugsly Sketchbook Saturday

prismacolor on sketch paper

A little happy faced pug for Sketchbook Saturday. Doesn't he look positively blissful? I think he must be looking at the world's most giant hot dog. :)

Have a great weekend everyone!


P.S. I had a few questions about aquabord from the previous post which I tried to answer in the comments, but I'll do a more detailed post about what I've learned from it next week. Until then! May your paintbrushes obey your every whim!

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Sunny Spot

'The Sunny Spot'
8" x 10" watercolor on Aquaboard

Sunlight on baby skin is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. :)

A few years ago I spent an afternoon outside on a white puffy blanket with my baby, photographing him from every angle. I loved how he perched underneath his one chubby leg and looked so intently at everything around him. He had such a serious face. He was crawling at this age, but would not leave the borders of the blanket for fear of touching that dreaded, spiky grass.
And this painting has sealed the deal for how I feel about working with Aquaboard. It's tricky at first and I'm still getting used to it, but I keep looking at this painting's glossy surface (I spray varnished it so I can frame it without glass) and I just LOVE how bright the colors are and that they're right there in front of me. I have another painting planned for this Aquaboard that I'm about ready to start soon.

And I had a completely wonderful time with my husband on our little anniversary (twelve years of marriage WOOT!) getaway, and my computer is all better now thanks to the hard work of some good friends. HUZZAH!!

Thanks so much to all of you for your well wishes and always kind and generous comments, sometimes I don't know what I'd do without all my great bloggy friends. :))

See you soon everybody. :))

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cougar Sketchbook Saturday

Cougar sketch
dark brown prismacolor pencil in my sketchbook

I really love big cats. When we went to the zoo last month I spent way too much time in front of the tigers taking hundreds of photos of them. They are just so fascinating and beautiful. Although the photo I used for this sketch of a cougar is from an old reference book about North American wild cats.

I've also been getting some questions about why I use colored pencils for sketching so I thought I'd let you all know. :)

1. They don't smear and I like a tidy sketchbook. It is so aggravating to open my sketchbook and find graphite smudges all over the place. And by all over the place I also mean all over me. More than once after I've been drawing I look in the mirror and find I have pencil smudges all over my face.

And occasionaly, and unfortunately, I find this out from someone else. *embarrassing*

2. Colored pencils don't erase so they force you to place your marks confidently and accurately. And if you get it wrong? Tough puppy.

3. I just really like colored pencils. They feel buttery and smooth and they are just fun to use.

In other news my computer is giving me fits again so it's headed in to the doctor today. And I will be out of town during the early part of this week (Happy Anniversary to me and my husband, Huzzah!) so I won't be able to ship any paintings out until Wednesday, and I most likely won't be replying to any emails until then either. 

Unless you want to get an email from my mobile device that looks like this HU8%*ZAH :)

Have a great weekend everyone! See you next week! :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Puppy Stripes - sold

'Puppy Stripes' sold
6" x 6" watercolor on paper

For the last little while I've really been wanting to paint more faces that have interesting or unusual shadow patterns. And this week's Daily Paintworks challenge is stripes so I thought this was a pretty good fit. :)

I love the very design-y and graphic feel of the shadow stripes across her face contrasted with that very innocent and sweet puppy expression. The whole time I was painting her I kept thinking that this was a very 'serious' portrait, with the dramatic light and dark background, but then I would look at her eyes and her wrinkly forehead and floppy lips and then she didn't seem so serious after all.

I really like that, those contrasts and opposites together in a painting. And she looks so earnest don't you think? So willing to please. Just waiting to hear what you want her to do so she can do. Dogs are pretty much completely awesome. :)

And one last thing before I go, a really great artist friend featured me on her blog the other day. Her name is Heather Torres and I would love it if you could all go and meet her and follow her blog, she's kind of new in the blogiverse and you will like her I promise! :) Thanks for the spotlight Heather!
photo reference by Los Anheles, thank you!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dad's Love - sold

'Dad's Love'
6" x 9" watercolor - Sold

This painting was a commission for a special Father's Day gift. I love that sweet, sleeping baby, her whispy hair, and that tiny furrow in her brow that makes me wonder what thoughts her little infant head might be thinking while she dreams. But most of all I love that adoring look in Dad's eyes that says there is nothing more precious in his world than this little girl.

Being the mother of all boys myself, and watching a LOT of wrestling matches, lightsaber fights, and other such boy-ness going on between my husband and sons I've often wondered what it must be like for a father and a daughter. Does he feel more protective of her than his sons? Does he worry more about her the closer she gets to that dating age?

And the hormones, the crying, and the mood swings. Does it make him shake his head and ask himself, what is up with that??

Maybe one day I'll find out when my own son's grow up and have a daughter of their own.

That will be one spoiled little girl if this future Grandma (can't believe I just called myself that, I'm 31 people. . . 31!!) has anything to say about it.


Until Thursday! Huzzah!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Faerie Girl Sketchbook Saturday

Faerie girl sketchbook study

Just a little sketch of a pretty fae girl from a book cover that I really liked. I actually bought the book because of the cover. . . I do that a lot. I'm a visual person what can I say? The book is called Eyes Like Stars.

The girl in my sketch ended up looking like she has a bit more of an edge to her personality than the soft and gentle girl on the cover of the book. Maybe I was feeling edgy myself that day? Who knows.

In any case it was a fun drawing to do. Next I need to draw a fairy with wings or something super fantastic right?

Now I must go friends, my boy just woke up with a cough. A summer cold is no fun. No fun at all.

Hope you all have a good weekend and do something fun!

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