Monday, July 30, 2012

Gentleness - sold

6" x 6" oil on panel

Last week I received the most amazing gift in the mail from my dear friend Sandra Busby. I had talked of wanting to try oil paints and she had some water-soluble ones that she didn't want to use any more so she sent them to me. Isn't that sooo kind and generous?! I was thrilled when they arrived and couldn't wait to try them.

Monday mornings are usually busy, I end up having some paintings to pack and ship, and the resultant chaos from having my family home all weekend to clean up, but this morning I really needed to paint. So when my kids were busy cleaning their rooms I set up at the kitchen counter and painted away! It's kind of nice to have the kids big enough to clean up their own messes now. ;)

This is the first time I have ever painted with oils and although at times they were a little frustrating (just because I wasn't used to how they behave. . . like that they didn't dry super fast like acrylics) I really, really enjoyed them. :) I do think that I need to find a good medium to use with water soluble oils but I'm not sure which one. Does anyone have some good recommendations for me?

I can't wait to paint with them again! :)


Friday, July 27, 2012

Snuffles - sold

ACEO 2.5" x 3.5" colored pencil on bristol

I had to try the ACEO again. I think they are incredibly cute little miniature works of art. And it's such a challenge to draw that small, AND they get done fast! Zzzzzippp! Two-ish hours later and Finito!!

I like that. :)

And could someone please tell me if this is a French Bulldog or a Boston Terrier? Because I'm leaning toward French Bulldog, but I'm not a hundred percent certain. My son says Boston Terrier. He looked it up in his big ol' book of dogs. Either way that snuffly little nose is so cute. Just asking for a kiss right?

Happy weekend everyone. :) Huzzah!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kitty Windows sold

'Kitty Windows'
6" x 6" watercolor and gouache (but just a smidge)

Bright green eyes, saucy orange moustache, long white whiskers, super soft fur, and a cute little pink nose.

I really thought I might have something a little more. . . interesting to say about this painting, but I don't.

Just that cats are cute, and their eyes are SO beautiful and fun to paint.

And really, an orange moustache?! That's pretty awesome right there in and of itself don't you think?

Enough said. :)


photo reference by rogue sun media, thank you!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Considering - sold

'Considering' sold
6" x 9.5" watercolor

Earlier this summer we took our boys to the beach for the day. And since we live in Utah, without you know, an ocean or anything, we had to go to a lake. We live really close to the Great Salt Lake, which is not exactly the kind of lake you want to go swimming around in, but is really fun to visit and explore the beaches. 

In this area the water was really shallow, just a couple of inches over the sand, plenty of room for wading and doing other fun kid things. Like squishing your toes in the sand, or collecting little tiny shells, or smooth as glass rocks.

My youngest son was torn between wanting to stay close to me, and wanting to follow his brothers out further into the water. Especially after he had decided to be brave and clomp way out right into that lake when we very first arrived, only to have his sandals sink into the wet sand and get stuck.

He did not like that. Not. At. All. :)

Eventually, after much persuading from Dad, he decided to follow his brothers after all and explore out a little farther with them. But not until after much considering on his part!

Huzzah for being brave little Cook boy!!

This painting is my answer to mine and Carrie's (Carrie Waller click on her name to see her water painting) painting challenge which was, water. :)  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sliced - sold

'Sliced' sold
2.5" x 3.5" ACEO colored pencil

Decided to try something a little different this time. A smaller size (holy cow was that tricky!!), a different point of view, and a bit of an edgy feel to this portrait.

I kinda like the results. Although I don't know how often I will do these itty bitty pieces (do you have any idea how difficult it is to draw a face that small?) but it was fun, so I guess that means I will have to try these ACEO's again. One day. :)

This was last week's Daily Paintworks challenge, paint a miniature. And honestly I had no idea how hard it would be when I attempted it, or I probably would not have.

It seems to betray all logic that something so small was so blasted difficult doesn't it?

Yep. I thought so too. Have a good weekend everyone! Huzzah!

reference photo by Kelsey's love fusion on flickr, thank you!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Raven - sold

5" x 5" watercolor

Sometimes I tell myself that I need to have these big, grand ideas for paintings with meaning and substance that will change society and make an impact with all who sees it.

But I only tell myself that maybe once a decade or so. :) The rest of the time I am happy to paint what I'm drawn to, whether that's a particular look that a model has, or the shape of their face, or as in this case the color of their hair. I've never painted blue hair before. It was fun. :)

And every time I see a woman with blue hair (which is really not all that often. . . surprisingly) I always think of Karou from Laini Taylor's book (and my top favorite three books of all time) 'Daughter of Smoke and Bone.'

“Karou wished she could be the kind of girl who was complete unto herself, comfortable in solitude, serene. But she wasn't. She was lonely, and she feared the missingness within her as if it might expand and...cancel her. She craved a presence beside her, solid. Fingertips light at the nape of her neck and a voice meeting hers in the dark."

reference photo by psylight on Deviant Art

Until Saturday my friends! :) Huzzah!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Icy Eyes - sold

'Icy eyes' sold
3" x 5" colored pencil on bristol

So. . . I'm kind of in love with my colored pencils right now. I used to think that I could only draw really large and complex pieces with colored pencils. I don't know why because I haven't ever really thought like that about watercolor. But then I thought, why? Why not just do a small piece and focus on what you want to draw the most? Which in this case was this sweet puppy's icy blue eyes and shiny fur.

And so I did. And it was fun. And now I'm addicted to doing these small portraits in colored pencil. I'm adding this to my series of eyes (and I use the term 'series' very loosely here) and hope to paint more. The eyes are always my favorite part of every painting or drawing I do.

Now I must go and cuddle up on the couch with a blanket and my youngest little boy (who has a summer cold. Bummer) and listen to the rain fall on our roof. It's been so long since we've gotten any rain and I love it! Huzzah!!

See you soon friends. :)

photo reference by cogdogblog on flickr

Oh yeah, and is another pic I took for my etsy shop of this drawing. I got the idea from Carol Blackburn who suggested I set my painting up on an easel. Why that never occured to me I'll never know, so thank you Carol for giving me the idea! :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Vintage Lady - sketchbook Saturday

prismacolor in my sketchbook
from a vintage black and white photo

This sketch is actually from a few months ago and I already posted it to my facebook fan page but realized I never posted it over here.

If you look close at her nose you can see that initially I had it totally in the wrong place, but kept drawing anyway, even though you can stilll see my goof. :) For sketching I think it's really important to not worry about mistakes, but to just get your initial impression down as quick as you can. I think it really helps to record the first impulse you feel for your subject. Any one else have any thoughts about that?

Happy weekend all! Huzzah!

Reference photo by Ky Olsen

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


11" x 18" watercolor - sold
private commission

I started this painting thinking that it would be a complete breeze. First of all because the little boy is darling, and secondly because the lighting was right in the photo reference, his features were clear with a great sparkle in his eye. And, and, it was a only a close up of the little boy's face.

Easy peasy I told myself.

Well. . . I was wrong. It was not easy and I spent most of the week agonizing over the proper colors to glaze on top of each other and if I had the shape of his lips right. The mouth is always the hardest part for me.

But, now that it's over and I'm standing back looking at it, I really like. It turned out well, and most importantly my client already told me that she loves it.

What else can I ask for? A challenge to tackle, the feeling of success of pushing on and not quitting, and a happy client.

Not a thing, that's what.

Now I think I shall go have a cupcake to celebrate. No, no I better have two, I will eat one in your honor and pretend that you are here to celebrate with me. :)


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Lashes Sketchbook Saturday and some Huzzahs

I started this little sketch in the car (I swear I do my best sketching there, it's almost like I can't sketch anywhere else!) yesterday, trying to be quick and expressive. I never erase these sketches in my sketchbook either, what you see is exactly what I lay down the first time I touch pencil to paper, which perhaps explains why they aren't exactly perfect, but I like that.

By the time I had to stop drawing in the car I had finished her face and just barely laid in a few strokes to suggest her hair.I should have left it as it was. I came home and filled in the rest of her hair and I wished I hadn't. I really think it would have been better to just keep my initial impression of her instead of filling in every last detail.

A good lesson to learn to translate to my paintings I think. Stick with my initial impressions! Don't go back in and over work! Something I say over and over again when I teach workshops. Ah well, lesson learned. :)

Happy Saturday all! :)


Had a question from LW Roth who asked me what I mean by shouting Huzzah all the time, I wrote a blog post about it some time ago, but here in a nutshell is what it means:
huz·zah also huz·za (h-zä)
interj. n.
Used to express joy, encouragement, or triumph.
1. A shout of "huzzah."
2. A cheer.
There you have it, and so I leave you with yet another. . .  Huzzah!! :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Flawless - sold

'Flawless' sold
6" x 6.5" colored pencil on Bristol

The other day I really wanted to draw a portrait where the features were the focus and the skin tones were very light. This is what I came up with. I like how it draws your attention to her eyes, which are always my favorite part to draw or paint.

I usually start with the eyes when I draw in colored pencil, but then I get bored with the rest of the drawing and quit after a while, so this time I was a good girl and drew her hair and the base of her skin tones before I drew her eyes. :)

This drawing is also my loose interpretation of another character from Cassandra Clare's book series The Mortal Instruments. This is close to how I imagine Clary Fray. 

And I've been experimenting with taking different photos of my artwork for my Etsy shop listings. Etsy gives you five different spaces (I think) for different photos of whatever you're listing so the viewer can see it from different angles. Here are a couple me and my son did today:

What do you think? You guys have any other ideas for photos I could take? I'd love some suggestions.

Reference photo by Katlinn Lewis, thank you!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The house with the red door - sold

'The House With The Red Door' - sold
8" x 10" watercolor
private commission

Don't you just love that red door? I do too. :) This is another commission. This one is of the home a Dad and his daughter lived in for 25 years. She contacted me and asked if I'd be able to paint a portrait of this house so she could give it to her Dad as a gift.

I don't do a lot of buildings. Actually I think this is probably only the second house I've ever painted. It was a good change of pace. But what I really liked painting were the trees. I've been wanting to paint plein aire for a long time, and now I want to give it a try even more. I have these grand plans of getting up early one Saturday morning and heading out. . . Haven't done it yet, but I will! One day. :)


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