Category Archives: Illustrations

Day 27, daily painting challenge

I’ve been pretty busy the last few weeks. I am grateful that Jim likes to cook, otherwise I may have starved!

Today I finished an abstract landscape, that we see a lot at camp. We are so far down in the ravine that, in places, when you look up you can’t see the sky. You see this glorious green glow from the leaves and deep, dark branches. I did a watercolor underpainting for this one. I am not convinced it was necessary, although it made the pastel painting portion very quick.

the canopy, 12×18, pastel, 5 January, 2019

 

I have been meaning to finish the last painting in a series for my daughter, and was able to get that done. I am really pleased with how it turned out.

Roses for Rosie, 5×7, paste, 4 January, 2019

 

While my nose was running yesterday and my ears were clogged about all I could handle was a less than stellar landscape. I feel better today and on second look decided I really like the color combination and will use that again.

first snow, 5×7, pastel, 4 January 2019

 

I also got squirreled by zentangles, they are amazing aren’t they! I spent many evenings over the holidays working on these two. I love them and want to do more!

zentangle1, December 2018

zentangle 2, January 2019

Tis the Season

Santas helpers


It’s been a great month since we left the Little White House. We have spent our time visiting family and friends. To the point that some of them may be tiring of putting us up and feeding us! We have not been able to spend this much time in several years.

Although this has been great for us, it hasn’t been as good for my art. I am not as confident as I should be to draw in front of others and I always feel selfish when I take time to draw instead of socialize. Drawing and painting demand my full attention.

I have set myself a few goals and am working on being a better artist, I am also going to enjoy these holidays by collecting as many hugs as I can! 

Wishing a blessed holiday season and peace to all

Blessed in the City of Brotherly Love

A Billy Joel concert with the fam was an early birthday present! The show fabulous! The scenery gorgeous (and crazy clean for the Democratic Nation Convention)!

I am really enjoying being closer to family. Can’t explain what it is like, seeing these people once a year on a good year for the past 28 years and suddenly able to go play for a night and skip out the door the next morning knowing I will see them again in a week or two is surreal.

I also am truly enjoying the time I’ve had to paint. I have had a few really bad days where I question why I bother, but most days are good. I keep attempting images way beyond my ability and am pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Ideas for next images flow faster than I can write them down, I think about painting tomorrow when I lay down at night, dream about it and wake up ready to go. Crazy, incredible opportunity I have been given!

Billy!

Billy!

 

Waiting for Billy!

 

Liberty Bell with Independence Hall behind, 9 x 12 pastel painting on Strathmore pastel paper

Liberty Bell with Independence Hall behind, 9 x 12 pastel painting on Strathmore pastel paper

 

Breakfast, 5 x 7 pastel painting on carson watercolor paper

Breakfast, 5 x 7 pastel painting on carson watercolor paper

Pittsburgh in June

Some images from a quick trip to Pittsburgh, PA

7 x 10 #2 Pencil on Carson mixed media paper

Buddies – 7 x 10 #2 Pencil on Carson mixed media paper, drawn July 11, 2016

 

7 x 10 Watercolor on Carson mixed media paper

Buddies 2 – 7 x 10 Watercolor on Carson mixed media paper, painted July 12, 2016

 

7 x 10, soft chalk pastel on Carson mixed media paper

Cloud Arbor, Buhl Community Center – 7 x 10, soft chalk pastel on Carson mixed media paper, painted July 13, 2016

 

7 x 10, Soft Chalk Pastel on Carson mixed media paper

Duquesne Incline – 7 x 10, Soft Chalk Pastel on Carson mixed media paper, painted July 13, 2016

The incline is a must when in Pittsburg, it never gets old. I found this drawing in a sketch book a day or so after I finished the pastel painting. Made me happy!

After a trip to the Incline in 2012

After a trip to the Incline in 2012

Collaboration

On good days I get texts with ‘doodles’. These doodles come from a young man (my son) who is a dynamo with a pencil, albeit unbeknownst to himself. It doesn’t matter what kind of paper or the drawing implement, and the subject matter is completely out of his head, sometimes light and happy, sometimes a bit disturbing. Either way, I love to get these texts, they just make me happy.

Several months ago I printed a few of these images with the intention of adding color, just because he won’t and it would be fun!

Finally I have the time to work on this…here is our first collaboration!

Original artwork by Carl Mayou

 

Collaborative piece

Collaborative piece

 

Change of perspective

Needed to get out from under the leaves today! I have been drawing from inside the leaves for days now.

We took a walk along the river to the spot where we make phone calls. Spent a few hours catching up with the family and took a picture. Then I was able to spend the entire afternoon painting a different landscape than I have in a while. Changed the medium I used as well. Instead of the soft pastels I got out my colored pencils. So much fun! I would like to do this scene in pastels, but it was a good change.

Tried to layer and blend the colors; will need to work on it to get a good feel for the pencils. Probably surf the web for some techniques and ideas, but it is a start.

Painting by the fire

Painting by the fire

 

Allegheny River, near Shull Run 9 x 12 Derwent Pencils on Strathmore Drawing Paper

Allegheny River, near Shull Run
9 x 12 Derwent Pencils on Strathmore Drawing Paper

Memorial Day Tribute

A small token of my gratitude for those who served and sacrificed their lives for Freedom.

No Thank You could be enough for those who gave their lives for our freedom or their families. In my humble opinion everyday should be Memorial Day – Always Remembered, Always Honored.

Jim put our flag up on Thursday and since then I have been looking at the scene knowing I needed to paint it for Memorial Day. The trees form an arch over the flag, that make you appreciate this great nation everytime you look at it. But I was very apprehensive, I have just started painting again and am not confident nor do I feel like my skills match the task of a Memorial Day Tribute painting. Memorial Day, however isn’t about me, it is about those who have given everything for their country. A tribute to them really doesn’t need to be perfect, just heartfelt, so this morning I made myself get out my pastels and paint. I spent almost 4 hours with the pre-drawing and underpainting, but I have to admit that I am pleased with the painting – pleased enough to call it a tribute and share it.

I tried a black and white pre-drawing today, to make sure the composition worked but also that I had the dark and light areas set and that they had a nice flow.

Black and white pre-drawing

Black and white pre-drawing

I did use contrasting colors for the underpainting which I really enjoyed, I think it helped make the colors I was using pop.

Watercolor underpainting

Watercolor underpainting

In the final painting I tried a new technique for the leaves on the branches, going back to a basic stroke to show direction verses lines and areas to show depth. I like this a much better. With such large areas of green, when I painted for depth it was difficult to tell what went with what branch or tree. I will continue to work on this technique and see what I can do with it.

2016 Memorial Day 9 x 12 Strathmore Pastel Paper

2016 Memorial Day
9 x 12
Strathmore Pastel Paper

The Crooked Tree

I actually did a pre-drawing, wanted to make sure my composition and color scheme worked. This drawing was done on very smooth cheap drawing paper with pastels only. It was very helpful and I like it almost as much as the finished painting.

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This is also the first painting that I have used a watercolor underpainting for. I love the technique. My underpainting was very literal for this one as I have limited greens and browns in my pastel arsenal. I was using the watercolors to expand my color palette. However, in the future I think it will be fun to use the underpainting for contrast and depth – I see it in my head!

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I have decided that leaves stink to render and that my next purchase will be a landscape pastel set, it is difficult to capture trees without more options. I also think in my next painting I will try signing my name with a pastel pencil so it isn’t so large and chunky.

The Crooked Tree 9 x 12 Watercolor paper

The Crooked Tree
9 x 12 – watercolor paper