Monday, November 30, 2009

TMC #11, Tennis Shoes

 Tennis Shoes
5" x 7"

At the end of 20 minutes I have one almost finished shoe and sock and one unfinished.  I really enjoyed painting this. Before painting this, I took the time to study the shoes and socks so that when the timer was turned on, I was ready to paint.  That is one of the lessons I'm learning - study and plan first, then paint.  I had good intentions of beginning the day with the TMC but here it is, 9:00 p.m.  Hopefully my good intentions will be filled with tomorrow's TMC posted early.. 

Today was filled with working on a graphite portrait.  I have four to do before Christmas and won't be posting any of them until after Christmas.  Don't want to spoil the surprises.   Plus, I want to join in the portrait project at the colorwatercolor group.  

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Implements of the trade, painted on 2 1/2" x 4" 300# Arches wc paper.  I quickly sketched in the shapes and began laying in color.  I didn't have enough time to get the kneaded eraser in that was placed between the green pencil and the pencil sharpener, overlapping the sharpener.  Just use your imagination and place it there lol. 

Friday, November 27, 2009


3 1/4" x 3 5/8"
Watercolor & Gouache
Arches 300# Cold Press paper

Cuties are a brand of very small oranges which I thought would be quite sweet.  I liked the size and the color so arranged them on a piece of paper this morning and began painting.  The first photo shows the painting at the end of 20 minutes.  I like the fresh look of the whole oranges.  I knew when I began this that I would keep painting rather than stop at the end of 20 minutes and do not consider this as part of the Twenty Minute Challenge.

The 2nd photo shows the finished painting.  I had to use white gouache on bits of the orange slices and on the orange peels.  Then I decided to scrub out the orange peels with a bristle brush.  I like the look of the peelings much better now. 

TMC#9, Harmonica

5" x 5" Watercolor & Ink
Arches 300# paper

This is a toy harmonica which came in a colorful purple box with yellow lettering.  Didn't have time to paint the yellow. 

I hope everyone created some good memories yesterday.  I decided to take the day off and didn't paint or draw.  Does that mean I have to paint two TMC's today???

Waking up at midnight, wide awake, did some doodling from the Loomis .pdf's.  I also drew circles, going over the same circle trying to not go off the original line.  Try it, this takes practice.  According to Michael at, this will create better hand/pencil control. 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

May your Thanksgiving & All Year Be Blessed & An Oldie

This barn was drawn in charcoal for my sister three years ago and I may have posted this before.  (We all know how memories are.)  It is reminiscent of the old barn on the place where her husband was raised.   I haven't taken the time yet to do the 20 minute challenge nor drawn anything.  Being Thanksgiving it may be later before any artwork is done. 

I want to take this opportunity to wish each of you a most bountiful life with peace in your heart & soul.  

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

TMC #8

The flowers were picked from the flower bed outside my door.  I think they are crysanthemums.  I get so tickled because the first thing I zoom in on are things I would change, such as the water line.  It is a little lopsided.  I wonder what would happen if I took the time to sketch the bowl first? 

What do I like about this?  I like the freshness  and the variety of yellows in the flowers.  I didn't take the time to paint or shape the petals so they look like any flower rather than crysanthemums.  I have to admit that this is the way I enjoy painting flowers, so that is what I learned today. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

TMC #7

I painted the pipe and the Prince Albert tobacco pouch because they remind me of my step-father and brought back lots of pleasant memories.  I had a late start painting today's TMC and I didn't plan it or paint it very well. 

The peroxide bottle is almost kissing the edge of the Prince Albert and the shadows are all over the place.  Need a few lights on the Prince Albert pouch and pipe plus the edges need to be sharpened on the bottle.  I may have to paint this one again  sometime down the road.  So now you know what I learned from this. .  .  plan better and don't put darks against darks or near values. 

Monday, November 23, 2009

TMC (Twenty Minute Challenge) #6

This morning's sketch is of a sweatshirt jacket with the wrong side facing out, hanging on a closet door.  Again, on 5" x 7" watercolor paper using a water soluble graphite pencil.

Last night, I practiced figure drawing a bit without measuring.  I'm determined to show the good and the bad and believe me, these two are way out of proportion.  I used a reference photo from  I am a member and read and try to practice a lot of what is being taught.  I know these sketches/drawings don't do his teaching justice but someday!  There are small areas in each one that I like though.  These were drawn with watersoluble graphite on computer paper. Each of these are 20 minute drawings.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Daily 20 Minute Challenge #5

I decided to paint these grapes before they were eaten for the 5th 20 minute challenge.  Again, I used a bit of ink.  I was just working on the tabletop shadows when the buzzer rang, so I had to stop.    I took time to dry the paper too.  Next time though, I won't do that because I could have used that time to define the clusters a bit more and lighten and softened some of the cast shadows.  

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Daily 20 Minute Challenge #4 & Foreshortening

These 20 minute challenges are quite fun and interesting.  I am painting these on 5" x 7" watercolor paper and dating them so I can see what progress was made through the length of the challenge.   This morning's painting is from a set up of a package of crackers placed on round ceramic palette.  I was concentrating on the angles of the packaging and the subtle color shining through the paper.  I wanted to be sure that the tiny pin holes in the crackers came through because they help define the object.  I'm learning to look at the objects as a flat color and shape against a white background.  That can give one a better idea of the angles and curves of the overall setup pattern.  Next I was trying to be more aware of the darker areas as that sets the objects firmly on the ground surface and gives contrast to the lighter areas, which helps to create form.

Last night after finishing the 20 minute painting of the palettes and brushes, I watched a tutorial on foreshortening at  Below are squiggles done as I tried to absorb the information from the tutorial.  I used a Ritmo charcoal 3B pencil on newsprint to sketch these.  I really like that pencil and will have to get more.  It doesn't have the dust that regular charcoal pencils have.  Maybe it has a wax base??

Friday, November 20, 2009

Daily 20 Minute Challenge #3

I had to make myself paint the 20 minute challenge as I'm tired after a busy day.  I wasn't sure what to paint then decided to paint a plastic watercolor palette and some of the round ceramic dishes filled with watercolors because they were so cheerful and colorful, along with a few brushes . 

I laid in the watercolor then put on the ink.  Everything is out of round and out of perspective.  The question at the end of the challenge is always, "what did I learn from this?"  I learned that I have a tendency to scribble, going over and over a line.  The other thing is I need to know more about painting wet in wet because there isn't time for the paint to dry. 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Daily 20 Minute Challenge

This morning's warm up is a 3 1/2" x 4" watercolor.  I set up in front of the East window, a small glass bowl with water and a paint brush sitting on a Viva paper towel. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Same Figure, Conte Pencil

I'm still trying to come to grips with drawing the figure using the same pose from Wet Canvas Figure Forum Workshop 4.  I'm trying to find which way works best for me in getting the measurements/proportions correct. This time I more or less used the head length to measure the width and length of the body segments, as well as just eyeballing it.  The thoughts running through my head . . . hmm that doesn't look quite right so if I lift that or fill in this. . .   You get the picture lol.  The hands are terrible in this sketch, especially the left one and the forearm doesn't have any volume to it.  Amazing what one sees once the photo is posted.  

Foliage, Twenty Minute Challenge

5" x 6"

I have decided to join the Twenty Minute Challenge hosted by Katharine Cartwright.   I feel the 20 minutes devoted to this challenge is a good way to warm up.  Not only that, it will help me to learn to paint the essentials instead of focusing on details. 

Using a photo imaging program, I decreased the reds and increased the greens.  I think this more accurately reflects the watercolor.  

In this small warm-up, my concentration was on the colors I saw in the hillside as I looked out my East window.  I wanted to express the essence of what I was seeing.  The yellows are muted but light and lively.   I also omitted the houses as my focus was on nature and not man-made objects. Next time, I will put in some of the houses.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Measuring Practice

Just doing the measuring, erasing, and reapplying charcoal took me 135 minutes.  Am I slow or what ha ha.  I will start over and do this again.  Practice, using angles, areas that line up, such as the nose with the back of the right heel, using head length to measure portions of the body, and the envelope (the lines enclosing the figure) all contribute to being able to see better the proportions of the figure or any subject, for that matter.  By using the envelope one can check positioning and negative spaces. 

The reference photo used is from the Wet Canvas Figure Workshop 4.   The goal is to get a fairly accurate line drawing then do the modeling of the figure - all within an hour or so.  I have lots and lots of practice to do before I can do this within an hour.  The great thing is I get so lost in the effort that time just flies by.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Charooal Sketch

18" x 24" charcoal on newsprint.

I've spent the afternoon playing with charcoal using a reference photo from Wet Canvas Figure Forum Workshop 4. My measurements are way off but doing sketches like this does help to become more familiar with the figure in the photo. The goal is to do an hour timed drawing using charcoal, trying to get correct measurements and tonal quality. Nervous about doing it right?? You bet, but I am thoroughly enjoying myself.

Carol Update, Comparison Photos

I worked on Carol's drawing before she took it with her this morning. As you can see I deepened the shadows which slenderized her face more, moved in the hair line just a bit on each side and added more height to her hair at the top. I think the hair line around the face is reading better, don't you. Now this looks like Carol. Thanks for looking!

Next, Lawrence's wife requested I darkened his hair on his drawing just a bit. Will get that done so it can be delivered tomorrow. Here is a photo of Lawrence holding his drawing. It isn't the best photo but it certainly captured his pleasure with his present.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Carol, Graphite Portrait

9" x 11 1/4"
Bristol Board Smooth

Last Friday was Carol's birthday. I worked all day Friday on a drawing only to have it turn out not resembling her at all. So this morning I started this second portrait. This one does look like her but I will set it aside until tomorrow so I can look at it with a fresh eye to see if there needs to be more changes. Luckily I have until late tomorrow afternoon to make any corrections.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lawrence Portrait Update

I wasn't really happy with the portrait so I posted it in the Wet Canvas Portrait Forum and Ken Tiessen gave an excellent critique and showed, by photos, where I was off with the drawing. So last night I worked on the portrait until 1 a.m. and it looks much, much more like Lawrence.

As can be seen in the comparison, I widened the width of his jaw and neck just a bit and narrowed the shape of his forehead. Also narrowed his eyes and raised the right eye just a little. I still need to raise his left nostril just a tad but overall I am pleased with the resemblance.

I know Lawrence will definitely recognize himself and think he will be pleased with his present.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I went back into the drawing this afternoon and made a few changes which can be seen in the top photo. By scrolling up and down between the two photos a comparison can be made and the changes are fairly obvious, I think .

7" x 9"
Bristol Smooth

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Graphite Portrait, WIP

I'm doing a drawing as a belated birthday present for one of my brothers. So far I have used a 2H pencil, working on a smooth, white Bristol Board surface. I'm using a hard pencil because I want the initial lay in to be fairly light so corrections can be more easily made.

In the photo above, most of the placement is correct. There are still corrections to be made on the left ear and the neck area has been giving me fits. I also want to check the shape of the mouth as I think it is a bit off. The reference photo I am using was taken outside so has good contrasts.

As seen in the photo below, I began the drawing with the eyes, then using those to measure against the length of the nose and placement of the mouth. That is probably backwards from what is normal. I like to think of it as drawing from the inside out.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Southern Utah Rock Formation, Watercolor

Thanks to Susan from Painting Friends for the photo. 7" x 9" watercolor on Fabriano Aristico watercolor paper.

Sketching Features Practice

Yesterday did a few practice sketches in between cleaning and sorting this room. It is hard for me to paint or draw when everything is in chaos. I watched the excellent tutorials at These are rough sketches as I try to embed in my brain the shapes of each feature. One of the most difficult for me to draw are both eyes, keeping them level with the iris the same size. Then there is the nose, looking at each plane, what turns under, which plane is catching the light, etc.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Chatter & Childhood Photo

I keep thinking I will paint this old photo. It is still on my "want to paint" list.

Early this morning I was watching a drama show about missing children. The show portrayed one child getting preferential attention because of race. It made me very sad to think that race plays a part when children are missing as to which case gets priority. Hopefully, it was just a show and not the true case in real life. Because of what I was feeling, I wrote the following - it may be idealistic but don't we need the hope of a better or more loving way of thinking about ourselves and others? I do feel a little bit awkward posting this as I don't often write or share so publicly my thoughts about race or life.

We all bleed red

we all cry
we all laugh
we work, we play
in different ways
we lose, we win
we all have different
we all have beliefs
different perhaps
but still we believe
we have options,
make choices
some right, some wrong
we are different,
yet the same
we are the human race
we all bleed red

by Ann Buckner Krug 2009

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Joyce Portrait

In Loving Memory of my sister
5" x 7"
Oils on Panel

The reference photo I used had her in a suit but I changed it to a t-shirt as she was a very athletic person at one time. She loved sports of all kinds.