Thursday, September 8, 2016

"My Dragon Eye" - Colored Pencil on Paper


This is a new WIP done in Colored Pencils, based on a beautiful painting made by Christopher Drochen called "The Jade Spring" which is the close up of a leopard's eye which is simply stunning. I wanted to practice technique by copying another artist, yet changing it as well just for fun, so mine will be a dragon's eye in the end, rather than a leopard. 

My boys and I have been watching the Netflix series "Dragon's Race to the Edge," which is everything that happened between "How to Train Your Dragon" 1 & 2, so I have dragons on the brain like crazy! I'm just stuck on what color to make it, so if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

Oh, and here's Drochon's gorgeous painting (or rather part of it - it's a little bigger but the image is in my book, and I don't want to ruin how beautiful it is by showing the crease...):

It's so pretty, and as you can see I changed it a bit, but definitely have to give him the credit! He's an excellent Painter!!!


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

"Feeling A Bit Unraveled" - A Colored Pencil Painting of A Peeled Orange in High Contrast

"Feeling a Bit Unraveled"     2.5" x 3.5" (ACEO)     Prismacolors and White Gel Pen on Acrylic Paper



Matting and Framing Options

So I absolutely LOVE works of art that are done in high contrast, so when Lela Stankovic posted the reference photo for this piece on her blog site, "Paint And Draw Together," I just about went giddy with excitement! It reminds me of the works done by the old Masters - well, her photograph does anyways... I tried as hard as I could to do it justice, and found that working on such a minitiature scale required a different way of getting in my bright white highlights, and oh did I stumble upon the best tool ever! I never would have thought to use this over colored pencils because I just wouldn't think it would actually draw on top of them, especially with how wonderfully waxy Prismacolors are, but earlier this week I had done a Tangle on a Black Tile with a White Gel Pen and I thought, hey, why not try it out? And it worked out so perfectly for what I was hoping for that I just wanted to dance a little happy dance right then and there, even if it was the middle of the night (added bonus - everyone was asleep so no one would see me making a fool of myself - smart, right?!). =0) Before the whites were so dingy and dull, and now they sparkle with a brightness that's just how I pictured them. I love it when things work out that way!

Oh how I hope you are having a wonderful day today. I'm nursing my sore gums - I had an oral surgery last week to remove a molar that was so extremely painful - it had an abscess in it for over a month and yet our dentist, who's no longer our dentist, kept dragging his feet to even see me for it. The new dentist we have now is so incredible - their surgeons are so kind - and even though it took a long time in coming, I'm glad I waited because I got better care in the end. Turns out my roots are so long they actually go into my sinuses (crazy, right? Only me, only me... I seem to be the "it only happens to the 1 in 1 million" person - though I imagine this is more common than that) that they had to do a bone and membrane graft as well, which is so weird. I feel like I'm starting to become a little Mrs. Frankenstein - made up of more of other people's parts than my own... Lol! Oh man, you just have to laugh at this stuff, it's so ridiculous! =D Well, I'm gonna go paint and try to not eat all the ice-cream in the house - it just feels so good on my gums right now - so I bid you farewell. I'm almost done taking the last pics of that painting "Hospitali-tea" with the Mice and Chipmunk having tea under the Mushroom so I'll be posting that soon, so keep your eyes open for that! Alright, bye now! =)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

"Teal Owl" Coloring Book Page

Lately I have been absolutely enamored with all the beautiful Stress Reducing Adult Coloring Books that they have been making these days. I have the feeling 2016 will be remembered as the year of the Adult Coloring book they have become so popular! I honestly want to design my own some day soon - how fun would that be? But for now, there is so much joy and peace I find in relaxing and sitting down to color, and the greatest gift they've given back to me, an unexpected gift from God, is that my boys come join me. They got so excited about them that they ended up wanting their own, and so we found some really cute Star Wars ones at Costco for them. So now I have the joy of pulling out my Prismacolors and having my little loves surround me, and of course they want to use mommy's pencils, because let's face it, Prismacolors are just the best! So we all color together, and it's like a little taste of Heaven here on earth. Praise the Lord - little things like this make me feel so blessed!

Teal Owl from "Midnight Garden Coloring Book"
I chose this particular color palette because frankly, I absolutely just love these colors. Teal, coral, just about every shade of blue, lime green, mint green, deep forest green and a touch of purple and hot pink - ooh, they just tickle my senses and make me smile deep down inside myself! I wish I had added a few more blueish and purpleish  flowers up top, but all in all I like how it turned out for my first page. I have to admit, I was actually nervous about messing it up, but the farther in I got the more I let loose and just enjoyed myself, and that's when I started seeing how it really does help relieve stress. So if you're in debate about whether or not to buy one of these books, I say go for it (and they are way cheaper on Amazon than at Barnes and Nobles - with a huge selection as well). Well, I hope you're having a great time out there my friends, and let me know if you're a fellow colorer too and if so, what book is your favorite - I always love hearing back from you! =0)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

"Hospitali-tea" - A Sneak Peak at a Commissioned Painting Series based on a Children's Farmhouse Theme

Flower and Butterfly Detail from "Hosptitali-tea"     16" x 20"     Acrylic on Linen
 
Oh what joy I've found in doing this project that was commissioned by my church's Antioch campus for their youth department. It's something I get to do alongside one of my best friends, which makes it all the more exciting to do, and the theme is "Welcome to the Farm," which as you can imagine is right up my alley!

I'm having a blast with the imaginative process of this commission - and the fact that in the end there will be such a large number of works to add to my portfolio is a massive plus! At first all I felt was overwhelmed by the idea of jumping into something like this, but I knew God wanted me doing it, despite how hard it could and would end up being, both related to time and physical effort. But somewhere along the line, He showed me the true blessing of it all- that all the artwork I'd done in my whole life had built up to this moment where I could give back to something far greater than myself - where I could give back to my church and more importantly serve my Creator. He showed me the story of Behaliel and Oholiab, two master craftsmen who were gifted in many different trades in the arts, so that they would one day be able to build the temple, God's resting place, and make it a place of sheer beauty befitting the greatest King ever! I don't know if you know the pure, unadulterated joy of creating with the very one who created you, but it's beyond spectacular, trust me on this!!!

I've prayed so often that God would allow me to become gifted like those special men in that way, that I might be able to serve Him with it, and I have seen such growth in the moments when He takes the wheel and steers for me. It's like you get lost in this creative zone, and if someone were to ask you how to do it again, honestly, I'm not sure I could, because it was so thoughtless, so "in the moment" - almost like I'm floating on air and I'm not even in control at all, but that God IS, that I'd be hard pressed to recreate the exact same thing again. I think that's partly why I never did well doing my work in school settings - I could never ever get totally lost in it, and that's when I do my best. Same thing around certain people - I have to be insanely comfortable with you to be able to paint - otherwise I fidget and get nothing done, it's the oddest thing. I wonder, do any of you out there struggle with this in your own art, from photography to graphic design, it doesn't matter what it is, but do you ever feel this way too? I'd love to hear from you!

I've still got a long way to go before I'm finished with this project, and this here painting is only a few brush strokes itself away from being done, (these little butterfly pictures are just a little sneak peak at it) but I have a feeling I've found my calling for sure! It's definitely children's books and illustrations for me that lie in my future - now I just have to figure out how to get discovered! Hhhhmmmm.... That could be interesting...

Well, I really hope you have a wonderful night (or day for my far away friends) and if you ever hear of someone needing an artist for their new children's or fantasy book, maybe you could send them my way... Hey, a girl can hope, right?

Butterfly Detail on "Hospitali-tea"     16" x 20"       Acrylic on Linen

Sunday, January 17, 2016

"The Appaloosa of the Woods" - A Colored Pencil Painting


"The Appaloosa of the Woods"     2.5" x 3.5"     Colored Pencil on Paper (ACEO)
SOLD

I've been trying to post for days now but oh bother, the last few days have just been torturous for me! It's funny, I'm stuck in this irony of needing and desiring desperately to pray for rain because we need it so desperately after all these years of drought, but praying for rain is for me literally means I'm praying for insane, and I mean INSANE, amounts of pain. It's a bummer, because I'm finally starting  to get used to feeling almost human again (Praise the Lord oh my soul - how good it feels to be able just to sit down and help my kids with their homework, or play with them a little, or clean, or even cook for the first time in 5 years!!! My soul sings it's praises to my King for blessings like these that most people, including my former self, take for granted and even dread doing!) that I keep wanting to push myself and it ends up in disaster. All the atmospheric pressure changes and the fluctuations between rainy, sunny, cloudy, misty, rainy, and sunny all over again in this loop that goes on and on cause my body to freak out and I go into this spiral of chronic sleep, agonizing charley horses that are so bad they bring me down screaming and now my calves and thighs are in constant spasm from them - oh how that hurts - you've no idea!

Even with everything I know on how to manage pain and with the blessings that come from modern medicine, my body still goes into somatic reactions because the levels get so ridiculously high for me to handle and I end up passing out. Ty's become quite the pro at seeing the symptoms before they happen at times, and can either guide me to the couch in time or catch me mid-air falling (that's always fun! - sarcasm here)... But when he's not around, it's downright scary and dangerous, and I've hit quite a few interesting things and landed in some odd positions - some not so comfortable when I wake up hours later. And since when I pass out it's usually not just for a few seconds or minutes but hours on end, it's been a very interesting ride for us around here. But once again, God has proven so faithful and good to us, and blessed us though a friend with a very nice CPAP machine to keep me breathing (and living essentially) while I'm passed out for hours at a time which is quite common. And Paula, if you're reading this, I am forever grateful to you for the machine you gave me - it's literally saved my life a number of times as proven in my follow up session with the sleep therapists where we got to look up the log and see how long I stopped breathing for - it's so crazy and gave me a whole new respect for the machine. I don't hesitate to wear it anymore after that sesh, that's for sure! So thank you my friend - you are literally a life-saver!

And yes, while all this isn't much fun for me and it's hard to have a great attitude during flares like this, where I'm sleeping so much of the time and get so lonely when I am up because that's usually when everyone else is asleep, since it's 3 or 4am, I know in my heart that I need to try my hardest to live like Christ and have the best attitude possible. So I've been trying to keep myself busy by coloring - painting has been a bit harder to do as of late, but I try to do it as much as I can when I can - and I ended up with this little horse trotting through the wildflowers in the woods. I wanted the lighting to be ephemeral, and was able to get it that way a little bit, but not as much as I'd envisioned. I still really like how it turned out though, and it ended up being a study for a totally different painting I am working on right now, well, as soon as I finish writing anyways. So, I must go and get to work and I hope and pray for all of you sufferers out there with terrible conditions no matter what they are that today would be a day of reprieve for you from your symptoms. That God would hold you in His mighty arms and heal you, even if just for a day or two, so you can feel some comfort and joy in what can be such a depressing and lonely place. I wish you ALL a wonderful day, and God bless!

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Mysterious "Pastel Mountaintops"

"Pastel Mountaintops"     3" x 5"     Pastel on Paper
This "pastel painting" as it were (I never quite know what to call them - they end up feeling more like paintings in the end than a drawing, so I'll go with that) is one of a few I did what felt like only a year ago, but apparently I've been slacking on posting up my work even longer than I thought! Anyways, I remember creating this piece, and being quite happy with the color palette and how the colors tended to harmonize with each other, but for the life of me, I have no idea where on earth I took my inspiration from. I'm not sure where these mountains are from. It's possible these mountains may actually live somewhere quite far away in fact, on the way to Montana or the like, and either been painted on that drive or done at home (or at a hotel or destination while on vacation after being captured by phone). Or perhaps they are from one of what feels like my MILLIONS of Doctors appointments I've been through over the last few years - seriously, I literally would have 4 or 5 a day 3-4 days a week for months on end - no joke - it was so bad!!! If so, then the mountains would be our very own little beauty called Mount Diablo, one I never get sick of seeing, even if it gets harder and harder to with all the development going on around here.

I remember when I was little we could see it from our house in Brentwood, a clear, gorgeous shot with orchards in the foreground and from spring to fall we would go up there and jump ginormous rocks or try to catch the ridiculous amounts of blue-bellied lizards and tarantulas that lived there. It was such fun! I haven't been there for ages though, and sadly the best view left of it that's accessible for most people is from Kaiser - gee, isn't that ironic? Maybe I just don't get OUT out enough... Still, it's always a treat to see snow on it, that's for sure, even now as an adult! I suppose I'm just going to be left wondering whether or not this is that. Especially since I've no idea where the original picture is or if there was no picture at all in the first place and I just drew it while my lover boy drove me around (love ya Ty!) - which is quite possible... Oh well, sometimes having that bit of wonder is actually more fun than knowing for sure, and either way, the best part for me is making the artwork and having something to look back on, so I guess it's a win-win!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

"Multicolored Tulip" - A Pen and Colored Pencil Drawing

"Multicolored Tulip"     3.75"x 3.75"      Pen and Prismacolor Colored Pencils on Coaster
Haha, so this drawing really IS square, I just had a hard time taking a picture of it for some reason (impatience perhaps...?) and now it looks like it's receding into the background or something, like an optical illusion, when it's really just a bad shot. I must say though, I had such a fun time creating this particular piece. I just let myself go, letting the colors flow from me and be as vivid as possible, so it ended up with some of my very favorite colors of all time - teal, true blue, lime green, coral, buttercream, burgandy, and deep forrest and peacock greens. Apparently I like red a lot more than I realized, too, though only as a punch of color if it's in a home (meaning I won't ever paint a room that color, but I'll put some vases or candles or pillows in there that are like that.) Well, at least I'm good for one work of art a week, which is a WAY better start than last year! Woo-hoo!
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