Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Art in the Carolinas

Last weekend, I attended a couple of classes at the Art of the Carolinas event in Raleigh, NC. I went to this last year and learned so much that it's what I asked for this year for my birthday. I took another class with Betsy Dillard Stroud who marries watercolors, acrylics, stamps and washi papers to create abstract portraits that have so much punch and personality, not to mention vibrant colors. It was similar to the class I took with her last year, but watching her create a painting in 3 hours was invaluable as I could see her and hear what she was thinking as she chose colors and pattern and the loose style she uses is just fun to watch!

The other class I took was a class on creating charming children's portaits in pastels. I loved this was all new to me as I had never worked in pastels. This is the portrait we did in class:

When I came home, I began a portait of my grandmother, below.
Showing age on a portait, wheather a young child or an older adult, is a tricky thing and I have much to learn. This is the beginning stages, but it's not quite "her" yet, so there's more to do:

The next day, I took a picture of my 16 yr old when he was about 4 and did a portait. I have some finish work to do and need to work out a couple of areas, but am happy with it so far. I went and bought a small pack of pastel "pencils" to help me get fine line details around eyes and mouths. These are smaller than 11x14, so when I graduate up to a larger "canvas", it won't be has hard to get those fine lines, but with this size, I was having a hard time getting the edge of a pastel stick to give me what I needed. I bought a couple of different types of pastels while at the show and am having to learn how they work with one another. I thought I was getting hard pastels at the Holbein booth, but got them home and they were soft. (Note to self: READ!!!!!) My friend, Sherie, says she really likes the soft, so I just need to learn to use them...we used mostly the hard in our class last weekend. Oh, the teacher's name was Luana Luconi-Winner from Raleigh. She was a great teacher and taught us some "short cuts" that help teach values and light on the subject.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

AFTER (Self Portrait)

The finished piece. I used watercolor pencils, then acrylic paints to create the image. It has been cut out and layered onto a canvas panel that was painted and collaged. Two vintage buttons and a whimsical wire with beads from my grandmother's old jewelry creates a fun way to hang this self-portrait from my 4th grade school picture.

Friday, March 24, 2006

It's been a busy week, but I've managed to get in some sketching time while out and about. I have a hard time with challenges because drawing "things" doesn't excite me like drawing faces...however, it IS easier to get a mantelpiece to stay still while you draw it than a person you're sketching in a coffee shop... trying not to stare...willing them to turn back in the direction they were in when you BEGAN the sketch... lol! But it does make me work on drawing quickly. I'm getting more comfortable using my pen for sketching... first time I heard someone say to do that I thought they were nuts! How do I fix the mistakes? But these are not pieces that will hang in a gallery...they're teaching projects and I'm learning a lot from each one.

Now I just need to learn to take my camera everywhere so I can get a snapshot of things I want to spend more time on than a quick sketch.

This first piece is a drawing I began, taken from my 4th grade school picture. Drawing in ink is scary and in this case I messed up one side of the lips so stopped until I could fix it; then I'll finish the rest of the coloring.

Seeing my need to work on lips. I began a page of just different lips and ended with a sketch of a model.

This next sketch was done for a EDM challenge on "HATS"... not a great hat...just one from a magazine.

A drawing of a woman... not much like the subject I took it from, so I have a lot of work to do...

I was killing time in Starbucks yesterday (prefer Port City Java, but it wasn't nearby) and did a couple of sketches of two gentlemen who were there...

They took off before I could get his friend drawn properly...

When I showed these to Paul (my son), he asked me to do one of him... I sketched this with pen in about 10 minutes and added the color later during his hockey practice...

Friday, March 10, 2006

Recent Sketches

I've been drawing more lately, trying to make myself do even some fast sketches. Posting to a blog is a new (and scary) thing for me, so hopefully I can overcome my fears and put it out there.

This is a sketch of a friend's granddaughter. No sketch can do her total justice...she's just a doll!

This next sketch is of my daughter at her dance recital. It didn't scan well, but the scan did show me that my values were not consistent... too dark on top and too light on bottom.


This is a quick sketch I did while my kids played at a park... I had only a bic ink pen with me, so that's what I used... scary! But it does rather look like me... I think...

I am drawn to faces... I want to learn to create them in every medium... I've been playing around with acrylics and a more abstract style of portraits that I learned in a class from Betsy Dillard Stroud.

Here is a sample:

Monday, March 06, 2006

March 6, 2006

Okay... I'm officially entering the world of BLOGGING! Needing a forum to share ongoing art attempts with friends, this seemed the perfect medium. More to come....