Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mr. Einstein

A couple posts ago I showed you my very artistic purse.  Now I'm going to show you what's in it.  I always carry a small sketchpad; usually about 4x6".  Any time I have to wait somewhere, I whip it out and do a quick sketch.

A couple days ago I found myself in a doctor's waiting room.  They had a great book on you know who.  So... here he is!

I'm not one that likes to spend a great deal of time on things as I will get bored before I finish, so this one was done quickly, and I skipped the pencil/erase thing altogether.  I sketched him in with a fine point pen, fairly slowly as I couldn't erase.  Laying out his face took the lion's share of time, probably 15 or 20 minutes of concentration.  After that, going in with the shades of grey was just light, fun stuff.

I love this care-worn, old face!  At this wonderful age at which I find myself, I have decided it's much more enjoyable to do old, wrinkly people.  They've got  so much more character and story about them.  Never fail, when I assign my students to draw ugly people and beautiful people, they almost always admit to enjoying the old fogies better.  Last year one of my students even did a toothless, silly-grin old codger that turned out to be everyone's favorite.   Kinda makes ya happy, huh?

Guess I better start doing more self portraits.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


The other day I was riding my bike and happened upon a bunch of... well the technical term is... pipes.  No, I don't know exactly what they are for, but I liked the looks of them, so I hopped off my bike and snapped a few pics.  I had already been thinking that I wanted to do some kind of simple line drawing with overlap for my students, and it seemed the perfect thing.  For some weird reason, I've been kind of attracted to pipes and mechanical things lately, so I thought I'd give it a go.

Drawing the pipes themselves probably took me a couple hours.  I knew I didn't want to spend an exorbitant amount of time painting it, so I laid in a hot magenta and an orange on wet paper in about ten seconds and covered the puppy with plastic wrap to give it texture.  At that point, I taped the entire thing down to hold the wrinkles in place and walked away.

The next day it was good and dry so I went in and painted the shadows and darks with blue.  That probably took me an hour as well as I did it slowly and enjoyed the process.  So... here are my pipes!

Oh, boy, they're turned.  Let me try that again...

Okay, I tried several times and when I download the photo, it's horizontal, the way it should be.  Then when it moves over to my blog, it's vertical and I can't change it!  Help!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Home Made Designer Bag

Here you have it.  My purse.  My very old and well-loved purse.  Actually, it is so well loved that I put it away because I was tired of it.  After perusing all the high buck designer bags which looked a lot like my own, I came home, pulled it out of my closet and got out the paint.  House paint.  And a few kids.

After we got the tarp laid out, we started throwing paint around and I put my purse in a strategic place.  Along with the canvases, the kids and myself, it was in the line of fire.  Now, it's a rare day when I don't get a compliment on it!  Even carrying it around makes me happy.

So, if you're short on happy days... find some kids, something that needs rejuvenating, and get out the house paint.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Collage Portrait

Here's a collage I just finished tonight.  I'm making a book this summer and she's on a two-page spread.  I gessoed the pages lightly so the words would continue to show through in places, and have been enjoying the effect.  My choice for a book to use was an old fictional story, The Happy Hollisters, which I read to three of our kids.  Special memories.

Anyway, here's my lady.  I usually like drawing ugly people, but chose her because, well, because she was there, I suppose!  It's difficult to see in the photo, but I lightly painted the two pages a nice uneven buttery yellow to contrast with the cool colors of the collage material.

Okay... here's the secret... ssshhh!  I cut up  a previous painting that I didn't like for the collage material.  There are lots of portions I like, and I love the colors; it just didn't work as a painting on its own.  If you look closely, you can see that it's Oriental lilies.

So, the method to my madness - drew her in with ink on the white gesso.  I don't have patience to do pencil first, then ink, I just live the dangerous life and go for it with my Micron pens.  No room for mistakes there!  Then, the yellow wash.  Next, cut and lay out the background and hair.  For the area around her face I used tracing paper to get the lines right.  Once laid out, I gessoed everything into place and made necessary adjustments.  Last - a little touch of color to her eyes to bring her into focus with the collage work.  That's all!  Hope you like her!