Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Four more 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch Face Cards

Well I decided to call them my "face cards." I have been having fun with them so far. I should be working of a piece for a show I am entering, but these are more fun at the moment. (2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches, watercolor)

Last of the year and a new beginning...

I was cleaning out my studio, looking at ebay, blogs and what others are doing. I found some watercolor paintings that I was not happy with so I cut them up into 2.5 x 3.5 inches to use for collages thinking I could use them for artist trading cards. I found a few smaller face studies that I did and liked so I started painting other faces on the blank side of the "cards". I liked them too. I think I will continue with these mini series... but what to do with them later... Do people still buy, trade these cards? I have seen them on etsy and ebay... What would be worthwhile to sell them at.... so many questions... I have a headache... I will just keep painting for now.... Here are the first two done on 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch 140 lb watercolor paper.

Monday, December 21, 2009

DSFDF Portrait Challenge

I started my blog last year with the DSFDF portrait challenge and had so much fun with it. I jumped right in with this years challenge and hope the unknown artist that was given to me to paint (I am pretty sure I know) is happy with the results. Watercolor 7x10 inches
For those of you not familiar with the Different Strokes from Different Folks, it is worth checking out.
Fun to participate and fun to follow!
Update- Yes, I guessed right. It is Dean and you can click on his name to visit his site and see the painting he did of me. (note how we both used warm colors against cools-totally unplanned by us)

Backyard Pond

My last commission for this season. I learned alot with this painting. It is watercolor with pastel on top. I had a hard time with the reference photos and creating a focal point that didn't look like a black hole in the center on top of fairly flat colored greens. So I pushed the colors and shadows and am happy with the results. It ended up to be fun. 8x26inches

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Good Friend

This is a dog portrait I just finished for a commission. The story behind this dog is wonderful and is all about friendship, patience, loyalty and always ready with a smile. Kind of like my "Buddy." Which reminds me that I need to do a painting of my dog too. Stay tuned....

8x10 inches, watercolor

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Field Trip

Every December I take my class on a "field trip" to a local garden center (Quality Gardens) to paint pointsettias. It is so lovely in the green house, full of color, texture and warmth on a cold day. While I was painting this demonstration one of the employees told me the type of pointsettia I was painting was called "Monet." How appropriate!!!
8x10 inches, watercolor

Thursday, November 19, 2009

pastel portrait

I have been working on a pastel portrait and thought I would share what I have already. It is pretty much done. I will go back and tweek here and there. Anyway I decided to use pastel for this portrait since the reference photo was alittle blurry. I had no access to another so we thought pastel would work out fine. This one is pretty straight forward, reference photo taken with a flash... tried to keep it soft. Oh and we had to keep it small 8x10 so that I didn't have to make up detail that I couldn't see.

Update---- The finished portrait after alittle tweaking...
Oh, and now I see one more thing to do....

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mr Personality!

I just finished this 8x10 in watercolor. This portrait just had to be done with a bold background to fit the big, bold, in your face personality of this pint sized dog.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


So for my last tuesday class, we finished the vintage portrait lesson working on a portrait using the smaller studies and paintings we did. Remember to use the contour drawings, value studies and painted sketches to keep the lights and darks in the proper places. The rest is just coloring! The painting is about 8x11 inches on watercolor paper.

I also included a watercolor sketch I did of my son. He is working on his portfolio for school and left a photo reference of himself, lit from underneath, at my studio. He is pretty creative and it inspired a future class to do with my students... If you take away the familiar, you are forced to look at and draw what you see, not what you think you see. Kind of like drawing upside down... This is also about 8x10 inches.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Continuation of vintage images

My tuesday morning class has continued to explore painting people using vintage photographs as inspiration. We have been practicing with value, color and quick studies. The class is doing well and we have a few that have put together complete paintings... some alittle abstract, some very charming and all work to be proud of! Next week we will continue with more quick studies to warm up and then work on composition. These are my quick, small, simple, demos done on an 8x10 inch sheet of paper.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Vintage man

I had the class work from black and white, vintage photographs. I like the way that old photos fade. The students don't get all caught up in detail and can simplify their paintings to just shadow shapes. They also can choose their own colors and ended up using some fun, unexpected colors. All of them did a great job. This is my demonstration, about 8x10 inches done in watercolor.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

acrylic demos

I have a student who enjoys working in acrylic and I try to do demonstrations for her as often as I can. We have been looking at how colors relate/reflect... warm, cool... light sources... It is so interesting if you take the time to do your value drawings, take color notes and study the image before you paint. We have been painting from life in the studio.

eggplant, 7x5 inches garlic, 4x4 inches

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Student Refresher

It has been a great week having all my students back for a new year of fun! Last week the adult class did a still life watercolor of pears in a basket. This is my demo about 10x10 inches.

The student age class did some drawing refreshers. I wanted to make sure they could still see shapes, shading and highlights. They started with contour drawings and moved to shading & highlighting.

And today the adults did the
drawing refresher (contour, value, shading...) and a lemon painting (about 7x10 inches).
It is going to be a good year!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm Baaack!

Just got back from Breckenridge, Colorado and Iowa, Columbus and Cincinnatti... The Colorado trip was great and just beautiful. The colors seemed so much more vibrant at that altitude... Maybe it was just the lack of oxygen in my head... Anyway, frisbee golf in Frisco, Vail Pass biking, hiking, fly fishing... all so fun to do. I did a few paintings, plein air and have many photos to keep me busy painting in the future. The first image (9x12 inches) is coming down the road from the scenic outlook near Breckenridge and the second (7x10 inches) is the view coming up Four O'Clock road to our condo.
Getting my classes and studio set up for the coming school year. I will be back painting on the 8th of September. I can't wait!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

where has the time gone?

Summer! I love this time of year... taking it slow, just like a "country time lemonade commercial" (remember those...).

Anyway, this summer has been far from slow. It is flying by with touring colleges, teaching art camps, visiting friends and family, driving the kids to work... It is all good, just busy.

I did want to mention that I was invited to be featured artist at a great little gallery (Blue Heron) in Volant, PA from August 1st to the 28th. I will do a demonstration on the first from noon to 2 pm and donate the painting to raffle for the gallery. I will be a the gallery till 4pm that day, visiting with whoever stops by. The gallery has a nice variety of items.... and the town has a trout stream, shops...

So, till I get some real painting time in....

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Another Butler Model Session

This was done in watercolor, from life, in about an hour and a half. It was nice to do more than a head portrait. (Notice how I didn't have to worry about her facial features... so I could concentrate on the body proportions) I had some people ask me how can I work so fast. It really is practice. I teach my classes quick drawing techniques, simple plumb lines and shapes to look for... and it must have sunk in for me. I do demos for my classes. I figure they don't want to watch me paint the entire class time so I have been "practicing" drawing fast so that they can get to their own work. Every few days I am doing a demo... that makes for good practice! And again, a quick note, our model was very sweet and a big thank you to her!
Check out my Etsy shop

Friday, May 29, 2009

DSFDF PA hillside

I decided to do the latest DSFDF challenge since I missed the last one. I had no plan, pulled out the paints and picked a warm red for the sky. The rest just happened, lots of changes, and I added some branches to break up the space. A little study for a larger painting someday. It is only about 5 by 8 inches, done in watercolor in about 20 minutes.
my etsy shop

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Weekly Portrait Session

Sometimes painting is like breathing. It comes so easy... and other times, it can be a struggle. Today was a struggle. The air was humid, the washes would not dry.... so many excuses... any valid? I don't know, but I still captured the feeling of the model and her pose. Maybe just not as clean as I would have liked. And a quick note - It was nice to meet someone like our model today. Very sincere and grounded... best of luck to her in her adventures!
stop by my etsy shop

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Back Painting Again

Well, it seems like forever, but I was able to get to a portrait session today. Even though I didn't get the whole session in... late again! This watercolor took about an hour of painting time. Sometimes I think, especially with watercolor, a time limit helps to keep the focus and not to overwork the painting. It was really easy to pick colors today... got away from my purples... Check out my etsy shop.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Butler Session

This watercolor is from the latest model session at Butler Arts... I am enjoying these sessions and am learning how to apply my paint fast and which colors work. We end up with about 1.5 hours of paint time. I am trying to use less water so that the paper dries and I can layer without turning to mud. I offered to model last week (which was really fun) and am getting my summer class schedule out so I have not been painting much.... miss it, But as an artist/studio owner, the marketing has to come first. This summer I also plan to do some bigger paintings and less demos since I will have the time. Stay tuned! Oh and I also got my etsy shop open, but still need to list more of my work. It never ends, but at least I am not bored...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

DSFDF Statue

This is the latest challenge from DSFDF. The challenge was to draw (paint if you must) the statue, full length just as it was in the photo. I chose to paint and draw with the ink to fit the challenge. (watercolor, ink 5x7 inches)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More Model Sessions

This one is from the model session this morning at the Associated Artists in Butler. 14x18inches/watercolor/1.5 hour

Went to a great model session at Double Door Gallery on Monday. Our model was really very good and I wish that I brought a camera so I could really capture her heavy eyelids and faraway look... My pencil sketches were quick, 5 minutes and the watercolors were 20 minutes (5x7) and 40 minutes(10x17). One of my students asked me, "why draw fast"? I think the more you practice the more the process become instinctual, so that you can focus on the detail if the main parts are there. I am sure there are many other reasons. I try not to overthink the process. I draw fast and practice so that I can spend more time painting. But if the drawing is wrong, the painting will be too. Fast and accurate.... I will post some of the sketches from the sessions later today.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Art for Shelter Animals Project

The Art for Shelter Animals project was something I wanted to do and I asked my studio class if they would like to participate. Well, it was YES they would! So I donated the time and materials to my students and had them do a watercolor, matted, of a shelter animal from the Butler County Humane Society. They did a great job! I am really proud of them! I will deliver the paintings and update the blog with what the shelter decides to do with the paintings. They have a fundraiser coming up so the timing couldn't be better. Go to Butler County Humane Society and Art for Shelter Animals to get more info. I painted the dog and cat above, 5x7 inches in an 8x10 mat.
UPDATE!!!!! The shelter was thrilled with the paintings. Thanks to all the great comments and it is good to know that we inspired many others to do the same in their areas. This project was contagious! The shelter chose to auction one of the paintings at the "Fur Ball" fundraiser this weekend and will hang the others in the shelter till November when they have their "Pawcasso" fund raiser. We will definately do this again next year!
ANOTHER UPDATE!!!!! The shelter ended up auctioning all but two of the paintings and they made $150 . The best part is that many of the paintings went to the staff and voluteers that had worked with some of the animals to get them adoptable. The were bought by other staff, directors... the gift that keeps giving....

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Pastel Portrait

This is the painting in truer color and with the adjustments I made. Thanks for all the great tips on how to finish.

I have been working on this portrait in pastel. I find it helps if I photograph it and then look at it to see if I need to adjust anything. It helps me to decide if I am finished or not. I will look at it in the morning with fresh eyes and then decide.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I took a break from a pastel portrait that I am working on to paint the DSFDF Beach this afternoon. I separated the color of the water from the sky/reflected sky and I wish my camera could pick up the subtle color differences within each area. Sigh... That is something I will have to work on another day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Hank is a boxer/mastiff mix that could have been named Comfort. He belongs to a friend of mine and I thought she might like a small 8x10 watercolor of Hank.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Painting Glass

These are some demos on painting glass. I just did the two cordial glasses and the jars are from before. I will cover some techniques in the workshop coming up but having good observation skills is key. Then you can decide what to edit.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Model Session

We had a great model this past session and these are the images I did from that day. There were some that worked in watercolor, some in pastel... My pastels are from the session and the watercolor was done (from photograph, later) on a card as a thank you to the model.