Tuesday, September 27, 2011

how to combine 2 photos.

I thought you all might enjoy seeing how I combined 2 photos to create this double page spread.  I actually dont use photoshop for this sort of thing, but use this really old scrapbook program that is very easy for simple minded folks like me to use.  I just cut and paste the images and combine them on the program.  I can change the colors and add elements until I get the photo as close as possible to the final drawing.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

posting comments

I should take a moment to mention that there have been a few friends who were frustrated that they can not post comments to my blog.  You must have a Gmail email account and logged into it in order to post a comment.  I didnt realize that when I choose this blog format, or I would have choosen another one.  If you wish to comment and you do not have a gmail account please simple leave your comment on FB.  If you want me to post it on the blog for you I will cut and past it from my FB account, just let me know.



Here is the first painting that I created for Carole's book, "And Candy Smiled".  I have a total of 25 pages to complete, and currently have 10 left to go.  I took this week off of my day job to devote to trying to finish the illustrations so we can try to get the book published in time for Christmas.  I've been painting all waking hours since Friday morning, and I am exhausted.  Finally last night,  around 7 pm I had to stop. This morning my arms hurt like I have been flying cross country like some kind of ancient bird, and it is only Wednesday!

One problem that I am encountering is that my paintings are evolving, much like a group of studio paintings that I might do for a series.  This is a great thing if you are  a studio artist, since people like to see an idea progress, but it is NOT a good thing if you are illustrating a children's book.  What I am going to have to do is go back to the first paintings and change them so that all of the paintings match.  I love how this first painting is so simple.  My current paintings are so intricate and bright they make your head spin.  At least they are making MY head spin.  Still, I am looking forward to being able to paint like this full time instead of spinning my wheels 40 hours a week at my day job. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

I am so excited to be on vacation for 9 whole days!  I plan on spending my time finishing the illustrations for the book "And Candy Smiled", written by Carole Sarkan.  Today was my first day off, I spent around 8 hours working.  The going is so slow because the illustrations are so detailed AND I have to cut them out and mount them.  Lets hope that the world likes the end results.

This is by far the brightest painting I have done. I really wanted to show the intensity of the car coming up on Candy, and somehow the colors just became more and more intense.  I wonder if perhaps they became so bright because I was home at the time recovering from a hiking accident and I am rather inexperience with handling pain meds HA!.  Anyhow, At first when you look at the painting it appears that I have centered Candy in the middle of the composition, (A big no no). However when you look closer you will that see the all of the focal points are aiming at the Car. The birds, the swirling clouds, Candy's fur being blown by the wind, the gaze of Candy, the lights beaming and the angle of the grass all point towards the shadow of the car. I hope you enjoy this one. So far it is my families favorite painting.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Life of a portrait artist...

I have a few pet peaves when it comes to sketching portraits from life.  Don't get me wrong, I love drawing people and chit chatting as I draw them.  For some reason total strangers will totally open up to me about their personal lives, and we become friends for that short period of time.  One thing however that really bugs me is bad manners.  Most of the time I can look past it, but yesterday really got my goat.  I was drawing singles of these 5 little kids.  They were beautiful children.  It was rather early in the morning so they were bleary eyed and sun burned from spending the day before in the pool.  Some fool put a food vending machine in my art room, and all 5 kids were able to convince grandma to buy them some goodies.  They cuddled up behind me, pulling their chairs close enough that eventually one little guy was pressing up against me.  All of them noisily munched on their chips with their mouths open, sucking their fingers loudly and groaning in delight.  Chip dust was flying, and I have a feeling that I got some in my hair!  I did ask them to scoot back a little, which they did for a few seconds, but then I figured that they were enjoying themselves so much that I would just bite my tongue and get the sketching over with as quickly as possible.  I can draw pretty fast when I want to with out altering the quality of my work, and so I cranked out those sketches in less than 5 minutes each.  "My goodness", grandma said, "you sure draw fast!" 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

 Illustration from Page 19 "And Candy Smiled" by Carole Sarkan.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I drew this cutie pie yesterday.  My frontal caricatures are still quite rough, but I feel them improving.  I feel confident that with in a few months I should be strong enough to do them for a full 8 hours at a time.  Its strange that drawing portraits is so much more exhausting for me than drawing caricatures.  (oh and just for the record, anyone's image that I post in my blog has given me permission to do so.  If the image is of a minor, I have permission from their parent.  I will never post an image of someone with out prior concent.)

Monday, August 1, 2011

a link to my web site where you can see examples of my paintings.

Check out a web site to see examples of my paintings


A Portrait artist "Re-learning" caricatures.

About 6 months ago I decided to start drawing caricatures again.  I have been wanting to do this for a very very long time, but for one reason or another I just never got around to it again.  I used to love doing them, and made a ton of money doing so, but when I married my first husband, AKA "Ed the Caricature God", I stopped drawing them and focused on my portraits so that he could do his thing when we were sketching together at shows.  Its been at least 15 years I think since I last sat down at an easel for any amount of time to do "funny pitchers" for the general public.

Last winter I decided that the best way to get back into it was to start with profile caricatures, using pastel.  It was an easy step to do this since I have never stopped doing profile pastel portraits.  For a week or so I just did free demos of co-workers.  They were pretty lame, but it was a start.  Now, after doing them for a few months I am really comfortable with them and actually do one now and then that really rocks.  This is an example of one that I did just last week.  They take about 7 - 10 minutes per person.

Recently I decided that I was going to graduate to drawing frontals again.  It was now or never.  I am NOT getting any younger!  A frontal caricature is TOTALLY different than drawing a profile portrait, or even a frontal portrait.  I drew around 25 or 30 of them today.  I will post a few of them later in the week.

The quality of a quick sketch artist's work is very closely linked to their self confidence as an artist and performer.  Hopefully my confidence will return soon as a caricature artist.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Page 5 of the children's book, "And Candy Smiled" written by Carole Sarkan

Here is page  5 of Carole's book, "And Candy Smiled".  The text will go in the upper left.  This scan does not do the painting justice, or I should go back in and pop out some of the more vibrant colors and contrast.  Candy loves to run through the grass.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Page 9 of the children's book, "And Candy Smiled" written by Carole Sarkan

Life is so funny.  I really do believe that everyone we meet has a purpose in our life.  Everyone from the casual encounter to long term friendships are gifts from God.  A year and a half ago a friend from highschool, who I had not seen in 20 years, introduced me to her dear friend Carol Sarkan on Facebook.  She thought that Carole would enjoy hearing about how I had written my ghost tours. I had no idea that Carole's husband was my brothers closest friend, and that she has known my family for years, but had never met me! We have become very close since then, since we had many things in common.  One day a few months ago she became very excited when she realized that I was the one she wanted to illustrate her children's book.  I was hesitant of course, I am not an illustrator, but a portrait artist.  I know NOTHING about illustrating children's books! I had not even cracked open a children's book in at least 10 years. She had to talk me into it at first, but after reading her book I was moved to tears by the story and realized that I was meant to illustrate this book for her.  I really have no idea what I am doing, I am just letting my heart guide my hands.

This is page 9 of about 25 pages.  It is slow progress.  It takes me around 6-8 hours per painting.  Each painting is done on very thin watercolor paper.  I use professional grade Winsor and Newton watercolor paints, graphite, pen and ink as well as gouache.   After completing about 75% of the painting I cut it out with a small #11 exato  knife and embroidery scissors.  I mount it onto black mat board and then finish the painting.  This style of painting is called "Scherenschnitte", and is an old German form of folk art which was brought to the United States around the mid 18th century by German and Polish immigrants.  Carole had seen a few of these Scherenschitte I had done before, and was absolutely certain that this is what she wanted for her book. 

Look for "And Candy Smiled"  by Carole Sarkan, coming to book stores near you soon.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My job as a sketch artist is so much fun!  Here is a lovely family that I drew recently who gave me permission to post their photos and sketch on line.  I drew this from life.  I average about 5 minutes a face when I draw a black and white profile.  What is neat is that they will cherish this silly little sketch for many years.  I may not be a famous or important artist, but at least my work is appreciated and hangs all over the world.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A new website.

 Due to popular demand, I have created a new web site for my quick sketches.  I rarely do them by photo, but I am finding that I am turning away more people than I can possibly draw, so I am hoping this web site will give my clients another option.  Please let me know if you like it?  I am still making changes to it.  If you have a profile photo that you want me to do a demo of to post on the web site please email it to me!  I will letyou keep the original if I use it on the site.  I need to do a few family examples and such.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

I just spent most of my day today working on this commission for a client.  I really love the composition.  It was one of those paintings that just seemed to paint itself.  I might ask for permission from him to do one larger to try to sell.  It was the first pastel I have done in a few months.  I have been doing primarily oil paintings, so this was alot of fun.  Your input?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This is an 8.5" x 17" pastel painting of my daughter Halee.  The eye icon represents her inner eye.  They say that if a person uses their inner eye that they are using one of their psychic abilities.  I had the painting almost completely done when I decided to add the third eye just for fun.  This is one of the last pastel paintings that I did before moving on to focusing on oil.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

                                           "Halee and Leo"  Scherenschnitte. 16" x  20"  2008

Here is a lovely little scherenschnitte of my daughter Halee.  Scherenschnitte is a German word, meaning literally "paper snipping".  It was a very popular form of folk art in Germany, Poland, France and China long before it made the leap to the American Colonies around the mid 1600s".   The early American immigrants adorned their homes with paper cuttings using scraps of what ever paper they could find, and would glue them onto wood objects painted black.  They would also create lace like mantel piece decorations from cut paper and embellish their official documents such as birth certificates and wedding announcements, with cut paper designs. They would eventually create little tiny profile portraits cut out of black paper, called Silhouettes.  I loved these little creations so much that I started experimenting with them myself, but attempted to use a more contemporary composition and brighter colors. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Small Iris.  Watercolor Scherenschnitte, 8" x 10"

I thought now would be a good time to start digging through my old portfolios to see what all I had out there.  I cant believe how many paintings I have stashed away.  I just paint and paint and tuck them away into the dark cavern of my garage. I am not sure why I do that, except that I just love the process of painting.  Here is an early example from my scherenschnitte phase from 2007.  I discovered this long lost style of colonial folk art when I was researching for a class I was teaching on silhouette cutting.  I will tell you more about it in a later blog.  For now just know that the color part of the painting is watercolor paper, which I cut very carefully with a knife and then mounted onto black mat board.  The black parts that you see is the mat board.  It is for sale.