Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Pastel Drawings, Portraits and Commission work from the studio!

Has this been the busiest December...ever?!?!  I can't believe 2011 is only a few days away!

I've been trying to finish up a few projects the last couple of days, in between playing with my daughter's new Barbies from Santa and the new Crayola Crayon Making machine - which is like the coolest toy ever!

First of all I was thrilled to hear from one of my clients on Christmas day, after she and her family opened up a painting she commissioned of her son.  It's been 13 years in the making (although only 2 months on my end!) - ever since she had her other son's portrait painted by another artist.   It was a challenging and rewarding experience because I was emulating the style of the other portrait, while still keeping my own personality in the custom portrait.

I'm also trying to finish up a few pastels that I started from the live model in the last couple of months.  I just worked on this pastel figure drawing, which has that gorgeous lime drapery that compliments her black hair so perfectly.

And I am also putting the final touches on this custom pastel of a lounging figure with a white robe.  It should be ready to go to it's new home in the next few days.

I finished this drawing of the ballet dancer with striped socks last week, and have been tweaking and perfecting large and small prints, which are now available in my Etsy shop!

Believe it or not...this is just the very top of a long list of drawings and paintings and ideas that I have yet to develop.  Like many artists/moms, there's never enough un-interrupted hours in the studio!    I look forward to sharing new pieces with you in the near future.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Female Figure with Drapery and Stockings - the final touches in pastel

I finished working on this beautiful figure with a white silk robe and striped thigh high stockings.  The brick red colourfix paper gives the whole drawing a sense of warmth.  I love the way turquoise blue pastel pencil reacts against the color of the red paper...causing a little vibration on the surface.  That effect, combined with the pattern in her stockings and the folds of the robe, create a truly dynamic composition.

I'm working on producing prints of these latest pastels.  Keep an eye on my Etsy shop where they will be available soon.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Time in the studio: a precious commodity!

Did you ever have one of those weeks where it seems EVERYTHING is plotting against you?  I have so many drawings and paintings and commissions and projects I want to work on in the studio!  The longer the list, the more of life's interruptions seem to get in the way.

But this morning I made the most of the 140 minutes I had between dropping my daughter off and picking her up!  I was working on a special request - a female figure, back view, a little drapery, soft palette...

It's coming along nicely!  Destined for a bathroom wall.  The pose was even based on how you enter the room, and what direction the client wanted the model to face.  (And I am so lucky to work with amazing models who allow me pose them!)

And this drawing of the model wearing the tutu with striped socks I started last week has been SCREAMING for my attention!  I had to work on it for a little while.  Other than finishing her hand and maybe paying a little attention to the background, I think she's done.  A fellow artist looked at it on the night I started and said "oh...you are never going to want to sell that!" and at first I thought "Sure I will!"  But now...I may have to live with it for a while :) I love it!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Classic and Quirky, the Ballerina with Striped Socks

A couple of months ago I got this gorgeous ballet costume from my daughter's dance studio.  It is a velvet top with the sweetheart neckline in a warm gold and mossy green color, with a short tutu in layers of green, golds, and cranberry.  I was hoping it would fit one of my favorite models. 

So I brought it with me last night to our figure drawing group and asked our beautiful model if she would be willing to do the gesture poses in the outfit, a little fearful that it wouldn't fit, but also wondering if it might be too dull or "classic", not making for a very exciting drawing.

Well as luck would have it...she steps out of the restroom and the tutu fits her perfectly.  And the best part was that she had on these above the knee black and white striped socks that added just the right level of fun to the outfit.

Her hair up in a bun, she started with some beautiful gesture poses.

I liked quickly massing in the shape of the tutu and striping her socks.

A longer pose, about 40 minutes, with dramatic lighting, making full use of her long legs and gorgeous neckline.

I may fix a few moments, but I really like this as it is - the billowing layers of her skirt, the dramatic shadows across her collarbone, the outstretched leg.

For our final pose, she kept the stockings but switched to a light white robe.  The pattern on the socks again elevated a simple and elegant pose to something more.

Nupastel on colourfix paper.

Draw all you want, but you have to really listen as well

I'm in a really funky place right now.  The last couple of days have been weird, in many ways, and I'm still trying to figure it all out. 

There's no good place to begin so I'll just start, although I reserve the right to change topics whenever I see fit.

Two nights ago I had a very vivid dream that woke me up from a deep sleep, about a spirit lifting me up and carrying me thru a house.  The dream was so real that when I woke up, I was incredibly scared and thought for sure there was someone in the room with me.   I have had incredibly detailed dreams in the past, many of which corresponded with either a death or birth of a loved one.  So I was a little shaken yesterday.

Last night, I was at drawing group (I will post the drawings next) and I was chatting with a fellow artist about looking for my own studio space.  We had barely spoken a few words before she looked right at me and said "It's not the right time.  Your kids are still young.  You need to be there.  There will be plently of time for you to have your own space.  Be with your kids"  And I started crying.  Because for months now I've been thinking that it's time for me to get my own studio, to start teaching again, to hang my work on some walls and start meeting with clients, feeling like I am wasting away and not living up to my potential.  But torn because I really want to be home with my children.  It was like she was telling me something that I needed to hear - "Not yet".  And for the first time in a while, I let the idea go.  I stopped fretting and being anxious about finding a space and just said to myself "Not yet". 

Well right before class ended, around 10 pm, I got a text from my mother that my Great Uncle was being taken to the hospital.  Within an hour, he passed away from a massive heart attack.   So many emotions in such a short time. 

Had I dreamt about my Uncle? Was he the one who lifted me up and carried me around in my dream? Was my friend, who told be to "let it go" (in a good way) the one who helped me feel that sense of weightlessness in my dream?   I don't know. 

What I do think is that sometimes we have to stop focusing so much on what WE want, (and I'm not saying don't have dreams or ambitions or goals), but there are times when it is right to move forward and take a big risk, and times when you need to wait and be there for your kids or your family.  If you are not sure, just be ready to listen. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Charcoal Drawing of Couple accepted into NUDE 2011

Very excited...just received an e-mail that my charcoal drawing on textured modeling paste, "Moment of Surrender", has been accepted into Lexington Art League's Nude 2011 exhibition, which will take place January 15th to March 13th in Lexington, KY!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lime and Wine. Who knew it was such a magical combination?

Yes, wine is frequently a large contributor to our figure drawing sessions.  However, this time I am referring to the color of the paper I was working on, and the super 70's shag carpet lime green chenille blanket our model brought with her!  The color combination was awesome!

This was our long drawing, about an hour and 20 minutes of work time.  There is also a bit of white drapery under the small of her back. 

A shorter drawing, about half an hour on a grey piece of colourfix paper.  I think her raven black hair and the lime green blanket are also setting each other off perfectly.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pastel Portrait of a Little Girl in the Garden - a WIP

I'm really excited about the progress I am making on my daughter's portrait in Nupastel.  I'm getting into the details, such as the flowers on her dress and the wisps of hair that frame her face.  One thing I do have to resolve is what she's holding in her had - in the photo she was holding a barbie, but all you could see was a bit of dress and one arm sticking out - kind of awkward looking, so I need to insert a new toy!

(I found a GORGEOUS custom frame at Hobby Lobby that is the exact size of the paper - 19" x 27" - marked down 75% off.  I took that as a sign that I needed to finish this portrait!)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cyber Monday Art Sale in my Etsy Shop!

Monday November 29th is known as "Cyber Monday" this year - the Monday after the long Thanksgiving weekend where shoppers head back to work...but are still looking for a few more gifts on their lists.  Still plenty of time to order on-line near and far!

So tomorrow, and let's say Tuesday, too, you can take 20% off ANY PURCHASE in my Etsy shop by entering the code NOVEMBER20 at check out.  It's super easy, and the BIGGEST store-wide sale I have ever had!

Happy Shopping!

All Original Paintings are 20% Off with coupon code NOVEMBER20

All Fine Art Prints are 20% off - just enter November 20 at check out!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Figure with Drapery Painting Update

Today, I painted.  Tomorrow, I will be making lots of dessert :) 

I still have more work to do on her skin tones, details in the hand and feat as well.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Female Figure Seated in a Chair with Orange Drapery. New Acrylic Painting from the Live Model

I've been working with acrylics the last few weeks while completing a portrait painting commission, so last night I grabbed the paints that were handy my brushes and a 9" x 12" panel to take to our weekly figure drawing group.

For our long pose, the model perched on a chair and footrest that were draped with black fabric.  This was a great contrast for her pale skin tone.

I blocked in the large shapes first, trying to cover the white surface before establishing her skin tones.  I could already tell that there was going to be too much black in the piece, dominating the figure.  So when we took a break, I added in a piece of patterned orange drapery.

I continued to block in color, and also changed the position of her leg on our left.  It was actually stretched out, with the foot coming right at me, which seemed really awkward.  I haven't resolved it completely yet.  There may be some added drapery down by her foot.

This is as far as I got last night, a total of about 90 minutes of painting from the model.  I think proportions are good, and there is a good feeling of her weight leaning on her elbow.  I'd like to work more on her profile, add the rest of the pattern in the orange drapery, and finalize her right foot.

Working quickly with acrylics can have it's plusses - the layers dry quickly during breaks, easy to clean up.  But last night they were drying very quickly, and I was mixing more than painting.  I recommend small surfaces if you are painting with Acrylic from the Live model.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Inspiration in the Art Studio. What gets your creative juices flowing?

I had a quick visit from a fellow artist yesterday, and while we were looking thru my studio (or the Disaster Zone, you may say) we chatted about technique and inspiration.   One of the things I like to keep handy in my work area are examples of work that I think have a great use of Drawing and Painting Language.  Art that shows the creator's facility with paint or pastel or charcoal.  A couple of my favorites are

This book of paintings by Joan Mitchell.  Her use of paint is beyond fantastic, and her color palettes are wonderful.  What's great about a book like this, with so many examples of one artists' work, is that you can see they had to make hundreds, even thousands, of pieces before they developed their own style.  And, not every piece is a success.  Inspires me to keep working.

I pulled this page out of Art in America way back in October of 2002.  I love the way Larry Rivers uses every trick up his sleeve - but not in a trite way - with a purpose.  Drawing, painting, outlining, gesture, collage, figure, mirrored images.   It all works together so well.  It reminds me that just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.  Use each technique to it's fullest, and timely, potential.

And this just makes me laugh.  And sometimes, this is all you can do.  Just keep working!

What images or Artists inspire you in your studio?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I didn't know Jesus was in the Shnitzel business

My family and I just spent a beautiful fall weekend in Helen, GA, a town rich in German food and culture.  The foliage was beautiful, the sky a clear blue, the sun warm as we walked the streets of the quaint town.  On our second evening of our stay, we joined up with 5 of my cousins at a restaurant on the edge of Main Street.  It was around 6:15, we figured we could grab some dinner, and then take the kiddos back into the main stretch for funnel cakes, which is really the only thing the 5 youngsters REALLY wanted (hey, if you put fruit topping on it, it's almost healthy!)

Our table of 11 sat down right around 6:30.  After 20 minutes, a waitress finally took our drink order. After 40 minutes, we saw our first crusts of bread.  After 60 minutes, the kids got their plates of cold fries and overcooked fish sticks.  After an hour and fifteen minutes, I finally grabbed a waitress (not the one who, in theory, was waiting on our table) and asked if I could speak to the manager.

A woman came up to the table and I recognized her right away.  (She had been in the parking lot when I, the first of our party to arrived, pulled in.  The entire 20 minutes I was waiting outside, she was having a loud, pretty obnoxious, phone call).  She said to our table "I just yelled at my staff for taking so long.  I'm going to send out some free dessert".  I replied, "Dessert really is not necessary. We just want to eat and take the kids out for funnel cake." She got offended and started yelling at me for not accepting her offer to make it "right".  I calmly reminded her that dessert will not help us get back on schedule.

After another 10 minutes, we were still waiting, so when she came back around I said "you know the kids have already eaten, and we are still waiting, so please bring them dessert"  She gladly obliged and raved that they had the best desserts in town.  The 5 kids put in their orders.  Several minutes later, she came back with 1 small chocolate cake for 5 kids.  I explained to her that we needed 3 chocolate cakes and one crepe for the Birthday Girl.  She proceeded  to yell at me, saying "I'm not a mind reader you should have told me you needed that many"  I was at a loss.  She had asked the kids what they wanted, each child gave her their order, I told her my 3 and 5 yr old would split a chocolate cake, and she seemed to comprehend the request at the time.

At this point she started to tell me that I had a bad attitude.  In the middle of the restaurant, that she Owns, she bellowed out that "you are a very pretty lady but you need to smile more.  There is no reason to have an attitude with me.  I am a Child of God and you are not.  I heard you using "GD" with your son out in the parking lot"

At this point, I want you to imagine me using every bit of strength in my body to hold myself back.  What this Brilliant Business Woman was referring to was a moment when my son Jack darted out into the parking lot in front of a moving car and I grabbed his arm, pulling him back to me, saying "G-D it stay next to me!"

Now I have spent the entire day hiking around town with my children, taking them horseback riding, out to lunch, up to a beautiful cabin in the woods to spend some quality time with mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, and the cousins.  All I was looking for was a nice dinner and a walk thru town to get my 11 year old cousin a birthday funnel cake.  And this woman was calling me a bad mother.  In front of the entire restaurant.  This Child of God was sure to tell us that she had YELLED at her staff for not performing up to the standards she demanded, and then turned around and ridiculed me for cursing when my 5 year old ran in front of a car.

At this point my husband, who is the most level headed person I know, was up out of his chair, telling her how inappropriate her behavior was.  She continued to yell at the top of her lungs "just pay your check and leave.  I need you to pay your check and leave".  I took my children out of there as fast as I could. 

After I got them into the car I sat and waited for the rest of my family to emerge, and as I did, this Child of God came out of the restaurant and lit a cigarette (her God Given lungs are probably praying for mercy).  Apparently she had done all of the training of her wait staff that she was going to do for one evening.  For her, I guess Ownership begins and ends with a piece of paper. She clearly was not taking Ownership of the dinner crowd debacle in her establishment.

When my husband finally joined me outside, he shared what I had missed.  That the owner yelled at her entire wait staff, repeatedly using the "f-word", and then yelled about our party, saying "who brings kids out to dinner anyway?!"

Now I want you to understand something.  I used to work retail, I used to manage a multi-million dollar business.  I was raised Catholic, and then attended a Baptist Church all thru High School and College.  I was even baptised as an adult in the Niagara River.  But I would never, ever, tell an unhappy customer that my Religion or beliefs trumps their dissatisfaction with my service.  And I would never, ever, take a customer's moment of weakness, such as mine in the parking lot, and turn that against them, as if they somehow deserved less than exemplary service because of it.

And if you happen to dine at that same restaurant, tell them Jesus makes a mean schnitzel.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Drawings of Two Models, Male and Female. Watercolor Pencil

Great night of figure drawing...where I took a lot of great photos of the models, yet only produced one decent drawing!  Oh well.  I actually did start a couple that have potential - if I ever finish them I promise to share!

But here is a watercolor pencil drawing from the long pose.

I started out with a light graphite drawing to get the scale and shapes correct, then erased about 75% of the line so it was "ghost-like" and I could draw over with watercolor.  I used a light periwinkle blue first, then layered some orange, olive green, fuscia, and dark purple.  In a few dark areas I added a little prussian blue.

I'm not sure about what's actually happening between the two of them.  If it's anything like my relationship with my husband, she's just gotten over-emotional about losing something somewhere in the house and he's exasperated because all he really wants to do is go to bed.  But I digress...

The pose was beautiful from all angles.  It's interesting because when I looked at one artist's drawing before he finished - the woman's hand was not yet included (on the far left) and it made her appear to be clutching the male model's hand behind her shoulder (cover the hand with your thumb to see what I mean)  By eliminating that hand you totally change the relationship.  It's amazing how a turn of the head, a placement of the hand, the angle of an arm can change the dynamic between two models in a pose.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Really? Dollar store pregnancy tests?

A few years ago when DH and I were building our family (covert terminology for having sex) there were a couple months where I was wondering "could I be?" I drove to the drugstore, ready take a test just to find out with a little more certainty.

Buying a pregnancy test was always a tricky thing.  First, I would wait a suitable amount of time to be sure there was a REASON to take the test.  Then, I had to convince myself to go to the store to buy the test, then I had to build up the guts to go ask a clerk to open LOCKED glass compartment that held these precious $15 sticks that could give me the answer, all while clutching my purse strap with my left hand up near my shoulder so the clerk would SEE the wedding ring.  Ya know?

Well I took my son to the Dollar Store the other day so he could buy a little something with his allowance.  Wandering around following a 5 year old clutching to the dollar her earned for finding the carpet under 12 inches of legos, race cars, stuffed animals and books, I couldn't help but notice right there on the aisle with the $1 hair brushes and car wax...$1 pregnancy tests!  Dozens of them! 

Holy cow!  I would have peed on a stick every day for a month if I new it would only cost me a buck a piece. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Custom Portrait - at the beginning...

Just a quick peek at my latest custom portrait.  The client wants a very painterly approach, large, loose brushstrokes and bright colors.   She has a portrait of her older son by a very talented artist who has passed away, and our goal is to make both portraits, while completed by two different artists, work together when finished.

I'll post more photos, including the inspiration, soon!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Back to COLOR - New Drawings from the Live Model.

Our figure drawing group had a wonderful evening last night working with a new model.  A lovely petite woman with a short black pixie hair-cut.  We took full advantage of her beautiful back when we set up this lounging back pose with some dramatic lighting near her head.

I was working with Nupastel on a brick red half sheet (about 12" x 19") of Colourfix paper.  I was struggling to get the shadows as rich and deep as I wanted - I just didn't have a dark enough brown.  So I started incorporating some deep prussian blue, a little black, deep burgundy and brown into the shadows.  Where there was a bit of reflected light on her legs I used some brighter turquoise.

But, poor model, this was a very strenuous pose on her shoulder, so we took frequent breaks to let her relax and de-numb her arm.  As she was resting, she was sitting in a position much like this one, and we all agreed - let's cut the lounging pose short and move on to this pose!

The pose and lighting are very similar to pieces I have been working on in black and white - it was interesting to take that practice and turn it into a more colorful (yet still subdued) interpretation.

This was one of our warm-up poses, about 20 minutes.  I still ave to play with it a little more - especially the yellows which came out more acidic than warm.  But I like the diagonal lines and her pose, as well as the cast shadow on her torso.  It has some potential, too!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Counting down the days to a milestone birthday.

My next birthday is looming, and I'm having trouble dealing with it.  There are so many things that I feel like I SHOULD have accomplished by this age.  So...here are a list of things I want to accomplish before the next milestone.  I'm putting it out there because I a) am hoping by making a public announcement I will hold myself to it b) if any of you can make it happen...HELP!  Seriously.

1.  Solo show in a beautiful Gallery or Museum.  I create nude figurative art, so that must be a consideration.

2.  Finish a substantial body of work in one theme and style.  Exhaust the possibilities and bring my ideas to fruition.  (I feel like this is on its way...the most recent series of charcoal figures on modeling paste has really got my juices flowing, and I can already picture a dozen more, with subtle changes as they develop)

3.  Have an article published in a major Artist magazine.   So many artists have asked me "where have you been published?" and I have to say "nowhere, yet".  I have submitted articles and Artwork to several magazines, with no luck yet.  I'll keep trying!

4.  Be featured on a blog with a million followers.  OK a million is not necessary, and I have been so lucky to be featured on some beautiful blogs by incredibly supportive people and fellow artists.  But a feature on a major blog could mean a HUGE boost for my business!

5.  Open my own Art Studio - a space to create, display my work, hold figure drawing classes, and showcase my fellow Artists.

So there are a few more, but these will do nicely as birthday presents :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

New Figure in Black and White - Dramatic Charcoal

This is the latest in my series of charcoal drawings on gesso/modeling paste.  I love this pose - it's the first one that's not only embracing a dramatic shadow, but pushes the depth from the tip of his head to the back of his foot.

You can see more from this series in my album on Flickr.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Figure Drawing in Graphite

Last night was a little rough for me at figure drawing...I don't know if it's allergies or a cold, but man, I was WIPED OUT.  I was going to work in pastel, but since I was spending most of the night sneezing, I opted for a less dusty media, graphite pencil.

These are on 11" x 14" white sketch paper, using just a standard #2 pencil.

I haven't worked with graphite in a while, but I think it worked well here, and I don't do a lot of blending - I like the crisp lines to build up in layers.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bald is beautiful - new drawings of the male model

I can't say it enough - I get to work with so many amazing models in my figure drawing groups!  Last Wednesday our model was kind enough to pose for a few reference photos.  My desire is to create a large series of the black and white charcoal drawings on the textured surfaces.

With his shaved head and broad shoulders, I had a feeling this pose would be perfect for him, and so far it's looking great!    His head and hand are coming forward, the right shoulder is dropped and twisted towards his knee, there is a lot of tension where his hand is gripping the stand.  This particular surface is pretty gouged and not as smooth as some of the previous pieces, and I decided not to sand it any further because I liked that grittiness and imperfection.

He also had some great poses during our group, one of which he used a rope to pull and create tension along his back.

The second, longer pose, had a dramatic overhead light that, again, really benefited from his shaved head and well defined shoulders.
Both of these were drawn with charcoal and watercolor pencils on watercolor paper primed with gesso.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Give Away! Two Fine Art Prints

You may know that I am hard at work on a series of figures in black and white on textured panels.  Well I really excited about where the series is going, I have a lot of new inspiration photos to work from. I'm hoping to show all of the work together in a gallery in the near future.  But...I know many of you are excited about the work and have asked about prints!  So I ran some test prints yesterday and these two came out GORGEOUS!

They are both available as 8 1/2" x 11" prints on Velvet Fine Art Paper in my Fine Art on Etsy shop.

I am giving away my Artist Proofs! The very first prints of each figure.  Here's how you can enter to win one of these prints:

Via Twitter!

Copy and paste one (or both!) of these tweets to your twitter feed... (be sure to include the @krystyna81 so I can keep track of the entries!)

 @krystyna81 .... I want a man! http://www.etsy.com/listing/56012249/male-figure-in-shadow-fine-art-print-of

@krystyna81 ... I want a woman! http://www.etsy.com/listing/58018686/charcoal-drawing-of-the-female-figure

(I just tested these, and they both fit...now it looks like I'm talking to myself on twitter! LOL!)
You only need to do this once per figure - multiple entries will not count.

On Facebook!

Copy and paste one (or both!) of these onto your status update.  (You need to make "kristina laurendi havens aka krystyna81" an ACTIVE link to my Art Page by adding in the "@" symbol in front of my name.  Which means you are "mentioning" the page in your post.)  I will only be able to keep track of the posts that mention my Art Page, because these will automatically show up on that wall.

FROM HERE  >  (Insert "@" symbol here) Kristina Laurendi Havens aka Krystyna81 I want a man!  http://www.etsy.com/listing/56012249/male-figure-in-shadow-fine-art-print-of  < TO HERE

FROM HERE  >  (Insert "@" symbol here) Kristina Laurendi Havens aka Krystyna81 I want a woman!
http://www.etsy.com/listing/58018686/charcoal-drawing-of-the-female-figure   < TO HERE

PS - posts on FB need to include the link to the print of your choice on your wall.  Please let me know if you have any issues on the Free Print Event Page.  Thanks!
On this Blog!

Leave me a comment on this post!  Just write "I want a man!" or "I want a woman!" and be sure there is a way for me to track you down if you win :)  (Posts will not show up right away...but I will see them :)

Entries must be posted by Sunday, October 24th at midnight EST.  I will tally up all of the entries and pick two winners on Monday the 25th!

Each participant may enter up to six times - two on twitter, two on Facebook, and two on this blog.  One winner will receive the print of the male figure, one will receive the print of the female.  No purchase necessary.  All sipping charges are included!  Good luck.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

2010 SAAG National Juried Show - Merit Award

I was delighted to find out this afternoon that my pastel portrait, "Reflections of Zen", won a Merit Award at this year's Southern Appalachian Artist Guild National Juried Show.

There were 120 artists represented at the Blue Ridge Mountains Artist Association in Blue Ridge, GA.

Congratulations to all of the winners and selected artists.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A glorious day of painting with two models

A few weeks ago our Wednesday evening figure drawing group had the privilege of working with two wonderful figure models together.  Truly professional and incredibly talented - they both have incredible "stage presence" and transform poses into mini-stories, in  a way. 

A small group of us to wanted some extra time to work on one long pose booked the same models today and had almost 4 hours to paint one fabulous pose.

I started on a primed and tinted canvas, 24" x 30", blocking in both figures.  I wanted to be sure that I was leaving enough room at both ends of the pose, so that her elbow was going to be in the frame and his foot would not be cut off on the other end.

 Working with a 1" brush I blocked in some of the larger shadow shapes.

As I started to work into the smaller areas of detail, I had to move a few elements - the length of his leg was too long, and his head was too high, so I had to re-draw both areas.

I continued to add local color, trying not to get too bright too fast.  I still feel that his leg may be in the wrong spot, or that his torso is just too long.  But I like the composition, and the space between the male and female figure.  There is an important element, his hand caressing his thigh, that I really need to paint in - it shows more of a connection between the two figures.

It was so nice to work for such a long time from one pose, to really have a chance to look, and re-look, and think about where elements need to be.  Now, when I finish this in the studio from reference photos, I'll be able to draw from both the photograph and the actual experience.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What's happening in the studio...painting, pastels, progress!

Last night while driving to Figure Drawing group here in Woodstock I actually had to take a moment and think about where the last seven days went!  It's been such a busy week, doing a million different things with the kids and my husband and trying to maintain an active on-line shop!  But, somewhere in all the chaos, I am getting a little work done.

I've added some more copper leaf to the tree painting, and this layer is a bit more organic.  I sanded the previous layer, so they each have a different sheen, and it's a nice layered effect.

I've also started to work on the figure and drapery in this acrylic painting I started last week.  I haven't decided...should her eyes be open or closed? 

And of course there's new drawings from last night! Our model was so fantastic, I was so wrapped up in drawing I totally forgot to grab my camera and take any photos - either of her or the work in progress!  Here is a 15 minute pastel - I exaggerated her curves and had some fun with color.  My fellow artists liked it very much as-is...but I may still add a bit more color (cuz I can!)

And the second pose was about an hour and a half.  I grabbed a beautiful remnant of silky blue fabric at the craft store, and the color was gorgeous with the model's skin tone, hair color, and her bright red headband.  This is nupastel on Wallis paper.

So...as you can see, I have a lot of work to do...off to the studio!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Drawing Video - the progression of the couple drawing

I love putting these videos together of my drawings as the progress.  They are not professional by any means, but it is a lot of fun to watch how the drawing came together.  I think my favorite so far is the pastel portrait of the Olive Scarf - the way the colors change as I draw.  But this drawing of the couple is interesting, too, because you can see how the drawing had several shifts - the background is dark and then light, the shape of his head changes, the size of her foot is adjusted...all the elements are worked and re-worked to bring it to life!

Enjoy!  Drawing the Couple in Charcoal

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Custom Portraits for Christmas! Now is the time to order the Perfect Gift for Mom, Dad, Grandparents, Spouses, etc!

Christmas is only....73 days away!  Now is the time to order Custom Portraits for Holiday Gift Giving.

A perfect, unique gift for Mom...how about turning one of your cherished family photos into a beautiful painting?

Your Grandparents would love a classic, beautiful portrait of a precious moment between them and their grandchildren.  Capture the moment of a summer vacation or a Holiday gathering in a gorgeous pastel drawing.

Is there a pet lover on your gift list?  A drawing or painting of a cherished pet is an incredible gift idea

These are just a few examples of the hundreds of Custom Portraits that I have created in Oils, Acrylic, Watercolor, Pastel, and Charcoal over the last decade.  You can view more custom portrait samples in my Fine Art on Etsy shop.

Most portraits take 4 weeks to create, so start planning now!  I can accommodate a limited number of orders between now and Christmas.

Questions? Contact me at 1-773-236-7278 (773-2-FOR ART)

Don't forget - follow me on Facebook and Twitter to keep up-to-date on Promotions and Sales during the Holiday Season.