Thursday, June 30, 2011


I was at the groomer this week and one of the groomers had a new puppy. A chihuahua named Taz. He is a powerhouse of energy. He had a new toy. A golf ball, and I got to watch as he tried to catch it as it bounced. He bounced every time the ball did. Sooooooo cute. He isn't much for posing tho. He doesn't stay still long enough.

Here is Taz.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Back in the Day

I joined Wetcanvas forum in 2006, the same month I started this blog, and when I got more serious about my art. Before that I did some drawings of friends, their relatives, their pets, and friends of theirs. But they were more like line drawings.

After I joined Wetcanvas, I learned so much and found out how much improvement can be made by drawing every day and from life. It has been a wonderful experience.

I thought you might like to see some pre-2006 sketches from me. And these aren't the earliest of my drawing experience. I even have some of those tucked away out of sight. I doubt I have ever thrown many of them away.

In fact when I oil painted in the 80s, I couldn't draw. I had to trace a picture of what I wanted to paint onto the canvas. Even as a child, I would sit in front of the living room window and look out at the rain and try to draw> It seems like the drawing urge always came when it rained. But frustration with what I produced, had me putting my pad and pencil away until another urge hit me.

About 1994 I went to work in an office full time. I stayed there for 10 years. It was too hard to oil paint after that. It was too time consuming, we lived in a smaller house and there was no place to hang the paintings for them to dry (not water soluble back then), I had no where to leave everything out, and the clean up was just too time consuming.

So I turned to a pencil and paper which was always available in an office. I would draw on my breaks and lunch time. It started with me doing my animals and relatives. Soon I had others offer photos for my practice. I never charged. I didn't think they were worth money. I used them as practice.

One lady had 3 kids and I sketched their school photos every year. That helped me judge whether I was getting better or not. Then some of the ladies started asking for photo copies of some of my wild jungle animals to frame for their houses. I was pleased to provide them and I still gave them freely.

Then I wanted to do better and found information about using a grid. I ordered one and from that day my people started looking more like the people with less stress and effort on my part. I was stuck using a grid until I took a "From Life" lesson on Wetcanvas by Katherine Tyrrell. From that day forward, I have never used a grid again. Not that I have anything against them. I just didn't want to be confined by them. That class gave me the confidence to sketch from life, go out in public to sketch, and improve my drawing skills.

Eventually people started asking when I would start using color. I had no interest in it for quite some time. Then I wandered into the world of colored pencils. That opened up another love for me.

Now I find myself in the middle of watercolor painting. I had been wanting to paint again for about a year. I bought water soluble oil paints, acrylic, gouache, and watercolor. The smaller sets that weren't too expensive. Plus all the stuff like brushes, etc to each medium. And they all sat in a drawer for months and years.

Now I am doing watercolors. I am enjoying watercolors. I am really enjoying the fact that I can fill the space a lot faster than with cp. I am learning a lot day by day by not reading about it or taking classes but by doing it. Seems to be the best way for me. I don't like to follow the "proper" rules. I can't save my whites. It's probably because I started as an oil painter. So I have to find a different way to get my whites. I'm not unhappy about the way I paint watercolors. I kind of like doing things my way. It has always worked for me in life and at my age, I'm not likely to change now.

It's just like with graphite. I don't do perspective. At least the "proper" way. I just don't get it and refuse to make my love of art become a chore for me by doing it someone Else's way. It doesn't bother me if the perspective on my buildings are not just perfect. Lots of buildings sag and don't keep the perfect perspective. Phone lines don't stay snug tight. The water line is not straight. So there are few things I measure. Even with faces, I use my eye to get the pieces where they belong. I don't really measure except using my eye. It works for me.

Here are two sketches from an old sketchbook I found when cleaning out some cabinets. The one of the birds was done while sitting at my mom's kitchen table looking out at her bird feeder. You can't really say the birds are drawing from life as Hummingbirds don't pose. You just have to catch a glimpse of their outline and go from there.

On the people, you can see where I was trying to use lines to follow something I had read. Sure didn't help my sketches.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Kati & Her Dad

I liked the reference for this one because the dad has a quirky look on his face. Kati's teeth didn't turn out as good because in the photo she had braces on. I figured she wouldn't want them in the photo as she now has a wonderful smile without them.

Bill worked with my husband and besides being coworkers, they were friends. Both truck drivers working for the same company. Both Christians.

At my Bill's funeral, Bill S was one of the speakers. He is a "country boy" with a nice outlook on life. In a time when road rage is the norm on the highway, Bill S in a traffic situation will just raise his arm and say "God Bless You".

Kati is his daughter and soon to be married. I found this photo on her Facebook and liked the quirky look on her dad's face.

This is the latest painting in my people sketchbook. I don't really like the way it turned out. I can see many flaws, and I think it turned out looking more like a caricature. I was striving for realistic. But it was another way to practice people and watercolor and every painting is a lesson learned.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Lady on a Beach

I did this one today while waiting for a pest control tech. This is from a reference on Wetcanvas by onefineprint. Another for my People Sketchbook. This one is on the same page as my couple walking on a beach. Watercolor.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Here is the latest person in my "People" sketchbook. This is my nephew and niece's niece. This started out as watercolor, then became a mix or mess. It has watercolor pencil, colored pencil, white Conte pencil, and pen. I don't like how I did her eyebrows. Kind of messed them up. Hers are really erratic but the pen made these look too choppy. I should have had more patience with them. But another lesson learned and another "people" accomplished.

Happy Blog Anniversary

Today is the anniversary of my blog. I would have forgotten except someone posted a Happy blogaversary, and I am so grateful for the reminder.

I started my blog on 6-19-2006. I was trying to make a comment on Katherine T's blog and couldn't until I had my own blog. So voila, here it is. And I have been happily posting ever since.

Katherine had posted that a good percentage of new blogs don't make it past the first year. So stubborn as I am, I determined that I would make it. My blog has acted as sort of a therapy for me thru some trying times. Plus I have met and made some wonderful friends from all over the world. I am happy to say the adventure has been well worth the effort.

Hopefully I will continue for a long time to come sharing my artwork, my adventures thru life, my trials and tribulations with my artwork, my joy at being alive, my gratitude for the many friends, and the gift of my faith.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hoppy & Morgan

This is my latest "people" painting. This is a friend's Uncle Hoppy and his wonderful boxer Morgan. I see them once a year at a barbecue. They go everywhere together and are devoted to each other. Both are wonderful.

Watercolor from two different photos I took at the barbecue about 2 years apart. This is in my "People" sketchbook but I will probably tear it out and mat and frame for Hoppy.

Friday, June 10, 2011


I did another painting for my People Sketchbook. I took the book with me to my hair appointment and did the graphite sketch in the 20 minutes I had to wait. Then after grocery shopping and, the trip across tow, the putting away, and eating, i finished the painting part.

This was from one of the photos on the Wetcanvas WDE for 6-10-11. Photo was provided by Eyepaint or EP as we know her on the Scavenger Hunts. She titled the photo "Worried". When I posted mine on the WDE, I listed it as "Worried" My Way.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

More People Study

More studies in People in my "People" sketchbook. This was from a photo I took while on a plein air outing.