Mission Statement

This is a blog in which I intend to reach my goal to draw/paint a thousand faces! Welcome, and come along for the journey!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Wishing all my blog visitors Happy Holidays!
May you have a blessed holiday season filled with family, friends, and good cheer! 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gone To The Dogs

If you are wondering where I've been, I have literally gone to the dogs. My Mother recently moved, and I have helped out in various ways. Because her two dogs are still feeling unsettled in the new place, I was asked on their first day to dog sit when she went out to do some errands. This was not a chore for me since I completely adore them. Rocky spent most of the time I was there exploring, then retreated off to my mother's bed...so I didn't get a picture of him. But Rooster, above, was very clingy. At last he went up on a sheet covered couch, but he didn't really settle in until I sat down next to him. He almost looked like he was smiling to have me there, so I couldn't resist and took a picture of him sleeping blissfully.

Outside of helping my Mom out, I have also had a lot of other things going on, so I haven't done any painting. I did do some sketches, but will post them next time. I also played around with updating and arranging my collections. I think the one directly below will be for one venue where I just have to submit the images, never the artwork itself. I just need one more piece to complete it for the five they require.
 Alternatively, it may be these with one more added...
 Here's all the pieces together, which I may add to and submit for a collection for a gallery.

I'm sure these things will be able to get more attention after the New Year. Christmas is sneaking up quickly! 

Until next time, take care!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Parma Paper Study, And Contact Sheet

I've been busy with a house guest, so have not gotten around to posting faces #736-#737 which I did the other day. The piece below was done on one of the new papers I bought, in a parma color. If nothing else, it's two more faces to add to the count, and it was a thorough study of the pastel on this color background. 

For me, a piece like this just gets added to a pile instead of being set aside with the more preferable pieces. I just move on with whatever I learned whether a piece is good or bad, and there's no further thought on it unless I think it can be used in a submission. But I was laughing about a recent article I read in ARTnews magazine about an artist who took all the work he did during specific years, burned it, and put some of the ashes in a small casket and baked the rest into cookies which subsequently went on exhibit like that (laughing)! The article also covered some other artists who had taken some measures to get rid of work they'd done that they were less than pleased about. This is of course a subjective matter. One artist destroyed 60 works estimated at a loss of 655 million dollars. Obviously, just because he himself didn't like it, doesn't mean it didn't have value.  

For me, I may be flattered if someone likes a piece I've done and says so. But I don't ask or rely on what other people think about my work unless it's a critique from another professional with equal or more experience, or someone I've submitted work to. Otherwise, it's like a woman asking her man if a dress makes her look fat...a question with no acceptable or right reply. I stay in love with the process of creating, rather than falling in love with individual pieces because it keeps me objective.  I also read magazines like ARTnews, and keep my finger on the pulse of the creative art world beyond my own "studio" to help stay objective. Another thing that is sometimes helpful in an objective analysis, is creating a contact sheet, like the one below when an artist is considering a submission. Seeing the work compiled in such a way can bring to a person's attention which pieces should be weeded out, which pieces work well in a collection, and what kind of pieces can be created to add to a collection. It forces you to be objective about the work. The contact sheet below was created to help me in selecting for two collections in progress for two very different venues. I need more pieces for one of those venues, and find I can't work on that goal on demand...having to do some other unrelated pieces as well. With Christmas coming fast, I'm sure to get sidetracked, anyway (sigh)!

Thanks for the visit! Until next time, take care!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


 After the two pieces above, I started thinking about some of the other collages I've done on this blog which I didn't finish (below). I may revisit these at some point.

I did a couple sketches last night in exploration of a new piece I'm hoping to start. I will be sure to post when I do! Until next time, take care, and thanks for visiting!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Collage And Montages

 I think I am finally finished with this montage, below. I had it in my mind that the shape in the lower right hand corner was more conducive to a sail boat, then went ahead and put in the motor boat (which now I've changed). I finally like this piece, and can sleep at night again.
 I did a lot of digital montages since the digital imaging class I took in school for graphic design. One of the things you learn in any Photoshop class are about transparency levels and blending modes on your layers. It's a lot of fun playing with these, as I did in the imagery below. The first montage below has a digital time stamp of 2005...quite some time ago. The other two below it are a little more recent and were done for fabric panels in the end of 2009.

Although I like my digital work and experience, I'm just as happy with any traditional implements even as simple as a pencil.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Until next time, take care!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Face #735, And An Updated Update

These two faces on the roughly 13" by 13"dark ground (one new, one from last post) are going to get affixed to a larger substrate for some sort of collage type mixed media piece. I may do some other faces to add to it. For now, I wanted to share the newer face.

Also, I went back and updated my update and added the compass and a boat to this piece below. But I may leave the image in my blog header as is for the time being...because who knows? Maybe this updated update will see even more changes. 

I had also toyed with using the arrangement below for my new blog header, but changed my mind ultimately. Seeing different paintings together has given me the idea of making a contact sheet with a collection of about eight pieces I've done that work well together. I'll be sure to share and post a pic of the contact sheet, if I do.

The weather is amazing here right now...just ideal. I hope it holds out for the weekend. Until next time, take care!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dramatic Effect, Face #734

I decided to try out one of my latest Canson Mi-Teints paper acquisitions. I have worked with a dark ground before, so it isn't completely foreign to me to have used this black sheet. A dark ground can be very dramatic, and lend a lot of personality to a piece. I like the boldness of it, as well as the shadowy effects that can be had. This latest piece done on black, while I could have explored it even more, is finished. I do have more of this paper, and there will be more pieces done on dark ground in future posts.

Until next time, take care! And thanks for visiting!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Lighthouse Study, And An Update

I worked on this lighthouse study, 13.5" by 19.5" pastel, yesterday. I think the flash from my camera has the violet looking a bit exaggerated. It's a little more subdued looking in person. But I actually like how it "popped" even more in the photo. The piece is meant to be a companion to the "Florida" poster from last post. 

I also went back and updated Face #733 (below), which I felt needed some work. I actually gave it more attention than I was planning to, and he's a whole new man! (chuckle) I think the piece benefitted from sitting for a few days before going back to it. I'm finished with the face, but may or may not do more with the piece. I may add a compass in the image, and try to connect it with the lighthouse and Florida poster I've done. Not sure.

Hope everyone had a good weekend! Until next time, take care!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

"Florida" Poster, And Sea Shells

Although the days here have been in the mild 70's, the nights have gotten really chilly. Certainly too chilly for the beach. Nonetheless, it seems a subject I never tire of artistically rendering. Parts of Florida really are paradise. I started this piece on Wednesday, and didn't finish it until Friday morning after my goodies from my gift certificate arrived. The pastel painting is 13.5" by 15.5", and I show the finished piece as it is first. Then, I show it again after some minor digital work: adding type with a drop shadow; a digital watercolor "salt" effect stroke along the edges for a sandy effect; a drop shadow on the border; all on a sea foam background to complete the poster. One could typically expect nowadays a painting to be converted into an illustration with just such a few digital tweaks. But those tweaks are even chosen carefully so as not to detract, but to add something to an image. You need the right typeface, the right colors, the right overall treatment. The finished poster has a very unmistakable "Florida" feel to it.

Some of the pastels I ordered were in flesh tones, which are also great colors for sea shells. So, I did a fun sea shell study just to acclimate myself with the latest addition of pastels I bought, below.

That was my Friday, on the creative front. I haven't even opened the second half of my shipment from the gift certificate, which is almost all pastel paper. Can't hardly wait!

Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving, and until next time, take care!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A New Pastel Study, Face #733

Finally I was able to sit down, tinkering away blissfully and creatively last night with my pastels. Finally after two months of hanging onto a Dick Blick gift certificate for art supplies, I cashed it in today. Perhaps there is some hope for art in my future, after all. I have just been so inundated with paperwork these days, and other things. It's enough to make a person crazy. Does my pastel study below reflect the madness? Probably not. I like the mellowness of the background, though I may tweak the face a bit. I wanted a somewhat non-descript face in this piece, but think I may have to tighten up the detail just a shade more around the eye. Maybe. If I update the piece, I will be sure to post.

(UPDATED, below)

Since I probably won't post again until Friday, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2012

In Search Of...

Even when the rare opportunity to do something creative has presented itself lately, the spark hasn't been there. I think my creative spark has been buried beneath a mountain of tedious things needed to be done, and that's why I haven't made anything to post here in over a week. So if you happen to find my muse, send it back to me (laughing). Actually and more seriously, I don't see my schedule lightening up here until after Thanksgiving. But anything I accomplish creatively, I will be sure to post here. I do have a couple of pencil drawings that I went over with ink to show for now. They didn't photograph well because of the reflectiveness of the pencil, but here they are just the same.

I am determined to make some time for some pastel painting over the weekend. Determined. Until next time, take care!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Green And Gruesome

I happen to think green is a lovely color. Sometimes. I have also seen some "one note" landscape paintings that were ruined by too much of a heavy hand with this color (and even done one like that myself). And let's face it...green and the human body, not very appealing. Nonetheless, I did this detailed figure study below on the last sheet of an aquamarine paper sample. I had originally planned to go with rendering the flesh tones, but got so immersed with the drawing itself and detail that I abandoned my original ideas for the piece. It was a lucrative study, even if in the end he looks somewhat ghastly because of the color. I really further grasped some of the relationships of shapes pertaining to muscle and bone and how they relate to the visible surface of the body. I am really enjoying the further studying of anatomy that I have taken on recently.

It took me less than two minutes to digitally edit the image in a sepia version that is less ghastly!
I have to get on the ball here, and try to get more drawing and painting done. This is all I've done this week, and it hasn't been for lack of time. 

Until next time, take care!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Line Quality, Faces #721-#729

There is no fundamental right or wrong when it comes to line quality in art. In most instances, however, the quality of one type of line may be preferable to another to an artist. Here below in the ink drawing, the lines because they are fine and unblended, tend to be cleaner though not always precise. In a painting such as the one in pastel below, there are actually some blended lines as well as more direct applications of line, but the overall piece is more relaxed in its line quality than an ink drawing. Even with a simple pencil drawing such as in the sketches below, there tends to be combinations of different line qualities rather than just one type. One design book I have read says that the qualities of line are endless, then goes on to give just a few examples such as I have. In truth, there is a lot more to be said about line than whether or not it is precise or relaxed, blended or unblended, delicate or bold, dark or light, straight or curved. The choices as many as there are, can definitely enhance the overall effect in a piece.

I am at the end of the paper samples I purchased, with only the very largest approx. 30" by 40" sheets remaining. This means I have to give more time and thought in the planning for those larger projects. I will still do all my usual sketching and painting, but those larger projects are on the horizon. I hope to share one in the near future, here.

Until next time, thanks for visiting and take care! 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


You would think on a blog about faces this would be a jack-o-lantern, and the pumpkin would have a face...but I like the gourd as it is without any carved out features. There's just something so cheerful about a glistening plump orange pumpkin. This piece was a lot of fun, embellishing it with little details and textures. So much so, that even if it isn't Halloween anymore after today, I may still do another piece with pumpkins.

"Pumpkin-esque", pastel, 10" by 13"

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Visual Shorthand, Face #720

The remnants of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Sandy are still upon Florida, leaving us with windy cooler weather.  I had to turn on the heat in my car this morning, and my steaming morning hot coffee has never been more well received or welcome! Saturday, my two year blog anniversary, saw me without power here for part of a day. Debris and brush fills many streets and areas still. This system didn't even make land fall here, and yet still caused many problems. My friends up north are in my prayers as Sandy moves up the eastern seaboard.

I have been focusing more on figure drawing rather than just faces as of late. One thing commonly done among artists drawing figures, are quick gesture drawings to help in determining poses. I generally do mine in ball point pen to prevent me from all the time and clean up I do when working in pencil. I recently found an additional benefit to derive from this visual shorthand of quick drawings. It makes an artist more fluent with the shapes they are working with, and able to establish those quickly in a preliminary drawing on canvas or such.

When drawing the skeleton below, instead of becoming overwhelmed by the task, it was easy to simply draw in the basic shapes quickly and lightly in pencil. Then I went back and refined each area more carefully and darker. This skeleton was not rendered from one image, but using many reference pics. I then came up with the general shapes to render quickly, and drew my composite. Although I did this with figure drawing, a person could easily use the same methods for any subject, familiarizing themselves with the basic shapes through many quick drawings.

I'm not sure if I will proceed beyond the drawing stage with this skeleton, though I originally planned to do it in pastel. We'll see. Until next time, take care!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Something Old, And Something Blue

Tropical Storm Sandy has me preoccupied with errands. We are already seeing some rain and wind from this system that isn't expected to leave here until Saturday, so I'm wanting to stock pile on anything I might need. But I did want to sneak in a small post. The first item below is the ink drawing from my last post which I brought through Photoshop, and "aged" it. Then, an ink figure study follows that I also subsequently brought into Photoshop hoping to salvage. Although the initial study flopped as far as becoming a finished piece is concerned, I did get to see some mistakes I won't make next time from having worked the piece...which is sort of the point for having done the study! This has been a week of learning for me; from many figure studies, from lots of reading on anatomy, and from reading on the work habits and preparatory studies of several other artists. I may write more about it next post, though.

Until next time, take care!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ink And Such

A few new faces for a Monday. One is done in pastel pencil, a couple rendered in #2 pencil, then one 18" by 24" piece in black ink. I plan on purchasing some brown ink and cream paper to do some drawings done in the tradition of the renaissance and baroque art periods. I had also considered doing some silver point drawing/etching, but the brown ink is more accessible and without the additional steps of preparing a surface with special grounds. In any event, for the time being, I did one piece below in black ink. It is made up of hundreds of fine lines, and there remains a little pencil in shaded areas. If I were to have done the piece in brown ink, on cream toned paper, I might be inclined to have added a wash and some chalk highlights as was often done in the old Italian drawings I like so much.

The close-up above is showing the piece at about actual size, just to give you an idea of how fine some of the lines are. It's done with a Rapidograph tip size .35 pen.

That brings my face count up to 718. Hope everyone had a good weekend, and is off to a good start on the week! Until next time, take care.