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!

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.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Coastal Living

While I am still on the mend and haven't accomplished very much, I was excited to both work on and finish the fish painting I started and showed last post.  I can really imagine expanding upon this piece: perhaps including it in a very colorful collage; or having this image printed on fabric, quilting it, and embellishing it with tiny gold seed beads. In any event, it was lots of fun. I have also included a sketch which is another preliminary for a lighthouse piece I want to get to in the near future.

Although I also had some faces done, I will wait until there are more and share next post. Until next time, take care!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Face Odyssey 2012

I have been recovering from a bout of pneumonia, and I am still on the mend, but managed to get a little work done. This first painting below isn't so much an odd painting as it is a test run on a new surface. I bought some new papers and boards to sample before I make a larger purchase. I tested this particular paper for how well it holds up to erasures, how it takes a light wash, how many layers of pastel it can hold (tooth), how it handles various brands of pastel and pencil, and more. While I still like the smoother more buttery feel while laying down pastel on my Canson paper, this new surface I tried is good for those occasions when I want a heavier paper that can take a wash and hold more layers of pastel. Other than that, it's about the same price and size as the Canson. I also bought some really gigantic paper and board for larger pieces I hope to do.

On another piece of the same paper as above, I started this fish below. I hope to finish it soon.

I actually had some sketches done, too, but will save them for my next post. Until next time, take care!

Monday, October 8, 2012

200th Post

Here it is a few weeks before my second year of this blog, and it's my 200th blog post. What I frequently wonder is whether or not I will continue to blog after I hit my goal of a thousand faces. I think, probably... but I would most likely expand my repertoire. Today I have included a couple of seascape studies along with faces #711-#713 (below). 

Although I like them as they are, these two seascapes below are actually preliminary studies for a larger piece I hope to do. The piece with the lighthouse is about 11" by 14", and was done first. The second one is about 7" by 11", and was done to get a better idea of an outcome of using a slightly more expanded palette.

The weather here has been so beautiful as of late. Still warm, but the blistering heat of summer has passed. Hope it's nice wherever you are! Until next time, take care!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

One Sketch Fits All

I can never seem to wrap my mind around it when either a very seasoned artist or some novice hobbyist asserts that their way and their process is the only one that exists; that there is some "one size fits all" solution in regards to sketching or other artistic process. It's just so pathetically narrow minded. I think I am lucky to get some of the art magazines I do where I learn about some artist who takes four years to complete a very intricate drawing, or another artist who completes then cuts up all their work into segments, or still another who works with some rare materials. I think I am lucky to have been exposed to the process of so many artists I've met in the course of my life time. I think I am lucky to see the drawings of Michaelangelo or Edward Hopper, and get a glimpse into the exquisite preliminary sketches they did before approaching some larger piece. The process is inevitably different from one artist to the next. It can also be varied within the work of just one artist. I sketch for all sorts of reasons... it could be a sketch is the preliminary groundwork for some larger piece.... or it could be to work out some anatomy issue...or design issue. It can also be, a sketch is done for pleasure...or to relieve stress...or out of utter boredom. Whatever the case may be for an artist to choose what they choose to do, I would recommend they just enjoy it. After all, creating art is hopefully a labor of love and not like a trip to the dentist (wink).

Until next time, take care!