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, July 29, 2013

Design Considerations

Hard work pays off. Even if a person feels that their more raw ability is a gift from God, they may spend a lot of time working to nurture that ability. So to try to explain years and years of work, and the many design considerations that took place along the way...seems kind of ridiculous. Many times for me, rather than explain all of the preceding years, I just say I drew, painted or rendered a piece. But occasionally, on certain pieces, I do share the specifics of my process that went into that individual piece if it seems noteworthy.

I photographed the piece below, thinking for my intents and purposes, it was finished. Two more faces, done. And also, because by this point, I had gotten what I came for. It was a surface study of working with this particular type of mat board to not only see how it took the pastel, but also to maximize the color of the mat board beneath the pastel. I let more of the surface show through when painting the woman, than the man who is painted more opaquely, so as to make her seem to recede. Not only is the pastel applied in more thinner layers with her, but in some areas of what would be shadow or highlight there is almost no coverage with the pastel at all. While I don't know what brand of mat board this is, it was a pleasure to work with...an absolute pastelist's dream. 
 After the piece sat for a day, I decided to add a watery background. Not only because of the mat board color was a watery scene an obvious choice, but also because the way I rendered the couple: how they seem to melt and fade into each other and the background fluidly.Originally, it started out with just bluer water and sky. But try as I might to go with a more subdued color scheme, it didn't work in this piece. It sat on my easel for a few hours before finally nerving up to add in the pumpkin shades in the sky, and other subsequent changes. Lastly, I added the moon not only as a whimsical touch, but also to reinforce through repetition the direction of his face turned toward her. Although the man is rendered more opaquely and closer to the foreground, her more "head on" pose and his looking at her makes her the more dominant subject in the painting.
 16" by 20", pastel on mat board
That takes me to 833 faces. Can you even imagine if I had given this much of a lengthy explanation of every face I had done?!!

Until next time, take care!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Toned And Tan, Faces #829-#831

The "toned and tanned" in the title of this post is actually referring to paper, and not a person. Specifically, a pad of Strathmore Toned Tan papers suitable for both light and dark media which I purchased earlier in the week. Although I still have some other sketches of faces I have not shown yet, since I was "test riding" this new paper I decided to show these drawings(below). I probably like the second drawing the best out of this bunch.

While I was buying the Strathmore pad, I also bought two large pieces of mat board which I had quartered. I am anxious to use those and will do a few pieces on those soon. But maybe not all faces...I have been wanting to do some abstract mixed media pieces as well.

I find myself hooked on two newer tv shows. On Sunday nights when I'm usually too tired to paint or draw, I settle in for Showtime's new show Ray Donovon (excellent). The other show is not as new and I'm catching up on its first season of already aired episodes; is NBC's Chicago Fire. Both these shows are worth checking out if you don't already watch them!

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

Monday, July 22, 2013

Tropical Breezes, Face #828

While I would have liked to report that I have been off on an adventure or engaged in a steamy summer romance; the reasons for not having posted sooner are a lot less glamorous.  But while I have not posted, I still have been painting and sketching. I had more faces rendered in charcoal to show by this point, but will save them for my next post since there are already other things I wanted to show today. 

The first piece (below) 8.5" by 12.5", pastel, on Canson paper; I have titled "Tropical Breezes".
This next piece, at 19" by 25" is a surrealistic mixed media piece. I worked on it, on and off, for a few days. 
 I don't think it is finished, and actually like it cut into two paintings (below); both of which I would extend with a border with some sort of geometric elements. Should I decide to do so, I will post. In any event, working this piece gave me lots of ideas for some mixed media pieces I may do in the future.

 Finally; has anyone ever cooked with these "rice sticks" before? This particular brand has three generous servings per package, which I broke up immediately for three separate meals.
 What an easy and quick base for a summer meal! The rice sticks are never boiled, but rather soaked for 5 to 8 minutes. While they are soaking, you can start stir frying your veggies (and meat if you like). Then, you drain the soaking noodles, and throw them in your stir fry for two minutes until they are softened completely and hot.
While brown rice products are healthier, this is good for an occasional meal. It can be light, depending on how much you eat and what you add to it. I made the first serving with just some Italian seasonings and sauteed garlic in olive oil. The second serving (shown above), I made with a sweet potato hash, caramelized onion, white beans, 4 cups of wilted greens thrown in at the last minute, and "Aunt Cora's Soulful Seasonings". Lastly, the third serving I cooked for my son who lives up the street. A frequently hungry college student, he complained he had nothing to eat. I asked if he had a chicken breast, which he did. I told him to cook it, and that I would be cooking the rest of his meal to add to it and would bring it to him. I went to work soaking the noodles, and stir frying 2 cups of broccoli, a cup of snow peas, a handful of matchstick carrots in an organic terryaki sauce from Hawaii. He added his chicken, and had himself a tasty meal high in fiber. The rice sticks will take on any seasonings you add, and when combined with your choice of veggies and/or meat can make preparing dinner a one-dish breeze.

Hope you are all enjoying your summer. Until next time, take care!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


I had originally planned on a more detailed sharing my latest adventures in this post, of an emergency trip to an oral surgeon the day before the 4th of July. But alas, it is enough to remark that I fell in love with the good doctor over his extracting my infected molar. He was divine, he was a dream (sighing). I am crushed that I will probably never see him again, and that even if I were; would he be as smitten as he left me? That wild sun-kissed surfer blonde hair ...those oh-so blue most engaging eyes...and that smile of his that has no doubt left scores of women delighted and weak at the knees!!!!! But most of all, it was his charm, grace and kindness that moved me. I did not feel that I was going through my dental horrors alone...he was there with me every step of the way. But enough, already...(laughing wildly). Summer and its distractions. How can a person get anything done? 

But I actually have managed to get a few more faces done to show(two in pastel, several in charcoal). Also I finished a sea scape I showed in progress last post...  

I will try to limit my distractions, and post again soon! Take care, and until next time, be well!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Goodbye June, Hello July

While June wasn't tremendously awful, it sure could have been better for me. I spent all of it having weird side effects from two different blood pressure medications, and a supplement as well. I seem to be in the low percentage of people who while not all out allergic to medications, are very sensitive toward them. Anyway, the thing I'm supposed to take to make me better makes me feel miserable and gets worse the longer I take it. So goodbye, June....hello, July. I'm hoping for better.

Evidently, I haven't forgotten how to paint! When I make time for it, I can actually get the job done right. Below is another face, as well as a painting I started (in progress).

 Also, I wanted to share some "add in"ideas for a summer salad...

This salad has a spring mix of greens for its base. Then; it's loaded up with match stick carrots, cucumbers, red onion, green olives, celery, cannelini beans, pumpkin seeds, and honey mango. Dressed lightly with a balsamic vinegar with rosemary, and dijon mustard, and extra virgin olive oil. The honey mango is a nice contrast to the briny olives and dijon mustard, while the match stick carrots, celery, and pumpkin seeds give this salad a lot of texture and crunch!

I hope everyone has a safe and fun Fourth Of July this week!