Archive for February, 2014


So here she is framed and ready to be shipped out to her new home where she can “hang” out with some of my other African critter artworks.

This watercolor pencil on 100% cotton rag mueseum grade suede board measures 18 1/4 x 21 1/4.


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This is the tracing stage of this as yet untitled Longhorn panoramic. It currently measures 20×40 inches

I love doing these panoramics. I think because there are no rules. I allow myself to just do whatever the heck I want to without getting too hung up on reality. So I am kinda jazzed to be doing another one. These “pan” pieces may just become a regular thing with me. The only downside (if there is one) is they are process heavy. In fact I can actually spend more time working the steps than actually coloring the artwork.

A Basic Rundown Of The Creation Of My Panoramic Critter Jumbles

I apply a masking film whenever I want to leave the open negative spaces as the substrate color. Without covering it, it’d be a real muddy mess. If I was applying a background I still might cover it, depending on what colors I planned working with.

  • It begins with pulling photos from my personal reference library. Dozens upon dozens of photos. I select my favorites and begin drawing.
  • I usually draw at least 30% more animals than I use. I start with the same sized papers and draw out my favorite angles and shapes. I then cut them out like paper dolls and lay them over each other in a myriad of way until I get a composition that I like. I then tape them to a board that is the size I want the painting to be.
  • I tape tracing paper over my paper doll panoramic (see above photo) and trace all of the animals. I do this step because the substrate I’m using doesn’t allow for erasing do the drawing must be done elsewhere.
  • I then tape the tracing paper to my actual substrate in this case suede board. and once again trace over all the lines pushing firmly so an indentation is created in the suede.
  • Then, remove tracing paper and lightly draw over all the indentations so I can actually see them.
  • Cover the entire surface with masking film. I looked at professional stuffs which were pricey and tried using a cheap book covering vinyl with works quite well.
  • Lastly cut out the area I wish to work on. In this case one cow at a time. I must start on the left and work right so I don’t track color. I’m not a fan of working from left to right but it really is the only option as I am quite a messy artist. Heck if I was neat I wouldn’t have to do all this in the first place.

If you’d like a more picture filled version of this process I have a squidoo page tutorial on how I work with watercolor pencils on suede.

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Untitled Cheetah

watercolor pencil on suede board

18×21 1/4 inches

Oh How I Suffer For My Art

Okay, so I’ve been kinda lousy about blogging my in progress works lately. I fear facebook has gotten the majority of work in progress updates. Something about blogging makes me feel I need to expand on it more than my basic “Here it is” that I do on FB. But I save the best stuff for my blog.

Stuff like my “Start To Finish” progression posts and my sick sense of humor. That’s right … it’s all for you.

Anywho, I had intended this piece to be done by last weds But … in my artistic frenzy of creation juju I seem to have inflamed my sciatic nerve. For those of you fortunate enough to not have this affliction (for me) it is pretty much like getting stabbed in the side. Suddenly. And without warning.

Being a cup half full kinda girl I must say at least it’s only first thing in the morning. After some stretches (which usually triggers multiple stabbings more soon followed by multiple cursing) I am totally good to go about my day as normal. Pitching hay, hauling and toting etc. So this is good.

I’ve rearranged my padding for sleeping and took a artwork hiatus. You see, me being hunched over my drafting table, gripping my pencils and forcing pigment into my artwork seems to tense up my back muscles. I enacted a strict artwork ban, followed by heating pads, hot baths and yoga. But after 5 days things have not improved (nor gotten any worse) well I’m back at it and all of this finally brings me to this cheetah piece.

I’ve got some tweaking left but for all intents and purposes it is finished. I’ll post the start to finish on her soon as well as my two previous cow pieces (they’re still in the tweaking faze too.)

I have no idea what to call this piece, I kinda hate to just call it “Cheetah” but there’s been no enlightenment moment in regards to title so that may very well end up what it is.

Anyone got any suggestions?

The Moo Crew

And now I move onto more cows. I want to do a minimum of 10 more cow portraits before the tentative “CowGirls” show date of August 25th.  More if possible. So I must do a cow or two then take a break and do something exotic then back to my Moo Crew.

I’ve got to rough sketches and I plan to finalize one of them today. Which one? I guess it depends on who speaks to me first.

They are both Scottish Highland cattle. I’ve named them Hamish a red curly headed bull and Goldie another sweet faced heifer. I’m leaning towards Goldie.

I’ve got so many critters wanting to come out and play it’s hard to choose who to paint first. I’ve got around 10 on my short list. Problem is my short list seems to be growing.


I guess my back isn’t going to be getting any better anytime soon. But it’s so worth it.

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IsabellDaisy800This is not something I struggle with. In fact I would go so far as to say it’s my ability to focus that has allowed me to take my art into a business. But of late I’m having a hard time working on one idea and seeing it through to the end.

It started shortly after Christmas. I drew out several ideas for paintings one after the other only to not take them to the next stage. Again can’t say that I have ever done this. I draw something, then add color and finish it to either sell or burn but I go through all the steps. Then get inspired and draw again. But this time I’d draw something, get it exactly where I wanted it and then went “Meh. What I really want to do is this other thing!”

I finally got to the adding color stage with “Daisy”  I worked on her for quite some time but then drew out Isabell while still working on Daisy. I set Daisy aside and began adding color to Izzy but then I came across this cheetah photo (a critter that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time) and I’m like “I better hurry up and finish Izzy so I can work on this cheetah!” meanwhile Daisy is not yet done.

So where it stands now is … Daisy close to done. Isabell more than 3/4 done. Cheetah drawing nearly complete.

But …

then I woke up this morning with visions of bunnies in my head.


I don’t know if it has just been such a long haul and now that I have time to create it’s like the floodgates have opened and I rush off on every wild idea (or is it wild bunny … wild hare?) that passes my fancy.

For now the girls are gonna get set aside and I’ll begin my cheetah. The bunnies … well they’ll just have to wait.


Anyone else ever have this problem?

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