Posts Tagged ‘painting’


Despite the fact that the next Cowgirl exhibit is only 6 weeks away I am doing something else. If it works out this is my design for this year’s Christmas card. (I know right! Usually I’m cranking it out sometime in mid-December) . It’s somewhat small at around 12 x 16 inches and so in theory should be rather quick. And then because I just love pressure I’m thinking about a rooster and then … maybe another cow.

The Octagon art center community gallery (which is their ground level gallery) is a beautiful space but very small so there’s a possibility that what I’ve got now won’t all fit. So we’ll see. I definitely need to get a least a couple of dairy breeds in the mix though.

No title on this yet and I don’t know whether I’ll add elements of whimsy like I have in the past with Snow Bunny and Fleece On Earth. But I’m pretty sure I’m gonna add some glitter on the cards because the world needs more sparkle.

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And it’s about time huh?

It took me awhile but I finally got a few more of my recent paintings added to the website. It is available in 3 sizes though I am pondering removing the middle size. It seems most people like either close to original sized or the much smaller version.

I am also offering it in canvas which can either be stretched traditionally for framing or down  in the deeper box wrap or gallery wrap style for that clean, sleek contemporary look. I am loving these panoramics in the gallery wrap and have done both my “Birds Of A Feather” as well as “Spotted.”

Check out the WFG website for more information.

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So here is what I’m working on now. The plan for Daisy is to be primarily a buttery yellow colored heifer but color gets the best of me so who knows how she’ll end up.

This is another mixed media piece using ink, water color pencils and Neopastels II and measures approximately 18 inches square though it will be cropped down when done.

The background has a film over it to protect it from my messy habits. It will be colored in but I don’t want the oranges to muddy whatever I decide to do with it.

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I always struggle when starting a new piece to find the right colors for what I have in mind. And this piece is no exception. I wanted a warm yellow color to my gray horse. Gray horses seem to be a challenge for me. I make them too cold, too blue gray and this one I want warm. I want reflected light and soft yellow and rose coloring.

Somehow though I wound up with a whole lotta green.

So here’s where I think I went wrong
I made a few critical errors when I began this piece. First I started it at home in a not well lit environment.

It’s one thing to work on a piece once I have figured out my palette. But it’s probably best not to try to figure it out in not-so-great lighting.

I layed down an yellow/orange-ish base coat and then put my blue/grays over the top and guess what … it made green. Yeah, I know after 20 years of mixing color I should have expected that huh?

Though in my defense had I been working in oil pastel it would have totally worked!

And lastly I get kinda fixated on the area that I am working and in point of fact it was only 6 inches on a piece that currently measures 24 x 32. So I really need to just step back and try to remember there is a lot more to do so stop obsessing..


So the head shown here is nowhere near done but I like it better. Crappy photo makes it look a lot like the first photo … but trust me it is completely different.)

So I pulled out a dozen or so Percheron reference photos that had that glow I was looking for. Pulled out much of the color I had put in and began again. At the gallery. On a sunny day.


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Why a zebra of course.
Since it has been a long time coming (as in I started drawing these zebras in June) I am in the process of finding myself. I want it punch drunk with color but it will most likely take me at least one zebra (maybe two) before I settle into my color palette and embrace the courage to push my color comfort zone.

But I think I’m off to a good start. I

The finished size will be 18×40 inches. This is a mixed media of water-soluble ink and water-soluble wax pastel done on suede. I cover the suede with a masking film to protect the surface that will not have pigment, and cut away the film as I progress from left to right.

For more information on how I do this process you can check out my art tutorial on the subject.

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Flamin' Sheep: Original Oil Pastel

Flamin’ Sheep
Oil Pastel on Handmade Paper
10 1/2″ x 13″

I finally got around to posting this. As you may have noticed, I got over my fear of calling it Flamin’ Sheep. I’m not sure how, but that title has appeared to have stuck.

So here it is finished. I wasn’t able to take it along last weekend, which is too bad since I actually have several sheep painting patrons at that event. So it goes. I’ll just have to email them a pic.

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I thought I would do a detailed, step by step on doing horse hair using watercolor pencils. This painting is being done on Arches 140# hot press watercolor paper. If anyone has any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Here, I applied the base colors dry. I tend to scribble with little thought, other than following the directions that the hairs run.

Colors used: Chocolate, Dark Blue, Indigo Blue and Violet/Wine

    Note: The colors mentioned are descriptive names, NOT the actual names on the pencils. Why did I do it this way? Well heres an example, Sanguine. . . what the heck color is Sanguine? (It’s a ginger/pumpkin color for those who are curious.) Also, I usually use multiple shades (2 or 3) of each color listed.

Here, I added water and blended out the color. I tend to use small brushes (For this, I used a #5 round.) I prefer to use cheap brushes, as the scrushing action (not a real technical term) of lifting the pencil into a liquid paint, tends to ruin the brushes.

I select the area to work in by following the muscle shapes or shiny coat lines. I do this, so if there are any heavy lines of pigmentation around the edges, they work with you in laying in a denser color for the shadows. In this instance, I worked the main neck muscle up to the shoulder line.

I wet a small area at a time, working quickly, so there is a minimum of hard edges. Again, try to follow the hair growth. It will look a little patchy. But because multiple layers will be applied, how it looks at this stage is kinda irrelavent.

    Note: You could use a larger brush. Just be aware that this will put down more water. You may want to consider using heavier papers or stretching your lighter weight papers if buckling becomes a problem.

After the paper has dried (approximately 1-2 minutes) I add the second layer, again following the direction of the hair.

Colors Used: Chocolate, Purple, Terra Cotta, Indigo, and (very limitedly) Black.

Then apply water wash as before.

Hair effects are created by scraping a sharpened pencil through the existing layers of color, while the paper is still wet. I generally don’t do this over the entire painting. On this painting, I will only use this technique for the extreme highlights on the face and crest of the neck, as this is where I want my attention to be. Most of the neck will be done with a dry pencil.

Here, along the crest (top of neck) the scrape marks are freshly done. While the scrape marks in the area of the neck have had additional color applied, with a dry pencil for more subtle blending.

    Note: If your paper dries before you finish with scraping in hair, just re-wet the paper using your brush. A Q-tip also works well to wet, as well as to lift off areas of intense color.

The neck area is now half done. All of this work was done dry. I burnish in color until the paper no longer accepts more. Then if necessary, I go in and wet the paper again. This will allow me to continue to add more layers of color.

Colors Used in Shadow Area: Chocolate, Purple, Terra Cotta, and Indigo.
Colors Used In Highlights: Cinnamon, Ginger, Periwinkle and Light Blue.

This is pretty close to being completed here. I say pretty close because as I work, I tend to go back in and adjust coloring to fit the rest of the painting. Nothing is really considered completed until I have signed the painting.

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Horse Portrait

Current state of portrait of Catch I had big plans on doing a proper post today, about watercolor pencils. But as I am feeling a bit under the weather it will have to wait until tomorrow. I did however, get the go-ahead on my new horse painting, a portrait of Catch. The painting is currently 15″ x 22.” This size may change because my compositions usually expand and contract as I work.

Detail of Catch portraitI had completely forgotten (or blocked from my memory perhaps?) The amount of effort required in layering in the color. This represents about 8 hours of work, and the face is not yet completed. However, I am having a blast working with the pencils again. I love the effects that they provide. And apparently, I also forgot how much fun, being anal about all the tiny little hairs was. (Sigh, its like coming home.)

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A New Horse Painting

Preliminary drawing for a portrait of Catch

Here is the outline drawing for my next painting, if it gets approved that is. I rarely (pretty much almost never) do much for commission artwork, though I get asked all the time. I think a horse artist could make a good living, just painting for hire. I . . . alas, don’t have the stones to paint portraits on an on-going basis. Frankly, I barely get the time to paint, what I want to paint, without scheduling it in. Let alone, work on stuff for others, and under their parameters. Kinda kills the creative juices for me. I sure respect those who can, though.

So, what is it that will get me to agree to do your horse’s portrait you ask? Well . . . in a nutshell, flexibility. You must have a willingness to let me do what I want and the fortitude to let me do it in my own time frame. (Yup, I’m not asking much huh? No siree, not much at all.)

Carol Eilers feeding her horse Catch an Apple

The saint who requested this painting, is my editor Carol Eilers. She has been waiting patiently for almost a year. (Umm … maybe it has been a little over a year. I’ll have to check.) I think what has held me off for so long, (besides wanting to give it my undivided attention that only the off-season months can provide) is, I just couldn’t get excited about doing the traditional head shot. But once I let go of the idea of a head shot portrait. I got inspired by all the possibilities. If she doesn’t like this composition, I do have a backup plan. Something slightly more portrait like where the horse is in profile. But I love this composition, as well as the wistful look in his eye. I will probably go ahead and do this piece regardless.

Closeup of Carol Eilers horse Catch

This painting is to be done in watercolor pencil. I am kinda jazzed about this because it has been years (literally) since I have worked in watercolor pencil. I am curious to see how, what I have learned with oil pastels, translates over in the pencil artwork. We shall see. I will be posting work in progress (WIP) shots, so you can follow along and judge for yourselves.

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Kick-Starting Creativity

This month in the gallery, it has been uncharacteristically busy for a February. This is a good thing. (A really good thing.) But it has left me very little time for painting. I did manage to finish up my Earthmovers painting today. Whoohoo! I will post it, just a soon as it gets scanned for the print making process.

Last week, I had some small snippets of time in which I wanted to create. But, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t have enough time to offer my full attention to the Earthmovers piece. So I decided to do a small, brightly colored painting of Budda. My creativity muse was seemingly out sick that day. So I decided to try something that I had been planning on doing for years, but just never got around to trying. That is, taking some photos and playing around with them in Photoshop.

Original Photo
This first photo is an untouched image.

The following photos only had minor adjustments. It wasn’t so much that I wanted something to copy. As it was, a desire to spark a new way of looking at the image.

Increased Saturation
When I printed this out, I thought…”Well thats interesting, but it really doesn’t do me any good.” And I tossed it aside.

The next day I had my art group, so I took the painting along with me to work on, while we all sat around and talked. I also took the original photos (not the Photoshop’d versions) for my reference. It wasn’t until I got home that, (to my complete surprise) I noticed how much my finished painting resembled the color saturated image. Apparently on some level, I had soaked it in. (osmosis perhaps?)

I don’t think I used this posterised image at all. (not even by osmosis.) But I included it, as one of the two adjustments that I did. I really like the look that posterising creates and may try it again on another project.

Cropped and Rotated
This photo has not been digitally manipulated and was my main reference image. It was cropped and the image was rotated by about 45 degrees. (I did this by hand, by laying strips of white paper over the photo until I got a composition that I liked. No computers necessary.) I really wanted to keep it a small, easy, and fun painting. So I elimated all the extras in the background and simplified the whole thing with cropping.

Bright Eyes - Fun painting of Budda
Bright Eyes – Oil Pastel 8×8
Copyright by Mona Majorowicz

Finished Painting
It is quite a bit darker here than in real life. But you get the idea. The painting’s greens. blues and purples are quite vibrant, and is actually what makes the painting. This isn’t great art. But it was a good way to loosen up a bit and have fun with color.

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