Posts Tagged ‘technique’


So here’s my third little goat. In the end I brightened it up some so it would fit in with my other two baby goat pieces as I plan to sell them as sets as well as individually.

She measures 12 x 15 3/4 inches and is of course mixed media on suede.


People look at me suspiciously when I say I just scribble on my base layer like a small child. Here’s the proof.


Same shot as above I just added the water.

And finally going back in with dry layers

Prints of Sassy Pants are already available on my etsy store. You will find smaller goat prints here and larger goat prints here. Note cards and the original painting will be added soon.

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This is about as early as it gets. But I have begun! (insert dramatic music … and perhaps a thunder clap. Something akin to a Frankenstein movie … “It’s ALIVE!”)

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The Trouble With Black is …
Well the short answer is it’s usually very flat looking. It lacks dimension and richness. And anyone who has perused my blog can see I LOVE color. I infuse it in almost all the work I do. Even the pieces where I want a realistic looking animal (like the one I’m currently working on) I am constantly trying to reel myself in with color usage.

The one color (though I think technically not a color) I limit my use of is black. I hear often enough artists’ saying I don’t use black and even more so, I don’t use white. Which to be honest has always struck me as a bit college art course inspired. I firmly believe that both black and white should be made up of a veritable rainbow of colors but to not use them at all … well … you are limiting your range of contrast.

When I’ve been asked if I use either of these colors well you know by now that the answer is yes.

I do.

All of the time.

Perhaps this is because I’m self taught. Or perhaps it’s because I love intense pop of color and strong contrasts. Whatever the reason I use both black and white so much that I am always buying high quantities of both when getting open stock supplies.

Please note that “Nothing” is done on this little wooly bully. But I got to a point where in order to progress with the shadowing on the calf I needed to get the background in. In my reference photo it was solid black. High contrast yes, but as mentioned kinda flat looking. SO here’s a few photos showing my progression to a very dark background.

The main two colors I used here are inktense (Derwent’s water soluble ink pencils) Dark Indigo and Chocolate. When combined they make a lovely purpley-bluey-brown wash.


See what I mean. So after my board has dried I begin working in the browns, purples and yes black. This layer stays dry though I do hit it with a coating of fixative spray to keep it from dusting all over my whites.


The background is close to being done, but now it’s time to go back and work on the calf some. Maybe another day or two. I need to work on gallery stuff but I’m having a hard time pulling myself away from my drafting table.

Too many cows yet to be painted I guess.

NOTE: I think those who work in oils can get away with expanses of black a little more easily due to the richness and quality of the pigment. Watercolor pencils though … not so much.

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Working Title: Rosie (though it may be Ginger depending on what color story I finally settle on)

Water Soluble Mixed Media on White Suede

Approx 18×22 inches (though finished painting will be cropped more)

 All That Color Is Like A Slap In The Face

All that solid color scares the heck out of me. There’s a reason I paint stripes and spots. It’s in my comfort zone. As such I have been hitting this one pretty hard. I don’t want to stop until I reach a certain level of comfort with what I’ve got down. In reality the heifer itself is nearly completed but the lighting is gone today for photo taking so you’re getting an earlier in progress shot.

“Freckles” is nearly complete but I have set her aside to allow myself time to decide how I want to progress. Right now Freckles is a much more pastel piece than ALL of my other heifers. I think that’s okay … but I’m not sure. So she’s propped up where I can ponder my dilemma without forcing an answer. And thus I began another.

Because I Create Artificial Rules For Myself.

Anyone else do this? I really want to do something else, though I am loving doing my cows. Crows, Pelicans or a Christmas card design. But I decided I really needed to get one more cow painting done before rewarding myself with painting something else.

Kinda crazy really.

But there ya go.


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Pretty In Pink (working title) watercolor pencil on suede approximately 10 x 16 inches

Pretty In Pink (working title)
watercolor pencil on suede
approximately 10 x 16 inches

So because we had yet another blustery, blizzardery ridiculously cold weekend I stayed at the farm and only sojourned out feed and water critters and check the pipes at the gallery. Happily it all went smoothly. But because my Longhorn painting is too large and too delicate to take out into that kind of weather, I opted to start a smaller piece at home. After all I didn’t want to waste a whole stuck inside weekend and not be creating.

And so this is what I did.

I Think I’ve Been Watching Too Much Project Runway

There’s lots of reason why I’m attracted to creating a particular image. For this piece it was the color story.

Uhm … not sure that the color story has ever been a reason for me before. But flamingos were calling my name and all I had were images from like a decade ago to work with. And as I was flipping through my photos I came across one of a large flock, where the light hit the water and I thought I could make something of it.

I would push the colors and challenge myself. Trying to paint water all by itself presents an incredible challenge. I want it to glow have depth and reflect off my birds.

This piece is going to be packed with blues, greens, golds and of course pinks, purples and reds.

So here’s hoping I can squeeze all that into one image creating a believable and yet vibrantly artful piece.


I will get back to the longhorns too. I have begun them though ever so barely. This piece is small enough that I am hoping I’ll get it done in the next 48 hours or so.

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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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