Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"Tree Study 1," graphite on paper, 8.5 x 5.5 inches.

This is small sketch of a tree at the beginning of winter. Every kind of tree has its own characteristics. I'm terrrrrible at identifying types of trees, flowers, birds, and cars, so I'm not sure what this tree is, but there are tons of them here in North Texas. 

I plan to do several of these landscape drawings and small studies over the next few weeks. This and the others will be available in my Etsy shop

Thursday, December 26, 2013

"Colby," charcoal on bristol board, 7 x 10 inches

This is a commission I recently finished for a customer. This is her dog's favorite place to sit while she works.

We have two cats at home that pose for me (i.e., sleep for hours on end), but when I draw dogs I think about how much friendlier they look. I heard an interview with an animal behaviorist on NPR a few months ago. He said that dogs have been domestic companions for humans so long, they've learned to mimic some of our behaviors, like smiling. He believed that cats haven't picked up on these traits yet since they've been relegated to barns as varmint control for so long. I know our cats smile too, but I think it's much more subversive because they know they run the show.

Monday, December 16, 2013

AH Pappy - oil on panel, 16 x 20 inches.

Click here to purchase. Just a few of the leaves hanging on this late in the fall. This was an unseasonably warm day and, incidentally, the day before a snow and ice storm. I had to wait a week for things to thaw before I could get back out to finish it. Here is a photo of the painting as I was working on it, about an hour into the session.

Monday, December 9, 2013


"Buddy," charcoal on toned paper, 9 x 12 inches. Here is another recent commission. This time it's a charcoal drawing on gray paper, heightened with white chalk. It's also a composite from two photos. I really like using a gray, blue, or beige-toned paper for drawings. You can "pull out" the light parts on forms with white chalk and "push in" with the charcoal. I used a little yellow pastel for the flowers.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Bryant House

"Bryant House," oil on panel, 11 x 14 inches.

This time of year I usually get a few requests for commissions, which are a lot of fun since they often require me to get out of my comfort zone. I was fortunate to be close enough to this subject that I could work on location.
Though I'm happy with the way the painting turned out, this was a very difficult day for working outside. The wind was blowing dead-on at the back of my easel, which kept trying to tip at my face. I had the easel weighted down, but I was still having to hold it with one hand and paint with the other. After about 2 hours, I got to a stopping point where I had enough information to tighten things up from reference photos.
Not a straight line to be found on that painting yet.
My palette also tried to fly off the easel a few times. Between weather, bugs, and changing light, there are always hurdles when working outside. But I think the results are hands-down better than working straight from photos.