Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bird Watching

One of my other hobbies is birding. I'm no expert by any means as it's another one of those hobbies I took up after turning 50, like singing and painting. But I'm here in coastal North Carolina for a week visiting family. Yesterday I took a hike on the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Trail by the NC aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. It was a lovely walk, and I've had several good walks on the beach at Fort Macon too.

But today I figured I'd better do something to make me not regret dragging all my pastels down to NC with me! So I figured I would "combine" my two hobbies and do a picture of some of the items that came along with me on my hike yesterday, and this is the result.

Friday, April 20, 2007


The model wore a really colorful African shirt this week in class. The details were so intricate there was no way to actually draw or paint it! I only attempted a bit of it anyway, but it was fun to use some of my brightest colors to catch a little of the spirit of the shirt.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hurray for art class!

It was "back to school" for me tonight. First art class again since December. My dear teacher Alex was back, and I hope back on the road to good health. A small class though, only 8 students, and Alex's classes usually have waiting lists! A lot of new people too, with John being the only familiar face. We started with a bunch of 5 and 10 minute quick charcoal sketches, then graduated to a 20-minute pose. Then the final pose which lasted about an hour.

So I don't really call this a finished picture, just where I was when the hour was up. I see a few things I might have worked on if I'd had a little more time. But next week, while we do have the same model, she will be in different clothes and a different pose, so this is as far as this picture will get.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Vicki's Eagle

One of my other hobbies is bird watching, and one of the members of a bird-watching list I belong to lives in Alaska. I guess bald eagles are as common to her as pigeons are to me! But she has taken some great photos, and I loved one so much I asked her if I could do a pastel of it. She graciously agreed and this is the result. I took a little artistic license here - moving the eagle a bit so he's flying into the picture rather than out of it, and making him a mature bald eagle rather than a juvenile.

But this was fun to do. Perhaps another tweak here or there but I think it's mostly done. I had special fun using one of the Art Spectrum Plein Air boards for this, which I've been yearning for for a long time, and my sister bought me a couple for my birthday which was Friday. Thanks Patty! An absolutely perfect gift as I've been wanting these for so long. I guess I'll just have to break down and buy some for myself. :-)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Last goodbye to Maggie

This is a portrait I did of Maggie last year when I had the idea of doing portraits of my pets. But I never posted it on my blog as I received several criticisms of it on Wetcanvas, and I kept thinking maybe I would make changes. I was told:
1) The eyes were too "human" looking.
2) I should blend and smooth the fur more.

But I was thinking of Maggie today, and pulled it out, and decided:
1) Well there was something very "human" about Maggie, and I don't really want to change the eyes.
2) Smoothing the fur more or not is really an artistic call, not a technical one. And I was happy with how her fur turned out. So why should I change it to suit someone's else's opinion?

So I decided to leave her 'as is' and at long last her portrait gets its place on my blog too.