This is an 10″ x 8″ drawing of a dog in a sweater, created with oil pastels, pens, colored pencils, and a little white paint pen. The friendly pup’s name is Johnny Cash, and he’s one of the first subjects in a new series of animal portrait art drawings. The drawing style begins with light colored pencil for the initial sketch, black pen for deep dark detailed areas, oil pastels on top, and a touch of white for highlights.
Johnny’s an awesome dog with a great sense of humor. Don’t let his day naps fool you; he loves to run laps around the house. And when he gets to go to the dog park, look out! He runs non-stop! Johnny enjoys it so much that he’s fully aware of when his owner is ready to leave, and he loves a good game of chase before heading home.
Special thanks to his owner for providing a fantastic reference photo!
These are two drawings of abstract faces, one with primarily blue colors, and the other with primarily red colors. The blue face is approximately 9″ x 12″, drawn with pens, colored pencils, paint pens, and painted with watercolors. The red face is approximately 8″ x 10″, drawn with pens, markers, paint pens, and colored pencils.
“Blue Boy” is approximately 11″ x 14″, drawn with markers, watercolors, and paint pens on paper. The strokes are swift and gestural, with abstract shapes and lines loosely forming a wide eyed expression on a boy’s face. The accompanying video shows the drawing and painting process in a time lapse format.
I have a road less traveled in mind. Being sensitive to the external, my attention is often focused outside my body. Now I’m diving inside to explore the source of my thoughts, actions, and affect I bring to the outside world.
It takes courage for me to watch my own thoughts. They drift in and out when not being acted upon. And it takes a lot of practice for me to be calm and sit with myself in this way. But the benefits are clear.
The calm lingers. I can think with compassion. And I’m aware of my feelings, and can see them for what they are… feelings. And this helps me make good decisions in my life.
I’m not an expert on meditation, but I’m also distinctly aware of a higher wisdom in my mind that defies what I’ve learned in a few short decades of life. It’s a Knowing of how to take care of my body, how to live, express myself, heal, and breath. It’s an awareness I suspect is always there, but rarely gets the focused attention it deserves.
But I’m thankful. Appreciative. And very excited to see where this road less traveled leads!
[I Have a Road Less Traveled in Mind was created for Art Challenge #10: A Road Less Traveled at The Artist Challenge. The drawing is approximately 8″ x 11″, created with watercolors, pens, colored pencils, and paint pens.]
The drawing/painting entitled Monster In My Closet was created for Art Challenge #9: Behind Closed Doors at The Artist Challenge. The artwork is approximately 11″ x 14″ and includes mediums such as watercolors, colored pencils, pens, markers, and paint pens.
Monsters in the closet, or monsters under the bed, are an interesting subject to me. I think monsters represent strong beings that are deeply hurt, insecure, and afraid, but refuse to be broken. Monsters act on fear, they isolate, and lash out in defense even when no attack is present. After all, it’s a tactic I’m sure worked before, when real danger was present.
Approaching a monster invites the biggest baddest scariest monster face one can muster. Which is commonly mixed with a heavy dose of intimidation, screaming, and flailing for good measure.
I try to see them deep down, as a being with old pain and wounds that never healed. If there is no immediate danger, I say “scream to me, monster, and tell me about how much it hurts.” And the next time I see the monster the pain isn’t as deep. Keep crying, monster. And let yourself heal. You’re safe, vulnerable, and seen for who you are, perfect in the moment.
And in time, there is a yawn, and maybe even a smile. 😉
I attended a life drawing session this week, in order to improve my portrait drawing skills. My intention is to create custom portraits for people interested in commissioning me to create artwork for them. And the life drawing sessions are a practice method that helps me take one more step in that direction.
The commissioned custom portraits are slightly abstract and may not look exactly like the subject, but they are unique, honest, and will adventurously challenge you to see yourself or the subject in a new way. My portraits are like a conversation with you. I’ll see you without judgment. And you can keep a record of an artistic interpretation of yourself.
The models in the portraiture below posed for 15 minutes each, so I didn’t get much time to hone in on details and backgrounds, but it was great practice! Mediums include pens, colored pencils, and paint pens.
The following artwork is entitled “Portrait of a Woman”. The slightly abstract and impressionistic drawing is approximately 11″ x 14″ and was created with pens, markers, paint pens, and colored pencils on paper. The portrait was drawn from life, as the woman reclined on a couch. A live subject helps me to capture a unique vibrancy and spirit that emanates from a person.
Interestingly, the woman in this portrait became very ill a few hours after the 20 minute drawing session. I think a certain anxious discomfort was visible before the physical symptoms of the illness were felt by her. It was a 24 hour illness, and she fully recovered.
Art Challenge #6: “The Fool” gallery is now premiering at The Artist Challenge. My contribution is a colorful abstract drawing of a face that represents some of the emotions behind feeling foolish. Drawn on an 11″ x 14″ piece of paper, layers of expression were built up over time with pens, markers, and paint pens.
Vulnerable feelings of sadness and embarrassment began the drawing, and despite the ultimate attempt at a smile, the reddening of the cheeks and watery eyes add to the complex face of emotions. The fool tries to ignore what’s inside and hide from the outside, stuck in an awkward and chaotic limbo, when honesty may be the truth that sets one free.
The accompanying time lapse drawing video offers insight into the creation of the colorful abstract face and reveals a hidden layer of emotion behind the final expression.
This is an abstract face entitled “Portrait of Lines and Color”. The artwork is approximately 11″x13″ on card stock paper, drawn and painted with markers, pens, watercolor, and paint pens. A few wisps of silver and gold paint pens were also used to give the drawing a shimmer from different viewing angles. The shimmer does not show up in the digital reproduction.
The accompanying video shows the drawing and painting process in a time lapse format. The video recording process offers a clear reminder of how the drawing looked during various stages of creation. And I think some very interesting images appear throughout the process that lend a certain experience, age, and depth to the final portrait.
The Artist Challenge is well underway, with new artists joining every day! The project was started by artist Vikki North and I by challenging each other to create artwork based on a particular theme. This is my submission for Art Challenge #5 – Unrequited Love.
The first artwork is my submission, “Face of Unrequited Love 01”. The abstract face drawing/painting is approximately 11″x14″, drawn and painted with pens, markers, colored pencils, and watercolors on paper. The accompanying video shows the drawing and painting process in a time lapse format. The face was initially sketched with pen and markers. Washes of water and watercolor softened the portrait, followed by thick markers, and more watercolor washes, details, and highlights.
The second portrait drawing is entitled “Face of Unrequited Love 02”. This abstract face drawing/painting is approximately 9″x12″, drawn and painted with pens, markers, colored pencils, and watercolors on paper. There is an accompanying video that shows the drawing and painting process in a time lapse format. It shows a similar sketching and painting process from start to finish.
These are sketches of abstract faces in primarily black pens and watercolors. The first drawing is a pen sketch with water wash, approximately 9″x12″ on paper. The old face is an interesting foundation, utilizing the high contrast of black and white to create a striking and kinetic composition. The second drawing of a face, also 9″x12″ on paper, started in a similar style with pen and markers. Layers of black watercolor, marker, and white highlights were gesturally added to accentuate the fluid and wispy atmosphere.
This is a 9″x12″ abstract drawing of a face with a determined expression. The character’s face was drawn with pens, paint pens, oil pastels, and markers. The artwork is expressive and colorful, with contrasting warm and cool colors used to set apart the eyes, nose, mouth, and some skin surfaces from the surrounding chaos.
An accompanying video shows how I draw the abstract face in a time lapse format. The initial composition of the face was sketched with pen first, followed by layers of color and highlights.