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!
The following artwork is an 11″ x 14″ drawing and painting of a fedora hat, created with colored pencils, markers, oil pastels, pens, watercolors, and paint pens on paper.
The fedora was often worn by Michael Jackson (b. 29 August 1958, – d. 25 June 2009) during stage performances and public appearances. The article of clothing became nearly synonymous with his image along with other accessories such as a single white glove, white socks with black loafers, and mirrored aviator sun glasses.
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.
This is an 8″ x 10″ quick sketch of my dog Spot, drawn with pen, colored pencil, and paint pen. He’s a pure white five year old Jack Russell Terrier who developed rapid onset cataracts this past week. The vet says his vision has deteriorated to the equivalent of looking through a cloudy shower door. And we learned the hard way yesterday that “fetch” will have to be put on temporary hold. The little guy has a lot of energy, and he’s still young, so I’m starting to save up for surgery. The quality of his life is important to me.
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.
This is a drawing and painting of a yellow rose, created for Art Challenge #8: Spring Fever at The Artist Challenge! Spring is in the air and flowers are blooming. The grass is growing again and there is a bit more chirping and buzzing to be heard outside. The yellow rose is the first bloom in my garden, so I thought I would let it speak for the season and this months free art challenge!
The rose drawing/painting is approximately 8″ x 11″, created with pens, colored pencils, paint pens, and watercolors on card stock paper.
The following drawings of the sun (stars) were created in response to Art Challenge #7: Sun Art, over at The Artist Challenge. The first sun drawing is also part of the CBS News Sunday Morning Television Show Art Library.
Each sun drawing is 11″ x 14″, and drawn on paper with a variety of pens, watercolors, paint pens, colored pencils, oil pastels, markers, and acrylic paint.
The first image of the sun represents the power and energy of the source of light and color, and life, in our world. The drawing is also abstract and impressionistic. The other two sun/star drawings focus on the tumultuous bubbling reaction within a star that produces the warm colors and heat amidst the black depths of space.
The accompanying video shows the drawing and painting process for the colorful abstract sun in a time lapse format.
This is an 11″x13″ drawing of a turtle, drawn and painted with markers, pens, paint pens, oil pastels, watercolors, and acrylic paint. The style is loose and impressionistic with an unconventional color palette and mixture of mediums. Shades of blue and green permeate the shadows around the turtle and in the background. This creates contrast between elements like the white highlights on the turtle shell, face, and leg, pushing them forward in the composition. And the variety of mediums in the artwork creates a unique surface texture befitting the turtle and surrounding foliage.
The time lapse video shows the process of drawing and painting the turtle, and how multiple variations and layers all exist within the same artwork.
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.
The following artworks are part of a series of drawings/paintings of windows to the moon, each drawn and painted in an abstract style with different mediums. Each single window is approximately 12″x9″, containing a mix of media, including watercolors, pens, markers, colored pencils, paint pens, and oil pastels. The drawings are gestural and impressionistic, evoking a unique atmosphere when seen together or separately. The moon shines bright through each window amidst the dark night colored with black, red, and blue. Occasionally, the moon is visible during the daylight colored with blue, yellow, and white.
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 bee, created with markers, paint pens, colored pencils, pens, and watercolor mediums. The vibrant, warm color palette and loose style adds a frantic feeling to the artwork. Quick strokes of color and medium are blurred around the paper with spatters of watercolor to create a sense of movement and buzzing. Silver and gold paint is also used to add a shimmering effect to the bee.
The accompanying video shows how I draw and paint the abstract bee in a time lapse format. The composition was initially sketched with light yellow, followed by rich oranges, reds, and silver and gold paint pens. Lush mixes of watercolors and white highlights were also applied to the entire artwork.
This is a 9″x12″ abstract drawing of a spider, created with markers, paint pens, pens, and watercolor medium. The cool color palette adds a cold feeling to the artwork, and loose style helps the spider to blend into the surroundings. The long background lines and wispy strokes also help to convey a sense of movement.