Saturday, October 8, 2011

My First Plein Air Painting

The key word here is "First", so don't hold me to great expectations.  My only goal was to try out my new Coulter Plein Air System from Art Box and Panel.  I'm still a bit shy of making a spectacle of myself by trying to set this up in the middle of some park, where people can see me fumbling around with the gear.  So I gave it a trial run out on my back patio.  You can't see it, but I did have a tarp down to protect my husband's masterpiece, The Patio.

I actually took my packed backpack outside as if I were on a location (to my daughter's amusement).  I quickly realized the little things that I needed which I hadn't packed, so I kept "cheating" and running into the house for this and that.  It wasn't long before the sun was shining on my palette and my pupils were going nuts trying to adjust from looking at my sunlit pallet, the scenery, and the silhouetted canvas.  This is why I did a trial I can figure out how to do this outdoor painting thing.  I have a magazine about tips and tricks, but I haven't read it yet because the fall leaves aren't going to wait.  Today was the day to get out there!  The trees are yellow and orange, and it was 75 degrees outside.  Loved it!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Just wanted to share my hot-off-the-drawing-table drawing.  It is done in colored pencil for Jerry and Linda, a dear couple who have found me worthy of drawing each and every one of their grandchildren as gifts to their children.  We have had this wonderful client-artist relationship for a several years now.  I think this is the last grandchild that will be coming along.

First, let me introduce this little cutey named Edith.  She was waiting for my arrival, all dressed up and sitting patiently in the sun-room of her grandmother's house.  I was taken by how the sunlight lit up her hair, as if she were an angel (the photo doesn't really capture that).  I'm not even trying to be sappy.  I was truly struck by her.  She was soooo good through the photo shoot.

Her parents looked at all the photos, and chose the following pose, which they felt best captured Edith's personality.  I labored to show the little fly-away strands of hair, because they caught the light, and little girls are perfect like that. 
Below is a close-up, which for some reason shows the color of the paper more accurately.  Click on these images to enlarge.  It seems to look better when enlarged.

Edith is drawn on gray Stonehenge paper, in black and white, with hints of color reminiscent of a hand tinted photograph.  I used this style in the portraits of her two older brothers, and I wish I had done it for their cousins as well, but I hadn’t figured out this technique when I drew theirs.  Anyway, if you go to my website, you can see some (but not all) of the grandchildren I had the privilege of working with for this family.  They’re the ones done on gray paper.

Next project…kitty cats for my friend Sharla.