This is a pen and ink drawing of our feisty one-year-old kitty, Zoe. I took a close- up photograph of her curled up in one of her favorite spots: her little basket on our counter-top under the warm lights.
I’ll admit it, I love Facebook. Besides keeping in touch with friends and family, I learn so much from interesting sites and people. One of the best uses for the social media site are the incredible shared photographs. They make for great artistic inspiration! This is a popular photo, one that you may have seen before, and perfect for soft pastels.
In Spring 2013 I began taking classes at the Paint Creek Center for the Arts. We mostly do quick still-life studies and I rarely leave with a finished product that I am happy with. However, I have learned so much and it’s always wonderful to be in a room with other artists!
I did this pastel painting at home, in-between classes. Our orange tabby, Bailey Rae passed away in April, just a week after her fourth birthday. She was an outdoor/indoor kitty and tragically met her fate by the garage door. She was such a sweetheart and a large part of my recuperation. I will always lovingly remember her. Rest in Peace baby.
I had spent so much time focusing on the tiny details in my pastel paintings that I wanted to approach the next one differently. My goal was to paint loosely, relaxed, and quickly. I discovered this photograph in a magazine at the library and I knew it had to be painted! The Mandrill painting is one of my all-time favorites. I love the vibrant colors of his nose, the softness of his fur, and his penetrating eyes, as if he is staring into your soul. And, I had met my goal: this turned out to be the fastest and easiest painting I had done to date!
I love frogs! Especially the bright beautiful Amazon frogs with a multitude of colors. While looking through magazines for my next pastel painting subject, I came across these guys. They nearly leapt off the page as if to say, “Paint us, paint us!” And so I did.
Once I had success with the stippling technique, I was ready to tackle another project. This time, I would go big (literally); the subject was our 35 pound Maine Coon cat Shasta. I love this photo; it captures his tough-guy attitude so well. However, deep down he was a real fraidy cat that loved belly rubs!
Needless to say, this portrait took many, many, many, hours and countless dots. About half way through I questioned my own sanity! Again, I began by stippling the eyes, then the main features, and lastly the shadows and highlights. I finished up by adding a bit of colored pencil to the eyes and nose.