Graphite Lighthouse

A couple months ago I wanted to try creating the same subject (an old barn window) in different media. I made it through two of the four. Why? Well, the second one I did was in graphite and the results really captivated me. The other day I decided to do a bigger pieceĀ  in graphite. This is an original design of a cliffside lighthouse, and let me tell you, I loved doing this one! This is an 8 x 10 on Bristol vellum.

Graphite Lighthouse

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Boat and Windmill Tutorial

Well, I have taken a break (perhaps a permanent one) from the Old Barn Window. I really like how the graphite version turned out and when I attempted it in pastel pencil it simply didn’t measure up, so I’m putting that on the back burner. I did complete this tutorial in pastel pencil. I love the palette he used for this painting and will be using it for an original piece next. The tutorial is from Colin Bradley. He is a wonderful artist and an excellent teacher.

Boat and Windmill

Old Barn Window Graphite Work in Progress Part 3

Graphite Barn Window WIP

Well, here’s the beginning of the next drawing of the Old Barn Window. This time I’m working it in graphite pencil, and I’m really enjoying it so far. I’ve only a very few things with graphite, so it’s taking a little getting used to, but I can already tell I’m getting hooked. I’m really enjoying doing the same subject in different media – so far! The next update will be the finished graphite drawing!

Old Barn Window Work In Progress Part 1

CPOldBarn

There’s just something about old barns that I absolutely love. Yesterday I started this colored pencil painting of the window of an old barn. To be quite honest with you, until today colored pencils and I have been at odds with each other. Part of that reason I that I’ve tried to imitate other colored pencil artists’ techniques to achieve the results I desired. While I have learned a lot from these other artists, their techniques aren’t quite right for me. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – there is no right or wrong in art. It is what it is. Yesterday I gave myself permission to relax and simply paint with my pencils, doing what felt right for me and having confidence that I really have learned and know what I’m doing. And guess what. I really like how this is turning out!

Something else that I’ve decided to do with this old barn window is paint it in four different media – colored pencils, graphite pencils, pastel pencils, and soft pastels. I want to have a good visual at the similarities and differences between the media and how those differences affect the final result. It should be interesting and I look forward to sharing my results with you!

Winter Landscape

There’s something about bare winter trees that I just love, and this landscape (done from this tutorial at TheVirtualInstructor.com) captured my attention. I’ve been wanting to try it for quite some time and finally dove in a few days ago. I just finished and wanted to share the results, as well as some of the process, with you.

This might sound silly, but the more I art (as my husband and our son say), the more I realize just how important the process of creating is for my emotional well-being. I love finishing a project, but while I’m working on it I find myself in a very special place – a place of quiet and peace where I can lose myself in the colors, in the forms, and in the subject. I can feel myself calm down and slip into “the zone.” Once I’m in the zone everything is good and all that matters is the process and the act of creating. Even after I’ve finished a piece the calm stays with me and I look forward to starting again – choosing the right paper, the right subject, the right media, the right colors.

I would like to invite you to try your hand at “arting” even if you don’t think you know how or don’t think you can. If you have a pen and paper, if you have a can of Play-Doh, if you have markers and coffee filters (yes, really) you can art. Tap into your creativity and see where it will take you!

WinterLandscape

Keeping It Simple

I can be easily distracted, especially by colorful, shiny things. When it comes to my art I can get distracted as well. I can get so caught up in trying to find the right tint or the right value for something that the fun just sort of fades away and the art becomes a chore. That doesn’t leave me in a very happy place. So the other night I grabbed a piece of colored pencil paper and my graphite art pencils and had a little fun.

My husband likes barns and I’ve been trying to draw him a nice barn for a while now. I’ve tried pastel pencils, soft pastels, and colored pencils, but the outcomes have been less than what I would have liked. It seems I just needed to keep it simple, stupid!

By using graphite I was able to concentrate on the subject, on the light, on the shadows, and not get caught up in tints and trying to blend colors properly. Don’t get me wrong. I love bringing color to my art, but sometimes simplicity should rule the day. Life is filled with enough frustration. Why bring that to our art?

Here’s the finished barn sketch. Unfortunately I didn’t realize until I was well into the piece that the paper had some scoring on it. I was so excited to get started I didn’t even think to check for that. But my husband loves it, and so do I. When I look at it not only do I see a barn and silo, I also see simplicity and the freedom it can bring.

Graphite Barn

You can find my paintings atĀ Smurgles Art!

Fixing Mistakes

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This morning I did something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. I fixed a painting that was just wrong. The perspective was wrong, well, more like non-existent. Originally I had wanted to paint three snow-covered mountains, so I put in a sky and I put in the mountains. The problem was I had no clue what to put in the foreground. I taped the painting to the wall and have been staring at it for months. This morning I took it down and got busy fixing it.

I knew I needed something in the foreground that would put things in proper perspective. The mountains needed to be pushed way back, so that they looked like mountains and not little hills. I decided to add trees and a snowy path to help achieve my goal. While it worked rather nicely I did end up losing one of the mountains entirely, as well as covering up a good deal of the other two, but I can’t complain. I learned a great deal from this and am looking forward to doing another mountain scene – this time with proper planning and perspective from the get go!