Monday, December 23, 2013

It's true!  
A child was born & Jesus is His Name!

I make my Christmas cards every year and this year was no different. I have always done a pastel of an animal of some kind for my cards and this year I chose to do a pastel of my little Cairn Terrier, Sassy.

Sassy died at home on Easter this year of congestive heart failure. She was with me for twelve wonderful years. She was absolutely one of a kind, very smart, and in a word "sassy" hence her name. I loved her more than words can say and will miss her always.  She was my heart dog and her paw prints will be on my heart forever!

Doing a pastel of her and putting her on my Christmas card seemed very appropriate this year in helping me wish everyone of you a very Merry Christmas and to remember Jesus is the reason for the Season!

Luke 1:31-33
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Luke 2:11-14
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A New Pastel Commission - A Southern Gentleman

Here is my most recent commission.

11" x 14" Pastel on Velour

It was one of my more challenging pieces, no eyes that you can see and I always start with the eyes.  This time however I started with the sky. Then there are the wrinkles and stripes. There is a lot of character in his face because of his wrinkles - I wanted to make sure I captured that character but not over do it.  Then there is the shirt - my gosh - all kinds of stripes going every which way with all the folds and all.  I almost went cross-eyed!

My client is giving this to his wife for Christmas.  It is of her father.  He was actually cleaning fish in the photo reference I was using but we decided it really wasn't necessary to know what he was doing so I cropped it. There was also a busy background and I edited it to just the sky so your attention is just on him. Now you can use your imagination to wonder what he is doing - praying, reading a book or newspaper, or contemplating a nap, or even cleaning a fish and I like that.

Someone from New York who saw it mentioned to me that he looks like what she imagined a "Southern gentleman"  would look like.  I liked that too.

Here is the progression of my work on this piece. Thought you might like to see it.

I really enjoyed working on this piece - much more than I thought I would.  It took longer than normal for me but I like the way it turned out - I hope my client and his wife does too!

Psalm 143:1 (KJV)
143 Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A New Commissioned Portrait - A Work in Progress

I haven't shared a work in progress with you for quite a while so I thought I'd share this one with you.  I was commissioned to do a pastel of these two precious children - they are the grandchildren of my client. One you can see still has the price tag on her!  There is such tenderness and love in this photo and I want to make sure I get that in the pastel.

It begins with a photo reference. 

I have a cropped sketch on my velour paper.  I've made the outline with a pastel pencil. You can barely see it below and sometimes the lines get lost when I'm working but I always have the photo next to me to refer to. These aren't greatest photos of the progress but it will give you an idea of  how it looks at different stages. 
Next, I just started to block in areas with color.  This was a challenging pastel for me to say the least!  As most of you know I usually start with the eyes and both of these children have their eyes closed.  The other thing that makes it challenging is children's skin is very smooth. There  are no wrinkles and there isn't any fur! 
I usually panic at this point - it's the ugly stage and I always wonder if I'll get through it or not.  Full panic had set in when I was looking at it.
Here I've made some adjustments in the little boy's head and face.  Then began on the hands.  Another challenging thing for me to do - hands are complicated.

Almost near the finish . . . but there is still more to do. . .but I'm feeling more comfortable with how it is looking.
At this stage is where I just let it sit for a day or two because I'm sure there are things that need to be adjusted and tweaked.

And here we are - the final portrait after a few minor tweaks!
11" x 14" pastel on velour

Psalm 139:14 (KJV)
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Two new pastels ~ for love.

Not for sale - In a Private Collection

Not for sale - In a Private Collection
In the last couple of months a couple of friends have had to put down their beloved dogs.  My heart goes out to these friends.  These pastels were done just for love in hopes to ease the pain a bit and bring happy memories.

Luke 12:7 (KJV)
7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Some things you do for love - not money.

These three pastels are just that – done for love – not money. 

These first two were done for two different physicians who went way beyond the call of duty.  They treated my daughter recently when she had been receiving very poor medical care elsewhere for a broken wrist and torn tendon causing her to be out of work for 3 weeks and lapsing on her health insurance payments. 
Texas Horned Toad

The Hand

Both doctors are orthopedic surgeons. One is a TCU alumni, hence the purple tinted Texas horned toad.  The other is a hand specialist in the same office who sometimes deals with rodeo hand injuries.  I really couldn’t say thank you enough to either man for the love and care they showed my daughter and didn’t know how to repay the help they had so freely given – so I turned to what I love to do and created these pastels for them.

This last one was for my dear Sister/Friend who recently lost her beloved 20+ year old cat. Losing one of our fur kids is hard and it is was my hope to ease the loss for my friend just a little bit by giving her something to remember her by.


Love.  It is something special and you really can't put a price on it.  In all of these situations love was shown, received and also returned. It is interwoven and has probably touched those lives involved on many different levels for a lifetime in some way or another.  I know it has mine.

John 3:16 (KJV)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Monday, January 28, 2013

All My Marbles - Published Twice

All My Marbles
Towards the end of last year I was approached by Dirk Schulze, from a well known German blog, wie-malt-man, which publishes instructions, tips and tutorials for painting and drawing.  He stated many of their readers had visited my website tutorials and requested a German translation for them.
After visiting the blog, I decided to give my permission to post my tutorial in German.  It is kind of cool to see something I've written posted to a German blog.  Check it out by clicking here.
Then back in 2001, I was asked by Quarto Books to submit several of my pieces to be considered to be included in a book by artist Donna Krizek on art tips and techniques.  Late last year I received a complimentary copy of the book and they used the same pastel - All My Marbles!


It's quite an honor to see my work published and being used by other artists - after all that is the way I started - following other artists and learning from there tutorials, books and demonstrations.
John 8:12 (KJV)
12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sea Horses - An Original Pastel

I'm sure you have looked up in the sky to see shapes of clouds that look like dogs, cats, horses, people's faces and the like, but have you seen those same things in the ocean's waves as they come crashing to the shore? 

I thought it might be fun to try my hand at it.

Sea Horses
20" x 16" (50.8cm x 40.7cm)
Pastels on Velour
$300 plus $10 shipping and handling in the US
E-mail me for International shipping rates or other inquiries.

What do you think?  How many horses do you see?
I had a whole lot of fun doing this.  I'm going to have to try my hand at it again - maybe with clouds next time.
James 4:10 (KJV)
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Looking At Ya - A WIP

It has been a long while since I've posted but thought I'd share one of my latest pastels as I worked on it - in a WIP (Work in Progress). This is a photo of my horse Billy Bob that I took not long ago - I used it as my reference.
I then made a rough sketch on my pastel paper of choice - velour. I always start with the eyes - only because I can't stand to see eye sockets staring back at me while I work!

Here is my progress after about 90 minutes.  I call it the "ugly stage because it is all I can do to keep from throwing it away at this point!

Here I have about another hour or so into it and decided to leave it until the next day to see what I can do to finalize it.

And finally here is the final version.  I tweaked the lights and darks and added a few small details and called it finished!

Looking At Ya!
11" x 17"
In a private collection

Philippians 4:8 (KJV)
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.