Thursday, May 24, 2007


Peacock, 6x9"

Sometimes I am apologetic when I use bright colors. This paranoia comes from reading one art magazine article a few months ago which said muted colors are mature and bright colors are ... not. I've decided to stop apologizing and use whatever colors I like. :-D

I started this peacock drawing with a loose pen sketch, which I colored with Prismacolor pencils. Then I scanned it and applied a filter called "accented edges" in Photoshop. Wanting to show the detail and texture of the feathers, I decided to crop out about half the image and enlarge it. That worked. I lost a lot of the tail, but at least you can see the details clearly.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cypress Road and a lesson on pastel primer

Cypress Road, 2-1/2" x 3-1/2"
After several days on the couch recovering from yucky jaw surgery, I had a strong craving to paint something with colors, anything, but I had to be able to do it on the couch in the living room. So I got out the soft pastel pencils. Regular pastels (chalks) are so dusty and messy I can't use them in the living room. Pastel pencils had to suffice.

I did use workable fixative as I went along to add more texture to the surface, plus I started out by coating the illustration board with a thin layer of fine tooth Colourfix pastel primer (for the first time ever), which really did give it lots of tooth. In fact, it almost felt like Wallis sanded paper (sorry Mister Wallis, if you're out there, and your shareholders, but I'm on to something here).

Saturday, May 19, 2007


It's so much fun to draw a mandala! I know you're supposed to meditate on finished ones, but my meditative process occurs while drawing them. If you'll click on the image you can see the detail, which is the whole idea of the mandalas I draw -- lots of small detail. Sometimes they look like an ant farm on a busy day.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Two "Golden Stairs" ladies

I discovered the artist Edward Burne-Jones on my first trip to the Getty a few years ago. Afterwards, at the Getty gift shop, I even bought the poster of his painting, "The Golden Stairs," showing eighteen golden-pearly-gowned ladies (angels?) descending a long staircase, each carrying a musical instrument. I think it's a sort of spiritual-religious painting, but without any icons to know for sure. This drawing shows two of the women who were near the top of the staircase, without their instruments, which I sketched with pastels.