Sunday, June 29, 2014


Colored pencil on ultramarine blue, sanded paper.  By choosing dark 
colored paper, I am working from dark to light.  Anywhere that I want
light colors, I have applied layers of white colored pencil first. But 
what is nice is that I can easily darken these light areas again without 
difficulty. Dark colors will cover white areas without much difficulty.

One of the main problems of working on dark paper is the
pencil dust which can accumulate in areas that you do not want 
it. I find that it is best to pull up these dots with tacky paper or
scotch tape.  Eraser seems to rub them in.

I took this photo in San Francisco before I ate these wonderful raw oysters.
The best part is that soon I shall have a chance to eat them again.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Illustration Cutie Pie

Prismacolor colored pencils on warm brown pastel paper.  It is nice to use
toned paper because it becomes your middle tone.  From here you add
your lights and your darks.  I continued my white background strokes
right into the hair to integrate her into the background.  The white
background softened her which helped to add to her youth and innocence. 
As always it is work eliminating all excess lines, because they age a child.
Remember.....less is often more.  You do not have to say it all.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Illustration: Strawberry Cheesecake in her Halloween T-shirt.

This is  a colored pencil drawing done today for a Wet Canvas drawing event.
I like the line that defines the left side of her jacket, as you view her.  The red
in the bow and the red of the strawberries help to contain your eye in the picture.
Look carefully at the lack of lines on her face.  Youth is fresh and it is best
depicted with the minimum of lines.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Koi Gazing Ball Finished

This is the ball grouted and sealed..... finished.   I added deep blue acrylic
house paint to the grout to color it.  It was a little bit more difficult to clean the
ball with this mix.  Last time I used watercolors.  Here, it is not easy to get
colored grout and the only store I found it in had only 10 Kilo bags.  10 kilos
is a lot when it takes about a cup or so to cover the whole ball!  So I
experimented with the house paint.  Making these is always an adventure.
I love the way that these reflect the light and add life to the garden,.  This
one is sitting a rustic table in front of an Mexican woven wall hanging. 


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Koi Gazing Ball In Progress

This is the drawing of the koi on the ball's surface.  Working on a round surface
is quite different than working on a flat surface.  The curvature of the surface can
become incorporated into the design as in the picture above where the koi
appear to be swimming over the surface of the ball.  I like doing this rather than
working small and making the objects appear pasted to the ball. 
The next step is painting the surface of the ball with acrylic paint.  The fish are
quite simplified because the glass applied over the image will knock out much of
the detail.  It divides the image into smaller planes and reflects lots of light.
The glass is being glued on with silicon glue.  It is white, initially, and then
dries clear.  The glass is tempered glass from old car windows.  The colors
vary by car maker but are never completely clear.  They are grayed blue,
or greyed blue green, which in turn effects the colors of the underlying images.

The ball is completely covered with glass.  It took about four days to cover
entirely.  The ball is now quite dull since the top of the glass becomes
covered with a film of glue from sticky fingers.  This will be rubbed off by
the next step.....applying sanded grout to fill the spaces between the pieces of
glass.  It will take another three days to gout and then to apply two coats of
grout sealer one day apart.  I will post the finished product when it is done.




Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Iguana Gazing Ball

This is the second Gazing ball that I have made.  I have learned a lot.  This one
developed a crack after sanding and painting the images the bowling ball.  I
could have stopped at this point, but I did not.  I decided to fill the crack with
silicon glue. I painted over it.  The crack was gone.  I glued all the glass pieces
on the ball, and then grouted it.  Unfortunately the crack developed again.
Fortunately, the grout and glass are still securely in place, even after two coats
of grout sealer.  The only evidence of a crack is a fine black line that curves
with the curve of the ball.  The question "why bowling balls crack?" has no
definitive answer....but lots of opinions. Temperature....too hot....too cold,
placement.....left in one spot too long causing a concentration of pressure,
the type of plastic used in the ball, the amount of curing time.  Oddly enough
most people do not say this happens from throwing the ball tooooo hard.  And
so those of us who use recycled bowling balls to make gazing balls will have
to put up with their capriciousness.  I now need to get back on the hunt for
another used bowling ball....which are as scarce as hen's teeth in La Paz. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Long Ago....Woman with a Mona Lisa Smile

              6X8 inches, pencil on watercolor paper.   Drawn from a very old
              photo.  The stiffness of people in early photographs makes
              them look as if carved out of stone.  I added a slight smile on
              her face as she was quite somber in the photo.  This drawing
              took two hours and was done carefully measuring distances,
              looking at values and trying to capture the feeling of antiquity.
              As usual diagonal lines are used to create the shading. 
              My motivation was practice as I feel that I am a little rusty.