Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I see you taking a long walk

"I see you taking a long walk..."

Hi all and Merry All!
Here's my little actor again - off to get his fortune read.
Charcoal (and more pencil on this than the last one) on the Canson paper I like so much.

I've decided to learn a bit of Photoshop (HA!) so I can add some color to this and yet not color it with anything permanent. That should take a hour or so to learn, right? hahahahah (Someday..... I'll post the results)

Cheers and God's Blessing on you and yours!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE! (now pinky swear!)


Monday, December 12, 2011

Capt. Jack Dog Sparrow (The Actor)

So my little friend here just had to show off as his fav pirate: CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow - so I let him.
Charcoal/ White charcoal (w/ a touch of pencil and carbon) on that Canson paper that I love so much. I am experimenting with putting this on a few sites like Redbubble to see if I get any hits and if I do I am gonna donate 20% to charity. Let's see if I am successful in this endeavor, hm, shall we? Next he goes off to visit.... you'll just have to check back to see!

( I had a blast doing this! Who doesn't want to dress up as Capt. Jack? And if you want to see a wonderful oil painting self-protrait dress up check out Victor Grasso's The Picaroo. CM-Soma-Grasso,-The-Picaroo.jpg

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Actor

I wish I could paint the way I draw - I want more detail and I find myself often struggling with paint - like my hands won't cooperate with my brain. Yet when I draw I am in comtrolll,.... er, comtrol,... wait..... oh yeah, OK, Got it!  control.
So, anywhoo.
Part One: (Does that mean there is more to come? Why, yes, it does. He is standing in the wings!)

The Actor - The head-shot.

Charcoal (touch of pencil and carbon 9x12) on Canson paper. (I love that paper company! They make the nicest products)

(Note to Azra: You touch my heart, dear one. Thank you for your long distance grace and sweetness across the pond. And I talked about Tango in my Carrot study.)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Snap Dragonz

My, it's been a while, hasn't it?
This is a "tribute" to my "snap dragon."
Went to see Pittsburgh, PA for our Thanksgiving holiday because my husband is there working for a while. Never thought I'd see Pittsburgh, but it is a nice town. A mix of old and new, laid out nicely, and so we were told many times, "More bridges than Venice, Italy." Who knew?  Well, they did.
I didn't think traveling would be pleasant but it was surprising easy. Who knew? Well, I found out.
Ok, so I realized I had a bottle of Snap Dragon wine and decided to paint it. But when I roughed out the label I saw two other dragons and decided they asked to be there so I put them in. (Snap Dragon herself saw them and commented on them so it wasn't just me.) Learned a lot from this. Definitely learned why realists paint on hard board. Or at the very least, on really high grade smooth canvas glued to hard board. Live and Learn. Oil 4 x12

(Sad note: Tango; AKA Lonely Horse is gone. I just sobbed and sobbed.)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

MOD Green

So I had decided to participate in this week's DailyPaintworks "Shoe" challenge and I knew just the pair I wanted to paint. My Oldest Daughter, aka MOD, had "scored" this pair in the most hideous green I have ever seen - it is not a green found in nature - and I just really wanted to paint them from the moment I saw them laying by the couch, by the computer, in the hallway, outside the front door.... she wears them a lot and leaves them laying around everywhere. So I grabbed them, did a nice set-up, painted a grisaille underpainting and was letting that dry when she asked, "Have you seen my green shoes?"
Off they went.
So I had to work from the grisaille and my memory. So I think it turned out just ok from that.
Acrylic 6x6

Monday, November 7, 2011

Under Pressure

Ok, life is.... strange. Rather sad in fact. There have been a rash of suicides at the local high school. All boys. Which seems even stranger to me I think...since girls seem to be more likely to have the emotional highs and lows. 
I pray for their parents.... who will never recover

Sung to the tune of Under Pressure; co-written in 1981 by David Bowie and the members of Queen
Charcoal and white conte (w/a touch of pencil) on Bristol
I am...and have been since those long ago days, a huge David Bowie fan.

P.S. If you want to see the most excellent charcoal work, check out Dirk Dzimirsky, (whose work can be seen on deviantart  www.ddzim.deviantart.com/ 

cheers and God's peace 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Going to the dark side (they have cookies!)

So would you look at the date of this! 2009! I started another along the same theme, but I didn't finish it in time so you are gonna have to check back next October for that one. (My youngest and her boyfriend both gave it an early thumbs up) I also wish I had seen the dailypaintworks pumpkin challenge before today. I have a funny idea, but I think I've run out of time for that one too.
Well, happy halloween.! Gotta fly!
pencil on velum

Friday, October 28, 2011

Carrot Study (with Justyna's Ribbon)

The other day Lonely Horse (his real name is Tango, but we call him Lonely Horse because he's always been by himself since we've lived here) was calling for a carrot so I pulled this one out of the garden. I was so struck by the way the leaves were springy and yet tumbled that I plopped it in this sweet small jar (that Justyna had created for her sister Ambyr's wedding - see a trend in those names? Huh, do ya? Well, they also have a sister named Melayna so whatdoyathinkofthat?) and started drawing. It is kinda of a shame that I didn't scan the drawing first because I put in a lot of detail in those curly leaves and then when I painted it I ended up using the pallet knife for the tendrils. Live and learn.
Oil on gessoed 300 lb watercolor paper 12x9
And yes, Lonely....er, Tango, got his fresh carrot from the garden. It just wasn't as big or as pretty but he didn't care.
Cheers and God's peace

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Greenmilk Weed

My contribution to the WetCanvas Florals/Botanicals mountain flower challenge. I choose Greenmilk Weed in watercolor.

All is getting back to as normal (well, as normal it can be) with her (my snap-dragon!)
Today we have an appointment with the neurologist, but I have no doubts.
Cheers across the cyber-pond and thank you for the kind thoughts.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pomegranate 2

thing that go bump in October. Those things being my oldest daughter -
day two of a new medication and she had a seizure. Thank heaven - and Micki - thank you Micki - that she was at Micki's apartment when it happened and Micki was there and ...   thank you Micki.

She is almost back to her usual snap-dragon self.
She asked for one of the pom paintings. Well, of course, she can have one!
Azra, what did I day the other day..... they are resilient. I still feel put through the wringer.

Same size as the other 5x7 oil on canvas   (I'm gonna go lay down for a bit.)

Friday, October 7, 2011

In Quintessence (Pomegranate 1)

The pomegranate tree dropped all its fruit this past month.
I am so disappointed. The squirrels had already been raiding them (I don't mind sharing) but after the drop there was only one left on the branches and not yet split open (which means they are at their perfection state) This one was already hard and drying - but still pretty.
Oil on canvas 5x7
Sung to the song of "In Quintessence" by Squeeze from the East Side Story album.
Listened to all of that album and then on to their Ridiculous album (which I actually like more) while painting this.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fork (How exciting....)

Ya know how when you look at certain words too long, they sort of... fall apart. Fork. Fork? What a weird word (i before e...except after c    weird..... what?)
OK, I'm rambling again. Bought this lovely and a grapefruit spoon while on vacation and the moment I picked them up I knew I'd be drawing them.
So here's one.  Graphite and colored pencil on Bee paper (ugh, I don't like Bee paper - too soft.)
cheers and God's peace

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More randomness (Franco, Statues & Nudes)

 Hi. I cannot believe I haven't posted a thing since earlier this month! Time flies. Anywhoo, this first bit of scratching is supposed to look like James Franco, although I see I "pooched" out his mouth a bit. (I like when I see my work on the computer because it takes it out of my element and I see things differently. Usually the errors are glaring! That left eye is bugging me too! (his left) 
Some statues - 
and some nudes (these from magazine clippings - not life) Trying for that "roundness" quality. Ok, been painting and hope to post that soon. cheers and God's peace. ks

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pastel Fruit and other assorted ramblings including Anthony Waichulis

Buzy buzy buzy! But thought I'd just check in with some randomness.
So, I recently purchased Anthony Waichulis' Drawing Clinic First Steps - which is designed to help his new incoming students tackle the first skills he gives them.  I am believing he must lose a lot of students due to the constraints he first imposes so I think doing this beforehand would help - but as a DVD I wanted a bit more. The exercises are called pressure tests/skills and he makes his students do hundreds of them before moving on. I first saw his hyperrealism pencil drawings a few years back and just about fell over. http://www.aniwaichulis.com/gallery/anthonywaichulis/  So incredible.! 
(Eeek! I added a mouse to my block )
I also did some drapery/cloth studies and, randomly, a bit of barbwire  Gonna have to work on the cloth studies a bit more
And then some soft pastel fruit
Not really thrilled with the fruit..... I want more "zing" to them and the soft pastels just don't do for me.

Cheers from me to you!

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Blazingly hot here
tomorrow is supposed to be about the same or HOTTER!
sitting inside and enjoying the luxury of still life drawing from a LIVE subject (hee hee its really quite a dead and still subject)
Charcoal, Kimberly Graphite sticks, General's earth colored pastel chalk and white charcoal, and a touch of Reeves soft pastel (I don't care for soft pastels - I like the bite of harder stuff) on blue-gray Mi-Teintes pastel paper

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Watercolor hotel

Been around but have been doing so much random heres and theres that its almost like I've been on a vacation - so I'll call it that.
Anywhoo, I started this about a week ago and "when I got back" I decided I was done with this. Just kinda lost interest. Straightened a few lines and pronounced it "DUN"!
watercolor on 300lb a mix of tube paint and pencils and that lovely paint brush I commented on before.
From a photo I took while on last year's vacation - a real vacation at that!

(Note to Azra: haahaha! If I find 7 people I'll join in! Thanks for including me in your list! You're the sweetest! :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hand Study - Watercolor

 I started this with a light blue watercolor pencil on Arches 300 lb watercolor paper (I taped off an area of about 9x11")
here using only Kimberly Watercolor pencils (of the 12 colors in the pack I used ten, not using light green or lemon yellow.

 It rather looked like a colored pencil drawing at this stage, before any blending. On the lightest parts, I only used a few light strokes of straw.

 Of course, my inclination was to start with the darkest darks but reason took hold (this being a watercolor) and I did the lightest lights first. Kind of interestingly (to me at least) is that I only used one brush -a Lowe-cornell 10 ultra round (7020). It has an excellent point on it and yet could do the nicest bit of wide swatches.
Now I need to get over to deviantart and thank Chamberstock for this portion of her purplescarf pics. She has lovely stock photos.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Wave Runner

Watercolor on 300lb
I was feeling OK about this one - wanting something "cool" to paint
And then I pulled out my new issue of International Artist and there was an article on Dennis Nolan, illustrator.
GASP! His watercolor work is so smooth. OOOOoooo.(eyes blink brightly)
 Other watercolorists who thrill me are Mary Whyte,  Henry Dixon, and Dean Mitchell just to name a few.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Joseph Two Bulls

It is so funny, trying to capture a likeness of someone. Here, I have to say, I got sooooo close.... and yet its just off the mark. As though I caught the likeness of his brother instead of the man. When I look at it I think I can see my error.... I shifted the paper at some point. I had measured and measured and still....  hm...  Its always a learning lesson. So darn close!
On my favorite Canson Cagrain drawing paper. 11x14 just pencil HB 2b 6B
Based on an image from the 1900s of a Dakota Sioux

Friday, July 22, 2011

I Now Can Say No More

So I asked a very talented photographer I know over on deviantart if I could draw a self portrait she took of herself and she said yes. So here is my progress on it. I submitted it to the "Strokes of Genius" drawing art book contest (like I'm some kind of a genius!!) but no go on that. And I think I can see why it was rejected, but I'm very happy with how it turned out. Stop by her page to see the original and some of her other wonderful stuff. Cheers and love. ks (Oh, and I entitled it after a line from a song by Robbie Robertson - who was originally in "The Band" with Bob Dylan. Robbie decided to investigate his native american roots and then organized a whole album around different native american musicians from Canada all the way to Florida. Its called Music for the Native Americans and I listen to it at least once every couple of months.)
Michelle's page is http://michellevarela.deviantart.com/

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lakota man

So I was searching around for clothing references for a painting and I stumbled on the photographs of Gertrude Kasebier from the early 1900s. I was so struck by them I printed out several and just started drawing. Here is one of the Lakota men she photographed - from, I think - a western side show. And in my true fashion, I dropped the nose down too far - thus not truly capturing his face. (My youngest daughter pointed it out to me. She has a good eye for that.)
 Slightly darkened in the computer, but on my favorite Cagrain paper using faber castell pencils.

Friday, June 24, 2011

End of the Last Day

So I started this back last year - in fact the first picture I took is dated July13 2010 - and now almost a year later I've returned to it.
The sky and sea have been glazed, her hat, hair and skin tone have been glazed and "mostly" finished.  But I'm not happy with the lower half of the painting. I feel like it just drops off the canvas. Even though I've toned the blanket behind her down I'm not liking the color of it. And I almost feel as if the two men looking off lead the eye off the canvas. I am seriously thinking about adding two inward looking characters. I'd appreciate comments and opinions. Thanks and cheers. ks

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Woman of Mystery final

Well, it's as final as I want it to be.
I've been so.... unenthusiastic.... bout everything. I've had to put my beloved 7 year old kitty down and it's torn me all up. That, in NO WAY COMPARES to seeing your beloved husband - Azra, are you listening? - in a hospital, but it has just been a capper to a couple months of "yuck." It happened so suddenly. sigh

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Woman of Mystery

This is actually a portion of a "potential" bigger drawn scene. I don't know why I like to do that.  I start with something and then I just roll on with it, adding things I think make "a story."
pencil on that wonderful Cagrain paper again.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Why A Duck

This was a challenge over on wetcanvas.com in the colored pencil category (April's challenge).
So, yeah, colored pencil on bristol. I spent a lot of time on this one and really enjoyed it. Obviously I didn't mask or tape off the borders and didn't finish the left side, but I like the finished product.  One thing that was different about this that I did was wipe it all down in a swirling motion with a cotton pad. That leaves a  nice sheen. (I did that instead of blending it out with a colorless blender.)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Angel in Cemetery

A drawing from a photo I took while on vacation last summer. We visited a famous cemetery and this statue was beautiful.
Pencil on 9x12 Canson heavyweight drawing paper ( a really lovely lovely paper! I recommend it!)

Sunday, May 1, 2011


My first attempt for the Paint And Draw Together: Challenge 19 - Red-winged Blackbird  (Thank you, Azra, for inadvertently alerting me to this blog - rubs hands together in glee! I am so enjoying challenges!)
Done on a canvas panel 8x10 that had been previously used as a pallet. I sanded it all down to a relatively smooth surface (thus the rough look here) and then jumped in. The darkest portions were done with quinacridone red and cobalt blue with a touch of burnt umber.  Alla prima in about three - four hours. Really had fun with this! (Took a photo and after it is really dry, I may scan it to see if it I get a better image)
Oil on canvas panel 8x10

Friday, April 29, 2011

Green Shoulders

So this is really a 12x12 canvas (scanned and cropped) and I had intended to do the ten minute studies on it. BUT I set down the groceries and placed the fresh bananas on the counter and the next thing I knew I was about four hours into this painting. SNAP! Just like that. What happened to all the painting ideas bouncing around inside my head? (Oh, believe me, they are still rattling around in there...)
I am not sure if compositionally-wise this works - mostly because the uppermost banana leads the eye off the canvas ( but I still like it)

And then - as my Grandfather would say - "They ate that."
oil on canvas 12x12

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Menu Decisions

While on vacation last summer I  surreptitiously took a picture of a couple making a menu decision. I still feel a little guilty about it - but I really enjoyed painting them.
Oil on canvas

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sheldon Cooper Spock

I do not watch much TV. Mostly because I am usually drawing but also because I cannot wrestle the TV remote away from my husband. Anywhoo, one night when I did have the remote - mostly because he wasn't home yet - I watched The Big Bang Theory..... and became an instant fan. Jim Parsons is the funniest genius-nerd ever!
And, yes, Sheldon Cooper would give even Mr. Spock a headache.

colored pencil on bristol

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Zip(po) It

I got a nice compliment from my daughter with a "wow!"
For the http://www.dailypaintworks.com/Challenges
8x8 oil on canvas
Now off to paint a chicken!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


So I was fighting off a cold (successful! Thank you Zicam!) and feeling a bit blue along with the weather and just needed... color!
Colored pencil on velum

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Western Bluebird

So we had a wild spell of wet weather with some forceful winds and all the western bluebirds gathered on the northern side of the house for protection. They'd dash out under the oak tree, snatch bugs and dash back under the eaves. They were soaked and I snapped a good enough pic of one to draw from.
Colored pencil over watercolor.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Not my "Lives with Honor"

A sketch based on the art of sculptor John Coleman
entitled "Lives with honor." I didn't tilt the chin enough, nor did I make the headdress as big. 
pastel charcoal white charcoal on gray paper

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Audience of One

Submitted to The Help Japan Challenge over at http://www.dailypaintworks.com/Challenge

11x14 oil on canvas
Entitled after one of the lines from a favorite song by Cold War Kids called "Audience"

Sold! The proceeds are going to one of Paypals donation directions for Japan.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The last of WW1

I drew this from a very small newspaper clipping re: the last WW1 vet of the U.S. - possible the world. His name was Frank Buckles and he was 110 at the time of his death.

Sketch Dump 1

This is one of my favorites I've ever done - it just speaks to me. Whoa - done
back in 2009   time is fleeting
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