Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Collection of Self Portraits

I just finished my latest self portrait, what I call a random experiment in drawing completely from life. I sat and stared at myself in a mirror, sometimes a large full length one, sometimes using my little handheld mirror, and drew. This is the first project I've ever done completely from life, aside from some small studies of fruit and veggies. 

This is called "Self Portrait with Dragon".  The dragon is a little plush toy I've been wanting to draw for a while because it's so friggen' cute ;) My hair isn't really that color, but I kind of wish it was! My facial expression is very serious, and that's about the only real problem I have with the finished product. I wanted to be smiling a little without looking too much like I'm posing for a picture but I kind of got the opposite result. Oh well. For this I used pencil, colored pencil, micron pens, acrylic pearlescent ink and silver ink pen.

I've done two other self portraits previously.  Every now and then I get the urge to draw the figure, and what better figure to use than yourself?  Rembrandt did it all the time!  So much easier than bribing friends or family into posing for you and trying to get them to stay still and stop whining "are you done yet"? ;) I've always used photos though, and it's much easier. But I really felt I needed to challenge myself with the new one by not only drawing the figure and face (my weakest subject matter) but doing it from life instead of a photo.

Anyway, here are my other two previous portraits done from photos to compare.

 This one I did two years ago using only Caran D'Ache watercolor crayons. (And a pencil obviously to sketch the outline). 

This one I've posted on here before, I just did it this winter. I only did this one for the hair. I came across this picture my boyfriend took of me and thought my hair looked like a lot of fun to draw. So this is more of a portrait of my hair ;)

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Once again, I've decided to branch out and do something other than flowers. As much as I love drawing and painting them, it's fun and necessary to do something different once in a while ;) 

I saw this little girl playing in a sandbox at a restaurant I was at last week. It was a gorgeous, sunny day and we were sitting outside having a drink. She just came right over and jumped in the sandbox and had a great time playing there by herself. She found an old paper cup on the ground and some pieces of cardboard and was using them for her sand adventures. I couldn't resist taking a few photos. She was so cute and I was very interested in the bright sunlight of the scene. I don't draw or paint people very much, just a few self portraits.  I'm fairly happy with the results, but I did struggle with her hair, because I have no idea how to paint blonde hair! I just don't know what colors to use, so it was trial and error. Skin tones are also a bit baffling to me. And the sand...yes this was a tricky painting ;) But it's a learning experience. I may do this painting again in larger format at some point, I really love how she's sitting and the bright sunlight against the shadows on her body, clothing and hair.

My other goal for this painting was to do it in a loose style, as opposed to my usual tight and controlled style. 

Here are some sketches I did before hand, trying to figure out which pose I liked best.

The final result is Sunny Sandbox, 4"x6". Watercolor.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Polymer Clay Owls. They're a hoot! (And flowers, too.)

I just made these little beads the other day.

 The owls I made from a mold. I made the original owl by hand and after it was baked, I made a mold from it so I could make more owls. I hand painted them using PearlEx powdered pigments (on their bodies) and acrylic paint (for the eyes). For the flowers, I just used the PearEx pigments. I coated all of them in a gloss varnish to protect the paint and pigments and give it a sheen. I bought some pretty sparkly beads that will go great with the flowers when I make them into something wearable. These things are so fun to make. I hope to refine them a little more with some practice :)