Charcoal Drawing ~ Young and Fresh


Wish I could post what I did yesterday in charcoal, but three-quarter of the way through the drawing my sleeve swiped across the drawing and you guessed it – much was destroyed.  AND, if you can believe it – I did it twice more!  Okay so charcoal at some point is not recoverable, I discovered the limit was lol.  Lesson learned.

Young and Fresh was done while on my December break – it was real hard to resist having a go with this island girl and her fabulous braids.  This charcoal drawing (9×6) was done on Strathmore paper using vine charcoal and charcoal pencil, a stump and a kneaded eraser.

The braids were surprisingly easy to do using the pencil and eraser for highlights, but the eyes well they were another thing entirely.

Thank you for checking in ~ have a wonderful weekend.

Young and Fresh The reference photograph was taken by a wonderful photographer Li Newton of pmp and wetcanvas. 

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PLEASE DON’T COPY OR USE MY IMAGE WITHOUT RECEIVING MY PERMISSION FIRST – SEE DISCLOSURE ON THE RIGHT PANEL.

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Thursdays Drawing – Colette, charcoal


Good to be back drawing again – here is the first of 2015 Thursdays drawings.

Colette (9×6) was drawn on Strathmoore paper using charcoal (soft brick, vine and pencil) and shaped with a stump and kneaded eraser.  The drawing was based on a colored photo and was a perfect reference to use for this charcoal sketch.

I really liked how the brick handled the fabric of her clothes, once the charcoal was laid down I did very little to influence the look.  The flower attachment to her hat came about by keeping the area clear of charcoal and then using my fingers and the kneaded eraser to shape.

Thanks for checking in ~

ColetteReference photograph used was from Eugene Button of pmp.

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2014 in Review for Oil Pastels by Mary


Thank you all for making this possible. 

Best wishes for a fantastic 2015 blogging year!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 53,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 20 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Artists Who Inspire – Introducing Gloria Ester


Happy New Year – it’s great to be back creating and blogging again.  I hope this finds each of you well, I can’t wait to check out your latest posts and see what’s new.

I thought it would be fun to start the new year by introducing you to an awesome artist, Gloria Ester whom I’ve known for about three years through PMP (paint my photo website).  Gloria’s formed habits are what discipline and dedication looks like – when she says she’s doing a 10-minute painting a day for 365-days or a painting a day for 30-days, she does it and with amazing results.  My respect and profound admiration continues to grow for this talented artist.

Below is an interview I recently conducted with Gloria, hope you take a few minutes to learn a little about her and please do check out her new WordPress Blog, Gloria Ester.

How long have you been an artist and what training have you received?
I’ve been painting a little over 10 years.  I first ventured into the art world with a cheap set of paints, brushes, and a piece of cardboard to paint on, my first results weren’t half bad.  I had always admired famous paintings in books when I was younger, but not until that moment did it ever occur to me that I might be able to create art like that and become an artist myself.  I then purchased better quality paints, brushes and canvas….and the rest is history.

I’ve never had any kind of training, although, I have watched artists on television, especially Jerry Yarnell of which I learned quite a bit.  Apart from that, I am mostly self-taught, I still need a lot to learn though.

What medium do you specialize in and tools used in your studio?
I specialize in acrylics, although, I really want to learn oils as well. I also work with regular inexpensive brushes, an easel, a plastic box container to keep my paints wet, and palette knives.

How do you push your creative envelope and keep things fresh?  What subjects appeal to you? Do you see a finished painting in your minds-eye before you start – in other word do you visualize before or just let things flow on its natural course as you paint?
I love to work on challenges, even though they can be stressful at times.  I have also started working on series paintings (like cottages), that way I always have something to paint and don’t have to worry about spending hours thinking of what to paint next.

First and foremost, I have a deep love for still-lifes, regardless of the subject, something about them that really captures my attention and makes me want to paint them. When it comes to 10 minute paintings, my favorites to work on are mountain scenes.

I always have an idea of how I’d like my finished paintings to turn out, they usually don’t end up turning out the way I imagined though.

You have a discipline that has been incredible to witness like 10-minute painting for 365 days and 30-paintings in 30 days.  How did you get started doing both?  What changes in your art and approach to your art occurred as a result from these efforts?  Where does this discipline and focus come from?
I chose the 10-minute challenge in the hopes it would help me loosen up on my art, therefore making it more enjoyable.  Painting seemed to be more stressful than fun at first because I wanted it to be perfect just like the photo.  I started with the 30 paintings in 30 days last year after another artist asked if anyone would like to join her in that challenge for the month of October.  I was really curious if I’d be able to complete it so I decided to join in and ended up creating 30 palette knife paintings on 11 x 14 canvases.

Working on those challenges really did help in loosening up my art and giving me much more confidence.  I now feel more comfortable creating my own compositions and leaving paintings much more impressionistic, which is what I was hoping for.

How do you want to see your art evolve?
I still feel I need a lot to learn to get to where I want to be.  I really want to learn how to create artwork with extreme emphasis on light and shadow, it is something I struggle with at the moment. I also would like to work on being more impressionistic and freer with my art, and to be able to paint and create compositions without depending so much on reference photos. These are my main goals and hope one day I will become the artist I’m working so hard to be.

Thank you for this lovely interview, I enjoyed answering all your questions.

 Loved learning more about you Gloria,

all the best as you continue your artistic journey!

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Majesty of Grace – Pictorial of the Drawing Process


Happy Thanksgiving to all that celebrate the holiday.  I’m grateful for having a place to share not only my art, but also to meet and enjoy so many awesome people in the blogging world.

I will be offline entirely for the full month of December to recharge my creative energies, develop plans for 2015, and finally to attend to the many things that have taken a back seat over the past few months to art.

The following is the documented process of Majesty of Grace drawing process – hope you enjoy.  Click onto the image for a larger view.

Majesty of Grace, #1 - #4

Majesty of Grace, #1 – #4

Majesty of Grace, Final

Majesty of Grace, Final

Happy Holidays to everyone – thank you for your encouraging support and awesome friendship, it is appreciated more than you know. 

See you in January ~ take care and best wishes, Mary

MY ART IS COPYRIGHTED.
PLEASE DON’T COPY OR USE MY IMAGE WITHOUT RECEIVING MY PERMISSION FIRST – SEE DISCLOSURE ON THE RIGHT PANEL.

Posted in Drawings, Thursday Drawings | 59 Comments

Forgotten, oil pastel


My goal with this painting was to create a quiet, but forgotten subject – what better way than to illustrate an abandoned windmill along a marshy river.  I found a perfect summer scene and saw winter, so you know the story .  .  .

Forgotten, an oil pastel (5×7) was painted on cream-tinted Mi-Teintes pastel paper using mainly Senneliers and Holbeins oil pastels.  Most of the OPs were scrubbed on and then moved with clay shapers.

Hope you enjoy ~ click onto the image for a larger view.

Forgotten

The summer reference image was taken by David Battye a photographer with pmp.

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Fresh Snow, oil pastel


The list keeps growing with so many great winter scenes to paint, but I’ve narrowed it down to a few more for the rest of 2014 before going back to painting still life’s and flowers.

First up is Fresh Snow, an oil pastel (7×5), that’s painted on Strathmore Pastel Paper (light gray tinted).  This isn’t my favorite paper to paint on because I have to put up a good fight to get decent coverage and a nice blend, but I can’t let a hefty supply go to waste and thought the light gray would help to achieve the look I was after (gray skies, with the sun trying to peek out).  Oil pastel brands used were Senneliers, holbeins and neopastels and for tools a razor, painters knife and clay shapers.

While I used a reference image, it was changed a bit from the original that had a gray heavy atmosphere, to one where the sun is trying to come out after a snowfall thus giving the piece a lighter feel overall.  Please click onto the image for a larger view.

Fresh SnowThe reference image was from Wetcanvas library (taken by Joycelynart). 

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PLEASE DON’T COPY OR USE MY IMAGE WITHOUT RECEIVING MY PERMISSION FIRST – SEE DISCLOSURE ON THE RIGHT PANEL.

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Thursday’s Drawing – Majesty of Grace, final


Majesty of Grace finally comes to an end today – what a trip and one worth taking.

Majesty of Grace, 6×9, drawing was done on Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper (smooth side) using graphite pencil (4H, 2H, HB and 2B).  All blending was done with a stump for a smooth (but not the smoothest) appearance, wanted to show some roughness of a turbulent sea.  Values played a large role in making the incoming booming wave and splash come alive.  The highlights were achieved with keeping white space white, but also moving a kneading eraser strategically to create sea-foam and sun sparkles.  I was going to add a few gulls, but decided to keep the original intent, illustrating the power of a wave.

Thank you for sticking with the project – hope you have a great weekend.  Click onto the image for a larger view of details.

Majesty of Grace

Majesty of Grace

A wonderful artist and photographer, Ruth Archer of pmp, took a great reference shot that I based my drawing off of.

MY ART IS COPYRIGHTED.
PLEASE DON’T COPY OR USE MY IMAGE WITHOUT RECEIVING MY PERMISSION FIRST – SEE DISCLOSURE ON THE RIGHT PANEL.

 

Posted in Drawings, Thursday Drawings | Tagged , , | 35 Comments

Winter Quiet – oil pastel


I’ve waited over a year to paint this scene – the early evening colors of winter at the farm in its natural surrounding really attracted me.  This painting may well be a contender for our Christmas card.

Winter Quiet, an oil pastel (8×10) is painted on a gesso-prepared hard board, using Holbeins and Mungyo-Gallery brand oil pastels – both soft in application, but not so that they fill up the surface tooth too quickly.  The painting started with an acrylic underpainting (ultramarine, payne’s gray and white) to establish values.   My fingers, clay shapers and a painters knife were used to spread and blend the oil pastels.  A lot of negative painting and scraping took place to develop the cloud structures.

Hope our friends in Buffalo, NY can withstand the next round of snow about to hit them – 8′ of snow is nearly impossible to shovel.  Snow can be really beautiful, but too much of a good thing, well  .   .   .

Winter QuietThe reference image was taken by my friend Elena’s (an incredible artist at PMP) Mother.  The photograph was taken one evening in Germany when she was out exploring the countryside, she happened to come upon grazing sheep.

MY ART IS COPYRIGHTED.
PLEASE DON’T COPY OR USE MY IMAGE WITHOUT RECEIVING MY PERMISSION FIRST – SEE DISCLOSURE ON THE RIGHT PANEL.

Posted in About Oil Pastels, OPs New Paintings | Tagged , , , , , | 51 Comments

Dedicated to my WordPress Friends! 2014 Red Candle Unveiled


Too funny, whoever said I’m not tenacious!  I wasn’t about to give up on my little red candle.  So based on everyone’s great feedback, particularly Rhonda and Eva, I made some final touches leaving me with two options (threw out one of the close-ups) to add to our Christmas Card possibilities for 2014.

Red Candle, an oil pastel (7×5) was painted on white heavy card stock paper with mainly Senneliers and Neopastels.  Notice the dripping red wax, glow on the walls and table, darkened top edges of the background to help achieve some glow (w/o dark you can’t have light) and finally some reflections on the table.  Your feedback helped me see the scene more clearly, what a difference these changes made.

I’m calling this “The WordPress Community Project” for 2014!  Thank you for not giving up on me, now I’m happy and can move on to my next painting ~

2014 Red Candle - full version

2014 Red Candle – full version

2014 Red Candle - final close-up version

2014 Red Candle – final close-up version

MY ART IS COPYRIGHTED.
PLEASE DON’T COPY OR USE MY IMAGE WITHOUT RECEIVING MY PERMISSION FIRST – SEE DISCLOSURE ON THE RIGHT PANEL.

Posted in About Oil Pastels, OPs New Paintings | Tagged , , , , | 43 Comments