Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Monday, February 26, 2007

Little girl portrait

I've been so caught up in carving rubber stamps that I've fallen behind in my portrait sketches. Five more to go and I'm done for February. Each portrait has presented different areas that I need to focus on. Sometimes it's the nose, or mouth, and in this case it's the eyes. I'm hoping to get to the point that I can actually sketch portraits from life.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ups and downs of printmaking

For the past two days I've been working on this rubber stamp of my sister's dog Marcus who I had done a watercolor several years ago. I really need to find a book on printmaking because it seems to be hit or miss with each inking. This image was sketched with a sharpie pen on a 4" x 6" block. I initially had just carved the details of Marcus and a lot of the stamp was still filled in. I think I got carried away with trying to get his features to standout; I probably carved too much of the block and had to make some correction with his nose and I'm not to happy with his eyes. As for inking...I was laying the stamp on the paper and found that I wasn't picking up enough ink and had missed spots. So I would ink the stamp and place the paper on top of the stamp and then use a brayer to roll over the image. By having the paper over the stamp I got a better inking onto the paper. I probably will do another stamp of Marcus now that I know what I'm trying to accomplish. After getting frustrated with the inking processes, I broke down and ordered a Speedball hand press today, that way I should have no problem with the ink being uniform over the paper.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

relief printmaking

I think I've found my new money pit...hand carved stamps from my art work. Today I went to Daniel Smith Art Store in Seattle...never surprised when I come out of the store spending $100 or more on art supplies. I bought a Speedball 4-inch block printing baren, a # 3 and #4 gouge blades, three tubes of water-soluble ink, a linoleum working plate, Paragona glass palette, and several different sizes of Safety-kut printmaking blocks. I went looking for a instruction book on printmaking, but wasn't thrilled with the small selection. I think I can get more information off the internet or reading blogs about print making then in the books I looked at today.
So with my new stuff, I re-worked my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel head of Bella; carved a new stamp of a French bull dog from one of my drawings from the summer, and carved a leaf. I really like carving out these stamps...it's rather relaxing and just can't stop thinking about the endless stamps I can make. I still want to buy a Speedball hand press that would allow me to print out images that are 6" x 8",but that's something I'm going to have to get by mail from Dick Blick.
I really appreciated the sales person in Daniel Smith Art Store who let me try out the product I was interested in, before spending the money to discover the product wasn't what I wanted. They had a sample linoleum,brown linoleum, and safety-kut printing blocks. The lineleum blocks were too hard and I knew that I would have to apply to much pressure to carve out my design, so the Safety Kut printing block which is easy to cut and soft.
I figure I'll teach myself as much as possible and hope to find a workshop on print making in the near future, but until then, I'll carve away...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

4 more faces

I found 4 more faces I wanted to try my hand at from the wetcanvas reference library. I think sketching while listening to TV will be my new nightly thing. I'm amazed at how quickly I can focus on the faces.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Three more faces

I thought I'd take a break this weekend, so now I have to play catch up. I'm finding some faces are easier to sketch and still working out in my mind how to approach those difficult poses. Anyway, I'm really enjoying doing these portraits.

Friday, February 16, 2007

My dog's head Rubber stamp

The other day I bought a little Speedball rubber stamp kit to carve my own rubber stamp with a drawing of mine. I couldn't get over how easy it was to do this. Basically I did a little sketch right on the paper then I just carved the outline of my drawing onto a Staedtler artist carving block.

Lady in a scarf

This is a photo I got from wet canvas reference library.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

George Clooney

What can I say, I'm a sucker for good looking men and he's good looking.

Little Girl with a hat

Yesterday I got some good advice on rendering portraits. Turning the reference upside down will allow your eyes to see rather see what they think their seeing. So I gave it a whirl and I'm surprised how much that little tip helped.

Happy Valentines Day

My little girls surprised me with their Valentine Day picture...These are the famous "Just Crazy About Dogs" girls.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Oh...how do I look...

This little person has that look that say's...what do you think???
Photo reference from wetcanvas reference library.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

faces of children

I found two more photo references from wetcanvas reference library of a little girl and a little boy. I choose both because of the hair. Each sketch is getting easier to do and with each sketch I feel I'm getting closer to a likeness of the photo reference.

Friday, February 09, 2007

A baby

I found this photo reference at wetcanvas in their reference library. I thought he was so cute, I had to sketch him.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Last night as I was sketching Jennifer I had one of those rare light bulb moments. I think my hand and eyes are starting to get in sync. Anyway, I'm really enjoying the process and keep wondering why I've avoid doing portraits all these years.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

2 more faces

Here's two more portraits. I think I'm getting closer to rendering a likeness to my photo references. My husband's face I had to draw twice, the first drawing didn't even look like him. I decided to do another drawing and I think this drawing is more in line with his features.

I've always have loved Audrey Hepburn in all the old movies that I use to see growing up as kid. I just had finished reading her son's autobiography about her and the book had lots of wonderful photo's of her. So here is my attempt in capturing a likeness.

Monday, February 05, 2007


When I look at the photo reference and my drawing side-by-side I can see where I need to tweak my drawing to make it a close resemblance of to the photo reference. Still having problems with eyebrows, eyes, and lips. I have a couple of portrait "how-to" books and each demonstrate a different way to get more on target.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


I think when doing portrait drawings having a good photograph is essential in order to capture a likeness. I think that's probably why I've like using photo images that I've found in Style Watch People as a reference...since I'm only using the photo's as a practice exercise it helps me gage how close to the actual image I'm getting.
Who'd ever think I'd really like sketching portraits! This sketch is 6" x 8", using 2b pencil.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


This portrait was rather difficult for me. Had trouble with hair, lips, and eyes. After 3 attempts, I finally called this finished. Portrait is 6" x 8", using pencil.

Friday, February 02, 2007


Today I sketched Gwyneth Paltrow. I think I'm getting closer to a likeness. This was sketched on strathmore 400 series paper 6" x 8 " using pencil.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

February...A month of portraits

February is a month of portraits. After watching a video on You Tube by a guy named Marcos...he draws portraits of other people who appear on YouTube or who have sent him a video. It's so cool to actually see him draw these people...I liked his technique and just watching him gave me the confidence to try.
So I will be drawing portraits from magazines, images I get from Wetcanvas, personal photos of people I know, and hopefully by the end of the month I'll be able to draw from life.

So here is my first portrait of Beyonce Knowles. She was on the recent cover of Style Magazine. For my first try, it's not bad. I really enjoyed doing this portrait. I see some areas to tweek, but for the most part I'm pleased. I need to do some research on how to draw people of color when I use graphite.