Monday, August 30, 2010

Ghost Mountain Pastel Triptych

When visiting my cousin last fall near San Diego we went up to Ghost Mountain in the San Borrego desert. I fell in love with the view and took about a zillion photos. This is a pastel triptych I did on sanded paper. Each panel is 11” x 14”.
I started with the background making a smooth, clear sky and made sure to work on all three panels at the same time so there was continuity. I then worked forward putting in the furthest mountains, then the middle ground, then the rocks, cacti, and other plants in the foreground. Email me or leave a comment with your thoughts!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Brochure for my 'playhouse'

Liz said this photo looks like Gemma and Fitzie are on a brochure advertising for my 'playhouse'.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Playhouse

So, everyone needs a playhouse, right?

I love this place in my backyard, it's about 5' x 6' with a little wrought iron table and chairs (thanks, Terri!). I'm in this photo with my two daughters having tea. I try to get out here almost every day to either sit and relax or do some art.

Do you have a place in nature that you can get away to every so often?

Monday, August 23, 2010

a warm summer day

This summer has been warm and so I tried to capture the feeling of a very warm, summer day. Unison pastels on 140# Richeson watercolor paper.

5" x 7" pastel.

$50 matted.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Play that funky music

I feel like these tiny flowers are dancing. I think they're dancing to 'play that funky music, white boy.'

Pastel, 5: x 7"


Monday, August 16, 2010

Peach Flowers

I like the energy of these flowers. They remind me of individuals working or having fun all together.

5" x 7" pastel, $50 matted.

Contact me with any questions:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

California conversation

I did this from a photo of Oceanside, California, when I took a trip out there to see my cousin, Ronnie. I feel like the main flower is alive and asking something of the bigger flower in the upper right corner. Maybe it's asking if it can go somewhere. What is that expression? Bloom where you are planted? I think that's what the other flower has to respond with.

Pastel, 5" x 7"

$50 matted

Monday, August 9, 2010

Step by Step Charcoal Pencil Magnolia

Starting just off center of your paper, with a charcoal pencil make a simple line drawing of a Magnolia blossom.

* It’s important to keep your sharpener nearby and sharpen often. Charcoal pencils lose their point easily. A sharp point is one way to get detail and definition.

Complete the line drawing of the flower. Make sure not to press too hard until you get your whole composition sketched out.

Notice the composition is more interesting by not putting the flower in the exact middle of the page, but by off-centering it a little and letting some of the petals go off the page.

Once your composition is complete pressing harder with your pencil start to add dark shadows to the stem and leaves. Notice the light is coming from the left so that the left side of each part is lighter and the right side more shaded.

Create light and sensitive strokes to the flower petals by not using much pressure and holding the pencil on it’s side as much as possible. This will show the separation between the leaves and petals. The petals being lighter in color and more delicate in texture.

Draw tiny spikes in the center of the flower. Continue with the light, sensitive strokes to each petal.

Be very careful not to press too hard. It’s important to keep it light. If you over-do it use your eraser lightly to take off some of the charcoal.

* It is helpful to turn your paper around as you work, working out from the center of each petal. This will keep your hand and wrist off of the dark sections already covered and keep messiness to a minimum.

As you start to fill in the background change the pressure of your pencil from dark to light. You want to create some differences in the background so that it looks like the flower could be anywhere outdoors.

Be careful, though, not to create too much difference between the lights and darks. You do not want to create distracting patterns that take away from the main flower, your focal point. You want to make the patterns subtle so that the flower stands out.
Keep working on the background. You can begin to create some ‘leaf-like’, organic shapes within the background patterns - but make them subtle. You want the viewer to focus on the flower, but believe that the flower is outside.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Even though I did this 18" x 24" pastel a couple of years ago I wanted to post it because it's one of my favorites.

It's from a series I did of 'cities'. The photo was taken by my friend, Emily.

I sell my original paintings, and also sell blank on the inside note cards with the images of the paintings on the front. They sell for $2 each or 8 for $12. Let me know if you'd like to order some:

Monday, August 2, 2010

David's dogs

I did this particular commission for David, a nice man in Michigan who wanted this as a gift for his partner. These are his adorable dogs and he wanted them all in one portrait together.

I started as I always do with portraits - a simple sketch to make sure I have the correct proportions. To me, it's the like the foundation of a house. If you don't get it right, the whole thing can fall apart. I mean, imagine going through all the work to get the details of an eye and then realize you put it in the wrong place!

This complete piece of art is 16" x 20" on a Richeson sanded board using the wonderful, buttery unison pastels.

If you want a portrait of a favorite animal or person, let me know - - it would be a unique holiday gift and not too early to have me start working on it! By the way, David and his partner were very happy with it!