Saturday, April 14, 2012

Let Your Light Shine

From the sketch book

Light Shine - Graphite drawing

This is a graphite drawing I did from a photograph. I try to show the shapes created by the light source shining on the surface of the subject. I used stronger lines than usual as an exercise in making the lines look stronger.

I used to get picked on in art class as not being confident with my lines. They would look like a bunch of little lines to make one line (which is fine too). According to some, it looked as if I was not sure of myself, although this was not the case.  But you know those "superficial" people I referred to in the previous post...I had a few as art instructors in my teens. However, there is such a thing as a 'line drawing' and this is different than a 'sketch'. A sketch is loose and free-like, where a line drawing is more precise and, well, "linear". The above drawing is part line drawing and partly showing tones or shades.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share some of my drawings, sketches and ink drawings in my sketchbook.

Here is another one;

Sepia ink sketch - River Otter

It just so happens that we live on the "Big Otter Creek" in South Western Ontario, although, sadly, the River Otters died out years ago.

"A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere". Joyce Myers

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Who Are You?

The Grey Dance - 16" x 20" x 1.5" Mixed Media on cradled birch. Sides are painted black.
Work in progress.
We know that what we see on the surface is not all there is. When it comes to humans, we sometimes call those who only bother to look on the surface as, superficial.  I read a good blog post today by Carol Henderson (see excerpt and links below). I thought she was spot on about her analogy of how the different breeds of dogs are like how different people, namely artists, can be.

I wanted to take it one step further. Carol hits on how different artists see things differently and this is good. Then it got me thinking about how I and many other artists paint; in layers. We often look at a painting's surface first and don't always see all the intricate details. Often we can't even see much of what lies beneath the paint. This hits on a much larger topic I cannot begin to cover here; how to view art.

When I use acrylic paint, I ofter lay down thin washes of pigment in water, let it dry and then either do another layer of color or add lines, shapes or I will do a clear glaze first. This really adds depth to a painting as light hits it from different angles. This is something I love to add to my paintings because it adds dimension, which is precisely what I am trying to convey. I am trying to show more than just the surface; more than just skin deep. I want the viewer to see and think about what lies beneath the surface. Not only of the painting, but of the subject(s) in the painting.

The painting above, Grey Dance, is a good example of this. This acrylic painting is of an Arabian Stallion. I not only have begun to create layers of pigments, but also I started out with adding texture in the mane and tail with molding paste.

I add white gesso, a bit of acrylic clear fluid medium to the molding paste, mix it together well then apply it. I find the clear gloss fluid medium prevents the paste from cracking as it dries (especially if done on canvas which is more pliable than this birch wood panel). Then, as the thin layers of pigment are added with water, it pools (or is absorbed) in the creases and crevices, slowly building up in almost a natural way. All I really think about is movement in my brush strokes and trying to use the right tones to create the proper effects. I let the forces of nature do the rest.

The next dimension I am trying to convey is that of the subject itself; the horse. I want to capture; to bring to your attention, the spirit and soul of the horse. So there is yet another layer found in this painting.

Oh, and its not even near to being finished yet!

Dogs and Artists

by Carolyn Henderson

Right or wrong and largely in between, we move forward in accordance with the strengths and weaknesses inherent to our “breeds.”So do all artists – you learn a certain way, you create a certain way, you interact with others a certain way, you market a certain way – all in accordance to what you are inside. Like a dog, you have a potential that can be reached, or not, depending upon training, discipline, teaching, and time – but this potential is specific and individual to you and your unique personality. [...]

Read the rest of this article at:

This excerpt appears courtesy of FineArtViews Art Marketing Newsletter by FASO,
a free email newsletter about art, marketing, inspiration and fine living for artists,
collectors and galleries (and anyone else who loves art).

For a complimentary subscription, visit:


I have looked into your eyes with my eyes. I have put my heart near your heart.

Pope John XXIII