Monday, June 1, 2009

Toddler Portrait

It has taken me almost two years to finally paint a picture of my son. He's so cute it's intimidating! :p I finally buckled down with some oil pastels and did this the other day. It was quite the struggle, I wasn't sure I was ever going to get a likeness...and then I did! This is about 9x12, oil pastel on Colourfix paper.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I think he did a little too much LDS...

I was watching Star Trek IV tonight and playing with some new pencils and paper, and suddenly decided to draw Spock. It's been years since I've done a real drawing of a person (or a Vulcan). This is far from perfect, but...not too bad, considering. I did this from my paused movie, approx. 11x14.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Plein Air at the Zoo

I brought my watercolor pencils and a new sketchbook along to the zoo yesterday and managed a quick sketch. I am rather distressed that I managed to get the perspective of the zebras vs. the landscape so very wrong (the zebras are entirely too small). But, live and learn I suppose. Actually overall I'm happy with this because usually my watercolor pencil work is entirely too stiff, and here I managed something a little closer to what I actually want to achieve. I really dig the zebras themselves, so I'm including a detail shot of them. This is about 6x9.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Yesterday I was out and about taking some pictures of the countryside. I went around a bend I've been on dozens of times, and was surprised to see a few horses. This is from one of the pictures I took, approx. 4x6 (and using a new pencil I bought). I believe this cute guy is a yearling.I just finished this one from a German magazine (St. Georg, April 2009, photo credit: Rau), working on understanding form and shape and anatomy. Again, 4x6, started with the same pencil but wasn't getting the results I wanted so I switched to my trusty old mechanical at the end.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Summer Challenge Zebras #01

I have set myself a summer goal of at least 15 watercolor pencil/crayon zebras (15 because that is how many pages this sketchbook has) to complement my graphite studies. To start, I used the same reference as my last sketch. This is approx. 7x7 on Hahnemuehle paper.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What would we do without mothers?

This drawing is of my very first Mother's Day flower, which I drew on Sunday, appropriately enough. :) And this small 4x5 sketch I just finished, from some video footage I took at the zoo today (before I got rained out and soaked to the bone), of a colt playing with his mama. I feel very blessed to have been able to get so many references of the awesome zebra herd at the zoo!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dog Tags, oil pastel, 5x7

Today I thought I'd use oil pastels for a quick color study for an oil painting, but ended up liking the oil pastel so much that I wasn't compelled to do an oil painting. This photo is a little too saturated, but it's always difficult to get a good image when there's a lot of dark ground showing!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mangalarga Marchador, finished

I was so pleased with my sketch that I decided to do a "full" drawing of this horse. It has been years since I've done a larger drawing with no time constraints. It was enjoyable and I loved doing those dapples! This is 9x12 on Bristol vellum using a mechanical pencil.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Horse Breed: Mangalarga Marchador

This breed hails from Brazil (obviously of Spanish descent), what beautiful horses! They are a gaited breed, so they have an ultra-smooth gait not common to non-gaited horses. I am a little bit excited because this drawing has got to be the best drawing I have ever done. I'm not sure why all of a sudden my drawing should have improved by such a measure, though obviously my practice this year is doing some good! This is also the first time I've used my trusty mechanical pencil for a few weeks, so maybe that had something to do with it, and there must be something about dapple gray horses because the last one I drew (back in February) I saw a marked improvement in my drawing, as well. (The reference for this drawing comes from the Wikipedia article on this breed.)

Horse Breed: Cleveland Bay

This is one of the oldest breeds developed in England. As you might guess, they are always bay in color (all the better for making matched horse teams).

Monday, April 27, 2009

Eye, Speed, and Breakfast!

Here are a few recent sketches...haven't done as much lately with "other things" getting in the way. The first is a horse eye study. The second is a very *quick* zebra foal sketch, working on speed and getting form down as quickly as possible. The third I did this morning...when I don't know what to draw, zebras are always a good choice!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

More Zoo Sketches!

I managed some more sketching this week at the zoo...already I can see some improvement in myself, so I'm pretty happy. This is the same little filly from last week and then the Przewalski horses again.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Zoo sketches

This week I did the first actual sketching at the zoo that I've managed to do in a very, very long time. It felt great! Hopefully I will be doing a lot this summer. :) This first picture I did right before my trip to the zoo, to warm up. It's from a photo I took of a little zebra filly I just fell in love with...This is that same filly, only sketched on location. Not real perfect, but...not all that bad, either, considering my long hiatus from practicing (and the inherent difficulty of sketching animals on location, period).
Two of her comrades...
Here's a Przewalski horse, again done at the zoo...fairly rough, but I could tell that my drawing work the last few months has really made a difference for me, so I'm pleased. I just need to get quicker at capturing the general form. And no zoo visit is complete without little Eisbaer Flocke...and now her new boyfriend, Rasputin! (Apparently the language barrier between Eisbär and белый медведь is not so difficult to surmount.) --Incidentally, unless you know me really well, you have no idea how surprised I was to discover Flocke's new friend a few weeks ago, especially since he's named Rasputin! Oh, too funny...

Horse Breed: Norwegian Fjord

This is one of the oldest breeds of the Icelandic, they are very strong and even if they technically fall short of being a "horse" (ie, in other breeds they would be ponies), they are always considered a horse. One of the neat aspects of this breed is their mane and tail hair, which is white or cream on the outside and dark in the middle. Their manes are usually cut to accentuate this feature. They are always a dun color, though there are five types of dun in the breed.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Horse Breed: Canadian Horse

Who knew that Canada had horses? Well I guess it *does* go to figure, since they have the Mounties. Unfortunately, I couldn't actually find a picture of a Mountie on a Canadian horse, as they are a fairly rare breed these days. (The horse I mean, lol...maybe the Mounties, too.) :)

Horse Breed: Marwari

This rather unusual breed hails from India. Back in the day, they could only be owned by royalty and top military officers, and were also used for religious ceremonies, etc. I don't think they are the only horse breed with such curled ears, but it's certainly a fairly unique feature!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Zebra Reference

This is a reference I am posting for a challenge on WetCanvas...though I retain the copyright, this image may be used in any way for the production of artwork. Click on the picture below to see a high-res version. (Right click and save to download it.) ***Note: I'd deeply appreciate a note (such as a comment here) and possibly a link to any work you do with this, as I'd love to see it!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Sketchbook

Someone at WetCanvas (KerryOriginals) whose sketches I have particularly liked mentioned using a particular sketchbook and pencil. So on a whim, I decided to order said sketchbook and pencils. The sketchbook, here, is awesome, with probably 300 pages in it, and it looks like it should be a magical book:

And here are my first two sketches in it, I have begun officially studying horse tack:
And my third sketch, done with my new ebony pencils, a Lipizzaner stallion doing (I believe) a half-pass:
I have been drawing in this book every day this week, in fact (two other sketches are in the Hackney and Appaloosa breed posts), I've really been on a roll!

Horse Breed: Hackney

The Hackney is an English trotting horse with a really beautiful gait. For these two drawings, I used my new ebony lead pencils, which are so cool. Unlike regular graphite, it's very easy to get good darks with these pencils, and I really like how they work on the smooth-yet-slightly-textured paper I've been working on.

Horse Breed: Appaloosa

I suppose everyone knows what an Appaloosa is. :) Especially if you took Idaho History. (Seeing as how it's my state horse!) These horses have a very interesting and rather sad history, along with the Nez Perce tribes of Idaho/Washington/Oregon. We are lucky to still have them today, though in a slightly different form than the "original" version bred by the Nez Perce. They are definitely beautiful!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Horse Breed: Australian Stock Horse

Unfortunately I didn't get much done for this week. (I have an unfinished drawing/painting of this breed, as well, which may or may not eventually get completed.) Think "Man from Snowy River" when you think of this breed. :)

Horse Breed: Gypsy Vanner

These horses are delightfully cute. I did a couple of interpretations of the same foal, because I really liked his wild hair (well what do you expect from a Gypsy horse?) and wanted to see how the same pencils would look and work on different types of paper. The first image is my regular mechanical pencil, and the other three are my Graphitint pencils on various surfaces...sketch paper, Hahnemuehle cold press watercolor, and Bristol vellum finish (a smooth hot pressed paper).

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Horse Breed: Irish Draught

Well lookee here, two drawings I can be proud of. :) I really don't know why drawing is often such a pain for me...I think mostly I am just too impatient! Doesn't this horse have such a cute face?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Horse Breed: Peruvian Paso

This last week's breed I didn't get around to doing a lot for. But they sound like delightful horses. One of their special characteristics is a natural gait which is a very smooth trot. They are descended from Spanish stock brought to the New World and are known for their great endurance and ability to travel over difficult terrain.

Horse Breed: American Bashkir Curly Horse

Last week's horse breed was one which I was not familiar with, but I fell instantly in love with them, the American Bashkir Curly. As the name indeed implies, these horses have fairly long coats which are, to varying degrees, curly. I just want to give them a big ol' hug!