Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Twelve pages into my journal and I discovered some pretty interesting things about drawing and painting faces.  Here are the top ten:

1.  I have a tendency to make the faces more round or fatter than the photo.
2.  I most often draw the right eye higher than the left eye.  I discovered this by viewing my drawing in the mirror.  Did you know that you can see your mistakes by doing this?
3.  I am at a total loss when it comes to painting with acrylic paint.  Tube paints or paint makes no difference.  Ugh!
4.  I overwork watercolors.  I wish I could be looser.
5.  I love the Molotow Masking pen.  I was surprised at the fine lines that it would make.  I will surely use this more often.
6.  I love Walnut Ink, sepia tone paintings, and plan to explore this media more.
7.  My second love is the Derwent Intense pencils.  They are so juicy and work wonderfully on the hot press watercolor paper.  I used cold press paper in the past but find the results on hot press paper to be much better!
8.  Chalk paint (Art Deco) works well as a highlight with Derwent Intense pencils.  I learned about using Chalk Paint from Kate Thompson in her Class "Fancy Lassies." She uses them with watercolors!
9.  Prismacolor Pencils are my favorite for drawing whimsical faces.
10. Painting from and studying photos allows you to train your eye to see all the little details...the shadows, highlights and proportions.  Also, the more that you practice...the better that you will become.  Draw...draw...draw.  I can't wait to see my progress at the completion of my journal.

Aborigine Boy was drawn by using an inexpensive PaperMate 0.5mm mechanical pencil that I purchased from Target.  I used a chamois to blend the background.

Until next time....



Henry Ward Beecher

I had a very interesting conversation with a 94 year old friend of mine who has some very old fashioned ideas about a myriad of topics, in particular "ART."  We happened to be talking about how we define "art."  This all came about when I started to tell her about my journal of "faces."  She quickly interrupted me when I got to the part about finding my inspiration from photos of faces that I find on the internet.  She said "that's not art."  According to my friend, art is drawing or painting from real life figures or landscapes and not from, in her words, "copying a photo."

I think that we can all agree that my friend's definition of "art" is a very narrow and shortsighted view which would leave out many of the masterpieces hanging in art galleries today but yet she is not wrong.  Art is personal...It is whatever appeals to the viewer and what the viewer or artist considers to be art.  If you look on the internet you will find many definitions and no two are alike. There is no right or wrong.  So my question is...why did I feel that I had to defend my position as an artist?


For this painting I used Derwent Intense pencils, chalk paint for the highlights on the skin, Molotow yellow paint pen for eyeliner and hair and pan pastels for the blue background.  I love the way the Intense pencils worked on the hot press watercolor paper.  Nice and juicy!

Thanks for stopping by and until next time...


Friday, September 15, 2017


Whew!  I can stop holding my breath now...hurricane Irma is gone and luckily, I have no damage to my house or yard just a lot of leaves and small tree branches strewn everywhere.  And...I HAVE POWER!  I am so fortunate!

Many of my friends and family are still waiting for the electricity to be restored and are waiting in temperatures of 91 deg. Fahrenheit or above.  Our State has never seen anything like this in our history and are just now beginning to understand its impacts.  To give you an idea: All services have been interrupted and many people can not go back to their jobs because of the power outages. Streets are cluttered with yard waste waiting for the Cities and Counties to pick up the residue. Grocery stores had to throw out all refrigerated items due to spoilage and are waiting for the trucks to arrive in order to restock.  Some areas are told to conserve water by limiting showers and flushing toilets and to boil drinking water (I am not one of them thank goodness). Many areas will not be able to rebuild without adhering to stricter and more costly building codes.  This storm was a monster and its impact will be felt for a long time by many.  

I was too nervous to do any drawing during the storm and now that it is past, it's time to get back to normal. So here goes...Pumpkin girl was created using good old dependable Prismacolor pencils.  My "go to" medium for coloring my whimsical girls. I love how the colors build up into a creamy satin finish.  For more information on how I use prismacolor pencils go here.

I like to sketch my faces in pencil first because it allows me a lot of tweaking with the eraser.  I am not trying to get an exact likeness but I am trying to get some kind of resemblance to the inspiration photo.

Once I obtained the look that I was going for, I outlined the drawing using a Copic fineliner sepia pen.  Then I erased the pencil lines.  Prismacolors and pencil graphite don't mix, they will smear and muddy your colors, so the sepia ink works better.  The ink is permanent and it gives you an outline but yet it is light enough to be covered by the colored pencil.

Hope you enjoyed "Pumpkin Girl."  I can't show you my inspiration photo on this one as I actually snapped a picture of this girl from the TV.  I thought that she has the most interesting face shape and features.  Perfect for drawing a whimsical character.

Until next time.....


Saturday, September 2, 2017


Who could resist drawing this cute little boy with a fish in his mouth and a turtle hat?  Not me!  I took some creative license and changed it up a bit, giving him more hair, a full view of the turtle on top of his head and changed his garment to a T-shirt.  This fit the page better as my page is square where the subject picture is elongated.

Originally I was going to do a sepia toned ink drawing but that fish called out to me for some color...especially a metallic aqua color.  After that, the color started to flow...coloring his T-shirt, the turtle and tinting his face to make it less red.

I started with a Walnut-Ink background over the entire page.  Once dried, I drew in the shape with a pencil and then inked it with a waterproof Uni-ball Vision pen (available at your office supply store).  The fish was painted with Silk acrylic paint and the face, T-shirt and turtle were tinted using Derwent Graphitint water-soluble pencils.  The white on his face was painted using Liquitex Modeling Paste mixed with white acrylic paint and then applied using a scruffy old brush.

I like the way that everything pulled together and might do a whole series of paintings using this same technique.  What do you think?


There you have I approached painting "Turtle Boy."

Until next time...


Tuesday, August 29, 2017


"Blue hair girl" was painted with acrylic paint pens (Molotow and Montana) and soft body acrylic paints.  I tried several techniques for applying the paints and really wasn't pleased with any of them so I kept layering and layering until I finally said...good enough!  Move on!  I may come back to this later.

The skin tone was the hardest to paint.  I tried to block the colors from dark to light, creating the medium tones by overlapping and it seemed to work until I lost the shape of the nose and had to start over.  What a learning experience!  With all other mediums I can see the pencil outline beneath the paints but with acrylic paint it is a different story;  I lost the shape of the nose, the right eye was too high and I had to paint it over....ugggh! There are many layers of paint on this beauty!


Painting faces with acrylic paints proved to be a real challenge and is something that I definitely need more practice in order to become comfortable.  Maybe it would be easier with soft body acrylic paints and a paint brush as opposed to the paint markers.

Until next time....


Sunday, August 20, 2017


Can't have too many cards.  These cute cards with watercolored animals, trees, chairs, etc. were a result of the on-line class by Danielle Donaldson.  Interested? Go here:

Use your old tea bags, scraps of paper and ATC cards.
Stitch on the sewing machine or draw stitching with a pen.

How much fun is that?

Until next time...



"The face is a picture of the mind with the eyes as its interpreter."
Marcus Tilius Cicero

I have always loved drawing faces.  When I look at my portfolio from high school, (yes, I saved them.  They must be true antiques by it is filled with faces drawn in pencil, ink, charcoal, pastel or watercolor.  I tried all the different mediums, except for oil.  I never could wrap my head around painting with oils or the yucky smell of no oils will find their way into this journal except for the occasional oil stick which is mostly wax.

With this journal, I hope to explore new techniques and perhaps find my identity. Will I prefer watercolor as opposed to acrylic?  Will I prefer drawing whimsical faces as opposed to realism?  Will I find my unique style or will I continue to follow the path of diversity?  Wherever this journey takes me, I will go with eyes wide open...accepting my successes as well as failures and learning not to be too hard on myself when things don't go according to my liking.


When I painted this girl in watercolor, I realized that I forgot how to paint skin tones.  I am sure that there is something on the internet that explains this but a friend of mine just happened to be at my house with her inexpensive set of watercolors which had a tube of paint named, of all things, "Flesh." 
Wooo hoo!  You can't find this color in artist grade watercolor so I am very grateful that she offered to share.  


This is the inspiration photo that I used for my painting.  I plan to tape them to the opposite page of my journal to remind me of my thought process and to see what I should have done differently or what I might try again.  


This face started as a pencil drawing, then I added s little collage to the bonnet, stenciled a few flowers and texture using gesso and lastly, it was tinted using Ranger Distress Inks.



"Goat Boy" was done using a technique that I learned in Kate Thompson's "Children Of The Wild" class.  It was drawn in pencil, painted and stenciled with gesso on a copy of antique ledger paper and then highlighted using a R&F oil stick.

If you are interested in learning this technique from Kate, her on-line class is still available on  I have taken classes from Danielle Donaldson, Wendy Brightbill, Kate Thompson, Jeanne Oliver and many other fine artists.  Also, this site has many free videos so you may want to sign up to receive their notices even if you are not ready to join a class. 


This guy started out as a pencil drawing then I shaded areas with a light wash using a Stabilo Aquarellable pencil.  I used a black Faber Castell Pitt big brush pen for the background.  These are two of my favorite tools for shading.  The Stabilo pencil is nice and juicy allowing for a very light wash to a solid black line and the big brush pen is perfect for solid black areas as it does not bleed through the watercolor paper.  It is filled with India ink unlike alcohol ink pens.


Well, I hope that you are enjoying the start of my new journal, "Faces." I am really inspired by all the photos that I have collected and can't wait to see how they reveal themselves on the page.

Until next time.....