Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sioux Woman

12" x 9" Charcoal on Paper
Here's a sketch made at the weekly drawing session just a few weeks ago. My sketch was made using charcoal and "charcoal white" pencils in a Strathmore sketchbook. Before beginning the drawing, the paper was toned by rubbing a stick of charcoal over the entire sheet. Then the charcoal coating was lightly rubbed and smoothed with a paper towel that came from a paper towel dispenser in the restroom. The darks were laid down with a soft charcoal pencil. Light tones were created using a kneaded eraser to lift out the charcoal. "Charcoal white" was used very sparingly (in this case) for highlights. 

The model, a Sioux woman,  was dressed in a modern professional-looking outfit. Of course she would have looked good in a hand-sewn fringed buckskin dress adorned with dyed porcupine quills, elk hooves and cowrie shells, but she also looked good as she was and was an excellent model, so that's how we drew her. 

For more about drawing sessions, go to "Labels" on the side bar and click on "sketching" or "drawing."

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas 2013

8" x 10" Oil on Panel
This is the first, and so far the only snow painting I've done this season, so it gets to be my Christmas post. It was painted a week and a half ago in the Four Corners area of Utah. Walking along through the snow on this high desert plateau, I found an old dirt road which meandered through the sagebrush toward some pinion pine and juniper trees. Beyond the trees rise the Abajo Mountains. The only wildlife I remember seeing that day were a couple desert cottontails that scampered through the brush as I approached, and the occasional passing raven. The temperatures were only a little below freezing on this sunny and pleasant day, which was a relief after a week or two of very cold weather.

Hope you have Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend

5" x 7" Oil on Panel
A day or two after a fine turkey dinner I went painting outdoors. The scene above is one I've painted before, but I had to try it with the little 5" x 7" pochade box. The low winter sun rakes across the faceted angles of Maple Mountain, creating fascinating patterns of dark and light. This is one of my favorite mountains to paint. I'm sure to do it again, and from other locations in the valley. The snow line has moved all the way down the slopes now, blanketing everything in the valley. I'm looking forward to snow painting.

5" x 7" Oil on Panel
The next little painting in this post also came out of the 5" x 7" pochade box that weekend. It was painted from the bench trail along the base of the mountains just east of town. The contrast of the lone pine on a slope of golden autumn grasses caught my attention. I might go paint it again now that snow has covered the grass.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Some Lingering Fall Color

5" x 7" Oil on Panel
This was painted down by the lake one afternoon in November. It wasn't easy finding one last Autumn painting to do since most of the leaves were down by then, but I found this splash of color just a stone's throw from the edge of the lake. The air was calm, and balmy by November's standards. The lake's surface was smooth, mirroring some clouds that began moving in later that afternoon. As the sun neared the horizon a slight breeze picked up. Small waves began to gently lap the shore near my feet. It was a perfect day to be out.