Category Archives: Featured

Plunging into Pastels

Color has entered into my life, and I’m kind of obsessed already. I bought a set of soft pastels well over 1 year ago and never used them, but thought I would one day. Then I found two boxes of Nupastels on clearance one day. I think they were originally around $20-25 a box, but I got them for about $7 each. I couldn’t resist. So now I had 3 boxes of pastels. I think it was time to actually try them out.

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To gain inspiration and with an invitation to go with my sister, I took a trip to the Phoenix Art Museum. I stopped at one of my favorite pieces in the place which has always blown me away because it’s a pastel piece.

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The White Rose (Portrait of Miss Jessup) by William Merritt Chase

From 10 feet away it  looks like a painting and I love it so much.

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I  watched some YouTube videos on pastel portrait drawing and how to use pastels and sat at the book store and skimmed a book on pastel portrait painting which was really useful.

I like to have a bit of knowledge about what I’m working with before playing.

I finally tried it out. I drew this ball and was pretty thrilled with it.

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Vivid red hair.

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Then a flower.

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And another Ball.

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Finally it was time to do a full portrait. I choose a picture of my son that I love.

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I began with a vine charcoal outline

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I sprayed it with a workable fixative before adding color.

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Quickly added some basic “flesh tones”, pinks and sienna. With dark reddish browns for the shadows and the darker hair tones.

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Added in some darker reds for the mid tones and blonde/yellow in the hair. And just used my finger to begin blending it in.

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Added in eye color and trying to get the lip color right. At this point I also was getting frustrated since it looks nothing like my son. The mouth is off the eyes are off, and I’m pretty used to getting an accurate depiction in my drawings at this point, that I was unhappy. At the same time, I had to remind my self that I’m doing this drawing for practice with pastels, not likeness perfection, but I’ll try harder with that next time.

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I also need to work on my backgrounds and clothing.

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Here is the finished product, all blended in and smoothed out.

It’s done on 18x24in charcoal paper. It took approximately 3 hours to do. Which is amazing.

So overall, I’m proud of myself for completing my first full color portrait. It’s so exciting to think of the possibilities of what I can do with this.

Keep Drawing!

Pastels used in this portrait:

Kate Middleton (with video)

Hello again! A new day, a new drawing, a new video. Things really fell in place for this drawing I had a lot of fun doing it and didn’t feel the struggle I had felt in the past few drawings I did. I don’t know exactly what it was, but things just worked out on this one. Towards the end of this drawing I needed my compressed white chalk to do the veil and shoulders, but I could not, for the life of me, find it. I looked everywhere, 3 times, and even took a trip to my storage unit. Finally, this morning, I decided to look in my art supply drawer, just one more time and lo and behold, there they were, tucked in a bag of charcoal pencils. I think that extra time gave me the courage to tackle that lace top on the dress and add in the flower details. Or at least a hint of them. I love the result.

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Please enjoy the time lapse video.


Keep Drawing!

Materials Used:

Grav3yardgirl With Video!

I finished a drawing! Yay! It’s been a while. I chose to draw Bunny aka Grav3yardgirl. I’m a big fan of her YouTube channel, which is the first channel I ever subscribed to. She’s so funny and genuine and I’m proud to call myself part of her Swamp Family. I follow her on Snapchat and this picture once came up in her story and I thought it was so pretty and so I screen shot it and knew that one day I’d draw it. Are there swamp family out there who are excited about her Tarte Palette? I am, the color shades are right up my alley.

Photo Jun 14, 11 00 41 AM (1)I was in the middle of filming this one and I realized her eye was too high on her face. I don’t think it was incredibly noticeable, but it bothered me enough that I stopped filming to move it down. You can see it in the video there’s a bit of a jump and her eye went from looking finished to looking bare. It’s all part of the process.

About the drawing itself. This is on 9×12 Bristol Smooth paper. It’s the first time I’ve ever used smooth paper, and I think I really liked it. It was easy to fix mistakes and to blend tones together. I used 4H, HB, 7B, and 8B pencils, kneaded eraser and blending stumps.

I hope you enjoy the video. Keep Drawing!

Grav3yardgirl on YouTube

Pencils used for this drawing


Original Art Nouveau in Color

I mentioned before that I’ve been loving art nouveau and Alphonse Mucha. Well, I finally created my own original art nouveau piece. It was fun and I’ll most likely do another one at some point. Since this was my first. I kept the design really simple. My biggest challenge is color. I really need to practice with choosing a color palette that works, and stick with it.

This was how I did this. I started with the drawing of the woman, staying minimal. I then, framed it up so I know where the rest of the design is going. This was only an 8×10 inch paper so I didn’t have much room to work with. I went through my Mucha books to gather inspiration for backgrounds. I choose to do a simple European countryside look and sun bursts on top. After laying it all out in pencil, I traced onto another paper with brown colored pencil and went on filling in the rest of the color from there and blended it in with colored pencil blending pencil and marker.

I used Prismacolor pencils and I think this only took a total of about 6 hours

In conclusion, I’m very proud of myself for doing this. I have no experience in art like this, but it’s not completely terrible. Yay! What do you think?

Keep Drawing!

Anne and Gilbert: Completed

Finished! Honestly, I lost motivation towards the end there, that’s why the clothing is pretty minimal. I was worried half way through that this wouldn’t turn out at all. Even though I’m not 100% happy with it, I’m happy with how it turned out. This is because the source picture was not the greatest quality when it came to lighting and clarity. But it’s done! On to other things!

The reason why I drew this picture was because of the sad sad news of Jonathan Crombie’s death. I learned about it at a bad time. I had been rereading the “Anne of Green Gables” book. I had just finished it and, *spoiler alert*, if you read the book or seen the movie, you know the 2nd to last chapter was when Matthew dies. I had cried reading it (seriously, it gets me every time), and then like 2 hours later, I saw the news of Crombie dying, and it really felt like Gilbert has just died! Right in the feels! It was a lot to take in one afternoon.


11×14 bristol paper. HB-6B graphite pencil. Approx. 12- 14 hours.

Keep Drawing!

New and Improved…

Tom Hanks! It was an easy choice to redo the drawing I did back in December. I didn’t mind how it turned out then but I also knew it could be better. I went through the online course I took, and mentioned in my last post, step by step, and really took my time making sure this turns out. Here is the result!

Here’s the steps taken (kind of).

I started with the basic layout. I actually did this drawing with the way you learn in most basic drawing classes, with lines and circles. The instructor explained it so simply, a light bulb went on in my head and I finally was able to use this method successfully.  Next was adding shadow shapes and the actual features and final checking over and over again to make sure everything was in it’s proper place.Photo Apr 12, 9 52 24 AM 

 Next was what’s called “Keying the Drawing” to get the contrast I wanted. I started with the eyes.  Then I moved on to the forehead, than the nose. The instructor called this “modeling the form” which is pretty helpful in remembering to make the shapes on the face more defined.Next, the mouth and chin.    On to the ear, cheek and hair. Then finished off with the neck and the collar of the jacket.Photo Apr 19, 11 10 16 AM

 I’m going to be bold and say the improvement is awesome! It took me about 10-12 hours to do. Significantly longer than the original 2 1/2 hours. I knew taking my time makes a big difference.  Proportions are much better and the facial features are better placed and angled. What do you think?

Art Nouveau Inspired Done

Here is the completed drawing. I had a lot of fun figuring out the design details that would work with what I started with. Since I don’t have design and illustration skills, I needed to look online and mix and match from what I found.

Also, I know the actual portrait is not exactly period correct, since art nouveau was at its peek at the turn of the 20th century, and this picture is from a vintage 1920’s photo. Oh well, still works for me.

Keep Drawing!