Monday, September 30, 2013

New Pencils and a Hat

I have to complete a few more pieces for the China exhibit
that I plan to have ready in early November.  I decided to try
this portrait of this guide we had on the long tail boats.  I love
his hat.  He modeled it for us as an example of the ancient types of
hats worn by the river people.  He sang for us on the boat in Chinese and
I sketched him in my book.  I handed it to him to have him sign the
page, and he was confused at first.  Then it "clicked", and he wrote
his name in those Chinese characters.  way cool. 

I am trying some new pencils, Polychromos.  I have used Prismacolors  FOREVER.
But recently, I have had lots of trouble with them breaking...often.
I am part of a Facebook group called CPAL, and it is made up of
colored pencil artists.  There is always a lot of discussion about pencils.
 Some of the artists really like these, so I thought I would give
them a try.  So far, I like them.  We will see!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Peace at the Lake

I have been in south Louisiana again this weekend,
and I stopped by Lake Martin on my way home.
This place always makes me smile, and gives me such
peace.  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Memorial Portrait

I have been tweaking this drawing tonight.  I think I am
finished.  The picture looks is very hard to photograph
a pencil drawing with a flash.  I usually try to take them in the
sunlight, but since it is late at night (usually when I draw!),
I had to try.  It really looks better in person.

I have talked to the family, and they are very appreciative.  This was
a very sweet young lady who had taken some of my art classes.
She was very talented, and popular in school.  I know she is
missed by her family and her friends. 
Rest in peace Autumn.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


This is a commissioned portrait that I have
been working on for awhile.  It is just pencil
on hot pressed watercolor paper.  The young
lady passed away earlier this spring in a four
wheeler accident...a real tragedy.  The parents had
asked me to do a drawing of her, and supplied this
photograph.  I still have some more to go, all of the
background, more work on her hair, and the face is not
absolutely right.  I will work some more on the likeness before
I tell them I am finished.  I want it to be something they will
approve of and treasure,

Monday, September 23, 2013

LSU Boys of Fall

I spent another Saturday night in LSU Tiger Stadium, watching
them play.  I thought some of these action shots were very
interesting.  Yes, they are a bit blurry: I am up in the stands, about
halfway up, and they are moving!  I took my bigger lens this time,
and these shots are a little better.  It is just fun to snap away, and
see what you get!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Boys of Fall

I really love living in the country and getting to see so many
different kinds of wildlife.  These three turkeys have been
around every day for the last couple of weeks.  They are
"jakes" or young males...teenage boys that hang around
together.  They are getting real used to my car going back
and forth down the road, but if I get out, they take off.
So I took these from inside the car...trying to get
close to them.  I will keep the camera in the
car, and try again.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

All in the Book

I have finished my digital copy of the China sketchbook.  I hope
the link above works?!  I am selling these for $100 if anyone is
interested in ordering one.  Just let me know by email or  leave
me a message on my cell phone (225-229-3325).  Thanks!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"Coy Koi"

I think I am finished with this drawing.  This is one of those subjects that
I have always wanted to draw.  I have admired other artists' versions of goldfish
in the water.  I have taken several photos over the years that I thought would
be good references.  But the timing just felt right for this one.  I took this
photo in China, and this subject has always seemed "Chinese" to me.  I
guess I associate the koi with Chinese gardens, etc. 

On the Facebook page, CPAL, (colored pencil artists and lovers), they asked
the question, "What subject are you afraid to draw?"  And this is one of
those for me.  I didn't know if I could capture the reflections and patterns in
the water, and get the layers right.  But, I finished it, and I am fairly pleased
with it.  So, I am not scared anymore!

This piece will be included in the digital copy of the China travel
journal (ready by Oct 1).  I also plan to enter it in the CPSA
show that allows other media mixed with colored pencil.
The white areas are acrylic paint.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Into the Water

Making a little more progress on this drawing...
it is fun!  I am also working on the digital copy of
the China book, and I would like to include this.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fish Fear

I have always admired drawings and paintings that I have
seen of goldfish in the water.  I have tried a couple of times
to do such a painting or drawing, and have either failed or
given up.  This is one of my photographs from China,
and I am going to try to draw it with colored pencil.  I have
already started, playing around with the colors and techniques.
I am using some of the Gamsol to blend the pencil together.
I am using a white paint pen for the white highlights. 
Hopefully I will make it all the way through this one...I
am off to a start at least!

No Fear!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pulling the Print

A Styrofoam owl. 

The paint and the brayer

The block is "inked" and ready to print

This is the black and white print!

Samuel pulling his's a rattlesnake

And Kate pulling hers..a parrot

We started our children's art classes this week.  Our first
project was printing a Styrofoam block.  They selected which design
they wanted to draw onto their Styrofoam.  Then they
drew the lines with a pencil, and pushed down to make
indentions or grooves.  We inked the block with some
black paint and the brayer, rolling the paint onto the surface.
We placed the white paper over the block, and
rubbed the surface until all the paint had transferred.
And then the exciting part: pulling the print away from the
block, and seeing it for the first time!  They drew a parrot,
a snake, a flower, an alligator, and a!

Children's Art Classes  Wednesdays 4-5 pm
Pea Patch Gallery  $15.00 each lesson
All supplies included
For info call or email:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sign for Beverly

This is a sign that I have been working on.  It is made from
a headboard.  I will still tweak it some.  I am going to sand off
some of the lettering, and distress it some more. Then I will seal it all with
some polyurethane.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Book on China

I know it seems like I am jumping around from one thing to
the appears that way because it is!  I always seem
to have so many projects going at once, and that is the
case right now.  I have been working on getting the
digital copy of the China sketchbook done.  I spent
most of the afternoon scanning the pages.  I have started the
book in Shutterfly, but I still have many pages to go. 
I plan to do a few more finished pieces to be included
as well.

I have heard from at least one traveler who is
interested in purchasing the book.  If you think you might
like one, you can get in touch with me.  The books
are $100, and they will be ready around the first of
October.  They will contain most of the original watercolors
that are in the sketchbook, as well as some of my
photographs.  And I try to have some witty and informative
commentary along the way!

Watching the Tigers Play

Had a fun time tonight in LSU's Tiger Stadium...watching
them beat UAB.  From watching Mike the Tiger "crowd-surfing",
to thrilling passes in the end zone, to the quarterback throwing
5 record breaking touchdowns, and all the good food in between...
a good time was had by all!!

Saturday, September 7, 2013


This giant statue is at the gate of the entrance to the site of
the Terra Cotta warriors in Xian, China

This is Building covers the archeological dig where the
warriors are

These are some of them!

This is the building enclosing the dig.   It looks a lot like an airplane hanger.

There are still many pics from China that I would like to share.  Here
are a few of the magnificent terra cotta warriors that
have been found in Xian.  Some farmers found them in 1974 while
digging a well.  They were made and buried with the emperor at
the time, to be his army in the afterlife.  There are different ranks of
officers and warriors; the one above is the only general there was.
Then there are archers and foot soldiers, horses and chariots. 

They are no longer excavating them, because they are waiting to develop a
method for preserving the paint on them.  When they first dig them up,
they are painted, but the paint decays quickly in the air. 

Each face of each warrior is different, and I think this is what fascinates
so many people.  Whoever the artists and sculptors were then,
they were incredibly dedicated and talented.  Maybe they didn't want to
end up buried with the emperor as well!