Enid, Hamish, Peko, Bordeaux, Lindy. Pencils!

Enid, 9" x 12" Pencils

Enid, 9″ x 12″ Pencils

Enid in progress

So, instead of one or two nights like most of these 9×12 pencils I’ve been doing, I put in an extra couple days on this one for added depth and detail. Frequent visitors to this blog may recall my love of snoods!

And here is some of the rest of the gallery from the past couple weeks (with bird friends!):

Hamish with New Friend, Peko & Midori

Hamish with New Friend, Peko & Midori (click to enlarge)

Midge & Bordeaux, Lindy and Margaret

Midge & Bordeaux, Lindy and Margaret (click to enlarge)

A few notes. So much smudging! In some cases, I have tried to remove the smudging (in Adobe Elements where I do most of my brightness corrections and resizing), but some still show more smudging that others. Also, I have included my blog address because while lots of people re-post images, many of them do not mean to “steal” but to share. Those sorts of folks will leave an identifier so I have included the link.

Friends, I must confess – I have THREE ink projects I have put off. The bad excuse is that I am in pencil mode! But the truth is that procrastination and fear of bad outcomes continue to bedevil me. That much said, I may have some inky things (and procrastination recovery to report) next time!

Thanks so much for dropping in! Hello to Paint Party Friday!


Hattie, Jim, Miranda, Giles – More Friends in Pencil


Hattie 9" x 12" pencil

9″ x 12″ pencil

Hattie in progress, 9" x 12" pencil

Hattie in progress, 9″ x 12″ pencil (click to enlarge)

Jim & Miranda 9" x 12" pencil

Jim & Miranda
9″ x 12″ pencil

Giles with Bowtie 9" x 12" pencil

Giles with Bowtie
9″ x 12″ pencil

Still at it! 005 mechanical pencil with HB lead, and some 4B and new 8B Staedtler pencils.

Thanks to all for stopping by and leaving nice comments! Hello to Paint Party Friday!

Mechanical Pencil Works in Progress

Gump and Rosie, 9" x 12" pencil in progress

Gump and Rosie, 9″ x 12″ pencil in progress

More pencils I have been working on. Now using the 005 HB mechanical pencil with a Staedtler 6B for extra dark bits (pupils, nostrils and a few other spots). They needed names, so they are Gump & Rosie.

9" x 12" pencil in progress

9″ x 12″ pencil in progress (click to enlarge)

9" x 12" pencil in progress

9″ x 12″ pencil in progress

Sometimes I get to a certain point and set it aside. This last one has been at this stage for a couple weeks and it’s not done but I haven’t decided what else to do with it. I think a background but I fear all the inevitable smudging.

Another good pencil video: How to Shade with a Pencil by LethalChris Drawing.

Hello to Paint Party Friday and thank you to all the recent visitors! It’s nice to be back in action. :D

And Now with Mechanical Pencil

Preston with Bowtie, 9″ x 12″ pencil

I’ll be honest, I don’t know why I keep drawing flowers on their noses and hair. I kind of dig it. This one I think is not quite as nice as my first very serious fur attempt, but he has some excellent qualities.

I picked up an 005 mechanical pencil with HB lead and I love it! I don’t have to sharpen it! But, sometimes you have to let more lead out instead of scratching stuff up and not realizing you have to let more lead out. Haha. I also got some of these tortillions but didn’t have them handy and the q-tip continued to be a fine alternative. (Don’t you love supplies with fancy names that don’t cost an arm and a leg!)

As a side note, it has sadly come to my attention that all of my old gallery slideshows of work in progress no longer work. When I first started in 2011 the whole process was SO TEDIOUS with the scanning and re-sizing and cleaning up and re-naming and posting holy cow. But I learned things and some people liked the things, and that’s great! And now, to new things! With mechanical pencils sometimes!

Thanks for dropping in! Hello to Paint Party Friday!

Fur & Hair, Adventures in Pencil

This was supposed to be the year of acrylic painting (and may yet be), but January has mostly been the month of the pencil! Most recently, in a break from watching Poirot reruns, I have been watching hair and fur tutorial and speed-drawing videos. Here is my first serious attempt! Took about four hours of layering, and is missing a bit of brightness.

Grady's Coiffure, 9" x 12" pencil

Grady’s Coiffure, 9″ x 12″ pencil

I think Grady’s got a bit of a Seussian aspect, but with fancier hair!

Pencils: 2H, F, B, 2B (because that’s what I had handy) I did not get a blending stump (tortillon) but one of the videos suggested a q-tip and it worked pretty well. I also found a kneaded eraser but need more practice with it. I am going to pick up a couple mechanical pencils and try those, and I also need some darker pencils, maybe a 4B or 6B. Darker is better but I fear the smudging! I really need to be more conscious of the smudge guard I try to use.

Some related videos I found very helpful:

LethalChris Drawing:
How to Draw a Bear, How to Draw a Panda Bear, How to Draw Realistic Hair

Proko, How to Draw Hair (I’ve mentioned Proko before. He is charming and a great teacher.)

Daisy van den Berg, Drawing Fur (dog)

Mark Crilley, How to Draw a Kitten

Fine Art Tips, How to Draw a Mouse with a Mechanical Pencil

Do you have any favorite youtube art channels? Please share! Thanks for stopping by!

Fanciful Pencil Beasts!

Horace and Friends 9" x 12" pencil

Horace and Friends, 9″ x 12″ pencil

Lots of drawing in pencil continues! All 9″ x 12″ as I work through some Bristol board drawing pads. These are I think the better ones, each done in an evening or sometimes two. (I post more frequently on my Facebook page .)

I do have a new painting started though I have yet to work out a consistent painting schedule. Do I need a schedule? It seems like maybe I do. Thanks so much for dropping by!

Horace and Friends 9" x 12" pencil and 12" x 12" early painting stage

Horace and Friends
9″ x 12″ pencil and 12″ x 12″ early painting stage


Continued Acrylics – with progress shots

Acrylic painting and pencil sketching continue.

11" x 14" Acrylics, in progress

11″ x 14″ Acrylics, in progress

This one is feeling much more forced than the last one! Probably overthinking things. The black outline was not the best move, but it will probably see a lot of changes yet.

And these are two favorite recent sketches. I am finally using a piece of paper as a smudge guard. Hooray!

Horned Oracle, 9" x 12" pencil sketch

Horned Oracle, 9″ x 12″ pencil

Pavel's Pet Portrait Palace 9" x 12" pencil

Pavel’s Pet Portrait Palace, 9″ x 12″ pencil

I haven’t decided what to do with these, Copics won’t work with this much pencil and the Bristol is no good for acrylics. I could trace the outline on a new sheet, maybe. More likely I will just start the next one.

Thanks so much for dropping by! (All acrylic tips appreciated!)

Could it be an Acrylic Painting post? IT IS.

two painted beasts, omg. 11" x 14" Acrylics

two painted beasts, omg.
11″ x 14″ Acrylics

Wooo, I’ve been painting! And pretty big too, if you keep in mind I’ve been mostly drawing 2.5″ x 3.5″ art card size the last couple years.

Since my last progress shots post, some WordPress update business or another has removed my slideshow function. I may search out another for future posts, but here is a little gallery of shots. You can click on each to enlarge, but tragically you cannot page through them.

So, I was pretty happy at step seven. The next day, after a couple hours working at it (with some frustrations!), what a big difference! I still have to fix up the background. Might just cover the splatters, or might add something new. Or might start the next painting! Here’s a sneak preview:

11" x 14" sketch on canvas board

11″ x 14″ sketch on canvas board

Thanks so much for dropping in! Please, please feel free and encouraged to drop any and all acrylic painting tips in the comments. I’m a bit of a hack at it still, and probably will be for another few years. (But that’ s ok!) :-)

January One, Sketches and Musings

Horace with Friends, 6" x 6" pencil sketch

Horace with Friends, 6″ x 6″ pencil sketch (with lots of smudging, d’oh)

When she saw that Horace was feeling melancholy, Gina called in the troops to cheer him up. Just moments after this image was captured, Horace cheered up immeasurably, grabbed his bright green mandolin, and led them in a rousing rendition of “I Want to Be Your Friend” by 11 Acorn Lane.  Gina beakily provided horn accompaniment, while Oditi (far left) insisted on repeating the  Deedlee-doo, Deedlee-dee bit. They jumped and clapped and spun around.

Happy January 1! The year ahead is filled with promise, opportunity and undreamt surprises. New discoveries, rediscoveries and unwelcome news. Birthdays, lazy Saturdays, and days when the sun will seemingly fail to shine.

But you are here! Thank you for coming. I hope this year holds lots of the good things and less of the bad things, for everyone. More recent sketching below.

Two sketch Dec 26 2015

2 with Birds, 6" x 6" pencil sketches

2 with Birds, 6″ x 6″ pencil sketches

And then there were fish, and things became muddled. pencil sketch, 5" x 7"

And then there were fish, and things became muddled.
pencil sketch, 5″ x 7″



Poirot and Me

There is a moment in season 8, episode 1* (“Evil Under the Sun”) when David Suchet’s Poirot says, The murder that took place here was the work of a mind that was brilliant. But there is one thing that the killer did not expect, ah? The mind of Hercule Poirot. Es bien? Now is the time for these two minds to meet and the truth at last must come to light.

David Suchet's Hercule Poirot, sketch in progress, 6" x 6"

David Suchet’s Hercule Poirot, sketch in progress, 6″ x 6″

His eyes twinkle, as they often do, and he manages to suppress all but a momentary hint of a smile. The denouement is imminent. The Good Guy shall unmask the killer! after a careful reconstruction of (re-enacted) events. So satisfying. I mean really. Not to mention the charming cast, the British accents (and terrible, hilarious American ones), and a peek into the imperfect lives of the upper crust. (Spoiler: They are crusty. In more ways than one. Gross.) No seriously, even rich people have problems/can be nice/aren’t monsters.(?)

In any case, since the Bad Guys often seem to be winning in the world we actually inhabit, I enjoy the quiet inevitability of the triumphant Belgian.

For this sketch I decided not to look at a static photo, but to watch the show and watch him in action. I got to concentrate on a whole range of expressed emotions, and study all his features from many angles, which I found helpful. It needs work. Or I may start a new one. Either way, expect more Poirot portraiture at this address. :)

I apologize if you are unfamiliar with the show and I totally bored you to death. But you would like it. Who wouldn’t like it?! I am currently watching (the second time through) via Netflix. Thanks for dropping in!

*Agatha Christie’s Poirot