Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My Latest Drawing--Puddin

This is my mother-in-law's kitty, Puddin, which I just finished. She's a long-haired cat and is a medium to lighter gray with a caramel tone with some white.
I had a lot of fun drawing this one in 2B and HB graphite and on smooth bristol board. I did lots of layering, but I'm pretty happy with the end result and I might give it my mom-in-law for Mother's Day, since Puddin is her baby (in a sense).

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I've Won a

Thank-you Maria of Pencil Sanity for this award!
I've been asked to list 7 things that I love and to pass this neat award on to 7 people that I feel have a passion for and most definitely are much more deserving of this award than myself.

  1. My husband
  2. My kitty, Chance
  3. Drawing
  4. Hazelnut flavored coffee
  5. Play guitar
  6. The fact that Spring is almost here
  7. Smooth Jazz

And my nominees are: (Big Drumroll)

Be sure to stop in say hi to everyone!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

In Honor of Vincent

Since Vincent van Gogh's birthday is coming up on March 30, I did some research on the Web and found some interesting information about his life.

Did you know?

Vincent was born in 1853 in Holland.

He would be celebrating his 156th birthday--imagine blowing out all those candles on his birthday cake!

Vincent's father was a Reverand in the Protestant church.

He suffered horribly from epilepsy, psychotic attacks and delusions: now thought to be related to Bipolar Disorder.

During a stay at an insane asylum, he painted one of his most famous paintings, "The Starry Night".

Vincent sold only one painting during his entire lifetime. Now, some of his paintings sell for millions at auctions around the world.

He viewed his life as horribly wasted and felt that he was a failure.

Two of his closest friends were Theo, his brother and artist Paul Gaugin.

It's believed that Vincent painted about 900 paintings in a ten-year period

Sadly, passed away 2 days later after a self-inflicted gun shot to the chest. Vincent was only 37 years old.

---Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together. Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh's Self Portrait, courtesy of WP Clip

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Drawing of An Old House--Part 4--Finale!

Ok, here's the finished Old House pencil drawing. I added in some shading that would suggest trees around the building, deepened some shadows and added a bit more foreground ground areas.
I had a lot of fun drawing this old home, since it was my first architectural drawing. Together with the fact that I was drawing on watercolor paper, I was brand new at this type of drawing and in the method that I used.
So, what do you think? How did I do? Think I should do more or give it up with this one?
I welcome your comments!

Thank-you for joining me and I hope that you enjoyed watching me progress through this project-start to finish.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Drawing of An Old House--Part 3

Here in this photo, I've added more shadow tones and some more detailing. Like I mentioned, I wanted to achieve an "aged" look. I think this is going well on the watercolor paper that I have chosen to draw on this time.

I've placed more detail in and around the windows and doors, etc.

I have also roughed in some ground around the house, which anchors it to the ground, so that it doesn't appear to be floating in mid air.

You can see that I have placed some deeper darks and shadows at the side of the house that can be see the most. I made those windows and door much darker than the others, because I want the feeling of emptiness and abandon to come through to the viewer.
It's really starting to come together now.

Return for Part 4 and see it finished!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Drawing of An Old House--Part 2

At this point, I have started to put in some medium tones with my 2b pencil and then start to add in some darker tones and shadows. As I added more and more, I would blend each addition using a tortillion, which is basically just a rolled up piece of paper, which can be purchased at art supply just about any where. They are available in small, medium and large sizes. I tend to use the small and medium for most of my work.

As you may be able to see from this photo, I started at the left front of the building, working my way around to the right side. That's how I generally work, doing sort of a layering of tone and building that up.

I have also put in just a bit of detail. For me, drawing is about realism and to achieve that, detail really is everything.

Part 3 is coming real soon!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My Drawing of An Old House--Part 1

I would like to give a big Thank-You to ronnieb of Morguefile for the use of his photo, Old House, which I used with his permission for this 4-Part series.

Originally, Ronnie's photo was in color, but for my drawing, I converted it to Black and White, zoomed in a bit and heightened the contrast. I did all this in Photoshop easily, but I think the same results could be achieved in many of the photo editors out there. Even many of those that are free are perfect for these kinds of basics. I could have edited out the wires, but chose to just ignore them, leaving them out of my drawing, instead.

Then, I printed out both the color original and theblack and white versions of the photo and began to get my paper surface set up. For this drawing, I decided to do some experimenting by choosing cold-pressed watercolor paper. I wanted to give this building some texture and "aging" and have that come through to the viewer.

I started the drawing off by making a line drawing of the house and some trees. I drew these simple lines to be basic, just to guide myself along. When I drew the tree's lines I hadn't yet come to a decision as to how I would be drawing them. I would have to wait and see on that, later.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

For Inspriration

Here's a wonderful site about a truely inspiring guy, name Dennis Francesconi. I think that we all can learn something from Dennis' story--check it out!

Thank-you, Dennis.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Few Pages From A Sketchbook

I thought that it would be fun to post a few pages from one of my sketchbooks. I like to use
pen and ink, sometimes adding in some color with watercolor pencils using a waterbrush.
I just like to include whatever things that happen to catch my eye right at that particular
These four pages are: sketches of my cat, Chance; electrical outlets, switches and a light;
two of the many "hats" my husband wears; some items in our hotel room on a "getaway".
Keeping a sketchbook is a lot of fun and when I now look back at the pages, it brings back
the memories of that day, trip, place, how I felt or my impressions of what I saw.
Plus, some people use sketchbooks as an idea bank for later artwork. There doesn't seem
to be any rules and one can just use their imagination, with no limits.
I don't drawing in mine everyday, and I confess, months can go by without any new additions.
I also don't consider myself to be very good at it, but that's ok, I have fun, anyway. Remember, no one ever has to see it. That's up to you.
So, if you don't already use a sketchbook, think about grabbing one the next time you visit your favorite drawing supply online or in person. It doesn't have to be a fancy one, just make sure it's "acid free" paper. Just start on that first page and see what happens.
Afterall, Leonardo did and look what happened!

Thank-you Dors for this award, I'm delighted!

This is my first award!

Be sure and drop by Dors at
She features some wonderful

Here are some blogs that are certainly award worthy:

Please, if you would nominate 5 blogs that you think
are of interest.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Free Art Videos

JerrysArtarama is offering free art videos!
All kinds of medium are featured, so go check them out.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What's it about?

Pencil Portraitworks is about drawing, but not just about drawing. It's about art and life and how the two intertwine. My focus will be on drawing with colored and graphite pencils, and in particular, portraiture. Don't be surprised if you see other subjects and art media along the way, too.

Just as life is far from simple, drawing is no different. And, let me tell you, it has absolutely nothing to do with "talent". In my humble opinion, there is no such thing. Some things come easier to some of us, than to others. Regardless, if the desire is there, any skill can be improved, through plenty of practice, patience and persistence. We might never be modern day Picassos, but if we can just stick with it, amazing things can happen.

I am no expert and I don't know all the answers about drawing or anything else for that matter. But I do know what works for me. You may find that another way works better for you and that's fine. We all have our own ways of doing things, again, art is no different. There are as many different methods and techniques in drawing as there are artists in the world.

I'm delighted that you found your way here and I hope that you will find Pencil Portraitworks an enjoyable, informational and just plain fun place to visit again and again, even if you're not artist.