Friday, January 21, 2011


At last, I can call this, my first pastel painting, complete! The official dimensions are 25.25" x 19.375" and I've been working on it since late October, about three months. I guess I like to dive right in when learning a new medium. I never did spray the bottom layer as I was planning, but it didn't seem to need it. I used Rembrandt soft pastels for, well, almost everything except the fur and details for which I used Stabilo Carbothello pastel pencils. I also used Sennelier sticks for the whiskers and some of the black background. Sennelier are extremely soft, but also pricey, so I only have black and white for now.

This jaguar I met at the Rio Grande Zoo in Albuquerque. They have two, actually, one male (this one) and one female (a black, or melanistic, jaguar). The zookeeper once said that while most big cats kill through biting the jugular, the jaguar's neck and jaw muscles are so strong it can crush a human skull. It may not be the largest of the big cats, but it is probably the most powerful. The photos I got of him were of him gnawing and licking a large bone, but I wanted to show him a bit gentler than that. I titled this piece Pristine because of him keeping himself clean as well as for the impeccable natural rainforest landscape behind him.

While it took a lot longer than I thought, I thoroughly enjoyed the learning experience and look forward to doing more pastel work.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Animal Art Online Exhibit

I almost forgot to post this, but my penguin drawing was accepted to Infinity Art's Animal Art Exhibit, which runs now through (I believe) Feb 15th, online only. Do check it out, there are many great pieces.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

WIP - Jaguar - Making Progress

In the past couple weeks I have been much better at managing my time, so that I now have about an hour every evening to draw. I've been working mostly on the background of this piece, and I only have the upper right corner to finish. Then I'll finish the back end of the cat, then the log he is sitting on, then the foreground leaves. Then it'll just be touch-ups here and there. I hope to have this done in a week. My next post should be the finished project!

Sunday, January 02, 2011


I'm not usually one for making a list of resolutions, but I guess it's only natural that I find myself looking forward to the coming year. What have I done this past year, and what can I do next year? 2010 was pretty busy for me. I had two solo exhibits plus the birth of my son (now five months old already!). In the early part of the year, I worked on expanding my charcoal drawings to be more complex. I added two drawings to the mother/baby series and one to the large African mammal series, plus several others. Since my boy was born I have been slowly working on my first pastel painting, which I hope to complete within a month.

So where do I see myself next year at this time? I want to have several pastel paintings done as well as a few more charcoal drawings. I want to budget my time better so I can get more artwork done while the baby naps. I also want to get back to posting here more often and to enter more national exhibits. And, of course, I want to push myself to get better. This should be a good year.