Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Peacock Pastel

This was another quick pastel. The small size (12"x9") coupled with pastels' ability to be layered makes it much faster than charcoal. I used a medium green colored velour paper to make the background easier. Currently untitled.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pastel Cat Portraits II

And here are my other two cats, 10-year-old littermates we named Lepton (left) and Quark. (Yes, my husband and I have science degrees.) Lepton is a very handsome tuxedo cat with an off-center "Hitler mustache," and Quark is a soft calico with a tuft of fur on her nose.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pastel Cat Portraits I

I have come to the realization (with much prodding from my husband) that woodburning in winter with the house closed up is not the healthiest thing. I knew that, of course, but when I get into something it's sometimes hard to break it. So the deer and the burl will be put on the backburner (no pun intended) until I can open the windows without freezing. In the meantime, I wanted to do something I haven't touched in a while - pastels.

I came up with this wonderful idea for a cheetah pastel painting, and even started it, but soon realized that I'm a little out of practice with the pastels. So I am currently working on a four-part series of small portraits of my cats. Here are the first two, completed. The cat on the left is Dawn. She is a shy, quiet one who acts very submissive to the others. She has a wonderful coat of white, tan and gray. After consulting a cat book, we determined she is a classic silver torbie, based on her markings. She is a tabby with the M on the forehead (hard to see in this pose, though).

We got Dawn and her sister, Dusk (right), at the shelter. Part of the shelter adoption agreement was they must wear collars at all times, but they are strictly indoor cats. They will be three years old this summer. Dusk is a mediumhair tortoiseshell. It is hard to tell in all but the best light, but she also has some faint tabby markings on her face. She loves being held and petted, she will play with water, and has occasionally played fetch. We think she thinks she's a dog sometimes.

So these are my two littlest ones. Over the next few days, I'll work on my older two cats and post them here.

Friday, February 03, 2012

WIP - Mule Deer Buck

This is the start of the new mule deer woodburning. It is a small 8"x10", because I didn't think it would look right on the larger 11"x14". In fact, I have decided to save the remaining three of those I have for large animals, a tiger, a grizzly, and one other to be determined. I have nine 8"x10"s, so I'll be doing a lot more with those.

Anyway, I decided (since I still can't find a drill press) to do a study on one of these small plywood sheets. The study will be a complete pyrography in itself, but also a sort of practice for the burl slab (did I mention those slabs are not cheap?). So far, the fur has been pretty easy. I have that texture down pat, I would say. What is new for me is the antlers. That bumpy, bony texture is new to me with this medium. I'm starting by laying down a base value with the flat shader, then adding detail with the spoon shader and the writer. And I'm kind of wishing I had a very small flat shader for the smaller areas.