Percilla, Who Can Resist You? (#42): 100 Face Challenge

I found an absolutely irresistible photo of a young kitty named Percilla while browsing the blog of artist Jade Sutton the other day. If you have a minute, check out her blog! Her artwork will inspire you to dig through your supplies and fling pigment to paper, canvas, whatever is closest.   It’s lovely!


I love all animals, but I have to admit being partial to cats. My two passed away within about a year of each other recently, and though we’re not ready to take the plunge yet, I just can’t resist cute little kitty faces. This one was done with a 2B graphite pencil in my most humble Canson sketchbook.

Happy Tuesday!   Enjoy the sun, the snow, the rain…..whatever’s happening where you are.   They all have a purpose, and something to offer us.   Peace.

Contented Dog (#35): 100 Face Challenge

When I saw this photo of my friend Jodi’s dog at Life in Between…do I have to finish this sentence? How could anyone resist this face?!

Charlie: MM journal, 2B graphite

There is nothing sweeter than the eyes of a dog. A challenging, foreshortened view that I’m still working on rendering just right, but every single time, such a joy to try and capture. Thank you, Jodi, for sharing your lovely photos. And thank you, Charlie, my partner in crime!   You both inspire me.

Saturdays are inspiring too! Beef stew will bubble in the crockpot, some kind of cool gluten-free chocolate chunk bars will be baking in the oven…..and then let the weekend dance continue with color galore! Happy almost February…..peace.

Smiling Man (#29): 100 Face Challenge

Watching TV the other night, inspiration hit me.  I decided it might be worth trying to capture this man using a still of his face, which I found quickly, thanks to the magic of Google images.


This was the result, with 2B graphite pencil in my Strathmore Mixed Media journal. I hope you enjoy!

To everyone affected by the snowstorm, I think after digging out, it’s time for paint, pencils, and splashes of happiness?   Everybody, let’s dance.    Peace and Happy Sunday to you.

Dog in Profile (#19): 100 Face Challenge

I checked “The Artist’s Guide to Drawing Animals” by J. C. Amberlyn out from the library some time ago, and every now and then, I copy one of her sketches.   I’m finding this book really useful, as she breaks each animal down, feature by feature.    Love the expressiveness in her lines.   This is something I’m really working on this year:  loosening up and trying to let more emotion and personality come through in my work.

011616This was done with a humble graphite pencil in my mostly smooth (and definitely humble) Canson sketchbook.

I hope that you are enjoying the finest of Saturdays today.    Take time for yourself.   Read, create, relax with some beautiful music and fill up your soul.    Let’s make the world a better place, one sweet moment at a time.   Peace.

100 Face Challenge: Study for Madonna with the Yarnwinder (#10 & #11)

I’ve been enjoying copying the work of other artists, and so I decided to try this sketch from the great Leonardo da Vinci.  I tried a quick preliminary sketch first, with a Caran d’Ache Technalo watersoluble graphite pencil.  I wanted to see the lines, so I didn’t hit it with the water at all.   I’m finding I really like the look of a sketch done with water-soluble graphite.    It gives an interesting depth, and almost gives the feeling of charcoal on my mixed media paper, without so much smudging.


The original work was so beautiful that I had to try again, this time with just a B graphite pencil on the same mixed media paper (just different lighting).   I was much happier with this effort.

0109 2

I look forward to revisiting this one again when I can take more time with it.   Such lovely lines in the original!    I’m learning so much right now from the work of others.    What a joy to try and recreate!    I’m enjoying this face challenge so much!

Enjoy your weekend and I hope you dance!

100 Face Challenge: Studio Cat (#6 & #7)!

I was browsing the blog of artist Katie Turner recently and found this post, featuring a wonderful photo of her studio cat, Tiger.    This cat is so gorgeous, with lovely markings, and I was especially drawn to her eyes (I am eye obsessed).   So of course, I had to draw her.    Or try!   🙂

010516 graphite

My first attempt was in graphite pencil (2B) in my 65-lb., mostly smooth Canson sketchbook.   I was happy with the eye, but had misaligned some other markings a bit.   And I didn’t think the lightweight paper would fare well with too much erasing.

010516 pen

So I tried again in ink, this time in my Strathmore mixed media journal with a Copic 0.1 mm nib.   I’ve not finished this drawing, but will probably start over again on Bristol smooth paper.   The photo has so much eye detail (making me crave about 100 more just like it, of any animal you please!) and I find myself being drawn to it again and again.   I’ve found that the importance of a good photo reference can not be overestimated.   I’ve also found that in spite of a good reference, it’s easy to make mistakes.   hehe.

I’ve got some barnyard animals planned for the future:  cows, horses, rabbits, roosters, and even the odd squirrel and raccoon.    Also, more dogs!    I hope you make this a day to remember.  Meowing in public could go a long way toward brightening a January day.   (I’m just checking to see if anyone’s still reading.   But meowing in public really is fun!)    Peace.

100 Face Challenge: Noah (#5)!

A friend sent me a photo of her dog, Noah, and I had to draw him right away.   The eyes of a dog are impossible to resist.   You just melt into them!   And as you know, I’m a sucker for eyes!

010416 noah

I’ve tried drawing this dog at least ten times with all different mediums:  graphite, pen and colored pencil.   This was done in either 2B or 4B graphite.  The 3/4 view isn’t the easiest, but it’s the one I’m drawn to most, of all the photos she sent. This is the best attempt I’ve made so far with Noah, but I’m determined to keep trying until all of us (including Noah) are happy with it!

I’ve never used a blending stump before, but on this toothy mixed media paper, it made a huge difference.   Something to remember for the future.   This is also the first time I’ve spent over three hours on one drawing.   It was so much fun, though, even so.   Of all the animals I’ve tried, I enjoy drawing dogs the most.   You can read so much from their eyes.   It’s such a joy to draw them.

Happy Monday, and I hope your ears perk up when the paint and colored pencils start calling you later! Peace.

100 Face Challenge: Kitty Face! (#1)

Happy New Year, everyone!


Starting the year off with a challenging 3/4 view of a friend’s Tonkinese boy kitty, Toru. He’s a youngster with beautiful markings. It was much tougher than I thought it’d be to get his proportions right, and I wound up taking help from a ruler to get the features placed. It took about 2.5 hours just to get this sketch down (because I first tried without the ruler and did lots of erasing, lol). This was done with a standard 2B graphite pencil in my Strathmore mixed media journal.

I’m finding animals challenging, but cats in particular. Dogs seem to be easier, and not sure why, as I’ve owned cats most of my life. I love the soulful eyes of a dog. I could probably draw eyes of all kinds forever and never tire of it, and dog eyes are probably my favorite.

EDIT:  Speaking of drawing animals, I can suggest a book that helped me out a lot.    It’s called “The Artist’s Guide to Drawing Animals:  How to Draw Cats, Dogs, and other Favorite Pets” by J. C. Amberlyn.  I’ve read other books by this author too, and she’s really a terrific artist and teacher.    She devotes a chapter to each animal and breaks them down feature by feature, which I really found helpful.   Here is an Amazon link to it, and my library had the book as well, so that may be an option too!

I’d love to eventually paint Toru in watercolor. His fur contains lovely shades of brown and his eyes are the most beautiful crystal blue you’ve ever seen. He’s a doll! Actually, not sure how I’d mix the blue in his eyes!

Wishing everyone a peaceful, happy and healthy 2016!   Thanks for all of your visits and support!