Monday, September 30, 2013

Trace & Transfer

I apologize for this poor photo.  I have taken a sheet of tracing paper and traced the original drawing for the dragon illustration.  Another good habit I picked up at the IMC.   I would rather mess up and still have the original drawing to start again from, rather than mess up and have to begin at the very beginning again with a new drawing.  I have it taped to the canvas board and will use some transfer paper to trace it onto the canvas board.  I prefer Saral paper to making my own with a stick of soft charcoal......I guess I am just lazy, but it is also a lot less messy and you know me, I am a neat freak!!!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ender's Game the Movie

Well it's about time!  Hollywood has finally made my all time favorite book into a movie.  GEEEZZ, I read this book in the 80's!  I don't read often, I am cursed with being a slow reader, but when I do read, I don't put the book down until my pets have all starved to death and my husband has taken in a maid so he can have clean underware.  No Kidding, just ask him and my son.  So, I saw the trailers on tv the other night and now I am going to somehow, get invited to the premiere.  I actually attended a premiere in DC (also in the 80's) for a little known movie called "Black Robe".   There is a good reason this is a little known movie.  I had heard rumors and saw bookcover art, but like everything else going on out there, I was last to hear this.  I am so excited!!!!!!!  This is as big as Star Wars, for me!!!!

Pastels Workshop on Sept. 28th

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Trois Crayon Example

This is a not quite finished drawing in the Trois Crayon style that I will teach in my upcoming workshop in October.  This coming Saturday, I will be teaching a pastels workshop at Studio Frame Shop in Warrenton.  Although the class is full, please feel free to stop in and check out the action.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Coffee with a Salamander

If I have posted this before, I apologize.  It's a good thing I love nature in all its various forms.  Look who wanted to check out my coffee.  I see a painting here in the near future.  Hmmm, possibly a story for children also.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Another Old Cat

This is Camo, our oldest kitty.  She is about a year older than our kitty Salem was.  She is in amazing good health and is a real Diva. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Salem 1994 - 2013

After being a part of my family for a very very long time, our kitty Salem had to be put down yesterday.  I had her assessed by my vet a few weeks before our move and at that time, although she looked like crap and had numerous health issues, the vet assured me that she was in no pain and still very strong.  But, yesteday morning, I  noticed she was turning in circles instead of walking straight to the food dish....a very good indication that a pet is or has gone blind.  Sure enough, the new vet I have found in Winchester suggested that her quality of life was such that it was time to let her go.   This photo is on one of her good days two years ago. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Old Master's Trois Crayon Drawing Technique Workshop

I will be offering a  workshop on the Old Master's Trois Crayon Drawing Technique on Saturday, October 19th.  The workshop is limited in size so that students get lots of one on one instruction.  The workshop is to be held at The Studio Frame Shop in Warrenton VA and runs from 10 am until 2:00 PM  that day.  The cost is only $50 (such a deal!!!) and you can register at The supplies needed are minimal and a supply list will be given upon registration. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Changes to Dragon Illustration

I decided my initial concept was a good one, but lacked enough movement and action.  So I have moved the left leg further down so the legs are splayed more, letting you know that this little boy is really flying through the air.  The scribbles through the dragon are an afterthought, which I have tossed out the door.  WON'T WORK!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

From Thumbnail to Drawing Board

Here is the first drawing from the thumbnails I did for my next dragon illustration

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thumbnails for Dragon Story

Nothing fancy here, just good old honest tiny quick thumbnails.  About 2 x 3 in size.  Thoughts flowing, compositions changing and then something really sticks. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Upcoming Workshop in Warrenton

Next Saturday, Sept.28th, I  will be teaching a workshop in pastels at the Studio Frame Shop in Warrenton Virginia.  This class will be creating a Dutch Master's Still Life in pastel.  Its a large undertaking, we are working on an 18 x 24 sheet of Canson paper.  I will have on hand, my copy from the National Gallery of Art, of  the painting Still Life with Mince Pie, by Willem Claezs Heda, which we will refer to throughout the day.  The class is full at this point and I try to keep the classes small so that each student gets more than their money's worth of one on one instruction.  My philosophy on workshops is......only take from an artist whose work you admire and only take a class where you know you will get some one on one instruction.  I have been in classes where you get an easel and a still life and then two days of painting without ever getting to really pick the brains of your instructor.  I am unfortunately one of those folks who needs to see first hand and then do it myself in order to grasp what is being taught.  I just can't read instructions and go forth or listen to a lecture and fully absorb.  And I really need to be able to ask questions while I work.   So, if you did not get into the workshop, take heart, I am teaching another workshop in October.  If you would like to be placed on the wait list in case of a cancellation, contact me at

Monday, September 16, 2013

More of New Studio

This is a view of the studio from inside the house at top of steps.  I have already hung my important framed credentials. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Future Framing Area

Along the left side of the garage/studio, is lots of free space currently occupied by vacums, compressors and husband junk.  Shortly, this will be removed to the basement and all of our framing equipment and table will be installed along this wall.  Oh, did you notice I have two easels set up with two different taborets?  This is so I can work on two pieces at one time.  I have always had two or three things going at once, now I won't have to be constantly moving them around and possibly dropping them.....yes I have done that.  And they always land face down. YIKES!!!!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Great Art - Take a Look

A few posts back, I mentioned Rebecca Guay.  What I forgot to mention is how great her art is.  If you want to see some of the most beautiful and romantic art today, check out her site  Rebecca also is the mastermind, founder and powerhouse behind the Illustration Master Class.  Oh, did I mention what a NICE person she is?  

Friday, September 13, 2013

Model Stand

This view shows the model stand next to the steps.  Perfect spot to place a model at eye level or to set up a still life.  I currently have supplies and frames stacked here until I figure out where they will end up.  How about that antique fainting sofa?  Great for a reclining nude, don't you think? 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Importance of Thumbnails

Since attending the Illustration Master Class in Amherst Mass, a year ago (I am really ,sorry I missed it this year)I have been doing thumbnail sketches for new pieces.  I must admit that I often get lazy or maybe I get in a hurry and don't do the thumbnails.  All the instructors at the IMC, repeatedly drove home the point of doing those thumbnails before starting your piece.  They stressed the importance of working out problems before the drawing is started and finding that perfect, dynamic composition.

PERFECT EXAMPLE #1:  I am ready to begin another dragon painting, but I am procrastinating like crazy.  I have been thinking about this one for two weeks now.  I am even doing the dishes just to avoid starting the next illustration.  I have an idea for it in my head, but I know its a weak idea. I just can't come up with some idea I love.  Sooooooooo, this morning I went out onto the front porch with my usual cup of coffee.  I took my sketch book along and sat doing thumbnails for this next piece.  After doing about 10 little sketches, I NAILED it.  I came up with a combo of two that I liked and by blending them, I got (what I think is) a pretty decent composition.  I will work on the actual drawing phase today.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Moving Into Studio

Well, I have spackled some holes in the walls and given the garage a coat of paint.  I am now placing my studio equipment into the garage space.
We will build a low wall across the front, add a nice double french door which opens outward and then windows across the remaining area above the low wall.  We are leaving the garage door intact, with its automatic door opener, which will be actually inside the room when finished.  This will enable me to control the amount of light that comes in.  Since it faces west, this will be very necessary in the afternoons.   It will be wonderful!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Little Green Tractor is Nearly Finished

The shed now contains lots of farm junk rusting away.  I still want to darken all of the shed area including the junk.  I will glaze a bit more in this area when I am sure everything is bone dry.  Failing to let an area dry completely before glazing results in disaster every time.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Fall Has Arrived

I noticed this morning, my little bush in the hillside garden has turned red over this weekend.  In just two days, it went from green to yellow and red to a bright red today.  Also, a small maple is now turning yellow and peachy red.  I wonder if botanists describe plants using foods for colors?  HMMMMM do I maybe think of food too much?  MENTAL NOTE TO LINDA: Try using artists colors to describe things, such as, the bush is now cadmium yellow with a touch of cadmium scarlet.  Yes, that is much more artsy!
Anyway, Fall has arrived here in Gore.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Illustration Finished

Another Invisible Dragon illustration is completed.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Love the Ducks

I added these little ducks/geese to the Invisible Dragon illustration today.  Almost completed now!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Invisible Dragon Progress

I have begun the background after transfering the drawing to the canvas board. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Illustration begins - Invisible Dragon

After doing numerous thumbnails, this is the composition I have decided on for my next illustration for my childrens story, "The Trouble with Invisible Dragons"  copyright 2012, Linda Lawler