Monday, February 28, 2011


Found this handsome profile in my picture book of the Huaorani tribe of the Yasuni National Forest in Ecuador.  You can see many posts about this fascinating tribe on my other blog

I am a little concerned about his lips.  May go back in tomorrow and masculinize them.

Here we go. I lost those luscious lips and made them more masculine. Also cropped out the extra background.

I think I have come a long way since the old gray man last week.  I am happy! But still learning.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Water element

My friend Joan sent me a wonderful power point presentation today with many undersea photos.  I loved the unusual points of view that the photographer used in many of the photos.  One of them struck me so much that I had to try and reproduce it on the tablet.

I don't have the computer savvy to cut and paste the original photo from the power point presentation but here is the link so you can enjoy the whole thing

And here is my first rendering. I call it  Row

But when I was looking at the original again I saw that I had missed several important elements.  Here is Row 2
Can you see what I have added here?


Friday, February 25, 2011

Another day another few drawings

Real life intervened and I had some things to attend to yesterday. Fun things like having lunch with a bunch of old friends.  Plus I didn't want my obsession to fill up your inboxes.

A few of us, well more than a few of us, myself very high up on the list, are having trouble with our memories lately.

To overcome this problem in part I did a self portrait to help me recognize myself in the mirror.  In the past I have gotten quite a start when I catch a glimpse of this fat old lady in there.  Note that I have substituted hollowed out cheeks for wrinkles. Hey it's called artistic licence.

This one I did with "chalk."


And this portrait of me was done by my friend Shell as she talked me through the use of the drawing tablet a couple of weeks ago. She was a lot kinder to me than I was to her.

Everything is grist for my mill. This garish number is from the Vesey's Seed Catalogue. It's called Climbing Lily
And last but certainly not least is TV personality and scourge of small claims court Judge Judy.  Her mother probably never told her that she was much prettier when she smiled.  She would have been wrong anyway. Judge Judy's occasional sharp-toothed smile sends fear into my heart.   

I also attempted some changes to the portrait of the old man I was wrestling with the other day. But now when I went to download them I don't think they got saved.  Try try again.

See you soon with more offerings. Be well.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Something to aspire to

Today I was introduced to a master.  (Thanks Nancy and Ian) He is Canmore Alberta's own Patrick LaMontagne. A professional cartoonist, he is the Gran Poobah of the drawing tablet. Well, here, read for yourself about this amazing Canadian artist on his website

There you will meet up with a variety of political cartoons, caricatures of famous people and even of animals.

An innate fear of copyright lawyers won't allow me to insert his masterful i pad drawing of character actor James Whitmore but you can see it on the site under his blog entitled Monty's Muse at

It is an amazing piece of work that I can only dare to aspire to.  'Cause if you don't aspire why bother?

Hence today's offering by that name....Aspire  

It's a first try and I hope you will come along with me as I strive for personal betterment on this tablet thing.  Every time I post one of these I see flaws but too late to fix them for this go round.  More work needed on the eye area and I have an idea for better blending.

Stay tuned for the next effort.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Digital Art?...more ctd

I forgot this one that falls after the winter pictures and before Rosa.  I call it

Feeling Sheepish

Todays catch is an exploration of the abstract entitled

View From My Room

Yes! I love plants.

Yes!  I have a shaky hand.  Bite me!

She's Just Around the Corner depicts a new green weed poking up between the old man stubble of last year's dead corn stalks. The trees meanwhile sport a sprinkling of succulent buds.  Honest, I swear I saw some today.

Digital Art?...ctd

Lost all my uploads so have to start again here.  

While talking to a friend the other morning she remarked on how the new sun had come up as a big orange ball.  It prompted this felt tip medley that I call

Orange U Glad It's Winter ?

A scene on television prompted this next one. You are standing in the forest gazing upwards at the silver moon. The hair on the back of your neck starts to rise as you realize you are not alone. You catch the glint of a yellow eye and hear the twigs snapping in the moonlight.  I call it.


My cat Irma was very curious about what I was doing and sat on the table next to me. These are some practice drawings of her. She looks more like a dog in the first one!

Just doodling trying to capture some characters from a TV show last night but I don't recall seeing a Flamenco dancer.  Oh well, she pushed her way to the front of my brain.  That's Rosa

Who knows what todays catch will be?

Digital Art?

I know I have been strangely silent for awhile now. My dolls are gathering dust. But I am back now on a new tangent.

This Christmas I treated myself to a new toy. A Wacom Bamboo Fun Pen and Touch.  It is a white rectangular tablet with a wire sticking out one side and a pen holder where you park your stylus on the other. The stylus is shaped like a fattish pen with a couple of buttons on it that you have to be careful not to press when you are working. Pressing them  at the wrong time can lead to some unexpected results.

Also getting used to the slippery surface so unlike paper or canvas is another challenge. But we humans are very adaptable creatures.

Since you can't see any of the marks you are making on the white tablet you have to use the wire to hook it up to your computer. Then you will see the marks appear on the computer screen.

It takes some hand, eye, brain co-ordination that is for sure. Fortunately one of my favorite drawing exercises is contour drawing where you don't look at the paper while drawing the outline of your subject. It is specifically designed to nurture this connection between the hand, eye and brain.

But the tablet takes you much further than simple contour drawing. The options are incredible.  Pick your surface: do you want canvas or rag water color paper?  Choose the degree of texture or "tooth" you want on the surface.  Then decide whether you want to draw in pencil,  felt tip pen, chalk,  pen and ink,  sgraffito or calligraphy. If you want to paint in oil, decide on palette knife or various brushes. If it's gouache or water color do you want to use dry brush technique or simple wet? There are at least ten choices and on top of that you can choose your brush size.

Remember the saying you can't mix oil and water? Well you can in this world. Throw in a little conte or gouache too while you are at it. Anything goes.

Compared to the price of art supplies these days this little device costs peanuts at a couple of hundred dollars.

Even the largest of the several tablets  is small but you can zoom in to various areas and this is a real boon when you are working on something very intricate. Oh and you can flip the paper around on the screen too!

Down sides? The major one is size. When you print it out at letter size it tends to be blurry. And while it may look like an oil painting on the screen the printed version lacks that texture.

But if you are prepared for that then welcome to the virtual world.  Here are some of my creations. I am still learning and it is fun to see the progress I make each day as my brain and eye co-ordination improves and my hand gets used to the slippery surface.  If you compare the drawing of the fictional Rosa in one of the next posts to this first drawing I did you can see a world of difference in the confidence of the lines.

With apologies to Shell who is a very attractive woman this one is called

Can You Spell Shell?

Seeing as how I couldn't seem to control my hand I thought I would have to eschew my usual detailed style (much maligned by a previous water color teacher when I was at Art School) and was doomed to producing abstracts for the rest of my life. But I had to admit that was more relaxing. And having every color of the rainbow at your finger tips was great.

Smells Fishy 2 Me

This next one was conceived on a drive home on a beautiful winter day. The new snow was thick, white and clean. The bare trees cast a blue shadow.  When I got home I couldn't stop thinking about it so I dragged out the tablet and came up with this virtual felt tip pen drawing that I call

 Fencing with Winter

This next one is also done using the felt tip pen.  Got a long way to go before I can call myself Audubon but I guess the red is a dead giveaway that my little Fence Sitter is supposed to be a cardinal!

Looks like this one may have gotten too big. See you in the next post.

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