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Strathmore Hope Bridges Society Art Auction

Art Auction

I will be donating a print of The Barrel Racer to Hope Bridges Society Art Auction.  It will be held on Saturday, May 10th at the Strathmore Golf Clubhouse.  Proceeds to support  inclusive arts opportunities in Strathmore, Alberta and Wheatland County.

Auction Invite Pic

Visit the Hope Bridges website for more information on this great community organization.

Hope to see you there! Please share and tell your friends.

 

 

 

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Eight Seconds

The eight second ride, from what I am told, is a long eight seconds.  I always find it interesting that some moments in our lives seem to take forever while others speed by so quickly, yet the actual time that has passed might be the same.  Why? Why do the events in our lives that are enjoyable seem to go fast and the more stressful times slow down? There is a way to slow life down, really!  If you want to know more read the following article, The Mental Trick… observe and enjoy life around you.  Mentally record those precious moments in every stage of your child’s life.  Take the time to slow down.

Bronc

 24 x 19 Graphite Sketch

Observation has become a key element in art for me.  It has forced me to slow down and  pay attention to details that I might not have seen otherwise.  In the drawing above I wanted to incorporate movement with the use of dust or smoke clouds.  I know how to draw a cloud, but how do you make them move?  I had to observe clouds of all types.  I think I have captured some of that movement in this drawing, however I have some other ideas I still want to try.  Hopefully they will appear in future drawings.

Hope you enjoyed this post and thank you for joining me on my art journey.

 

Note:  This is a photograph of the original.  The scanned image will appear at a later date in the gallery and copies will be available for sale.

 

 

 

 

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Portrait Time

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”   – Helen Keller

The Volunteer

One of the things I enjoy about portraits is that it gives me the chance to get to know people’s stories.   I did this portrait for an amazing lady whose love and adoration for her husband was so beautiful.  I could feel her love for her husband when she spoke about him.  This drawing was an honor to do.  🙂

Once again the challenge for this drawing was photographing it after.  Getting better though.

 

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Back to the Process

Being out-of-town for a couple of weeks put a halt to the Process, now that I am home I am excited and eager to continue.  As promised I am posting a few photos of the next stages.

I usually start from the left hand side of the my paper.  This helps reduce smudging the drawing as I work.

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Moving to the right and down, I continue to add detail and define shapes.  As I work my hand is resting on paper to keep oils from getting on the drawing surface.  I never smudge with my fingers.  Oils from hands and graphite don’t mix well.  When oil is deposited on the paper the area becomes darker and hard to control.  Give it a try, in your sketchbook not on your drawing. 🙂

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Before I draw the mane of the horse, I try to lightly shape the body of the horse.  It is just easier this way.  Creating shape for the mane to flow over creates a more natural look.

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Continuing on, I will go back and forth to add deeper shadow areas, knockdown highlights, or add new highlights.  Standing back from the drawing or looking at it from a different angle helps me to see which areas look flat and need more depth, and where proportions are not right.  Looking at the drawing in a mirror is also helpful.   I usually leave the background area for last, but I am trying to incorporate it as I draw to help decrease smudging in the drawing.  As you can see, I have not progress too much on the background, actually, not at all. 🙂

I really enjoy this stage of a drawing.  It is really hard to put it down, I just want to finish!  Keep posted, the finished drawing should be up soon.

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The Process

A few people have asked me to post the process that I go through when I draw.  I know there are many methods out there, but this is what works for me.

I think the hardest part for me is deciding on the composition as a whole.  How do I want to crop or frame the subject?  What do I want to do with the foreground and background?  Sometimes it is just a matter of, am I brave enough to try execute what I visualize in my mind?  When I finally come up with some ideas I can begin drawing, and this is the fun part.

I start most drawings by blocking out shapes on my paper.  I want to be able to erase the marks later, so I am very careful to make the markings light.  If the graphite is ground too deeply into the tooth of the paper it is hard to remove.  Too much pressure from dark layout sketches can also damage the tooth of the paper.  While blocking out shapes on my paper I often squint, this allows my focus to shift from detail  to shapes and silhouettes. Once I am happy with the collection of what looks like a bunch of shapes and lines I start joining these shapes to create a line drawing of my subject. Next time I will post a photo of this step.

As the shapes are being joined I will add some shadow lines or shadow areas.  These markings become great reference points as I begin to add more detail.  The photo below is a sketch I am currently working on.  The shapes have been joined, most unwanted lines have been removed, and more detail is being added.

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19×24″ Barrel Racer

In order to make the photo more visible the lines on this sketch-up have been darkened in Lightroom.  My original is much lighter.

Before I actually start adding life to the sketch I will do a few small practice areas in my sketchbook.  This helps me decide what look I want to create, and work out any problem areas before I start the actual drawing.

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From my sketchbook

The practice drawing helped me determine what pencils I did and did not want to use and gave me a chance to try create the angled back leg.

 

 

 

As the piece evolves I will post updates on The Process.  I just have to remember to take photos as I go. 😉  …happy drawing!

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Life Song

Life Song

Charcoal 17 X 14

 

The Cowboy’s Life

(excerpt)

 

                                                           The bawl of a steer,

                                                           To  a cowboy’s ear,

                                                           Is music of sweetest strain;

                                                           And the yelping notes

                                                           Of the wild coyotes

                                                           To him are a glad refrain.

                                                                                  -James Barton Adams

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Paper Probe

Is there a right or wrong paper to use for a graphite or charcoal sketch?  Lately I have come across charcoal art pieces done on a variety of surfaces (newspaper, paper bag, MDF, canvas…)  Each has a unique look and I am sure, and new set of challenges. Time for me to try!  Thought I would start small – see where it goes.

Niska

12×18 Charcoal Sketch

I did this sketch on textured, colored paper.  The challenge was the deep tooth of the paper.

I had to include this quote this week.

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ”
Pablo Picasso

There was a lot of “dust” this week – the sketch was a great escape!