Tag Archives: sketch

Weekly Art Challenge: TIGER

Hey Folks!

This week our theme is: TIGER!


A friendly reminder THIS is our last post for this webpage. Next challenge is a two week challenge and will be the first challenge posted on our new site The Art Challenge Blog! If you have been following here and wish to continue seeing what we create, please check out our new site and follow us there.


RJ: Tiger Eye, Pen on paper.

RJ’s piece gives me the chills. That deadly expression of the eye with the small visible detail of fur and stripes reminds me exactly why Tigers are dangerous wild predators. I def wouldn’t want to be cross this tiger’s path! I love the hint of facial detail, leaving the rest of the animal to the viewer imagination.

rj Tiger


AmberEntertainment, Pen and ink on paper.

For this week’s challenge I decided to create an image that illustrates my feelings about animals, like tigers, held captive in zoos and circuses. I love animals and I strongly believe that they don’t belong contained in zoos or used as entertainment in circuses. They belong in the wild and if not there then in sanctuaries where they can live their best life in peace.




Next theme is a two week challenge – due to the holiday season – and the theme is:  DREAMS COME TRUE.


Maddie Walking Through Daisies


Something new I have been working on! A portrait of my niece. It is not completed and there are no other photos except for this one. I had purchased a good sheet of strong watercolor paper ( Arches 300 LB 22×30) and intend to work in watercolors with the tea and graphite. I am wanting to challenge myself with this piece and really hope it turns out as I envision. I will post more when completed.

Portrait of RJ

A very close friend of mine was relocating from the States to the UK this year and as a going away gift I wanted to give him something special! I spent hours scouring photo albums from our trips until I found a photo that inspired me. This image was from a trip to Prague in 2011. We were sitting in the courtyard of one of the many art museums in the city looking through a guidebook. The image seemed fitting considering all the trips that we have traveled together.

Originally I was intending to draw him within the courtyard background but eventually decided on a more graphic styled background that reflected his personality and didn’t place him in one setting. He seemed to like it 🙂

The Dancer

The Dancer (self portrait) 2006

The Dancer (2006) Tea and Graphite on Paper

I drew this self portrait when I needed some pieces to update my portfolio years ago for entrance into graduate school – Art Education. Immediately after graduating college in 2003 I fell into a creative funk. I no longer had steady access to a printshop, wasn’t even sure if I wanted to continue with printmaking, and was suffering from a creative block. I don’t recall creating anything artful for about three years until I decided that I needed a change and thought that returning to school for my masters in Art Education would be the change I needed. In a way it was.  It brought the act of creating art back into my life.  I left school knowing that I wanted to make art.

This self portrait was drawn from a photograph taken of myself by a close friend at one of our social gatherings. We often got together all dressed up in thrift shop finds and dance all night in my friend’s living room. I remember this carefree night clearly and I remember this dress. If I recall, the neighbors hated us! This is one of my favorite drawings and I have often had offers by those close to me for it, but I could never part with it. The piece has meant so much to me. A portrait of myself from one of my happiest memories, my reemergence as an active artist and was one of the first pieces I created after college that I felt proud of.

The photograph of the drawing is not the best. There is a light tea staining in the background allowing the details of the graphite to push forward.

Painting an Alaskan Postcard

I am still not prepared to post about my magnificent trip to Alaska this past Spring. There are so many notes to look through and photos that still to be work on, but I did come across one of the postcards I painted while aboard the Columbia on the Alaskan Marine Highway that I wanted to share.

Alaska by the Ferry

I painted a few postcards while on the ship, but, before I was smart enough to photograph any of them, fellow passengers took a genuine liking to my work and asked if they could buy them. Feeling a bit generous I opt to give them away for free. Originally I had planned to paint my own postcards throughout the trip and mail them home to friends and family, but there was so much going on that I never actually found the time to stop, sit and paint as I had fantasized. It was a lot of work to keep up with my travel journal on a daily basis, let alone paint the landscape. When my fellow passengers sincerely wanted to mail my Alaskan landscape watercolor sketches to their family I was more than happy to just give them the postcard. I did, however, get some good conversation in exchange and a reason beyond my personal enjoyment to paint some more.

One of my recipients was a young girl about the age of 13. She came from a large family of twleve kids and they would travel the country singing bluegrassy hymns at various fairs across the states. Her birthday was our final day on the ferry so I gave her not only a postcard I painted but a book of blank postcards for her to paint as well.

Another recipient was a woman from a group of people who came up to enjoy our 8th deck scenery. She was a bit intoxicated but affable. She and I had a enjoyable conversation about Alaska’s scenery and what we will miss most about the great state. She had forgotten to buy postcards for her family and wanted to mail mine if I would sell it to her. The idea of my artwork traveling through the mail was good enough for me!

The final recipient was a guy that I had a bit of a crush on through out the ferry passage. It took me several days to finally muster up the courage to speak with him and I had the brilliant idea of giving him my favorite postcard with my contact info on it.. too forward?? lol I hope not. no word from him yet, but who knows.

I don’t remember where the ship exactly was when I sketched this scene. I am suspecting, judging by the bright yellowing sunset, that we were between Juneau and Ketchikan when the days were still incredibly long. I sat on the 8th deck of the Columbia, admiring the passing mountains and islands covered with evergreens, felt inspired by the brilliant colors and jovial mood of the deck. It was a challenge to sit and paint with the wind whipping around. A few times I had to chase after my little paper cup of water before it blew into the water.

Part of my trip was to meet people and these little postcards did wonders in that category! Next time I make it to Alaska I will def make the time to stop, sit and paint. 🙂

Current work in Progress!

Hey there!

Its been two months since I posted anything and I have a ton of photos and adventures to sort through, but for now I want to share some of my more recent art pieces that I am currently working on this month. Please forgive the blurred images I took the photos quickly with my iPhone just a few moments ago. Better photos will be taken when the pieces are finished and ready for posting. 😀



This is a portrait of a young girl, my niece Valarie. I need to fix her eyes, they are looking a bit Gollum-ish. LOL sadly I have a tendency to make Valarie’s eyes look massive and gollum-ish every time I draw her. Its the eye on the left that bugs me the most. its not shaped right and needs to be a tad bit smaller. I am also trying to decide if I should stick with pencil or add some ink washes. i am not a fan of the paper. I find that the pencil markings are a bit sloppy compared to other sheets of paper that I have sketched on. I do like how the hair is coming out.

An early stage of Nadia’s Portrait. I bought a wonderful sheet of watercolor paper 300lb for $20! I have some big plans for this piece and will go into more detail about it at a later date when it is finished. For now I am slowly working some of the details and figuring out the color scheme. I am thinking charcoal grays, lilacs and cream, but might change my mind before I even hit “publish” on this post.

Memphis Canvas Sketch. My roommates sweet pup, Memphis. I took this photo about a month ago when I was sleeping in bed. Memphis decided to jump up and lay on me like a pillow. This will eventually become a more detailed acrylic painting and part of a Trio of pet portraits for my roommate. Her birthday is coming up soon and I want to give her something special for being such a wonderful friend for all these years.

Devils Tower Postcard Sketch

My Grandmother, a spirited woman of 79 years, just celebrated her birthday this past weekend – sadly I am 1,000 plus miles away.

She has always been one of my most supportive fans when it came to my artwork. I remember when I was maybe 13 years old and she asked if I would make a pastel drawing of a lakeshore scene from one of her camping trips for my Uncle as a holiday gift. To this day he still has the pastel drawing hanging in his living room and my grandmother still brags to everyone she meets about the details a that little drawing.

For her birthday this year I decided to paint for her a Postcard Sketch of Devils Tower. The first time I visited Devils Tower I was about 4 years old and I had never forgotten it. Running along the winding path near the boulders is one of my earliest most vivid memories. Twenty-four years later I returned to Devils Tower and had the most amazing experience reliving those precious childhood memories. I recognized specific spots along the walking path, in some ways they had not changed at all. I can easily recall running as fast as I could on the path until I had reached this one spot, when the path makes a sharp turn left, it was that place where I thought I would most definitely collide with these large, almost menacing, boulders – from a 4 year olds perspective – because I couldn’t stop running in time. Now those boulders still stand there, but they are not nearly as large, nor are they even remotely menacing.

I took the photo that this little watercolor sketch was based on along that memorable path during my revisit.

Happy Birthday Grandma!!