Squeak and Bennie, 5 x 7 Ink
This was an unsolicited commission. I suppose that isn’t quite right. Squeak had recently passed away, preceded by Bennie several years earlier. The human with whom they lived asked me to do a pastel and watercolor of Squeak, and one of the photos she gave me for reference was this one. My art friend suggested I should do a watercolor of Squeak from this as it was a nice clear snapshot, prompting me to ask, “You don’t live with a cat, do you?” She never had, so was surprised when I told her, “Squeak is very annoyed in this photo.” That is a face that says, “You’re pushing your luck, bucko; just try poking me again!” I thought it was very funny and would make a good ink. So it was not really commissioned, but it sold anyway.
Their human told me that Bennie was fluffy but lightweight and Squeak was built densely, so Bennie would boss and boss Squeak, but when she had had enough she would sit on him.
Squeak 4, 8 x 6 water-soluble graphite
This is a water-soluble graphite sketch of Squeak. So it’s like sketching with regular pencils, but with these special ones (from Derwent), somehow the graphite will move around with water. This is the first sort of finished sketch I’ve done with these, so I’m not sure of the technique. I did discover that I could use one of them as sort of an ink stick, dabbing it with my wet brush and then painting with it. I used “charcoal white” for the whiskers and eye spot.
Here’s Squeak done in charcoal on gray paper with white and pink pastel.
Squeak 3, 8 x 5 Charcoal & Pastel
This sweet girl was a commission.
Squeak 1, 8×10 Pastel
African Penguin, 5 x 7 ink (O, P); original photo credit A. Phillips
Otherwise known as Jackass Penguins. This ink is from a photo my relative took of a wild penguin in Africa. He had this to say:
When I went to South Africa I did not know about the penguins. I took a tour to the Cape of Good Hope and the Boulders Beach Park was part of the tour. There were park rangers there to keep the tourists from getting too close. Penguins will bite. There are only 2 or 3 kinds of penguins that like ice and snow. There are maybe 17 kinds that do not. At least one of my pictures shows a girl in a bikini sunbathing on the sand with penguins walking around her. The penguin in your picture is not trying to keep the egg warm. It is shading the egg from the sun to prevent overheating.
Maggie, 8 x 10 Pastel (P)
This is a sweet, gentle lady.
Cider Mill Duck, 8 x 10 Pastel (O, P)
This is one of a small flock that had begun hanging around my relatives’ house, apparently free-ranging over from another house or farm. They were very friendly and posed for many photos.
Nellie, 8 x 10 Pastel (O, P)
As soon as I saw my relative’s dog, I wanted to paint her. And when I saw her jump up on the colorful sofa for a break from the guests, I knew I had my composition.
Max (8×10 Pastel) O, P
This is a beloved dopey dog Max.
I never realized he had so many colors in his grey fur until I saw the source photo this is based on, him in front of the terra-cotta tile.
Girly, 8 x 10 Watercolor (O, P)
This is an experiment: a new technique and a slightly new style I’m trying. Same old subject matter.
The September meeting of the Pittsford Art Group included a demo by Stu Chait, abstract watercolorist. He drops paint onto a flat surface by either squeezing the paint out of a big brush, or pouring it from a cup.
portrait by Leanne Sarubbi
I thought this might work well for an idea I got at the Roco 6×6 show. I was inspired by this portrait at the left, and so I thought maybe one could combine Chait’s abstract big drop idea and Sarubbi’s high-contrast simplification. I ended up modifying it significantly as you see, by putting in eye and ear color, and I chickened out on leaving the chest all white, instead putting in a light drop-in of the same colors to set the chest back from the face. I loved how the “black” came out, and that has no subtle shading on it on purpose, requiring the shape to tell your eye what the form is. I feel I made the background too bold, but other than that I like it. I did the whiskers with white gouache again.
This work is painted with 4 colors: Intense Blue, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red Deep, and Burnt Umber, the “black” being all but Yellow Ochre. I almost never use more than 5 colors in a painting.