Friday, January 29, 2016

Angel on the head of a pin, number three

I struggled a lot with this one, and I am not very happy with it, but for right now its the best I can do without completely starting over (again), and there's no time for that.  I once heard artistic professionalism described as "Doing the best you can in the time that you have."  I've done that, but at the expense of my usual practice of sketching other stuff as a daily-ish exercise.  I wonder if my neglect of sketching tightened me up somehow and made it harder for me to get right what I wanted to get right on this piece. I might tackle this one again though, one of these days. (I think flamingo-colored wings would be great, a lighter green dress. more movement in the dress, the pose showing better through the dress and an adjusted pose. And a big, gleeful smile.)

When I started, I thought that Illustration Friday hadn't come up with a new prompt for the week, because it came so late in the morning, so I started a new angel spinning on a pin. (Last week's prompt was "spin".) When they put up the new prompt, "orbit," I decided that was close enough, and stuck with my idea. Of course, this week Illustration Friday has their new prompt up nice and early, so I missed the boat on getting this picture there. Oh well. It seems everything has been conspiring against me to get this done and posted on time.

I was inspired by these pictures. I love the look of dark, African skin next to leafy green. This one I found on Pinterest. It's supposedly from, who surely got it from somewhere else, but I can't find it there, nor can I get my computer to make a link.

The next is by Ruud van Empel and can be found in a article about his work at Huffington Post Arts and Culture.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Angel on the head of a pin, number two

About a year ago, in response to the Illustration Friday prompt "wobble," I sketched an angel trying to dance on the head of a pin. This week's prompt "spin" put me in mind of that little angel so I did a more developed drawing in color. She's gotten a lot better at it since last we saw her.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Illustration Friday: Tropical

I like illustrations with flowers that are large in proportion to the characters, so I was happy about this hibiscus with my little bluebirds.

I was trying to capture the cozy feeling of being inside with hot drinks on a snowy day. I didn't really figure out how to make good snow with my colored pencils, though I think the interior has some of the feeling of snowlight, that soft white light that diffuses everything when snow covers the ground and more snow is falling.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Some lovely paintings by Bradi Barth

A few days ago I discovered Belgian artist Bradi Barth (1922--2007), and I clicked through her site with joy and wonder. I felt I was meeting a long lost friend. Her paintings are mostly quiet, simple, feminine, consoling. I think some of her paintings might verge on kitsch if placed in a fine art context, but my frame of reference is more the gentler world of children's illustration, where they fit in just fine.

I share seventeen of her paintings here, more than I usually post, but I didn't want to leave out any of these, my favorites so far. To see more of her work and learn more about her, her site is here.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Illustration Friday: Moon

I had a little nut tree,
And nothing would it bear,
But a silver nutmeg
And a golden pear.

The king of Spain's daughter
Came to visit me
All for the sake
Of my little nut tree.

As I was thinking about last week's Illustration Friday prompt I had a sudden mental image of the little tree, its branches bare against the moon, its fruits decorated with bows. I've always loved this rhyme, and moonlight seemed to fit its magical feeling.  I first drew the tree with leaves and no bows, because I didn't want to suggest that the fruits were only tied on, but the fruit didn't show up well and the moon looked uncomfortably trapped, so I erased and went back to my first idea.

I did a lot of erasing in this drawing. I thought a simple pencil drawing would go fast, but it didn't. I'm not happy with it in a bunch of ways, but I worked hard on it (maybe too hard) and it could have been worse. It's time to get back to my bluebirds and my crucifix carving project. I heard an artist say the other day that their favorite piece is always the one they are going to paint next. I think my least favorite is probably always the one I just finished.

The King of Spain's daughter I based on the Infanta Margarita Teresa, the blonde princess in several portraits by Velasquez, the most famous being Las Meninas.