Thursday, April 17, 2014

DOODLES! How I love them!

A doodle - Julie Jacobsen

Just a fun little doodle.  I've read some fantasy books lately and that kind of got me in the mood for this.  Another thing I thought about was when the Arboretum started at the University of Utah when my kids were little. It used to be you could walk around the area more freely.  There was a part that was like this.  Actually it was oak trees that surrounded you as you walked through a kind of tunnel of vegetation.  I remember feeling a little on edge each time we went there because it's by Red Butte Canyon and there are a lot of rattlesnakes up there.  We never saw one at that time but I did years later at the more formal gardens-a snake slivering through the beautiful flowers.  Creepy! 

This drawing also reminds me of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow".  Can you see the tree stump that almost looks like a man?  Hmmmm.  Eerie, right?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Brandon and Kyra-taking shape

Brandon and Kyra

Now they're looking more and more like my sweet grandchildren!  I bet you don't know what's going to be in the background.  I'll give you a hint.  It's usually recognized as beautiful and very picturesque.  I know what that's going to be but I'm making choices on the clothes still.  I think Kyra looks pretty in the dark purple but I was thinking of something more 'little girl' looking like white with cherries and Brandon in red for his shirt or a red character of some sort-since red is his favorite color.  Hmmmmm.  Hard choice as I don't want to make this too busy and distracting from the main focal point-the faces.  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Brandon and Kyra

Notice the green in the skin?  If you look at your skin you'll see that there's a lot of green.  Generally that's the shadowed and veiny areas.  Brandon's mouth looks weird but that's how things look in this stage.  It didn't take me long to get this far tonight with the skin but it's funny how there are some areas that almost work.  

At this point I'm making choices about the fabric.  Part of me wants to do solid colors to not distract from the composition-the focal point (faces) but the other side of me says, "Boring!"  I think I know what I'm going to do.  They're kids!  They'd naturally be wearing something fun.  So that's what I'm going to do.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Brandon and Kyra

So, does Brandon have red hair?  No way.  You'll get to see what's what soon.  I have a plan, like usual, and it takes a while to get things going.  This is just the underpainting.  When I layer the other colors on top I'll leave little peeks of this and that will unify this painting in a way that the casual observer wouldn't notice.  I like to be tricky, you see.

The biggest thing I like about this composition is the way your eye is centered on the most important part-the children's faces.  Neither one is the star because they both are.  My art teacher, Robert Rumel, told me years ago that showing a child's little hands adds so much to a painting.  There's something about them that is so special.  These are 2 little cousins that live on opposite ends of the country and it's rare for them to be together.  So this makes this closeness that they show even more tender.  

The background is going to come about soon and it's going to be very fun!

BRANDON AND KYRA: Okay, I redrew it I'm really starting it

Brandon and Kyra

Well, I know I'm being ridiculously picky but I just didn't feel right about what I had done so far.  I knew I would always look at this painting and think that something just wasn't quite right.  Anyway, now that I've got my rough sketch done I'm starting to get the basics in.

I've planned something fun for this.  I want it to say 'zoo' when it's looked at because that's where they are.  Anyone that knows me knows that I love bright colors.  So this is going to have that but I think I'm going to do a little different style than I normally do.  It's going to be fun!

Thursday, January 9, 2014


How could I resist this!  Such a gorgeous composition.  In fact I think it's about perfect.  A composition should guide the eye around the painting.   Starting at one point and coming full circle.  There are many ways to do this.  One is the actual position of the subject matter.  Other ways are with color and lighting.  The linear aspect of this painting is so fluid.  It's almost a heart shape the way they're sitting.  The arms and hands are perfectly placed as if I moved them into position but I didn't.  It's really going to be great with dramatic lighting.

The old artist me would have taken a picture and had it made into a slide.  Then projected it so I could trace the lines.  I know that sounds like cheating but it's really not.  It saves so much time and you end up redrawing the whole thing anyway.  But I just would rather sketch it on and hope for the best.  I did that once before with figures and I think it turned out well.  It may not look 100% like the person but it's a more painterly way of doing things. 

Another thing that makes this different is the fact that I've started with the brilliant underpainting.  That will definitely add dimension.  I'm kind of playing with the idea of making this more illustrative and not just realism but I don't know.  It's tempting to use the style that I like so well with my portraits.  This will be very fun. 

Now the background will have to be much more interesting than in the photo.  They're actually sitting in a little stroller at the zoo but it's bland.  I'm going to think of something much better but not sure what yet. 

Anyway.....I'm excited!