Tag Archives: charcoal

Professor Smudge

Today’s weird bird was inspired by an online class called, “Creating Simple Characters.” The class is taught by Nelleke Verhoeff from the Netherlands and hosted by Carla Sonheim. Nelleke is known by her illustrations, “Red Cheek Factory,” and likes to give her characters red cheeks!

One of the assignments was to create faces with expression by smudging charcoal on your paper and then erasing it with a soft, rubber eraser. These faces appeared for me, I used Pan Pastels to give my characters red cheeks:

Of course I had to try a bird!

Professor Smudge teaching Family Life Etiquette…

Happy Weird Bird Wednesday!

Cheers! 🙂

Drawing From Memory

I prefer to draw from a reference photo but yesterday, I decided to try drawing from memory:


It helped to have a good teacher.  The teacher was Jeanne-Marie Webb from the online class:  Paint Your Heart and Soul 2019.  This year the theme is painting loose.

I drew two faces with charcoal pencil, Derwent Inktense Blocks and chalk.  Next, I fragmented the faces by cutting up the eyes separate from the nose and mouth.  I glued the features so they didn’t completely match on a separate piece of paper.  I collaged my Gelli-Plate printed papers with my drawings.

I am starting to see improvements in my face drawings… Hoorah!

How about you, do YOU enjoy drawing from memory?

Cheers! 🙂

The Ballet Dancer

I’ve always admired the beauty and grace of ballet dancers.

When I saw that Ivy Newport was going to be teaching an online study of Degas called, The Lovely Dancer, I jumped at the chance!

I tried to capture some of the ballet dancer’s style in quick gesture drawings with charcoal:



It makes me want to get up and twirl!


How about you?  Do you like ballet?

Happy Friday!  Cheers!  🙂

Positively Picasso Portraits

Remember Cyndi Lauper’s song, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun?”  Well, I have to say that I had FUN yesterday creating several zany portraits – Picasso style!

I started by finding four different reference photos of faces in a magazine or newspaper for each portrait.  I chose to use soft vine charcoal but you could use any drawing material.

Using my first photo, I drew the person’s head shape and hair in my sketchbook.  I added the eyes and nose from the second photo.  From the third photo, the mouth and referencing the forth photo for the hands.

For this portrait, I used Cyndi Lauper’s head shape and hair and Bob Costas hand.  The other features were from people I didn’t know in a magazine.


I exaggerated the ears and hair a little…  This is the FUN part!  You don’t have to make the features all the same size or symmetrical like Picasso often did in his portraits.  And by smearing the charcoal I added some value to the faces which made them more interesting.

I had fun with the man’s glasses and his hands in this one:


And this last one is my favorite – I had fun with her eyelashes and hands:


I learned this exercise from Carla Sonheim.  I hope you give it a try too.  🙂

Happy Drawing!!!  😉

Garlic Prep

I don’t know about you…but I LOVE GARLIC!!!  And since today is National Garlic Day, I just had to celebrate!

In preparation for the day, I decided to sketch a garlic bulb in three different art mediums in my sketchbook yesterday:


I would also like to paint them in watercolor and will post later today when I do!  🙂

There is nothing like the smell of garlic roasting in the oven!  Here is one recipe I found at this link:  http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/roasted_garlic/

How do you like to use fresh garlic?  I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Drawing!  🙂

What AM I Thinking?!

I was drawing facial expressions from my imagination today:


Very FUN to do with charcoal:


I purchased this book from Amazon that helped me with this exercise:


And here are a couple of BLIND contour drawings that totally cracked me up:


What am I thinking?


Laugh Out Loud!!!  😊😃😊

Happy Drawing!  🎨

Go Cougs!


My husband and I got to attend a football game on Saturday at Washington State University (WSU) in Pullman.

It was a beautiful fall day – sunny and warm for our car ride.  We saw many wheat fields in the Palouse:


It was fun to attend a game to support the Cougars – even though we did not attend college there!


There were many students at this game against the Oregon State Beavers, as you can see in the above photo.

My husband and I enjoyed cheering on the WSU Cougars – Go Cougs!


I decided it would be fun to try drawing a Beaver:


And a Cougar – in my sketchbook:


It really helped to do some practice sketches first:



We were happy that the Cougars beat the Beavers, 52 to 31!  YAY!


Cheering YOU on for a FANtastic day!  😊

Happy Monday!  🏈😄❤️

Sketching Flowers


I started with a quick charcoal sketch in my sketchbook:


Then a quick contour sketch in pen:


Some blind contour sketches that look kind of strange:


Colored my contour ink drawing with Neocolors:


And softened them with water:


Wishing you a sunny Saturday!

Happy Sketching!  💐

Friday Flowers

I visited our local Farmer’s Market the other day and bought myself this fall bouquet of flowers:

Flowers from Farmer's Market

A real bargain at $5.00!  I loved the colors so decided to try to paint it in watercolors.

I started with a quick sketch in charcoal to get a feel of the shapes:

quick sketch in charcoal

Next, I sketched loosely with a black Micron pen on 140 lb cold press paper:

sketch in black ink

I added my first layer of watercolor which started to make it sing:

first layer of watercolor

And completed it with one more layer to add a little more shading:

completed watercolor of flowers in vase

I normally would not take on this challenge of painting such complicated flowers but thanks to ALL of you for your encouragement, I decided to give it a go – so these flowers are for you, my FRIENDS!

Happy Friday!  🙂

The Eckhouts

Have you ever created an imaginary family tree?

watercolor tree

I was creating this watercolor tree for another project but thought it fit well in this post.

Here is the Eckhout family:

funny pictures of a family

I made up their names and could probably write a story about them – BUT!  I thought it would be more FUN to have YOU tell me about them!   :-)))

Hope you join in the fun and share your humorous stories in the comment section.

Happy Storytelling!  🙂