Category: Animals

Almost Daily Sketches

As you can see, these are not recent sketches.  I’m working on a larger than usual pastel for me and I’m not ready to show it.   In the meantime, I went back through my sketchbooks and found several that had never been posted.     Let’s see:   a pumpkin, a Chickadee, some tulips and an unidentified flower……..that just about covers it!


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Almost Daily Sketches

I’m working on several things at once, but have to stop occasionally and get some drawing in.  These were drawn (quickly, I might add) on a 3 X 5 sketch pad using a brown Sharpie.  As you can see almost anything catches my attention when I’m in the mood.  If you can’t identify the flowers, don’t worry.  I took artist’s license to improvise as I went along.   Hope you enjoy

Sorry the film is so faint.  I should have stopped and made sure I had more light on the easel, but then there you are.

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Spring Art Show

Well, it’s finally time.  Tomorrow the Lakewood Artists Guild will be accepting submissions for the 2010 Spring Art Show held at the Community Center at Mayfair Park.  I have two pastels and two watercolors that you have already seen  in previous posts, but I thought I’d show them framed and ready to go.

Almost a Rose   5 X 7  Watercolor

LA Fall    5 X 7   Watercolor

Birches      8 X 10   Pastel

Shih Tzu    8 X 10   Pastel

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Shih Tzu in Pastel

I decided it was time to show another painting process.  I plan on having some animal and children’s portraits in my booth at the Pan American Fiesta Arts & Crafts Show and will be soliciting commissioned portraits.  It will be interesting to see what happens.  You can never tell when you enter an outdoor show like this whether there are any buyers coming through or just lookers.  I don’t mind lookers…..I do it too!

Above is the original photograph that I worked from. It was rather small, about 2″ high.

First, I  lightly draw the subject (today I used a regular lead pencil, but usually I use a pastel pencil), then put in the basic color or colors.  I like to get the eyes completed or close to complete at the beginning.  If they aren’t right, it’s nearly impossible to catch a likeness.

Here you can see some of the layers of colors I used.  It is easier to control pastel dust and smears by working from the top down at each stage.  I see that the left ear is a little short, but that’s easily fixed.  I think the eyes show the tilt of the head well.   Now on to the finish.

All done and ready for framing.  I’ve chosen a plain golden wood frame that picks up the colors in the dog’s coat.  I’ve surrounded the drawing with white pastel both to pop the figure out of the background as well as cover any errant smears or marks around the figure and pull the top of the head down slightly.  I usually like to use color for backgrounds, but I’m happy with white for this fellow.  Unfortunately, this may not show as well in the photo, but you see the white strokes when your standing near the painting.

By the way, this is not one of my Shih Tzus, but it could be.  He looks very much like my female, Bishi.  Looks like I’ll be painting them soon…….they are very sensitive dogs, you know!

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More 3X5 Drawings

Here’s another group of small drawings done on a 3X5 spiral pad of Canson with a Stylist ink pen.  I keep dreaming about color pastel paintings, but I’m still having fun with these.   I hope you enjoy them!

This is an oriental poppy called “Coral Sea”.  Guess the color?


Boots of Flowers

I saw this done somewhere, turning old boots into vase holders.  I love people with a sense of humor!

Drawing-Boots of flowers 1-6-10

Poodle Doodle

I just thought he was cute.  It’s probably a poodle mix since that’s the thing these days.

Drawing-Poodle Doodle-1-7-10

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Starting the Decade with Drawings

It’s been a busy holiday season and I hope it was wonderful for you all.  Presents and food and family ruled, but not necessarily in that order.  It was out first Christmas with our new granddaughter, Zoe (7 months) and it was heavenly!   BUT, I didn’t get much artwork done.   Let’s see….turkey……..turkey….art… was tough!  The choice, not the turkey!

My New Year’s almost Resolution is to try to keep up the daily art, so I decided that if I couldn’t stop and paint, I could at least draw a little.   I gave myself a Christmas present (well, one of them) of a 5 X 3 spiral sketch pad by Canson and a new Stylist Pen (one of my favorite drawing pens….like the flair).  The pad and pen are below.  The first 4 days of drawings follow.

drawing pad & pen 1-4-20

By the way, I got this idea from my son, Thom Chiaramonte, who makes small sketches on post-its.  I think they have helped him through many a conference call in S.F.  His are all on the subject of robots (I think they are all that).  You would enjoy his sketches and his sense of humor.  His site for these drawings is:   Have fun.

#1 Bouquet of strange flowers    (1/1/10)


#2 Mountain Chickadee (1-2-10)


#3 I call him Pepe  (1-3-10)


#4 Lillies


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Bishi with a bow


This is my female Shih Tzu, Bishi.  Earlier in this blog, I have a line drawing of Bishi and Pango (male).  They are such gentle, loving dogs, I don’t know why I haven’t painted them more.  They are gold and white, so the next painting will have to be in color.   This is 4-1/2 X 6 in my sketchbook, using my usual flair with water wash.

Photo of Bishi

This is the photo I used for the sketch.  I see in the photo that her head was tilted more and I like that.  I learn a lot from my rushing the drawings and making mistakes….or rather not making the best choices!  Now, I’ll definitely mark the tilt before drawing next time.

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Spring Art Show


Yes! A blue ribbon from my first Art Show entry and an Honorable Mention!  The show was sponsored by the Lakewood Artist Guild.  Through the years I have entered many quilt shows and have several ribbons, but this was a total surprise for my first Art Show.  Judging was done by a professional artist (not somone affiliated with the Art Guild and both entries were in a category called “Other/Mixed Media”  Other categories were the standard Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Photography, and Digitally Enhanced Photography.  Pastels, Drawings and Mixed Media were judged in this catchall category because they want a leas 7 entries in any specific category.  The blue ribbon is for the Ink and Wash Drawing call “Le Chat” and the Honerable Mention for the pastel landscape called “Utah Snow”.


Here are the other two pastels that I entered…..50% ain’t so bad, is it?   AND the $50 cash prize helped pay for materials.  I was on cloud nine for a long, long time!

Remember all comments are more than welcome

Lakewood Artist Guild Spring Art Show

wall of paintingsII

The Lakewood Artist Guild scheduled their spring show for May 28th through 30th.  Guild members could submit up to 4 paintings (sculptures or crafts) for a very nominal fee.  I choose three pastels and one ink and wash drawing for submission and they were all accepted.  I thought I’d show you the relative sizes of these paintings.  I think they’ve all been posted before with their dimensions, but I think this gives you a better sense of the sizes I usually work in.

My Dogs


My Dogs

5 X 7 pen & ink in my trusty sketchbook

I have two little “perfect posers” at home (Pango & Bishi), so I know I always have sketching subjects just waiting for the attention!

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