Sunday, February 25, 2007

Crayon Portrait

A friend and I were talking a while back about how many Crayons we had when we were children. I told her that I recalled my friends always seem to have enormous boxes. Way more sharp pointed Crayons than I ever had. Maybe that was because I really used mine and they were peeled back and down to stubs.
At a book club luncheon recently, she brought me a present of an enormous box of 64 colors. I felt,as I looked at this childhood dream come true, that some fine art could be created from this childhood art supply that would be my thank you gift for her. After two failed attempts, I hit on an idea for a third try. Using clay board and an embossing heat blower I was sure this was going to be the magic solution. I lightly sketched an interesting bearded mans face onto the clay board and then started laying on the Crayon. When I had covered the entire board with wax color, it was time to see if the heat blower would do the magic I wanted it to do. Melt the wax just enough to blend and soak into and adhere to the board at the same time. Tentatively, I worked my way around the 6x6 inch surface and was pleasantly surprised with the result. There are some downsides to this technique though. The values are very hard to control because you can't keep layering crayon onto crayon. The other downside as I see it, is if the surface gets scratched it will remove the color and you will be down to layer one.
Would I do it again?....Don't think so, but it was fun.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

City Boy and his Dog

I've been working on a new 6x8 painting of a "City Boy and his Dog". I wanted to express a look of friendship and love between the boy and his pet. Changing little nuances in the human and animal emotion for each other until I was satisfied. I've reworked it now to where I either have it right or I should just start over on a fresh canvas. I indicated a cityscape in the background that was kept in values of grey because that seemed appropriate and kept all the color on the focal point. I'll not look at it for a few days and then get a fresh eye again.

Friday, February 16, 2007


A friend of mine is crazy about elephants and wondered if I would do a painting for her. I've painted lots of animals but never thought to do an elephant. Again it was a 6x8 canvas board so replicating all the winkles was not going to happen. Luckily she already had a photo she wanted me to work from. I loved the photo of a Mother and baby walking down a muddy road and got started right away. Stressing lumbering movement rather than wrinkles the painting came together and I was happy with the result.

She loves the painting which is a big sigh relief to any artist taking on a commission!

Dog Show

I was watching the Westminster Dog show the other night and got inspired to do a painting with this very theme. I love all the action that goes on at these "dog beauty contests" that I wanted to get as much action into the painting as I could. Since I'm a small image painter my workspace was limited to 6x8. I took extra care with the woman on the left because I wanted to get a look of disdain and jealously on her face. The look of movement of the presenter was indicated with some swipes of a fan brush with Liquin Light Gel added when the paint on the man's paints and the dog he is showing were almost dry. A blurry little movement was what I was looking for. I had lots of fun painting this.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

My new adventure in blog posting

I'm excited about creating a blogspot. Hopefully I will be sharing interesting information about art and the creative process that other artists (and non artists!) may want to read; how I choose what to paint and the techniques that I'm currently using.

My son, Alex Schaefer, an accomplished artist, also has a blogspot which not only demonstrates his abilities as an artist, but an accomplished and interesting writer and teacher. I can only hope to do the same. Stay tuned for more.