Thursday Art Group 110118 & 110818

•December 13, 2018 • 3 Comments

Anyone playing the home game may notice that these are not appearing in order. Anyone who has been around me for any period of time knows that I have periods of furious activity and periods of what I consider slothing. Since I have been slothing as of this writing I am way behind in my posting. Since I never know when I am going to sink back into inactivity I am working my way backwards in my photos. Probably no one but me cares, but since I tend to overexplain myself…. there you go.

Also I haven’t actually been slacking off. I have been making and doing lots of things… I have only been slacking on the posting of said things.


Drew was nice enough to set up some really cool lights for us. I found this to be a lot of fun to work with and I really appreciate the variety. I think I did okay capturing the light, but not as well as I would have liked capturing Jessamyn’s likeness. It is always intimidating when the models are beautiful: trying to do them justice.

First Session:




Second Session:


Thursday Art Group 111518 & 112918

•December 12, 2018 • 1 Comment

Still getting together on Thursdays at the Hungerford with a group of artists that paint humans from life. This time Michael was our model. I guess it is unusual for the model to leave their glasses on during the pose. I really enjoyed it and liked the effect. Plus I feel like it gave me landmarks to work from.


November 22nd was Thanksgiving so we took that Thursday off.


Steve Carpenter Workshop December 2018

•December 12, 2018 • Leave a Comment


I took the portrait workshop from Steve once before several years ago. Since I now have more experience painting people from life I figured I would get more out of it this time.

The last time Steve had us draw on newsprint and then transfer it to the canvases we would be painting on. This time he had a specially prepared paper surface for us to paint/charcoal on. I’m not positive what he did to it, but whatever it was it made the charcoal 100% erasable. I’ve never encountered charcoal being this easy to work with. Don’t get me wrong – I still don’t like charcoal but with this paper I could see how someone could enjoy working with it.

IMG_8177IMG_8178IMG_8179 After the charcoal drawings were down (or more precisely when he cut us off from drawing – because as we all know most of us would have noodled the hell out of our drawings for the entire duration of the workshop). We sprayed them with fixative – which made them completely Unworkable from that point forward.

Steve likes to jump in with lots of color. I love how watercolor-ish everything looks at this stage.


Duplicated the process in the afternoon with another model. In theory this should have been easier since we JUST did it that morning. Nope. Humans are always difficult to draw. (well, at least for me).


LOTS of color!

IMG_8187 okay, too much color for me and I lifted some of it back out. IMG_8189IMG_8191 Steve caught me and had me put the color back in. IMG_8192


I spent most of the morning putting color and wiping it off. Putting a different color on and wiping it off. I had started to wonder if I was going to wear through the paper when Steve came along and made some definitive decisions for me.

Physically I was not feeling well at all so I know I was a bit more difficult as a student than normal. Being the awesome instructor that he is Steve was patient with me even though he had no idea what my problem was.


One of the many many times that I changed my mind about the colors that I wanted to use and wiped them off yet again. IMG_8196

Steve’s correction of my indecision. IMG_8198

The afternoon went a little better.I still wasn’t feeling well, but over all was happier with the results on the painting.  IMG_8199IMG_8200IMG_8203



Even though the color choices weren’t what I would have picked (if I could have ever gotten around to making a decision) I decide to leave the colors and work with them. I am here to learn and get outside of my comfort zone.

On a side note the model’s headband was very close in color to her hair. Steve asked us to make more of a color statement and switch it up. Every other student went red. I felt somewhat self conscious about my decision to go yellow – but I still think if I would have “finished” this piece I would have been happier with gold & yellow tones instead of reds.



As any time that I spend with Steve I learned a lot. I went out of my comfort zone. There are a few things that I would like to incorporate into my repertoire.

I actually found that this time the class was much more difficult precisely because I have been doing this on Thursdays for a while now. I have developed habits and an idea of what I want the piece to look like. It made it more uncomfortable to work to someone else’s eye. I was surprised by this as I wouldn’t have thought I was so entrenched in my habits already. Also why I think it was such a good thing that I did this.

Super glad that I took the class. I always learn so much from Steve. (even when I am grouchy)

Tattoo Update May 2018

•May 21, 2018 • 3 Comments

Got behind again. I have come to accept that this is going to be an ongoing theme in my life.

Started working on Casey’s Satyr Skull tattoo after a bit of a hiatus. It is (obviously) still in progress, but I also made both of his sleeve tattoos.


There is a lot going on in this one. It was a fun project! I used to tattoo a lot of pin-up stuff and I don’t get nearly as much call for them anymore.
This one is on a forearm and was completed in the single session.HarleyQuinn

Love this one. This is on her thigh.


I have admitted publicly that this may be my favorite tattoo ever. Having much fun working on this one and will be sad when it is finished. Of course he is talking about maybe working on the other arm now… so who knows.


Single session add on (chest). I did not make the Roman numerals portion of the tattoo.


Surfing Skeletons (on ribs) based on the work of Rick Griffin.


Small commemorative tattoo to celebrate having been at the SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch (so cool!). We went with the Space Suit from Elon’s launch, but used the original car from the Heavy Metal movie.


CareBear tattoo made on the calf.


Memorial tattoo made on the ribs. Tough client!


First stage of a work in progress. Tattoo is based on the artwork of Ben Newman. Ben does beautiful illustrations and I would LOVE to adapt more of them into tattoos.
This one is on a thigh.


Healed Pressed Fairy tattoo on the back of a calf.


King David on an upper arm.


Care Bear’s tummy to look embroidered.


More work on this sleeve


Little critter out of the Garden of Earthly Delights (Hieronymous Bosch). Just below the knee on the shin. (ouch).
There are a hundred tattoos EASILY in that painting. Feel free to select one for yourself. I would LOVE to make a series of these.

Another session on Casey.


Different take on Lady Liberty. This is on a forearm and is partially healed and partially fresh when the photo was taken (which is never flattering for the tattoo).


Vincent on a forearm. She didn’t want him to be smoking, so we went with a Burton-esque style pumpkin instead.


Dog portrait. I did not make any of the other visible tattoos, just the dog.


I made the tattoos on both hands and the fairies on the inside of the forearms… but I haven’t been able to get a decent photo of the fairies.


Monarch Butterfly tattoo on an ankle.


Adding some better contrast and some background to a piece I started a while ago. Forearm.


Sleeve in progress. One (maybe two) more sessions to fill the rest of it in.


This is the start of a Johnny Depp montage piece on her thigh. All of them will be different characters that Johnny Depp has played.


Another session on the Ben Newman piece, next session should finish this one up.


Adding some background to Robert’s sleeve. The bird is a cover up… everything that is visible is my work.


Underarm Elephant.


As always…. more to come.


Life Painting May 19th, 2018 – second session of Mia as Mother Nature

•May 20, 2018 • 1 Comment

Not much commentary on this. I am happy with where it is going. This is the progress that I made during the second session.

I’m pleased with it thus far and hope to do more with it later.


I did take reference photos, but will try not to alter the face/skin tones based on the photos as they are never as rich as what you can see from life.

Always so many things that I would like to be working on…

The Hair Experiment

•May 20, 2018 • 1 Comment

Not too long ago I was thinking about shaving my hair off again. It’s a long story and it’s not important. I don’t like to rush into decisions like that so a couple days into thinking about doing that… I saw a post for a hairdresser who was looking for volunteers to do some super colorful hair. I figured that if it went horribly I could always go back to the original plan and shave me head – so I volunteered.

We met, we discussed options. I really didn’t want anything predominantly orange or predominately green. (Orange doesn’t look good next to my skin tone and I don’t care for the way green fades.)

On April 30th I spent a surprisingly pleasant day at the salon getting my hair colorful. I loved it! The blends that she did and the placement of the colors that she chose were really flattering. The color looked comfortable and natural in a way that bright colored hair really shouldn’t. Perfect job.

062F90FB-6EE7-463A-974D-664DA9B4AD4F 2D1187C4-23DD-4D2C-BDBD-53B0E3483613

I especially loved the blue on either side of my face. Unbeknownst to the stylist I had chosen to have my hair very similar colors many years ago. So it almost seemed familiar in a way.

I followed all of the directions, used the special shampoo and conditioner and washed my hair out of the shower with cool water. A pain in the ass, but I wanted to showcase the skills of the lovely lady who had taken such care and time to make this look so nice.

I don’t believe that she did anything wrong, but I do believe that the product that she wasn’t using wasn’t as great as we would have liked. When I had done this years ago we used Manic Panic. It faded pretty evenly (and dyed my back, tub and clothes the color of the dye) but then I wasn’t doing anything special to protect it. The light pinks washed out quickest with the manic panic, so we started making the fade go from the purple to the magenta leaving the lighter pinks out.
With this product almost everything except the magenta faded almost immediately.

I didn’t take photos the first few days but by May 9th (nine days later) it had faded to this.



I called to book an appointment to have it redone, but they couldn’t get me in until May 24th.

I tried to wear it up and braided to camouflage the fade as much as possible. It faded much slower after that and another week later on May 16th it looked like this.



I actually don’t mind the fade except for on my bangs. I don’t really care for how I look as a blonde so I started doing some research of something that I could do to re-color it a little bit before my appointment. I found some stuff online called Colorditioner that had some good reviews. This morning I tried it out on the ends a bit and even less on the bangs. ( We are now 20 days out from the initial coloring).





I am happy with what it did. I now wish that I would have used more, but I also don’t want to interfere with whatever we are going to do on the 24th. I may put a teeny bit more on the bangs, or maybe not.

I will update you on how things go on the 24th and what we decide to do… but so many people have asked me about it that I figured it was easier to explain here.

I promise the next update will be art related.

Perhaps fun hair color isn’t for people who run and wash their hair every day? We shall see. I am enjoying the fun colors and have a back up plan now that doens’t involve shaving my head again.


may 21st. I did go ahead and add a little more of the magenta to my bangs. I’m happier with it now and will be able to hold out until my appointment Friday.



So today is May 26th. Here is what the color looked like yesterday after I went for my run.


The Viral Colorditioner was holding fairly well.

Yesterday I went back and had the color redone. I had explained how quickly the color had faded especially the yellow and the pink. That magenta loved my hair and had held on nice and tightly. The stylist decided to go with deeper tones to get me more longevity this time. I washed it this morning and after drying it this is what it looks like today.





I have to admit that I am disappointed. It looks to me like there are areas that she missed with the color. In the areas where the color was supposed to blend from one to another the transitions didn’t take. This happened last time but it was less noticeable because the color was lighter. I am leaving for Europe today and don’t have time to address this or try to fill in the gaps with the colorditioner. I will most likely wear my hair up and/or braided to help camouflage the inconsistencies. It’s still fun hair, but I’m still disappointed.

I will try something different when I get home to see if I can come up with a plan that looks nice to me.

Suggestions that don’t involve shaving my head would be appreciated.

Life Painting May 3rd, 2018 – Mia as Mother Nature

•May 3, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I want to try and do something with my life paintings better than wiring them to a fence and watching the elements take them.

So when I heard that Mia was going to dress as Mother Nature for the next session I decided this was a great place to start. This canvas is larger than the ones that I have been using. I also took some reference photos with the intention of working on some parts of this from home between now and next week’s session.

As always some things that I am happy with and some things that I am definitely NOT happy with… but it is all good practice and I am hoping that my skills are continuing to improve.

Cool bonus. One of the other participants noticed how loose the canvas was on my prestretched canvas and taught be how to tighten them up much easier than how I have been trying to do it. Thanks Kevin!