Sleepy lynx

20140523-233523-84923704.jpg

Sleepy lynx, pastels on watercolour paper

Hoping to sell some wildlife art soon to pay the mortgage as no compensation yet from military in almost 2 months. They take their time while we stress more. I am trying all sorts of job hunting but no luck so far. Oh well.

Canadian Lynx

20140317-004656.jpg

Canadian Lynx, pastels & Conte on MT Touch paper

Got halfway through this and thought I was over my head. Said I would just finish the mouth and go to bed….. Well somehow I finished it to my liking. Perseverance pays off.

I feel like this is more art, as opposed to just painting animals. I chose a frame before I started and now it’s worry free.

20140317-085401.jpg

Framed product

WIP Lynx

20140315-090212.jpg

WIP Lynx, Rembrandts on MT Touch

A friend went to Toronto and got me some pan pastel tools. I don’t have pan pastels ( basically they are pastels in little containers you spread with your fingers or these tools) but I have learned to dip the spongy inserts into rubbing alcohol and it spreads the under painting in a painterly style. I could never achieve this with just pastels and was getting very frustrated. This works very well, but go easy on the pastels, they intensify with the alcohol.
So this is how you do it : spread your soft pastels around where you want, mixing colours. Then dip these tools or a brush into alcohol sparingly and spread the colour. It dries lighter and NO powder residue.
Remember, this is an under painting, so you will be painting over it to add dimension.
To me, this makes my paintings more like real art and not just random drawings of animals. After a year and a half of struggling to paint, I think I have turned a corner.

Lynx

image

It is very hard to put your artwork on a blog. Most artists I read about have been drawing since childhood. Not me, I never had the courage til I was 53.
When I was a child I used to find sketches in magazines etc and try to imitate them. But I grew up in a very poor, broken home. Now I realize my father, who was also military, had PTSD plus many other physical injuries. He received a small pension and nothing else. There was no encouragement of anything, and drawing was for certain peoole, not us.
I became a graphic designer in the military because I showed an interest in it, I’ll always be grateful for that opportunity. I designed all the communications projects for the ill and injured in the Forces. What a blessing to be able to serve my buddies this way!
And now I am one of the ill…I never thougyt that possible. Despite all the intense training, I never had any severe physical injuries others had, other than a sore knee. I was proud of that. But now I am on medical leave and not sure when I will go back.
So I draw and paint most days. There are a lot of side effects before meds kick in, but they won’t last forever. Intense headaches and nausea…all doable but incapacitating for the moment.
I am in recovery and rehabilitation and it takes time and my art gets me through it. I know I am not a great artists, but I won’t give up and I see small improvements every time. But on the internet, we make quick judgments and want instant success, but reality is that it takes a long time to be an artist and its much harder to stick to it than to dismiss it.
Last night I redid a lynx I did a while back. I like this fellow, I did much better than before. It was done in pastels, more layering this time. I like the eyes, which I spend more time on. It was done on Mi-tients Touch paper.

Lynx

Lynx

This is a Lynx I did a few months ago. This is a great lesson on not drawing in low light…I THOUGHT I had a brown pastel, but it turned out to be dark red! Yep, I had a red lynx….and wasn’t going to redo the fur. Also, this was one of the first times I tried pastels, got the technique completely wrong. I drew in great detail with a pencil first, then started drawing the same way with the pastels. But pastels are meant for blending and then I realized that I put in so much detail…I couldn’t blend the colours.
Lesson learned…oh well. I liked how the eyes turned out on this though, but clearly I ran out of room for the very important tufts at the top of the ears. Next time I will pick better colours and use proper lighting!
I was too cheap to spring for expensive pastels, so used Mungyo soft and semi-soft pastels for this. These are fine for beginners, but once you move up to more expensive brands, you will see the difference. I really love pastels, they aren’t those chalky things we had as kids, they are beautiful pigments and wonderful for details.
I think I also used some Conté pencils for this, which have a special scratchy feel. But beware…they are almost impossible to erase if you mess up! I used Pitt Pastel Pencils for the eye colour, love these pencils for fine details.