gizmo 1

Too bright gizmo

Too bright gizmo

Now that I have finished the 2 commissions I’m back to working with the acrylics. I decided to use some reference photos of my  daughter’s cat.  The animal subjects seem to be going better than the architectural ones right now.  I may have to wait until I take a refresher acrylic class to figure out the problems I have been having with the detail work.

This is the base coat.  Pretty bright, isn’t it.  He is a light ginger tiger cat, almost shading more to the tan side rather than the orange.  I wanted to tone down a base with the lighter colors rather than add darks over a lighter base.  To me, this is a basic difference of watercolors vs acrylics.  It is much harder for me to lighten a dark watercolor than to do the same on an acrylic.  The success of this portrait will be in the eyes.

The secret lives of grills?

Winter grillin"

Winter grillin”

It must be very boring to spend most of the winter backed up against the garage.  No view of the riotous antics of the local wildlife, no sight of the pond frozen over, hemmed in by snow drifts on the deck.

We had very gusty winds last weekend and it appears that Mr. Grill wanted a better view of the lake.  You can see the little dark spot on the deck next to the garage wall where he should have been, but he managed to convince Mr. Wind to help him get out and about.  I think he has been secretly talking to the crane weather vane that is supposed to be atop the gazebo, but also managed to get Mr. Wind to help him fly off into the yard for a bit of extra fun last summer.  Good thing he didn’t head off towards the back of the garage though – I don’t think Mr. Wind would have helped him down the step at all and someone could have gotten hurt!.

After all of the winter weather, I am totally ready for spring.

St. Luke’s finished

St. Luke's Episcopal Church

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

After a lot of peering closely at photos, I finally finished the inking for St. Luke’s Episcopal in Atlanta.  There was a lot of detail in this relatively small drawing, but I think it turned out well. The large stained glass window is a wonderful focal point.  I cut back the ivy on the fence to give a glimpse of the entryway, but I wanted to keep the little bit of character that it gave to the wrought iron fence.

This is the fourth ink drawing I have done for this particular client and my curiosity finally got the better of me.  I suspected that they all might be wedding gifts portraying the ceremony site, but I had to ask.  And I was right.  She said that when she gave the first one to the bride, she cried.  I am so touched that I am able to help her give a unique memento of a very special occasion.

Partial inking on the church

Partially inked

Partially inked

I’ve been working on this a little bit at a time.  I ink in about 6-8 sq in and then pencil in for the next session.  There is so much detail here, compounded by not really great photos for the entry area, that I have been taking it very slowly.

It is quite easy to become confused as I am using left view and right view pictures to puzzle everything out.  And I have kept the abundance of landscaping more than I normally might for the same reason.  The tower on the right, the large stained glass window, and the iron gates should help identify the church to those who know it.  All in all, I think it is going to end up taking more time than if it had been a color portrait.

Commission #2

St. Luke's Episcopal

St. Luke’s Episcopal

Today is a good day to be inside. We are expecting to get 3+” of snow today and the storm started about a hour or so ago. Nicer weather after mid-week, but we have to get there.  I can’t wait until spring arrives.  I’m not a cold weather person, even though I grew up in the Chicagoland area.

This drawing is at least as complicated than the last one. There is a great deal of cut stonework along with the brickwork facade, but at least there are no statues or carved fretwork. I am doing smaller sections at a time so as not to get brain cramps again, so it is slow going.  No color on this one either.

Bok Tower finished

Bof_f_8390After a little delay, Bok tower is finished.  This was a brain cramping drawing for some reason.  It is considered neo-Gothic/art deco architecture and between the different stone for the facade and all of the carved details, my eyes wanted to cross repeatedly.  Still, doing a little bit at a time keeps the brain more sane.  I did like the combination of the the different types of foliage with the different kinds of stone.  I will look at it again when I have finished the second drawing, but I am letting it rest for now.

The inking almost done on Bok Tower

Bok Tower

Bok Tower

The hardest part is finished.  This has been a difficult one for many reasons. Firstly, the foliage is quite varied with the pines and hanging Spanish moss  intermixed with palm trees.  Then there are three different kinds of Florida stone used in this art deco, neo-gothic tower.  There is a flat faced coquina stone (which is done) inset between pink marble corners and set above a gray marble base.  There are so many details with the carved screens, friezes, and sundial that the whole thing is way more than you might think of at first glance.  Still, it is progressing well and all I have left are the marble blocks and the walkway.  If not for the Super Bowl and my annual turkey feast, it would probably be finished today.  LOL  Still, I have been glad to let it sit a bit more than usual because of the extra details involved.

Bok Tower drawing

Bok Tower

Bok Tower

The first commission is for a pen and ink of Bok Tower.  It is a tall, lovely structure that houses a carillon and is built with multi-colored stone columns.  I looked up the site to get a better idea of the structure and the surrounding landscaping and learned it’s an national historic landmark located in central Florida.  I had first guessed that it must be in the deep south when I saw the palm trees and lush landscaping in the background.  Bok Tower Gardens is 130 acres of contemplative gardens and bird sanctuary in central Florida.  It appears to be a popular site for outdoor weddings and receptions  In this view of the south base you can see a large sundial.  It must be a lovely place to visit, any time of the year.