Monthly Archives: April 2014


PuffinBirding season is in full swing in my backyard. I don’t think I have ever seen so many different species stop by, it has definitely been a treat. One bird that won’t be in my backyard but will be visiting the rocky shores of Maine is the Atlantic Puffin. The large colorful beak and orange feet are a great contrast to its black body and white underparts. These birds are so much fun to paint with colored pencils.

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Happy Birding!


Miss Ostrich

OstrichDon’t you just love the way light plays with color? For example, if you look at photos of ostriches you might say their fur is made of shades of brown and gray but as you can see in the little lady to the right I included light and dark blue along with the browns and grays. The longer I looked at the photos the more colors I saw and it was seeing the blue reflected in her fur that made this piece so much fun to work on.

To make the fine wispy hairs I used very sharp colored pencils and alternated between short and long strokes which helped to create the texture. I typically use my Prismacolor pencils but for this drawing I chose Derwent Coloursoft pencils, they sharpen to a fine point and work wonderfully in my Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook. Plus, hubby bought me a limited edition set of the Coloursofts and I just had to try them out :)



American Goldfinch

American GoldfinchThis past week has been absolutely fantastic for backyard bird watching. The return of our flying friends is perfect as I prepare for my upcoming drawing class. I am so fortunate to live in an area with so many wonderful birds that it is hard to choose which ones to include. I think this little bird will make an appearance, it is the male American Goldfinch. The lemon yellow plumage is a striking contrast to the black cap and wing feathers and is quite fun to draw with colored pencils.





Drawing Glass

Glass MarbleThis week marks the end of my class on Getting Started with Colored Pencils. It has been a terrific journey. I am proud of the progress my students have made and I think they surprised themselves on how far they have come. I will be teaching a new class at the end of April on Drawing Birds in Colored Pencil. If schedules permit think I may be seeing a few familiar faces. I digress, back to this week’s class which was an introduction to drawing glass.

Drawing glass does seem challenging at first but it is really like drawing anything else – it is about observing how light interacts with the subject. As you work keep in mind that glass is transparent so as light passes through it the transitions between light and dark will happen much quicker, you may see your surroundings reflected in the surface, and the shadow your object casts will be diffused. Be sure to include these details for that extra touch of realism.

Being the last class I wanted to keep things fun so rather than drawing a drinking glass we drew a cat’s eye marble on gray toned paper. This gave everyone the opportunity not only to learn another technique but to get a feel for working on toned paper. My demo drawing is posted above.

Thanks for joining me on this adventure…cheers!