Monthly Archives: September 2014

Red-eyed Tree Frog

Tree FrogFor this colorful study I tried out a new technique for creating the surface texture on the frog’s face and legs using a “found” texture. By definition a found texture is any type of textured surface you encounter in your day-to-day life. My choice for this drawing was 40 grit sandpaper. I placed a small piece of the sandpaper behind my drawing and stroked a dark green pencil over the paper using the tip of a dull pencil.

Normally I would never use a dull pencil but in this case I did not want to damage the paper. Also, this technique works best with lighter weight papers. The lighter the paper the more the texture shows up. Since I only wanted a slightly bumpy texture I used my regular drawing paper (80 lb.).

If you don’t have sandpaper you could try placing your drawing over concrete. Concrete steps/stairs would be good surface to start with and you have a place to sit while you work.

As with any new technique be sure to try it out on scrap paper first. You might need to experiment to find the correct surface for your subject.

Until next time…happy drawing!




I recently joined Paint My Photo, which is a wonderful site where artists can find reference photos to use without having to worry about copyright issues. The photographers who generously share their work are such a help for those who enjoy creating art but may not have access to the subjects we wish to draw or paint. You need to join the community in order to access the photos, so if you are looking for inspiration be sure to check this site out.

The little cygnet above is inspired from one of the photos I discovered on my new favorite site. As soon as I saw it I knew he would be the perfect subject for painting on black paper. His light gray and white downy fuzz contrasts nicely with the black. To suggest that he was floating in water I added some simple broken lines of blue and aquamarine.

I am really pleased with this piece. The finished size is 5×7 inches and is available in my Etsy shop.