Replacing Tires Isn’t All Fun and Games

It’s been a while since I posted some furry awesomeness. So here ya go!

Catpile! plus one

Catpile! plus one

As for this week’s doodles, it is almost a month old, but I have had other, more exciting things to post. I drew this while having my car’s tires replaced, since they had about as much tread as a peach. I bought them just in time since the very next day it snowed and I needed to make a screeching stop when I realized the car in front of me was stopped but did not have any working brake lights. This is from my tiny Moleskine notebook, despite the large size of the image. I love how it is mostly rectangular except for a few little bits that poke out. It’s rebelling I’m sure.

Good asymmetrical awesome

Good asymmetrical awesome

Party Poodles and Noodles

A while back I drew the most awesome of all the doodles with noodles and poodles. Recently, as I was going through my doodle book, I decided it was time to color in this epic image.

Normally, a Parti poodle is one that is piebald brown and white or black and white. Like this dude:

parti poodle

This guy is not as awesome as he could be , so I colored in my poodles to be Party Poodles:

Let's Get the spaghetti party started!

Let’s Get the spaghetti party started!

Ducky Doodles Oodles of Poodles and Noodles

I cannot claim to have come up with this concept for amazing doodle on my own; it was a special request from my very own husband, MrE. But I absolutely love it! I don’t particularly love poodles, they are nice and smart and all but a too lanky. I DO love all forms of noodles.

It was nice to do something completely representational, even if the form is abstract. I think the next step is to actually draw my own pets in some future doodles. We shall see…

Only three types of noodles,but each poodles does have a slightly different hairdo.

Only three types of noodles,but each poodles does have a slightly different hairdo.

For even more cuteness, here are kittens. They were hugging a moment before I took the picture, but I was too late.

Please let us sleep in peace!

Please let us sleep in peace!

Taking My Time on the Indiana State Flower

The last state MrE lived in and I have not doodle the flower of is Indiana, and so I’ve drawn this doodle dedicated to the Peony. Some people may be unaware that Americans pronounce this particular flower differently depending on where they live. For the most part, I pronounce it PEE-uh-nee, but many southerns pronounce it pee-OH-nee. As for which one is the correct way, the answer is: yes!

I drew the outline of this doodle directly after I drew the Georgia Cherokee Rose drawing, but finished several others before coming back to this one. I didn’t quite have the colors I wanted for the flower itself, but I think the outcome looks tolerable.

Pinks and peach reign supreme in Indiana aapparently

Pinks and peach reign supreme in Indiana apparently

As of yet, I still have never done a proper zen doodle, but I did fill in the swirls with some common zen doodley type designs. They certainly do their best to compete with the very pink peony.

I think the next state flowers I’ll tackle are states where I have visited and spent the night. This is mainly western states, but with a few here and there tossed in for good measure. I guess that means I should do the national flowers of Italy and France too.

Critter Time

A while back, we came back from an evening out to find all the kitties sleeping on our bed

Caught ya!

Caught ya!

We then let Krypto out of her cage, and she too needed to be in on the action

Goofy doggie

Goofy doggie. Messy bed.

An Unexpected Benefit of the Doodle Project

Back in September, I drew one of the final birthday cards of the year and I was super pleased with the results. I discovered that I have improved crucially in an area that I did not anticipate improving in terms of art–composition. It is my belief that great composition often trumps technical skill or the quality of the materials used. It has always been something I have struggled with, since my artistic skills mainly reside in my copying ability and mixing colors. But drawing the preliminary sketches of this doodle, everything seemed to fall into place.

I am very pleased with this birthday card. If you are unfamiliar with the cartoon series, Avatar the Last Airbender, you should certainly consider watching it no matter what your age is because it is excellent. This card draws on images from the series with Aang’s arrow tattoos and the four elements: earth, air, water, and fire.

Master of all the elements...of art!

Master of all the elements…of art!

I was also able to use mostly high-quality markers, which does improve the overall look, I must admit. I love this card.

Sleeping Doggy

I just want to boop her on the nose!

Daww, she's conked out

Daww, she’s conked out

Flashback to Fine Art

I have plenty of doodles in the works, but I thought I would go back to an actual, real-life painting I did several years ago of a beloved doggy. My friend, who owns Gannon Grooming, lost her best puppy buddy, and I wanted to give her something to remember him by. Before I started doodling in my free time, my natural media was acrylic paints, which I used for this precious Cocker Spaniel. I took several photos to illustrate the process my painting go through.

1. Initial sketch (Not pictured. Use your imagination if you so desire)

2.Laying the Color Foundation

When I begin a painting, I like to lay down the first wash of colors for as much of the painting as possible, then go in later with darker or lighter colors, in some cases adding a dozen or more washes before the painting is complete. As you can see in this snapshot, the colors are muted and lots of canvas is showing through.


Early stages in my painting style

Early stages in my painting style

3. Adding Rough Darks

Here it is easier to see the brush strokes, especially in the fur under the chinny chin chin. I believe I was concentrating mainly on the nose and tongue, which is why they look more finished and life-like.

With my style, I like to lay darks, then use slight washes of near transparent creams or whites to scale back for the right hue.

With my style, I like to lay darks, then use slight washes of near transparent creams or whites to scale back for the right hue.

4. The Creepy Phase

There is always a point in a portrait that looks a little weirder than it should. This is that phase. I also have added some richness to the shadows if you can get past the empty eyes.



5. Details

The longest part of a painting for me is working on the details, which makes sense. Sometimes, the details are overwhelming. My mom can certainly attest to this since she still has a half-finished painting that I never got around to completing in her basement. It is complete enough to get the general idea of what it is, but the details were so subtle that I just couldn’t work on it any more. (Sorry mom! I’ll repaint it soon!). To me, the most important details are the eyes and expression. I could have left the painting like this I think, but that’s not my style.

Phew, no more soulless eyes. I love working on the eyes, since it makes the work come alive.

Phew, no more soulless eyes. I love working on the eyes, since it makes the work come alive.

6. Knowing When to Stop

It is important for me to accept that no work of art is going to be perfect. It can approach perfection, but not knowing when to stop will only lead me down a trail of misery and tears. There will always be something that I can look back and see that I Should have done differently, but as an old Vulcan Proverb says, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.”

Happy Guy! Baxter makes a handsome pup.

Happy Guy! Baxter makes a handsome pup.

Every dog story ends in tears, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the unconditional love of the best friend you will ever have! Adopt from a local shelter or go give your canine companion a big hug and some peanut butter. If you would like to see more posts like this, let me know in the comments!

Looks Like a Bunch of Bull

I’ve finished another addition to my State flower collection: Texas.

Fans of Texas are sure to be well-acquainted with the state flower, the Bluebonnet. My brother’s family lives in the Austin area, and they make a yearly trip to fields full of bluebonnets for their family portrait. They are a vivid flower and are surprisingly dainty for a state that is renowned for bigger and better everything.

You’ll also notice I have placed another negative space motif in the corner to pay tribute to everyone’s favorite Texas bovine, the longhorn. I would like the extend my condolences to the Longhorns, as I myself am a BYU fan. Better luck next year!

I'm pretty pleased with this. I  think I'm getting a little better at composition.

I’m pretty pleased with this. I think I’m getting a little better at composition.

Next up is Indiana or Georgia. We shall see, both of their state flowers are white. Hmmm.

Abut two years ago, I went in search of the best puppy in the world, Krypto the Super Dog. This is the first time I ever saw her, and the rest is history:

Will you take me home?

Will you take me home?