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Portrait artist, fine artist, educator, student. Trying all means to keep from getting a day job in the tough times, but still supporting myself as an artist! deejaystar@yahoo.com Follow any and all of my blogs. THANK YOU!

Friday, December 16, 2011


I am selling this pastel on suede holiday picture for $300 or buy it on Fine Art America. Work fast and you may send it out as a Christmas Card!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Peoria Art League demo.

I had a great time exercising my pastels again. It has been a very long time!

I spent a lot more time showing how to use your computer to see more colors than are obvious and how to use the underpainting to loosen up, especially if you are a tight realist (which I proved with a little show and tell of some of my charcoals.

I showed the planning of one piece and underpainted it. From there I demoed the pastel part of it on a second piece. Here is the piece as I left it last night. As usual, I forgot the drawing and underpainting before:

And this morning as I finished it up.

For the gang at the demo I DO have the underpainting from last night. So here are three steps showing how this all works:
This is always where they know I am nuts. All the work I put into the drawing is lost when I slop these erratic colors over my composition. This morning after a little work on the project from last night, I went in and started building out the shapes I was making from the drawing.
There is a LOT of color in the shadows that I can leave and allow to twinkle up in the skin tones. BUT the big key is making the background consistent. The figures really paint themselves if the negative spaces are right.

Thank you all. I had a great evening!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Second Foam Harvesters

I had the opportunity to do an In Service on Wednesday for a gang of teachers. I will say it was nice to have to not start from scratch!

I don't have progress shots, and I am working from a makeshift computer set up as the big machine is dead, dead, dead so I am pushing hard again to get business running... But I digress... I can't see clearly on the screen to be sure this is showing right.

We all attacked the watercolor under pastels in a bit of a guerrilla manner, but not only was it fun to be back in a school room, the gang seemed to enjoy the demo as much as I enjoyed demonstrating!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A demonstration for the Phoenix Art Guild

The dreaded seasonal cold hit the day before, so I found myself preparing well into the "YOU ARE LATE" time...
I did another of my beach kids.
What I love about this set of reference is how in the computer they all sort of seem lifeless - cute and lively but - the apparent monochrome of a beach is so deceptive until I get in there and add color.

I don't have a photo of the underpainting. Actually, I was lucky to get the paint ON The paper but the picture just started to blossom.

This is what walked out the door on Monday night.

I slept a near 24 hours full of nyquil and felt much better on Wednesday so I worked a bit to this point.

I LOVE the looseness of the pastels over color!

I think it will be titled "Foam Harvesters".

Monday, October 18, 2010

Another Score!

I was invited to the opening at the State Fair, but I didn't go. They had blank spots next to "place" on the acceptance card. I felt depressed, so I stayed home.
BUT a good friend sent along this photo which cheered me up!

Red Ribbons are REALLY pretty!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Not first prize, but I did get an honorable mention on the Jerry's Artarama contest! Watch the site, they should be posting soon:

Now, on to the AZ State Fair where it will be on display until November!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Carribean Kid - alcohol for underpainting

I decided to rework a watercolor I had done a couple of years ago as a pastel for entry into a contest for a specific pastel brand.

Normally I use watercolor for my underpainting as a great way to make an over all neutral tone, but I wanted to make a piece completely with pastel, so I took a heavier 300# rough watercolor paper and some 95% rubbing alcohol (denatured will evaporate faster, but I was happy to have the slush time) and scrubbed over areas to push some color in the pits of the rough paper:

Laying in the painting areas, I continued with heavy scrubbing and breaking down so the coverage would allow the peaks of the paper to rub off color from the stick and the lower areas be a bit darker and more colorful:

As I went I would use a dry brush to scrub back some of the more broken areas and rewet spots to reinforce darks. This is the only way I have found that you can actually make mud when using pastel. If you blend with your sticks, you can keep clean and brilliant colors.

A detail shows the difference with the dissolved colors in the pits of the paper with the pure pastel on top:

I submitted this to the Mungyo competition on Jerry's Artarama site and just dropped it of to the Arizona State Fair as well.

Cross your fingers for me!