"Put A Bird On It" ~ A Simple Art Making Video {...using pastels...}

I am very close to having my video production workflow down-pat.  ::cheers, confetti::

Practice doesn't "make" perfect, in my opinion.  Practice is, itself, a perfect thing.  You can't ever get in too much art practice - or video production practice.

And, because I have spring on the brain, I made you a truly un-intimidating art video - with birds as the subject matter.  All you need is a charcoal stick (or willow stick), a water soluble graphite pencil, pastels in shades of ochre, white or cream, and blue (or any colors you prefer)...and maybe an oil pastel or two.

In this video, I show you just one of many techniques I use to create backgrounds that are richly layered and interesting.  Since I limited myself, for this video, to mostly pastels and willow stick (or charcoal) and a 20 minute time limit, this is quite simple to do.

Are you hearing the beginnings of spring, where you live?  Around here, there is already much more birdsong in the early mornings...


PS.  I began this video wearing latex gloves.  But since I have the tiny paws of a kindergarten child, I can't ever find gloves that fit.  At some point, I ditched them.  (I know I'll be asked...just answering ahead of time...)

A "Thank You" To A Few of My Art Teachers {...and a quick, expressive face-drawing video...}

One session (or two or three) with an artist whose work you admire,  or whose lifestyle is one you'd like to hear more about, emulate, or even soak up in person (if you are wildly blessed), is often enough to impact your own art practice forever.  

I know it to be true.  I've lived it.  

About two years ago, someone who I have yet to meet in person, and who I am sure wants to be anonymous (otherwise I would gladly tell you her name - giving credit where credit is due is one of my strengths, actually) gifted me with an expensive online class.

It was, as I remember, a three month journey, a deep dive into many art mediums and techniques, with an emphasis on expressive portrait painting.  It has changed my practice of art ever since.  

Since I cannot thank her publicly, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank three of the teachers who have most impacted my art - as well as share a couple of artists (of a very small handful) from whom I hope to learn in the future.

(You'll have to watch the video to see which artists have influenced me most in the last two years.  Come back after the video to see who the artist is, at whose feet I hope to sit in the next two years...)

Right now, this moment, I am loving getting to learn from a new-to-me artist, Julie Johnson (whose Instagram feed is a must follow, if you love art).  I am taking her new class entitled "Making Art Sing" and have already learned so much I can't wait to sit down with my Inktense pencils.

In coming months and years, I hope to learn from my own son-in-law Jonathan Howe.

He has a unique style - one that I don't want to copy.  I have my own style - and I'm proud of it and I have worked hard to establish my own artistic voice.  But I believe Jonathan could teach me a thing or five about oils and color theory and values...and perspective and drawing and pretty much everything.  He is the sort of teacher who would respect my own unique style, and could teach to it.

I've already taken one of his live classes, and it lit a fire in me for oils that is entirely incompatible with the flammable nature of the medium.  But there you have it.

I want to take all I have learned, and the style I have established with mixed media and acrylics, and translate it into oils.


links to the artists featured in my video:

Jeanne Oliver

Gillian Lee Smith

Misty Mawn