Friday, July 29, 2011


This is one of my photos that didn't quite make the cut for being entered in the county fair. I had it all edited, ready to go, and then I found the memory card I'd been missing, and there were some beautiful wedding photos on there I just had to bring instead for the people category.

I do love this photo, however, so I'm linking up with Live Every Moment for the photography challenge with the theme "White".

Go and visit some of the other beautiful entries!

County Fair Reserve Champion!

I love this time of year! I have to admit I went a little nuts in the photography division. Besides having a Picnik account to do some fun editing, the fair board also added a sepia division, so I can now enter four photos of the same subject - color, black and white, sepia, and digitally enhanced!

All told, I entered 21 photos and my drawing of Sawyer which I finished an hour before entering (he'll get his own post next week).

Between the drawing and all the photo cropping, saving, printing, and matting, I've been a little scarce online this past week.

I'll do a more complete report after the fair is over and I have all photos with ribbons back in my possession because there's no way I can remember right now which photo got what ribbon.

But I just couldn't wait until next week to share the big news - I got a reserve champion ribbon! My highest award yet in the photography division!

This was the photo to receive it:

That's my dear grandpa. I took this photo early this month while visiting him in Wisconsin.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Drawing my horse - step by step

I started this drawing a while back, but it just wasn't coming together like I'd hoped. I'm really in love with the vision I have for it in my head, so I didn't want to just abandon it, and since I'd like to have something new to enter in the county fair next weekend, this seemed like the likely choice. I've been faithful this time at taking photos of every 15 minutes of progress, so here are the first three hours of work.
15 min. - basic outline drawn, still not at all happy with it.

30 min. - started over with a grid to get proportions right.

45 min. - basic outline in again, better this time, erased the grid.

1 hour - basic shadows in, starting on the shading in the ear

1 hours, 15 min. - work on the ear mostly done.

1 hour, 30 min. - finishing the ear, putting in the shading on the neck

1 hour, 45 min. - more shading on the neck - started on the forehead.

2 hours - did the eye - always the most crucial part - I like to do it pretty early on because if I screw it up completely, it will ruin the whole drawing.

2 hours, 15 min. - more work on eye, developing the shadows on the underside of the jaw.

2 hours, 30 min. - started the shading on the cheek

2 hours, 45 min. - shading the chin area.

3 hours - working on the nose/muzzle area - I love this stage in the drawing when it actually starts to look like something!

By the way, this is my horse, Sawyer Brown SDA. I'll try to find the digital copy of the photo I'm working from and throw it up here with the next round of step by step shots.

If you want to get more frequent updates on this step by step drawing process, you can check out my Facebook page.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Where would I go for an art vacation?

This is one of the questions asked during my giveaway a few months back, and it's been hard for me to decide on an answer. My ideal art vacation isn't so much a specific place as a conglomeration of artistic opportunities.

I decided I would take a vacation that would inspire me as well as allow me to practice.

I would travel through the South Dakota/Wyoming/Colorado/Utah area. I would watch wild mustangs. Of course, in my dream vacation, they would let me get close enough that I could see them clearly to sketch and take photographs.

I'd study interesting landscapes and practice drawing them to improve my backgrounds, an area I always struggle with (and hence the reason so many of my drawings have no background).

Black Hills (South Dakota):

Badlands (South Dakota):





In Wyoming, I would also go to the Cheyenne rodeo, and while it would be very difficult to draw anything happening in such an action-packed event, I would get some wonderful photos to work from after I got back home.

To finish up my trip, I would be magically teleported to Kentucky (since I get miserably sick on airplanes). There I would go to racetracks and spend days at the Kentucky Horse Park studying every different breed of horse known to man, especially the Spanish and draft breeds that intrigue me so much but are pretty much non-existent in my area.

Somewhere along the way, I would visit an equine/western themed art museum and be inspired by the amazing ability of other artists.

Now that I look at this, there's not a place on the list (other than the Cheyenne Rodeo, though I have been in Cheyenne) that I haven't been to before. Hmmm.... maybe I need to do some research and expand my horizons.

What's the best vacation you've been on? Where have you always wanted to go?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sunshine Award

I was honored last week to be awarded the Sunshine Award at Diary of a Craft-aholic.


Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
Write a post about it.
Pass it on to 10 bloggers you think really deserve it.

The blogs that've brought some sunshine to my life lately are:

A New Beginning - love the blogging tips!

Cinders Says - I won a 6 month ad space, and I'm loving seeing some traffic coming from it!

Linda Shantz Equine and Animal Art - because any blog that combines horse art and photos is great!

Live Every Moment - just started following this one, but I love the photography already!

Marina Petro Adventures in Daily Painting - I'm in love with her recent equine paintings!

Paintings by Theresa Paden - colorful western-themed artwork!

The girl behind the Lama - where I was introduced to Once a Month Cooking!

Treasury Challenge NonTeam - only had a chance to participate in one so far, but this is a fun idea!

I. Georgopoulou Fine Art - the realism of these painting astounds me!

It's Sunny in SD - I like reading about another horse person from the same area as me.

Be sure to check out some of these great blogs and let them know I sent you!

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