Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sketchbook Sunday - September 30

Good news! I finished the draft horse this past week in time to get him in for the contest!
Bad news - I took him in to the print shop to get scanned, and I haven't gotten the file emailed to me yet, so you don't get to see him today.

I started doing the drawing activities in my art lesson. I had to put my own hand in a foreshortened position and draw it starting with the see-through basic shapes (hence all those ugly extra lines). This was quite difficult as it's in a bound book that didn't want to lay open flat, so I was trying to hold the book open and draw with my right hand while I held my left hand perfectly still.

And a sketch from this week. Yet another of the photos I took for the county fair.

I'll post the scan of the finished draft horse as soon as I get him from the print shop. At that time, I'll announce the name I chose for him.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

This may be your last chance!

As you can see, he's getting close to being finished. Suggest a title for this drawing now for a chance to win a free print! I'll choose the winner as soon as I finish the drawing, so don't wait!

Monday, September 24, 2012

2012 County Fair Photos - Special Effect and Any Other Subject

Here's the last of the fair photos.

Special effect
1st place! My first entry in the special effect category! This photo is from the water fights at Hat Daze in Canby, MN, this past June. I still cannot believe I got the combination of the wonderful sunlight on the firefighters, the rainbow resulting from the spraying water, and the reflection in the water on the street all in one photo! And this is the raw photo - nothing done to it except cropping.

Any other subject
1st place! This shot is from our vacation in Door County in July 2012. We were hiking in Peninsula State Park along Green Bay and found these carefully stacked rocks along the beach. Someone spent a lot of time putting up these creative towers.

2nd place. This photo was taken in May 2012 at my grandpa's place near Cumberland, WI. He's got a few trees in his yard that drop hundreds of pinecones. I had fun playing with aperture and manual focus on this one.

2nd place. This shot was taken last October with my Fuji FinePix S700. I was checking on the cows in our pasture just before a storm rolled in. This was the spectacular view of the clouds shortly before it started raining. I boosted the colors a tiny bit to bring out the yellow highlights.

3rd place. I actually really like this photo (a lot more than the judge apparently). I took it in January 2012 on my first outing with my Canon Rebel T3. This weed was just hanging out on the side of the back road I was driving down a few miles from where I live. This was the first time I ever played with aperture, and I was immediately hooked!

Hope you enjoyed all my fair photos. You can see the others at these links:
Sport Action
Still Life

Most of them are available for $5.00 each plus shipping. They are 5x7 prints and have been matted, displayed at the fair, unmatted again and have their class and placing written on the back. There is nothing wrong with any of them, but their price reflects the fact that they aren't "new". Email me or comment here with your email if you're interested in purchasing any of them.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sketchbook Sunday - September 23

Another busy week. I'm losing hope of getting the draft horse drawing done in time for the contest, but I'm still going to try. I finished the blinker, did the eye and that big section of his face, and am working on the bridle again.

And a sketch from this week - from another of my county fair photos. I really like how it turned out.

I'm working on my lesson on foreshortening. I've read through the lesson book but have no drawing to show of it yet... next week.

Don't forget to enter the name the drawing contest for a chance to win a print of the draft horse drawing when it's finished.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Name the drawing and win a print!

I'm still hoping to have the draft horse drawing done to enter in a contest before the end of September, and I don't have a title for it, so I need your help.

If you come up with the best name for the drawing, I'll send you a free print of it. The name will be chosen solely by what I like the best and what I think best fits the drawing.

The contest will remain open until the drawing is finished.

Here it is in its current state:

And the reference photo to give you an idea what the finished face will look like:

You can post your name ideas here or email them to me at black_unicorn11 (at)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sketchbook Sunday - September 16

Busy week. Between bottle calves, and new horses, and a show to prepare for, not a lot of time for anything else. I'll post more about the show later this week, but for now, a peek into my sketchbook.

Just the bottom buckle this week and started on the blinker.

The proportions lesson is finished. He's the final assignment. Starting now on foreshortening.

 I did a real quick sketch of a Border Collie puppy that I photographed this spring.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My new horses!

Back in May, I was offered a purebred Arabian colt because he's had surgery on his front legs and was unfit for showing. He's been weaned, and I brought him home yesterday. Just to be on the safe side, we kept him in the trailer last night, and he didn't want to be more than a couple feet from me, so this is the best photo I was able to get of him. His name is Encore, which is ironic because I was then offered another horse...

... Intrigue. He's five years old and also suffers from a cosmetic flaw as a result of an injury. The owners thought he'd be a good companion to Encore on the six hour trip home, so they offered me him as well. I am still absolutely floored!

Both of them are wonderful, level-headed horses that have been handled daily. Intrigue has had no training for riding, but he's ready to be started that way. I'm still evaluating what he does and doesn't know, so I can't say how soon I'll be riding him, but I'm hoping he'll be ready in the spring.

Can you believe it? How lucky can one girl be? I'll be sharing more about these guys occasionally as they're sure to play a big part in my life for the next 20-30 years.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sketchbook Sunday - September 9

Busy week! I bought some baby bottle calves, and I've got to feed them twice a day. Plus, I arranged an exciting trip! I'll be leaving this afternoon and coming back tomorrow, and, if all goes well, I'll have some very exciting photos to share of my wildest dreams coming true! Stay tuned!

Draft horse - Did the cheek pieces on the bridle and halter and part of the chin strap on the halter. Still not happy with the chain, so I'll probably be tweaking that more.

Assignment for Art Instruction Schools. Just finishing it up and should get it sent off this week.

Some supplemental practice - sketching the photo of my sister that I entered in the county fair. The face got to be too round, but I'm happy with how the eyes turned out.

I also spent some time framing some prints for the show this coming weekend. If anyone is in the Willmar, MN, area, come visit me at Celebrate Art! Celebrate Coffee! on Saturday, Sept. 15.

Monday, September 3, 2012

2012 County Fair Photos - Still Life

These are the photos I entered in the still life category:

1st place! This photo was taken near Cumberland, WI, in August 2011 with my Fuji FinePix S700. It's my grandpa's grape vine, and I love how the light is hitting the grapes.

1st place! This is one of my favorite photos - I'm even using it as the desktop image on my computer! I took this on my first photo shoot with my Canon Rebel T3 in January 2012. It was shot through the hay hole in an old barn in Freeland Township, Lac qui Parle County, MN. It's a one-of-a-kind shot - the barn roof had collapsed, leaving less distance between the old hay pulley and the loft floor than normal, so I was able to get both in the shot without the pulley being so far away.

2nd place. This photo was taken in August 2011 near Cumberland, WI, with my Fuji FinePix S700. My grandpa's place is one of my favorite places to take photos! He had crazy amounts of apples on his trees last year - they were growing in clusters like grapes! I boosted the colors on this photo and added in a little texture.

2nd place. Here's another photo from my grandpa's place. This one was taken in May 2012 with my Canon Rebel T3. We walked out past the pasture, and these fence posts caught my eye. One of my favorite things about my Canon Rebel is the ability to play with aperture, and I love the results in this photo.

Previous county fair photo posts:
Sport action

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sketchbook Sunday - September 2

Progress this past week:

The figure drawing assignment is coming along. I'm starting to put in the shading.

Starting to work on the long part of the chain on the draft horse. I also did the far rein and the halter strap and rings under the horse's chin.

Sketched another photo from the same event as the draft horse I'm currently drawing. I'm thinking it might be fun to have a pair of them - am I crazy?

These next couple weeks are going to be a lot of prepping for a show on Sept. 15. I hate to beg for sales, but I really need to print some more cards for this show, and my funds are a little low, so if you've been thinking about buying something from my Etsy shop, now would be very good timing!
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