Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Work in progress - Makeda

As promised, here is a photo of the 9x11 painting I started in my art class yesterday. It is still far from finished; I still need to add a lot of shading in the fabric, and I need to add in the really dark shadows on the left side of her face. 

I challenged myself to try some new methods in this painting: 
-I painted wet paint onto wet paper 
-I didn't use any black fineliner lines
-I added salt over the magenta wash to give the fabric some interesting texture
-I painted the shadows and highlights of the face in blue, magenta, and yellow before adding the skin tone

You still kind of have to squint at the painting to see what it will look like...

I'll post the finished painting when it's done.

Monday, January 30, 2012

"Miheret" - 8x8 watercolor illustration

‎"Miheret" - 8x8 watercolor - thank you to Cindy Burt for letting me use her fantastic photograph of her beautiful daughter dancing in the evening sunlight.

This painting was HARD to do, with all the transparent whites that in reality aren't white, but many colors... I'm pleased with the end result though, especially the sun glow. 

Sorry folks, no prints will be sold of this painting, by request of Miheret's mother.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

For-fun ACEO paintings

I'm really enjoying the freedom of being able to paint whenever I feel like it (rather than having the pressure of painting at least one complete painting every day - even if it was self-imposed). I've started several pieces, soon to be finished. Because I hate to waste good paper, I filled the "gaps" with some ACEO paintings.

Hamari woman from Ethiopia - they coat strands of their hair in red clay mixed with oil, and coat their foreheads in the same mixture. 

Young woman wearing a tie-died dress. You may notice that I only initialed these paintings, rather than signing and dating them. I'll sign and date them on the back.
I started these two little paintings in my watercolor class last week. Seeing my very exact method of previous paintings the instructor challenged me to let the colors mix on the wet paper instead of pre-mixing them on the pallet. It was a little scary to be painting pure Venetian red and pure magenta and pure indigo paint into the faces of these women, and letting them mix into shades of brown there. Overall I am very pleased with the effect though! The instructor also challenged me to make the background more interesting by adding some of the colors from the foreground. I may have overdone it a little in the painting of the Hamari woman - but with practice it will get better.

Keep in mind that these paintings are only 2.5"x3.5"... 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Custom 5x7 - Cutest hand dimple EVER!

I am aaaaaalmost done painting Jill's custom 5x7 painting of her daughter. I thought you'd like to see a sneak peek...

Can you believe the cuteness of her hand-dimple?!
Today was also the first day of my watercolor class. This is an evening adult education class through the Community College, and let me tell you folks, they weren't kidding around when they told us to come prepared to jump right in.
Most of the men and women in the class have children and/or grand-children my age, and more than half of them were working on FANTASTIC and very LARGE paintings. I felt like a tiny ant with my comparatively tiny illustrations... however, once I got over the initial shock of how good everyone was/is, the class was a lot of fun. I feel like I am actually going to LEARN something. The instructor gave helpful hints and critiques... I caught myself bristling a little at first, but then reminded myself that he knows what he is doing - I've seen his paintings, and they are a lot better than mine!
I'm trying to step outside of my comfort zone and will try new things (instead of answering with "you want me put red AND blue THERE?! both at once? and let them swim together??! EEEK!" which is what I wanted to say really badly. This is going to be fun! I will be posting some progress pics of the paintings I work on for the class.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Custom Art - 8x10 "Playing in the Dirt"

It has been a while since I posted... I am working on several paintings and other projects right now, and WILL post pictures of each once I am finished. I have several custom orders I am working on right now, and tomorrow I also start taking my (first ever!) watercolor class at the Community College. 

This evening I finished a custom painting for J.C. of her adorable son. She sent me several pictures of him and told me a little bit about him, and we decided that I would paint him playing with a truck in the dirt. I am very happy with how well I captured his likeness. 

It was fun to paint dirt onto his hands, pants, shirt, and legs!

Here is a close-up of his cute little face. Don't you love his curls and sweet smile?

Dear J.C. thank you for supporting our adoption by asking me to paint your son! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Illustrations for a friend

My friend asked me to draw her a few little illustrations for a story she  wrote. These are fairly small, and just drawn with graphite and a black fine-liner, but I thought you might still enjoy seeing them.

It has been a long time since I've drawn anything just with pencils and graphite. I forgot how fun it is... but I also miss the color and depth I can give a picture by adding watercolor! We will see what comes of this little project... 


I have decided to list a few of my little paintings on eBay. In the past I have preferred selling my art on Etsy, but I am following a wise friend's advice that eBay has the potential of reaching a broader audience. So here we go:

These two paintings are the "siblings" to the "Waiting for You" painting that has become one of the favorite prints in my Etsy shop.

Click HERE to get to the eBay listing.

Click HERE to get to the eBay listing.

I've listed a few other original ACEO paintings on eBay, including some "boy" themed ones and some Valentine cupids, as well HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. I will list a few more in the next couple of days. 

All proceeds from my Art sales support our adoption!
~Happy bidding!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Best of 2011 paintings

It is fun for me to go through my now fat folder of ACEO paintings to see which ones I am happiest with. While there are others (such as some of the flower paintings, the chameleons, and the paintings of my boys) that I love very much, the paintings that have sold the most prints on Etsy are the following: 

Thank you all for a great year of supporting my art. I hope you keep on checking back here, as well as in my Etsy shop (see link on the right of my page) and my facebook page to see what new originals and prints I am creating and selling. 

Oh, and did you know that I will soon start selling some of the originals from my Everyday Art project?! If you have a favorite that you are interested in purchasing, please eMail me to see if it's available...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Abstract Acrylic Trio

Over a year ago I started and the abandoned a set of three 8x10 canvas paintings. I came across them while cleaning up my art corner, and decided to paint a new painting over the old one.
 The reds and greens and yellows are parts of the old painting shining through. I had fun with this project. I have a few other old abandoned paintings that I may work over in similar fashion... 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dec 30 - 31 ACEOs - aaaand the 2011 Everyday Art Project is COMPLETE!

The final two ACEO paintings from the 2011 Everyday Art Project are in honor of my two wonderful boys. They haven't been featured as often as I would have thought at the beginning of the year... who knew that I would find myself mainly painting Africa-related art?

These two boys are my life (well, obviously, my husband is, too... but he's not as cute to paint!). They inspire me, make me laugh, make my day with hugs and slobbery kisses, drive me batty with their mischief. These two boys are the best sons a Momma could ask for (and once our Ethiopian adoption is complete, they will be the best big brothers, too!)

Dec 30 ACEO - my wonderful big boy, Mark

Dec 31 ACEO - my little mischief maker, Sean

My Everyday Art project is now complete - 365 little ACEO paintings now have been finished, plus a whole bunch of bigger pieces. Some of my original ACEOs will be for sale (I'll announce it on my FB page, www.facebook.com/mossyrockdesigns) and some I will save for an art show. Some I will also save for myself or my family. If you are in love with one (or several) of my paintings, don't be shy to ask me whether the original will be available...

It is really fun for me to look back through all the paintings. I can definitely see a learning curve - I feel like this challenge really was worth all the hard work. Obviously not all the paintings were stellar. There were some days where I was very close to giving up. Taking a little time every day to paint also gave my daily life a lot of fulfillment. I would encourage every Momma to find something she really loves to do - and DO it regularly.

To those of you who are just beginning painting, or have only thought about it, I would love to encourage you to just go for it. Practice, practice, practice! And don't be afraid of failure... and don't throw your paintings away. A few of the paintings I really didn't like when I first finished them are now my favorites. 

This next year I will be working with a little less structure, and I hope to create some bigger, higher quality paintings rather than many small ones. I also enrolled in my very first ever Watercolor class at the community college! 

I hope you will keep on checking this blog to see my newest paintings...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Dec 26-29 ACEO - A few of my favorite little People

The year of painting is nearly complete - the next few paintings honor 4 very special little people:
Dec 26 ACEO - Wesley

Dec 27 ACEO - Keatt

Dec 28 ACEO - Holden

Dec 29 ACEO - Brady

Dec 22-25 ACEOs: Playing in the Snow

Several other Mommas whose blog I read have recently brought home their children from Ethiopia. It is so fun to see pictures of their little ones playing in the snow for the first time!!! 

Dec 22 ACEO

Dec 23 ACEO

Dec 24 ACEO

Dec 25 ACEO