Pom Pom


Looking like it is done… and in time for Christmas



Three in One – Beyaz, Topal and Hassas

10/21/16 – And it is done.

Finished and delivered.  What a treat and challenge. Learned some new techniques that I will use again. Feel much more comfortable with using color now.

So the specs: 16 x 20 on soft press watercolor paper, watercolor, color pencil and graphite.

Trio in White

Not the best photo, a little washed on the left by the light source.

8/27/16 Final Push!

I will call it close.  Now for Beyaz on the right. Some work on the plan on the right as well.  Then some final touches a little more detail on all the dogs and it should be done.  I’m planning for mid September.  So a couple more weeks!

August Update

August Update






Gosh, it has been a month since I last updated this.  And in truth, I haven’t been able to get much time on it as I’d like. And what progress there is is hard to tell.  I’ve been working on the plants of late.  These were first put in with a watercolor wash, then I’ve been going back with color pencil to build up the detail and depth.  This weekend I focused back on the tiles, again adding more layer with watercolor pencil.  And finally adding some color to the dog (Haasas) on the left as well as more detail.  The center dog (Topal) is starting to get the initial layers of graphite before adding some color to her as well.

july 10 update

Slowly building up detail and color


Continuing to block in the foreground and Hassas.  Doing some work on the plants behind Hassas, more to go in contrast and detail there. Once I get the pencil work done on the dogs, I’ll wash with some color to bring out the shadows and highlights.




Now for laying in some of the graphite on Hassas.



Getting the darker values established with the pots and wall behind the dogs.  At this point I’m mostly working with color pencil.



Making progress, I’ve started adding color pencil to the watercolor wash.  The dogs are still masked off.



Well, unfortunately the paper I had chosen just didn’t stand up as expected.  So before getting to far into the color I regrouped on a heavier paper.  So now it is masked and I’m starting to block in color. using water color washes at this point..

The dogs are masked off with maskit and cling wrap so as to keep them clean and white for now.


4/26/16 – Work begins on final drawing

Size 16 x 20 on hot press watercolor.  Will be using graphite, watercolor, watercolor pencil.

First step is the layout on the final paper and start blocking light and dark areas.

First step - layout

First step – layout


Nearing completion of the 8 x 10.  Ironed out technique and most of the technical bits.  So, the technical details are hot press watercolor paper, water soluble color pencil and graphite pencil.

8 x 10 prelim

8 x 10 prelim



Revamping slightly the pots and plants, which should better offset the white dogs.

updated draft

Updated draft drawing


8 x 10 layout in progress.  Once this is completed then the final drawing will start.  Working out technique and color mostly now.  Using graphite pencil, water soluble graphite and graphitint pencils on a hot press watercolor paper with a pretty smooth texture for watercolor.


The plan is to complete the color blocking and then go back with graphite to bring up the details.

2/5/16 – Color mock ups – Min – Muted – Bold

Now, which direction to go – how much color to use or not use – that is the question…

Minimal color idea

Minimal color idea


Muted color idea

Muted color idea

Bold color idea

Bold color idea


Back to it after finishing the Pom Pom drawing for Christmas.  Now starting to work out options for applying some color.  More to come this weekend… but here is a teaser.

initial color ideas

initial color ideas



Background pretty much defined.  Considering small amount of tint (color) in the background.  I think that would compliment the bit of color to be introduced in the dogs later.



This week has been spent working out the background now that the perspective has been ironed out.  So here are a couple of images… the first is a Photoshop with the composition and an idea for a background.  The second is the first small (5 x 7) thumbnail using the ideas.  In this one I’m working on little bits of the layout that need to be adjusted.  Sometimes it isn’t until I start with the pencil and laying it out “hands on” instead of via a computer screen that composition corrections become more obvious.







Fine tuning work this weekend on the layout.  The original is more of a view as if standing in front looking down at the dogs.  The other is more from their eye level.

Perspective options


Veterans Day

Spent some time the past weekend and again today working on the layout.  Is the perspective correct? What modifications to make that might create a little more of the story and feeling I’m trying to achieve.  I’m gong to do some small studies next of each of the dogs to see what works or doesn’t with some color introduced to the graphite.

Update on Veteran's Day


Work starts

First order of business is to start playing with sketches of each of the dogs to become familiar with each of them.

Trio on the Board



Introduction to the new project

What great dogs these three.  I had the chance to meet them and their owner and friends a couple of months ago.  Sweet dogs, each different, and each pretty much white.  All rescues.

So here are Beyaz, Topal and Hassas


So this project is going to be a larger one, with the three grouped in a portrait layout.  Mostly graphite work, however there will be some hints of color.  Interesting and challenging project.

And here is the basic plan to be executed:

Project Plan Trio


This will take the better part of the winter to complete.  So stay tuned for progress updates over the next weeks and months.



Thanks to their owners and friends for allowing the opportunity to create this portrait!


Old Olympia Brewery

1/22/14 – Ok, now it is done.







And the result is…  not quite done.  I’m going to put it away for a few days and come back to it with fresher eyes.

But… I did enjoy working on it.  I “fought” the color for the first few days.  How to use it, how to get it to do what I wanted it to do, at least what I thought I wanted it to do.  Then, as I became more familiar with how the pencils handled, what happened with different layering, different pressures, it started fighting it less and enjoying the effects of layering and blending.


So, the idea was to take the old Olympia Brewery in Tumwater as it currently sits in its state, still standing but in a sad state of neglect and ruin.  Then think about what it once was, when it was first built and put into service in 1906.  It was fun reading about some of the old history and visiting the current site imagining what it once looked like.  So, I took that image of lost days of its youth and put that in the reflection on the water.  Keeping with the idea of the old black and white photos (and my love of pencil), I rendered the reflection in graphite only.  Showing the building in tact and the houses on the hillside behind the brewery, now obliterated by the wall of trees and foliage that has retaken the hillside.


Project Complete.  What a treat to do these two dogs.  Going from curly rough coats of Irish Terriers to smooth black and tan was a fun shift it techniques too.  One thing about dogs is an almost endless supply of challenges in rendering coats as well as personality. 🙂



Should have it done by the end of the Memorial Weekend.  Untitled_Panorama1 websmWhat a lovely weekend for weather here!  Took the drawing board outside for the afternoon yesterday and was able to make some good progress.  (I’ll mow the lawn tomorrow…)Untitled_Panorama3_web_sm

4/14 – Where did April go???  A couple of sunny days had me out planting a tree and vines and moving patio stones… planned to be a little further along by now.  But, looks like O’Sigh is getting close to being done.  Am gong to move to Isis now and will pull together finishing on both of them when she is at about the same place.osigh-and-isis0005 3/17/13 – Happy St. Patrick’s Day!Untitled_Panorama13/10/13 – work to date


My new project is another commission of two beautiful rottweiler dogs.  Smaller this time and lots of black, so should be yet another challenge to not only capture their individual looks, one soft and a bit “come hither” and the other intense and full of energy, but also the various shades of black and tan.  Enjoy 😉  I am going to !


ISIS_25_sm osigh-and-isis0003

Irish Terriers

8/7/2012 – Rosie and Dylan, finished.  What a fun project.  I learned a bunch about the texture of wire haired coats.


7/3/2012 – I think I’ll be done by the 4th.  Getting close now.

6/25/2012 – Won’t be long now…

6/9/2012 Progress!  I got to meet Dylan a couple of weeks ago.  What a charmer.  And so so so helpful to see the subject first hand.  I had just started working on his drawing so I was able to see the textures, build, size first had.  Thanks Linda!

Rosie and Dylan

Currently on the Drawing Board…

Has been a very busy month, but I’ve managed to find bits of time to do some more work on Rosie.  Muzzle and right side now about 60% done.  I’m hoping to get started on Dylan this weekend

section nearly done 4/12

4/10/2012 Progress on Rosie

I’ve been working on the final drawing for a few days now.  Starting with Rosie and will work from left to right – more or less…  Size it too large to scan so I’m left taking photos to post.  Lighting leaves a lot to be desired, but hopefully you get the idea!


I’ve taken the info from the customer and made a few changes, then did a small ( 5×7 ) mock up.  So here is where it stands as of this morning’s work…

Draft layout, now to fine tune the characteristics…

A couple more ideas, a little more space, and closed mouth on both…. hmmmm….

 2/14 – compositions

At this point I’m working on fine tuning the composition.  The layout will be landscape.  Here are a couple of ideas…

New Drawing –

Well here goes.  My next project has started, and it should be fun and challenging.  This one is much larger then I’ve done in a few years, that alone will be a challenge.  The dogs are Irish Terriers, both with loads of personality and very different from each other.  The roughed up composition is below.  Now to fine tune that to reflect the 2 individuals.  Round eyes vs almond eyes, short rough coat vs longer softer coat, stately and dignified vs the rougue ball of energy.  Hopefully I can capture bits of that in this drawing!

How a drawing takes shape.

Thought it might be fun to show some of the progressions for some recent work. In general I start with a set of photos of the subject and rough out a composition. Often that includes using Photoshop to move bits around. It is much faster then sketching up different arrangements.

So for the piece I did with the bicycle a year or so ago, I started with the idea… a bike, a wall, ivy, distant hills. After several iterations in photoshop, I transferred the line drawing to the paper and started the pencil work.

I usually work from left to right, although I do move around a fair bit to get a feel for the whole piece and how the values are working – or not – as a whole.


The bike behind the house. The inspiration for the drawing.


An idea for the fence. Needed a way to have the viewer get to the other side of the fence.

The basic idea for the distant hills in the drawing.

A photoshopped layout with a value bar for reference.

Then I lay it it out, sharpen the pencils, and get lost in the drawing!

Early stages.

About midway into it.

The end result.