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02-06-2005, 11:59 PM
Basic 101: Class 12

Swabs: Not Just for Ears Anymore!

Last time, we feature noted charcoal and graphite artist, Nancy Anthony. Nancy claim to fame are her marvelously drawn portraits in graphite and charcoal. The other thing that she is famous for is her ability to create an underpainting using either charcoal or graphite.

Many of you use swabs like Q-Tips or Johnson’s Baby Swabs for hygienic purposes. You should not really stick them in your ears but people do—it just seems like the natural thing to do with the darn things. I experimented with several types of swabs for this project and discover a few things:

1. Use a hard, stiff swab as opposed to a flexible one if you are using Q-tips or Johnson Baby Swabs..

2. working the blending in a circular motion while applying gentle pressure seems to work best.

3. You can load the cotton with the graphite or charcoal—my way of doing it was by twirling the swab across a rectangular piece of charcoal. This seems to produce a uniform load of charcoal.

I am doing a demonstration of a dolphin using what is called a buccal swab. A buccal swab is a DNA collection device that you find in paternity home test kits or you may see them used in courtrooms (child support cases) or on television cheese fests such as Montel or Maury.

I have them color coded—pink for mother, blue for father and yellow for the child—I used a pink one for the dolphin.

Buccal swabs are glorified Q-tips. The only difference is that they are conveniently long. You can obtain these swabs at any drug store—they might also be called surgical or culture swabs. They are convenient because the long handle means that you can hold the swabs like a pencil. The other benefit is that because they are sterile, they come wrapped in separate packages which means that you can replace them in the package for later re-use with no fuss or mess.

About the Demo—as you now know, I now place the demo instructions on the photo so that you can observe my comments along side the drawing. I worked from a photo reference as well as from a pencil sketch that I absent-mindedly doodled off onto a phone log.

Now, because I did the dolphin this week, I thought that it would be a nice break for us if we steered away from inanimate objects for the week and did an animal. I am supplying the photos from Reference Library for you to use. The photos are copyright free and were donated courtesy of WC member and noted animal photographer, Crias to the WC Image library. Also, Katherine T is using the same photos in the color pencil forum. I pm’d her to let her know that I wanted to use them and she graciously consented so go check out her thread in the cp forum “bad hair day” to see what the cp artist will be doing with this subject. For our purposes, the projects for this week are to help strengthen your familiarity with charcoal.

Here are the instructions:




Here is the demo:

02-07-2005, 12:00 AM
Here is part two of the demo

02-07-2005, 12:01 AM
Here are the reference photos for you to try. Have fun with this—they are living creatures and so try to impart something of their personality into your drawing. Again, have fun!!

02-07-2005, 12:02 AM







02-07-2005, 03:59 AM
Hey, how come you get to do a nice, smooth animal for your demo and then you give us very, very hairy creatures to do! :wink2: :D They all have lots of personality, though! :)

02-07-2005, 05:46 AM
Morning All :wave:

Love these animals! Such personality they have! LOL

Regarding the buccal swabs. Do they hold their shape, the cotton end? I used a couple regular q-tips B4 and the cotton end just became very loose and therefore hard to manage. A couple of dips in powered charcoal and it was shot.

02-07-2005, 06:32 AM
It depends, Judi--I noticed that happens with the generic ones (the ones with the plastic handles more frequently)--but the Q-Tip brand name does hold its shape--the buccal swabs with the plastic handles did hold their shape as well.

Hey, Dave: heh, heh, heh :evil: I had not immediate plans to use animals until I ran into Kathernines CP thread. :)

Mary Woodul
02-07-2005, 07:59 AM
Good morning JayD, Judi and Dave. This will be fun, thank you JayD. Now I know what a buccal swab is. :o

02-07-2005, 09:09 AM
Yep, Mary you have buccal cells all inside your mouth--an excellent source of dna.

Judi, when you use the swab or q-tip--try holding the swab closer to the head in order to keep it stiff. You should not have so much trouble with the head falling about. Also, hurrying through this procedure will make the head fall apart so take your time. :)

02-07-2005, 09:39 AM
Hey, how come you get to do a nice, smooth animal for your demo and then you give us very, very hairy creatures to do! :wink2: :D They all have lots of personality, though! :)

Hmmm....I agree. Even Zarathrustra's great demos don't have any furry animals. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled to get to draw furry animals - its just that I can't wrap my mind around how to do them in charcoal. :confused: Is it OK if I do a horse from my Sam Savitt book instead? Just so I might end up with a drawing that I could actually keep and show people - the ones you chose are too funny - kind of novelty poses. :D
JayD - Sorry to start out complaining (why change now she says). :cat:

02-07-2005, 10:10 AM

What is the smiling guy at the end????

02-07-2005, 10:21 AM

What is the smiling guy at the end????

Looks like a very happy llama to me!

02-07-2005, 10:34 AM
Barb, you can draw what ever you want--just as long as it is an animal and that you use the technique discussed in this topic. :)

02-07-2005, 11:09 AM
Jay -I am wondering what size your dolphin drawing is? Larger would give room for detail, smaller would mean less dragging of charcoal. What is the optimal size? I have a photo of a close-up a giraffe's head that I took. might take that out to try.

Cathie Jones
02-07-2005, 11:30 AM
Afraid I have to add my 'carp' to Barb's. Nice, smooth dolphin you demo'd with, JayD, now please demo how to do rough and/or curly fur with swabs! :D

02-07-2005, 11:45 AM
Barb and CJ--come on now--you can do these but I will give you a tip about the fur. Don't use the sticks--use charcoal pencils. I use prismacolor charcoal pencils for the dolphin. also, fur should be work as shapes of mass first then fine detail added last.

connie--I usually work either 8.5 x 11 or 8.5 X 14--I rarely go bigger because I have limited space.

02-07-2005, 12:39 PM
Hi Everyone! :wave: The pdf link for class 12 is in my signature and the pdf has been sent to Jay, Cathie and Deb!

I know I'm not around much anymore and I have no excuse. This last week has been the best I've felt since Christmas so I took that opportunity to paint and paint some more.

I just stopped in to say hi and to let you know the pdf is available if you would like it for your files! :D


Fireman's kid
02-07-2005, 12:41 PM
Hi all! Looks like another week of wondering "How the h*ll" am I going to draw that?!?" The good news, or bad news depending on how you look at it, is that I wonder this every week! lol :D

I have to say I love that last picture! What a jolly looking creature! I might have to try him just because I think his expression would make me smile the whole time no matter how difficult the drawing was. That's what I'm telling myself anyway. :p

02-07-2005, 12:47 PM
Yep, Mary you have buccal cells all inside your mouth--an excellent source of dna.

Judi, when you use the swab or q-tip--try holding the swab closer to the head in order to keep it stiff. You should not have so much trouble with the head falling about. Also, hurrying through this procedure will make the head fall apart so take your time. :)

I used a q-tip to blend the water in my turtle drawing last week. I tried several techniques: pressing very softly; changing hand position from being close to tip to holding it at the extreme other end. All ultimately resulted in the cotton head becoming a floppy mop! Best suggestion...have plenty of q-tips!!!

Hey JayD...idea :evil:
Turtle is an animal.
I used the q-tip technique in that drawing.
Do I get a bye on Lesson 12? :evil: :evil:


02-07-2005, 01:02 PM
Hi all! Looks like another week of wondering "How the h*ll" am I going to draw that?!?"

Everybody's giving you a hard time today JayD. :evil: :D

02-07-2005, 01:16 PM
Uh oh, looks like I've caused trouble again! :evil: :D

CJ, Hillberry, the book you did your report on, has tips on fur! Here's what he says.

"At first glance, drawing fur looks intimidating. [He's got that right!] That's why the best approach is to simplify everything [by drawing a dolphin instead?]. To begin, map out only the major shapes of the fur. Simplify all the different values to light, medium and dark. Follow the direction the fur grows to tone the values. Use charcoal for the dark values and a stump or tortillon for the medium values. Leave the lightest areas white. Next, add overlapping strands of fur with an eraser pen and hard pencils. To make dark fur overlap light fur, simply draw the fur with an HB charcoal pencil or tortillon. To make light fur overlap darker fur, use the eraser pen to cut back into the dark values."

So now you know!! :wink2:

02-07-2005, 01:38 PM

Joe--do another one--show us how its done! :)

02-07-2005, 01:53 PM
Jay..this looks like it's going to be a fun week. I think I'll attempt Lassie peering into the well :D

Ann, thanks...I just downloaded the pdf version of lesson 12. Sorry to hear that you are still not 100% well. Hope you get there soon.


Cathie Jones
02-07-2005, 02:38 PM
Nice try, Joe! ;)

Stacy, I'm with you, girl. I always wonder what makes JayD think we'd be here if we could draw (insert weekly demo here) . . . but somehow we get it done.

Dave - your first suggestion made me laugh - thanks! But now I'm imagining a dolphin with curly sheep wool! Hillberry makes it look easy, doesn't he?

JayD, may I please borrow your wife for a few days? We're still having an awful time with PageMaker. Can't get some of our pages to go through the distiller and create a pdf, and the Adobe people haven't been able to figure out what's stopping the process . . . some pages work, some don't. And now some of my inserted graphics have turned into solid grey boxes.

Anyway, I'll have to worry about animals after that's fixed - it's already time to start the March issue and we don't have Feb out yet!!!

Fireman's kid
02-07-2005, 02:41 PM

Now, where is the fun in that?!! Who could we complain to then? We need someone to blame. :evil: :p

CJ - You snuck in while I was giving Jay a hard time again. But you got my point exactly...
I always wonder what makes JayD think we'd be here if we could draw (insert weekly demo here) . . . but somehow we get it done.
Somehow, despite all of our moaning and groaning, we figure it out.

02-07-2005, 03:13 PM
I have been with you folks for over 12 weeks and I have seen in every one of you a tremendous improvement. I believe in you despite yourselves! :D You are the best group of students that I have ever encountered in any type of class that I have taught. You've my first time in a drawing class an enjoyable one.

You all CAN do this---if you are up to the challenge. :evil:

by the way--what is fur anyway--it is hair--look at the Nietzche demonstration in the field trip. I will see if I can draw up a demo for you in the next couple of nights OR I a may do one of these myself.

02-07-2005, 04:23 PM
I have been with you folks for over 12 weeks and I have seen in every one of you a tremendous improvement. I believe in you despite yourselves! :D You are the best group of students that I have ever encountered in any type of class that I have taught. You've my first time in a drawing class an enjoyable one.You all CAN do this---if you are up to the challenge. :evil:

Sorry we are giving you a hard time JayD and Thank you for your confidence in us. I will do a horse in charcoal and I will like it~ :evil: :D

02-07-2005, 05:59 PM
Hi everyone,
I love the animals Jay & I found those swabs I bought 25 for 3 dollars at CVS. They are reasonable and so neat to work with. :) Thanks for a new technique this will be so much fun. :clap:

02-07-2005, 06:04 PM
Thanks, Sultry--at least somebody loves me. :crying: :D :D

Mary Woodul
02-07-2005, 06:20 PM
Hi everyone. :wave: Hi JayD, we all love ya!!!

I'm posting my preliminary because I don't know what I'm doing and just want to know if I'm on the right track. JayD, don't think I didn't like your selection of photos, it is just that I've had my eye on this guy for a long time now, but I'll post a reference picture because you can't make heads or tails of the drawing right now. This sheep is surrounded by others so there will be light and dark furs around him. Do I shade all first and then erase to ge the whitish fur?

02-07-2005, 06:22 PM
Psst...youse guys... I think Sgt Sults is kissing up to the boss. :evil:

Off to lookfor dolphin ref.... and a hairy animal pic. :cool:


02-07-2005, 06:25 PM
Oh my, this was such fun to read when I got home (furry dolphins!). LOL.

I got the buccal swabs too. I didn't get the individually wrapped ones, I got 100 for 90 cents! I figured I can put them in an envelope for reuse.

JayD, the cotton certainly does seem much, much tighter. Glad I found them!

02-07-2005, 06:25 PM
Psst...youse guys... I think Sgt Sults is kissing up to the boss. :evil:

Off to look for dolphin ref pic.... and a hairy animal pic. :cool:


Mary - You posted while I was typing...Great Start!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:
I guess that's what happens when you work instead of looking to get out of work. :D

02-07-2005, 06:33 PM
How come when I edited the previous post, it posted a duplicate? anyone? what I do wrong?


02-07-2005, 06:37 PM
Hey Joe :music:
Don't know why you are starting to repeat yourself! :D :D

02-07-2005, 06:39 PM
Ohhhhh Mary, That is looking so-o-o-o-o fabulous! :clap: :clap: :clap:

02-07-2005, 06:40 PM
That's one of the few times being of a certain age helps...it provides an excuse. :D

02-07-2005, 06:48 PM
Just wondering if I can pluck up the courage to ask for buccal swabs in the pharmacy tomorrow! Are you sure that's what they're called in England?

02-07-2005, 07:01 PM
Dave, Mine are called Cotton tipped applicators by Puritan and the pharmacist pointed them out to me. They were not with the Q-tips.

Hey, here's another personality plus animal my daughter took a pick of on a field trip. Imagine her suprise when she said "say cheese" :D

02-07-2005, 07:09 PM
Dave, paternity test kits contain buccal swabs. You want ether surgical or culture swabs--q-tips are good and a bevy of other brand names.

02-07-2005, 07:11 PM
Not sure you can get paternity testing kits over the counter here...think I might stick with Q-tips!

Mary Woodul
02-07-2005, 07:22 PM
Just wondering if I can pluck up the courage to ask for buccal swabs in the pharmacy tomorrow! Are you sure that's what they're called in England?
Dave, I just came back, no luck, I ended up saying I wanted to touch up a canker sore in my :( throat and they told me to go to the Dr., sooooo, I'll stick to the Qtip.

Thank you Joe and Judi.

No buccal swab....... :crying:

02-07-2005, 07:45 PM
lol well I bought the wrong kind Mary and I am keeping them though. I opened up the package and they are wet with lemon glycerin. lol oh well. I will go back to CVS and tell them now sell me some dry ones. lol
Anyways, these blend pretty good too, if you do not do heavy rubbing with them.
Hey I like how your goat is coming along. Great Job Mary :clap: When you do the fur yes you shade first. Then go back with a kneaded eraser or pencil one. when you have all the texture in how you want it, just detail in the fur lines here and there to get the feeling of fur. Always remember to have the lines go one way and to follow ref pic as that is how the fur grows.

02-07-2005, 08:23 PM
Mary, I like it. You are doing fine--you've probably noticed this already but this is very much a painting process. Don't be in too much of a hurry to add detail. For now, focus on building up the values. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Mary Woodul
02-07-2005, 09:02 PM
Thank You! JayD and Sults. I 'll work on the values first. Lol Sults, that would make a messy mess with the charcoal. :eek:

Ann, hope you feel better soon so we can see you more.

Goodnight, Judi, Cathie, Stacy, Joe, Connie, Cleo and good morning in a little bit, Blah and Dave. :wave:

Cathie Jones
02-08-2005, 12:53 AM
YIPPPEEEEE . . . one last call to Adobe, and a lovely girl (I'm SURE she's lovely!) named Cory told me it was in the graphics! Guess I just needed to talk to them myself . . . DH doesn't understand metafiles and bmps and tifs, but she made perfect sense to me. So . . . we're on the road to getting the Feb and March issues out about the same time. Still lots of work to do on this one, but it's working right now. JayD, tell your wife that I thank her for the offer of help. Maybe I can sleep tonight . . .

Mary . . . I have three words for your 'start' . . . :clap: :clap: :clap:

Joe - if you thing Sgt Sults is suckin' up, you should have seen Dave a couple of weeks ago - teacher's pet!!

Good night all . . .

Katherine T
02-08-2005, 03:28 AM
We have a few more piccies from Crias (and Catmartin) over in the thread in CP ("Who hasn't had a bad hair day?"). This is the link http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=248732&page=3&pp=15 for page 3 where most of then are. Photos are in posts 9, 19 and 36 (but also read 37 and 38 for the hyperlinks and copyright comments).

They include a nice smooth one for the follically challenged! :D

We've also started to post the results.

02-08-2005, 03:59 AM
I don't think I've done fur in charcoal before, but I wouldn't imagine there's anything special to it. Just remember you have hard and soft edges (plus all combinations inbetween), and fur is almost always going to give you some pretty soft edges (especially with charcoal - perhaps if you were a photorealist using pencil you might want to empathise every strand of hair!). I would sharpen a piece of vine charcoal, and follow the basic direction of the fur and then use a blending stump, still following the direction of the fur, to soften it (don't over do it though!).

02-08-2005, 06:30 AM
Morning :wave: , Got a good nites sleep last nite, lost internet signal around 9 and didn't get it back till who knows when.
Worked out my furry animal and posting stage 1. It reminds me of paint by number. I hope the proportions and everything are good. I'm sure errors will jump out in the post as they always do. I got him out of the reference library.

Hey JayD, My swabs are made by Puritan Medical products and did a comparison w/ the q-tips (name brand) and the Puritans win hands down. They may not say buccal, but they work great!

Thanks Katherine T for the additional images and Gavin for the info!

02-08-2005, 06:32 AM
Hey, Gavin--just for kicks I was thinking of putting together a fur demo unless you, the expert (pressure is on) would like to take a stab at it. :evil:

One thing that EVERYBODY must remember is to keep to the basic shapes first and then build upon them--let me use Donnie Osmond Lama as an example:

1. The bridge of the nose is triangular

2. There is a big black valentine on the tip of his nose

3. Under the nose there are two more valentine shapes

4. The mouth looks like a sherriff's badge or shield

5. The hair (forelocks is shaped like a big upside down fruit bowl

The fur is the VERY LAST thing that you should worry about but when doing fur as in doing hair--start by drawing the simple shapes first--masses that form specific shapes and then slowly build from there.

Hope this helps everyone!

02-08-2005, 07:42 AM
Sorry I haven't been in here in awhile.I'm about 8 classes behind lol.Very well done JayD.I've looked back at some of the classes and wow is all I can say.Wish now I wouldn't have just threw something down on paper quick for the demo :(.I see this is very helpful and very fun at same time.This is the best forum and i'm glad im a part of it.Ill try to catch up some :wave:

02-08-2005, 09:44 AM
HI, Bon!!! Always good to have you hanging around--pull up a chair and grab a Llama! :D

I'm going to start work on another demo tonight and I thought I would also take a charcoal nip at Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring just for fun. :)

Mary Woodul
02-08-2005, 02:41 PM
Hi everyone! :wave:

Looks like everyone is busy,busy :confused:

CJ, thank you, and I am so glad that you got your problem fixed. It sounded so complicated to me.

Thank you Catherine and Gavin for the pointers. I'm dying to do one of those messy hair one's.

Judi, wow, that lion already looks stately. I can imagine what he will look like at the end in your hands.

Hey :wave: Bon.

Hi JayD, I think I have established my values and now have to work on some details, although I wouldn't want to over do it. BTW, can you spray charcoal before it is finished, or do you wait till the end?

02-08-2005, 03:03 PM
Mary - He looks terrific :clap:

Judi - Nice choice of furball, he looks great so far.

02-08-2005, 03:18 PM
Mary - That ram is great! Ram or sheep or whatever he/she is - nice work!
I don't know the answer about spraying before finishing.

02-08-2005, 03:45 PM
Mary, WOW!!!! Great job--you've done the underpainting and established the values--now it is time to add the details--did you notice how almost close to photographic this is becoming? You can certainly add a layer or two of fixative but remember that will NOT make charcoal smudge free so still be careful with it.

Cathie Jones
02-08-2005, 05:00 PM
Mary, he's wonderful! How much would you charge to do my lesson for this week? :evil: :D

02-08-2005, 05:06 PM
Mary, WOW!! :clap: :clap: I'm speechless with admiration. Doesn't look like it needs much more to me!

Judi, that's a lot of detail...did you do that with cotton swabs?

Mary Woodul
02-08-2005, 05:16 PM
Mary, he's wonderful! How much would you charge to do my lesson for this week? :evil: :D
Thank you CJ.....your collection of smileys. :evil:

Thank you JayD, I am happy with this one. I will spray it and tomorrow continue with some details.

Cleo, Barbara, and Dave, thank you for your comments. :D

02-08-2005, 06:11 PM
Judy - Lion looks really good. :clap:

Mary - AWESOME! and you ain't even done!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Since I can't talk my way out of Lesson 12:p , I've decided to go with the hairy bull from the cp forum...so it is off to work. See y'all tomorrow.


02-08-2005, 06:23 PM
JayD, Thanks for the breakdown on the 'Donnie Osmond Llama' (LOL)

CJ, I'm with Mary on this, sounded complicated and I am glad you got it done!

Thanks Mary, Cleo, Dave and Joe.

Mary! You should be happy! Fabulous!!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Dave, That is my draft. Going to transfer to good paper and start the charcoal tonite. (Whoops, and I just read we weren't asked to post these, we were to post the underpainting :o :o )

Cathie Jones
02-08-2005, 07:16 PM
That's okay, Judi, I'm intimidated enough by your drawing . . . never mind the underpainting!!!

Mary, if I knew how to get the smilies to you, we'd have a deal. :evil: :angel: (don't tell JayD, okay?) There are way too many to e-mail. However - if you go to Smiley Central you can download one of the best collections in town. They're hard to use here, but great for e-mail. Just make sure you have good spyware protection - they send a ton of it!

Still have a few nights of work to do, but at least now I can think about what I want to draw for this lesson . . . and if DH goes to his meeting tomorrow night, I can work on it. :D

02-08-2005, 08:36 PM
I am pleased with the pictures that I chose for this class but let me tell you that I now know why the Masters NEVER painted a damned Llama! :D

02-08-2005, 08:36 PM
I've been pretty faithful about doing the lessons, even if I don't get here to chat very often, but this week probably will be different. My daughter and her baby have been sick and I have spent as much time as I can helping out. Then at the end of the week, I will go to Florida for several days. North Georgia doesn't have the terrible weather that places up north do, but I get down just waiting for warmer weather, so the plans for this have helped me through the worst of the winter here. My fingers are crossed that I will not get sick now. My assignment will happen.

02-08-2005, 08:40 PM
Connie, I wish I were going with you--hope your daughter is better and please enjoy your trip and dont worry about us. We will wish you the very best for you vacation, Wait in great anticipation for your return and will be pleased upon your return. Enjoy!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

02-08-2005, 08:41 PM
Hi everyone :wave:
Thank you CJ for the cat and I am glad you will be able to get your work out finally.
Wow Judi you have such detail in your lion first sketch. Very good portions as well. :)
Mary I love the texture of the fur it looks like wool. I see that you have also included all the other animals (so is that extra credit)?

Thank you Dave, Stacy and Joe for the well wishes. I Went to the Dr today and found out I have a fractured rib (from a fall I took in August) and my shoulder has some how been affected. I like my prescription :) Plenty of massages and warm tea wraps. Plus some work outs for my left arm and ankle. He saw my ankle and said it should not be so swollen. lol oh well, that break happened 2 years ago. I may need to get the pins out though.
I have so much catching up to do now.

02-08-2005, 08:52 PM
Yeh JayD, just can't picture a llama alongside a Masters in a museum. :D LOL You did post great pics!

Connie, So sorry your daughter and grandchild are ill! :( Hope all get well soon. :) Take care and get some warmth from the sun! See you soon.

Sults, what a relief, not that a fractured rib is any party :( , but with all the procrastination of what it might have been, wasn't. :clap: :clap: :clap: Medicine good, massages :wink2: good, physical therapy good too!

Mary Woodul
02-08-2005, 08:59 PM
Thank you Joe and Judi for your comments.

CJ...it's a deal. :D

Connie, take care and have a safe trip.

Sults, I missed out on something, I didn't know about your ribs. Take good care of your shoulder and do the exercises because that helps a lot. I fell and dislocated my arm not long ago but I worked on it with exercise and now at times I forget which one it was. Lol, I hadn't thought of the extra credit and there are a least four. :D

JayD, just by looking at the llama's smile I can tell, it's trouble. :D

Fireman's kid
02-08-2005, 10:50 PM
Hi all! Looks like a lot is going on here tonight. (Well at least it is night for me.)

Mary - Your ram looks great! Actually, all of them do. You should definitely get extra credit. :D

CJ - I know you've had a rough couple of weeks but no cheating now. At least not until you tell me what I'll get for keeping it quiet. :evil:

Judi - I see such patience in your initial drawing! Wow! I can't wait to see the next step.

Connie - I am sorry to hear your daughter and her baby have been sick. I hope you stay healthy so you can enjoy your trip. There is nothing quite like a warm get-away in the middle of winter. :)

Sults - I am glad to hear you will soon be on the mend, although i must agree with (the other) Judi that a fractured rib is no party. Hope you can enjoy those massages anyway!

As for me...today while I sat waiting for my daughters during their dance class, I decided to sketch out the Alpaca to get a feel for the shapes. I ended up with a very rough sketch in graphite. (I couldn't use charcoal. I was sitting in a light gray, almost white, leather chair. :eek: ) The sketch took me roughly 45 minutes and I didn't get to the darks. I will transfer this to another piece of paper tomorrow so I can do it in charcoal.

I noticed that the eye is too big and not round enough. I may also need some longer bits of "bangs" over the snout. (Is that what it is called?) Please let me know if you see any other changes which I need to make for the charcoal drawing. Thanks!

02-08-2005, 11:05 PM
Hey Stacy! Good to see you and thanks.
I think this is looking great. :clap:
Besides what you mentioned, his/her upper lip area needs to be fuller. Big Kisser! :D and his nostral area needs to be fuller as well. His jowl needs to sag a bit more (middle age I guess) and angle the neck line needs adjusted. That's from a comparason w/ JayDs original.
That's all I see.

Fireman's kid
02-08-2005, 11:13 PM
Thanks Judi!

I agree with everything you said! In fact, I think part of the problem with the jowl area is that I have his whole "snout" too long. If I correct that it will be easier to make him more jowly.

Maybe that will make him cuter too. I didn't think my drawing was anywhere as near as cute as the reference.

Speaking of cute, any female 101ers (or male 101ers for that matter :evil: ) who have a thing for Sean Connery, I recommend you read the CP thread where these references were originally posted. I thought it was hysterical! :D

02-08-2005, 11:27 PM
I'm kind of sketching my way through this one because I am also drawing the Vemeer piece "Girl With a Pearl Earring" but I wanted to give Donnie Lllama a shot. I am not sure Arches was the way to go but I am going to continue. Right now I am sketching but will try to develop this over the next few days. Also, I am just creating a road map for the fur so that I can keep the direction the fur constant:

02-08-2005, 11:50 PM
Well, well ... Guess who didn't save her homework until Sunday night this week.

I must agree that JayD doing a demo of a smooth dolphin and then seeing the photos we were to choose from was a shock. I thought they were impossible, and went looking for another smooth animal to do instead. I found a cougar, which reminded me of the Penn State Nittany Lion, a nice smooth animal sculpture, a photo of which I just happened to have, but funny thing - this little guy kept calling me, challenging me to do his curly head. So I am going to try to do the goat.

From JayD's directions, we are to do the first layer with the Q-tip and then post before going any further. I am using charcoal pencil, and a common Johnson & Johnson Q-tip because that's what I had at hand. Here is my first layer of the goat. I can see after posting that his nose isn't as long as it should be.



02-08-2005, 11:59 PM
Gee, Judi and Mary, it's a good thing I didn't read thru before posting my attempt, because if I had seen your work I might have been to embarrassed to post mine.

JayD - I'm glad you decided to do a furry creature too.

Sults, ouch!!! I hope your rib and your ankle feel better soon.

Connie, hope your daughter and baby get better soon. Don't worry about the lessons, you can catch up when you get back. We all need a break from the winter weather.


02-09-2005, 01:56 AM
Everyone looks doing so great... I :envy: you :D...

Judi your lion drawing is terrific, will be great once finished...

Mary those sheeps turned out very beautiful...

Stacy, you llama looks good, they do have big eyes...

Michelle a very good start... I will probably be doing from the same ref photo... all I need is some time... and when I have time I procrastinate :rolleyes:

JayD, doing that demo is very kind of you, this is probably your most difficult lesson so far...

02-09-2005, 05:51 AM
What do you mean the masters didn't paint llamas. Surely you've heard of the Mona Llama? It's weird how its eyes follow you around the room, isn't it? :wink2:

02-09-2005, 05:59 AM
Connie, sorry to hear about the illness in your family. Wish I was going to Florida though! Grey and gloomy here this morning. :(

Sults, funny that a broken rib should be good news, but I am relieved that it's nothing more serious! Enjoy those massages! And the warm tea wraps!? Or is that the special diet? :confused: :D

Stacy, I'm very impressed! This technique seems to be really good for getting soft, wooly textures. Everyone is doing really well. I usually like to post early so I don't get intimidated by everyone else, but it might be the weekend before I have time to do it this week. :(

Michelle, same goes for your goat! :clap: Glad to see that you can get good results without needing a buccal swab!

JayD, thanks for showing us how it's done!

02-09-2005, 06:44 AM
Dave. Mona Llama! Ha-ha-ha, That's a good one! :D :clap: :D
I cannot get over the swabs I bought, I have near 1/2 the underpainting done and am still on my first swab! And my drawing is 7" x 9"!

JayD, Llama is looking great. :clap: Will you post the "Girl With a Pearl Earring"? And I am really enjoying this class. Thanks so much for everything.
:clap: :clap: :clap:

Vasil and Michelle, Thanks. :)

Michelle, Love the goat! :clap: He's certainly looking soft and sweet!

Stacy, I'm going to have to check out that CP thread. We've sure had a lotta laughs this Class!

02-09-2005, 06:57 AM
There are lots more examples of llamas in paintings by famous artists at this Famous Paintings of Llamas (http://www.smartt.com/~brianp/famouspaintings.html) page. Here's an example by Rembrandt.

02-09-2005, 07:55 AM
morn everyone
I am so sorry Connie to hear your daughter and granddaughter are ill, I wish them well and you a nice safe trip to Florida, hope you have time to sketch the nice scenery. Do take plenty of pics too. :)

Hey thanks for the well wishes Mary, Judi, Stacy Michelle and Dave. :)
ahhh Dave just what I needed to laugh so hard till my sides ache (literally)
Are you busy looking for extra credit so you do not have to sketch the wooly beasts? rofl so hard that mona llama has got to be a classic of the 101 course for sure.

Judi I am glad you like the swabs I love mine too. I have left them to dry out and they are so great to blend with I have almost finished BF's birthday present with them. I am not going to go back and buy the other swabs because these work just fine dry. :) oh, quit teasing us and show us the next layer of blending on Ole King of Jungle now.

Stacy, I was going to do that llama but it reminds me of my Dad's girlfriend and then widow who hates my guts (she had him buy her llamas) so when ever I see one, I see her face. You my dear drew an exact portrait of the evil woman. lol Sorry, I will be nice now. Oh just add what you said and Judi said and I think you will have the ref pic likeness for sure. Did you sketch this by memory when you were waiting for your daughter or did you print out ref pic? Sometimes print outs are not very clear.

Michelle wonderful job on your first layer with Q-tip softness, so wooly. That lamb looks realistic already.

Jay, I am glad your doing the laffing Donnie aka Mona llama, because that looked like it would be a challenge. Wonderful job in getting the ref pic likeness too. I forgot to tell you I really thought your dolphin was fantastic too. I was trying to remember that great artist who paints sea life and makes it look so floresient, that is how he draws his dolphins at first.

Ok, A narly horse head calls me to the easle now.

02-09-2005, 07:55 AM
Dave, someone is throwing spitballs in my class. :evil: OK. Ok. Point taken! :D

BUT...Let see Llama with a pearl earring.

02-09-2005, 08:20 AM
Dave, someone is throwing spitballs in my class. :evil: OK. Ok. Point taken! :D

BUT...Let see Llama with a pearl earring.

Sadly, there is no point! Just a feeble attempt at humour. Personally, my favourite is the Dali Llama, but then I'm a sucker for bad puns!

02-09-2005, 09:39 AM
Oh I see I have been missing all the fun here! Judi, I missed your lion drawing - looks great! Stacy, I am so impressed with your Alpaca.
Michelle, you are doing great on that goat that I thought was a sheep. :D
Connie, Hope you have a safe trip and see you when you get back!
Sultry, What have you been doing to hurt yourself like that? Are you into extreme sports as an alternative to drawing? Seriously, glad you went to the Dr. Hope I havn't missed anyone - oh Dave, you are definitely the Class Clown and I saw the Dalai Llama coming a mile away! :D
I must admit I have not even started a project for this class as I have been suffering from Vertigo in lesson 11 and may not be over it till the weekend. I can only work on that for about 15 minutes max at a time (what was I thinking when I chose the staircase? :confused: .

Fireman's kid
02-09-2005, 09:55 AM
Dave, you are too much! The Mona Llama and the Rembrant were funny, but that last one - Llama with the Pearl Earring... honestly, I laugh every time I think about it. It is priceless! :D Thanks for starting my day off with some humor.

I wonder if Jay will make his drawing like the reference or like your vesion?!? :p

Sultry - I also had a good laugh at your "portrait of the evil woman" comment! For this class I give you a pass on having to C&C my drawing. I wouldn't want you to have nightmares. :D And to answer your question - no I didn't do this from memory. My memory is not that good! I printed out the reference. I do this for most of my 101 homework. My computer is not set up in a way that I can work directly from the screen.

Michelle - Your curly haired fella is coming along nicely! Hooray for you for being brave enough to do curly instead of smooth and for starting your drawing early in the week! :clap:

Cathie Jones
02-09-2005, 09:59 AM
Dave, what can I say . . . except I may have lost the class clown title!!!

I took a vacation day so I can work at home and try to get this newspaper thing done . . . so I can get on with drawing . . . this week looks like fun!!! especially if I can keep Stacy quiet about the homework thing . . . .

02-09-2005, 12:22 PM
Afternoon All :wave:
Hey, Don't forget to rate JayD's wonderful Class! :D

Mary Woodul
02-09-2005, 02:38 PM
What do you mean the masters didn't paint llamas. Surely you've heard of the Mona Llama? It's weird how its eyes follow you around the room, isn't it? :wink2:

Oh! Dave, you are the greatest! :clap: :clap: :clap: I missed all the fun this morning..ha,ha,ha.

JayD, no wonder you are the Teach. That is a beautiful llama and you got the best of it, in spite of the devilish smile it has. :evil:

Stacy, I love those bangs on yours, and I did have to giggle at Sults comment. :D

Michelle, I love the curly soft bangs on your sheep. It is so sweet.

Hi, Judi,I'm dying to see the lion, Vasil, Barbara and CJ. :wave:

Sults, hope you feel better today, that must hurt while your at the computer. :(

02-09-2005, 05:19 PM
Michelle - looks like you got the hang of it!

Dave - ROFL! Thanks!

Sultry - Glad it is nothing serious. :)

Connie - Come on down!! :D

Here is my underpainting and the beginning of adding tones. I just have one thing to say....

I hate hair!!!

That felt good :cat:


02-09-2005, 06:09 PM
Hey All :wave: , Just going out the door to a show and wanted to read this all again. I invited the CP'ers over to view. Katherine T thought this is a hoot as well. Thanks Dave, just hilarious! They have good posts to, some serious (Katherines is wonderful!) and some funny. Go take a look see.

Joe, just took a quick look and this is looking great!

See ya all later!

02-09-2005, 06:16 PM
Joe you have a soft cow? I like it :) it has a femine soft look to it. lol Ya still have your figure drawing style mixed in this wooly beast. Now tell me why you hate hair. I think it is all in your mind. lol
I think your doing a great job. :clap:
edited to add....
Hi Judi have fun at the show :)

Mary, sitting, lying and standing all bother me. :( I find mostly lying down is the worst.

Stacy, glad you got a laff out of my Dad story.

Barbara, I am notorious for falling due to this bad ankle. I fell 3 times since I moved to Ct and I fell and broke my ankle in Vegas 2 yrs ago. So one of the falls are the reason the doc says.

02-09-2005, 06:28 PM
Hey, Joe--the tones really make the difference, don't they?

Cathie Jones
02-09-2005, 08:18 PM
DONE!!! 9-1/2 hour work marathon did the trick! Now, I need something to eat and if I can get my brain and eyes to work again I'll do some drawing tonight. Yippeeeeeee . . . :clap:

Joe, your posts are a good lesson in how it's done - thank you! :clap:

Sults, hope you're feeling better soon. How's the daughter?

That's all for now . . . be back later if I can get the brain in gear!!!!

02-09-2005, 08:28 PM
OK, here is stage two of my Llama--I am starting to brush in the tones with the charcoal with the swabs. I have also moved on to laying in the darker darks.

02-09-2005, 09:24 PM
Wow that looks great Jay. (raises hand and asks question)
Okay I know you drew your initial sketch with a mech pencil and also traced it to arches but after you have your sketch all done, do you only charcoal swab paint it? Or can any charcoal pencil strokes be applied too?
Did you sketch the llama all in pencil or did you use charcoal pencil too?
I did the mistake of sketching "Narly Chocolate Mr Ed" on too large of a paper for my scanner, so I am waiting for my digital camera batteries to charge so I can take a pic of it and up load it here.

02-09-2005, 09:45 PM
If you noticed all the pencil lines--I basically created a map of the direction of the fur. The pencil lines in the hair will eventually be erased. The map (sketch) is mechanical pencil. Everything else is the swab. Here is update number 3:

02-09-2005, 11:34 PM
Here is an update on my goat. I'm not sure how much more I need to do with him.



02-09-2005, 11:37 PM
Michelle, you are are the right track and the sheep is looking really good--right now start laying in your DARKEST darks. once you have done that repost and let's see how you are doing.

Well, I wanted to add this one to the other three but I guess I have to repost. I have blocked off the fur aorund the neck into sections with the swab and will add detail around that later--have begun erasing the pencil lines and have begun work on the mop and the ears. Still on using a swab:

02-10-2005, 03:57 AM
JayD, this is looking great...thanks for taking the time to do this, it is a big help.

Fireman's kid
02-10-2005, 10:06 AM
Hi all! I just was checking out the CP thread again. Their drawings are coming along well too. Wanted to let you know that according to the photographer who took the references, both of the llamas are actually alpacas and Michelle is right, her drawing is of a goat, not a sheep. Could have fooled me, but what do I know? :confused:

Jay your drawing is looking great. So do I understand correctly that you drew right over your graphite sketch with the charcoal swabs? I could try that with my alpaca except I have too many corrections to make so I might as well start over.

Michelle, your goat looks great too. Such soft curls! He has an impatient gaze about him (her?), like he is waiting for you to be done so he can get his bangs cut. :D

CJ - Congrats on finishing your work marathon! I hope you have recovered. What a relief that must be! So now are you done with that for a month until you have to start working on the April one?

For those of you still looking for the long handled swabs, I finally got mine today. When I couldn't find them at the second pharmacy, I asked if they had them. Turns out they keep them behind the counter - not sure why. I got 100 swabs for 80 cents.

On my way home I had to be a good samaritan. I saw a delivery truck drive into a low hanging wire. The wire snapped off one pole, flew over the truck with sparks flying and ended up with the loose end lying in the street. This is a fairly busy road too. I used my cell phone to call 911 and report it. So that was my excitement for this morning. Now I'm off to exercise before picking up the kids from school. I'm hoping to have time to work on my drawing this afternoon, but it might have to wait until the weekend. :crying:

02-10-2005, 10:23 AM
Morning All,
Hi Dave & Stacy :wave:
Wow Stacy that is something you were a vessel to stop anything else major.

Well, ok I did it again, I drew the horse with out paying attention to the porportion of the ears. :( I started out ok till I kept measuring the eyes and muzzle and forgot the ears.

Anyways, I picked it up and looked in the mirror and saw my boo boo and erased it, only to discover no room for the correct size of ears that should go with "Ole Chocolate Mr Ed". I have to re do this and have room for the ears.

I also read after I drew this on wc paper that it is best to do it on the back side of the paper. A tip in JD Hillberry's book that makes alot of sense to me.

By the way, Dave I finally found my digital camera book and learned how to turn off the flash. Let me know if this pic looks clear enough to you please.

oh sketched in mech F pencil and started a little of the blending with the swab.

02-10-2005, 10:59 AM
Stacey, generally I erase the pencil lines as I go along but for some reason, lately, I have been skipping that step.

Sultry--so far so good--keep it up. :)

02-10-2005, 10:59 AM
Judy and CJ - Thanks.

Joe you have a soft cow? I like it :) it has a femine soft look to it. lol Ya still have your figure drawing style mixed in this wooly beast. Now tell me why you hate hair. I think it is all in your mind. lol

Sults - Soft cow? It's suppose to be a hairy bull. My wife named him Beauregard. But it sounds like he might be Ferdinand. :) I hate hair because it is the hardest thing to draw and make look real. I like what you are doing with the horse.

Michelle - Great JOB!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

JayD - You make it look so easy. :p It ain't!

Stacey - Class Act!! Wish I had one of CJ's special smilies for you.

Here is my final effort on Beauregard. The weird rectangular shadow is because the drawing is bigger than the acetate that is suppose to keep my scanner clean. It does not look alot like the original, but after hours of smudging, blending, erasing, blending, erasing, smudging etc, there isn't much left to the paper.


02-10-2005, 11:07 AM
Joe, I would have named him S&M--for spaghetti and Meatballs! :D

I really love the moppy head. Looks like you overcame the struggle. Easy, huh?

02-10-2005, 11:10 AM
Ty Jay but I need to transfer him to other side.
Wow Joe I see the bull now, Beauregard is looking
!!!!KAV!!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:
I like the textures and tones how you followed the contour of the fur and hair. :) beautiful horns.
Sorry did not notice the horns in your earlier sketch.

02-10-2005, 12:53 PM
Hi Jay and class :wave:

This has been an awful week so far. My internet connection has been terrible. I haven't been able to post anything (well, almost anything, since I did get to post an eye in the portrait class after two days of trying). I have been able to see very few of the pictures enlarged, and I have had difficulty in even reading the posts.

I finally managed to at least catch up with this thread.

Judi..terrific first sketch of the lion. When do we get to see the finished drawing?

Mary...brilliant drawing of the goat :clap: :clap: :clap:

Stacy, the alpaca looks good and will be even better after you make all the corrections you have already spotted.

Michelle...could not see your post - the server kept hanging up - but finally managed to see part of it. Whatever I did see looked good and hopefully I will get to see it fully soon.

Jay...the llama looks very good and thanks for making a demo of it. Did you do even the thin very dark lines with the swab, or should one use a pencil for such delicate stuff?

Connie...sorry to hear about your daughter and her kid being ill. Hope they get well soon and that you have a nice trip and a terrific holiday.

Sultry...tough luck with the rib and the ankle acting up together. Hopefully, now that the problems have been identified, you can get them attended to and get well soon. We need a super sub who is fighting fit :D

The horse was shaping up well. A pity that you have to do it again. (I hate to do the same drawing a second time.) But I guess, if you don't mind doing it again the drawing will probably look better the second time around.

Joe...very nice work on Beauregard. I like the way you have done the dark tufts under his horn and the nostrils, in particular. But, I think you have cropped the drawing too tightly.

Dave...I very much enjoyed all your masterly llamas.

Hope to post my stuff before the week runs out.


02-10-2005, 01:03 PM
Hey, Blah--everything has been done with just the swab except for the mechanical pencil sketch of the map. I still have a lot more work to do obviously. You have to play around with the swab to get the effects that you want--just experiment. Its weird to use the swabs but I see why people like Nancy Anthony are so attracted to it. :)

02-10-2005, 06:03 PM
Evening All! :wave:

Joe, Spaghetti & meatballs. LOL. You sure did get your darks in there! :clap:
Sults, Looks great. There is a tool to get rid of the yellow. On PSP8, you can adjust color balance.
Blah :wave: , Are you still doing Lassie? LOL
CJ, Glad you are getting some drawing time in! :D
JayD. Looks wonderful. Thanks for the steps demo! Big help! :clap:
Michelle, Looks so cute and soft. :clap: Looking forward to your next post!
Stacy the Good Samaritan. :clap: :clap:
I hope to post tonite. I haven't finished my underpainting yet.

02-10-2005, 09:07 PM
Sure is quiet here in the evening anymore.

I have my underpainting done and have started on the darks.

02-10-2005, 09:15 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap: WoW Judi I love it :clap: :clap: :clap: It looks like National Geographic !!!!
oh my goodness I have to tell you this guys, Have you ever tried to remember how to spell anything? Just typing Geographic reminded me of how I used to spell ' geography by remembering a saying....
georgy eats old grey rats and paints houses yellow.

Heyyy Blahh :wave: I saw your eye in the portraiture, eye class it was really good :) Hope you post Lassie soon.

02-10-2005, 09:40 PM
Sults, Georgy was a seriously disturbed young man! :D

Judi--wonderful--It looks like its a stone that you would find on a temple in Rudyard Kiplings' The Jungle Book. Can't wait to see your finale

02-10-2005, 10:49 PM
Ok, here is the finished series--I see some things that I may come back to do later but I have a demo draw and a class to write and another project besides that.

For me, this technique has really turned me on to charcoal and I am going to continue to explore--My daughter stood over me laughing because she said that I would come up with anything to protect my hands! :D

Anyway this has been a lot of fun for me--I did a dolphin (bald) and a Llama (hair club for men). All of you have produced wondeful pieces so far this week. I am very excited to see how this is going to turn out. Here is the final in the Llama Series:

02-10-2005, 11:16 PM
Hey JayD, He looks great! :clap: :clap: Yes, I am also liking the charcoal! I never painted before (wet anyway) so this was quite enjoyable.

I have to ask you, where do you get the energy? I know you are only one year younger than me, and I'm pooped!

What is out next Class going to be? (drawing outdoors? :eek:, it's cold up here)

02-10-2005, 11:22 PM
Wow Jay I like how you have the fur showing so much and the contour of the shadows are so dark. I am having a little trouble trying to define thin lines like the forelock and Mane. So I cheated and penciled in a little bit with the charcoal.

lol Jay that is why I memorized that ole saying because georgy was a sick puppy.

Judi, I am wondering the same thing, its storming here tonight. brrrr outside???? drawing???? (inserts shaking head no smiley here)

OK I am posting #2 horse because I scrapped #1 and I feel better about this one.

02-10-2005, 11:40 PM
I am actually exhausted almost ALL the time but I also dont sleep very much so I occupy my time with drawing or work related stuff. Besides, I enjoy my work and I have a passion to draw so I am excited and happy when I am doing either.

Here's something new that I have been playing with--I have some old VERY stiff short bristled winsor newton brushes that I pulled out--and, inspired by the swab, start painting the charcoal right on the material. Try this on your next drawing--you will be absolutely amazed.

Sults--using the swab as you know--it is hard to get the dark darks--you just have to keep layering on the charcoal and blending until you get the tone that you want. I personally think that it takes a great deal of patience to draw this way but I see the appeal because it forces you to think about control. By the way, you are doing fine on the horse. Keep it up!

To get the thin lines try peelling down the cotton from your swab--in other words, make the swab smaller. That is what I did. :)

02-10-2005, 11:40 PM
Sults, Looks more like Mr. Ed now! And he looks like he is talking to Wilbur! You have added that personality! :D I see you are starting to add some more darks. That will really help getting his contours.
:clap: :clap:


02-11-2005, 07:41 AM
Here's something new that I have been playing with--I have some old VERY stiff short bristled winsor newton brushes that I pulled out--and, inspired by the swab, start painting the charcoal right on the material. Try this on your next drawing--you will be absolutely amazed.
Jay I love using a paint brush, wow what a difference. I am getting so much more different tones and following the contours better. Thanks for the idea :)

Ty Judi, I am having a time with that open mouth, it just looks so lopsided to me. Hey try the paint brush technique it is a blast. :)

02-11-2005, 08:14 AM
Here is something else. I usually work on either Stonehenge or Arches. I love arches but am finding that it is harder to spread the charcoal with either the brush or the swab. Too MUCH tooth I think.

What kind of paper are ALL of you using for your projects--any thoughts. I started girl with a pearl earring using the arches but I think I may move to something with smaller tooth in hopes that I have more control. Again, any thoughts?

02-11-2005, 08:38 AM
Jay on the first horse (the bulldog looking one) I used the front of the wc paper which is acid free 140 lb (300 g/m) heavy wght cold press for wc. I have turned it around and now using the backside and its alot better to apply. I have also done the coffee pot and kitties on the front of this and I am going to scrap them and transfer to the backside also, I really think that was my problem in getting the values in that pic. Yes, I am still fiddling with that. I also, have drawn BF his birthday present on the front of the wc paper and I am going to transfer that today also, his birthday is tomorrow. lol
That I will post in figure forum when done.

02-11-2005, 08:53 AM
Let me know when you post in the figure forum. Yeah, I think that we sometimes forget to experiment with the paper but what we may call disasters are just the muses pointing us in a more practical direction. Let me know how the other side of the paper goes. :)

02-11-2005, 09:40 AM
Here is something else. I usually work on either Stonehenge or Arches. I love arches but am finding that it is harder to spread the charcoal with either the brush or the swab. Too MUCH tooth I think.

What kind of paper are ALL of you using for your projects--any thoughts. I started girl with a pearl earring using the arches but I think I may move to something with smaller tooth in hopes that I have more control. Again, any thoughts?

I'm just about to start. I was going to try using watercolour paper, which I've never tried before for drawing, but now I'm wondering if that's a good idea! The paper I've got is called Bockingford. Alternatively, i might give Bristol Vellum a try...I think it has enough tooth for charcoal.

02-11-2005, 09:50 AM
Good Grief I have to post my Alpaca, Llama, Yak thingy right after the teacher :eek:

There was only going to be one drawing opportunity this week so there are no WIPS. It was done on 90 lb WC paper. (Store brand, less tooth than Arches and substantially less money!) It was fun painting with the Q-tip (no exotic swabs either), and this paper took the charcoal really well. I did cheat and use a charcoal pencil for the teeth and to darken up the darks, but I bet the stiff brush would work too.

Sults – Horse 2 is coming alive
Judi – Leo looks great
Joe – Beauregard looks like he was at Woodstock
Michelle - the goat has a terrific soft look.
Dave - the Great Llamas in Art History story made my week!

:clap: :clap: To All

02-11-2005, 10:03 AM
I hope I never have to wait until the end of the week to post again...you guys are too good!! Just had an urgent call, so got to put off starting again. :(

Mary Woodul
02-11-2005, 01:53 PM
Hi Everyone!, Wow, I got so behind on the thread in just one day that I took care of grandchildren. I also had a terrible Internet connection, yesterday.

Sultry, hope your feeling better and I like the way your horse is coming along.

Joe, Your bull is fantastic and I like the coquettish eye, peeking through the bangs.

JayD, Thank you for that demo. The fur around the face and around the mouth can be felt, it is so real.

Blah, I saw the eye you posted in the portraiture forum and it is outstanding. Everytime I see your work, I wonder how you achieve that beautiful grainy texture in your shading.

Michelle, your goat, sheep is so soft and sweet. You got the idea of the cotton swab.

Stacy, that must have been a scary experience. BTW, I thought Michelles goat was the same breed my sheep was, now I'm all confused :confused: My sheep had been shaved.

Wow! Judi, what a masterpiece. You did justice to such a beautiful animal.

Sultry, just saw your horse again, I love the loose, free hair.

JayD, yipee, I can find plenty of old brushes in my work place. I'll try that in the next drawing.

Dave, I had trouble with the vellum I used for the lamp I ruined, but it wasn't Bristol, it was a brand from here.

Cleo,, your Alpaca, Llama, Yak looks very good. It has a flirty eye. :D

Well I couldn't add any more detail to this because, the paper was beginning to lose some pulp. The paper is from a Meade Académie drawing pad and it just says heavyweight paper. It has no texture. I used vine charcoal, charcoal powder, charcoal pencil, mecanical pencil and Mexican brand cotton swab. Uni auto eraser. I wanted to do another one but I am trying to finish the monthly portrait in the portraiture forum. That is an incredible face. :wave:

JayD, thank you for all you do for us, I am enjoying this so much. :D

02-11-2005, 02:10 PM
Mary - WOW.......This is fabulous :clap: :clap: It looks 3 dimensional! Sorry your paper is giving out on you.

02-11-2005, 02:33 PM
Hey, cleo nice work! try to break away from the hard lines--soften them up a bit by blending them in a little more--you might want to add a bit more shade where the eye is--notice that the shadow almost envelopes the eye but the shape is right and the hair is spectacular. Good job. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Mary--not Baaaaa--d! You manifested fluffiness. You are an amazing artist! :clap: :clap: :clap:

02-11-2005, 04:14 PM
JayD - Right on! It does look more like spaghetti than hair. :D You asked about paper. I used Canson Drawing paper. It's some tablets I go on sale at Micheal's.

Sults - Thanks for the kind words. Your horse is really shaping up. I like the hair coming down over the eyes!

Blah - "...very nice work on Beauregard. I like the way you have done the dark tufts under his horn and the nostrils, in particular. But, I think you have cropped the drawing too tightly."
Thanks. The parts you mentioned are the ones that actually look like hair :D vice the spaghetti JayD mentioned. The close crop is a two fold problem. The original picture is a tight shot and then I drew it on 9"x12" paper which does not fit on my scanner, so that cropped it even more.

Judy - Thanks. Your lion is awesome!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: Love it!!

Cleo - Your alpaca is cool. :cool: I like the hair but I really really like the eye!! Nice work! :clap:

Mary - Thanks for the kind words. "...the coquettish eye, peeking through the bangs." I just realised that is what I like about Sult's horse. The hair in the eyes seems to give it personality. Some one else just said it but your Ram does looks 3-D!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

This is one talented group of people!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:


02-11-2005, 04:19 PM
Thanks, Dave & JayD - I will try & soften him up over the weekend if I get a chance.

Mary has provided the perFURct example of what you mean! :D

Hope all those on the sick list feel better.

Have a great weekend everyone :wave:

02-12-2005, 07:55 AM
Mary, your sheep is wonderful! I thought mine was a sheep too until I saw the photographer, Crias's, commentary in the colored pencil forum, and it is evidently a female goat.

I'd like to comment on each of the drawings so far, they are all so good, and so CUTE, but I'm expecting company this morning and there are still dishes and pots in the sink, and assorted other stuff that needs to be attended to. So just let me say that the work this week has been outstanding.


02-12-2005, 08:10 AM
I'd like to comment on each of the drawings so far, they are all so good, and so CUTE, but I'm expecting company this morning and there are still dishes and pots in the sink, and assorted other stuff that needs to be attended to. So just let me say that the work this week has been outstanding.

I agree with you Michelle. I am kind of nervous about doing mine now though. I am going to forego the WDE today so that I won't be 2 weeks behind here. Not sure what I will come up with, but I definitely don't want to choose something that others have already done here - mine will never stand up against these. Well, I shouldn't say NEVER; just not this week.

02-12-2005, 08:36 AM
Hi Michelle & Barbara :wave:
Barbara you have your own unique style which does not need to stand up to anyone elses piece. It is beautiful on its own and you should never think negative of your own work. I may hate alot of things that I have created but if I did not create it, it would not get me closer to what I want to render. So, think of your work as I do Barbara, Its just one more step (like your staircase) closer to your goal. If you think about it, you have a higher level than I do, in surpassing that challenge of sketching those dreaded stairs. The reason I said I was so proud of you, was because you looked it in the eye and did it. So stop saying your work will not stand up to others because we will not believe it anymore. :) You have proved your work can surpass mine hon.
sorry if this may be deep but I am on pain killers and I have to say a piece of my mind Barb.
hugs to ya

02-12-2005, 08:56 AM
Mary your ram is gorgeous I think it looks so realistic I almost hear the stampede of them bahhhing and horns cracking.

Cleo I think you have the hang of the fur. Listen to what Jay says about the eye. The fur over the eye puts it in shadow so you would not see too much detail but darkness. I am doing that to my horse also, I did the mistake of showing too much detail at first and decided it looked more believable if I took away lines and light.

Dave I hope you have time to draw, your going to really enjoy this once you can start.

Thank you all for the C&C on the horse but I have changed it alot again. :)

02-12-2005, 10:13 AM
Morning all :wave: ,

Mary, Your Rams are absolutly wonderfu!!! :clap: :clap:
Joe, Cleo and Mary, Thank-you.

Sults, Mr Ed Number 3?, you are a perfectionist! :D

Cleo, This is looking good! :clap:

Posting 95% leaving room for the C & C please.

02-12-2005, 10:26 AM
Oh JayD :wave: ,
You asked about paper.
I used Strathmore Charcoal paper, 300 series.

02-12-2005, 10:35 AM
Wow Judi he is magnificent. I love how the mane looks so wild and rough. I tried really hard to find something to C&C and it is really hard to see anything needed correction you did a perfect job. Since you said almost done, the only thing I can think of is more tone to follow the contour of the nose and you will have a 3d lion.

No not #3 just #2 with a facelift :)

02-12-2005, 10:49 AM
Thank you Sultry, You have been very sweet to me and I need that encouragement; So without further ado, here is my cat, Neko.
The ref pic is of Bosho and Neko on the windowsill, respectively, and the collie nose and paw sticking out behind them, outside by my Jeep, is of our old girl Jessie (gone now since July 12, 2003). Neko and Bosho are sisters I got from the shelter. Their 2 identical brothers were there at the time as well but I could not justify bringing home more than 2 cats. Couldn't resist a touch of color for the eyes and the ears. I learned that I did use the wrong side of this paper.
PS Judi - Your lion is Fantastic!!!

02-12-2005, 10:59 AM
Your welcome Barb, hey great job on Neko and fur looks so petable :clap:
I understand your loss of a beloved pet too. :) looks like charcoal agrees with you. Did you try the paintbrush too? I love it and since you do well in acrylics it is just like painting fur.

02-12-2005, 11:30 AM
Barb, Your drawing is really coming along well! :clap: Yes, so sad to loose our beloved pets. :(

Sults, Thanks for the C & C, I see what you are saying, I'll work on that. :D

02-12-2005, 11:52 AM
Thank you both and no, I did not even think to try a brush - charcoal is so foreign to me.

02-12-2005, 01:01 PM
Blah, Everytime I see your work, I wonder how you achieve that beautiful grainy texture in your shading.

Thanks, Mary. The grainy texture is actually an unsuccessful attempt to get an even graduated shading :D. I am envious of people (like you) who manage that.

Your goat is just wonderful :clap:

Judi, so is your lion :clap: I think both you and Mary should attach an audio file to your drawings so that they bleat / roar as they load up on our screens :)

Cleo...I agree with you. Jay is a tough act to follow. I also agree with the comment already made on your drawing - it needs softening up (removal of hard edges/lines).

Sultry...the horse is shaping up very well. By the way, I forgot to mention how much I enjoyed reading your post about your father and his eye for composition.

Barbara, your drawing of Neko is coming along well. I notice that you have turned the head slightly and given Neko a more cheerful look :)

I am posting the first stage (undercoat ?) of my drawing. I have now gone a bit further but on the whole I feel very unsure about what I am doing. This is probably the first time I have used the swab technique so extensively (in fact I don't think I have used it before at all) and I feel so clumsy. I have therefore abandoned any effort at control, precision and exactness and tried to merely get the desired effect.

I am hoping to work late into the night to complete this drawing, and post it tomorrow.


02-12-2005, 01:10 PM
Hey Blah! :wave:
Thanks. :)

It is a bit different to use the swab, but I see you are getting it! :clap:

02-12-2005, 01:19 PM
Barb, great start on your cat--I always like it when someone draws a loved one because much more heart and well meaningness goes into the effort. I like the way you mapped the cat before you applied the charcoal. ONe thing. Animals are about the eyes--get your eyes finished before you go further. It will make your entire drawing. ;)

Judi--I'm lovin' that Lion--the background is just pushing that head forward. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Blah--one of the things I am really starting to like about the underpainting is the way it makes the drawing look like it is emerging from the fog--it makes the AL-LLAMA look like he is walking toward you. Will watch you progress with great interest. ;)

Oh, if anyone is interested, I have posted Girl with a Pearl Earring in the main forum as a WIP.

02-12-2005, 02:06 PM
Here's something new that I have been playing with--I have some old VERY stiff short bristled winsor newton brushes that I pulled out--and, inspired by the swab, start painting the charcoal right on the material. Try this on your next drawing--you will be absolutely amazed.

Jay...do you mean dry or wet painting? I vaguely recall someone in this thread saying they have put out their swabs to dry. I have been layering with dry swabs...I hope that is what I am supposed to do. But then the result is so patchy, itis very, very frustrating.


02-12-2005, 02:12 PM
Blah, when you load the swab--keep a piece of scrap paper, the same type that you are using for your drawing handy. Before you apply the swab to the paper, brush it against the scrap to get rid of the load--you will get a more balances application. Also dont forget to apply in small circular movements for best results.

Regarding the brushes--Charcoal plus water equal MUD. :D Drybrush ONLY. :)

02-12-2005, 02:42 PM
Hey Blah great alpaca and it sure does make you feel lost at first when using the swab...I am using both swab and paintbrush now. I will post my WIP of the horse now with the paintbrush effect. Mouth is not where I want yet but I promised Judi I would post it WIP since she posts for me when I can not wait any longer. lol By the way, Judi and I have become pretty close and I think she is great. LOL hugs ya Judi. She also C&C's my work off class and this encouraged me to do the horse facelift on #2 horse. :)

I like this new technique :), But using the swab is like drawing with the right side of brain, your in a area that is foreign to you and it causes our thinking mode to shut down and let our creative mode work peacefully.
lol, Jay of course we are interested.

I have alot to do by the mouth so he will stop looking like the batman Joker.

02-12-2005, 02:53 PM
Sults, would you mind posting the reference of the horse BESIDE your drawing. I would like to take a look at that mouth.

02-12-2005, 03:09 PM
lol Jay I am going to turn him upside down and my drawing first. May I try that first? I just came back from the soft pastel forum and have completely realized why I am having so much trouble. My brain only knows a horses mouth as one way ( the way I always drew it) and now I am going to turn off that side of my mind. Re draw the objects and see what happens. You always stress this and I have to be honest, I never do it.

02-12-2005, 03:25 PM
Give it a try and see what happens. The drawing on the right side of the brain gig doesn't work for me. If I turn something upside down, still see the whole instead of the shapes.. I guess that might be why I am ambidextrous--left or right makes no differnce but for some people it will work. I will be very interested to see.

02-12-2005, 04:18 PM
Jay, sorry fell asleep but will do when I get it done. I am finding every position sitting, standing and even lying down miserable, so may be awhile before I can post again. Then again who knows, I may just like what I am doing. lol

Cathie Jones
02-12-2005, 04:20 PM
. . . . z o o m i n g . . . .

Just dropping in quickly to let you know I'm still alive and kicking. DH has asked me to do one more page of the newspaper for him, so I'll do that today.

I'm working on underpainting a dog - MaryAnn's (loves2cook) furry critter, Zack. Finally found the long handled swabs but had to go to Radio Shack to get them - none of the pharmicies here carried them. They come apart pretty easily, but the longer handle does make them easier to hold.

See y'all later . . . .

. . . . poof . . . .

02-12-2005, 05:01 PM
hiyas CJ cannot wait to see the dog :) well I have to stop on my horse, its BF birthday and I have a party to attend. nite nite all :)

02-12-2005, 06:57 PM
Hey CJ, :wave:

It will be so-o-o-o great to have you back. You are dearly missed! Looking forward to your dog!
(Paternity testing swabs from Radio Shack....what is this world coming to? :eek: )

Cathie Jones
02-12-2005, 08:06 PM
Hi Sults and Judi!! I miss you guys, too! :wave:

Finished that other page, and had a few minutes to work on Zack, so taking JayD's previous advise, I worked on the nose and eye as well as darkining some of the underpainting. Funny how a bunch of swab smudges look like an animal when you get the eyes right!

Here are the original Zack and my underpainting of him. I'm sure I'll like this process when it's finished, but it sure feels out of control now.

C&C please before I go any farther (but hurry . . . I'm running out of time for this lesson)

02-12-2005, 08:25 PM
CJ, (hurrying b4 DH finds you)

OMGoodness, what an adorable little mop dog!

C & C. Well he's looking good so far. :clap: It's pretty near impossible to see his form under all that multicolored hair. :D Maybe make his feet a bit fatter and the (our) right ear a bit more pointy and pull the dark of his nose along side of his nostril back towards his face a tad.
Looking forward to your next post CJ, Time to do all that hair and the darks!

Cathie Jones
02-12-2005, 08:38 PM
You got it, Judi - right on the mark! Thanks a bunch. (You should see some of the watercolors people have done of this little guy!)

02-12-2005, 09:11 PM
Hey Cathie--looks really good. The nose and the eyes have it! :D Your observation is right on. It does feel like it is out of control when you start but it does get better. :)

Cathie Jones
02-12-2005, 10:18 PM
Thanks JayD! I'm off to work on Zack a little more and correct some of the things I saw as soon as he was posted. :rolleyes:

Be seein' you tomorrow!! :D

02-13-2005, 08:29 AM
Busy weekend here! I will comment before I get too far behind again to do so.
Blah, Your llama is looking good!
CJ, That doggie is adorable!
Sultry, Your horse is looking great! I often paint upside down (the painting,not myself). LOL
JayD - Saw the demo and loved it! :clap: :clap: :clap:
Gee, Here I was all happy and proud with my Neko drawing - thought it was done and I was all caught up. What more should I do? I did turn her head a bit and did not use the lighting in the ref pic (ON PURPOSE). I am not going to do a background (one of the reasons for the Mi Tientes). Maybe its not showing up well here because I have been using a scratchy old piece of acetate on my scanner to protect it from charcoal dust? If I keep on with charcoal much longer I'm going to have to use a mask on myself as my asthma and allergies are just horrible this week (going through Allegra withdrawal). I know I did not use the eraser too much to pull out highlights in the fur - maybe that's what I should do? See, I'm afraid to ruin it now because I thought it was done. :confused:

02-13-2005, 09:08 AM
CJ your dog is adorable and you are doing a great job. :clap: :clap: :clap: no C&C here to what is all already been told to you by sub Judi & Teach Jay. I cannot wait to see the updates. :)

Barb I really do not know if you should attempt anymore charcoal if your asthma is being effected. If you feel your drawing is completed then leave it and feel good about it and your accomplishments.

Since you asked what more could be done, I would only attempt to do the following if you feel up to it and if you can see what I am saying. I do not want to C&C your work and make you feel like your missing something and then you can not see it. I want you to see it first and if you can't then do not touch your work, leave it as is. I am only saying what I see in it, as you know we all see differently.

Barb, do you remember how we drew geo shapes and then we shaded them to follow the contour of the shapes? If you take a part your Neko in shapes you will see where you could add darks to bring the shapes out more.
For example, your ears are cones and you have them drawn well but a little more darks will bring them out even more. I think you have the eyes very pretty but remember the green is a sphere and it can be shaded as one to make them look more 3d.

Barb some of us may not catch on certain things right away, I still am not happy with some of my past assignments and in one of these later classes I may just go back and work on them after I catch on to what I am not seeing to fix them now. I think if you wanted to draw Neko again later, you may be surprised on how much more you learned.
edited to add.... by the way this is the 2nd time I attempted upside drawing, I did it one time with the Betty Edwards book and now I am doing the horse. I must tell you, I am liking the results. I will be posting him soon. I have turned the ref pic upside down and I have turned my drawing upside down. I am seeing the geo shapes so much clearer and also the lights and darks.

02-13-2005, 09:36 AM
Cleo, your lama?? looks great! You did a good job with that mop of hair, and the comical smile. I'm sure he wasn't a easy subject. :)

02-13-2005, 09:47 AM
Barb's cat, Blah's lama and Sultry's horse - all coming along really well. I don't know about you all, but I found using the swab really difficult. I did not have vine or stick charcoal, so I ended up using my charcoal pencil and then swabbing it to blend. Not exactly what JayD had in mind, but the best I could do. I haven't tried a brush yet, but the only old oil brush I have is a 3/4 inch, so it would be too large for the size drawings I've been doing. Another thing to put on my ever growing wish list.


02-13-2005, 09:51 AM
CJ, I love the photo of Zack that you are working from. He's looking good so far. He has much finer hair locks than the larger animals we did, so it should be interesting to see what the swab will do on him.


02-13-2005, 10:05 AM
Hi, Michelle--that is fine--always work within your comfort zone and/or your means. Can't wait to see your post! :)

Barb, my wife has asthma--back off of the charcoal for now if it is bothering you too much. Your health is paramont.

Cathie Jones
02-13-2005, 10:57 AM
I think Zack is finished, but not sure enough to spray him yet. I'll wait for some C&C. It's been really hard to get the hair on the body to look curly instead of long and stringy. Anyway, it was time to stop or ruin it . . . so here he is.

02-13-2005, 10:58 AM
Hey everybody,
I just got back from Judi's post in the soft pastel forum you should all take a field trip and see her first attempt with soft pastels. She is really good at changing meduims, Dannnnnng Judi I am just barely learning the correct way to use charcoal and have not even had the desire to do color with acrylics, your so fast too. :clap: :clap: :clap: When did you have the time to do your job, the pic of Mat & Lucky and the lion and oh yea Luke cp, and now Sunflowers?????

Awe, CJ, we must of xposted, I just saw this. How sweetly adorable :clap: :clap: :clap: you have the fur looking so soft. I like the porportions, only thing I see is you could use more darks to show contour. You have done a wonderful job. The likeness is right on.

02-13-2005, 11:03 AM
Zack is just plain adorablel. I think the curls are very well acomplished. I darken up some areas--think in terms of where the light is hitting the dog and the shadow is casting.

02-13-2005, 11:13 AM
Barb, So sorry about you alergies. :(

JayD and Michelle :wave:

CJ, He is even more adorable! I agree w/ Sults here to add more darks (by layering) to show the layers in his shaggy do. To get darker darks, I sanded a 6B chearcoal pencil on a sandpaper paddle and used that on my swabs. (I don't know if that is cheating in this class, but it helped)
:clap: :clap:

02-13-2005, 11:16 AM
I agree Judi, I did that too and also did the circle push method that Jay says but I also used my paintbrushes in circle movments.
CJ, I looked at ref photo and saw that the neck looks all one tone under the head. The only thing that seems to give it away is the little bit of highlight on the curly fur over the shoulder. If you darken right under the head and blend away from it to the chest you should have the head pop out more. I think the neck may be shaved it does not seem like the neck has long hair there.
Darken the shadows on the paws to show they are behind the chest fur that hangs down. Darken the shadows of the tuffs by the nose too. Do you see what I mean?
This is so cute by the way.

Cathie Jones
02-13-2005, 01:18 PM
Thanks, Teach, Subbies and Sub-Subbies . . . you guys are great!

I'l be back later with another post . . . going out for breakfast and errands now.

02-13-2005, 01:21 PM
Hi all :wave:... I find some time on saturday and finished my exercise... but first of all I want to congratulate everybody for his efforts :

Michelle's sheep...
Joe's ox (it is kind of ox isn't it?)...
Cleo's smiling llama...
Mary's Rams...
Judi's lion...
Barbara's kitty...
Cathie's very cute Zack...
Sult's horse...
Blah's smilling llama...
and of course JayD's demo...
and anyone that I missed since my last post...

on saturday I decided to draw the horse, while previously I was thinking to draw from the sheep ref picture... I used a cotton swab used for the ears... I first twirled the swab on the tip of my charcoal pencil since I don't have a charcoal stick and it was OK... but later I decided to shave the charcoal tip with my hobby knife directly on the paper and then to use the swab on those shavings... boy !! I loved this... you can work so fast this way... anyway, I am not happy with the outcome... Sult's horse is wonderful... but I couldn't draw the hair as her... furthermore my horse is laughing in a very sarcastic way... I guess it is laughing to my drawing :rolleyes:...

Ok here is my drawing, 25x35 cm in size, on 120 gsm locally produced drawing paper... I used a Creatacolor 6B pencil, a Conte Hard Carbone pencil, and a Derwent Dark charcoal pencil... a cotton swab and my hobby knife :D

PS. I also lightly sketched the smilling llama on a piece of same drawing paper and think to drawing it as a second exercise... but we will see that ;)...


02-13-2005, 02:16 PM
Vasil that is a wonderful likeness to the horse ( I could not get the likeness as good as you did). :clap: I see that you followed the geo shapes perfectly.
I am posting my WIP so you can see I have the horse looking so different then yours and the ref pic. lol

02-13-2005, 02:55 PM

Looks Like You Are All Doing Very Well But It Also Looks Like We Are Not Going To Finish Up--the Next Class Is On Still Life In Charcoal And Then We Move On To Outdoors. We Can Skip The Still Life Only If You Want And Extend This Class For Another Week Or We Could Do A Still Life In Charcoal Class. Let Me Know--not A Problem Either Way.

02-13-2005, 03:12 PM
Well, I will go with the flow but unless Claritin works for me, I wil be doing a minimal amount of charcoal work and am afraid pastels are definitely not in my future.
Vasil- Your horse looks good!
Thanks Sultry for the recommendations for shading. I am sure that Neko will be a subject for me to draw and paint for many years.

Cathie Jones
02-13-2005, 03:50 PM
JayD, I'll finish Zack today, so it doesn't matter to me. If you want to extend it, I'll do one of the llampoxama pics. They're being still at the moment, so it's kind of a still life, right?


02-13-2005, 04:09 PM
OK everybody--I am extending the class for one week. That will give everybody a chance to do a second picture--for fun with any medium of your choice---so color is accepted. NOW for the following week we will be exploring the drawing out doors.

I want you all to take a look at the work Andrew Wyeth, in particular his Buckets on a Post outdoor still life.

Have fun!!!!

02-13-2005, 04:51 PM
Sorry to have been out of touch for so long...busy weekend! Still haven't finished putting all that IKEA furniture together! Anyway, here is an attempt a the llama. It doesn't look much like the original, because of the acetate used to protect the scanner!

Everyone else has done such great stuff. Don't have time just now to go through them all...feel guilty about this, hope you don't hold it against me!

02-13-2005, 05:39 PM
Hey Dave :wave: ,
Glad you got here!
Good start here. :clap:
Actually I think if you pulled out some lights on your llama (with the bad perm :D ) and added darks, on the (our) right side of his neck, eye area and in the top mop it would really help out a lot. Posting a greyscale in case you don't have one.

How is your portrait going?

02-13-2005, 06:19 PM
I cannot find Andrew Wyeth's Buckets on a Post still life anywhere. Can you give me a link please?

02-13-2005, 06:31 PM
Wow, missed logging in for one day and fell 4 pages behind. You guys are prolific!

Barbara - I like the cat, especially adding color in the eyes.

Sults - As I said earlier I really like the forelock (?) ( hair hanging down in the eyes).

Vasil - Great contrast...I don't know how you kept your whites so clean. So far once I put a touch of charcoal on the paper there is grey everywhere. :D

Dave - I'm with Judy I think you have too much mid tone.

CJ - Zack is cute!! You captured the curly fur look!

On my way to the pastel forum to check out Judy's input over there....


02-13-2005, 08:04 PM

Missed your post. My you are ingenious when it comes to methods. :clap: Love the horse. The thing that is bothering me is his neck tones, the white stripe. Attaching greyscale of JayD's ref (yes I am a greyscale freak :D ) for you to compare.

And as for Sults there, she just imformed me she erased the whole muzzle...so whats to comment on yet?

Cathie Jones
02-13-2005, 08:40 PM
The absolute and final finish of Zack! Sadly, his white fur is no longer white . . . a result spraying I think. :( Anyway, I think he was whiter before I sprayed him. So, I'm tired of Zack now and ready to move on to something else - maybe color!

02-13-2005, 08:49 PM
Dave your getting there and good job on bottom layer. :)
CJ I love it, its so cute and I just want to pet lil Zack. :clap:
Judi you can C&C on the eyes and forelock if you like, lol. Since Jay extended this week, I have time for more facelifts on ole choclate Mr Ed.
Vasil that is what I used a greyscale of the horse to figure out the tones and contours.

02-13-2005, 09:07 PM
Vasil and Sultry: How is a horse like a duck?

Sultry--go back and re-evaluate the jaw line--I think you have a double decker horse head on your hands. the top half is looking better--is this from drawing it upside down?

02-13-2005, 09:23 PM
Jay I am drawing it upside down but I know what I did wrong. I made the horse head too short. After looking at Vasil's perfect likeness of the ref pic I saw how short my horses head was.

02-13-2005, 09:38 PM
Well, what I was getting at was to use a center line to establish a symetrical balance.--I would also reccomend that you step back from the picture for a day or two to recoup your vision. You are doing fine but I am suggesting that you take a short break--when you come back to it --I think things will be clearer for you. It also sounds like you might be getting TOO much advice--stay true to the rference photo and to what is important in the drawing to you. You are doing an excellent job--the horse will happen. :clap: :clap: :clap:

02-13-2005, 09:49 PM
I agree with you Jay and I think I lost the centerline along time ago. oops. I will stop working on it for now. Thank you for the C&C, even subbies need C&C. from the Teach :)

Mary Woodul
02-13-2005, 11:11 PM
Good Evening everyone!, Again was away for a day and now I am behind about 5 pages of posting. :(

Thank you! Cleo, JayD, Joe, Michelle, Sultry, Judi, Blah and Vasil.

JayD, I went to see you "Girl with an earing" and I like it very much. Your impecable way of working gives it so much contrast and life. I love it!

Judi, wow, I have no words to express your lion. The mane looks inceredibly soft but so majestic.

Barbara, I am a cat lover and your cat is so characteristic of the way they look when they are making themselves, hard to convince. :D

Blah, your Llama is coming along fine and I know it will be outstanding.

Sults, your horse is really taking shape now. I like the white hair in different places.

CJ, That dog is just so, precious, I can just see it at your feet asking for attention. The curly hair is done so beautifully. BTW, what are the swabs doing at Radio Shack? We have one here, maybe that is where I should go look. :confused:

Hi Vasil, I love your horse. Those thin dark lines give it a special touch.

JayD, the extra week is fine with me, I love this charcoal so I'll try a still life.

See you all tomorrow and I'll go see Andrew Wyeth's work. :wave:

02-14-2005, 12:20 AM
Here is the final on my goat. I added some more darks. He may not be "finished" but I'm finished with him. :-)

Since we've extended the class, and can do another animal with color, I'm trying the horse with my watercolor pencils. I've not been too happy with things I've done with the pencils previously, and I think I may have gone dark too soon. I'm attaching what I've done so far on the horse. I only have one brown pencil, and I'm hoping that I can layer it over the purple and the black to get darker, different browns, but the one spot that I tried to go over tonight wouldn't take more color. I'm hoping that when it gets dry it will cover. If not, it's only a piece of paper.

I also have a photo somewhere of my dog, with shaggy hair hanging down over her eyes. I've tried it in watercolor without success, and if I can find it, I'd like to try it in charcoal.

Here are the goat and the horse.




02-14-2005, 08:59 AM
Michelle your goat looks great and if you say your completed then you are. :) The horse is drawn in its shapes and you are on to a good start with your layers of cp I think. Color makes a picture and yours will be unique and have style of your own.

02-14-2005, 01:56 PM
Here's my horse, finished. Well, maybe he's not finished but the paper seems to be. It won't let me add any more darks.

This was done with Caran D'ache watercolor pencils, a black, a brown, and a purple. I'm still not sure I like w/c pencils. They make a poor substitute for watercolors, and I suspect if you ask a colored pencil artist they would say they make a poor substitute for colored pencils too. It's more difficult to make corrections with it than it is on regular w/c's also.

Paper - Arches 140 lb cold press block. Which brings me to a question. Is w/c paper really good for charcoal? Is Stonehenge? I just got some Stonehenge because JayD recommended it for pencil, then we moved on to charcoal and he was using w/c paper so I was confused.

In any case, here is my horse.



Cathie Jones
02-14-2005, 02:53 PM


02-14-2005, 05:34 PM
Happy Valentines to you too CJ, and everyone else!

I'm glad the class is being extended, because I haven't really had time to do justice to this class yet. Mind you, I'm going away on Thursday until Sunday, so I won't have much time this week either.

Everyone's work is so great. Think I'm being left behind. :(

Cathie Jones
02-14-2005, 06:03 PM
Thanks, Dave.

I guess it would be a bit much to try to do charcoal while you travel . . . it's just a bit messy! But maybe you can do another animal before you go. I'll give one of the funny faces another try before the week's over.

Michelle, I like your horse - you did amazing things with three colors. I also don't like watercolor pencils - never know what I'm going to get when I get them wet. I guess it takes practice, just like everything else, but it just doesn't appeal to me. EXCEPT, I use them in still life type things for the dark shadow directly under an object - to 'ground' it. You don't have to use water with them for that - it's like CP, but you can still call it watercolor.


Mary Woodul
02-14-2005, 07:10 PM
Thank You! CJ, and Happy Valentine's to you and all of the rest of the class, and teacher. :clap:

Dave, you are doing fine but you did pick the most difficult one. :(

02-14-2005, 07:20 PM
Hey Everbody! :wave:
Happy Valentines Day to all of you!

Love the sheep, he is so cute and soft! :clap: :clap:

Good looking horse there! :clap: I agree with CJ, amazing for three colors! I know you are done as the paper is done (I've done that a few times!). I don't know if you were wanting any comments, but if you did I notice the head is a different angle that the ref and the eye on our right is tad off in shape and his neck needs to be a bit longer. That is in comparison to the ref, if you were going for a duplicate. It's a shame he is unworkable anymore because you did a really nice job here.

As for paper, I used Stonehenge for my pears and it took the charcoal well, but I don't know how it would do in a really 'heavy' drawing if that make sense. The pears were pretty quik (less than an hour) in comparison to my lion which took many hours and much more charcoal layered on it(used Strathmore charcoal paper there). I do love the stonehenge paper. I haven't tried the wc pencils nor do I have any WC paper, except for a tablet of Arches cold press, which I have never used-boy is it thick paper!

02-14-2005, 07:23 PM
Dave! :wave:
Did you present your lovely wife with her portrait? I'll bet she was so-o-o thrilled!

02-14-2005, 07:31 PM
Hiyas Michelle, CJ, Mary & Judi :wave:
Happy Valentines Day To Everyone :cat:
I agree with CJ & Judi, Wow Michelle just 3 wc pencils did that? I am amazed how cp render paintings but just 3 wc pencils would like mud if I did it.
Ohh I do not know Mary, I think that horse was a challenge to get porportioned and his nostrils. Oohhhhhhhhhhhhh what a mess I made of them. lol, (inserts whispering smiley here) Hey, Dave be glad you steered clear of the horse.

02-14-2005, 07:39 PM
I did notice that my horse's head was at a different angle. I think I noticed it while putting the second layer on. :( I didn't notice the other things you mentioned. Thanks for pointing them out. It is frustrating to find these things out after the fact, but I am getting better at seeing them earlier.


02-14-2005, 07:56 PM
We all have done this, noticed when it's too late. Yes, you have improved dramatically! :clap: :clap: We all want to get better, that's why we are here. It is so nice to be in such a great class with such wonderful friends!

Remember JayD said "We have to draw HUNDREDS" :evil:

02-14-2005, 08:11 PM
Yup what Judi says and Michelle I am the Queen Eraser. I will sketch something and it looks ok to me, till I look at it on the screen or till someone points out something that I really did not see, till it was pointed out to me.

02-14-2005, 08:33 PM
Happy Valentines Day Everyone!!

Best wishes to all of you---Michelle I like the colored pencils--is that the brand that you usually stick to? I have never used them myself so I was wondering what you thought of them?

02-14-2005, 09:22 PM
Hi again, Guys--I told you that for next week we are going to be combining still life and the outdoor class and will be trying to produce a drawing in the tradition of artists such as Andrew Wyeth. Here is Bucket Post for your consideration. Think about this painting this week and how you will proceed. there will be no reference photos to copy but there will be a demo. This is going to be YOUR ORIGINAL. When I post the class, all will be made known. Meanwhile think about this image from an American Master:

02-14-2005, 10:02 PM
Jay I have always admired the "Master Bedroom" and never realized it was done by Andrew Wyeth, I knew he did "Christina's World" I think his still lifes are so full of life because they have a story that you can see.

02-14-2005, 10:13 PM
Happy Valentines Day Everyone!!

Best wishes to all of you---Michelle I like the colored pencils--is that the brand that you usually stick to? I have never used them myself so I was wondering what you thought of them?

Well, I've had them for a while. I don't use them much because I don't really care for them. I find it difficult to get a good result with them. But, it's a way to add color to a drawing and still have it be a drawing. I felt that if I used real w/c in this class, I would no longer feel like it was a drawing.

As far as w/c pencils are concerned, I don't know if Caran D'ache are the best or the worst. They were a gift and I bring them when I go on location, just as I said, I rarely use them. Maybe they just take practice like everything else.


02-14-2005, 11:09 PM
I have watercolor pencils but honestly, Michelle, I have never really gotten the hang of them. My daughter uses the Cretacolor brand which she will swear by but I tend to, in my own cowardly way, stick to the prismacolors. Always willing to try something new though.

Sults--I, too, love "Master Bedroom"--It was a simple, yet elegant composition. You will like this next class--everybody is going to get to get some fresh air--and to those of you from a country other then the USB (United States of Bush), I cannot wait to see what you all are going to do. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Cathie Jones
02-15-2005, 12:25 AM
Thanks for the photo, JayD, I wasn't able to find it online. I love Wyeth's work. The mother of one of Don's former AA sponsees is an art teacher and she loaned me a big book of the Helga drawings/paintings. Fantastic stuff - so realistic you could reach in and touch her.

On the other hand, here's another student's try at building an alpallamox - on Strathmore 140# CP watercolor paper, back side. Charcoal, swabs, tort, and graphite (which I found much easier to control than charcoal pencil, which gets too dark too fast). I can see in the scan that I need to work on the shading on his face. Haven't looked closely yet. It's bedtime and while I loved working on this, I need some time away from it now.

See y'all in the morning!

02-15-2005, 08:39 AM
Jay...thank you for extending this class by a week. I had made some progress by Sunday but could not get a good enough connection to post. In fact I had trouble even reading the posts over the last two days.

Your suggestions helped, particularly the one about using a circular motion. Using a swab feels less clumsy now, though I can't say that it feels comfortable yet.

I am posting the drawing as it was on Sunday, and hopefull I should finish it tonight. Will post as and when the internet gods smile on me :D


02-15-2005, 09:06 AM
Dave, sorry to note that you have been busy with other things last week. Hope you find enough time to draw and entertain us with your comments this week :)

Your rendering of the llama has a slightly stunned or surprised look (or maybe that is the way I see it because both eyes are visiblein your drawing). Have you drawn it with coloured charcoal? Your drawing shows up with a sepia tint on my screen.

By the way, after you use the acetate sheet to protect your scanner how do you clean it? I used a plastic photo sleeve and I am not able to get rid of the charcoal dust which is now on it.

Barbara, hope you have found an effective antidote for your allergies. Have you worked any further on the staircase after Judi posted the grayscale? I would love to see your drawing after you take it further.

Judi...thank you for the grayscale version of the staircase and the llama. I too convert the reference picture and look at it but your version of the llama is much better than what I had looked at. Let me see if that helps me to do a better job with my drawing.

Cathie, I like your drawing of Zack very much, but I am not too happy with the shadow. I feel it does not anchor the subject well enough, nor does it set it off properly.

The llama is already looking good and will only get better after you shade it.

Mary, thank you for the encouragement and vote of confidence. I really need it for this one.

Vasil and Sultry, I am surprised at how different the texture of both your drawings are, visually speaking, even though they are both charcoal drawings.

Sultry, I hope your injured rib and ankle are healing quickly.

Michelle, I finally got to see your goat drawing fully. It looks really good :clap:

The horse is well drawn and as someone else has already mentioned it is very effectively coloured using just three colours. I like the colouring everywhere except the purple lips.


02-15-2005, 09:12 AM
Dave! :wave:
Did you present your lovely wife with her portrait? I'll bet she was so-o-o thrilled!

Judi, thanks, yes she was very pleased. It made a great Valentine's gift. Cheap, too! :evil: :wink2:

Blah, that llama is coming along well. I must say I find it hard to get really deep black using the swab. Perhaps it is to do with the paper, but I think not entirely, as charcoal pencil seems to work OK. The swabs just seem to move charcoal around, rather than putting more layers on to get darker values. Unfortunately, I don't have any brushes that I could use...maybe they would work better.

CJ, that's coming along nicely too. I think you're right about more shading to the face.

02-15-2005, 09:15 AM
Outdoors!!! Fresh air!!!! Brrr..... We had snow yesterday and a sleet storm last night. I hope I can find my outdoor still life somewhere near a window.

JayD, I will probably be in your neck of the woods this week. I will be going to NC Wednesday for a funeral of a brother-in-law. It's a long drive from New Jersey.


02-15-2005, 09:17 AM
JayD, I will probably be in your neck of the woods this week. I will be going to NC Wednesday for a funeral of a brother-in-law. It's a long drive from New Jersey.

Sorry to hear about your loss. Take care on that long drive.

02-15-2005, 11:09 AM
By the way, after you use the acetate sheet to protect your scanner how do you clean it? I used a plastic photo sleeve and I am not able to get rid of the charcoal dust which is now on it.

Barbara, hope you have found an effective antidote for your allergies. Have you worked any further on the staircase after Judi posted the grayscale? I would love to see your drawing after you take it further.

Hi Blah, I hope your computer problems have sorted themselves out. Thanks for asking about the staricase - I posted the final in Class 11. BTW I just sprayed my piece of clear acetate with a little water and wiped it off with paper towel. It is old and scratched up and probably makes my work look worse than it is but keeps me out of trouble. Claritan by day and Benedryl by night keeps away the allergy symptoms for me with the exception of chronic ear ache. Hopefully when the weather turns and I can bathe our puppy (who I think is now too big for the tub!) I will do better.

02-15-2005, 12:00 PM
Dave, Jay suggested that I should use small circular strokes with the swab. That worked for me. Earlier I had been trying to lay the charcoal with long strokes and was only spreading it very thin, and with little control. While this too probably has its uses, Jay's method definitely produces darker results and fairly quickly.

Michelle...I am sorry to hear about your b-i-l. My condolences.

Barbara, glad to hear that the allergies are somewhat under control. My internet connection is fine today. I'll go over right away to Class 11 and take a look at the staircase.

At work I have a good internet connection, but no time. At home, I have the time, but my connection is very undependable. The computer problem was a one-off thing....I hope.

I managed to draw some more since my last post. I am not sure whether I should call this done. I can see lots of shortcomings (apart from not getting a close likeness, which I did not try for this time), but I doubt my ability at this stage to correct them.

I have spent around 5 hours in all on this drawing using charcoal, cotton swabs, an electric eraser, a few lines with a charcoal pencil, and white charcoal for the highlights on the eye.


02-15-2005, 12:29 PM
Hi Michelle, Dave, Blah & Barbara :wave:

Michelle, I am sorry to hear of your loss also, my condolences to you and your family.

Dave if you have a Walmart by you, the cheap brushes are what I am using to charcoal paint with. They do make a difference and are so much faster to blend with then my swabs. I have a flat #4 & round #2 that I really like using and I have dipped them in water & hair gel then I let them dry hard. When you pat the excess charcoal off of the brush you do not spread the charcoal so much. I am only using charcoal pencils that I sand on a little sander paddle. I use the charcoal powder from this.

Blah, your alpaca looks good. What I can see is that it needs more value to show the contour of the fur on top of the head. The scan shows only one tone.
Also, I know your having a time with coming in WC but could you peek in class #2 at Susan's kleenex box, something does not look porportioned on it to me and I am lost to say what it is.

Cathie Jones
02-15-2005, 04:34 PM
Hi Blah! Thanks for looking at Zack. I'm not at all pleased with the way he turned out - the hair doesn't look silky as it should. It's done, though and I'm on to something else.

I like your llama, especially the eyes and the 'smile.' You nailed really nailed the look!

I've been brave and put the drawings right on the scanner glass. I'll clean it with an ammonia window cleaner before I scan anything 'important.' :D

02-15-2005, 06:32 PM
Sorry CJ I have been getting booted off this site all day and did not see your alpaca till now. You have done a great job on the fur. :clap: Just needs some more darks to bring out the shapes in it. I think you have it porportioned correctly though. Soft & furry looking to me :)

02-15-2005, 06:34 PM
Hello Class, :wave:
I'm hoping to join in on this one, (a little late)
I'm having trouble saving the image, the message I keep getting is "system cannot find the file specified"
does anyone know if that's trouble on my end or is anyone else having that problem?

02-15-2005, 06:42 PM
Hi Boot & Welcome to WC & 101 :wave: I think WC has been working on the servers today. I was not able to post, upload images or even send pms earlier.
Glad you are going to join the 101 course we are always open to new classmates. :)

02-15-2005, 06:50 PM
Hey CJ :wave:
When did you sneak Zack in?!?! I think he's adorable and :clap: :clap: .
I agree with Blah, his shadow darkened would be good, but I love him! Your alpaca looks good too, needs some more darks. Also look at his silhouette, I think his snout is rounder and few other things pertaining to his face. (greyscale attached) I like his hair, yours is not quite as clumpy as the ref, but it looks good. :clap:
Blah, Your welcome, glad the greyscale helped. I agree w/ Sults on the mop top. Looks good so far! :clap:
Michelle, I am so sorry about your Brother-in-Law! My sympathies to you and yours.
Barb, hope your allergies settle down.
Hey Dave!

02-15-2005, 07:03 PM
Hey Boot, :wave:
Another welcome to WC and 101! Glad to have you join us. It is recommended you start in Class 1. When you post, someone or more than one will scurry over to see you and talk or comment on the lesson or your post. Also feel free to pm JayD, Sultry, or anyone in the class, we are happy to help you and if we can't help, we will find you the help you need.

You will love this class!! Welcome aboard!

As for your files, there has been trouble with the WC system today and that may be your problem. Try again. :D If you are still unsuccessful, we'll see what else can be tried.

Cathie Jones
02-15-2005, 07:51 PM
Hi Judi and Sults - and Blah and Dave and Mary - and JayD - and everyone else - and WELCOME Boot! Always glad to see new faces around here!!

Thanks for looking at the alpaca, Subbies. He's a cute critter, and his kind of fur works really well for swabs - just use a circular motion and you have it! I hope to work on him more tonight, and definitely tomorrow night if he isn't finished by then. I've been using a greyscale, but looked at the color version today and there's lots more detail there. My biggest problem has been getting enough charcoal on the swab, so I'll try sanding some down - sounds easier.

Michelle, take care of yourself and come back to us safely. Our hearts will be with you.

Almost time to go home - - this work stuff sure gets in the way of what I want to do!! See you later . . .

02-15-2005, 07:58 PM
I'll try sanding some down - sounds easier.

Hey CJ :wave:
I liked it that way as well. :D He is looking great!

Mary Woodul
02-15-2005, 09:37 PM
Good evening! everyone :wave: I'll get to work tomorrow, so far, I haven't done anything this week. I just came back from the movies. I went with a friend because DH is not a movie goer. We went to see The Phantom of the Opera. I think it is an incredible movie, with splendid music, voices, costume design and scenography, actually everything about it.

JayD, Thank you for posting the bucket post, it is a beautiful painting. I can hardly wait for next week's assignment. :D

CJ, I love the work on the top of you Alpaca. The hair is so well controlled.

Michelle, I'm sorry about the bad news and take care.

Hi Dave, Sults, Barbara and Judi :wave: BTW Barbara, I can't live without my Claritin in the spring. Hope you feel better.

Blah, Your Llama is looking good and your are so good with eyes.

Hi Boot, :wave: , welcome to the class.

See you all tomorrow, I better go see about drawing something. :o :wave:

02-15-2005, 10:31 PM
Posting my WIP as I will be out till at least Thursday nite. I found this raccoon in the RIL (by whom I don't remember and as WC is such a snail these days, I will not trudge thru there tonite to find out).
This was captioned "Please Help Me".
Arches Cold Press w/ Rembrandt and Nupastels (Thanks Joe!). It's a little foreign as I am so used to having sharp points on my tools.
C & C please.

Hey Mary! :wave:

Good night and see yunz later!

02-15-2005, 11:07 PM
Hi Mary & how nice to go see something you like. :) I used to work for Robert Goulet when I first moved to Vegas years ago and at the time he was performing as King Arthur in Camelot and so I got to see him perform this a few times. Every time was spectacular with colorful costumes and props wow. So I can just imagine what the costumes and props looked like for you. :)

Hi Judi, another Judi MasterPiece I see in Pastels. Looks like a racoon to me. I do not see a ref pic to compare so I really can not give you much in constructive C&C. :) Just know that I like the colors and the eyes look very cute.

Cathie Jones
02-15-2005, 11:14 PM
That's a good looking raccoon, Judi!

Here are my alpaca and the greyscale photo together - I haven't seen them together yet, so we'll all be surprised (one way or the other!!). ;)

C&C please . . . wait . . . was that JayD I heard saying 'more darks - be bold' . . . nah!

Mary Woodul
02-16-2005, 07:52 AM
Judi, your racoon is looking great.

CJ, I just see the need of a little contrast but the face on yours has a lot of expression. BW I'm going to load some photo's today to the RL, some are the entrances you liked.

Sultry, that must have been a very interesting Job. :wave:

02-16-2005, 08:30 AM
Judi, is that really the first time you've used pastels?! If so, I bet you're enjoying them...this looks very good indeed. :clap: :clap:

CJ, your alpaca looks very cute. I wonder if all these animal pictures look so cute because this method produces a soft and cuddly look, because the ref images are cute, or because we're all a bunch of softies. Although others don't seem to have this problem, I do find it hard to achieve strong contrast this way. Much easier to use a charcoal pencil for the darks!

Hi Boot, glad to have you aboard. :wave: WC seems to be behaving itself today (touch wood), so hope you have more success.

Cathie Jones
02-16-2005, 09:02 AM
Hi Mary and Dave! I'll work on more contrast tonight, I see what you mean.

Dave, I think almost everyone is a pushover for a soft animal, and this technique certainly does create them, doesn't it? I'm not sure how JayD kept his dolphin from looking fuzzy!!


02-16-2005, 09:52 AM
Hi everyone :wave:

Yes Mary it was an interesting job but I could not stand his wife Vera so I quit. lol Do you know the nicest thing she said to me, was oh you do you have a brain. He is a wonderful man even though. lol, his voice is very deep in person too. Hey I loved your outside spanish style outside settings, I would like to do that too. Please pm me link Mary.

Hi CJ, You are doing fantastic and I thought I would show you how I acheive my fur. I do it in layers of 4 steps. Sorry did this charcoal fur study on copy paper really fast for you. So it does not hold the charcoal to well but you will get my meaning.

Step 1) Mid Tone

Step 2) Add Darks, I take the swab and swirl it in circles on the paper in the mapped out areas that show dark on the ref pic.

Step 3) Erase for Lights, I take my kneaded eraser or pencil eraser and mark out lines for fur.

Step 4) Add more Darks, I take my # 4 Flat brush and paint charcoal under the lights ( erased lines ) I do this next to all the white lines, not on the white part. So it pops out the white more.

To do longer hair I do the same but only with longer eraser marks and longer painted strokes. Sometimes, I may add a Step 5 and do a little more erasing marks but with my pencil eraser.

The trick is to make a strong contrast and to do that is to make your darks dark and your lights light.

Hope this helps you.

Cathie Jones
02-16-2005, 10:17 AM
Good demo, Sults! :clap: :clap: Thanks.

02-16-2005, 01:42 PM
Hi all :wave:
I’ve been away for a few days away, everyone has turned in wonderful work :clap: :clap: , and as usual I’m way behind.
Blah – You have a drawn a very nice soft llama. I will try to emulate that softness if I get back to mine tomorrow.
CJ – Zack is adorable regardless of you opinion! Nice alpaca too!
Sults – excellent demo!
Vazil – Terrific horse!
Michelle – great goat and horse!
Dave – I don’t think any of these llamas will end up at Famous Paintings of Llamas, but you have to admit they were a laugh.
Judi – the Raccoon is wonderful and it looks like you are having fun with the pastels!
JayD – It’s cold outside here in February, so I might be sticking to the still lifes :(
Boot - Welcome – hope you upload problems are resolved soon.

Cathie Jones
02-16-2005, 05:22 PM
*psssst . . . hey classies! I was just visiting over in the watercolor forum and guess what they told me?




Mary Woodul
02-16-2005, 05:31 PM

Happy Birthday, Stacy

02-16-2005, 06:07 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

02-16-2005, 06:46 PM
Happy Birthday Stacey!

Judi - Racoon is looking good! :clap:

CJ - Your alpaca is an excellent likeness. I do agree with Mary, I would like to see more contrast, especially more darks in the neck fur.

Having given up on hair after Beauregard and over come with all the cutsey animal pictures:evil: ...here is what I have been working on this week. :angel:

It is graphite on Canson Drawing paper (9"x12")

02-16-2005, 06:51 PM


02-16-2005, 07:51 PM
[Happy Birthday Stacey!!!

Hi, everybody! Looks like the class is zooming along.

Boot, Welcome--Hope to see lots of you here in the class.

Sults Good Job--Hi JOE, HI Dave

Cleo--we will work something out when the time comes--down here in the carolinas it is in the 70's and getting warmer.

Joe--consider taking the charcoal into the inside of the skull--there is a lot of opportunity to work some magic here. :clap: :clap:

CJ--with charcoal you have to work it slow--move the swab in short circular motions--build your darks layer by layer. Someone told me the other day that I have unusual control with my charcoal but any control I have is due to the yeech factor that I have over soiling the hands. :D Fur leaves you with a greater opportunity to explore the intensities of light and dark--I think the dolphin was simpler but it had its problems to when compared with the Alpaca/Llama.

Mary Woodul
02-16-2005, 08:06 PM
Sults, I forgot to mention the demo and it is very good and clear one. Thank you!

Wow, Joe, can't tell you I love your skull, but I sure do like the way you worked it. It is perfect. :clap:

Hey class and JayD. Have you heard of a lápiz borracha? If I translate it literally it means, "drunk pencil". Well I'm sure that is not what it is meant to mean. It is by Faber_Castell made in Brazil, so I guess the borracha comes from borrar, which means erase. But it does not erase, it blends very nicely.
The tip is hard, like wood and is just like any graphite pencil and you sharpen it the same. At the art store, they didn't know what it was for. If you try to erase, it picks up some graphite and that can be used to mark with it in a blended way. Haven't used it for charcoal yet. If any of you know what it is, let me know. :D

Fireman's kid
02-16-2005, 09:07 PM
Thank you all for the birthday wishes!!!

I have a big smile on my face now. :D You guys are great!

I was actually surprised that they picked up on my birthday over in the watercolor forum since I have been spending almost all of my time here lately. And CJ was so kind to spread the word. A nice end to a nice day. But Joe, I must admit, that skull is a little scary! Definitely not cutesy!!

Well, I gotta run. Hubby hasn't had a chance to give me his presents yet. Unfortunately for him, I got some very heartfelt, homemade cards and books from my 5 year old girls so whatever he has, I don't think he can beat that. :)

See you all tomorrow and thanks again!

Cathie Jones
02-16-2005, 09:32 PM
Joe, that skull is . . . um . . . very realistic! (At least it's smiling :D )
JayD, I must have 10 layers of charcoal on that critter's neck by now. The problem was that I had major trouble getting enough charcoal on the swab. Last night I made some powder and it was much easier, but I was concentrating on the face. I'll work more on the fur tonight, layering more as well as trying Sults' technique. Whatever happens, he's finished tonight - tomorrow night I'm back to work on the newspaper.
Did I tell you guys that Don e-mailed the final version - in several pieces, it was 44 pages - to the printer yesterday? They looked at, pronounced it good, and should have printed it today. Tomorrow it will go to the mailing service and then Don will drive to Fresno to pick up the extra copies we order to give away. I can't wait to see it!!!

02-16-2005, 10:55 PM
CJ, Cleo, Mary & Jay ty for C&C on my fur study. :) Hiyas Dave & Joe :wave:
I miss Judi :( she is on her fieldtrip and will not be back till tomorrow night.

I am so excited about how much I have learned with this course and I just want everyone else to understand what I learned also. I have decided to show demos when I can (it helps me too).

CJ, I forgot to mention I spray inbetween layers to get the charcoal to even come out darker. Hope the technique is working for you. :wink2:

Did I tell you guys that Don e-mailed the final version - in several pieces, it was 44 pages - to the printer yesterday? They looked at, pronounced it good, and should have printed it today. Tomorrow it will go to the mailing service and then Don will drive to Fresno to pick up the extra copies we order to give away. I can't wait to see it!!!

:clap: :clap: :clap: I am happy for you Cathy :)

Stacy, I remember yearsss ago those sweet homemade cards, cherish them, they grow up to quick.

Mary, I loved your pics and ty for the pm and I rated them 10 s :clap:

Jay, Well I have figured out what was wrong with my other horses # 1 & #2 ( I drew them without really looking at the ref pic). I was drawing the horse from memory and how I think a horse should look.
Then I tried to fix the horse #2 with a face lift by doing it upside down but I only erased the top half and tried to add the bottom half by looking at ref upside down and the drawing. That is what produced a 2 porportioned horse.
I decided to scrap all the horse pics and start over on a clean white piece of wc 140 lb (back) with just the outline first with a #F mech pencil.
Here is stage 1, Horse all porportioned and drawn mostly upside down. I turned it over to do a little detail here and there. :)
Hey, I just put in a recent pic of myself in my profile and I think all of us should do the same because it would be fun to do a portrait of each of our class mates for the portrait class. What you think Teach? huh? &&&&& all of us should do your pic and hand it to you at the end of the 101 course :evil:

Cathie Jones
02-17-2005, 12:05 AM
Okay, Sults, your spray comment reminds me of the friend who gives you a recipe and, after it flops for you, she says "Oh, and I add half a cup of ****, did I leave that out?" LOL NOW you tell me you spray it!

The new horse drawing is fantastic! Drawing upside-down seems to work really well for you. Like JayD, it doesn't work for me. Probably caused by years of reading things upside-down on people's desks! (Shhhh . . . don't tell)

So, time's up, Mr. Alpacallama is finished. NOW I'll crop and spray him. I wish you could see him full size - he's 7 x 10 on 9 x 12 paper with only a few smudges.

See you nice people in the morning!!!

02-17-2005, 12:24 AM
CJ this is perfect it looks like photo NO LIE it does oh WoW :clap: :clap: :clap: ~~~~KAV~~~~ (INSERTS JAW DROP SMILEY HERE) WoW I just love it :clap: :cat:
I mean it can you tell?

Mary Woodul
02-17-2005, 06:45 AM
Good morning everyone!

Sults, wow! I can't believe you did that upside down. I could never do that :envy: It is looking very good! :clap: :clap:

CJ, your Llama is so cute and wooly you gave it the real alpaca texture. :clap: :clap:

I'm almost finished with my first portrait; in the portraiture class. That's what I've been working on this week. :evil:

Sults, I love your picture in the profile. :cat:

Cathie Jones
02-17-2005, 08:41 AM
Aw, shucks, Sults - thanks! I'm so glad you like my critter.

I looked at your profile - you're gorgeous! Thanks for posting the photo. I'll do the same when I have time to find one. And if JayD doesn't post his photo, I'll just go on thinking he looks like Gomer Pyle! :D

02-17-2005, 09:04 AM
These are all wonderful and cute :clap:
I couldn't figure out which fur I wanted to try for so I tried them all :p
No blending or smudging technics.Just using side pencil mostly on these.
I did like the lama best :D

02-17-2005, 09:12 AM
Showing off Bon? :D :D Love it--its a great composition as well.

CJ--I hope I don't frighten you but take a look at my profile there--I have posted a photo for the curious and lover of circus freaks. :D

CJ--wonderful work on the Llama--great application and variation of lights and darks. It looks a bit like Maynard G. Krebs. :D

Cathie Jones
02-17-2005, 10:32 AM
WOOHOO! Words of praise from the master! Thanks JayD - and everyone else - for those extra pushes that get these things done right.

Bon, you should show off here more often - your work is candy for the eyes!!

02-17-2005, 11:19 AM
Hiyas everyone :wave:

Mary you better let me know when you post your portrait. What is it for? Is it the mthly one that everyone draws?

Oh My, CJ don't be mad at me but......now you can darken up Zack, okay???? :angel:

Bon, Wow the compostion of your work is beautiful and you said you rendered these with just graphite???? What # pencils did you use?

Jay, OH MY GOODNESS, your not at all how I pictured you....I kind of thought of you looking more like a man with short military grey hair and a clean cut beard with glasses only more of a executive look except with a little more outdoorsie look. I am pleasantly surprised. :) to say your a heck of lot handsomer then I thought. Oh and I like the way your photo is too, It reminds me of the Beatles 60's Era type of photos.
Edited to add.... CJ, you have no excuse either, spraying Zack with fixitive will only alow more dark charcoal. :wink2:

Cathie Jones
02-17-2005, 11:28 AM
Oh My, CJ don't be mad at me but......now you can darken up Zack, okay???? :angel:

Well, Sults, I supposed I could darken Zack . . . but since he's mostly a white dog, and I've already made him a grey dog . . . I wouldn't know what to darken. :evil: :angel: The problem I see with Zack is that he looks 'fuzzy' instead of 'silky.'