Thursday, September 28, 2017

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Kois in Pond Step by Step

Pencil Sketch

Decided on color of rocks

Still more rocks

Rocks are hard

Added colorful kois

Getting there...

My Kois in Pond is Done!!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

September Paintings

Kois in Pond Acrylic on 18"x24" Canvas. September 24.
Cezanne's Tulips in Vase WC on paper. September 19.
Carabao WC and Ink on Moleskine. September 10.
Jamie Oliver's Gourds. WC and Ink on Moleskine. September 8.
Tegernsee Landscape still by Macke. WC on Moleskine. September 7.
Blue Girl Reading by Expressionist August Macke. WC on Moleskine. September 7.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Pastel Drawing Painting Techniques

This is a soft pastel tutorial for the absolute beginner.  It's an exercise in patience, with the video running at 2 hours and also a subtle message of not being discouraged in using an inferior soft pastel brand such as Mungyo. Lovely.

A slew of SLEW

There are so many dictionary entries for the word "slew", I'm having a difficult time pasting them here. Who knew there could be so many?


Synonyms Examples Word Origin
See more synonyms on
simple past tense of slay.

slew2or slue

noun, Informal.
a large number or quantity:
a whole slew of people.

Origin of slew2
Irish Americanism; < Irish sluagh crowd, throng, army, host

verb (used with or without object), noun

noun, U.S., Canadian.
slough1(def 3).

verb (used with object), slew or slayed, (especially for def 4); slain; slaying.
to kill by violence.
to destroy; extinguish.
to impress strongly; overwhelm, especially by humor:
Your jokes slay me.
to make a strong impression with:
She really slayed her performance last night.
Obsolete. to strike.
verb (used without object), slew or slayed, (especially for def 7); slain; slaying.
to kill or murder.
Slang. to strongly impress or overwhelm someone:
His whole album slays.
Origin before 900; Middle English sleen, slayn, Old English slēan; cognate with Dutch slaan, German schlagen, Old Norse slā, Gothic slahan “to strike, beat”

Related forms slayable, adjective
slayer, noun
unslayable, adjective

See more synonyms on
1. murder, slaughter, massacre, butcher, assassinate. 2. annihilate, ruin.
slue1or slew

verb (used with object), slued, sluing.
to turn (a mast or other spar) around on its own axis, or without removing it from its place.
to swing around.
verb (used without object), slued, sluing.
to turn about; swing around.
the act of sluing.
a position slued to.

First recorded in 1760-70; origin uncertain
sleyor slay, sleigh

noun, plural sleys.
the reed of a loom.
the warp count in woven fabrics.
British. the lay of a loom.
verb (used with object)
to draw (warp ends) through the heddle eyes of the harness or through the dents of the reed in accordance with a given plan for weaving a fabric.

before 1050; Middle English sleye, Old English slege weaver's reed; akin to Dutch slag, German Schlag, Old Norse slag, Gothic slahs a blow; see slay

Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source

Examples from the Web for slew
Contemporary Examples

He says device makers also will have to meet a slew of security requirements: Can the device be encrypted?

How Your Pacemaker Will Get Hacked
Kaiser Health News
November 16, 2014
Between her slew of appointments, Lennox manages to squeeze in enough time for no less than 40 different charities.

Annie Lennox Doesn’t Give a Damn What You Think

Itay Hod
October 20, 2014
Apparently, Minaj received a slew of offensive tweets and rude Instagram comments in response to the racy image.

Beyoncé’s ‘Flawless’ Lyrics Tease Her Elevator Drama with Jay Z
Amy Zimmerman
August 4, 2014
Afterwards, a slew of major NBA reporters did their best to quell the giddy, growing mob.

LeBron James Returns to Cleveland: How 'The Decision 2.0' Happened
Robert Silverman
July 10, 2014
The park administration has embarked on a slew of tourist-luring projects.

Can Gorillas Save the Democratic Republic of the Congo?
Nina Strochlic
April 27, 2014

Historical Examples
I strained a sinew on the day that I slew the three men at Castelnau.

The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
Therefore your lives are justly forfeit, and none would blame us if we slew you.

Fair Margaret
H. Rider Haggard
He was my father, Sire, and I saw him slain—aye, and slew the slayer.

Fair Margaret
H. Rider Haggard
The hound fell without a sound, and with equal ease he slew the second.

The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
So they drove off the best of the cattle of the Sun and slew them.

Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew
Josephine Preston Peabody

British Dictionary definitions for slew
the past tense of slay
to twist or be twisted sideways, esp awkwardly: he slewed around in his chair
(nautical) to cause (a mast) to rotate in its step or (of a mast) to rotate in its step
the act of slewing

Word Origin
C18: of unknown origin
a variant spelling (esp US) of slough1(sense 2)
(informal, mainly US & Canadian) a great number or amount; a lot
Word Origin
C20: from Irish Gaelic sluagh; related to Old Irish slōg army
noun, verb
a variant spelling (esp US) of slew2
a variant spelling of slough1(sense 2)
(US, informal) a variant spelling of slew4
verb (transitive) slays, slaying, slew, slain
(archaic or literary) to kill, esp violently
(slang) to impress (someone) sexually
(obsolete) to strike

Derived Forms
slayer, noun
Word Origin
Old English slēan; related to Old Norse slā, Gothic, Old High German slahan to strike, Old Irish slacaim I beat
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source

Word Origin and History for slew
"swampy place," 1708, North American variant of slough.

"to turn, swing, twist," 1834, earlier slue (1769), a nautical word, of unknown origin. Slewed (1801) is old nautical slang for "drunk." Slew-foot "clumsy person who walks with feet turned out" is from 1896.

"large number," 1839, from Irish sluagh "a host, crowd, multitude," from Celtic and Balto-Slavic *sloug- "help, service" (see slogan ).

Old English slean "to smite, strike, beat," also "to kill with a weapon, slaughter" (class VI strong verb; past tense sloh, slog, past participle slagen), from Proto-Germanic *slahan, from root *slog- "to hit" (cf. Old Norse and Old Frisian sla, Danish slaa, Middle Dutch slaen, Dutch slaan, Old High German slahan, German schlagen, Gothic slahan "to strike"). The Germanic words are from PIE root *slak- "to strike" (cf. Middle Irish past participle slactha "struck," slacc "sword").

Modern German cognate schlagen maintains the original sense of "to strike." Meaning "overwhelm with delight" (mid-14c.) preserves one of the wide range of meanings the word once had, including, in Old English, "stamp (coins); forge (weapons); throw, cast; pitch (a tent), to sting (of a snake); to dash, rush, come quickly; play (the harp); gain by conquest."

"instrument on a weaver's loom to beat up the weft," Old English slæ, slea, slahae, from root meaning "strike" (see slay (v.)), so called from "striking" the web together. Hence the surname Slaymaker "maker of slays."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Slang definitions & phrases for slew

A large quantity; oodles, slathers: a slew of cops

[1839+; probably fr Irish sluagh, ''host, multitude'']


To impress someone powerfully, esp to provoke violent and often derisive laughter: Pardon me, this will slay you/ The boys who slay me are the ones who have set pieces to recite when they answer the phone (1593+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.

Rule of Thirds &the Golden Ratio in Art

Art Lessons - Methods for finding pleasing compositions (Aaron's Art Tip...)

I found this Art Tip informative yet amusing.  He managed to squish in his artworks into the Fibonacci Spiral, and not the other way 'round where the Golden Rectangle fits decidedly into the elements of the drawing. Hm. But I watched it twice. Still interesting in making compositions in painting with the Rule of Thirds and the Golden Ratio. The bottom line for composition: "If it feels right, then it probably is right." ---Aaron Blaise

Process of a Pastel portrait, Big size portrait

Again, another amazing tutorial, from start to finish! This time a pastel portrait painted in real time which I so need to do for an upcoming competition.

Art Sherpa Tutorial

#lovesummerart wave on beach painting  acrylic easy beginner art lesson

I have to admit, I'm still relatively new to painting in acrylics. Truth to tell, I have just been painting with this medium for two years straight. I love tutorials by The Art Sherpa on YouTube and I just watched this one so I'm sharing it here.  Besides painting well, she has so many snippets/nuggets of wisdom to share by her simple remarks, and they make a ton of difference for a learning artist like me.  I follow her Facebook Page where the members are really supportive of one another as well and I know it first hand.  Of all the YouTube "quick artists" out there, Art Sherpa is one I truly admire!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

AKA The Divine Proportion

As part of my research into applying the Fibonacci Sequence to my painting compositions, I stumbled across a Donald Duck YouTube explaining the Golden Ratio and what it meant to the Greeks who incorporated it to their Architecture, etc...

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Wonder Woman Pop Art! Step by Step

Pencil Sketch

Adding the reds.

Blue and Red.

Red Blue and Yellow. Primaries.


Orangey background.
To black outlines. Wonder Woman POP! Art!!

Monday, August 7, 2017

August Paintings

Wonder Woman Pop Art. 16"x 20" Acrylic. August 24.

Persian Still Life. 13"x 20" Soft Pastel on Lana. August 19.

Flowers in Pastel on black notebook. August 18.

Dog in Soft Pastel on black notebook. August 17.

Puffins x2 WC on Moleskine. August 7.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Gal Gadot Step by Step

From pencil sketch
To fleshtones
To greens

Ta-Dah!  My Gal Ga-Doll!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

July Paintings

Gal Gadot. 12"x 16" Acrylic on canvas. July 26.
Still Life WC on Moleskine. July 22.
HE Godfather. 7"x 9" Acrylic. July 17.
9"x 12" Acrylic of TIME Kickball. July 16.
Godfather Gouache on paper. Unearthed July 16.
Man in Mirror 5B Pencil Sketch. July 13. 
Cezanne-inspired Fruits. WC on Moleskine. July 13.
A Cezanne Still Life WC. On Moleskine. July 12.
Sunflowers & Delphiniums WC on Moleskine. July 2.
Duterte and Trump WC on Moleskine. July 1.
Two of the most vilified statesmen in recent history. One actually gets his job done!

Friday, June 16, 2017


Watercolor is both hard and easy. It's a fairly easy medium to use yet takes a lot of mastery to make it worth your while. I admire the watercolor artists I see on Facebook, especially those who make landscape/urban art, maybe because I don't know how to do those. Anyway, as I want to learn doing portraits first, I'll stick with this genre for today. My art journal offering is of Sylvester Stallone (an artist/expressionist himself) as Rocky. I slaved over the skin-tone for an hour from 5 in the morning to 6 am...or was it earlier? I didn't want to treat it loose and transparent afraid I wasn't going to capture his likeness at all.  As usual, there's room for improvement but I'm learning. I must say Holbein WC is good even when used thickly and opaque.

Not to self: I noticed I choose my reference pictures carefully. Otherwise, how do I keep my inspiration while I attain likeness? I have to keep this in mind though for my future projects.

P.S. RIP John Avildsen, Director of both Rocky and The Karate Kid.

I think I penciled a good likeness of Rocky.
But look how dramatic a simple sketch turns when painted in!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Wonder Woman

It's hard to do portraits for sure but I feel challenged to do it every time I see a face worth painting.  I think I have done my entire family in oil in the 1990's.  Problem is, I haven't done many in my art career and I haven't really practiced doing it recently and with a little shoulder discomfort, I'm afraid I'm not as accurate as before.  So, how do you capture a beautiful, inspiring face on paper or canvas?  I'm referring to my dilemma of translating current worldwide sensation Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) first into watercolor.

Answer:  Just do it and enjoy your work I guess.  This particular WC does not capture the full gorgeousness of Gadot especially if I put my reference side by side with my artwork but I can say I'm happy with the similarity or my particular version of her and I really enjoyed doing another face using my newly-rediscovered medium of choice.  I used high-quality Holbein watercolor tubes and they turned out pretty well on my 8"x 5" Moleskine even though I didn't think they would!  Anyway, I'm so excited to share this with the world.  It may not be perfect but it's not bad either.  Not bad at all!  As a matter of fact, despite its many imperfections, I love it!  I love portraits!
Gal Gadot
"Hey Chris, they asked me who I thought would win in a battle between Wonder Woman and Thor.
I think Wonder Woman, what about you?"

Below are Photoshopped-added effects:

Thursday, June 8, 2017

KOIS Step by Step

A world of oranges

Cyan Blue, Black and White

Kois are fun and done!

10"x 14" Double Kois

8"x 10" Single Koi