Friday, May 30, 2008


"Val"    9x9"

I wanted to post the finished image of "Val", the commission piece I blogged about earlier this month. I am finally happy with it but must admit that I spent more than 8 hours working and reworking the nose. This is a great example of how a photo reference can lie and one should always trust their artistic instincts.

On to the next one!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Show Schedule

"Hopeful"    3x5"

I thought I would post this image because of the title. I am "hopeful" that many of you will be able to come out and see me at some of the following summer art festivals. All of these are juried shows and have a great selection of fabulous local artwork. 

June 13-15th Edmonds Arts Festival

July 10-13th  Kent Cornucopia Days
July 18-20th  Kirkland Uncorked
July 25-27th  Bellevue Festival of the Arts

August 1-3rd  Anacortes Arts Festival
August 15-17th Best of the Northwest

November 7-9th Bainbridge Island Art in the Woods  www.
November 14-16th Best of the Northwest

So, there you have it. Stop in and say hello to Scout and I if you get a chance.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Summer/Fall Class Schedule

I have finally scheduled some workshops at my studio in Kingston for the summer and fall. I will be teaching the same method as previous classes at Sitka Art Center (Oregon) and Tiggy's in Canada. Here is the general course description:

"This workshop will teach you how to use pen and ink, watercolor, and colored pencil together to create richly detailed pieces of art. This mixed media approach allows for a quick build up of color and value while still leaving room for the beautiful detail and control of colored pencil. You will learn watercolor and colored pencil application tips, and how to extract the best qualities of each medium in this fun and informative workshop."

There is a 6 person max so I can spend the time necessary with each person. Cost is $90.00 per day. Here are the dates I have available fro 2008:

July 15-16th
August 8-10th
September 5-7th

The image above was created using this method (as are most of my pieces) and gives an idea of what the course will cover though subject matter is open to suggestion. It is nice having classes at my studio as students can also see how I organize and use my space, and get to see works in progress. 

Hope to see you there!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Self Proclaimed

"Self Proclaimed"      9x10"

I am happy to say that this piece was juried into the Colored Pencil Society’s International Show at the Seattle Convention Center this year. This one qualifies me for my Five Year Merit award within the society so I am very happy that juror Jeffery Moose (Jeffery Moose Gallery of Seattle) felt it should be included. It is 100% colored pencil, as per the show's requirements, and I was reminded while creating it why I now work in mixed media.  Major time consumer!

The subject might be familiar to some of you. It is a neon sign for a diner in the SODO District of Seattle down on 4th Avenue. I have never eaten there so I can’t attest to the fish claim but it made a nice drawing!

Hope you like it and that you can make it to see the show if you are in the Seattle area this summer. Please visit  and click on “Events” for more information on this year’s International Exhibition.



Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Favorite Colors

This posting is to answer one of the most asked questions I get as an instructor– what colors do you use the most or in other words, what are your favorite colors? I am going to list my favorite Prismacolor colored pencil colors as this is the brand I use the most. They are not in any particular order but the bolded ones I consider “uber” favorites. You will probably be surprised by some of these choices since I am known mainly for my animal art but without these superstars my work would be flat and lifeless.


Limepeel – Great for cat eyes, fur, and bright blades of grass.

AQUAMARINE – Most favorite color! Adds life to fur, eyes, everything. A little goes a long way so be careful.

GINGER ROOT – Perfect for light colored animal fur like on Golden Labs.

Deco Blue – discontinued color so if you see it anywhere get it. Nice for shadows on white or light colored areas.

PARMA VIOLET – Just a pretty color, perfect for adding to objects that are predominately red/brown or sienna like a Golden Retriever’s coat. (Complimenatry,eh!)

Pale Vermillion – Another bright, lively color that works well when added near green (grass or cat eyes), think Wayne Thiebeau style.

Poppy Red – Use much like Pale Vermillion.

Mineral Orange – A nice, subtle orange that brightens brown eyes, and the coats of light brown to red animals.

Henna – The base color for many animal noses, mouths, tongues, and other mucosa.

Eggshell – A little darker version of Cream in the Lightfast line of colors. Nice when paired with Ginger Root.

Dark Umber – A good, dark brown with some red in it so it isn’t flat.

Indigo – Perfect substitute for Black as long as you don’t add any light color over it. White over Indigo creates a pale blue color that isn’t always desirable.

IMPERIAL VIOLET – This color and Violet are always added to the shadows in my drawings to add life to the image and create depth.

Violet – See above.

Peacock Blue – This is an interesting greenish-blue that works well in the shadows of greenery and makes a nice addition to the cool shadows of animals and other subjects.

Pumpkin Orange – A stronger version of Mineral Orange and used in much the same way only more sparingly.

French Grays – All the percentages of these grays are very useful for establishing values. I like them best because they are cast toward the brown tones and therefore warm.

Peach Beige – This is a good neutral when working on light subjects, especially white animals.

Green Ochre – Finally, a good, natural green to use for grass, trees, ect.

SPANISH ORANGE – This color can brighten up just about anything with just a light layer or make a big statement with just a little line.

There you have it. These are by no means the only pencils I use (I pretty much use them all) but these are certainly standouts that I seek out more often than not.

Happy Coloring!

Monday, May 12, 2008


"Domino"   8x12"

This is a commission piece I made delivery on today. The owner has to be the nicest man I have ever met and he told me a lot of wonderful stories about this dog.  This will go down as one of my favorite commissions ever because it made a man smile when he remembered his best friend. 

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I would like you all to meet "Val", my current commission. She is a LARGE and in charge Rott mix that a client of mine just adores. Those of you who just took my Animal Features workshop will recognize the technique I am using. The top image shows the whole piece and you can see that I have inked the entire piece black except for the brown areas that are blocked in with watercolor.

I am now beginning to apply the colored pencil starting with the eye on the right and the gray in the fur which is shown in detail in the second photo. Essentially, I use grays and black to create the form and anatomy of her head while trying to avoid seeing all the fabulous color she is reflecting. No easy task for me. The purple pencils are just screaming for me to pick them up. Oh, the self restraint!

More later. Enjoy

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Chez Two Dog

So I am back home and getting caught up on the mundane tasks around chez Two Dog. I had a great time in Canada at Jackie's studio (www.tiggy' as always and have posted an image from the class. Scout and I are going to miss being up there but look forward to returning in September to teach more workshops. 

The first image is of Scout after our day of cleaning out the vegetable garden Sunday. She was quite a little helper as she frantically "aerated" the soil in anticipation of this year's crops.

This week the name of the game is commissions - so I will be posting images from my current commission drawings for your review. Hope you like!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Destination Canada, eh?

Well, I am off to beautiful B.C. to teach a couple of classes at my great friend Jackie's shop near White Rock. The first one is on animal features so I will post some samples from this in a few days. It is very strange to be teaching this particular class as the very first colored pencil class I ever took (9 long years ago) was of the same subject. Feels very full circle. 

When I get back I have oodles of work to do. Gearing up for my first year of summer festivals, too many commissions to get my head around, finishing up my first book, and a gallery show of urban landscapes just to name a few. Hopefully, I can get a few figurative pieces thrown in there just for fun. The good news is that I will be taking you all with me on this wild ride and you can keep me on task!

Tally ho!