Category Archives: color pencil

New Frontiers

bison guitar complete final edit

“Can you do a painting of a buffalo on a guitar?”  This request came from a friend, asking for her significant other.  She wanted to know if I could meet with him to discuss the project as he had very specific ideas about what he wanted.

I had questions…  Did he want a painting of a “picture” of a guitar with a buffalo on it (which I didn’t really want to do), or did he want me to paint a picture of a buffalo on an actual guitar (which I REALLY didn’t want to do)?  Since it was a close friend asking, I decided to at least hear what he had to say, even though I was quite certain that I did not want to take on this project.

He wanted me to paint on an actual guitar.  I said no. He had put a good deal of time and thought into a presentation with examples of exactly what he wanted.  It was to be a parting gift for his boss, who oversaw the Buffalo, New York region and was transferring to another state. He was a musician and guitar enthusiast, hence the buffalo on the guitar.  I said no – I had no idea what to use to paint a guitar, and I didn’t want to ruin a perfectly good musical instrument – layers of paint would certainly affect the sound quality of an acoustic guitar.  Still, he persisted.  It was to be a more of a wall ornament, not to be played, and he would buy a low-end guitar for me to use.

Then something shifted.  I was swept up in his wave of enthusiasm.  I had an idea:  I knew I didn’t want to paint the guitar, but what if I were to use color pencil and oil pastel?  I was confident that I could achieve the look that he wanted using that medium.  However, he would have to find a guitar with unfinished wood in order for it to work.  He agreed and we had a plan!

After two failed attempts at procuring an unfinished wood guitar (although they looked like unfinished wood, they had some sort of laminate that had a plastic-like surface and would not hold the pencil colors), he found a woodworker that was able to apply a thin wood veneer to the front of the second guitar. Finally, I had a base on which I could work.  The rest of the project went very smoothly and was a rather enjoyable experience and I was quite pleased with the finished piece.  My friend brought the guitar back to the music store from which he purchased it to get it re-strung and tuned.  The best part of all – even more than I could have hoped for – the musician who tuned it for him said that it had the nicest sound of any guitar she had ever played!

 

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Great Horned Owl

Many years ago my brother found an injured great horned owl in the woods.  It had been shot in the wing.  It was alert and able to perch, but could not fly. We brought it to a wildlife veterinarian, but sadly, they were not able to save it.

I’ve wanted to do an owl painting ever since then, but lack of a decent reference photo and being intimidated by all those intricate feather patterns fostered my procrastination. I finally got around to it, and I’m quite happy with the result:

owl final with watermark

 

Great Horned Owl – 8.5 x 11 color pencil and pastel.

(Reference photo for owl used with permission from Crystal Stacey of Edged Feather Photography .)