Taos Toolbox Snow Bear

When I went to the Taos Toolbox writing workshop in the summer of 2015, I think that was the first time I’d taken drawing supplies on an extended trip. It took me more than a week to actually use them, but I did do a couple of drawings that I really like at Taos, and so today I’ll share the first. Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos for comparison.

In 2015, the Toolbox workshop was held at Snow Bear, a little ski lodge not far from Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico. It was a great place to gather and write, with lots of little two-bedroom condominium units and a larger section with a long conference room that we used for classes and to gather for meals. And just outside the conference room, there was this sculpture of a standing bear out on the porch. Several of my writer friends had fun dressing up the bear in different ways, and even though he wasn’t a teddy bear, he was an obvious choice for my first Taos drawing.

I really like the way the shading worked out in this piece, and the somber face.

Continue reading

Unexpected portrait names: Francis?

So, continuing a bit of a theme here. I found several old scans of portraits I did back in the summer of 2015, several of which have surprising names for familiar faces. For instance, you might remember York bear, who picked his name to help me out with the A to Z challenge. But I’ve got an older drawing of him, calling him “Forgotten Francis!”

I like the combination of the toned-background technique here with the green ribbon!

Continue reading

Pony in Pajamas–2 versions from different years.

I mentioned Pony in Pajamas and how I won him in a raffle in my post a few days ago on Reynolds Bear. Since I got him at the Browncoat Ball, he’s always reminded me of that moment in “Serenity” when Captain Mal pretends to pray to Buddha and asks for a pony and a rocket.

I’ve drawn two similar portraits of Pony without realizing it; one in the early summer of 2015, and another in the late summer of 2016. I’m fascinated by the different choices I made, both in my color palettes, and in smaller details to include or emphasize. Continue reading

USB Christmas tree

I’m not really one for Christmas decorations at home. I live alone, and go up to visit my sister and her family for the day on or around Christmas, and usually I’m too busy to do much around my own apartment. But many years ago, I found this little tree–it was probably actually at a Radio Shack, before they lost that brand and became The Source here in Canada. Including the base, the whole tree is less than a foot tall, and it has a cable you can plug into a USB power source to make the fiberglass ‘branches’ light up and cycle through different colors.

This is one of the first non-animal-friend still lifes I drew after I started drawing bears and other animal friends. I love it as a demonstration of proportion and perspective, and the use of color and shapes as details to draw the eye. Continue reading

Reynolds the little cowboy bear

This little cowboy bear came to me with “Pony in Pajamas;” I won them both in a raffle at the Browncoat Ball in Charlotte, NC in 2010. He’s got a great smile on his face, and took a long time to settle on his name. When I drew this in 2015, I titled the drawing “Nathan the friendly little cowboy bear”, but since then he’s decided that his name is Reynolds.

I love the way I used color and charcoal black together in this drawing. Continue reading

Nnoyd (finally!)

I mentioned Nnoyd in my A to Z post for N, but didn’t have a drawing of him to share at that point. So here he is! He’s been a friend of my mom for years. Since we grew up in a very punny family, she wanted to have “A nnoyd” that she could use to express her frustrations at things. He likes to say “noy noy noy!” when somebody needs to vent, and occasionally flicks his tail when he’s truly annoyed.

I love a lot of things about this drawing, actually–the way the colors of my pencils fit so well, the expression on his face and proportions of his body and the texture of his fur. Continue reading

Man and Beast–a spill drawing

This drawing is definitely something different… it was one of the last exercises from the Betty Edwards “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” workbook. The assignment was to spill something that would stain the paper, and build a drawing around the stains.

I love the way I was actually able to use this exercise to draw something incredibly imaginative, even though the results are slightly cartoonish. I think the fact that I was brainstorming what to draw, instead of trying to draw something I’d already imagined, was very freeing.

Continue reading

Merlinus Ambrosius Bear

Merlinus Ambrosius is a rather large and very huggable bear. He has a bell near his tail, so that when you pick him up or move him you can hear the faint ringing sound. I think Mom got him just before Gus, but not as early as she had Aura…

I like Bro’s pose in this portrait, his head and most of the proportions, though he does seem to be wider than he usually is.

Continue reading