Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Almost Done with the Mystery Face



The face needs a little more shading on the left (her right) and I will be finished. I softened her features up a bit (compare yesterday's beginning to this stage and you'll notice a difference).

That's what I love about colored pencils. When starting with light colors, it's easier to do away with what you don't like, adding more color for contrast when you see something you do like, experimenting and exploring until you get what you want.

I'm almost there.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Textured Art Boards and an Unknown Actress



Sometimes I freeze movies I have on List to get a pose or an expression from an actor I admire and start sketching them for fun or to turn them into future drawings or paintings.

Above is a drawing I started from one of my sketches, but who knows where she came from or who she is...or who she will become?

The surface I'm using is a Canson Mi-Teintes textured art board, a gift from my mother, who knows they're my favorite. The paper comes in a variety of colors and is already mounted onto the board, which provides a sturdy surface for drawing without having to use clips or tape, and it saves a step in the framing process. They also hold a lot of color making them ideal for colored pencils. What's not to love?

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Cassandra and a Shot of Home

After a busy month of unpacking, organizing and settling into our new place, I can breathe. We still have lots to do in the pool area, which is peaceful and relaxing...


...but the rush and deadlines are over and I had time to create another portrait drawing in ink, "Cassandra," for Paint Party Friday. I know it's Saturday, but the party lives on.


She is a combination of a few women I know; a little showy on the outside, but sensitive and real on the inside. Btw, that's a tear of pride you see, not pain.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

B & W Chicas


While continuing to pack for our big move this weekend, I leave an open box of pens and markers on hand so when I take a cafecito break, I can sit back and relax drawing bold and ballsy chicas in ink.

Each one of these subjects is inspired by a friend or acquaintance whose personal story has impacted me in one way or another. These chicas were able to overcome adversity by making an important, difficult decision, setting goals, working hard, and focusing on the future.


Do you want to guess why one eye is covered on all of my portraits? It's not because I am too lazy or unable to draw the other; there is a relevant reason. Also, I like to leave plenty of room to add patterns to the hair/headpieces, which can feel like meditation, especially while sketching to music.

Happy Hump Day and wish me luck on the move! I just received a little bad news.

Monday, June 13, 2016

They Can't all be Glorias


Playing with designs in ink I created "Gloria" in my sketchbook last night.

Not long ago, I had a conversation with a friend about those who come and go in our lives and what we learned from the people we thought would be around forever who are no longer with us.

We both came to the conclusion that all friends can't be keepers. I've had the time of my life with those who've been around for a season, even people who thought less of me than I thought of them. If they made me laugh, smile, think, hope, dream and helped me learn something, it was worth knowing them, if even for a little while.

There's something positive to be gained by every negative experience as well.

I believe everyone we meet helps shape us in some way, which is why I have no regrets about anyone I've ever been involved with, give or take a few sociopaths. You know who you are. ;)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Drawing Hair



I've been asked how I draw hair, so here's a little demo on where I begin and it's pretty much the same technique all the way down to the ends. For this portrait done in graphite, I used a 4B pencil.

I like to leave the hair for last since it's the most relaxing part of portrait drawing. You don't have to focus on the likeness or proportions so much; just let go and let the pencil guide you.

Let me know what you think.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Purple Rain: Portrait of a Prince

Here is my graphite portrait of Prince with some purple drops for Paint Party Friday and as a tribute to the highly-talented Artist. We lost a brilliant entertainer yesterday.


I believe what connects us to musicians we've never met before is their ability to comfort us with sounds and lyrics that speak to our souls; their songs can take us back to some of the most significant moments in our lives and become a part of those moments.

I had my first romantic relationship in the early 80s, experienced true heartache in the mid 80s and fell in love with my husband in 1989. Prince's music was a part of it all.
Ƭ̵̬̊

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Drawing Hair with "Shawna"


This piece is titled, "Shawna," and you will see this look and pose a lot as I begin a series of portraits focusing on hair.

Drawing hair is like therapy or meditation and adding shadows to the hair is like sprinkling salt and pepper on your food; you can't get it wrong, but if you overdo it, it won't be any good.

Less is more.

Basically, I begin with a light pressure half-way up from the eyes (the top of the head) and depending on what hairstyle I want for the subject, I make short or long down strokes. It can be very relaxing, especially while drawing to music.

Less is more, but when you have the basic look you want, darkening areas of the hair where there's no light is a must for contrast and realism. Again, wherever you feel you want the shadows to fall is the right place and remember, no overkill.

Try it. 

Grab some paper, your favorite colored pencil, and draw and oval, two small circles in the center (with a horizontal, downward-curved line above each circle) for the eyes, two small, colored ovals for nostrils and a light line for the mouth. You can work on the details of the face later. Using your favorite colored pencil and remembering to use a light pressure, focus on the hair.

Dream. Meditate. Relax. Share your work with me (ilyzu1216@yahoo.com).

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Eyes WITH a Face

Last year I start a series of portraits inspired by 80s music and "Eyes Without a Face" was one of them. The subject, created from imagination, was done in mostly graphite with a touch of light green colored pencil.


This year I added more colored pencil and a couple of features and here's the result:


She could be friends with one of Margaret Keane's creations.

Stay tuned for what happens next year. She may smile, wink...grow a torso? ;)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Barbra, 1972


"Barbra, 1972" is my PPF sketch for this week. I was thinking of adding color but decided to keep her B & W because it's young Barbra, when her hair was long and her eyeliner was thick. That and because I wanted to work in graphite again.

"Funny Girl" was the first movie I saw in a movie theater and I remember loving the big screen, the music, and the personality of the lead character. I didn't know much English at the time and I had no idea who Streisand was, but at four or five years old, I was entertained for 2 ½ hours and I didn't want the film to end.

Barbra has it all...exceptional talent, wit, humor, charm, a rare beauty. I'll leave you with one of her quotes that makes a lot of sense:

"I guess if you have an original take on life, or something about you is original, you don't have to study people who came before you. You don't have to mimic anybody. You just have a gut feeling inside, an instinct that tells you what's right for you and you can't do it any other way." ~ Barbra Streisand

Basically, keep doing what you do because nobody does it better.

Wishing you a Wonderful Good Friday and a Happy Easter Weekend! ♥

PS - Do you remember the first movie YOU ever saw? Please share.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

David Bowie

I've been home sick for the last four days and all I've done is cough, draw and drink espresso.

This morning I took a David Bowie sketch I made a few days ago, added some black and a couple of lines using the PicMonkey photo editor, and came up with a little tribute piece I call Ain't That Just Like Me?, a line from his recent song, "Lazarus." I am linking this post to Sunday Sketches and Paint Party Friday.



It's been about two weeks since we learned about Bowie's death and many of us are still in shock. In a world where nobody keeps celebrity secrets, he was able to continue working through his illness and leave his fans a final surprise/goodbye album. This says so much about his character, as a man and as an artist. There will never be another one like him and I'm so happy to have been around to see his contribution to music and all his transformations. He will be missed.

Monday, January 18, 2016

FACING Dalí

The FACING Dalí show at Miguel Rodez Project Space was a huge hit and I feel blessed and honored to have been asked to participate. Miguel always puts on quite an event and with the theme he chose, I knew the pieces would be original, brilliant and a little out there. The show surpassed my expectations.

I loved seeing what the other artists created using the image of Salvador Dalí and I was thrilled to sell my piece on the night of the opening. A first for me!

Here's my drawing, Road Trip, in graphite.



Miguel Rodez, who is not only the organizer but a fabulous artist, created a wonderful larger-than-life painting of the larger-than-life artist. Click on the image and notice his incredible attention to detail and the amazing texture on this piece.



This awesome sculpture was created by Aimee Perez, who helped bring the spirit of Dalí into the room that night.



Monique Lassooij came up with a great mixed media piece on wood. You can actually get into Dalí's drawers in this one and find his little elephant if you're tall enough.



This was one of my favorites because there was so much detail, thought and originality involved in the making of this piece by Patricio Ernesto Rodriguez Añuez. Click on the photo to enlarge; it's worth it.



I appreciated the technique and well-composed drawing of the artist by Gary Añuez.



Julio Cesar Delgado Pacheco's self portrait in graphite was incredibly detailed and full of life. You can't see it clearly, but there is a folded up photo of the artist in the pocket of his jacket.



Devin Caserta brought Dalí's dreams to reality in this fantastic drawing of the artist.



Sergio Lastres' painting took us inside the surreal world of Dalí in beautiful colors.



The exhibit will be running for another month at Miguel Rodez Project Space in the Bird Road Art District, so if you missed it, I encourage you to stop by at some point and check it out. It's one of those shows you don't want to miss!

I'll leave you with some of my favorite moments from Saturday night. Hope you like the photos and I wish you a happy week! xo












Yes! You made it to the end! I'm linking this post to Paint Party Friday where it doesn't have to be Friday to visit...or party.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Pensativa


Meet my Sunday sketch, "Pensativa," which means pensive in Spanish. She's in thought, reflective maybe...and she's a redhead with bed head, so look out! And no, it's not a self portrait. lol

"Pensativa" was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend yesterday who did the right thing and stayed with the man she loves rather than accept an invitation from a guy who's back in town, the one who melts her heart and makes her weak at the knees and would be so right for her if so many things were different.

The sketch above is her before pic. ;)


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Sospechosa



This Sunday sketch is my second meditative drawing in ink and I call it Sospechosa because...look at those eyes and lips. They have Suspicious written all over them.

This kind of doodling around the face is relaxing to me and I was going to do more with it in color but decided to add just a touch of red to the Eyes of St. Lucy earring...because everything's better with a touch of red (and St. Lucy earrings...although you can hardly see the one earring; you who know me know what it is).

Last night I finished watching the last 30 minutes of "Purple Rain" on TV. I don't know how much of the movie was based on Prince's life if any of it, but seeing him perform the song of the same title so passionately at the end of the film (after his father's recent suicide attempt...and surprising his band members, Wendy and Lisa, using their music with his lyrics after blowing them off whenever they'd ask him to give it a chance), gets me every time.

Btw, did you know Prince had originally asked Stevie Nicks to write the lyrics for the song? She turned him down because she said she was afraid to do it...so he wrote it himself and gave it the title, "Purple Rain." I'm sure there are no regrets there,

I'm happy to say I'll be participating in a group show soon with one of my favorite drawings, one that was created with the thoughts of a fun-filled weekend in mind. I'll share more when the time comes. Stay tuned, amiguitos, and have a wonderful week back at work/school/life after the holidays!