Good Grief, it’s been 3 months?

Well, it’s been on the back burner for a bit, but never completely out of my mind. Without further ado, here are the first building blocks of color:

If you open the image in a new tab or window, you can zoom in for more detail.

The background section, just below the sky level, is more or less finished. The sky still needs a good bit of touching up, and for the rest of the big blocks of color, those are the different sections I’ll be working on, starting with the background and finishing detail in the foreground. When all is done, there shouldn’t be an obvious, sharp delineation between the different zones, it’s just easier for now because zooming in it is very easy to get lost in the details.


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More details

There is a ton of detail in the background. I think, finally, I have the underdrawing pretty much done. Took longer than expected, mainly because of the holidays and my general tendency to shy away from painstaking detail at this level. I could never be a pointillist.

The background seems very faint at this scale, but if you click on the picture (or open it in a new tab or window) I think you can see it. Next step: color!


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A New Work, in Progress

My brother and his wife love to travel. Around Thanksgiving, they were fortunate enough to be able to tour Europe and see some beautiful things, even though much of Europe was actually closed and/ or closing while they were there. Anyway, at one point they made a stop in Strasbourg, and took some gorgeous photos. He has asked me to make a painting for him, which I’m doing digitally because reasons. All of this to give a bit of back story and share my progress so far. The final version is going to be a file big enough for him to have printed on at least a 3′ x 2′ canvas, but he should be able to go bigger if he wants.

That out of the way, this is what I have so far:

Original photo:

For the view, I’ll be substituting another reference photo without the wires.

Foreground (if all you see is white, keep scrolling):

The background is the other reference photo here. The foreground was relatively easy…

Starting the drawing for the background (again, if you only see white, keep scrolling. That’s just how much canvas I still have to fill!):

Yes, I have a loooong way to go. Really glad I’m not painting this one by hand! Most of what I’ve done so far won’t be in the final image, but it’s worthwhile in its own right.

Anyway, I’m enjoying this project, and thought my handful of readers might as well.

Merry Christmas, and a happy and hopeful New Year!


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Fairy in the Flowers

The golden gleam of

A November afternoon

Drifting with the breeze


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Morning Drama

Normally here at Casa de Cork, things start off in a quietly predictable sort of way. Coffee, breakfast, wake the kids, feed the fish, start school, etc., etc.

School starts, Headmaster S presiding over the first couple of subjects, then a short break, and the kids start calling, “there are dogs in the field behind the fence!” This is a big deal, because the field behind our house is home to a variety of wildlife including a pack of coyotes who enjoy walking along the fence line and teasing the neighborhood dogs; we have a neighbor whose little yappy dogs love to escape their yard, and the coyotes especially love to taunt them.

I look over the fence, and instead of little dogs, two big pit bulls are gamboling in the shade behind our house, completely ignoring the audience of humans and dogs observing from above. To the left, a coyote watches them warily. After a few moments, the dogs give chase. They are bigger than the coyote, and he flees… but only so far.

The dogs, feeling as though they have won this round, squeeze through the gap under the fence that the coyotes usually use to go where they please. Between the field and the yards is a wash; they head off out of sight.

Then we notice Trevor. The dogs ignore him; they probably belong to the same household. Trevor sits right by the fence:

Insouciant little chap. A couple weeks ago, he tried to just walk into our house; as far as he is concerned, the whole block is his. Apparently, everything behind it as well.


Out in the field, the coyote watches, weighing his chances of getting close enough to Trevor to make a snack out of him. I didn’t catch it on camera, but he slinked around and headed for the same gap under the fence the pitties had squeezed through. Just as he got close, like a bolt of lightning the darker pit bull dashed from wherever he had been hiding and watching, and chased the coyote back out into the field. Didn’t catch him, but the whole thing seemed as though the cat and the dogs were setting up an ambush.


I win.


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Happy Faces

I’ve been picking up some freelance work on Upwork recently, and here are some details from my latest project:

Posted with permission from my client, who has been a pleasure to work with!

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Drop-in Visitor

Walked in to the kitchen this morning, and noticed something at the bottom of a measuring cup on the counter. No idea where this little guy came from, but he certainly is cute!


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Scene from last night’s game. Sketched at the ballpark, inked on the computer.


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Hatching Day

Several weeks ago, on a trip to Lowe’s as I was in line for checkout, I noticed they have mantis egg sacs for sale and picked one up on a whim. According to the container, it should hatch in two to six weeks (from when, they don’t specify). Probably close to six weeks on, this morning after we returned from church we saw that the terrarium where we placed it was jumping with baby mantises! They are adorable, of course, and hopefully will help to keep our local aphid population in check.

We have been releasing them in strategic places around the yard, which is trickier than it sounds because they don’t like to leave the terrarium. It’s a big world out there!


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Leaning In

Started this one a while ago, then it went on the back burner for a bit. It’s the same couple from the last post; amazing how different they look with a change of position and lighting!


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