Tag Archives: faber castell

Oliver Scratchboard (Finished)

As the time flies by and Christmas gets closer, I have been brazenly spending some of my drawing time on this rather than the annual Christmas card.  However, that project is moving along too.  No peeking!  I’ll share it on Christmas Eve. 😉

In the meantime, I think my portrait of Oliver is finished.  I enjoyed trying to capture his likeness very much.  He’s been my friend for almost eleven years, and every day is a little brighter because he’s here with me.  Maybe I’m becoming a crazy cat lady, but I firmly believe that not all friends have to be human.


– 5×7 inch Ampersand Scratchboard

– Tools used are a #11 X-Acto Knife, and a blunter scratchboard tool for the thick whiskers.  I also used a Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen for some corrections.

Click any of the images if you’d like to see them larger.

Oliver WIP Finished CR

A few close-ups.

Oliver WIP Finished Crop CR 2

Oliver WIP Finished Crop CR

Oliver WIP Finished Crop CR 1

I hope you like this.  Thank you for following along!  I hope you’ll join me in my next work-in-progress. 🙂


Posted by on November 6, 2014 in All Artwork, Scratchboard


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Mandarin Goby – Finished!

I am glad to say I’ve finally finished this beautiful, colorful fish called a Mandarin Goby or Mandarin Fish.  It was a genuine challenge from start to finish.  Between striving to get smooth, silky textures for the skin and trying to mix colors to look as it does in real life, this kept me thinking and guessing all the way through.

I will admit that it’s not my favorite of my drawings, and that for the time being, I’m not even sure I like it that much, but it’s finished anyway, and I think it will grow on me eventually.  Not that I don’t like it…but it was just such a vastly different subject matter than what I’m used to.

It’s been interesting. 🙂

Mandarin Goby

– 8×10 inch Ampersand scratchboard

– I used a #11 X-Acto knife, a wide-blade scratchboard tool (not sure of the technical name), and a small fiberglass brush for this.

– Colored with Ampersand Inks, which were applied with very small paintbrushes.  The inks were heavily diluted in water and applied in numerous layers, making the fish more and more vibrant with each of the dozen or so layers of color.  Corrections were made with a Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Brush Tip pen.

Mandarin Goby WIP 9 FINISHED CR

Thank you for following along!  The views, likes, and especially, the comments mean so much to me! 🙂


Posted by on July 15, 2014 in All Artwork, Scratchboard


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Jana’s Sheep

I have been keeping from posting this drawing for some time now.  A very good friend of mine, (check out her amazing knitting blog! ) and I decided we’d enjoy doing an art swap.  So we both did an artwork in secret and then exchanged the drawings by mail.  We then had a Skype chat so we could exchange them face-to-face, as we live a long way from each other.  What fun that was!

She did the most amazing watercolor painting of a flock of sheep grazing on a lush, grassy field beside the ocean.  I am so thrilled to have this beautiful painting.  It is spectacular!  Thank you, Jana! 🙂 🙂

Jana kindly gave me permission to post her wonderful painting, so I’m going to do it so you all can see how great it is!


Jana's Painting

Isn’t it just beautiful?  It’s so serene and peaceful.  The colors are even more vibrant in real life.

Here is what I did for the swap.  My friend, I think, likes this drawing so I am very glad for that.  It was such a fun swap!

Jana’s Sheep

– The drawing is 5×7 inches and drawn on Strathmore gray tinted Pastel Paper, if I recall correctly.

– I used Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pens for this, mainly the brush tip size of various grays and blacks.  For the wool, I made some vague, light colored marks with my pen and then finished it by using a very sharp white charcoal pencil to pull off the fuzzy, abstract look of the sheep’s wool.

Jana's Sheep CR

Thanks for looking!


Posted by on July 10, 2014 in All Artwork, Charcoal Drawings, Pen and Ink


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Mandarin Goby WIP 2

This is one challenging scratchboard!  I am not used to drawing fish at all, let alone one with such intense patterns all over its body.  This one is tricky.  But I think it’s good to push the envelope sometimes…this will be one of those drawings I will probably learn from.  It’s always good to step outside the comfort zone sometimes, right?

This is progressing pretty slowly, and I’ve had to make a lot of corrections as I go, but the nice thing about scratchboard is that it’s fairly forgiving.  I’m still avoiding those intricate lower fins, because they are so elaborate I’m not quite sure how to tackle them.  But I’ve made my way through the dorsal fins, which is a step in the direction, anyway.

I hope you like it so far.  Thanks for looking! 🙂

Mandarin Goby WIP 3 - CopyCR


Posted by on May 26, 2014 in All Artwork, Scratchboard


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Meet Bicker (My First Clayboard)

It is time, once again, to introduce you to a new book character.  You may remember Russ and Zeke from past posts.  Zeke’s book, Zeke’s Fate, is now available for sale.

These days, I am working on a prequel to Zeke’s Fate, which has a new set of characters, though there will be a few familiar faces from Zeke’s Fate.  In this prequel is a man who calls himself Bicker.  At first, he was to be a simple side character, but as I’ve written, he’s slowly, surely, become very much the heart of the story.  …I love it when characters take over! 🙂

This is also my first attempt at a clayboard.  What a fun medium!  It’s a lot like scratchboard, but instead of a wooden board covered with white clay and layered over with black ink, it’s just a board with the layer of clay.  It’s up to the artist to color/ink over the clay, and then the artist is free to scratch out details to their heart’s content.  It’s great!  Mistakes were made along the way, but I had a great time with this new medium.


– 5×7 inch Clayboard

– To add value, I used Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens of mainly the brush tip size.  I used varying shades of grays and blacks to get some depth from the start.  Once I was happy with the mass of shadow and form, I used an X-Acto knife, fiberglass brush, and some other sharp tools to scratch out details.  Since this was all new to me, I went back and colored over the scratched areas several times, changing things here and there, to get the result I wanted.  The face, especially, required a great deal of tweaking and little changes before I felt that this captured the likeness of my fictional character, Bicker.  I did use a couple of reference images very roughly to get some ideas and inspiration, but for the most part, Bicker’s face is from imagination.  As much as I looked, I couldn’t quite find a face that felt like Bicker’s…so I sort of pieced it together.

Unfortunately, the image makes this piece look grainier than in real life.  I’m sorry for that.

Bicker (Finished)CR

Thanks very much for looking!  Stay tuned to hear more about the upcoming novel. 🙂


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Sketches of a Horse, a Hen, an Eagle, and a Longhorn

I’ve been trying to sort of kick-start my creativity lately, so I’m doing quick sketches to try and spark some ideas and inspiration.  I’m also sketching so that I can say to myself, yes, I did draw today! 😉

These took about 10 minutes to a couple of hours each, with the horse sketch taking the longest.  The hen and the longhorn are both done with Faber-Castell Pitt markers, and the eagle and the horse are graphite.  After playing with graphite again, I wouldn’t mind doing a fully fledged drawing with it again.  Once upon a time, graphite was my go-to medium of choice.  Once I tried out pen and ink several years ago, I fell in love, and the graphite took the back seat.

I’ll admit that I am currently working on a new drawing, and this time with a new medium: clayboard.  More on that later. 🙂

These were all done in a Strathmore Field sketchbook, and measure roughly 7×9 inches in size.

Thank you for looking.  Happy first day of spring!

Eagle Sketch CR Hen SketchCR Horse SketchCR Longhorn SketchCR


Posted by on March 20, 2014 in All Artwork, Sketches


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Great-Great Grandma Georgia and Her Cat

For months now, I’ve had it mind to do a series of drawings from a collection of family snapshots that date back to the 1920s through the 1950s.  This amazing photo collection really gives a glimpse into the average daily life of my great and great-great grandparents and their families.  We even have a priceless casual photo of my great-great-great grandfather, James Ferris, who fought in the Civil War.  It’s a priceless collection, and I cherish these old photos.  The ordinariness of the collection of snapshots from this era add such personality and character to each face.  How can I stop at just looking?  I must turn this into a series of drawings!

So here is the first of what I hope are many drawings I plan to make from these photos.  This is my great-great grandmother, Georgia, sitting by a sunny window, with what seems to be a house cat.  If you’ve been following this blog for long, you know I am definitely a cat lady!  I just had to start with this image.

Great-Great Grandma Georgia with Her Cat

– 5×7 inches in size, drawn on Strathmore Artagain Tinted Paper.

– Drawn with Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens of varying grays and black.  I used mostly the brush tips for this drawing.  Once the ink was all in place, I added some touches of white charcoal to the brightest areas such as the curtain, cat, and other areas.

Great-Great Grandma Georgia and Her CatCR

I’ll also include the original photograph.  Sadly, the likeness in my drawing isn’t great…I hope the next drawings work out better.  I simplified that area in front of the cat, but I believe that blurry patch between the cat and Georgia’s shoulder is actually a kitten. 🙂

Georgia and Cat

Thank you for looking!


Posted by on February 19, 2014 in All Artwork, Pen and Ink


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