Art, Art activities, Drawing, Happenings, Holiday, Make, Create, & Share!

Christmas commissions!

Now that Christmas is over I can safely share some of the commissions I’ve been working on the past few months! I enjoy getting to create these pieces that are often made in memory of a special pet or given as a personalized, memorable, gift!

Pastel 9″x12″
Pastel 8″x10″

Pastel 11″x14″

For the most part I start any commission from a clients photo, sometimes more than one photo – especially with multiple subjects or for correct coloration. The better quality photos I have to work from, the more details I am able to add in! However, I do like the occasional challenge of working from an old photo!

Pastel 9″x12″
Pastel 9″x12″

Pastel 9″x12″

While pastels are one of my favorite mediums (you can read more about what pastels I like to use here), I’m always thankful for those commissions that bring a different medium to the table and break up the pastel work!

Watercolor & Pen 10″x16″

Acrylic on canvas 8″x8″
Acrylic on canvas 8″x8″

Once I begin a piece, I send in progress photos to the client for their approval of the work at different stages – I like to work with them to make any needed adjustments so the piece represents their subject and personal taste best! When the final drawing is complete and approved it’s signed and packaged before being delivered, shipped, or picked up!

Charcoal 8″x10″
Watercolor & pen, 14″x16″

Some pieces take longer than others (depending on subject, size, medium, & adjustments needed), accumulatively, the completed pieces this season took between 80 & 120 hours to complete.

Handmade & painted pig crossing sign
Painted Mailbox
Digital Logo Commission

I’m grateful to receive commission requests and be able to do what I love! Thank you for all your support this season (and all year long)!

A few pictures of the commissions in progress!

Art, Drawing, Make, Create, & Share!

A Few Of My Favorite Things: Pastels

Morning Dove – PanPastel & pastel pencils, (7″x14″)

I received my first set of pastels when I was 10 – I don’t think I loved them quite so much at first, but now pastels are one of my absolute favorite mediums! They are what I use for most of my commission pieces and the medium I’m most likely to use for any of my own projects.

Pastels are created with pigment and a binder compressed into sticks – depending on how much binder is mixed with the pigment you get a harder or softer pastel. When I first started with pastels, and up until a few years ago, Prismacolor Nupastels were the only thing I used. These pastel sticks contain a higher amount of binder, making them a harder type of pastel – this allows me to achieve more details in my work than what I could with a softer pastel. These are also the pastels I use to teach with.

One of my earlier pastel pieces (2006?) completed with Nupastel on Canson Mi-teintes

I still use Nupastels in my pastel work but I also have a few other pastel mediums I like to use now too! For smaller detailed areas and textures I love Stabilo CarbOthello pastel pencils . They come in a wide range of colors and are a similar hardness to the Nupastels.

In the past couple years I’ve also started using PanPastels which are extra soft pressed pastels powders in a pan/cake form and are applied to your surface with soft sponge. I love how rich and smooth these go on! For the most part I use these in my backgrounds and base layers for larger areas and then add finishing details with the pastel pencils on top.

I also have used Sennelier extra soft pastels on occasion – I do enjoy them, however, they can be quite costly!

“Tux & Tsuki” – Completed with Sennelier soft pastels

The surface is probably the most important element though! I started to use Pastelmat a few years ago, it’s surface is velvety and does an amazing job of taking on layers upon layers of pastels. It also comes in a wide range of colors – I love using a darker surface with the PanPastels. I also find it holds the pastel so well that I don’t have to use a fixative on my finished pieces – which always seems to mess with the pastel surface anyway! There are certain times when I want a little texture to my pastel pieces though so I’ll use Canson Mi-Teintes pastel paper but definitely doesn’t give you the same effect!

Pieces completed on Pastelmat with PanPastels, pastel pencils & Nupastels

Pieces completed on Canson Mi-Teintes

Some additional pastel pieces!