My professional training is all related to engineering and science, and that's all I was interested in as a kid. I made very few art projects that were magnetically attached to the family fridge. I didn't develop even the slightest interest until I was in my thirties.

A friend, John Mountain, imparted all he knew from his Drawing 101 class in college in half hour lesson. I practiced a bit and decided I could draw a thing and it would look like the thing it was supposed to represent. And, I dropped the art hobby again for another fifteen years. 

My daughter likes to draw, so I enrolled her and I in a drawing class together. And what do you know, I became interested in drawing again.

So, here's my work. It's kind of cool to see it improve over time.

Red Finches


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Bird, blue


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Red Finch


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Read more: Ferret

Sun Conure


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Two Bluejays


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Emu No. 2

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Snow Owl

It's a bird, not a plane.

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Blue flower

Blue flower. The referene photo I used is on pixabay.

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Three columbines

This is a second stab at my earlier attempt at three columbines.

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Second Giraffe

My favorite artist, Lisa Clough, made a video on pencil painting a giraffe. here's my attempt.

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Mana Wrym

Energetic beings.

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Shiny Newt

I used to freelance under the name "Shiny Newts."

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Second Koala

Trying the same picture for the funny animals theme. 

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Leaf insect

"Mom, look!"

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I like the bizarre perspective of this giraffe.

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Transparent bugs

I think buys with transparent wings look funny.

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Emus look funny

I'm starting a series of "animals that look funny" pictures. Well, emus definately look funny.

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Bee drinks

The bee likes the nectar. I like purple and yellow together.

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Apollo poses

Apollo tried to sniff the camera.

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Sparky tunnels

Sparky tunnels.

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Jeanne peeks

Jeanne pops her head up.

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Casper's hungry

Casper's always hungry.

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Blue Columbines

Again, with the blue columbines.

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Blue jesters

Colorado's state flower is a joke.

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Butterfly tulips

Tulips are tasty.

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Lavender butterfly

Butterfly on lavender.

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Monarch butterfly

Sandpaper sucks so far.

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Contrasting tulips

March's challenge.

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Abstract face

Where did this come from?

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Beauregard, a stray ferret on drafting film.

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Horse bridle

Life drawings are good; not-life drawings, not so much.

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Heart flamingos

Hearts. I just wanted to draw a heart.

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Two birds

Birds and feathers are still my nemesis.

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Feathers are tough.

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Purple flower

I'll have to concentrate on learning flowers soon.

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Sea turtle

Finshed and done. I finished it. That's about all I can say.

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Feathers are next. I need to learn how to draw feathers.

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This was an experiment with Canson mi-tentes paper. It's colored.

I either didn't use a reference flower or I used hundreds. I mean, they're sunflowers.


Lilac breasted roller

This picture sucks for two reasons. Firstly, I'm bad at birds. I think I've learned how to do fur pretty well, but feathers are not yet my thing. So, guess what? I'll be doing a lot of birds for a while. 

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Shiny pencils

New toys!

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This was an experiment with Brush & Pencil products. Even with the seller's help, I still didn't get the stuff to work correctly. I'm told it takes a bit of practice, and I know I made several pilot errors. The idea behind the products is very cool, and I want the products to work. So, I'll try again another time. 

Second abstract

The first abstract didn't relate to the real world at all, so I tried another one. I like the first one better, I think.

My first abstract

The monthly challenge for the colored pencil group I'm in is "Abstract." Abstracts make my brain hurt.

There's no original to compare to this time.

Casper's trophy

Happy dog.

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This is Squirlock. I asked the family what to do with a squirrel and the husband suggested the pipe and a kid suggested a Sherlock Holmes hat.

The original picture was posted as the January 2017 monthly art challenge at Colored Pencil Magazine.

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I've been wanting to try Brush & Pencil's powder blender for a while. I have, in fact, tried it, but it didn't work. More research clued me in that the paper is a big deal. So, I finally got the right paper, UART 600, archival sanded paper. I picked a sunflower because it's a fairly easy thing to draw. As I played with the blender, it still didn't work right for me. I also tried the texture fixative, and if you look closely at the picture, that didn't work out all that great for me either.

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Watercolor Sunset

This is an experiment with watercolors. I used my new NeoColor II crayons. There is no original photo for this.


I experimented with doing a watercolor background. i got new watercolor pencils called NeoColor II. I like the watercolors. I msked out the bird with masking fluid, did the background, removed the masking fluid, and then did the bird with Polychromos pencils. I'm not sure about this mixing media idea.

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Here's a bird. This was my first experiment using orange to gray up blue. The original, a wikipedia commons photo, is below.

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Failed: First attempt at a human portrait

Well, my first attempt at a portrait failed. I tried using the texture fixative on the paper, but apparently it wasn't sealed enough. I was hoping the pencil oil and binder would seal the pores in the paper. 

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Der Schmetterling

This is supposed to be a monarch butterfly. The original photo is in the wikimedia commons, also below.

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Rexxar with bubbles

Colorful bubbles make me happy. Ferrets make me happy. Merge the two and I'm thrilled.

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So, this is my koala in colored picture. I like the background, star-like dust, and the leaves. I don't like my koala. In the picture, the koala looks fuzzy, not furry. I haven't figured out how to do fuzzy yet.

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Basket boy

Photographing a moving, squirming, small creature is difficult. Rexxar is a moving, squirming, small creature.

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Evie's bubbles

Happy kitten.

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Evening is my new kitten. Her job description is twofold: pet me and stalk, terrorize, and murderize mice. So far, she excels at one task and sucks at the othe

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Lauren went to Africa and took a bunch of pictures. Some were of this little red bird. So, that was my next drawing experiment. I was trying to keep the background trees in the background and stuff like that. This is colored pencil. I'm going to try this with acrylic paints too.

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Harvest Moon

My favorite artist did a video on how to make this moon painting, kind of Bob Ross style but with acrylics.

Forest and Fireflies

My favorite artist made a tutorial on how to do this paiting. It's kind of a Bob Ross style, but with acrylics.

Ms. Ellie

Ellie is a foster ferret I have. I "copied" this picture from her mug shot for the humane society. I didn't do too great. I have problems delineating fur vs. body. I'm learning. It's a process.

Two flowers and a fence

Three days after she moved in with me, grandma had a stroke.

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Moon rat

Rat and moon

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Colorful bird

The background is colored pencil and I kind of like it. I like the wood too, but I don't like the leaves this time.

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Sting moves

Puppies like to move and Sting is a puppy. 

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The reference photo was included in the challenge.

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Simple. I wanted to draw something simple.

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Kids' Crayola colored pencils

Crayola colored pencils don't blend very well, which is probably why they are so cheap.

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Donut planet

Imagine living on a torroid, or donut-shaped, planet.

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Captivation bubbles

Mantis shrimp can make super captivtion bubbles.

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Underwater scene

Here's a sea turtle and a boxy fish.

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Closeup of a ferret face

Ferret face closeup

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Odin, Hugin, Munin

March challenge

Something swimming, something flying, sun or moon

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Seagull and flying fish

March challenge

Something flying, something swimming, sun or moon

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Ornamental cabbage

Yikes, I don't think I could have done any worse on this one.

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Three purple flowers

Colored pencil

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What's that on the TV?

Okay, I think I got the bricks done fairly well and the ledge. But the left most ferret is definitely out of proportion, even if we pretend it's a small female. As usual, the photograph isn't that great.

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Hummingbird. Colored pencil foreground and watercolor background

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Lady-bugged leaf

Lady bug on leaf

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Ferret with red flowers

Here's a ferret with red flowers. Now, this ferret was a "new media" projected. I did this in colored pencils, but I tried a new blending powder and a texture spray. The texture spray left funny things on the paper and made it difficult to layer. I'm hoping it was just because I used the wrong type of paper.

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Colored pencils

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Ferret coming out of a picture frame

Watercolor background and colored pencil foreground

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Mouse, moon, flower

This time in acrylics.

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War dance

You can't tell with this crappy photo, but my husband actually deemed this picture wall worthy. It's in an actual frame and hanging in his office at work.

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Blue Jay

Sometimes you want to use water as a solvent instead of gnarly chemicals.

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Galaxy in a galaxy

I was doing so well until I started adding hair... Yes, I need to learn to sharpen my pencil, make sure the hair goes in the right direction, keep track of hair length on body parts, ... It looks so much better as a thumbnail.

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Heart dish

Heart dish

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Playing with a compass

Playing with a compass

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Brigit's Cross

Brigit is sort of an Irish goddess, part of the Tuatha de Danann. I put in a symbol for each of the family members and did my best to phonetically spell out names out in old Irish letters.

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Hex nut

Hex nut

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Tunnel rat

Rat in a tunnel

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Graphite bow, for a present

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Anna and I copied eyes from a reference photo in drawing class.

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Dog Parts

Great Danes are big. I wasn't up to drawing a whole dog, so I just did some parts of the dog.

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This was one of my first paintings. It's supposed to be a hummingbird.

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Television trance

Television trance. Note that this picture was done about 18 years before I took up art.

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