Getting Abstract

Here is a painting I recently finished this month of September. I am working on not trying to be so photorealistic with my work. I know that I have a great deal of room to grow in my photorealism so I am not going to stop working on it.

But I do also want to work on becoming more free with my strokes and more emotional with my work. This painting was a good exercise for me. I would like to do more work like this.

Wyclef Jean Head Shot

Today i went out and bought a few items…watercolors…brushes…a new drawing notebook.

I also recently bought some prismacolor cool grayscale markers! I have been very excited about those. I really want to try to focus on working on tones and contrast.

Anyway…I thought I would share my first painting in this new notebook of mine.

This is a watercolor about 6 inches tall. I used a pallet of 5 colors. I am excited about the colors working well for me. I am also really excited about how similar the drawing came out. I did this one free hand with no measuring of the dimensions. I followed the general rules for head structure. There are some things that I would do better if this were for a client, but I am happy with the results.

Zoe Fairy

My friends have a picture of their daughter with a wand playing around in a garden. I used the photo for a painting and wanted to do something fun with it. I used a handfull of her stuffed animals and came up with this fantasy story painting.

Short Story:

Springtime arrived after long cold winter months bringing rain and the promise of new life. Gloomy skies passed when the sun brought its new spring light melting away the mountain caps and awakening the bear and her cubs. The warming rays continue to awaken the fields and forests across the earth creating a magnificent symphony of color. This was true of lands everywhere except for the forests of Poisonwood.

In Poisonwood no life stirred; a curse of old holds its power over this land. At one time in the forest there lived two magical beings, Etheriel and Onyx, who loved each other played in the trees and the streams. A wild storm rose one day that brought thunder, hail and darkness; Etheriel and Onyx were were separated and tried to find each other. So violent were the winds that a large oak was uprooted and fell landing on the unaware Etheriel. She did not die as she was a magical being, but Onyx was furious with rage and in his anger he cursed the land to a death that none other had known before. This fierce curse would even prevent the life giving light of the sun to enter. Trees died and all living creatures fled. There were no birds singing their songs, no burrowing creatures below the earth, nor was there found a crawling bug beneath a rock. Etheriel, shocked by the blight, became fearful of Onyx that day. Sadly, their love faded and she left to find a new home. It is believed that Onyx continues to live in the forest with regret for his actions trying to undo the harm he has done. But curses made by magical beings are not easily undone; they must suffer for their allotted time.

Hundreds of years have passed and Onyx’s curse has come to an end. But Poisonwood suffered  for so long that no living creature would return to it; they were fearful of the forest which they thought would poison any who tried to live there. (It was after the curse had passed that the forest became thought of as being poisoned since it did not heal itself. No one remembers what it was named before that.)

The young fairy Zoe (one of the protectors of the forests) was teaching a sapling how to become a tree when she saw from far away the land that was covered with great darkness. She spoke with her magical forest friends who recanted the sad story of Poisonwood. Zoe cried glimmering tears and felt her heart break. She determined if the curse has ended then she would help restore the wood to its rightful glory.

Zoe prayed and prayed for many days that The Creator would teach her what to do to restore the forest. Although she has been blessed with a great magic, Zoe had the power to speak to the forest and teach it how to grow, the power to give life only belong to The Creator. The Creator heard her prayers and blessed her with a powerful wand that grew straight up out of the ground before her. This wand would only work out of the selfless desire of the one who bore it. With this new hope, a great joy welled up inside Zoe and she was confident that she could help.

With the pureness of her heart, Zoe did the most important thing first. She gave the forest a new name; it would be called Hopeland. She instructed her friends to sing a new song about Hopeland which they taught to the birds who never stopped singing day or night. Next, she called for her most brave, the most courageous, the most daring of her forest friends and they made the journey with her to Hopeland. Being afraid was not an option because the mission was too important.

With her fairy magic and the power of the wand given to her by The Creator, Zoe brought the forest its new name taught the bird its new song. She taught the grass how to grow and showed the flowers how to bloom. Zoe showed the light of the sun where to go and she proved to the creatures of the forest that there was no poison in “Poisonwood”. Zoe sang the song of Hopeland and brought lost joy to the forest. Hopeland became her new home and life was there again. Everyday she listens to the birds when they sing the new song. She thanks The Creator continuously for hearing her prayers and providing a way. Once the forest was restored to its majesty, Zoe planted the wand and taught it to become a great silver tree that grew in the middle of the forest. Little did she know at the time that this was the same spot where the great oak fell that landed on Etheriel. No longer was the land a place that life fled, it was now a place where all creatures came to sing songs of hope and pray to The Creator.

Medium: Watercolor, Sharpie Black, & Glitter Nail Polish (first time I’ve used that)



11 x 14

You can see that I have been working on my watercolor work. At the same time I am working on pieces that depict the confidence and beauty of people identified as Black. I use the term Black as a general reference to skin tones that point to an African Heritage.

This is a painting from a photo that was taken of 6yr old Gracie. She was getting ready for a night out with her dad.  She is both confident and beautiful posing for her picture.

Technically I am happy with my learning process. Working on this painting I learned to apply general layers and then after giving the painting an opportunity to dry, go back and add in details and fill in areas where necessary.

I see multiple areas where I would like to improve.  But this is part of the journey. I don’t know if I will ever be fully satisfied, but I am fully enjoying the growth that I am experiencing.




Medium: Acrylic as Watercolor

This is a piece that I am hoping to become part of a larger series of work that I will be working on. My goal is to create art as a celebration of carribean culture. This is a painting of my neice in her majorette uniform. It is from a photo that my sister sent to me years ago.

I have been doing  a lot of study on watercolor technique as it pertains to realism. I am facinated by the work of Stephen Scott Young. He is a master at his craft. I will focus this year towards this project of mine and i hope to see improvement in the debth of color and content in my watercolor pieces.