Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I had planned all along to draw whatever came out of my head today. Then my mom saw that the Kennedy Center Honors were on tonight, and I definitely wanted to watch. So, I pulled out my clipboard, grabbed some pencils and went and watched. I'm so glad I did. We always enjoy the show. You get to see some of your favorites, and some you've never really heard of who are also great. It's a wonderful celebration of entertainment! I feel like I broaden my horizons some:-) And wouldn't it be awesome to be in the audience? I never have an urge to be in the audience of an awards' show, but that one would be the exception.
Anyways, I happily drew through singing and through commercials. Of course, what emerged was another Arabian horse. They just come naturally, and I so appreciate that they do:-)
Well, I can't believe 2008 is on its way out! It's been an eventful year for us, to say the least. Amazing, sad, hopeful, and ever onward... Right now, it's onward to bed - it's 12:50 a.m. here!
Monday, December 29, 2008
Just realized I hadn't blogged yet! This drawing is for 12/28 & 29. It took two days to finish, so it can stand for two days:-)
I've finally learned from someone how to size my photos so they meet Etsy's specs yet aren't so enlarged they lose detail. So, for now, I'm copying and pasting the blurb for this drawing:
This little gem was actually completed late last night (it was drawn over two days). However, between the size and the contrast with the color (a blend of 5 layers of Prismacolor), I wasn’t able to get a good scan. Instead, I waited for the right light, and took photos outside today. The results are definitely better, but not as good as real life, I promise:-)
This card was a true challenge for me, as I wanted to see if I could fit a whole horse on a card. I knew it could be done, just didn’t know how small I could draw. I found out – pretty small! Although he appears much larger here, in real life from the tip of his nose to the ears measures just 1/2 inch.
I thought I’d add to my challenge by making this a Pegasus – the beautiful flying horse of Greek mythology. I’ve loved them since I was a child, and used to dream of riding one. I don’t think I’ve ever drawn one, though, at least not as an adult. So, here he is in all winged glory!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
I actually started on something else earlier tonight, and realized that I'd need more time to finish it. So, I did a horse I've been wanting to draw for a while now - the big, brawny Belgian:-)
Here's part of the breed info:
"The Belgian is a heavy draft breed, weighing around a ton and stand up to 17 hands (or higher). It makes sense that they’re amazing horses for pulling heavy loads. Even today, they’re still used for farm work. They’re easily recognizable, too – they’re usually sorrel (red/orange) with a flaxen mane and tail. They can also come in roan (solid color heavily mixed with white hair). In addition to their awesome power, they’re known for being kind and gentle animals."
Friday, December 26, 2008
Well, I made the logical choice to take Christmas as my day off from drawing this week:-) This little guy is for 12/26, and is a leopard spot Appaloosa colt. If you've been following, you may remember the adult leopard spot Appy I drew - horse #24. Since I've been on a baby theme lately, the foal version seemed the logical choice for tonight. Plus, spots are fun!
I wrote on the Etsy listing about the memories doing these drawings are evoking. I'll copy and paste that part here:
"Drawing all of these babies has really brought back what it was like having foals in my life. There’s the excitement of waiting over 11 months for the birth, all the while wondering if it will be a filly or a colt. Wondering which traits will come through, and if all of the planning paid off. Then the actual birth and watching this tiny thing with impossibly long legs struggle and struggle to get up to drink that first milk – with lots of encouragement from mom (and those nips on the rump when baby nurses too hard:-). They seem to become more coordinated by the minute, gamboling alongside their mothers, so impressed with how cool they are – yet not quite daring to leave mom’s side for a little while. Watching a foal grow to adulthood is an amazing experience, and often the culmination of many years of dreams. It’s so good to have those memories!"
It amazed me to realize tonight how blessed I am to have these memories. What I didn't realize is that because of the pain of giving up my horses, I don't often delve to deep into my memories. Yet I have so many good ones!!! Foals are some of the best memories. My mom and I put so much into the dream of breeding Farrah. While we only did it three times, each time we learned more and every time was precious. I remember sleeping in the back of our station wagon in the freezing cold waiting for April to be born - and still missing the actual birth!
We actually missed all three births, though Deringer's was the closest by just a couple of minutes. Farrah had gone 11 months, 18 days with him. She also had a very serious complication just prior to the 11 month mark: she colicked pretty severely. However, even the vet wasn't sure if she was colicking or going into labor early. We were up all night, walking her, bran mash, etc. - praying. She couldn't have had surgery, because she was too far along. Finally, around 5 a.m., she passed a huge enterolith (a stone). The vet said it was the largest he'd ever seen passed without surgery! Believe it or not, we still have it;-) It's about the size of a tennis ball. If I figure out where it is, I'll have to take a picture. Won't that be exciting?
Anyways, every foal was different, yet so beautiful and so special! Drawing these babies here reminds me of them and the experiences I had. It reminds me to remember, and to appreciate how incredible having horses in my life was:-)
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Happy holidays, everyone! This is my drawing for 12/24, and is dedicated to all the little girls who dream of getting a pony for Christmas:-)
I'll add to this post a bit later, as it's 1:00, and I have to get up early. Hope everyone who celebrates Christmas has a wonderful day!
Posted by Erica Lea at 12:58 AM
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I like thinking of more unusual horses to draw, and the Kiger Mustang definitely qualifies! Here's some of the info from his Etsy blurb:
"He’s a Kiger Mustang – a wild horse, but also an established breed. They were discovered in the 70’s in Oregon, and found to be breeding true through DNA (it also turns out that they’re closely related to the original horses brought from Spain to the U.S. in the 1600’s). The BLM separated them out into their own groups. They're usually dun colored (light tan to golden with black points) with a dorsal stripe down their backs and zebra-like stripes on their upper legs. We once pastured our horses with a mare who was believed to be a Kiger, and she was so beautiful! Heavy-set, but such a lovely color and had that really long black mane. She was very shy, but gentle and a pleasure to be around. Like my last subject, the zebra, I hope for the opportunity to see the wild Kiger mustangs. What a beautiful sight to see!"
Tomorrow I'll be working on some photos I took today of my mom's sculptures. She's just joined the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy, and is entering their next contest. I think this is so cool, and I know it's a big thing for her. In fact, I think it's the first contest she's ever entered her art in. I'll have to put some photos here, too:-)
I'm behind on real writing here, so promise to get back to it soon. This is supposed to be a multi-subject blog, and not just about the horse challenge. So, more to come soon!
Monday, December 22, 2008
I did it! I took on a new subject, and my drawing mojo came back today:-) It's not the same subject I tried yesterday, but it's brand new to me. I always thought it would be a pain to draw a zebra - all those stripes! However, like the Appaloosa, it was easier than I thought. I guess it shows that when you let it flow, it does.
I'm calling this guy a zebra teenager. He isn't a tiny baby, but he isn't full grown, either. It's just the way he turned out, and I kept thinking of him as a teen. He looks like he thinks he knows it all, just to keep the younger crowd in awe of him:-)
Here's some of my Etsy blurb:
"Everyone knows zebras as the wild horses of Africa; the stripes we think are so flashy are meant to confuse predators and camouflage the zebras. They can be domesticated – I think more as a novelty than for practical purposes. Looking at their movement, I can’t imagine enjoying a smooth ride. From what I’ve read, they’re also too unpredictable to make steady performance animals. That just means they belong in the wild, right? I hope I get to see them there someday…"
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I confess, my drawing “mojo” was off this weekend. I decided yesterday that I would make an “Executive decision” and make Saturday my day off from drawing a horse a day. I got to today, and started a little later than I should have - because I decided to try something new. It’s now 11:20 p.m., and both my mom and I agreed that it just doesn’t look right. The head placement was just enough off, and I can’t correct it without erasing the whole body. Yes, a whole body – doesn’t that make you wonder? ;-)
I wanted to try a whole horse for a change. I do my research first, and work from about five photos of a breed. I know what every breed looks like, but it helps to see more detail so I make sure to get it right. I don’t copy anyone’s photos but my own. It’s wrong to copy because you’re stealing someone else’s work. Frankly, I think it’s harder to copy a photo than to come up with my own composition. Artistic license, and all – I’d much rather make my own face, pattern and mane, etc. I hope to accept commissions in the near future, but even for those, I’d want several views of the animal.
Of course, in this case my artistic license didn’t work! I was turning my face just enough one way that when I put the body in, it was off. I didn’t see for quite a while, though it was niggling at me. So, I showed it to my mom to see what she thought, and she noticed right away. I realized it couldn’t be salvaged, and it’s too late to start something new. Graphite goes faster for me than colored pencil, but not that much faster…
Tomorrow’s another day!
I’m placing the photo I took last weekend of the beautiful Palomino horse in the pasture with the donkey (whose eye was #22). Unlike the donkey, the Palomino was very wary of my presence. I’m not sure if it was a mare or gelding, but am leaning towards mare. Breed is unknown, too. Palomino refers to the coloring, and many breeds can be Palomino. She looks a bit like an American Saddlebred, doesn’t she? Tall, and long, elegant face…
Whatever her breed, she was a lovely horse! I was so glad that even though she ducked away under the tree, I managed to get a pretty photo of her. She gets to be horse #28.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Continuing my baby kick, here's a Quarter Horse colt:-) The foals are more challenging than the adult horses to me, and I'm really enjoying drawing them. They have to look like babies, they have to look like their breed, and they have to look different from each other - so far I think I've done it!
Here's the blurb on this one, which tells why the Quarter Horse was tonight's breed:
"Baby #3! After I posted #2 foal on Flickr (My Pics), one of my contacts, PaprikasPlace (also on Etsy) responded to my question, “Who knows what tomorrow will bring?” She suggested a Quarter Horse foal, and I took her suggestion. I’m always open to ideas:-) It can be helpful to have suggestions, because I sometimes have problems deciding what next. Too many choices! So, here’s a little American Quarter Horse colt. I worked at maintaining his “baby-ness” while giving emphasis of those big muscles to come. I also have an adult Quarter Horse drawing as my #6 horse here in the challenge. The do-it-all horse!"
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Yay! A little earlier tonight! And another cute baby:-) I decided that I should do some of the other breeds, since I've given more time to Arabians than anybody. Since I love Vanners, I thought I'd try a little Vanner colt tonight. They're cute little fuzz-balls, so much different than Arabians, but just as adorable.
This one's on Etsy, too. Hope you like him, and his fuzzy little chin:-)
Going to try and make it an earlier night, so need to get on over to Etsy and Flickr.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
A new baby! And another Arabian, now there's a surprise;-) Wonder what I'm putting in place with the Law of Attraction? I hadn't really thought of that before now, which surprises me, but I'll be curious to see.
Anyways, I'm early as always - that is, if this was for Thursday, since it's 12:20 a.m. now. I was figuring out Auctiva today, and it took longer than I thought. I want to put my one lens on eBay soon, and try some other items. I've heard so much about how eBay has changed that I've been hesitant, yet I see some people are doing quite well (it's all in what you believe). We need more than one venue, so we'll be seen more:-) We also have an account with Artfire, and up and coming cool site, and will be opening a store there soon, too.
In the meantime, this little cutie's on Etsy, which is really the most amazing place for artists and crafters! Check out their forums sometime - so much good and friendly advice to anyone starting a business there.
Part of the blurb:
"This is my second Arabian foal, and is a sweet little girl. I envision her as golden chestnut with a flaxen (blonde) mane. I’ve always loved the chestnut color, maybe because I’m a redhead, too. And, of course, I love Arabian foals. There’s nothing more special than seeing them prance across the pasture, tail held high - so very proud of their tiny selves! I have to admit a soft spot for all foals and baby animals, like everyone. I just know Arabians best:-)"
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I finaly did the Appaloosa! Took a while to convince myself - I actually thought spots would be harder than hair (like on the eyes), but they weren't. Well, except that I found they smudged really easily, so was glad for my battery eraser to clean things up. Plus, I could be a little creative with the pattern, which was fun. I knew I had to do a leopard spot Appy because you wouldn't know it was an Appaloosa from a graphite head drawing otherwise;-)
Here's a little of the text for Etsy:
"The Appaloosa comes in many colors and spotted patterns. They often have pink skin around their eyes and lips. They can be spotted all over like this (leopard spot), or have a solid color with a blanket of spots on the rear. Probably the hardest part of this drawing was not going overboard with the forelock and mane, because the “Appy” is known for having a rather thin mane and tail (and I’m known for drawing rather thick ones). The Appy was originally developed by the Nez Perce people, and usually the horse portrayed in art and movies featuring Native Americans. Nowadays, they are most often western horses, but can do many different things. They certainly brighten up any arena!"
Hope you enjoy him:-)
Monday, December 15, 2008
Okay, it's easier to fall behind than it is to catch up;-) So, only one drawing for tonight. This one's a horse of my own creation and imagination - the horse you'd love to see running across the desert towards you. The horse you'd ride for miles and miles... Of course, it's an Arabian. I did mention I was partial:)
This one is on Etsy, too. I've been wondering about the other "e", because I've seen some artists with quite a following. There's one equine artist in particular who commands awesome prices for her ACEO's, which are truly lovely. I guess I have a competitive streak, and would like to know how mine would do in the bidding process.
Additionally, I'm in the process of finding a charity to donate a portion of the proceeds from these cards (1/3). I've contacted my top pick, and hope to hear soon. I've been waiting to do a larger announcement, but thought I'd better mention it since I said something several posts back.
I would donate to the rescue that took our mares, but they've since stopped rescuing. Horse rescue not only requires a lot of time and money, but it also takes a lot of space. I think it's more overlooked than small animal rescue, but it's just as crucial. It's near and dear to my heart, and I realized I might be able to do something through these cards:-)
More to come!
Okay, so I did, I missed a day:-| I hadn't gotten very much sleep Friday night, so wound up being zonked by Saturday evening. I started, but it wasn't going anywhere. So, I did the smart thing, and went to bed:-) I also slept in, and then we went for a drive... My plans for two drawings for 12/14 didn't come to fruition, but I'm still happy:-)
This is the eye view from the front, from a photo I just took today! On said drive, even... We met a horse and donkey in a pasture, pulled over, and donkey came up to the fence. He was a little spooked, so it gave just the right distance to focus really close on his eye. Here's the reference.
Of course, after deciding to post the photo on Flickr earlier, I felt more challenged by my challenge, lol! I knew everyone would be able to compare the two. I also know that they're different. I don't use rulers or anything, so it comes out as close as, well, it comes out;-) I can see that mine's much rounder... Anyways, I think I have enough eye ACEO's for now!
As an added bonus, the person who buys the drawing will also get a copy of the photo ACEO. At this time, both are on Etsy.
Okay, it's 1:10 a.m., and time to wrap this up. It's also pouring down rain, and has been for hours - surprising for here (dry central Cali), but this is our 1st December, so might be normal.
Until later today:-)
Friday, December 12, 2008
I uploaded my photo here first, to get it up before midnight, and I'm now back to write. I was almost done when there was an interruption in the form of a loud boom and reverberation through the house. I went outside to look, as did the neighbors, but the fog is sooooo heavy, you can't see anything. About 20 minutes later, I heard a bunch of sirens; and so I'm sending out positive thoughts to all involved for whatever it was (guessing car crash). Definitely made my and my mom's heart jump!
After all of that, I scanned tonight's drawing: a cutie pie burro foal:-) I had both foal and donkey in mind tonight, so wound up combining ideas. I also fell in love with burro babies - especially the miniature ones. Too adorable!
Here's some of the blurb from Etsy, where all of these cards are available for sale:
"...They come in sizes ranging from miniature to giant. There are actually some rare donkey breeds that people are working hard to preserve. They’re known best as beasts of burden, but are also kept as pets nowadays. Having been around a few, I can say that they’re highly intelligent and have a definite sense of mischief."
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Yay, it's a little earlier tonight, and this is number 20!!! This drawing flowed much easier for me than last night, which was very nice.
Here's part of the blurb for Etsy, where it's listed:
"This is the colorful American Paint Horse. They come in many different patterns and can be any solid color with white areas. The overall look of the Paint is of a stock horse, reflecting their Quarter Horse heritage. They are versatile and flashy, yet calm and a great riding horse for all ages. They’re also fun to draw, because I get to “design” my own pattern:-)"
Special posts still coming - I just rec'd. the info for one, and am working on what I need for the other...
For 12/10/08 This one took longer and challenged me, but I wanted to work through it and I did. I tried capturing a similar pose on the 9th, and didn't succeed. Face on has always been a tougher pose for me. I will keep doing it until it flows, though:-)
It's 1:00 now, and I still have to upload to Etsy and Flickr before bedtime, so that's all here this time!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Well, I tried three different drawings tonight, and wasn't happy with the way any of them were turning out. I know I started too late, too. I was bad - we received "The Dark Knight" from Netflix today, so decided to watch it tonight. It's a very long movie - it lives up to the reviews, but is soooo intense and dark. I actually hesitated to get it because I knew it would be dark. Talk about being on the edge of your seat for 2 1/2 hours! Kind of saps your energy, lol!
So, this is actually a drawing I did around the same time as my carousel horses. I posted it on Flickr a little while ago, but will repost. It's another I adapted from my own photo, and concentrates a little more on the rest of the face and contrast with the background than my more recent horse eye.
I'd already titled it, and it suits! I am looking forward:-) And I'm so excited that my #3 card sold today!!! It's the first one to sell, and makes me feel so good. I really want these to become collectors' items. I hope this week to be able to add something more to their purpose...
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy my very last pre-drawn card. This means I better figure out how to get what's in my mind out on paper every night now! Hand/eye coordination;-)
Monday, December 8, 2008
When I showed this to my mom, she laughed! She was so surprised that I'd done a unicorn, that I actually caught her off-guard;-) She really enjoyed it, and I hope you do, too.
Here's part of the Etsy listing:
"Hmmm… do you think this qualifies? Well, if I can have carousel horses, why not a unicorn? I wanted to draw something tonight that didn’t have to conform to a breed standard, and all of the sudden I thought of a unicorn! I think that qualifies for non-conformity:-) This magical creature has been around for centuries. Real? Imaginary? You decide (Wikipedia has a lot of unicorn history on their site). I prefer to believe in a world where both unicorns and Pegasus roam – maybe even a centaur or two!"
Sunday, December 7, 2008
This card is a drawing that I've wanted to do for a while. I had planned on a color drawing, and may do a larger version in the future. In the meantime, I was itching to draw a horse's eye, so I did! I've done a couple of different eyes in the past, but think this is the 1st black and white one. It was more challenging to me, but I also really enjoyed seeing how just the values brought things out as I went along.
As with all of them, this is available on Etsy - just click the banner on the top right corner:-)
More to come... soon!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
I can't believe this is #15! This is a more unusual breed. Here's an excerpt from my blurb for Etsy:
"This sturdy little horse is the Norwegian Fjord, and is one of the oldest breeds in the world. They are always dun color (light to golden tan with black points on the legs and a dorsal strip down their backs). They aren’t very tall, but they’re very strong! In Norway, they’re used as farm horses, so can pull heavy loads. They are also very calm and steady, and good as a child’s horse. Plus, they’re pretty cute! The short, stubby mane is actually clipped to look that way, and for easy grooming. It gives them a unique, unmistakable appearance:-)"
Update from the last post - my grandmother loved the decorations we brought. The best thing was a Santa who recites the whole "Twas the Night Before Christmas" poem. Sounds corny, but he's adorable (don't ask me about the singing mouse I got for myself;-)! I'll try to get a photo the next time. We try to find things she can look at from her bed, so having something that moves and talks has a little more entertainment value.
Oh yeah, and the fog lifted around 2:30 this afternoon, and is back again:-| We still went in the morning, though, because there was enough visibility. I didn't know the fog lasted so long, and for days on end - this was the 1st real glimpse of the sun in quite a while. Pretty exciting!
I finished this one on the 5th honest. It may have been 11:45 p.m., but he was done:-) Took that long to get a scan that I liked afterwards; I'm still experimenting. I accidentally hit the Shadow/Highlight option instead of Levels, and found that it worked better - happy accident! I know, there are no accidents;-)
Well, I need to wrap this up and go to bed. I have to be up in 6 1/2 hours. Going to visit my grandmother in the morning - hoping the fog lifts early. We bought some goodies today to decorate her room, and I hope it brings a little cheer for her.
So, this is part of the blurb from Etsy:
"This is one of the most incredible athletes, the Thoroughbred. Everyone knows them as fantastic racehorses. They also jump, do dressage, cross-country… Fast and hot-blooded, yet steady enough to compete in the most challenging events – the Thoroughbred deserves our awe!"
Stay tuned - I'll be writing a really cool post in the near future:-) I also thought of an idea tonight for these cards that I'm going to look into!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Back to normal for tonight's horse! I did experiment with blending sticks, since I found some small ones I'd ordered by mistake a while back. They're the perfect size for these, go figure;-)
I'm still experimenting with scanning. I wish the dimensions for Etsy were smaller, because I lose sharpness and detail when I enlarge it to their size. Oh well, gives me a chance to play and try different things. This one was actually scanned in color...
Below is part of my Etsy blurb about this card - fancy my drawing another Arab;-)
When you check out the series, you’ll see I already have an Arabian stallion, a foal, and so now there’s a mare! Ethereal beauties, it’s hard to believe the incredible endurance and strength Arabian mares possess. Full of grace but tough and proud – the heritage of this desert survivor. They are valued beyond measure. My card honors their extreme beauty, and my love for the Arabian horse.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Yes, I’m posting two drawings tonight, and yes, they were both previously done. I’m getting back on track. I wanted to catch up tonight, though, and get this posted before midnight or 1:00:-)
Yesterday was one of those days – one of those days where I slid backwards a bit. To be honest, it’s been building up since Thanksgiving. It isn’t that I haven’t been appreciative of the many blessings in my life, because I have. Sometimes, though, things still hit hard at times. Sometimes, I forget to breathe and believe…
Thanksgiving hit really hard, because we visited my grandmother in the nursing home. My mom visits several times a week, and I usually visit once – it’s never easy. I haven’t written about how we got to where we are now. I’ll do a short version for now. As of the end of January 2008, we’ve lived in my grandparents’ mobile home of 20 years with all of their memories. It’s actually now ours. My grandfather passed very unexpectedly on April 12 of this year – I have a tribute on my Flickr site you can see here: Charles Vogel. It tells more about it all.
Anyways, this was my grandmother’s first Thanksgiving in 67 years without him. She’s bedridden in a nursing home (for over 2.5 years now). She still has her mind, though. I’m not sure if that’s a curse or a blessing… I just know that she’s so sad, and my mom and I get so sad for her. It would be a whole other post to fully describe her and things. I’m not ready for that. I just need to let the sadness out, and work harder at not absorbing it in (and not feel selfish for trying to be happy). It doesn’t help anyone to get so low. I need to constantly remind myself of that, because I see firsthand what it does to you…
So, today, I’ve been getting back on track, and looking for the sunny side. That means posting my art again:-)
These were both done with Prismacolor colored pencils. I’ve worked in Prismacolor since I was about 13! The formula has even changed. I’ve thought about switching mediums, because colored pencil isn’t the fastest medium in the world. I’ve never convinced myself, though; there are just too many things about colored pencils that I like. They’re neat, portable, affordable, and able to produce great accuracy and detail. They’re comfortable.
Top is #11 and bottom is #12. Again, with the carousel horses, I strive to create an almost-lifelike horse with just enough fantasy thrown in to make you wonder if it’s real or not. I really, really love doing them! I’m wondering if I should give them real names – what do you think?
Both are available in our store on Etsy.
Monday, December 1, 2008
If you’ve been following, you’re probably wondering, “What the heck?!” Well, I was trying to figure out what to draw tonight for magic #10, and just couldn’t decide. Then I remembered Herman… I don’t even know the last time I thought of Herman, let alone drew him. I created Herman back in my early teens. He was and is meant to be a parody of the Arabian horse. I had Arabians, and sometimes all the silliness with their appearance was too much. Thus, Herman entered the picture.
This drawing of Herman was done without any rough sketches, and completely from memory. The initials on his neck are mine, and are his “freeze brand”. This card is really special, as silly as it might seem – it sure made me smile to draw Herman again. It’s truly one-of-a-kind. I don’t know if I will draw Herman again in the near future – should I develop him further? Will I? You never know, but that means this card is the first and only Herman in existence:-) Right now, he's available on Etsy.