Monday, July 12, 2010

Photo of the Day, Blind Contour and List Progress

The photo today is a gem for me. I have never seen one of these birds near my house let alone at the feeder. I've only seen them at a friend's house a couple of miles from here. She has a deck on the back of her house and a huge open field behind - no close trees. I am thrilled that he came to visit and angry at myself for having to shoot this through a dirty window. The feeder is so close to the window, it is nearly impossible to focus on the feeder and not get the dirt in the window as well.

We usually get the red bellied woodpecker (go figure, his belly is not red, the top and back of his head are). He looks like an overgrown downy with a bright red (not this wonderful deep red) top and back of his head and striped wings. 

I hope this guy comes back and I can get him through a cleaner window. Unfortunately, cleaning it doesn't do much good as the raccoons come at night and leave their marks from swiping at the feeders.

Now to the list from last time:

- walk the treadmill  I did an hour including 15 minutes of jogging
- unpack
- call the carpet/blinds professional cleaners
- get my trade with my friend, Sandy in the mail  not actually in the mail but ready to go - I still don't have a car!!!! The hubster assures me that he will take it today and get it sent on it's way.
- get my ATCs for the ATCsForAll trade in the mail
- restart my third girl in the Faces in Technicolor class (she was a disaster and is now buried under gesso and molding paste) she is in the ugly stage; I'll share tomorrow.
- do Lab 2 in Carla's Drawing Lab book blind contour giraffes (see below)
- replace the pix on the digital photo frame in the living room
- strip beds and do laundry

Looks like I should make lists more often. I do have the ATCs for the ATCs For All trade ready to go and will see if the hubster will mail them today when he sends the other.

I'm a bit disappointed; today is weigh in day and I am still just over 160. Is it so unreasonable that I should be in the 150s? I walked and jogged on the treadmill for an hour instead of half an hour three times this past week. The plus is that I was in a size 14 and now my size 12s are a bit large. I know better than to be hooked on a number, but it is what it is.

Here is my blind contour from Carla Sonheim's book Drawing Lab:

They are not very impressive, but I think you can tell what they are. My goal is to attempt a blind contour every week (my goal in a goal is to do one every day). 

Meanwhile, I am working on my third girl in the Faces in Technicolor class. I have started and gessoed over twice and finally am to a point where I like some of it, but it needs a lot of work. I will share her tomorrow. When I got to the point where I was afraid to go on yesterday, I had a small palette paper full of a variety of Golden heavy body acrylics and didn't want to waste them, so I opened another canvas panel and smooshed them into it.

I'm loving this as a beginning and am hoping to use it as a starting point when I begin my next "masterpiece" :-o

I am supposed to be going to the zoo with my daughter and miss 7 and miss 2 today, but it looks like it is going to be raining on and off most of the day. Maybe we could go to a mall and have lunch and walk a bit instead.



  1. I see no dirt on the window - just an amazing photo of a spectacular bird. Your contour drawings are remarkable - mine turn out just a mass of lines going no where. Good start on the background for the next face! And you "to do" list .... well, I'm jealous. hugs, nancy

  2. I know what you mean by the spec on the window... I thought that's a very artistic photo, the dirt is part of the artistic approach, like most lens glares and what not ^^
    Love what you did with the giraffe and the background prep.. very nice!

  3. I've never seen a woodpecker like that one! We get enormous woodpeckers though, here's a picture like the ones we have: (sorry, don't know how to tiny url something!)

    Your giraffes look great and I definitely like the background you've painted. It has so many possibilities!!

  4. I don't see any dirt on your window. I took a pic through mine the other day to catch our German Shorthair pointer sitting still watching a rabbit 5 feet from her but the slobber she'd left on the window blurred out her whole head! There was no way I could keep a pic like that.

    I finally went through my paints to see I have almost none of the paints Sharon calls for. I've drawn a practice face in my journal since I couldn't find a model (other than family and the pressure is too great there yet) so I guess I am just going to have to pick some of my colors in my stash and see what happens. Can't wait to see your third pic.

  5. Your bird is beautiful, even though he's shot through a dirty window. And I hope the rain held off long enough today so you could enjoy a visit to the zoo with your girls!

  6. Please tell me where I can find faces in technicolor that idea really appeals to me and your color use is fab!

  7. Lee,

    You can find out more and sign up for the Faces in Technicolor class here:


  8. This looks like the red-headed woodpecker. We only get red-bellied woodpeckers near my house, though very occasionally you can see a downy or hairy and if you are really really lucky, there is the pileated (come to think of it I haven't seen a pileated for years) which is, I believe, what Raena has the link to.

    Yes I'm crazy about woodpeckers (and other birds).

    Like the start of your panel.

  9. Let's see. Loved the photo, great contour drawings, the background is very cool, and I am very impressed by your motivation. Terrific post.