Tag: black& white

Graphite Art in Texas

Brotherly Love

After spending quite a bit of time in the studio and out at Art Festivals throughout Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma, I am ready to get back into my studio and create more artwork!
For the second half of the year, I am super excited about 3 pieces of artwork that have been accepted into “America’s Horse in Art” Show & Sale at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum in Amarillo, Texas.
Opening Reception Night is August 16, 2014 and promises to be a blast.
Along with the top drawing, here are the other two pieces of artwork accepted to this wonderful event.

Pretty Boy

Some Call Him Naughty


Red-Tailed Hawk Graphite Drawing

Red Tailed Hawk - Graphite Drawing
Red Tailed Hawk – Graphite Drawing

In numerous traditions, the hawk has a strong relationship with the world of the gods. Some of this symbolism has persisted in modern mythology and beliefs.

At the same time, hawks can soar and fly high in the sky. This animal has the power to provide support in gaining a higher level perspective on any issue or project you undertake. When the hawk appears in your life, it’s perhaps time to be less distracted by the details and focus on the higher perspective. Relying on the hawk power, you can see what’s ahead clearly and defy any obstacles that may be on your way.

Growing up in a small ranching area, it was quite common to see the Red Tailed Hawk. So much so, that I never thought much about seeing them soar, hunt in the tall wheat grasses, and perched on a telephone pole along the side of the road.

When my husband and I moved to Texas, they were few and far between. Not only is this when I realized how much I had taken their presence for granted – I realized how much beauty they possess. I was thinking of this one day, while working in Downtown Dallas, in one of the taller buildings. I had a window office, overlooking all of Downtown, including Dallas Fair Park and Big Tex. To my astonishment, a Red Tailed Hawk came soaring in between the tall buildings, equivalent to the 25th Floor, and perched on the window sill of my office. For several weeks, he repeated this – and then one day he was gone…

So when I look upon a Hawk today, I do feel like the Red Tailed Hawk is a symbol of good fortune and good health. And that is what inspired several versions of this drawing. 

This drawing was created with graphite pencils, and pastel (for the eye). Finished size is 8 x 10.

Tools of the Trade

A Cowboy has his Lasso.

A Musician has his Guitar.

I have my Pencil.

The humble graphite pencil might seem like the simplest of drawing tools, and so it is – but with time and much practice, this creative tool can become a wonder to behold.  The next few posts will unveil the Tools of My Trade. Today – the Wood-Cased Pencils.

Usually cased in Cedar, these pencils possess a lightness much different than drafting pencils. Graphite Pencils have cores made from powdered graphite (not lead) fired with clay, varying in hardness. The type of graphite used in pencils is relatively soft and malleable, a little like lead, and was mistakenly thought to be a form of lead when first discovered. The misnomer stuck, and many people think that pencils once had lead cores, though they never did. Graphite leaves a small, smooth particle on the paper that has a slight sheen.

Pencils can vary widely in quality. Irregularities in substandard or poorly processed graphite can lead to unpredictable tonal range, and even worse, scratches in the paper. Uncentered cores tend to break on sharpening. High quality artist’s pencils deliver reliable, even tone at carefully graded hardnesses, and are less prone to breakage.

The familiar ‘graylead’ pencil has a graphite/clay core encased in cedar wood. These range in hardness from around 9b (very soft) up to 9H (very hard indeed) depending on the brand. Most artists starting out will find that a selection of 2H, HB, 2B, 4B and 6B is more than adequate to start with.

While some may argue of the inherent disadvantages of these pencils – such as a shortening when continued sharpening, as well as having a tendency to break internally, I prefer wood-cased pencils, because they are consistent, and can be utilized with a sharp point or a smooth edge, useful in shading.

 Turquoise Drafting Pencil

Hard Leads –

Prismacolor Turquoise Drawing Pencils are my preferred pencils for the hard leads. They are well fired and consistent, and have much

less wax in the makeup of their pencil than other brands. Harder pencils excel for their ability to hold sharp points, and are used for straight line and detail work. They come in the ranges of 9H – 2H.


Graphite Pencils
Graphite Pencils


Soft Leads

Staedtler Pencils used to be my favorite soft lead pencils (they come in dark blue). While I still use these pencils on occasion, I have recently discovered General’s “Kimberly” Pencils, (the green pencil) and now I am sold on these. These pencils are made of a non-porous Ceylon graphite cores, making them much more dense and durable.

The core is “Carbo-Welded” to withstand four times the normal point pressure, which lends themselves to strength throughout the life of the pencil.

Graphite Pencils
Graphite Pencils

Soft leads consist of 2B-9B.  Soft leads are best suited to sketching and blending, and delivering the darkest of tones.

Some Call Him Naughty…

HorseThe best time of year to sit back and have some fun is when the baby horses are out in the pastures.  You could burn hours having a blast just watching the colts and fillies playing with each other, the mamas and anything that moves in the tall grasses.

This is what inspired me to do this drawing. Some called him naughty, ‘cuz he wouldn’t leave everyone alone, but I think he is rather cute!

Somewhere Down the Tracks…

Somewhere Down the TracksSince I can remember, I have loved trains. I love all aspects of the steam trains and how it affected our country. The monumental tasks involved with creating the Transcontinental Railroad was no small feat.

The Chinese that were imported into the United States to work on the Western Section of the Transcontinental Railroad faced huge challenges, and truly accomplished the impossible.
While the Eastern Section of the Transcontinental Railroad faced their own challenges to complete a much larger portion of the railroad, it has been the Western half that always held my interest.

Many historians say the search for gold is the binding force that brought the United States into a country, by settling west of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.

While the lure of gold may have spurred the movement for settling into California, Utah, Washington, etc., it was the Transcontinental Railroad that truly united all of our states and made us one country.

A friend of mine posted this picture on her Facebook page, and I am reposting it here. I absolutely love it, because it shows the isolation along the tracks, somewhere across middle America. Moving to an unknown destination somewhere down the tracks, linking one city to another.

Texas Longhorns

ImageThis post isn’t about the Texas Longhorn College Mascot, this is about the real cattle from Texas.

The past several shows, people have asked me to draw Longhorn Cattle. 

Since I have a soft spot for cattle, that didn’t seem like such a difficult task.

In researching the Longhorn breed, it is quite fascinating. Genetic analysis shows the Longhorn originated from two ancient cattle lineages originating from the Middle East and India.

The Texas Longhorns are direct descendants of the first cattle brought to the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1493, when he landed in the Carribbean Islands.  Over the next two centuries, the Spanish moved the cattle north, arriving in the area that would become Texas near the end of the 17th century. The cattle were allowed to roam for the next two centuries. Over several generations, descendants of these cattle evolved into the high feed- and drought-stress tolerance and other “hardy” characteristics that Longhorns have become known for.

Today, the Texas Longhorn is known for its color variation ranging from bluish-grey, various yellowish hues, to browns, black, ruddy and white, both cleanly bright and dirty-speckled. The Longhorn is known for its lean beef, which is lower in fat, cholesterol and calories than most beef. Most importantly, the Texas Longhorn continues to represent the romance of the American Old West. 


More Than Just a Gun – The Colt .45 Revolver

Colt 45My newest piece of artwork was inspired by a photo I stumbled upon years ago. After all this time, I’m not even sure who took the photograph. If I did it right, I would be able to incorporate a story into the drawing itself.

The title of my drawing is “The Blacksmith’s Newest Purchase”.

In this drawing, I wanted to show off the blacksmiths tools of the trade with his new purchase, and make it feel like he set it on his workbench, on top of the blacksmith’s anvil to admire his new purchase. The questions come to mind – how long did the Blacksmith save to get his new gun and holster belt? What prompted the purchase…

And in thinking these thoughts while drawing this piece,  it made me wonder about the Colt .45 and how it shaped our history in the West. The Colt 45 remains as one of the most famous weapons ever created, thanks in part to a storied past that dates back to 1872. The Colt 45 is so well known, it has taken on several names (in part due to the .45 Colt caliber and cartridge) over the years, including the Colt Single Action Army, SAA, Model P, Peacemaker and M1873.

Since Samuel Colt founded Colt’s Manufacturing Company in 1836, more than 400 models of Colt firearms have been produced. One of the most popular, the Single Action Army, is associated with the American West and is tied to many historic legends, including George S. Patton, who carried a custom-made SAA with his initials on it. Lawman Wyatt Earp used the SAA, as did gunslinger Doc Holliday and president Theodore Roosevelt. The Colt 45 was designed by William Mason and Charles Brinckerhoff Richards in 1872. Mason was an engineer, inventor and patternmaker; Richards was also an engineer, founder of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a Yale professor. The Colt 45 was the standard U.S. military service revolver till 1892, and since then it has been used by ranchers, outlaws, lawmen and practically all walks of life. It’s no wonder that the Blacksmith would be proud of his newest purchase.