Studio News for April 2024

Studio News for April 2024

Time for the studio news for April 2024. Let’s get right to it.

Studio News for April 2024

Special News

Kitten Posse News

Sadly, we lost one of the members of the original Kitten Posse on April 12. He was born with an abnormally small nasal passage on one side and was constantly dealing with sinus infections and respiratory infections. We were able to keep it under control most of the time, so he was able to enjoy time outside and play and do normal things.

Then on April 10, he started acting lethargic. By the end of the week, he was gone and there was nothing we could do except care for him in those final days.

The same week, we learned that one of our five-year-old cats, Clara, was diagnosed with kidney disease of some sort. It wasn’t fully identified, so treatment was basically a change of diet.

Fortunately, she bounced back quickly and is doing well otherwise, eating and drinking and running around the house. Our vet has told us that she wouldn’t be surprised if Clara’s kidney condition hadn’t reversed. Apparently, that’s something that happens to cats. Recent blood work revealed that her system is back to normal, but she requires a special diet to remain healthy.

CP Magic! News

The May issue published May 1 and is a superb issue.

Maria Villioti is the featured artist and she represents a milestone. She’s the first featured artist from Greece, and only the second artist living in the Mediterranean region. Her work covers a variety of subjects. I just love the cover image. Her colors are also very realistic and lovely, especially the sun-drenched cityscapes.

Current Works in Progress

Finished Artwork

Despite all the stuff happening behind the scenes, I was able to work on artwork in April. I met the monthly goal of 20 hours of drawing time, and finished a couple of pieces.

New Spring Storm is another in the series of drawings based on the reference photo I used for Spring Storm. It’s also among the smallest so far, measuring 4 x 6 inches.

It is absolutely the simplest. I removed all manmade items and reduced the landscape to trees, grass and sky.

NEW SPRING STROM ~ 4 x 6 inches on Charcoal Grey Pastelmat

I would have to say it’s also among my least favorite of the five or six drawings based on this theme. Oh well. They can’t all be masterpieces, right?

Another piece in this series is 6-1/2 x 8-1/2 inches on Charcoal Grey Pastelmat. I finished it late in the month, but only after realizing that my tinkering and adjusting wasn’t really accomplishing anything. That is sometimes how I know when a piece is finished.

OLD RED BARN ~ 6.5 x 8.5 inches on Charcoal Grey Pastelmat
Works Still in Progress

I also worked on Pasture Patriarch more than once during the month of April. Usually not more than 30 or 40 minutes per session so progress is slow.

I’m struggling because I wanted to complete this piece with nothing but Derwent Drawing Colored Pencils. However, matching some of the colors in the horse has been a problem with the limited selection of colors.

I’d also really like to feel color “glide” onto the Canson Mi-Teintes. So far, the soft but dry feeling Derwent Drawing pencils don’t seem to “glide” very well.

PASTURE PATRIARCH ~ 7 x 9 inches on Tobacco Canson Mi-Teintes

I began one new piece right at the end of April: October in the Flint Hills. This is the second time around for this image, but not for the usual reasons. I wanted to finish the first version, but couldn’t find it! It’s been years since I last worked on it, and I don’t know where it disappeared to.

So I started a new version on white Pastelmat. So far, all I’ve done is block in the sky and place the horizon, but I’m liking the way it looks so far. I’m using a mix of Faber-Castell Polychromos and Prismacolor Premier pencils.

OCTOBER IN THE FLINT HILLS ~ 7 x 9.5 on White Pastelmat
Set Aside (Temporarily)

I don’t know if this is good news or bad news, but I took House Lion off the work-in-progress wall and stashed it in my closet. Why?

Because the last time I worked on it, I was so disappointed that I thought about trashing it or cutting it up into ACEOs! I thought it was safer for the drawing to be out of sight because that meant it was also out of danger.

I haven’t given up on it, yet. The portrait of Thomas went through several phases like this. Each time, I eventually found a way to continue and it was finished. But there is the very clear sense that I may have bitten off more than I can chew with all that long, white hair!

Looking to the Future

ACEO Group

Here’s the news many of you have been waiting for: The ACEO group update.

The first thing I want to share is that I’ve thought of a name. Colored Pencil ACEOs with Carrie. Yes, that’s my own idea, so if you have a better name (or a catchier one), I’d be happy to hear it.

Secondly, I want to thank all of the readers who took the time to respond to the survey. I had over 100 responses so there was a good sampling of blog visitors and newsletter readers.

What was the response? The overwhelming choice was an email group. The margin was about 4 to 1 in favor of emails.

So the next step is figuring out how best to organize things. I’ve already set up an email list for the group, which you can sign up for here. Even if you already subscribe to the newsletter or any of my other lists, if you want the latest news on this new group, I encourage you to sign up today. That’s where future announcements will be made and conversations will be conducted.

That’s the Studio News for April 2024

I hope your month has gone more smoothly than mine!

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  1. Patricia E Wilson

    So sorry you lost your baby and my sympathies are with you as it is always hard to lose a four legged child. Love the article and the drawings. Thanks so much.

  2. Rick Steffens

    Yes. I’m sorry for your losing your kitten and Clara’s condition. I don’t know how I would handle it if I lost my Max, My hound-mix best buddy. I think most of your artwork looks just fine but I know I’m not always satisfied with some of mine. And I have set it aside & out of sight before, too, myself. I have a question. Is there anyway to send you our artwork for your suggestions to make it look better? I know we can send pictures that we want to enter into your CP Magic contests.

    1. Rick,

      Thank you for your sympathies. Pets become part of the household, even when they’re around for less than six years.

      It would be neat to start a crit column here on the blog, if that’s what you’re thinking about. What I would need is an image of the artwork and the reference photo (if you used one), your goals for the artwork (color saturation, contrast, realism, etc.), the size and the materials you used (paper, pencils, etc.)

      Those things could all be emailed to me directly.

      If there’s sufficient interest, I could set up a special contact form for that. What do you all think?

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