Skylark Karma

… Fake Journals… not me, but close.

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A Likeness – 04/29/2017

10:56 AM


woo hoo! Peter knew who I painted! I finally got a likeness after days & days of doing these portraits. I guess all the studies I did and keeping this sketchbook really paid off. who knows when we’ll get back from dinner so I wanted to get all this done even though I hate doing my write up this early in the day… there’s just not much to say. it is our anniversary. one whole year. we had a mostly sunny but cool day… cooler than we’ll have today… but it was magical. a small ceremony, followed by dinner with just our families and close friends. I remember the flowering trees on the common. I keep guessing where we’re going tonight but P’s keeping mum. just tells me to wear something nice. I guess that means we won’t be going for burgers… burgers & beer… much as I love them I don’t think they’re suitable for a special occasion. P. knows that! even if he’s an “eat to live” person. He knows I’m a n “live to eat” person.


right eye… shadow from hair.


left eye… shadow from nose.


highlights & shadows


teeth… remember to tone down the white & just hint at the texture.


( image: 22 in. x 14 in. )



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More Subtle – 04/28/2017

8:40 PM


after letting the last square jawline get away from me, I was determined to get this fella right. I also really tried to make his facial lines less contrasty… more subtle. I prefer it. It’s a mix of english red and ultramarine. I would rather have used a darker indigo tone like indanthrone blue but I think I’m out. I need to check if I have another tube so I can fill my palette. the combo of a white plate in addition to the palette works best. when I was leaving today I noticed that yesterday’s woman had arrived with her husband. I hope they take one of the puppies. the litter was quite large & mom seems to be at the end of her rope. we don’t get puppies that often… usually… mostly… adults. they’ll be old enough to go in a few days. I’m psyched… we’re going out for our anniversary tomorrow. P. says it’s a surprise but I keep guessing where we’ll go anyway.


spiky eyebrows… hooded eyes.


very square jawline… don’t forget the stubble.


( image: 22 in. x 14 in. )


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Surreptitiously Snapped – 04/27/2017

8:47 PM


I knew I wanted to draw this woman yesterday. surreptitiously snapped a photo yesterday while she was on her knees goo-gooing with a puppy she was considering adopting. she had come without her husband because he said he wouldn’t come until she had narrowed the choice down to one or two. thank goodness I’ve gotten in the habit of always having my phone in my pocket. I’m always hopeful when I see a person bond with one of our cats or dogs, but it’s tough… some days I’m sure there’ll be an adoption and then I’m crushed when I come back the next week to find the creature’s still there. we already have 2 cats from there and dogs just wouldn’t fit into our schedule… even if the landlord would agree. the long term residents break my heart the most.


iris is oval when seen from the side.

looking up.

( image: 11 in. x 14 in. )



( image: 22 in. x 14 in. )


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Chiseled Jawline – 04/25/2017

9:05 PM

now this is an interesting one. I’ve got the likeness yet not. where did his chin go? that upper lip is way, way, way too long. he does have a chiselled chiseled jawline but his right cheek is too round in my rendition. maybe I just got wild with my brush and didn’t really notice it ’till now… then again… I might have just painted what I thought a cheek should be instead of what it really is. what’s really silly is I like it! It’s more like a charicature than a portrait. That’s it! … I’ll get a job at Disney World drawing funny portraits of the tourists… I won’t have to go to the interview next week. I’m happy I got a call-back but I have to wait nearly a week before the meeting. seems the chair is at a conference and won’t be back in the office ’till Monday.


more, more, more… more forehead and hair


they eyes are actually set below the midlevel.


open mouth


uneven eyes


Left… hooded


( image: 22 in. x 14 in. )


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Hoodie – 04/24/2017

9:14 PM


sigh. I put a few years on this young lady. she looks to be in her mid-teens in the photo. I was attracted to her uneven eyes and that hoodie. I thought about using my artistic license to leave it out but it seemed to be integral to the shadowing on her face. quiet day today. much warmer than I expected. the laundry dried immediately in the sun & the breeze. I feel good that I got that done at least. just vegging my way through the day. having visitors just took all the p & v out of me… and they’re family! you’d think I’d be more relaxed about the whole thing. I’m in awe of people who can entertain easily. I just get stressed.


widely set eyes


Don’t forget the hoodie


more distance from eye to nose tip


more distance nose to chin



( image: 22 in. x 14 in. )


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Tough Save – 04/23/2017

9:13 PM


this was a tough save. at one point I was ready to admit defeat and close the book! those eyes… first too light, then too dark. he looked as if he had kohl eyeliner. even now it seems too “outline-y” to me. got the eyebrow shape though. gotta find… and appreciate… the stuff that works. I also like the shading in the iris. P & S left ~ 5… figured they’d be home early enough to catch the end of the Celtics game. at least they have a beautiful ride. the sun was out all day and we had warm temperatures too. not bad for April. stopped at Michaels on the way home from the Montshire. used my 50% coupon on a set of gray pitt pens. they’ll be great to take in my purse when I want to add a little depth to one of my black ink sketches. good for a dropped shadow too. yet another thing to practice.


flat ears


thick eyebrows sloping down


thin lips… protruding chin


( image:  22 in. x 14 in. )



Earth Day – 04/22/2017

10:27 PM


blasted this out this morning while everyone was taking turns for a shower. I made a big pot of coffee, put out the bagels, lox & cream cheese and let everyone fend for themselves. (this pen needs refilling) (okay now… different pen) I could have spent more time blending but I like it the way it is. it seems fresher than my other portraits. Drizzly today. we spent it in Hanover at the globe exhibit, a particularly good place to go on earth day. P. thought about going to one of the science marches but we had already made plans with P. & S. decided on take-out from Kata Thai… we have plenty of beer. I would have preferred Tuk Tuk but I was out-voted.


Too long






no – no – no – no – no!   too round!!   way more nose, lips and chin please!


lip line – 2 mountains & a valley



( image: 22 in. x 14 in.)

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Traffic Exodus – 04/21/2017

11:42 PM


yes, I painted this in the afternoon, but it just seemed wrong to do my write up then. too early. this was a lesson in patience… way too many tiny strokes and squiggles… I did some, walked away and set up the spare room… did some more, walked away and made a large salad & stuck it in the fridge… did even more, and cleaned the bathroom. ready for Paul & Suzanne! they actually arrived pretty early ~7:00. turns out they managed to get out of work and escape the city before the major traffic exodus. the bros have been discussing politics. I saw Suzanne roll her eyes so we left them at the dining room table and took our wine into the living room. we talked jobs etc. she thinks I should forget the whole job thing and go back and get a teaching certificate / degree… I don’t think so. who’s hiring art teachers now! no one! sweet of her to think I could do it. now to bed.


right eye


left eye


just a hint of an under-eye shadow on both.


( image: 22 in. x 14 in. )


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More Natural… Less Posed – 04/20/2017

8:58 PM


still working on head tilts. she should have her chin lower as it is in the prelim but I confess, I like her head position in the final better. to my eye it looks more natural… less posed. oops! just noticed… I forgot to give her her earring. Peter looked at it and said Michelle Obama. nope. not Serena Williams either. she’s just a model in an advertisement in a magazine. She looks like she’s having a great time. I picked her photo for the 3/4 view. that’s the hardest position for me. it’s difficult to get the midline correct. love the dry brush hair! I must remember to use that more often. Paul & Suzanne are coming up tomorrow eve. for the weekend. told P. I’ll stop at the co-op on my way home from the hu. soc. I’ll pick up a couple of take & bake pizzas since we don’t really know when they’ll get here… and how am I going to find the time to continue this gouache stuff? maybe I’ll do it as soon as I get home. this throws my schedule all off.


three-quarter views are the toughest!


even tougher than smiles.


( image: 22 in. x 14 in. )


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Teaching Moment – 04/19/2017

8:33 PM


I’ve looked at this fella a bunch of times and I think I’ve finally figured out what’s wrong… what’s off. It’s the refection of the light in his eyes. eyeballs are spheres… a curved surface. if the light is coming from his left as he looks down to the right… there’s no way the highlight should be there. it should be in shadow and the highlight should be on the left near the visible sclera. should I correct it? nah. I would lose the teaching moment. I really like how the skin tone shows through his beard. fewer beard hairs there. Sara asked me to do the kennels again. this time because Jeanne called in… her husband had a heart attack last night and she’s going to stay with him. definitely more important. I told S. I’d do Jeanne’s shift on Friday. there’s a benefit of not working full-time… flexibility.




lips hidden by mustache. lip line uneven.


very short distance from eye to tip of nose.


ears tip outward


tag: Kindness is the essence of life

( image: 11 in. x 14 in. )


( image: 22 in. x 14 in.)