Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2:8-14

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

"This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."

This morning I'm getting our dining room ready for a family Christmas dinner. Our first in this old house. Hallelujah!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 1, 2008


Sophie ©2008 by Karen Mathison Schmidt
6 x 6 • acrylic on Gessobord
SOLD • private collection, Poway, California

Here's our Sophie, in all her fauve-a-listic splendor! I didn't intend at the beginning for this painting to be so fauve-ish (i.e. wildly colorful), but somewhere along the line the subject started to demand it. She's just so ... well ... enthusiastic! I know, I know, what puppy isn't?

Here are some progress photos:

First, I sketched her in blue colored pencil, then went over my pencil sketch with ivory black. I love this preliminary sketching ... seeing what I can do with different line weights and washes:

Next, I blocked in some color glazes:

Usually at this point I go ahead get the eyes to an almost finished state, because once you get the eyes right, that's 78-93% of the battle of making a good portrait. I just made that statistic up, but it seems true for me!

Next, adding more color detail and developing the highlights and textures ... and emphasizing the outlines in a few places, just to add a little interest:

Here are some close details of the finished painting:

I love Sophie's eyes ... they're so dark that they look black most of the time. I had fun trying to hold her still long enough to see those little color flecks in them!

And now for some photos of our actual subject!

All together now - aaawwwww!

And here are some from before she grew into her Dumbo ears:

Mmmmmm ... I think this must be a Yum Yum tree!