Once the drawing is sealed and dry, I begin my work in oil.

july 2015: bumblebee in oil

may 2015: mum in oil

India gets some skintone and hair. Then I add some dark areas to her jacket.

Using ultramarine blue, I add a thin glaze of cooler tones to her hair, eyes and jacket. This is also in watered-down acrylic.

March 2015: brown cow in oil

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©Kate in the Studio 2015

This is a terrible photo, but you may be able to see that I have put in some lighter tones on her jacket.

A kneaded eraser pulls the pastel right up, and acts

as a second drawing tool.

This was a commissioned portrait created for a large law firm in honor of one of their attorneys being elected as president of a prestigious national association. I was very excited to have the privilege of painting her portrait. 

I began with a chalk pastel (conte crayon) drawing

on a gessoed panel. For a portrait, I usually use burnt umber, which blends really well into skin tone. (By the way, I never use black in my paintings, and therefore stay away from pencil for initial drawings for paintings. I believe it tends to flatten tones and make skin look a bit dull and gray.)

Once the drawing is complete, I lock it in using clear acrylic medium.


The creative process is messy and often uncertain. Each time I begin a painting, I have a mental picture of the way I want it to turn out. Sometimes it looks just as I hoped it would; 
at other times, I feel like a bystander wondering where it will go. But as I've gotten older,
I've learned to enjoy the ride, and am usually happy with whatever I paint, even if it 
bears no resemblance to my initial vision. 

 Here is the progression in photos:

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A closeup of the head finished.

The jacket gets finishing details, but the glare from the

flash makes it kinda hard to see. :-(

I fill in her jewelry and the background, and India is finished!