Monday, June 25, 2007

Escondido Canyon & Two Quick Sketches

After fighting with mediocre photo-importing software, we broke down a got a card-reader so I could finally post some pictures. These are from last week when we went hiking at Escondido Canyon in Malibu:
Escondido Canyon in two words: poison oak. A lot of the parks around here have quite a bit of poison oak, but Escondido seemed to have the mother-load. That aside, the scenery was very pretty and chock full of wildlife! We saw two California Mountain King Snakes (the red, black, and yellow ones that look similar to the deadly coral snake, but are actually harmless!), another type of snake, and two deer. We were only a few feet away from one deer as it made it's way across the side of a hill.

The trail repeatedly crosses a meandering creek and ends up at the 150' Escondido Falls which is the highest in the Santa Monica Mountains. There wasn't much by way of water at this waterfall perhaps because of the severe drought we've been experiencing... It was more of a trickle.

This last picture is of the falls, but it's probably hard to tell since there was so little water. It'd be nice to go back just after some rain to see how the falls might look during a more typical year.

Now for the sketches - these are just a couple of real quickies drawn up from some old thumbnails in my sketchbook:

A little ACEO and a simple Christmas card. I'm not so sure about the card, though. I think "Santa Moon" looksa bit creepy...

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Woodland Post

We got the verdict from our insurance company by the end of last week, and 'Sophia,' our Jetta, is a total loss. So this weekend was all about car-shopping. The last and only time I'd ever been car-shopping was right after college graduation and my Dad handled pretty much all of it for me, so this was a really new experience for both myself and Chris - I don't think he'd ever bought a car before... I guess there are some people out there who enjoy doing these kinds of things, but unfortunately I'm not one of them. It just seems like a big headache with all of the research and then bargaining with sales-people and waiting around for the paperwork - ugh. I was a bit surprised that the salesmen were surprisingly low-pressure, but then when we got into the finance office, the pressure to get an extended warranty was unbelievable. We ended up with a brand new Honda Civic - hope it was the right choice. Needless to say, I hope this car lasts us a long time, so we don't have to do this again any time soon. Now we just need to name her...

On to the art - Here's a sketch I did last week and will probably start painting tomorrow:

I'm not sure where the idea for this one came from. I remember sketching the thumbnail for it about five years ago when we were visiting my in-laws at Christmas time. I think I was trying to come up with ideas for a promo card at the time. Every time I'd flip back through my sketchbook, this one would catch my eye and I'd think, "I really need to paint that some day." So I'm glad to finally get around to it.

I don't know what it is with me and birds these days. Seems like half of the paintings I've done recently feature birds. I guess I just really like painting birds. Go figure.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Wheat Wife Finished

No hiking this week, sadly, as our car is still very much out of commission, but I did finally finish up my "Wheat Wife" painting:

I was going for an earthy look, but I feel like this turned out a bit more drab than I had intended. It was the sort of image that was really cool in my head, but on paper it's just a bit lacking. I had problems with the contrast between the snow and ground. The ground should be really dark from the dampness of melted snow, but it looks too high-contrast if I darken it, so I left it lighter than it really should be.

All of my little old ladies seem to end up looking the same. I guess I should try to diversify.

Well, at least I've got this one out of my head and down on paper. On to something new!