Timelapses, progressions, and morphs! Get your moment of zen with these great videos.

Time-lapse of  Cabela Part II

When I paint in pastels, I usually start with the background (which incidentally is the opposite of how I paint in oils). You’ll find the video of the background process here.

The Things We Treasure

I love painting the true treasures of our lives – sometimes it is people and sometimes it is a very special animal. Cabela is the quintessential example of a loyal dog worthy of immortalization.

Again, her story and the time-lapse of the beginning of the painting is here.

I couldn’t be happier with how this painting turned out.

The Finished Painting

Cabela in Her Blind

Cabela in Her Blind

*If you’re interested in your own commissioned piece, visit my  Commission Page

Mood & Environment Are Not Separate!

Our environment is a large influence on our mental well-being. So we should surround ourselves with beauty. We’re attracted to it, it brightens our day, and it will make you smile. That’s why in today’s post I brought together a collection of things that should brighten your day.

Beauty makes life bearable.

1. To Make You Smile

Smiles are contagious. I dare you not to smile along with Alma Garcia in this short 10-minute film by Carlos Lascano.

I’m still smiling! How about you?

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile,
but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh


2. Inspirational Quotes from Artists

Artists translate the world’s beauty into even better beauty. (Can that be a thing?) Get your fill of positive quotes and images on a post I co-authored over here at Crazy Little Family Adventure. Orana created the images and they are an amazing compliment to the quotes.

3. Relaxing or Invigorating?

I think it depends on if you listen to it muted or not. I’d say that without music it will be your moment of zen for the day (it’s kind of trance-inducing). Choose the method that gets you to the mood you need most!

So which did you try?

4. The Power of Music

Here’s a similar experiment, a blog post I wrote ages ago about the power to influence mood: How to Evoke Powerful Emotion. Its focus is to calm and uplift. It’s worth a look even if you just like looking at the pictures.

For a more energizing experience, go crank up your favorite tunes (and then share with me in the comments your favorite music.)

5. Laughter

I seriously contemplated posting a cat video, but I decided to share the entertaining and clever workings of Zach King instead. He makes it look effortless….or that he has a lot of time on his hands. (Don’t worry there are plenty of cats too.)

NYC Subway SeriesI’m a bit of a people watcher. {Maybe you’ve noticed my favorite subject to paint is people.} I’m always soaking up the faces around me and looking for an image to paint. You can’t find a better place for such an activity than the NYC subway if just for the sheer volume of people. Not only that, but you get a delicious variety. The only problem is trying to get decent photos of people without seeming creepy.

[bctt tweet=”Artist problems: I’m not being creepy; I’m just trying to photograph you.”]

When I saw this Asian girl get on, I knew I had to capture her. She sat across from me and stared at the ceiling the entire way to her stop probably trying to ignore what a weirdo I was being. But I captured the shot and learned a lot painting her. I still don’t have a title for this piece.

{There were so many interesting people to watch, I think I’ll start a series of paintings of people just on the subway.}

COLORS ON MY PALETTE (all Lukas Berlin brand)

  • Titanium White
  • Naples Yellow
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Primary Red (a very pinkish red similar to Permanent Rose)
  • Cobalt Blue Light
  • Cassell Earth (a purplish brown)
  • Burnt Umber


I decided on an underpainting, not for any particular reason other than I hadn’t done it in a while. I used the burnt umber with my favorite thinner, Gamsol, to create the sketch of her head and features. I toned the rest of the board with a mix of cobalt and burnt umber.


  1. SKIN BASE: Titanium white, Naples Yellow, primary red
  2. TO DARKEN: Cassell earth and burnt umber

This was also my first attempt at Asian skin tone (and firsts can be intimidating). I knew I needed to add extra yellow to my usual skin tone mix which consists of Naples yellow, permanent rose, and white with a little permanent blue to tone it down.  In fact, the Naples yellow wasn’t cutting it so I had to whip out my yellow ochre. Several times in the video you’ll see the skin tone going from too yellow to too pink, but I think I finally managed to capture the right balance.