It’s only the first week of December and the avalanche of holiday commitments is rolling heavy around here. Potlucks, cookie swaps, cakes, choir, clinics, exams, cooking, driving, cleaning, hosting — it’s enough to drive anyone from the studio.

But I have been working diligently lately. I was surprised to see that I haven’t written in over a month — but I have a lot of pictures to share. I’ve been working hard in the studio — although my time for the rest of the year is limited. It is always hard to have a work in process you have to stop and restart later — I always feel as if I lose momentum — certainly a lot of the enthusiasm for the piece.

In my current piece, there are two figures — something I haven’t done since my first portrait of my beloved dalmatians in Dalmatian Downs. I have shown you the first face — the second is more complex.

These are the first few values which give the outline of the jaw.

The next is a bold red print. It doesn’t look right here — but I knew it wouldn’t until I added in the darker values. Besides, the figures are at the beach and have a little bit of sunburn on their faces — so the red is appropriate.

Here you can see the red working better. Many things don’t make sense without the shadows. Unfortunately, you can tell I was eager to work on this piece as there is a deep shadow on them. I don’t usually work late in the studio and don’t have good light once the sun sinks low on the horizon — but I was anxious to see her personality come out.

This is the 2nd shadow.

And this is the final shadow. At this point, she really needs eyes.

And wow don’t these pop right out — they do to me. It’s a little startling without her mouth — so I add that next.

There she is.