Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hummingbird 1-Pastel Painting

A new painting fresh off the easle. This is an 11" x 14" pastel painting titled Hummingbird 1. The first of a series planned for the winter of 2009-2010. I used creative liscence for the coloration, but it is roughly based on a broad-bill species. I used mostly Sennelier soft pastels on Wallis Museum pastel paper, which gave way to brilliant colors, and of course some alterations to the natural colors of the bird. Let me know your thoughts, I've got 9 more scheduled to come.......fun, fun, fun!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Leaf Footed Bug on Passion Flower-Pastel Painting

Here is another Project InSECT flashback. Pictured above is a finished image of "Napoleon" the leaf footed bug on a passion flower 2006. This extravagant insect is found in Brazil and is so called "leaf footed" due to the "bell bottom" style back legs. The finished pastel painting is 16" x 20" on Wallis Museum Paper. (The best pastel paper in the world by the way:) I normally do not paint flowers and such in the backgrounds of the insects, but have from time to time taken on the challenge of leaves and flower petals. 

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Luna Moth Painting-A Pastel Study

A flash back to spring 2008, I painted this 30" x 22" Luna Moth pastel study for a much larger oil portrait which measured 108" x 72" and completed in July 2008. I still don't have those pictures posted in the website (projectinsect.com) art gallery, but maybe one of these days it will happen:)
Above is the detail of the study painting, the light on this one was fun, and the polar bear like hair on his head and body make him so lovable and cute. It is the way the speciman looked under the microscope. I think fuzzy wuzzy was a moth!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Goin Dancin-Finished Pastel Portrait

Here is the long awaited finished pastel portrait of Goin' Dancin, a racehorse owned by Lanham Racing. The portrait size is 24" x 36" and was very challenging once I got to the bottom portion with the horse and jockey crossing the finish line. My hubz made a funny comment as I finished up the piece, he said, "I think this is the first painting you have done where you actually got to paint a finish line at the finish line."

The full picture above was digitally photographed by Photographic Works here in Tucson today. They did a fantastic job. Below are 2 detail pics of the horse and jockey that I took with my little camera at the easle......enjoy!

Goin Dancin is pictured here winning a stakes race at Turf Paradise located in Phoenix, AZ. I was able to meet the horse in person and photograph him a few times on and off the track which really helped me capture his expression and personality.
The jockey and horses chest were very challenging as the detail was quite intense in these areas. The jockeys head is no bigger than a quarter to give you an idea of size.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Goin' Dancin-More Progress on Final Painting

Another stage in the final painting, with more to come. The next phase is a kin to a Fred Stone (equine artist) style of image. Growing up some time as a kid in "horseland" Ocala, Florida, I would beg to sit in the galleries for hours, just to study the paintings of race horses he had done covering the gallery walls. He was one of my early artistic inspirations.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Goin' Dancin-Progress on Final Painting

Above is the detail of the progress ongoing of "Goin' Dancin" pastel portrait sized at 24" x 36" on Wallis paper. The pic below shows the whole face and neck. However, not showing is a full body with jockey racing to the finish line below his muzzle yet to come in further progress reports.....check back soon!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pastel Study-"Goin' Dancin"

This a small 11 x 14 pastel study of "Goin' Dancin" done on Wallis Museum paper. Below are some detail pics for you to view. It has been about 10 years since I painted a horse...it's like riding a bike, you never forget once you've learned! It takes me right back to my childhood on the farm. I will be posting new pics of the final large portrait next. Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Prairie Buffalo Sunrise Pastel

I do realize of course that I have been blogging everything but insect work lately, alas, I have been going through a lot of my archives and found many works that have never been publicized or shown to the general public. This is one of these works. A 16" x 20" soft pastel on Wallis paper, which was a study for a large oil painting commissioned for Farmers Insurance Midwest Regional Offices, Overland Park, Kansas in 2002. It was the last corporate commission completed prior to the birth of Project InSECT. So you see, the sunrise foreshadowed with buffalo in the foreground, had a much different meaning for what was to come in my life... huuuummmm:)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Capturing the Desert in Pastels

The desert is a wonderful landscape to push a color pallet...especially when you are painting in the high noon sun. It seems to me to be easier in the late or early sun, as the colors tend to fall in the yellow-orange hue for early day, and magenta-violet in the late of the day. Mixing these colors with green may be difficult, even for veteran painters. The key is lightly applied layers upon layers with soft pastels.
The 3 paintings in this post were all painted as plein air paintings within 1 hour....which can be a challenge to those of us who don't practice this on a regular basis. But when the mood strikes, and the vision is there, it is time to paint! I often challenge myself with a close up of nature in plein air format instead of the overall landscape view.
The blooming cactus of the Sonoran desert in the spring have captured my attention and plein air inspiration. May it be told, I prefer to paint a plein air painting of something such as the cactus up close, especially on the wonderful, sunny, spring days here in my beloved desert.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pastel Portrait of My Grandfather

I painted this 8"x 10" pastel portrait of my grandfather over a year ago and finally digitized it yesterday. I used a photo taken in 1918 by my great-grandfather, Ed Huebing, whom was quite the hobby photographer creating many photo albums which included a slew of documented information about the town I was born in, family events, and community happenings. I have several sepia-tone photos of my grandfather as a child that I would love to paint....it is a real treat to go back in time and use my family history to create from nearly 100 years later. Although painting them in pastel at this small size it is bit challenging!

To the left is the actual sepia tone photograph I used. It captured me especially because the expression on my grandfathers childhood face is one that I would see from time to time when I was growing up. It is also an expression I wore on my face as a child, I call "frump mode". My grandfather, Merriwell Huebing Sr. passed in his sleep in April at the age of 95. His love of nature, hunting, fishing and his art making inspired and shaped me to become the artist that I am today. Thank you Grandpa.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Pastel-Cactus Wren

I just completed this little 8" x 10" pastel last evening! I shot photos of these loud cactus wrens in April and just loved the pics I got, thus I was inspired to paint the little stinkers. I mostly took this small piece on as a study for a larger full body pastel in the future sometime. Hope you like!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sketches for Race Horse Commission

Here are 2 sketches I just completed for a commission. I have not painted an equine portrait in years, but it was initially my beginning in art. My first national media attention, at the age of 16 came from pastel horse portraits, and growing up on a horse farm, inspiration came easily on a daily basis.
The portrait is of Goin' Dancin, a horse that belongs to dear friends and clients out of Lenexa, Kansas. I am fortunate to have spent live moments with this beautiful horse, as he currently trains and races at Turf Paradise, Phoenix, AZ, only 2 hours from home! I would love to hear your feedback, as to which layout you artists out there favor...or other comments as well. Looking forward to painting this beauty at 24" x 34" soft pastel on Wallis paper, and revisiting my love of youth.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My Tucson Desert

I got a new Canon digital Rebel XSi this past fall, and have only found the time to experiment with it this past spring. I captured some incredible images as seen above a horny toad that sat on the edge of a large black ant colony. He blends in so well with the surroundings, in fact, James is such an ant lover, he walked over and surprisingly discovered him. I made the run all the way home to get the camera and when I got back, the little stinker (3" long) stayed still long enough to get some great shots. However, capturing him snarfing down the ants that came his way is another story. I got the timing right, but had the wrong aperture setting....blurrrryy pics!
This past spring has been the first real desert bloom we have witnessed. Above is an Ocatillo bloom, which can be incredible against the blue sky back drop. Most of the Ocatillo's in our back yard desert reach 12 to 20 feet in height, so this pic was taken from afar...The only insect I have witnessed on this cactus plant is a robber fly, which sit and wait for their prey to fly by so they can catch it in mid air, similar to catching a football if you were thrown a pass. I have thousands of these pics...just wish I had the time to blog them all...that is all for now, I will be blogging some new artworks this week...I'm excited!! Been too long.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Courtnie the Honey Bee Revisited

Thought I would get back to blogging, as it is something I've wanted to do for over 6 months. I just had a birthday edging me ever closer to 40, and feel that my diary has been neglected...so here are some pics of a painting I performed at the Johnson County Central Resource Library, Overland Park, Kansas in 2005. You can see how my canvas begins pictured below...much like a kindergarteners"mess" with lines drawn all over the place. I love paint for this reason...I can re-draw and paint-over as many times as I need to until she gets there.

She is a 48" x 60" oil on canvas and fuzzy as a bear! She took 5 weeks to complete and will be the supporting role to Mildred the mantis for the 3rd book in our Children's book series. The librarians all said they wanted to hug her as I finished the final golden hairs......Imagine, huggin a honey bee....I find it odd to say, but I can:)
I must give a shout out to Suzanne Berry, a bug painter that has not only inspired me to blog again, but has rejuvinated my adoration and love of insects. Keep painting those incredible bugs Suz! Can't wait to see your next! More blogin to come....I mean it this time!