Saturday, August 18, 2007


I played with monochrome in this sketch. It was a Prismacolor green ochre pencil and I like the effect,even if the greenish tint doesn't show well in the scan, its more like sepia. I haven't worked much in underpaintings or grisaille, but this monochrome sketch had me thinking about the process and its advantages.

Of course all graphite pencil, which I mostly use, is monochrome, yet I find it a little odd to use the same process but in a different colour, even if the end result is the same. I guess its like knowing your mashed potatoes are white, not purple. I'm a creature of habit in many ways. I am pushing myself to explore new mediums and look at the world from a different perspective, but I do come back to what is familiar and comfortable to me in art - dry mediums mostly.

I do use watercolours and am will finding time to push out into oils - tomorrow, tomorrow! A pencil however feels most comfortable to me. I like the detail that I can achieve with it and I know inside out how it behaves, what pressure I need to apply for different values and how lead softness affects my image.

Tomorrow it will be oils. I have a lovely little photo taken in Little Harbour East by a friend of mine. This image is calling me and I think it will be my test piece for oils. I haven't used oils seriously for many years but have a pile of old and new tubes of paints waiting my attention in my studio.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Spanish Adventures

I've spent more time on the dog portrait adding some shading and detail to the fur. I can never get a good representational image from a scanner or photo. The original is much crisper and clearer. I'll continue to work on it over the weekend if I have a chance.

Many years ago I travelled to Spain with my oldest daughter who was just 18 months old then. I was by myself, travelling there to meet my husband who worked in the oil industry. He was on a seismic ship exploring for oil and gas off the coast of Spain, based out of Tarragona.

I was living in England at the time and ripe for an adventure, even with a small child, so I jumped at the chance to explore another country and culture. There were a few snags.

After arriving in Barcelona in early evening, I was supposed to have been met by either my husband or the company transportation, but I couldn't find either. A gentleman was on the same plane saw me looking obviously lost and came to my rescue. His Spanish was better than mine and we figured out that I was being met by a taxi driver. Who was looking for someone with two children. After a confusing conversation, I was packed into the taxi and sent on a journey from Barcelona to Tarragona.

It was dark by now and I didn't have a clue where I was going or with who and felt rather anxious. More so when we stopped at a crossing and a guard stopped next to the car. He wore a large cloak and carried a machine gun. Welcome to Spain.

The taxi driver tried to be kind but his English was a limited as my Spanish and we spent the couple of hours of the drive listening to a football match on radio - in Spanish while he kept offering cigarettes and I kept saying no. My daughter slept oblivious to this for most of the journey.

Finally reaching the hotel in Tarragona, I tried to explain that I had no money and it was all 'tomorrow, tomorrow'. Of course my husband wasn't back from sea by then so I had the next adventure of getting to my hotel room again with my poor Spanish and their poor English.
My husband finally did turn up around midnight, by which time I was sound asleep and half scared to death being woken.

The trip was an adventure and I'd do it again in a moment. Spain is a beautiful country with much to see and do. I loved the history of it. In Tarragona there are wonderful Roman ruins, an amazing aquaduct still standing and an amphitheatre. I remember sitting on the terrace of the amphitheatre and thinking of how others had sat there and watched plays, heard songs, saw the seasons pass so very many years ago. There is something quite amazing to ancient history. I love to be part of it, to hold it, sit on it, breathe it in. In 10,000 years what will the history of the 21st century be? Plastic and electronics? Tradespeople are rare, people don't work with their hands anymore. Where are the knitters, the stonemasons, the furniture makers, the artists? Are we a dying breed to be remembered only if we insist on making our mark on today's history?

Thursday, August 16, 2007


This is another early morning drawing, no more than 20 minutes or so again done in pre-dawn to dawn. I am finishing a few drawings before moving on to one that I want to do. I tend to flit from one project to another lately and have to make myself complete things. Perhaps its the way my mind works lately. Everything moves in choppy blocks of time or processes and at work I find myself never having time to complete a task before demands of another take my attention away.

I had written a long post last night for this, but my internet server was acting up and although I saved it, it obviously didn't save so we have the shortened version or non existant version.. So tonight I will try again!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ranier cherries

Ranier Cherries
Coloured Pencil 4 x 4 dark green cardstock
copyright Jeanette Jobson 2007

If one says "Red" – the name of color – and there are fifty people listening, it can be expected that there will be fifty reds in their minds. And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different. (Josef Albers)
I did this small drawing early this morning while watching the sun come up. My mind races early in the morning and I need to give it something to do otherwise it gets stuck on work and produces more stress. So I draw in the early morning if I wake then and find it is my most productive time of day.

I can see flaws in the drawing now. The cherries look more like grapes it seems, they are too round and symmetrical. Perhaps tomorrow morning will let me tweak it into a more presentable state.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Marketing your art

Because I'm a bit rusty in the art marketing business, I picked up a copy of the 2007 Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market book to give me a few insights and leads as to where to push my work and to get a feel for what is wanted out there in the world of art sales.
This book is the standard reference guide for emerging artists who want to establish a successful career in fine art, illustration, cartooning or graphic design. It contains up to date information for more than 1,900 art markets, including greeting card companies, magazines and book publishers, galleries, art fairs, ad agencies and more.
AGDM also has website where you can sign up for a free newsletter and access other features.

In glancing through the book, I've noticed that a lot of businesses with freelance design work needs require that the submitting artist or illustrator have knowledge of Illustrator, PageMaker, Photoshop and QuarkXPress software. Others just ask that initial work be provided in files compatible with some of these programs such as TIFF or EPS, so read the submission guidelines carefully before rushing into anything.

Payments vary considerably from business to business, ranging from payments of $10 - $20 for a black and white inside spot drawing to $1500 and up for a colour cover.

Check out the art work that the business already publishes and see if your style will be a good fit for this company. The genres and styles are as broad as there are companies and the competition seems to be fairly brisk. As with any venture, you may have to knock on a lot of doors before you get a response and response time can be very slow.

Heather Castles' blog provides some great tips for submitting work to greeting card companies.

There are so many ways of marketing your skills as an artist. I found this from 10 Essential Marketing Tips for Freelancers by Leo.
Blog. It’s been said many times before, but the blog is the new resume. If you don’t have a blog, learn how to start one up. And don’t just rant about politics and talk about your cat. Make your blog look professional, write about things that would look good to potential clients, and offer your services to others (with contact info, of course). If you are a designer, be sure that the design is clean and creative. If you are a photographer, the photos should knock them out. If you’re a writer, have only your best writing on your blog. In all cases, have a simple, clean layout with well-written words. If you’re not good at this yet, constantly learn and refine. Look at other professional blogs for inspiration, then tweak. Then edit some more.
Its food for thought, as is all the information in the AGDM book. This is another step towards meeting some of my goals that I made back in January. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Metered electricity

I've done a little more work on Junior, starting the fur around his eye as well as the first layers on the mouth and nose. I can't resist doing the eyes first. I just can't leave them til later. Its like the cherry on top of a sundae, you have to eat it first.

Tonight the cable television wasn't working. This doesn't concern me unduly as there is little I watch on tv, except for Cornation Street. I think I've been watching this off and on for almost as long as its been on the air - 30 or 40 years! Oh dear, that does age me, doesn't it?

Being without cable reminded me of how I used to watch television and have power in Ireland and the UK in the days of my youth. In rented flats or houses, electricity was often metered and powered by ample supplies of 50 pence pieces into a box that would give a certain amount of power, depending on what appliance you were using. Electric bar heaters seemed to take a lot if I remember as did cookers, so you had to make sure you had enough 50p pieces to cook dinner or keep warm for the evening without having to nip out to the pub and get more change.

Rented televisions also came metered, and I missed lots of endings of movies due to change running out and escpecially if it was raining, not wanting to go out for more. I often think these days that metered television might be a great choice now, especially for encouraging children to pry themselves away from it. No cash, no television.

However, cable was restored tonight and I did get to see Coronation Street so all is well with the world. And I get to keep my change too.

Tripod has no fear of cars at all. He will stand his ground and rarely move if one comes close to him . Tonight he was sucking heat from the tarmac as well as appreciating the shade of the car. It reminded me 1. Road kill and 2. the Cat testing his 9 lives theory. He's something else.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. ~Roger Caras
This is the master line drawing for a dog portrait that may also form part of a class that I'll teach in the fall. As so many people have pets, many artists have a need to know how to break down the construction of an animal and render the specific parts to enable them to create realistic likenesses of their own animals and of commissioned animals.

I enjoy the process of creating an animal drawing and while I need to provide a likeness for someone to recognize the animal, I have a little more leeway than in human portraiture. I haven't drawn an openmouthed dog for some time, so it will be interesting to tackle this one.