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In the Studio This Week – Not Much to Write Home About

I don’t have much to write home about this week. I caught something and don’t feel up to par. I did manage to squeak out a monochrome pencil portrait from Kaleidoscope 2023 and started on a mixed media painting from The Mastery Program.  So far, I’ve managed to keep on track with The Mastery Program syllabus, looking to complete the course before we head to the Pacific Northwest I the summer. I’m closing out the first month of 2024 with hopes for a better second month. How’s everyone new year’s plans coming along?

Monochromatic Pencil Portrait

I followed along in the Kaleidoscope 2023 program with a lesson from October that I had wanted to do but was daunted by the time and complexity. The lesson was by Bonita Hendriks, a pencil artist whose work I had admired.

I chose this lesson as it was done in pencils, both graphite and colored, as well as some pastel for highlights. It was also something I could do where I didn’t need to make much of a mess and could work on it on my lap or desk.

The process is very time-consuming as you build up the values with layers of graphite. I spent nearly three hours on it and there’s still two more parts of the lesson to finish. I’m stopping here for now.

Pencil portrait of a young woman holding aflower

Mixed Media Painting Using Rollers

This was the seventh section of the mixed media portion of The Mastery Program and it introduced using rollers, or brayers, as another tool in mixed media art. I was excited to try this as rollers allow for almost immediate gratification as they lay paint down so quickly.

I started with washes and drips of acrylic paint on a large piece of mixed media paper:

Washes and drips of acrylic paint as the base layer for a painting

I chose a reference photo of a horse and drew it using charcoal on the painted paper. I set the charcoal with a fixative so it wouldn’t smear.

Drawing of a horse head on an acrylic background

The first layer using the rollers was not what I expected!

First layer of paint using rollers

In the second layer, it began to at least look like a horse:

Second layer of a mixed media painting of a horse head

I worked more on the details, using a brush instead of a roller:

It’s getting there but has a long way to go. I think I like the effect of the rollers on the wood parts of the stable but didn’t like it so much on the horse. I will work more with oils on it and show you the finished product in my next post. I’m late in publishing this post and aim to publish weekly, so here you go!


I am learning much as I try to develop my personal style as an artist. I took a DISC assessment as part of The Mastery Program. DISC is an acronym that stands for the four main behavioral styles outlined in the DISC model of personalities: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. As an artist, taking the assessment can help determine the style of art you like to make. The model is in the form of a circle. Personalities in the top half tend to like to make art quickly and boldly. Personalities in the lower half tend to make art using a systematic and methodical approach.  

DISC assessment model

I think my personality lines up more with the lower half of the circle, but my art making style is more in the upper half. Hmmm….

Thank you once more for being with me through this blog. Your comments are greatly appreciated!

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