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In the Studio This Week – Small-Scale Realism and a Rainbow Pegasus

Time in the studio this week was limited, but I tried to finish the Milan Art Institute Section and have some fun with art as well. I spent too much time in car dealerships and then ended up being ill for a few days, something I certainly couldn’t afford at the time. I will be sharing here my efforts in capturing small-scale realism and show what worked and what didn’t.

Graphite Portrait

Several options for reference photos were offered as topics to capture in small-scale realism. I chose to do another portrait as I feel more comfortable with portraits as compared to still life realism.

I chose a portrait of a toddler, a subject I don’t often attempt. She had a haunting appearance that captured my eye. 

Children are more difficult to paint and draw as they don’t have the angles and shadows that help define their face. This drawing was done with pencils of various hardness. I was pleased with the result.

Oil Painting of Oil Paint

The next lesson was to choose a subject and try to render it as accurately as possible on a board rather than canvas. I mulled over the various options offered as reference photos and finally chose one of three paint tubes spewing paint onto a palette.

The initial step was to do a subtraction process where the paint is scraped off in the shape of the image – kind of like drawing backwards. Then glazes of transparent paint were applied. Finally, an opaque layer is used to add highlights and details. All these layers required about a day to dry between each application.

I really struggled with this one and decided to walk away from it at this point. I seem to have a knack for choosing difficult reference photos.

Kaleidoscope Pegasus

Again, feeling unsatisfied with my efforts this week, I opted to do one of the Kaleidoscope 2023 lessons that would be fun.

I chose a mixed-media lesson from Gayatri Bapat Yelegaonkar featuring an image of Pegasus. This piece used a variety of material including acrylic inks, molding paste, acrylic paint, and water-soluble crayons.

This was another lesson in patience as each layer needed to dry before proceeding to the next layer. I worked by offsetting its drying time with the drying time on the paint tubes. I’m happy with the result and enjoyed using some products that I don’t typically use.


Even though I’m working on building my skills, I need to make sure I do some art that is just plain fun. Life events can be a distraction and frustration sets in. I think the key is to keep moving through it all and keep on the creative journey even when I want to give up.

Thank you for following and I really hope you can find some inspiration here.

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