"Elegance is the only beauty that does not fade."

~Audrey Hepburn

Final Ellen BurstynThese ladies waited very patiently for several months for me to get back to them while I travelled to Mexico, finished other projects, and prepared for Christmas.

But as I wrote in my post on New Year's Eve, all loose ends were going to be tied up and these two just had to be completed. I have too many projects in mind, and I am so excited to get started. But more about that later.

Several months ago, I decided to paint more mature actresses. I had previously completed Jennifer Lopez, Katie Holmes, and Reese Witherspoon in my Strathmore Toned Tan Sketchbook

I first saw Ellen Burstyn in the early seventies when she started her career in The Last Picture Show (1971). I think it was the first grown up film I can remember seeing along with Lady Sings the Blues (1972). I felt so sophisticated!


completed Judi DenchThe very elegant Judi Dench starred in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Philomena, and in several James Bond movies as "M". Now that I have completed these two portraits, I can move on.

I have signed up for Gratitude Journal 52, a "collaborative sketchbook project" for all skill levels of people who enjoy journaling and drawing.

If you are interested in joining the group, information can be found at http://www.jenniferfrith.com

It is worth taking a look at Jennifer's beautiful gratitude journals from past years. She is offering this sketchbook project as a way to "strengthen gratitude muscles", something we all need to do from time to time. A new prompt is given every Friday and right now, she has posted a list of materials although you can work from pretty much anything you already have in the house.

And I am also signed up for a year-long online class, Let's Face It 2016, with 15 different artists. All of the lessons are focused on learning strategies and techniques to create faces and portraits with confidence.  http://www.karabullockart.com

I am continuing on my journey to be more creative, to experiment and try something new. So my new year's resolution is simply to stay the course and continue learning.

2 Responses

  • Dear Louise,

    You art is so beautiful and inspiring! I remember when I first visited your blog I came to see some nature watercolor paintings in your sketchbook, and instantly wanted to try something similar. It didn’t went as I expected so I returned to my whimsical portraits. Speaking of which, your portraits are much more on the realistic path. I imagine the Judi Dench painting (for example) was made using Prismacolor colored pencils and colored pencils require so much time and devotion to complete a painting. The first lady looks pretty much like you, I thought it’s a self portrait – a personal project that awaits silently until I find some time to get started with it. I am very curious how I will paint…myself! 😉

    I also wanted to sign up for some art classes this year and choose LifeBook, but I’m afraid time for art will be diminished when I’ll give birth to my first baby! (lil bit to go, I’m due this February!). As for the gratitude journal, that is something I should try no matter what – because as you very well said – we so often forget how grateful we should be for simply typing these lines here, not to mention breathing, walking, seeing, hearing…etc.! Things we take for granted.

    Sending you all the best,

    • Thank you Cristina for leaving such a beautiful message. Congratulations on your new baby. That is very exciting indeed.

      Congratulations on your blog too. It is lovely and the format is very innovative compared to other blogs I have seen.

      I continue to work in watercolours. Sometimes I am very frustrated and other times, the painting works out. I like painting elements from nature but I am now experimenting with watercolour portraits.

      The pencil portraits I completed in my sketchbook are not as labour intensive as you might imagine. I learned from Didi Willingham (inkiwell) that acrylics can be used as underpainting for the hair. It makes a big difference time-wise. But I do have lots of problems with painting hair.

      I did a charcoal selfie some time ago. It is on my blog but you can see it more quickly if you scroll down my instagram page.

      I find it very interesting to watch the progression in your art because I think we are both following a similar path although you have been working and experimenting in acrylics more than I have. I need to get going on that.

      Happy new year…it will be an eventful one for you and for your family.

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