Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Framing artwork and updates on my drawing

I'm still behind in this but still I have no concrete deadline, so I have been putting it off. Especially with the holiday season, and my husband's new job schedule. I have spent some time researching paints, I've settled on a brand. I am debating stretching my own canvas. All I would need would be a hammer, a staple gun and space. I think I could get the space to do it in my grandparent's basement. Though before I go spending the money on paint, I have at least two pieces I have to frame. I really can't find anything on how to make your own frame, at least when I looked before. The larger piece is 27.75 inches high, when I have it framed I need it to be under 36 inches or I can't submit it for the show. I want to find out how much it well be to get it framed this weekend so I can submit the forms on Monday or Tuesday. Though if anyone has created their own frames and would like to explain to be how to do so that would be great. Although I'm not sure if I would have the tools to do that anyway.

As for my drawing I have a small amount of progress, especially with the sketching of the second face. I should have the first figure completed soon. I'll be working on it tonight for sure, I've set aside some time to do it.
In general I'm pretty happy with how it's going, now I'm unsure about the chin, but I'm still not done with it. I'm having a bit of a difficult time with hair, but that's a usual thing for me. I used to be challenged immensely by ears, I'm taking on two in this composition, though I'm a little more secure about them now. Mouths and hair seem to be my biggest challenge now. I had a hard time with her mouth but I think it worked out pretty well.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Not much progress but it's something. I spent a lot of time on the lips and I'm still not sure they are quite right. They look a bit off to begin with because of the flash (yet another reason not use a reference taken with a flash). I wanted to draw this though, just part of the challenge. I think the top lip is about right bu the bottom lip definitely needs work. The chin looks to be about the right size and shape now. The sketch of the other face is far from final but it does give a general idea of what's going there. In sketching it I found some of my placement and proportions to be off with it, so I just need to readjust them, but I'll do that when I move on to that face after this one.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I got a bit of work done yesterday, mostly sketching done though. It doesn't photography well, so I'll post photos next time.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Photography, website and drawing

I took some photos today, and I spent a good chunk of time editing them and I've just finished updating my site with them. I'm pretty happy with them. Though now they got me to thinking maybe I should re-organize my site. Some of my photos go to part of a series. I'm thinking maybe I should just group them together. Though some of my "series" are only two photos. So I'm really not sure. Though I think that part of the title really needs to be there, so it's not like I can change the title. No matter what I'll keep the titles as is. But I think I will be considering the series organization. It might really help out with the "Portraits/Figures" gallery in the Photography section. I have the one backyard series that I did a few years ago that I just can't bring myself to take down. That would definitely be one group of photos that would benefit. Still I'm unsure.

As for my drawing, I'm going to be working on that later tonight. I probably won't have any photos for updates until tomorrow though. I've been sick again, so it's been hard to me to get everything done lately. My burst of energy/inspiration this morning was used toward the photography. Which I don't think was wasted, it has been awhile since I worked on my photography.


"Decorating the Tree: Old Fashioned Christmas"
This one I put a lot of work into. At first I was unhappy with the grainy quality, but then I layered on a few photo filters, and played with the levels a bit. I think the grainy quality works with the sepia tone.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I am taking my time on this drawing, even though ideally I'd have it done by Christmas. I have struggled over multiple parts of it. That's mainly why most of my time tonight was focused on the forehead and some of the shadowing I already laid in. Even looking at the photo of the drawing is again making re-evaluate some of the work I have done.


Saturday, December 6, 2008


I just started sketching in some more of the face today. This drawing is proving to be a challenge on many levels. Not only is the photo I'm working from not idea from the flash, but the angle of the face and eye color is a bit of challenge as well. I'm used to working with dark brown eyes (my own). So I have to remember that the eyes are lighter than mine. Also the photo has inspired me to attempt a background in this drawing. I'm also doing a second face in this drawing as well. I'm really excited about this drawing. Like I said before I'd like to have done by Christmas, but I really want to take my time. So far I think it's coming together well. The hair as always will be a challenge but I'm looking forward to it too.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Drawing (no photos yet)

I attempted to scan what I have done of my drawing. The scanner washed out the work worse than a camera. So I think I'll be waiting until I have more done. The camera can't seem to focus well on what I have. It's not much but I am taking my time. I have the eye done and some skin filled in around it. I'm probably going to do some more work on it later tonight if my head stops hurting. I'd like to get this drawing finished before Christmas, but I'm trying to take my time and focus on the details. So I'm not sure if I'll get it done in time.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

New drawing

I gave up on a few of the ideas I had before. Mostly the reference photos I wanted to get just didn't pan out. I'm working on a new drawing now. I found a photo from a few months ago that I have just been in love with. The photo does not have ideal lighting, but I think it will a challenge to see if I can exaggerate the shadows to make the faces in the portrait not look so washed out. Right now I'm working on an eye and have once again lost my kneaded eraser. I'm happy with everything about the eye but the pupil. This drawing is in pencil but is also the same size as the last drawing. It's not one of my larger pieces but I want to focus on detail, and I think I'll be doing more with the background this time.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New Projects

I have a few ideas for some new projects. Two main ones I'm wanting to work on are, the portraits of my twin sisters in law, and the Toys For Tots fundraiser art. I just have a sever lack of reference photos. For the girls aside from their school photos I just don't have any descent photos of them, and even then I'd like something of them together. But getting two 5 year olds together in front of a camera, is hard enough and then to get them to look natural... I suppose I could try to take some photos of them on Thanksgiving or this weekend. I want to do those Artist Trading Cards for my charity auction, again I can't find reference photos. I'd like to use some older toys, with no definite copyright attached to it, or maybe just some Christmas decorations. The Christmas decorations would be more doable in the near future. I could even work from life with that. But again it's not going to be a solution I can work with today. I want to draw something today though. I think I might attempt a small portrait Artist Trading Card and see how that goes. I need to spray my drawing from yesterday as well, I'll need to coat in fixative if I plan on showing it to family on Thanksgiving. For any acutual Artist Trading Cards though I'd need some of the card stock. I'll probably do some of those Christmas decoration pieces in a few weeks when everyone starts dragging out Christmas stuff. So I think my next project will be the girls.
Also I just thought maybe I should do some photography on Thanksgiving. I'll be working on getting reference photos of the girls, so I'll have the camera out. I'll try to get some good photography too.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Finished portrait

I've finished the portrait I was working on. I've taken the tape off, signed it and cleaned up the final photo. The light shoulder still bothers me a bit, but it blends more with the hair so I can live with it. I still have some problems with the hair, but now I'm afraid to over work it. I think it's time to take the lessons learned from this and move on.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Drawing, Hair

I've been working on the hair today. I'm a little worried about how it's looking. Usually taking a photo helps me put it in perspective. It's a way or separating myself from the drawing and getting a new view. I'm feeling a bit better about the hair now, though I still think it needs some more work. Also now looking at this photo I think that I might want to just leave the background blank. The white background doesn't look to bad, though I'm not sure still.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I've made some more progress on my drawing. I even taped off a border. I hope to finished soon. I'm really happy with how it looks now and I'm looking forward to getting more work done soon.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Drawing updates

There's not a whole log of extra that's been done, just some outlining of the hair and next, and fixing a few of the problem areas. I'm going to work on this today, and if I get some significant work done I'll post more updates. Because of posting this I'm thinking I should look at the left line of the neck. It looks like the neck is going to be a little too thick, so I have to look into that.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I've gotten some more work done on my drawing. I need to do some more work on the lips and the shadow of the face but I think other than that it's looking pretty good. I'm even working pretty fast. It's small but I'm excited about it, and I look forward to working on it. It's nothing super conceptual but it has been a challenge. I'm really trying to stay true to the person and have a bit of the personality show through at the end. So hopefully it all works out.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I started laying in the white and more of the black. I'm making some good progress. I think the forehead shadow looks a little awkward, and the hair needs a bit more work. Also I need to look tat the eyes again. Though in the photo I can see that the separation between the bangs and the forehead is really happening like I wanted it to. Taking photos of my drawings at different stages has started to help me get a new perspective on my work. In the photos I get a bit of separation from the work I have just done and can see a bit more clearly the over all work that has been done and what I have to correct. Also seeing the things that have been done right is encouraging.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Drawing

I've started working on a new drawing, it's in my sketch book, I'll take it out when it's done. Right now I'm just laying int he black charcoal I'm going to come back in with white to add highlights and blend a bit. This time I'm using charcoal so it shouldn't take as long this time. It's also small but a little larger than 8" x 10"
This time I'm also using a model other than myself. It's been quite awhile since I've done something other than a self portrait. I may do another still life again or maybe do another one of those drawings that borrows more from graphic design. With the repetition of one image, like my "Dragon Hourglass" drawing. Right now I'm going to focus on this. It's small but I plan to take my time, so I don't have a real time estimate right now. When I get more work done then maybe I'll be able to add a real estimate.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


"Angelic" is finished. There are some parts of it that I feel could be better but it's time for me to move on and apply what I've learned to a new piece. I fear that I if I work on this anymore it will become overworked. Also as a perfectionist, I don't think it will ever live up to my standards. Though I suppose that as long as I can find something to improve I have something to shoot for in the next piece.

I've also posted this drawing on my website: http://jessicamckelvin.com

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pain in my ribs and hand

I was working on my drawing, I'm finally done with the hand. Finally, it's still not my finest work but I'm very critical of the hands I draw. Anyway I'm proud of myself for not finding a way to creatively crop out the hand from the composition just to make my life easier. It may not be perfect and I may not be 100% happy with it but it's done. Anyway my ribs hurt because I have to lay down to work on it, and even with a pillow my ribs are hurting. I mean the last time I had pain in my ribs due to a drawing was my freshman year of high school. We had a "bug's eye view" assignment, and I drew the view from under my bed. I actually laid under my bed and drew from life for that one. The school nurse seemed to think I was crazy. It was worse then though because I was having trouble just sitting up in class. Though the pillow helped alleviate the pain, then. It's just not helping now. My hand hurts because I have to press so hard. I was working on the background again and that's just extra hard pressure constantly with a 6B, and because I erased so much in the area with the hand it kind of made my 2B act like an HB. So again I was having to press super hard but with more control. Anyway I'm in all kinds of pain, but I'm taking a break for the night. I'm going to work tomorrow, hopefully, if not definitely Thursday. I just have to finish the last of the one arm, the stomach, and leg. So I might be a little off on my estimate of getting done by the end of this week, but definitely should be done and posting photos by this time next week. I started the arm and stomach, I was just completely underestimating the time taken to finish those. There's a good bit of detail in just that little bit of the arm. Anyway I'm done rambling about this drawing. I'm happy with finally making some progress after all this time. Woo! I'll be done with plenty of time to submit this for the competition.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Website and art work

I updated my site again, finally. With everything going on that kind of went on the back burner and so did my art. Right now I'm being held back from working on my drawing a bit more, at least in the areas that count because I'm missing my erasers. Right now I'm typing this out as a break from the background. My hand is cramping. Anyway I should be finishing this soon, I just need to get erasers, so I suppose maybe by Wednesday I'll be done. Tonight for the most part I'd like to fill in the background. I can't finish it all until I fill in the rest of the hand, leg and back. I can't finish the hand because I need to fix parts of the finger with the eraser. I finally started on the stomach but I feel a bit awkward working on that when the hand isn't done. Though I really do like the finger that I finished tonight. I just completely screwed up the pinky again. Once I finish this drawing, I'll submit to that competition and then I'll get to work on another drawing. Maybe I'll work on a self portrait from life (mirror) with colored pencil. I haven't tried colored pencil in awhile I think it will be fun. Then maybe I'll work on another drawing from a reference photo, for that I'll use charcoal though. I'm always faster with charcoal. I'd like to get some paint soon, so I can work on getting some paintings done. I'd really like to try the water soluble oil colors. I don't like all the toxic materials that come with traditional oils.
Also I've decided to keep the colors of my site simple. I think the black and white just allows for the work to speak for it self. So no major changes planned with that anymore. I just need some new business cards.


Monday, July 28, 2008


I got some work done on "Angelic," I'm really going to push to get it done by the end of the week. Though I really don't want to rush it. I'm working on some of the background right now, before I finish the figure. I don't want the background to look rushed, especially if the figure looks good. I get the paper cut down, and the border laid in. It's looking closer to what I want the finished product to look like. Oh and I took some photography that I will post later, well if it turned out well.

Monday, July 14, 2008


I'm taking a break right now from working on "Angelic" to give a quick update. I'm making more progress with "Angelic" it's still taking far too long. I have taken some new photography and I'll probably be adding it to my site soon. I also have a few reference photos to go through for my next drawing. It's going to be considerably smaller than "Angelic" and just a small detailed portrait. I'm hoping to do a few small portraits after I'm done with "Angelic." I think this drawing has really tried my patience and once I'm done I'm just going to work smaller so I can get a bit more quality, quantity onto my online gallery. Well back to work, hopefully I'll be updating with photos of the finished "Angelic" soon.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I've posted some ads on craigslist and another site in hopes of getting some commissions.
"I am currently seeking portrait commissions in a variety of drawing media. I offer drawings in pencil/graphite, charcoal and colored pencil. I will consider commissions of other subject, including still life and landscape. Please include a brief description of desired subject matter, dimensions, and media. I will use this information to determine a price quote and get back to you in a timely fashion. I require 1/3 of the total price as a deposit. I am currently accepting payment through paypal only. Also please include a zip code so that I may include the price of shipping in the price quote.
For more information please visit: http://jessicamckelvin.com"
Hopefully that is pretty clear and I actually get some people that are interested. I'm not sure if that last email I got was serious or not. Either way it really is not a problem. That's why I'm going to use paypal and ask for a deposit. I've done work before, just to not get paid. Of course they didn't get the drawing, but still I wasted time and supplies on a custom drawing that wouldn't even work for my portfolio.
If anyone reading this is interested in a commission same terms apply, as listed above. I also have some older artwork that I can sell. I just don't have a listing of all the art I have available for sale, but if you see something on my site feel free to ask.

Now that I'm done with my ad... hehe I'm going to go get to work on "Angelic" finally. Hopefully I'll get some quality work done and I'll be able to post something tonight.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New competition

I'm excited about this new competition. The deadline is in November so I might be able to submit more than just "Angelic." Like I said before I'm planning to work on some more drawings after I'm done with it, mostly a few quick portraits, then maybe something big again. But also I'm going to be taking a painting class for the fall semester so I might even have a painting done by that time. There are categories for each media, so I might be able to submit to a few different categories. Too bad I suck with pastel... hmm I do want to try out those primacolor pastels and see if I'm any better with those.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Angelic Updates

I'm taking a break for a moment. I've been working on "Angelic" and again I'm getting aggravated. I really hope I completely love this drawing when it's done because I've almost given up several times. I'm working so hard just to finish the body, but I'm not quite sure exactly what I'm doing with the background yet.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Angelic Updates

I've finally found time to get some more work done on "Angelic." I've even gotten some more work done since taking this photo. I was looking at the photo and realized that I needed to darken the chest and arm so it will match the face. I don't have anymore work done on the hair yet. I've erased the hand a few more times it is giving me a bit of a hassle. I'm just trying to find it's perfect position. Basically I'm now using the arm as guide because I'm happy with the placement of the other part of the arm and the chest. I'll let the arm lead into the hand and determine placement from there.
Also since "Angelic" is rather large and taking much longer than originally anticipated to finish, I plan to work on a few smaller drawing after this one. I do have a few portraits I want to do but I think I'll keep the scale down so I can get a more work into my galleries on my site.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I've gotten some more work done on "Angelic." I'm cramping up again and I'm hungry, so I stopped for the night. I laid in a bit more of the hair and got a little more of the hair done. I spent some time starting to agonize over the hand. I might have to do some sketches soon. If I work tomorrow, maybe I'll feel that I have enough done to post up new photos. What I do have done is faint and subtle, so I'm afraid it looks mostly like it did before. I'd like to at least have the arm figured out before I post a new photo. I also have some sketch lines and smudges to clean up.

Something new

I've heard about this blog site before, but I'm just now checking it out. I may make this my new official artist blog. I may keep my other artist blog on Xanga. Anyway, to introduce myself. I'm an artist of many mediums. I most work in graphite, charcoal and photography. I mostly work in portraits and figures, but not exclusively. I'm open to commissions, I have some original art work available for sale, prints are available upon request, and I do some photo editing. I have designed and maintained my own website for some time now. I just finished with a major update. I did a slight redesign with the site, added more galleries and changed the navigation. I'm currently working on a large scale figure drawing I call "Angelic.' I have some in progress photos on my other artist blog.

Xanga artist blog