Monday, December 24, 2018

L.'s pastel portrait by Kim Blair




L.
(14"x11" pastel on 300 lb. gessoed w.c. paper)

Been there, done that... but not as good, I have to admit.

I bet most us have been in L.'s shoes when we were young girls. We watched our mothers apply their makeup, and secretly, (or not so secretly) we wished we could try our hand at it too. Sometimes we received a 'pretend' makeup kit as a gift... but usually everything in that kit was fake. Do you remember that glossy, plastic, red lipstick that did nothing? Such a disappointment...

Well, L. had better luck than most of us... she was given the opportunity to do her own hair and makeup...just for fun.

Add a bit, or a lot, of hair product, and Voila...you have created expressive hair.  Free access to gold, shimmering eye shadow, black mascara, pink blush and some deep pink lipstick and you have your evening look done!

I am in awe of her ability to apply all these products...at the tender age of 6.




Happy Holidays everyone!

(Posting will resume in January)




Looks like L.'s cute little face inspired this chalk artist.






A special note to my subscribers:

*If you received this blog post via email subscription the video will not be visible in your email. Please go directly to my art blog by clicking on the following link for kimblairartist.blogspot.com in order to view the short 2 minute video of the creation of this portrait.




Monday, December 17, 2018

Brooke's portrait by Kim Blair



Brooke
(14"x11" pastel on gessoed 300 lb. w.c. paper)

Brooke is an Expressive Arts Practitioner, whom I met while we were both taking some courses in the expressive arts a few years ago.
She is an artist who works with various groups of people to process their joys and pains through art. Currently she is working with youth in government care and people with developmental disabilities.
The theatre is one of her many interests, and I know that she has worked both on the stage and behind the scenes... making her a multi-talented artist!



Brooke's beloved ginger cat, 'Byron' was unable to make the photo shoot for this book pose... but I found a willing, cute, 'almost' pure ginger, to fill in for him.
;)





A special note to my subscribers:

*If you received this blog post via email subscription the video will not be visible in your email. Please go directly to my art blog by clicking on the following link for kimblairartist.blogspot.com in order to view the short 2 minute video of the creation of this portrait.























Monday, December 10, 2018

Caden's pastel portrait by Kim Blair



Caden
(14"x11" pastel on gessoed w.c. paper)


Caden my 11 year old 'great' nephew was playing basketball when his Mom (see her portrait here) snapped this photo. I love the shear joy and enthusiasm he is radiating in this shot...if we could only bottle this energy for future use!

When he isn't shooting a basket or stick handling a puck he likes to work on his guitar skills.
Another cool thing Caden has been doing is auditioning for television commercials!


Perhaps one day we'll see his adorable face painted larger than life on a brick wall for an advertisement...





A special note to my subscribers:

*If you received this blog post via email subscription the video will not be visible in your email. Please go directly to my art blog by clicking on the following link for kimblairartist.blogspot.com in order to view the short 2 minute video of the creation of this portrait.


Monday, December 3, 2018

Kate's portrait by Kim Blair





Kate

(14"x11" pastel on 300 lb. gessoed w.c. paper)

Kate is a lovely kind soul... her thoughtful compassionate nature is evident from the moment you meet her. But don't let her soft exterior fool you, she is no pushover...quite the contrary... she will stand her ground and voice her concerns over the treatment of others; making her a woman to admire and the perfect role model for her daughter Ella (see her portrait here).

*Did you notice the fun 'curly' shadows on the top of Kate's shoulder? 


I see the chalk artist below was also inspired to paint Kate! 





A special note to my subscribers:
*If you received this blog post via email subscription the video will not be visible in your email. Please go directly to my art blog by clicking on the following link for kimblairartist.blogspot.com in order to view the short 2 minute video of the creation of this portrait.





Monday, November 26, 2018

Tim's portrait by Kim Blair


Tim
(14"x11" pastel on 300 lb. gessoed w.c. paper)


Ahoy!

Our friend Tim is a seaman at heart... he loves the water... and boats.

The reference photo for this portrait was taken by his wife Laura (see her portrait here) while on a ferry off the coast of BC. His serene smile (with a hint of mischievousness) says it all... he feels at home on the sea.

I can see him being captain of his own boat one day... perhaps a bit smaller than one of the BC ferries   ;) ... but something strong and sturdy non the less.

Although I don't see Tim as a gondolier I think he might enjoy a ride along one of the Venetian canals.




A special note to my subscribers:
*If you received this blog post via email subscription the video will not be visible in your email. Please go directly to my art blog by clicking on the following link for kimblairartist.blogspot.com in order to view the short 2 minute video of the creation of this portrait.






Monday, November 19, 2018

Ella's portrait by Kim Blair


Ella
(14"x11" pastel on 300 lb. gessoed w.c. paper)


Ella is my sweet little niece... 'great' niece to be more accurate.

When we were in Ontario this past spring it was the May long weekend and her birthday... she turned 3.  After some birthday celebrations we all headed to the neighbourhood park for Victoria Day festivities which included sparklers for the kids.

This reference photo of Ella wearing a cozy knitted poncho while intently watching as she was handed a lit sparkler caught my attention.

I left out the sparkler...







A special note to my subscribers:
*If you received this blog post via email subscription the video will not be visible in your email. Please go directly to my art blog by clicking on the following link for kimblairartist.blogspot.com in order to view the short 2 minute video of the creation of this portrait.




Monday, November 12, 2018

Katie's Portrait by Kim Blair




Katie

(14"x11" pastel on 300 lb. gessoed w.c. paper)


My beautiful niece Katie sent me a lovely selfie where she was pursing her lips... just a bit...posing for some fun shots before she heading off to a wedding. I enhanced the red tones of her hair to play off the terra cotta tone of the base coat that you see peeking through the pastels...creating her painterly freckles.

While painting her portrait I noticed essences of her Mother in her features. When I know a sitter's parents, siblings or other relatives I often notice subtle physical similarities between them as I study their faces/expressions...which fascinates me, because it really is the luck of the 'gene draw' as to what comes through in each person.


(I wonder what I will notice when I paint her daughter?)




A special note to my subscribers:
*If you received this blog post via email subscription the video below may not be visible in your email. Please go directly to my art blog by clicking on the following link for kimblairartist.blogspot.com in order to view the short 2 minute video of the creation of this portrait.



Monday, November 5, 2018

John making a funny face portrait... by Kim Blair



John
(making a Funny Face)

(14"x11" pastel on 300 lb. gessoed w.c. paper)


John is a good sport!

I asked him to send me a few selfies to choose from for his portrait...  he included a couple of funny faces... so of course I chose one of those poses for his portrait.  John is also a huge hockey fan... a HABS fan to be exact...which explains the red, white and blue theme of his portrait. No doubt there will be a few more 'funny faces' being made during game nights as he roots for his favourite team.

*There is a rumour going around that John may be interviewed on CNN regarding his thoughts about whether the HABS will win the Stanley Cup this year.

"Go HABS GO!"
;)




A special note to my subscribers:
*If you received this blog post via email subscription the video below will show up as a black box...  and will not play in your email. Please go directly to my art blog by clicking on the following link for kimblairartist.blogspot.com in order to view the short 2 minute video of the creation of this portrait.




Monday, October 29, 2018

Laura's portrait by Kim Blair


Laura
(or as I like to call her in this portrait...'Laura of Green Gables')

(14"x11" pastel on 300 lb. gessoed w.c. paper)

My friend Laura loves animals... dogs in particular... and has a dog walking business in Calgary, AB, where she lives with her husband Tim. As you can probably tell from her rosy complexion she enjoys going for long walks outdoors with her furry clients and sometimes takes along her two gorgeous dogs 'Chili' and 'Morley.' 

You can find her business on Facebook under: Laura & Dogs

Look how much Laura's furry clients love her... some of them even have a copy of her portrait to snuggle with... how cute is that!
;)






A special note to my subscribers:
*If you received this blog post via email subscription the video below will show up as a black box...  and will not play in your email. Please go directly to my art blog by clicking on the following link for kimblairartist.blogspot.com in order to view the short 2 minute video of the creation of this portrait.






Monday, October 22, 2018

Ruth's Portrait by Kim Blair




Ruth
(14"x11" pastel on 300 lb. gessoed w.c. paper)


Many years ago I met my friend Ruth at our neighbourhood gardening club and we have remained friends ever since. Besides having a gardening green thumb she has been known to have a painted green thumb from wielding her own paint brush...as she too is an artist.

While having coffee with her this past July I expressed my wish to paint her portrait and she graciously agreed...allowing me to snap a few photos of her sitting across from me in the cafe. The afternoon sunlight illuminated her face and clothing creating the perfect reference photo.

There's no denying Van Gogh's creative influence in this portrait of my friend Ruth.
;)







A special note to my subscribers:
*If you received this blog post via email subscription the video below will show up as a black box...  and will not play in your email. Please go directly to my art blog by clicking on the following link for kimblairartist.blogspot.com in order to view the short 2 minute video of the creation of this portrait.






Monday, October 15, 2018

Ali's portrait in pastel, by Kim Blair


Ali
(14"x11" pastel on 300 lb. gessoed w.c. paper)

Ali is a very talented photographer and is the daughter of our friends Heather and Ken (the two previously posted portraits). She is a lovely young woman who enjoys traveling...which is where her love of photographer comes in handy. Ali's hair was a bit windswept (like her dad's in his portrait) and the effect was a treat to recreate using various shades of cream and yellow pastels.

While in a vintage shop recently I was rummaging around in some old photos and postcards... look what I found...
;)




A special note to my subscribers:
(If you received this blog post via email subscription but the video below is a black box...  and will not play in your email... then please go directly to my art blog kimblairartist.blogspot.com in order to view the short, 2 minute video there


Monday, October 8, 2018

Ken's Portrait, by Kim Blair



Ken
(14"x11" pastel on 300 lb. gessoed w.c. paper)

The reference photo for this portrait was taken while Ken and Heather (he is married to Heather who's portrait I posted last week) were dining at an outdoor cafe. I burst out laughing when I saw it saying, "OMG Ken, you look like a rocker!" They said it had been a 'bit' breezy that day which is why Ken's hair looks a touch wind swept. I had so much fun painting his hair!

That look is definitely Rock Star material... and low and behold look what I found in the vinyl section of a local record store recently...
;)



A special note to my subscribers:
(If you received this blog post via email subscription but the video below is a black box...  and will not play in your email... then please go directly to my art blog kimblairartist.blogspot.com in order to view the short 2 minute video.


Monday, October 1, 2018

Heather's Portrait, by Kim Blair



Heather
(14"x11" pastel on gessoed 300 lb. w.c. paper)


Heather has the most beautiful thick hair! It was fun selecting the colours for her gorgeous mane...rusty brown, burgundy, terra cotta even some rich blue similar to the colour of her t-shirt. Okay, Okay so I took some artistic license adding the blue...but it works!

This portrait of my friend Heather reminds me a bit of a contemporary 'Mona Lisa'... a calm, relaxed look ...with the hint of a smile.
;)




A special note to my subscribers:
(If you received this blog post via email subscription but the video below is a black box...  and will not play in your email... then please go directly to my art blog kimblairartist.blogspot.com in order to view this short 2 minute video)




Monday, September 24, 2018

Gord's Pastel Portrait, by Kim Blair


Gord
(14"x11" pastel on 300 lb gessoed w.c. paper)


I think by looking at this portrait you can tell that our friend Gord is quite a character! He loves to have a good time and enjoys playing a practical joke or two when he gets the chance. He is married to Lois, the woman who's portrait I posted last week.

Gord loves a good cup of java... and the baristas at his favourite coffee shop have practiced making his foam extra special!
;)



When I texted Lois the portraits of her and Gord a few weeks ago I had no idea that the day I to sent the images to her turned out to be their 20th wedding anniversary!



Happy 20th Anniversary Lois and Gord





Monday, September 17, 2018

Lois in pastel, by Kim Blair



Lois
(14"x11" pastel on gessoed 300 lb w.c. paper)


Lois is such a good sport! 

I told her she is my 'test portrait' because this is the third portrait I painted of her... and as the saying goings "Third time's a charm."

The first two times I painted her portrait using acrylic paint on gessoed w.c. paper... the second attempt was better than the first...but the third portrait (painted with caran d'ache aquarelle pastels on a terra cotta toned acrylic ground) that you see posted here is my favourite!

Since these caran d'ache aquarelle pastels are now my portrait medium of choice I invested in the large boxed set of 84 colours... a very early birthday gift to myself.
  
*(Next week you will see the pastel portrait I painted of her husband Gord)

A special note to my subscribers:
(If you received this blog post via email subscription but the video below is a black box...  and will not play in your email... then please go directly to my art blog kimblairartist.blogspot.com in order to view the video there)


Monday, September 10, 2018

Pam's Portrait by Kim Blair




Pam
(14x11 pastel on gessoed 300 lb w.c. paper)


The day Pam showed me the photo used for this portrait on her cell phone I felt an immediate jolt of inspiration to paint her portrait!  Her striped jacket reminded me of Van Gogh's portrait 'Portrait of Trabuc', and of course then the desire to paint her was doubled.

Pam's portrait was the first one I completed using caran d'ache pastels. I began with a purple toned acrylic background and drew her in graphite, then started applying the pastels in various marks and random patterns.

If you zoom in on the image above you will see the spontaneous interwoven pastel marks that read as a unified whole when viewed from a distance. 

 *Below is a 2 minute slideshow of Pam's Portrait from beginning to completion.

A special note to my subscribers:
(If you received this blog post via email subscription but the video below is a black box...  and will not play in your email... then please go directly to my art blog kimblairartist.blogspot.com in order to view the video there)





Thursday, August 30, 2018

Christine's Portrait in Pastels





Christine

(14"x11" pastel on gessoed 
300 lb. w.c. paper)


I've been working on creating portraits of friends and relatives in various mediums over the past few months, trying to figure out which medium works the best for me.

Caran d'Ache aquarelle pastels seems to be the right fit for this project, although I did paint a fun one of my husband Ferdinand in acrylics that I will post at a later date. 
This type of pastel does not create dust like regular soft pastels... they have a very high pigment content and are made in Switzerland. 

The Swiss certainly know how to make top quality chocolate... and pastels... who could ask for anything more?

*I hope the little video/slideshow I created from still photos works. I posted it to facebook tonight and it worked there.


(Short video/slideshow of my drawing and painting of Christine's Portrait)


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

New large abstract painting, by Kim Blair

What's on my easel? 
(a completed 4'x3' abstract painting)
'Montego Bay'


The same 4'x3' abstract painting
Montego Bay
(hanging in our dining room)


I completed this large abstract painting a few weeks ago... it now resides in our dining room.

This painting, 'Montego Bay' was inspired by our trip to Jamaica this past December... but the colours have been calling to me for quite a while.  Aqua blue and green tones are the predominate colours accented with a variety of greys, bits of rust/brown and a few passages of deeper blue hues... all applied with a palette knife and various other tools.

Of course my signature scraping and drawing into the thick wet paint to reveal a bit of history can be seen when viewed from close range.



Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Watch 'Loving Vincent', suggested by Kim Blair

 (beginning sketch of 
Armand Roulin)

 (completed painting 'after Van Gogh's painting of
Armand Roulin')

The visually scrumptious animated movie 'Loving Vincent' has been nominated for an Oscar for 'Best Animated Feature Film.' It is a beautiful movie with Armand Roulin playing the lead role, which is why I have reposted the painting I created in 2013, after Vincent's painting of Armand.

It was a challenge, but also fun to try and replicate Vincent's colour choices and brush work.  This is one of only a handful of pieces I kept from all the art work I created during the many painting and drawing classes while attending the U of A.



The movie, 'Loving Vincent' is now available (through the 'digital content' site called Hoopla) at our public library, here in Edmonton.

The Oscars are March 4, 2018...
Enjoy!