Saturday, September 17, 2011

Learning Cartooning

Went to a class on cartooning a couple of weeks ago.  I was never interested in drawing cartoons or comics and certainly didn't think I could do it.  But the instructor made it easy.  Back to basics--circles, squares, triangles.  The results are below.

My first cartoon character.  The notes on the side are the progression showing how our instructor had us create the drawings.   First we did a light pencil outline of a circle with a square/rectangle on the bottom of it and a triangle where the nose finally went in.  We then drew in vertical and horizontal lines to guide where eyes, nose, and ears would be drawn in.  Once the outline drawing was done, we went over the features with a heavy marker and erased the pencil lines.  He then had us put in a bubble for a comment from the character and a frame around the face which would represent one segment of a comic strip.  It was easy and painless.  Like I said--just back to basics.
Next he had us draw a real comic strip character from the past.  The Yellow Kid was the first real comic character and was created in 1895.
He then wanted us to do an actual comic strip with a character we created.  I passed on this since I don't plan on doing further cartooning and the comic strip idea didn't interest me at all.  Finally,  he wanted us to create a cartoon of him, the instructor from his guidelines.  I just couldn't do this and he was much better looking than the cartoon that he created for an example.  So mine turned out to be a blend of cartoon and life drawing features as shown below.

The caption I gave it reads, "I'm Alfonso, cartoonist extraordinaire."

Sunday, April 10, 2011


This is an oil painting I began in an art class in February and finished in March.  I tried to think of ways to make it look better, but as I saw it around the house day after day, it grew on me.  So I'm keeping it as it is.  For best color representation, it needs to be enlarged.

The painting is from one done by noted Canadian artist Jack Leonard Shadbolt, which he called "Autumn Grasses."  I liked the carefree, almost frivilous look of his.  Mine didn't turn out anything like, of course.

Can also be viewed on Flicker

Carole Moran

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Latest Oil Painting

Painted by looking at a photo in a book with tips from my instructor.  The original painting is "Algonquin Park" (located in Ontario, Canada) by Thomas John Thomson.

This is the enlarged photo as it looked to me when I was painting it.

Same oil painting from a distance.  I had a very difficult time photographing this painting to make it look like it does in reality, and I'm not sure it succeeds.  Had to lay it on my living room floor in indirect sunlight to get even close.  In the classroom and in my home, the difference between the up close version and the distant version is astounding, at least to me.  I've never done a painting like this before, where the depth of the subject jumps out the further from the painting one stands.  Tom Thomson, for those who don't know, is a noted Canadian artist, one of the famous "Group of Seven."  See more at

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A drawing I did of one side of a woven box in our living room.  I can't do this kind of thing endlessly, as I become excessively  bored with the repetition. I guess I'm just a Free-Form kind of person!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mixed Media Tree

This was one of the most fun projects completed in the current art class I'm involved with.  The tree is an actual branch with bits of colored glass attached.  The base is a piece of tree bark.  Stones, gems, and wire added as desired.

Black & White Wreath

Leaf shapes cut from black and white print media attached to a poster board base.  One tiny bit of color is on the bead at center of the bow.

Different ways of using fall leaves in collage.  Done in my current art class in October, 2010.

Two drawings from about 1980. 


Hand molded horse head from when I was in the sixth grade.  The art instructor caused the flattening of the ears (I was upset).  This is probably the oldest piece of my artwork that I have with the possible exception of my hand print done in kindergarten, a project of the teacher's with little input from me other than loan of my hand. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Faces & Masks made into jewelry--earrings & brooches. Rhinestones and plastic pieces on pre-painted plastic faces.

 Rhinestones and plastic gems on pre-formed metal base.

Rhinestones and plastic gems on Swiss lace.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My One Oil Instructor

The one and only oil painting teacher I ever had was a woman named Bright Schaeffer of Clinton County, Indiana.  She taught me for a few months when I was in the 9th grade in about 1958.  The two paintings are done in her style.  She was very patient, but I'm sure had given me up for a hopeless case when I used dark and bright, heavy color instead of her ethereal, gentle look.

Another Ancient Oil Painting

Another oil done in the early 60's, probably 1961 when I was 17 years old.  It appears to (1) have yellow paint sprayed all over it, or (2) that I didn't adequately cover the canvas.  However, as it was probably my second ever painting, I give myself some slack.

The painting was done to honor a filly who lived mostly in a field next to our house outside of Lubbock, Texas.  The barbed wire fence in foreground was supposed to be a subtle indicator of what happened to the wild mustangs of the western U.S. with the advent of the pioneers.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Prairie Fire

Oil painting done in 1962 when I was 17 or 18 years old.  I was trying to recapture the effect of a dust storm that I had seen, but it wound up looking like a prairie fire.  Rather than trying to capture what was in my head, I went with what I had

Years later I did achieve the dust storm look on canvas.  It was incredibly dull and boring, so I painted it over with something else, no doubt.

Copying the Great Masters in Art Class

Oils on canvas with brush, done in 2005.  This is a copy of one of the great masters, re-drawn via use of a projector-like thing.  This was a project for an art class on oil transparencies. 

I didn't like anything about the process, the copying of someone else's art, the laborious application of transparency over transparency; however I did like the knowledge gained about this kind of painting.  I will leave the great masters to it; it isn't for me.

Unfinished.  The color of the headcloth is teal in the original.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A first attempt at using pastels on art paper.  I've never been trained in this medium, so had no idea what I was doing, but I quickly sketched this out and liked it immediately.  Done in 1988.
Done in Conte crayon on poster board in about 1970.  Inspired by watching my son playing while sitting on the floor looking down at his toys.

Prize Winning Painting

This was done probably in 1960, when I was a Junior in high school.  I would have been 16 years old.  It is the first oil painting that I completed without assistance and it won Sweepstakes in my age category at the Clinton County Fair in Frankfort, Indiana. 

My favorite subjects for painting have always been horses and the southwest desert landscape. 

This is oil paint applied with brush.

Artwork done before 1980

Oils done with palette knife.

Inspired by rock formations in Nevada & Utah

Oils done with brush and palette knife