More Newfoundland Herald Covers

Compared to today’s digital age, printing technologies in 1978 were primitive. Even so, these covers bring back wonderful memories of television shows and celebrities from 40 years ago.

The quality of the reference images I worked from varied from small newspaper clippings to large professional photographs. Hence, some of my drawings ended up more detailed than others.  Fussy-picky me also knew that nothing could be done when the light and medium values in my shading got lost during the translation of a pencil drawing into a magazine cover.

All this considered – the covers of this magazine turned out really well!

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40 Years Ago: Drawing Muppets!

Back in 1978 (before computers), I was a young, single mom with a delightful baby daughter. As a freelance artist working from home, I was thrilled when employment opportunities came my way.

My Mom (aged 92) recently gave me a box of stuff containing a photo album with several magazine covers illustrated with my drawings. What an amazing gift!

Creating drawings for the covers of a weekly magazine was a fun way to make money! Each week, the publisher gave me photos of a celebrity (or celebrities) as references for my next drawing. This cover is definitely one of my all-time favorites. You can’t help but smile when you look at their faces.

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Mandy the Mandrill

“Mandy the Mandrill” is the working title of this painting. (Gender isn’t relevant when naming imaginary critters.)

This simple, black background provides a strong contrast to Mandy’s “hair”. Multi-colored backgrounds may look gorgeous, but they sometimes take the viewer’s attention away from the focal point (in this case, Mandy).

The hair colors are mixed with combinations of Raw Umber, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow Light, and White. The values of the hair colors currently range from medium to dark. Light values are added later.

Strands of hair and fur are painted in the same directions as they grow. By frequently rotating the canvas, I can paint hair with only downward strokes (script liner brushes do not like making upward strokes).

Those lines and marks on Mandy’s face are incredibly important…(next time)

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Switching from Oils to Acrylics

I painted with oils for over 20 years and my paintings won lots of awards – from local to international. Logically, I should know how to paint. So, switching from oils to acrylics should be super simple?

Not so!

Oil paint and acrylic paint are completely different animals! Switching to acrylics means learning how to paint all over again. Painting Hawk was an exercise in pure frustration. Each of the 10 (or more) layers of acrylic paint on this canvas is hiding an oil painting technique that didn’t work with acrylics.


Making mistakes is an amazing teacher. My next painting subject is a Mandrill. Wish me luck!

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