My latest challenge!

Hey all!  Just taking a little break to write an update.  I've been wrestling with financial stuff so that I can file my taxes and boy, has it been a struggle!  I'm having to learn a lot about it, with this being my first year to file taxes for my business.  But I believe that challenges and learning new things are good for us, they make our noggins work and keep them sharp.  :)

I realized the last time I posted an update that most of my posts lately have been about already finished items and not much - especially pictures - of works in progress.  Well, if there's one thing I am not lacking in, it's works in progress!  At last count, I had over ten canvases in various states of progress.  But there's one in particular that is very exciting to me right now, so I wanted to post a little about it.

After half a year, I'm finally delving back into painting with oils.  In addition to acrylics, of course.  Oils just seem to come more naturally to me, much more so than acrylics.  And coming back to them is like seeing my best friend again after a while apart.  We're getting reacquainted but the magic is still there. It's also been about the same time since I've painted a portrait with oils.  Portraits are one of my favorite things to create and I've really missed it.

A few weeks ago, some of my family came over for brunch.  My five year old niece and I were sitting at the dining room table drawing.  She's quite the little artist and we can draw for hours together.  I started a sketch of a woman's profile with very stylized, flowing hair.  I had her with her arms out in front of her, but it just didn't feel quite right, so I set her aside.  I needed a little moodling time to figure out how she should look.

Earlier this week, my brain finally came up with the final version.  I changed the sketch around and finally, at the stroke of midnight, I figured out what the last little piece of the drawing should look like and what additional changes need to be made or added.  Once I finished, I scanned the image.  The sketch itself is 8x10, but when I picked out the canvas, I went for an 18x24.  It's been a while since I've worked on a surface this big and I'm excited!

I uploaded the image to, where they will take your image and enlarge it, then create a pdf file of it.  Then you can print it out on multiple pages and tape the pages together to create a large poster.  I didn't want to freehand this drawing on the canvas, so I will be transferring it using this poster.  In preparation, I did an underpainting of sap green oil paint on the canvas.  It is now ready for me to transfer the image onto the canvas and complete the underpainting.  Here's a picture of it so far:

I am SO EXCITED about working on this piece!  When I stumbled across this bird, I just knew he would be perfect for the image and I love how he's just perched on her hand, checking her out.  I've mapped out the colors and am planning it all out in my mind.  I will start painting it this week and will be sure to keep you all update on the progress!

Oh, and by the way, I'm very excited to announce that I am now offering a print of my Rainy Day Owl in my Art Fire shop!  I have more copies on the way, plus an additional print of Purple and Blue Flower that I will be listing soon. 

Okay, enough for tonight.  I hope that all of you are doing well and I look forward to writing again soon with pictures of my latest and newest creations!

Thanks for reading my blog and welcome to the new followers!



mv said...

OMG! That is so beautiful!!! And you were complaining about the lips and hand... They came out perfect! I can't wait to see its progress and the final painting. Post pics as it develops, pretty please? I'll be back to check it out!

Julie Behm said...

I will definitely be showing updated pictures! I've got the sketch transferred over to the canvas and I did make minimal changes. There's less hair on the bottom right, so the entire hand and arm will be shown. I think it's looking better that way. I was going to work on it earlier this week, but I ended up working on a fun little beach number. I should go take a picture of the little beach scene and post that... Think I might!

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