Daily Archives: April 7, 2016

Lettuce Deadline Approaching

"Lettuce French Crisp", mixed media by Kerry McFall, prints $25

“Lettuce French Crisp”, mixed media by Kerry McFall, prints $25

This sketch/painting was done “en plein air” in the fragrant greenhouse at Schmidt’s Garden Center/Susan’s Coffee here in Corvallis.  The coffee is great, and their table surfaces are brightly-colored and textured, making an interesting foundation for what might turn out to be a little series of botanicals.

"Bucket o' Carnations", mixed media by Kerry McFall, $25 print

“Bucket o’ Carnations”, mixed media by Kerry McFall, $25 print

When I returned from San Diego late last week, I still had one small head of lettuce lurking among the blooming broccolini in the raised bed.  It didn’t last beyond the tuna sandwiches for lunch.  Hopefully the weather is going to stay cool enough to plant another 6 pack or two this spring, but if last summer was any indication of how long we can expect cool moist weather to continue, I need to put down the lattes and the paints for a day or two and get out there and get some “French Crisp” in the ground!

Process: Tiger Cub

Posted April 6, 2016 by Kerry McFall

"TigerCubSketch", mixed media by Kerry McFall, NFS, photo credit San Diego zoo  The March 2016 issue of ZooNooZ magazine from the San Diego Zoo had a hypnotic photo of a tiger cub on the cover.  It combined the warm fuzzies of a kitten stalking its prey with the full-on predatory intensity of a major carnivore in its brilliant green eyes – I couldn’t leave it out on the coffee table, it followed me around the room.  When I finally was able to make a sketch based on it,  I was pleased with the soft fur effect that came from using a damp sponge to apply the watercolor, but I couldn’t decide if I liked the grey outlines or not.  I felt like I captured a good portrayal of the coming pounce, and I liked the little bit of license that I took with the shapes of stripes and whiskers, but the colors were too tame… my inner voice said, “Stop messing with it before you wreck it!”.  So I did, until I needed to turn it into a birthday card for a teenage boy.


“Tiger Cub 4 Wedu”, mixed media by Kerry McFall, NFS, photo credit San Diego Zoo

This particular teenager I haven’t been able to be with in person for too many years, but I know from Facebook and Skype that he is the epitome of “warm fuzzy” adolescence rushing into the sharp-edged intensity of approaching adulthood.  Taking the image of the sketch into Photoshop was the solution: mess around all I want, but don’t change the sketch itself.  So above is the “final final”, which primarily used a combination of the Cutout tool and the Poster Edge tool.  (There’s no way I could re-create the sequence that actually got me to this result, it’s kind of like foostering around on the Internet – I have no idea how I got somewhere… ) There was then that inevitable moment when the voice said, “Ooh, what if you filled in the white part of the background with black instead?”…Nah.  I’m ready to move on to my next challenge: lettuce.  No eyes, no motion, no fur, no threat!