I’m Moving My Art! Come with me!

Check it out here: http://www.rebeccagalardoart.com/

I needed a little bit more freedom with my website.  WordPress is great, I love it, but the free version is a little limited.  Since I already have a Tigertech account for my writing, it’s less than $2 a month to have my own art site.  That’s worth it to me because then I can use cool plug ins, choose from more themes and have a lot more freedom and control over the site!  I also hope to have a small shop here for anyone interested in prints or originals of my work.  I am starting a #100days Ink and Pen drawing commitment and I would love to be able to offer these works to anyone interested in them 🙂  So, I certainly needed my own domain.

Lastly, I really love to see my progress personally, so I wanted to make sure I moved all of my old blog posts, pictures and pages to the new site.  It’s all there, just with a new look 🙂

So go on over and tell me what you think!  Please feel free to give me your opinion.  I want the site to be fun and engaging for my readers.

I should be posting there later today with my first drawing in the #100days Pen and Ink series.


Art is Everywhere – Some Art for Biker Friends

I have been so busy in the last few weeks but I still manage to make art a priority.  Just not necessarily posting about art!

A friend of mine was throwing a party for a bunch of biker friends.  I figured that I could help by making signs our our back patch and arrows.

So I took a picture of our patch and traced it on my Cintiq Companion Hybrid and then took the outline and printed it out for the smaller signs. Using the lightbox my husband built for me I traced the patch onto two small halves of a posterboard.

For the larger sign I connected the computer to a projector, put two poster boards together and then traced from there.


After that, I started to fill in the colors with various markers. Continue reading

Super Creepy Skeksis from The Dark Crystal – Great Subjects for Drawing!

Last night I found out that The Dark Crystal was available on instant through Netflix.  I had checked MANY times before so I was super elated!  Because my husband was going to be late coming home (official biker group stuff) I decided to watch.  I was in a little bit of a gloomy mood, so it was perfect.

I remembered so much, I haven’t seen the film in years, but I watched the hell out of it as a kid!  There are some really creepy and dark things in there!  Very spooky.

Like the Skeksis.  Very creepy, disgusting, vile creatures.

Super Creepy Skeksis

I don’t know what got into me, but I just had to draw one.  So I looked around on Google until I found one that appealed to me.  20 minutes later I had an outline:Untitled

But then I had to go to bed :/  So I took up the work in the morning.  Between doing other things I’ve worked on this today and was happy to finish him up.  He was a joy to work on.  I even posted a video of my shading him in over on Instagram.

Now here are the images taken each time I took a break:

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And now the finished work!

Fingers just for scale!

Fingers just for scale!


Creepy Skeksis!

Creepy Skeksis!

NSFW – Quick Nude Studies

Two days and two roughly 30 minute studies of some nude figures. I’ve been using Pixelovely.com for the figures.  And they have a “class mode” where you an set your time and it will automatically change the figures and let you know how long you have at the top (you can also skip figures or choose a NO NUDES option).  I had a lot of fun, especially spinning this around and trying to find places to fit new ones 🙂  I did 30 second poses, 1 minute poses, 5+ minute poses and like an 11 minute pose.

Now, gotta stop farting around.  Off to do some work before the hubby gets home for Taco Tuesday and Faceoff!!

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Personal Growth, Mental Expansion and What New Thing I am Doing

“Art is a way of showing the outside world what your inside world looks like.” Jerry Saltz


For the last year or so I’ve been feeling a little stilted with my art.  That’s part of the reason I started sharing it here.  I want to open up.  And that’s helped me tremendously.

I also began watching other people on YouTube and rereading some of my favorite art books (it’s time for me to get some new ones, by the way!) and that’s helped too, a lot.  Seeing what other people do, watching their process, and surrounding myself with art in all forms is transformative.

The other day I grabbed two cheap sketchbooks from Fred’s and put one aside.  The first one is for self portrait studies.  I already have two I think I’d love to turn into paintings down the road.  But today I figured out what I want the second one to be for.

I watched a bundle of videos on how to access your more creative, right brain side without questioning the process.  I watched a few art videos by Roben-Marie Smith and this really kinda “neat idea” one by Suzette Morrow.  Now I’ve done a bunch of drawings that I created from squiggles and scratchy lines, but I never really used Morrow’s process.  As I am right now trying to go deeper with my art, trying to both create meaning while keeping the mystery for the viewer, I think that her process of being more intuitive and more self aware while barely controlling the art could lead to some terribly wonderful and exciting abstract work to pull from and create paintings out of.

I don’t know when or if I will share this art.  I don’t see that yet, that decision.  This might be very personal to me and I might be a bit protective (in a sense) of that art.  At least for a while.  I don’t see this sketchbook as good or bad work.  This is more like a mental workbook, a process book.  Many artists see all their sketchbooks like that.  Maybe I do too to an extent.  Maybe most of my sketchbooks so far have been the workbooks for the technical aspect of art and now I am working on the mental and inside aspects.

Whatever the case, I am excited to see what comes from this.  It’s a fairly new process for me.  I’ve done pieces like this before but not with the same intention I have for this book.

Art as a Way of Expressing Intense Emotions – A Path to Healing

I’m obviously not a doctor of any sort.  I don’t write in depth on the subject of pain or intense depression with physical symptoms.  All I know is that in my life when I have felt the most depressed, worthless or helpless some form of art (be it writing, drawing, playing the guitar, painting, etc) has always, ALWAYS been a huge contributor to pull me out of that funk.  Movement (or exercise) and cleaning/organizing have contributed too.  I have never taken medication for depression (I did once have a prescription for anti-anxiety during a VERY rough patch but I didn’t end up taking all of those pills: they didn’t seem to help) but I definitely don’t imply that art is a replacement.  Speak to a doctor regarding these things.

I didn’t post anything yesterday.  While I didn’t start this blog with the intention of daily posts, I certainly wanted to post any day I had time and I did have the time yesterday.  I was just in a bad mood.

I am passionate about animals.  I always have been and I guess that passion and sensitivity isn’t going away.  I haven’t known a single other person in real life that gets so intensely involved, but through the Internet I have met a handful.

I’ve recently taken to a neighbor’s dog.  He got a dog he couldn’t handle.  Whether he got it or someone got it for him (which I believe might be the case) there was no research done into the type of dog that would be best for his family (PLEASE do a little research before you get a dog!  It takes maybe 15 to 30 minutes to look up bread types and the requirements for happy integration & now Animal Planet has an awesome BREED SELECTOR to help!!!).  She’s a very active and incredibly strong lab mix – and he’s in his 80s or 90s and is not really the active type.  I finally got the nerve up to go and talk to him about her spending time with my dogs so she’d have companionship.  She was kept in a large pen outside with nothing all day long.  He just didn’t know what to do and couldn’t physically handle her.  I wouldn’t demonize him ever, it was just a no win situation.  He said yes, happy that I was helping and asked me if I could “take the puppy out of her” so that she could be inside with him.  That warmed my heart!  It wasn’t long before my daily training/walk/playtime had become a real highlight of my day.  I imagined she’d be my running buddy once I got her to work well with leashes and that would be her daily exercise to get all that energy out.

Alas, to yesterday.  I go over and, despite my efforts to walk and train her, he’s gotten another dog, a smaller dog and it was already on its way.  He said he’ll be looking around trying to find someone to adopt her and he has a lady helping.  He told me she’d stay in her pen until they could find her a new home.  It made me sad to think this wouldn’t be her home, but it was okay.  He was getting a companion he could handle and she would find a new home.

My normal playtime routine went as usual and when I got her home the lady from the Humane Society was there to take her.  I was floored.  I thought she’d stay.  I thought I’d still have every day to help her with her behavior so that when we found a home she’d be ready.  And now she’s just being shipped off to the humane society??

I handed her over and left, already crying.  I just can’t take her with my three dogs and three cats.  One of the dogs is smaller than the cats and Ginger has never even seen a cat before!  I just can’t risk anyone getting hurt, including her.  And feeding the 12 animals I have at the moment is no small financial feat.

They have my number.  If worse comes to worse, I can foster until they find a home.  But that doesn’t mean I’m not devastated, mostly for Ginger who never did anything wrong and is now down her buddy and training partner, the only person she got attention from.

Clearly whatever pro-animal, anti-ditch-your-furry-family ads/shows/movies played in the eighties and nineties did their job well when it comes to me.

Now to the art.  I am doing the 100 Faces in 100 Days challenge.  It never said those faces have to be human.  So last night, while a live art class played in the background, I pulled up a picture I’d done of Ginger and took out my Wacom Cintiq.  I drew a light sketch to start off with.  It took about 15 minutes to get about right.

Capturing the Sketch

Capturing the Sketch

Because of the light, it’s hard to see the entire sketch.  So here it is:

Initial Sketch

Initial Sketch

Then I started adding little details, then got really into the eyes.

It's in the eyes.

It’s in the eyes.

I spent the rest of the time adding little details, doing her fur, more on the eyes and finally scribbled in color for my sleeve, jeans and background  I was up 30 minutes past my regular bedtime to finish this drawing.  2.5 hours.  I am not a fast artist at all, but I like the end result.

"Me and the Gingeroo" by Rebecca Galardo

“Me and the Gingeroo” by Rebecca Galardo

I think the eyes and tongue look the best from afar, but the overall picture isn’t bad.  It’s not perfect, something seems off proportionally, but that’s okay.

Here are some close ups:



Eye 1

Eye 1

Eye 2

Eye 2

While this artwork didn’t stop me from being upset at the thought of her in a kennel, it did help me feel better about the time I got to spend with her.  I know I’ll look back on this picture and remember a really happy, playful, sweet girl who just needed a better home.

Art is NOT just for canvas and paper! Create in every opportunity.

There are, sure, sculptures and cool graffiti and murals.  There are so many forms of art.  But little things you do around your house can be art too.  Little details can make your home more you.  I wish I had pictures of the palm tree I created out of markers, paper and tape for my bedroom as a teenager.  I loved it!

Right now Tony and I do not have the ability to paint in our house.  Which sucks because I would LOVE to do some really nice things.  But I’m not allowing that to limit my creativity.  Part of creativity is learning to work within and around limitations and boundaries.

We bought ceiling fans for the summer and I knew immediately I wanted to do something to spruce them up.

Ceiling Fan Blades Await

Ceiling Fan Blades Await

Since we have Buffalo Bills related things all over the living room, I figured I’d do a Buffalo Bills themed ceiling fan.  I taped off where I wanted borders, drew the Bills symbols (new and old school) on cardboard, cut those out and used them as stencils.

In progress!!

In progress!!

I didn’t strive for perfection.  I learned years ago from a Holly Lisle (that one is an affiliate link because I adore her writing classes) class that “perfect never finishes” and I have been having issues with perfectionism (and “safe never starts”) my whole life.  The fear of “why do it if it won’t be perfect” will keep you from not only achieving your dreams, but basically living your life.

All done!

All done!

I love our fan.  It pulls all the Buffalo Bills things together and helps to make it more of a football fan room (heehee, the pun was not intended but was kinda cute) instead of just a living room.

My point isn’t “paint your fans!!” but instead find other ways to bring art into your every day life.  Put your drawings or paintings up in your house and rotate them as you get better or fall more in love with newer or other pieces.  Crochet a throw for your couch!  Paint your nightstand (I did that too!!).  Find ways to create pieces that stand out in your life and make you fall more in love with your surroundings.

Self portraits don’t always have to look like you!

I love to draw.  Obviously, right?  Otherwise why would I have a blog about my art with drawings?  But seriously, I really love it.  And I like to challenge myself.  Drawing the same subjects over and over can help to show a lot of growth and give you an amazing opportunity to challenge yourself with different styles, mediums and genres.

My first self portrait that I can remember drawing was a little while after I found Danny Gregory‘s book, The Creative License (not an affiliate link).  I had been struggling with stress and really missed creating art.  I had been good in my teens and early twenties, but had allowed life pressures to come first.  Struggling with HUGE relationship changes, financial burdens and little free time, I’d really sunk into a stupor when it came to creativity.  Allowing myself to just be horrible – or what I thought of as “horrible” again – was freeing.  Despite the fact that I had been able to draw pretty well before, I just went with Danny’s book and didn’t judge.  I picked up a pen and drew.  Instead of spending 45 minutes drawing an inperfect but okay mug, I spent 5 drawing a horrible one!  And it was funny and fun and freeing and I couldn’t stop.  I got better and better using just a pen to draw.  I refused to use a pencil as Danny suggests you start out doing.  Because of that, I began to have more patience with observing forms and a more carefree attitude when it came to mistakes.

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“Self Portrait 2007” by Rebecca Galardo

The first self portrait was in 2007.  It’s not the most detailed, but oddly enough it might be the most accurate proportionally of the three I’ll show tonight.

The next ones I want to show were done sometime I believe in 2011.  Again, stress had driven us in all sorts of directions and I’d abandoned art for a bit due to no time at all to engage.  I picked it back up as soon as I had time and this time I was playing with it, having fun, not judging the creations but just letting them come out.

Inked Self Portrait

“Inked Self Portrait with Dreadlocks” by Rebecca Galardo

This one was fun to create but my husband didn’t like it at all.  It obviously isn’t an accurate portrayal, but art doesn’t always have to be photo realistic.  I can still look back at this and remember drawing it, remember my hair (oh, I love my hair so much here!!!!) and remember the fun I had.  This piece means something to me.

The last self-portrait today is another one of my favorites.  It looks more like me than the middle one, but is more of a caricature.  Again, my husband doesn’t like it, but that doesn’t matter.  He has very different ideas of art than I do.  For him art is exact.  Photo-realism, photography those are what he likes and what he is good at, respectively (he doesn’t draw).

The point I guess is to keep growing, to experiment and to challenge yourself, and to maybe come back again and again to one subject and try different things.  It can be fun, especially if you don’t hold yourself to perfectionist standards with every piece you create.  Be loose sometimes.  Sure, if one of your goals is photo-realism (it’s one of mine!) then keep at it!  But know that you don’t have to try for perfection with every piece.  Drawing with a pen (like these were all done) allows you to embrace mistakes and create funky, flowing, bizarre and wonderful works of art, if they’re only those things to YOU.

"Hunched Me" with "Self Portrait 2007"  both by Rebecca Galardo

“Hunched Me” with “Self Portrait 2007” both by Rebecca Galardo

Can you create your nightmare? I did with one of mine. And I want to do it again!

I’ve been brought up with several influences in my life that affect me, my creations and my world view, but none quite so fun, frightening, endearing and ever-reaching as horror films.

One of those films is Killer Klowns from Outer Space Love this movie.  There is a scene in the film where one of the main characters has come into the police station and found everyone dead.  The cop that, well, wasn’t a nice guy, is now in the lap of a giant killer clown and is now basically a puppet, or ventriloquist doll.

I am one of the – apparently – many people who suffer from coulrophobia.  It’s real, not affected, not something to get a boy’s attention.  My husband insists it’s because my father let us watch IT when it came out, but I don’t know.  I was 7, but I was a smart, ‘totally-not-real-just-a-movie’ 7.

This fear…  It’s not just creepy clowns, or clowns where there shouldn’t be clowns.  It’s clowns in general.  I hate and fear them.  Even seeing a regular clown gives me goosebumps and my heart starts pounding.

And yet I managed to create something with a clown in it late 2011:

"Killer Klown and Mooney Puppet" by Rebecca Galardo

“Killer Klown and Mooney Puppet” by Rebecca Galardo – 9-17-2011

I can tell you drawing the original version of my picture and then doing this in watercolor was a real, honest struggle.  Drawing Mooney (played by the oh-so-double-secret-probation-freaking-awesome John Vernon) and painting him wasn’t difficult.  But the clown…  I struggled because I didn’t like looking at him.  It’s funny.  You can see in my heavier hand on the clown.  I was rushing.  The painting maybe took 30 minutes and it’s just a fun little thing in a sketchbook, but I was intentionally pushing myself with the work.

My goal now though is to draw something that terrifies me again.  With more detail.  If good writers write about what scares them, I think a good artist can draw what scares him/her.  What do you think?

“Ruby” Sketch

When I was 19 I was living in an apartment with my ex, a friend and his sister.  I’d never had small animals and had gotten two turtles early.  Then I got two rats, two hairless female Dumbo rats.  One was Chloe and the other, an albino, was named the oh-so-unoriginal but still pretty name, Ruby.

The other day on Facebook I was nominated by a fellow friend (and a really great artist, Amy Lehr Miller) for an Art Challenge that is going around.  I’ve seen artists like Adebanji Adeola Alade (find him on Facebook here) doing it and when she nominated me I felt special to be in the same challenge.  Not that it meant I was anywhere near that caliber!  It just felt neat.

So I sat down with a picture of my long gone friend, Ruby, and started to draw.  I thought I’d have at least an hour and a half, but unbeknownst to me my husband was making dinner plans with friends and after 25 minutes I had to give up the drawing and run out the door.

Here it is:

"Ruby" by Rebecca Galardo

“Ruby” by Rebecca Galardo

I’m pleased with it, though the lines of the cage are wobbly and I was interrupted while doing the inside of her ear.  I might try again, but honestly it was just a fun sketch to do.

I chose her for a couple of reasons: I wanted the first post of the artist challenge to be special, I wanted to push myself to draw an animal (I don’t) and didn’t want to start with one of my cats or dogs (fur intimidates me when it comes to pencil) and I love rats.

It was drawn with a very old (like at LEAST 17 years old) Faber Castell B pencil in the gray Cachet sketchbook by Daler Rowney.