Lightning Sketch

The past few days have been especially strange, but yesterday was downright frightening. We’ve been hit with storm after storm. Too much rain (bad enough) but then the thunder and lightning arrived, over and over again. “Popcorn” storms, they’re called. When the atmosphere is too hot and too wet it can burst into thunderstorms. The storms pop up suddenly, unexpectedly, like when you pop popcorn and the corn kernels burst in the air. 

Three times yesterday – THREE TIMES – thunder and lightning exploded simultaneously right outside my house. The walls shook. I jumped. Fortunately no damage was done. But I was scared. Expected thunder is bad enough. Predictable storms are bad enough. Lightning in the distance that produces crackling thunder is bad enough.

But these things yesterday? Awful. 

To release some of the tension (not unlike the way popcorn thunderstorms release heat and water from the atmosphere) I grabbed a couple of tempera paint sticks and a tube of acrylic paint, and made the face you see above. Quickly, frantically; then it was done.

We have more storms due today.

I’m not happy.

It’s Just an Expression

Looking for a facial expressions reference book? Mark Simon’s How to Draw Faces – With Facial Expressions (above) is very thorough.

My current favorite book about faces, tho, is Gary Faigin’s in-depth The Artist’s Complete Guide to Facial Expression – it’s excellent.

His blog:

I Dream of Sunshine

Brusho Sunburst Lemon sitting on a work-in-process

Where are you, sunshine? Where’s your twinkly kiss? I dream of you in the morning. I need your light. You can vanish in the afternoon; I don’t care. But don’t be shy in the morning. Dazzle me! Sparkle me! Give me hope for the day. 

Some people are night creatures, others are at their best mid-day. I’m a very early morning person. My day is front-loaded. Everything useful I’ll do, I’ll do before noon. But I need sunshine! Unfortunately, our recent weather has been murky glop. Humid, warm, dark. 

This morning is sunny but I have to do things other than art. More murk is headed our way and will move in for nearly a week. What to do?

I’ll have to make my own sunshine.

That’s where those Brusho crystals come in. I bought them in the depth of winter, haven’t had the courage to open the package because even though it was a small expenditure it was still money and there’s a lot of pressure on me to use those crystals well. But that little tub of “Sunburst Lemon” is going to be my dream-come-true in the coming days: sunshine on demand.


The mixed media piece above is acrylic paint, metallic cord, and the holes from hole-punching old advertising circulars. It’s not quite finished. 

Here’s Brusho, if you’re interested: