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P1780594 cow skull zebra stripes

“Good drawing forms the ‘bones’ on which a strong painting hangs.”  (Chris Bingle)

Jama Ecuador – Last week I sketched this cow skull then did a test to see how it would look with zebra stripes.  What do you think?  Would it make a fun painting, or should I consider this an exercise and move on to another subject – like bright colorful coffee cherries?

Palo Santo Cybercafe

Palo Santo Cybercafe

Today I spent time at Palo Santo Cybercafe, which is more cafe than an internet service.  Opening around 7:30 most evenings, Palo Santo has a brisk business and an easy vibe.

Luchy whips up many fruit drinks as well as cafe specialties!

Luchy whips up many fruit drinks as well as cafe specialties!

Luchy and I had discussed doing a joint painting project in his “VIP” room, and today we began that task.

P1780583 palo santo tree

Luchy’s drawing and painting skills are excellent, so I was amused that he chose to watch instead of paint!  He wanted a backdrop for photo moments, and since the word “Jama” means “iguana,” he visualized a large iguana draped across a limb a little higher than shoulder level. We discussed several ideas, and then he watched as I mixed paints and began to ‘draw’ with the paint.

“Aren’t you going to use a pencil first?” he asked cautiously.

“No,” I smiled, “it’s not necessary… there’s no need for pencil…”

Because I draw well and have way over those 10,000 magic hours,  I often skip the pencil.  Paying attention to the negative spaces helps with the spacial balance, but many times there’s a ‘gear shift’ and the painting flows effortlessly.

Almost spellbound, he watched as I mapped in the line of the tree limbs then attempted to match the colors of the post. We discussed where the iguana should go, and I mixed a light watery green and began drawing the iguana. Paying special attention to the negative spaces, I easily mapped in the basic shape of the iguana.

P1780582 iguana palo santo

Luchy wears many hats, so he ran errands and stopped  by the VIP room throughout the afternoon. Each time he entered the room, a huge smile crossed his face as the iguana slowly transformed!  As evening approached, I was treated to a just-baked pizza – yum yum – fringe benefits of painting at a restaurant!
P1780592 iguana detail palo santo

When evening arrived, Luchy was busy with the restaurant and did not check on the progress until the last customer had left. He seemed quite surprised! Tomorrow evening I will return for a final session. Stay tuned!

P1780590 iguana VIP room palo santo