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Mary Ann Kitchell Art Blog

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Mary Ann Kitchell

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A very cute photograph (you can't really "stage" these things!) taken during last year's Super Bowl was used as reference for this pencil drawing of my friend's dog, Lucky. I used colored pencil for the party hat and favor and a 2B pencil for the rest. It was used for a birthday card. I feel it's an appropriate post for this time of year: Best wishes for a happy, healthy Christmas season to the hardworking ArtId staff and my fellow ArtId artists… Continue reading… 0 comments

Pencil was the first medium used when I started selling art in the 70's. As my skill improved and I started exploring with color my work gradually evolved to using watercolor. I've been experimenting with pencil again, and like the look of this pet portrait completed with colored pencil and a 2B drawing pencil… Continue reading… 0 comments

During almost 35 years of creating pet portraits I've completed many, many times more dogs than cats and I've always wondered why. Is it because cats are so independent ... and dogs are more eager to please ... i.e., sit for photographs? This portrait was rendered in colored pencil, one of my favorite mediums. I used Canson colored paper for more depth of color and texture in my drawing… Continue reading… 0 comments

These two dogs were rendered in colored pencil with the background kept simple. The dog in the lower part of the painting is an older dog. I understand, despite the age difference, both dogs get along just fine. It's not necessary to have two animals in the same reference photograph. With a little thought when taking the pictures, two separate photographs should work very well… Continue reading… 0 comments

This tiny Chihuahua/dachshund mix is a friendly little lady who is cherished by the family that rescued her from a shelter. The colored pencil drawing was made into note cards as a graduation gift… Continue reading… 0 comments

Working from great photographs can make all the difference in a painting's outcome. This colored pencil portrait is one of my all-time favorites. Rolf has a very regal look about him ( ... he's handsome and he knows it!). A great example of the German Shepherd… Continue reading… 0 comments


by kitchellstudio , November 25, 2012—12:00 AM

Topics: children's books, christmas, colored pencil, drawings, vacation

This is the finished page for a child's book which I illustrated. Some of you may recall I worked on the drawing in our local library due to loss of power from Sandy. The story was written by a friend with her granddaughter's input and will be printed and given as Christmas gifts. It's the story of a mouse on vacation in Puerto Rico, based on the child's vacation exeriences this year. It's cold here today and I just saw a few snow flurries… Continue reading… 0 comments

While there are many dog lovers in the world, this is the first cat portrait I've done in quite a while. Are dogs better at being part of the family than cats ....… Continue reading… 0 comments

Rendered in colored pencil on colored paper, I believe the dignity of this older dog was captured. The client requested the backyard scenery be used in the portrait and I'm satisfied it contributed to a successful painting… Continue reading… 0 comments


by kitchellstudio , November 15, 2010—04:45 PM

Topics: animal drawing, colored pencil, dogs, pastel paper, pet portraits

Colored pencil on pastel paper. The paper I regularly use for these little pet portrait vignettes is Canson's Mi-Tientes Pastel paper. It is always the client's choice if they wish a vignette like this or a full background typical of their particular animal. Another option would be a head study… Continue reading… 0 comments

This pet portrait was rendered in colored pencil on pastel paper. The dog really was wearing a bib in the reference photo, as well as the pretty bow in her hair. I've seen many dogs with bows, but the bib was a first! Accessories do make the pet portrait more interesting ... and obviously this little dog is unique… Continue reading… 0 comments

I needed a sample for a local gift shop and came across a magazine photograph that caught my eye. The type of dog and his pose seemed just right. I rendered the dog in colored pencil, adjusting the background to suit my needs. He proved to be very popular with the shop owner and her customers… Continue reading… 0 comments

Among the many wonderful people I've met as an artist are the couple who live in Morgandy's house. They had a house portrait painted for their daughter and the wife later commissioned this colored pencil of Morgandy as a Christmas surprise for her husband. The surprise was a huge success! This is one aspect of painting I thoroughly enjoy: making people happy with my art… Continue reading… 1 comment

The best part of creating this dog portrait was the hair on the paws ... long and fluffy. The curly belly hair was a challenge. I eliminated all background shown in the customer's photograph but kept Molly's beloved pink toy. This portrait was rendered in colored pencil… Continue reading… 0 comments

I used this colored pencil portrait as a sample for one of the gift shops I work with. I tend to prefer colored pencil for most pet portraits as I'm able to capture more fur texture with this medium. I guess this preference goes way back to my earliest pencil drawings. I started with pencil studies and really enjoyed my pencil work. Clients kept asking for "color" so I gradually added watercolor to the drawings, doing the watercolor washes first, then adding pencil. My portraits are now either colored pencil or watercolor. A pet portrait in either medium would make a special gift for the avid animal lover… Continue reading… 0 comments

I was delighted when the client allowed me to choose the medium for painting this dog portrait. His beautiful fur lent itself very well to rendering in colored pencil. I feel I was able to show much more detail and texture using colored pencil instead of watercolor. Of course, the final decision is always up to the client! This portrait was purchased as a gift from the bride-to-be to her fiance. As occasionally happens, the dog had died recently and she felt a remembrance would be a cherished gift… Continue reading… 0 comments

This poodle was rendered in colored pencil as a "head study". The portrait is always more interesting when it includes "accessories" such as a bandanna to bring out the personality of the animal being painted. Including a favorite toy with "full body" portraits is another way to make a client's pet portrait more personal… Continue reading… 0 comments

This is a very old building in Summit, New Jersey, dating back to the 1800's and the image is part of my collection of New Jersey train stations. The reference photo I used for this colored pencil drawing had a sheep in it, a cute little guy, but not necessary to my composition. I could find no mention of sheep in my research material; I can only assume livestock were shipped from this station along with other commodities. The builder hoped his 1871 building would become a major part of a newly constructed rail line, thereby expanding his influence ... and his pocketbook as well I'm sure. You know what they say about "the best laid plans of mice and men" ... the tracks were moved in 1905 putting an end to our entrepreneur's dreams… Continue reading… 0 comments