Half-Blood Whole-Heart

This is my most recent colored pencil drawing. I estimated that it took me 50+ hours of actual drawing time and countless more hours of thinking and planning.

This drawing has been rolling around in my imagination for about a year. I had my son pose for some reference photos when he was home for the holidays last winter, but I didn’t actually start on the drawing until about May. Honestly, most of the time I was working on it, I wasn’t sure if I would ever finish it. Many times I considered ripping it off of the easel and throwing it away. Half-Blood Whole-Heart is a conglomeration of many different reference photos as well as sheer imagination when I couldn’t find the references I wanted. Continue reading Half-Blood Whole-Heart

Indiana State Fair

I have three drawings entered in the 2018 Indiana State Fair competition. All of my works will also be for sale. Stop in and check out the many different artworks in the Indiana Arts Building at the State Fair in August.

As always, prints of my drawings are available on my website at:  www.lisablissrush.com

Juried Show

I am pleased to announce that two of my works were juried into the 2018 Juried Art Show at the Blackford County Arts Center. This is the first time I’ve entered this show so I didn’t quite know what to expect. Both FREE SPIRIT and COLORS OF FLIGHT were accepted. Artists could submit three works for one entry fee. I also submitted TULIPS OF FIRE, but it was not accepted. I received a call yesterday from the gallery director informing me that COLORS OF FLIGHT had been awarded 4th place over all, so that was wonderful news.

I was not able to attend the opening reception due to the distance from home to the gallery so I have not yet seen the rest of the show. The evening of the reception I was delivering other artwork to the Indiana State Fair Competition and Sale. The Blackford show is about a 2 hour drive east of home and the State Fair is about 1.5 hours south of home. My husband’s workplace is halfway between home and the Blackford show so he has been delivering and picking up [the unaccepted piece] for me after he gets off work in the evenings. Makes for a very long day for him. He’s awesome.

Here are the details for the Blackford show if anyone local would like to check it out.

2018 SummerFest Juried Art Show, Arts Place Blackford County Arts Center, 107 E Washington St., Hartford City, IN  http://www.artsland.org

Prints of each drawing are available on my website at www.lisablissrush.com

FREE SPIRIT, colored pencil drawing
colored pencil drawing, feathers
COLORS OF FLIGHT, colored pencil drawing

Free Spirit

I finally have another drawing to share with you! I am very pleased with how this one turned out. It was a very challenging piece for me as I really didn’t know for sure what the end product was going to be when I started drawing. I usually have a very definite plan, including detailed reference photos, before I start a drawing. This time I was “winging” it, so I spent a good deal of time just staring at it and planning what I wanted it to look like and how to achieve what I was imagining. Continue reading Free Spirit

The Highlander

I finished it! Just in time. I wanted to finish this piece to be exhibited in a local weekend art show and just barely made the deadline. Work was to be delivered on Monday October 30th. I finished the artwork in the morning on Sunday the 29th and spent the afternoon framing it. Nothing quite like a deadline.

I’ve assembled quite a few work-in-progress photos to show the steps along the way.



I was very pleased with the clasp on the headband in the above photo.

The very last thing I drew on this piece was the beard. I was so anxious to get to the beard. I knew it would really “make” the piece. I used seven different colors of pencil for the beard. They included: Black, Polychromos Dark Sepia, Polychromos Warm Grey II, Prismacolor 90% Cool Grey, Prismacolor 90% French Grey, Prismacolor 70% French Grey, and Prismacolor White. I don’t remember which brand of Black I used. I just know I didn’t us much of it.


colored pencil, drawing, art,
Image Size: 17.5 x 22 inches Medium: Colored Pencil – Prismacolor Premier, Faber-Castell Polychromos, Walnut Hollow, Caran d’ Ache Pablos Paper: Canson Mi-Tientes Touch Photo Ref: My own, Shawn Parker

Wax On Wax Off

using a kneaded eraser to remove layers of colored pencil

Wax on wax off. The title might seem unusual, but it truly applies to this post. I use mostly Prismacolor colored pencils in my drawings and they are a wax based pencil. Sometimes I add pencil layers, sometimes I take them off.

In this post I want to explain in step-by-step detail how I approached the plaid fabric in The Highlander. Continue reading Wax On Wax Off

Tentatively Titled “The Highlander” WIP

Finally a new work-in-progress. Albeit, very slow progress. It’s so hard to get any artwork done during the summer. So in between freezing corn, canning tomatoes and digging potatoes, I started a new colored pencil work.

I’ve drawn everyone in the family except my husband, so he is the star of this work. It isn’t really a portrait, I’m just using him as my model. I am working with a variety of reference photos to put together the final piece that I “see” in my mind. Continue reading Tentatively Titled “The Highlander” WIP

A Summer Day

A Facebook friend of mine posted a photo she had taken of her sons at the lake. I loved the photo so much that I asked her for permission to use it as a reference for a painting.

I’ve held on to the reference photo for a couple of years or so and finally got around to using it.

I started the piece by sketching the boys on tracing paper, then transferring the sketch to a sheet of Oil Pastel Card by Sennelier.

sketch tracing paper
First sketch of the boys on tracing paper

They look kind of creepy with no legs or faces.

Once I sketched in some basic outlines, I began with an underpainting of complimentary colors. I chose to create this piece in oil pastel and used oil pastels for the underpainting as well. I had considered using a thin wash of oil paints, but chose to do the entire piece in the pastels.

oil pastels, painting, underpainting
Underpainting in complimentary colors

Next I used a brush and odorless mineral spirits to blend the pastel colors around and cover more of the paper. The pastel didn’t move as much on the paper as I had hoped. I was rethinking my decision to use only pastels and not oil paints.

Oil pastels with a wash of mineral spirits

I began layering colors much like I do with colored pencil, carefully working around the areas of the boys.



And…the finished product.

Photo of final work on display.

I’m still considering the oil pastels an experiment. I have fun working with them, but I’m not always sure how much I like the final results. I’ll just have to keep playing with them.

Artworks Gallery

As mentioned in an earlier blog post, my artwork will be on display at Artworks Gallery in Kokomo, IN through the month of July. Here is the link to the newspaper interview I also promised in that post:  Kokomo Herald/Perspective article.

I recently spent the evening at the gallery for a meet and greet event with the public. This event was for all of the downtown businesses, not just the gallery. Artworks Gallery is a very nice space. They have two levels and some small classroom space. They featured work by quite a few talented artists. The monthly featured artist works hang on the “gray wall” on the lower level. I took this photo from the landing area upstairs during a slow moment in the evening.

Artworks Gallery

My work featured on the gray wall.

The gallery staff provided guests with tea and lemon water, cookies and pastries. It was a lovely evening with the doors left open and the sound of music from down the street. Even though I am very uncomfortable meeting people at events like this, it really was a very nice event and I appreciate the effort the staff put into the evening.

I am really anxious to get started on another drawing. I’ve drawn everyone in my immediate family except my husband. He’s up next. Now if I can just get the 4H projects, the weeds in the garden and landscaping under control, I’ll be able to get started on his drawing. I am hoping to have more artwork on display for the month of August. I’ll let you know if this works out as soon as I can.

Have a great day.


A Busy Spring

Wow! Spring absolutely flew by and now it’s summer. Not my favorite season. I don’t care for hot and humid, I’m more of a fall/winter person. Anyway, in between weeding garden spaces and trimming landscaping, I thought I’d better update you on what’s been happening this past spring.

I entered the Kokomo Art Association’s Spring Art Show in May. I entered Colors of Flight, and Woodland Nymph. Both are colored pencil drawings on textured black paper.

colored pencil drawing, feathers
Colors of Flight, colored pencil drawing
colored pencil, fairy, flowers
Woodland Nymph, colored pencil drawing

I am pleased to announce that Colors of Flight received a 2nd place rating in the Class II Professional division, and Woodland Nymph received Best of Show. These works were on display throughout the month of May at the Kokomo Art Center, Kokomo, IN.

You might remember from an earlier post, Woodland Nymph also received Best of Show at the Logansport Art Association (LAA) Spring Show in 2016. As a result of that win, I was invited to be the featured artist for the LAA Spring Show for 2017. As such, I had a small room off the main gallery space to display as many artworks as I wanted.

This showing in Logansport ran through most of the month of June.

About a week after the LAA show closed, I delivered nine pieces of work to Artworks Gallery in Kokomo. I delivered seven colored pencil works and two small oil pastels for display. As a result of receiving Best of Show at the Kokomo show in May I was invited by Artworks Gallery to be the featured artist for the month of July. I was also interviewed by a reporter for the Kokomo Perspective about the show. Nice to be able to get a little extra publicity for myself, the Kokomo Art Association and the gallery. I will update a link to that article once it becomes available.

I will be posting another work-in-progress post as soon as I get my photos in order. Until next time, make it a great day!