July 20, 2011

Left Handed?

I remember slow days at the start of the school year when teachers were still pulling together projects for the semester. In my first high school art class, the teacher encouraged us to try drawing with anything other than our dominate hand.

Students started using their feet, toes, mouths, and non-dominate hands to create art! I remember how horrible a simple flower looked and gained a brand new resolve not to use any one else's pencils after that day!

The little heart above is my second attempt at drawing with my left hand (the first being that day in high school) I was honestly surprised I could even get it to look like a heart!

I'm still patiently waiting for my right hand to heal from a little mishap so I can draw again, but the urge to create apparently can't be stopped!

Have you ever tried writing or drawing with your non-dominate hand before? How'd you do?

July 16, 2011

Portfolio Process –Step Two

Now that my portfolio has arrived (And I love it!), it’s time to focus on the art! I wanted to wait until I had the portfolio in my hands so I could measure the actual sleeves. I need to be confident in ordering the right size of prints. It’s nice to know that the measurements given for a portfolio are for the actual size of art you will need, not the outside measurements!

The portfolio I chose has 24 8x10in clear sleeves. Which can be doubled to front and back views to hold a total of 48 pieces of artwork.

Maybe you’re like me and that number, even the 24, is incredibly daunting. Sure, I could fill it with everything I’ve ever drawn… but the concept of a portfolio is to showcase your best work. The crème de la crème, so to say. That can be a tough one from the artist’s point of view. Every piece is special on a personal level. So how to you choose?

  • The first thing I looked at is a piece’s availability to the gallery/shop I hope to contact. If you have the original(especially if well-framed) make sure to include it. 
  • Another great place to start are any pieces that you have available for prints. Not only is this also a plus for the gallery/shop … but if you think it’s good enough to create prints, then it’s good enough to be included in your portfolio.
  • ‘Round out’ your portfolio. Don’t choose works from just your favorite medium. The people you are meeting with want to know what you can do! Make sure your portfolio is as diverse as you are.
  • MOST important? Be you! I was tempted to fill my portfolio with landscapes and still life works. But my love has always been in portraiture. Include what you love, not what you see already in the gallery. Why would they want to see more of the same? Include work that is unique to you.

Now that I have my portfolio and a selection of art (I pictured a few of my considerations up at the top!) It’s time to start hunting for the best price and quality in prints so I can start putting everything together!

July 8, 2011

Portfolio Process - Step one

The most important thing about creating a professional portfolio is having a case that looks professional. Simple, right? I thought so, too. The most helpful tips I’ve found when in search of a great presentation case have actually been common sense!

  • Keep it simple: It’s tempting to go over the top with a case that is bright and patterned but you are trying to showcase the art. You want your audience to remember you and your work, not the case it was in. Black and brown(neutral shades) are the best colors to look for in a clean and simple portfolio. 
  • Go with a firm cover. It will better protect your art and feels more professional in the hands of shop and gallery owners. (Who wants beautiful art flopping around everywhere?)
  • Size matters! So keep it portable and easy to handle. A 8x10in - 9x12in size is perfect.
  • Have a place for business cards, CD’s and notes. That way everything you may need during a meeting will be one place.

Jerry's Artarama
This is the one I chose, Available at www.Jerry’sArtarama.com. After research and going through this checklist, I felt this one was the best bang for my buck to meet my needs. What caught my attention was the easy-to-clean textured cover and the acid-free divider sheets that will act as a backdrop for my art. It also happened to be on sale. ;)
I’ve placed my order and it is estimated to arrive on the 12th!

Remember, if you’ve already been through this process, drop me a line! I’d love to know what you learned and how you feel about your own portfolio!

July 7, 2011

Portfolio Process

The BigHaramph's Print Shop
The months have rolled around to July and I’m finally getting a start on the huge project of making and putting together a professional portfolio to take around to galleries and shops. This is the first baby step in reaching one of my biggest goals this year, so I want to do it right!

Being an avid Do-It-Yourself-er and Google user, I started the search on the internet for the best way to go about this seemingly simply project. But I wanted a walk-through for first timers from an expert who knew what they were talking about…no such luck.
I found lists and pointers, which have all been helpful… but what about the young artist who’s never actually seen a portfolio with her own eyes? Little troublesome to know where to start.

So, since there’s no step by step from an expert, I figured I’d write my own as I learn all the best tips, tiny details… and what not to do. I’m positive I’ll have plenty of those moments, too!

July 6, 2011


I believe in taking special care with each and every custom artwork and take anywhere from 15 to 120 hours for each one to create something truly special for you. Your portrait can be finished between 5-10 weeks depending on the size/medium you choose.

Remember, I am not limited to portraits! If you have a furry friend, favorite location, home, or heirloom item, I can create a piece of artwork for you, too!

As I work, I will take pictures of my progress of your drawing and email them to you for feedback and updates! I love to share a bit of the process with you, so you can see how it's done and the work behind it. This keeps us in contact and communicating until the art arrives safely at your door!


● So, how do we start?
Email/convo me! Let me know what you are interested in or send me a picture if you already have one in mind for me to draw from. I am always happy to walk you through the process of choosing sizes and mediums that will best fit what you are looking for.
**All my mediums and sizes are detailed below to give you a head start.**

● Payment process?
Once you are decided on what you would love, I can either set up a custom listing for you on Etsy, or I can send you a direct invoice through Paypal. If you are interested in a payment plan, I am flexible in working with you on that, too!

● Which pictures are best to work from?
High Quality! The clearer and more detailed the picture, the more realistic your artwork will be! If you are interested in a portrait, make sure facial features are clear and defined so that I can work my absolute best to make it look just like your loved one.

● ● Shipping is not included as it is different for each area and Artwork size.●●

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Lainy’s Chalk and CharcoalMy own unique trademark medium that uses a special blend of chalk and charcoal pencils and a highly textured paper. I also use powdered forms of each that I grind and mix by hand for the perfect texture. The chalk’s special qualities catch light and add a lifelike edge to every portrait that makes them ‘pop’ right out of the paper!

-Due to its special qualities, I do not seal this medium with fixative or sealant as it dims the chalk and charcoal values. My alternative? A high quality Non-glare acrylic glass with a protective UV coat. This is included with your commission prices and is safe for shipping!
-A simple white matting and backing is also included! If you are interested in a custom color, please contact me for options.

         *8x10 ---$150

    +$30 for additional portraits, full body, detailed background, or high detail pieces.

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Charcoal -  With this medium I mainly use charcoal to create value and depth, using chalk for only bright highlights and details. I use a much smoother paper that makes it easier to capture a lot of detail and texture for that photo-realistic touch.

-Sealed with a protective fixative that prevents smudging and fading.
-A simple white matting and backing is also included! If you are interested in a custom color, please contact me for options.

*5x7 ---$70
*8x10 ---$100

+$30 for additional portraits, full body, detailed background, or high detail pieces.    

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Pastels/ Tinted Charcoal –  This is the ultimate crossover from my charcoal mediums for color. If you love the way chalk and charcoal looks but really want a full color piece, this is the way to go!  I use pastel pencils, bars, as well as powdered forms of any color that I grind and mix by hand. I also use shades of tinted charcoal for darker colors and colored pencils over top for detailing.

-Sealed with a protective fixative that prevents smudging and fading.
-A simple white matting and backing is also included! If you are interested in a custom color, please contact me for options.

        *5x7 ---$90
        *8x10 ---$120

       +$30 for additional portraits, full body, detailed background, or high detail

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Email me at a.ferguson.artistry@gmail.com to get started or with any questions.
Please visit my online portfolio for more examples of my work: http://alainaferguson.artworkfolio.com/