Sonja Funnell Art

Sonja Funnell Art: May 2013

Friday, May 31, 2013

Mad Men 3

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mad Men 2

Watercolor artwork of Don, Megan and Betty Draper.

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Art Links 5/30/13

  • These are some beautiful animal paintings by Tracey Clarke with an interesting use of negative space and composition.
  • I'm completely jealous of MissMaddyTaylor for getting my dream job as an artist at Riot games. Her work is awesome though, she deserves to be there.
  • Some more concept art by The Lantern Factory. The sketchy active style is what drew me in.
  • John Lang has a great sense of color, composition and perspective, which makes each piece feel contemporary and dynamic, while the palette and texture feel vintage. 
  • This is a little too relevant right now, "how to create art in small studios".
Leave a comment if you would like to be featured in the next "Art Links".

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Mad Men

The women of Mad Men with their respective weapons.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My Grandpa Jim Bettin's Artwork

Today's post is a tribute to my Grandpa Jim's artwork. He used to be an art teacher, so he would give drawing lessons to my sister and I when we were little. He bought us both sketchbooks and we would draw still lifes and portraits together. My grandma has no artistic skills at all, so luckily my grandpa's talent passed on to my mom and aunt. (I'm not being mean, she knows about her drawing deficiency. She is great with English and writing instead.) I wish my Grandpa could still be here today, my family and I miss him very much. I hope you enjoy seeing his work below, and get a sense of his spirit from his work.
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Feathered Floor

Part of my ongoing series, "Invasion of Artifice". This one is the result of having too much time after graduating. >_> This one is created in colored pencil. 

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Memorial Day Drawing

The drawing, and the reference photo is below. I went up north to my cottage by Land O' Lakes Wisconsin for Memorial Day and drew the most exciting trees I could find. >_>

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Sunday, May 26, 2013


“There are three points of view from which a writer can be considered: he may be considered as a storyteller, as a teacher, and as an enchanter. A major writer combines these three — storyteller, teacher, enchanter — but it is the enchanter in him that predominates and makes him a major writer...The three facets of the great writer — magic, story, lesson — are prone to blend in one impression of unified and unique radiance, since the magic of art may be present in the very bones of the story, in the very marrow of thought...Then with a pleasure which is both sensual and intellectual we shall watch the artist build his castle of cards and watch the castle of cards become a castle of beautiful steel and glass.”

― Vladimir Nabokov

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Colored Pencil Techniques

Colored pencils have always been one of my favorite art tools to work with. This is because they mix the detail I can get with pen and ink, and the bold color of oil painting. When I was little, I swore I would only use colored pencils forever, and never paint. That's how much I loved those sticks of colored wood. Anyways, people have asked me a lot over the years how I get my colored pencil work to look the way it does, so here are the techniques I use. 

  1. The first technique I use is to use a tiny bit of paint thinner on a cotton ball, (or q tip if the area is detailed) to blend the pencil into a surface that looks like watercolor. When this area is still wet, color can be layered over the top to deepen it. When the area dries, small details can be layered over the top to add the texture back into the work.

2. Mix mediums. Some areas just need a touch of acrylic paint to lighten them up, or make the colors richer. In the drawing above, the figure has the texture of pencil, but the clouds are made from acrylic paint. This creates a spontaneously formed look that even the above technique could not accomplish.

3. Have no life. Colored pencils take hours and hours of dedication, when you start something with colored pencils, it's a long commitment. Try to work on multiple projects or take a break between sessions to stop yourself from resorting to tip #1 and 2 to finish the drawing quickly.
4. Keep pencils sharp at all times, and use Prismacolors if you can afford it. Even if you can't afford a large set, buy a basic set with the primary colors, and use other brands for the less common colors. A Prismacolor white is a must have for blending, so make sure your set has one, or you can purchase it separately. There are colorless blending sticks, but I personally like using a white pencil for this because it leaves less white space between the color. I know that sounds crazy, but trust me.

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Art Links 5/24/2013

  • The artist who has inspires me most to create my pen and ink work is Kristjana S Williams. I love her use of detail, color, and the strangeness of the animals she creates.
  • Check out this forum for some amazing drawing tips for composition, anatomy and more.
  • This blog features the under appreciated art of hand painted animation backgrounds. These are absolutely gorgeous.
  • I have been researching artist in residencies lately, and here is a link to one for the adventurous artist who doesn't mind farming and helping with barn construction.
  • Gorgeous photos of sand up close. This is very inspiring, and depressing since our eyes can't see this close. 

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Watercolor Mushrooms

8x10, watercolor. 
This is a painting of some mushrooms I photographed at my cottage. That's really all you can say about a painting of mushrooms. 

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Toucan and the Branch.

Progress on my newest drawing. I missed colored pencils, I haven't used them for half a year. I know, it's very sad.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

A Sequel to a Painting, but it's not a painting.

This is the sequel to "Avian Woodland" pictured below. It's being drawn on 11x14 paper with colored pencils because space and canvas is limited. Hopefully the change of size and tools won't make it a terrible sequel like Return of Jafar.

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Solo Show Reception

Some photos from my solo show reception, I'm very thankful to everyone who showed up! 

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Conceptual Cow

Trying to do what happens when I oil paint with colored pencil. I forgot how hard it is to change anything in colored pencil. D:

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

First Post-Grad Drawing

It's actually a luxury to be able to make a sketch for a painting or drawing. In school I had three studio classes going at the same time, so the ideas didn't go through much refinement before they went on paper. This was okay for painting, but not so much for watercolor and the unforgiving medium of pen and ink.

So here I'm trying to figure out if my artificial pattern concept comes through without a human figure involved. I don't want these to read as animal illustration, but that's what I feel.

If anyone wants to help out and tell me what the colored sketch feels like to them, illustration or fine art, that would be very helpful. I also wonder if these need to be created on 30x40 canvases to be effective, or if drawing these on 11x14 paper would give people the same feeling. Probably not, I don't know. So many decisions.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Installed My Solo Show Today

Here are some low res faded pictures as a preview, the reception is on Saturday, and then I will get some better photos. 

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Monday, May 13, 2013

What I eat when I paint, because lists are supposed to increase blog traffic.

1.  Granola
2. Chips and Salsa
3. Orange Juice
4. Dark Chocolate
5. Water

First comment on this post gets a sketch of their animal of choice posted on the blog.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Senior Group Exhibition

My paintings in the group show at the college. My solo show goes up next week...

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Graphic Design Work

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