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This past Christmas my family and I tried giving only homemade Christmas presents (with the exception of my husband who bought me a badly needed new camera). This went really well, and everyone had fun finding creative things to do for each other. In process of making a busy book for my two youngest girls I drew this sketch of Jesus:

sketch of Jesus by Dawna Morton
sketch of Jesus by Dawna Morton~see it framed

This Portrait sketch of Jesus shows him as if in mid smile. You can almost see him moving with sparkle and life. A look of happy kindness in one and sorrow and compassion in the other.. One arm is forward as if either in a teaching moment or to reach out to someone and lift them up…

Archival inks and papers, canvas prints,custom framing available on imagekind Fine Art Prints from $10.44 and up. Prices subject to change. 
Sketch of Jesuson RedBubble; cards starting at US $1.92, matted prints US$28.50, prices subject to change.
 Sketch of Jesus on zazzle.com
Jesus Posters and art starting at $9.95, prices subject to change 
Now also available on fineartamerica

I started out looking around at several other renditions of Jesus in my home and on the internet, that other artists have created, just to help me fix in my mind’s eye “this is what Jesus looks like.” Then I took a sheet of graph paper, since this was just going to be for my kids and only to transfer it to cloth later, and did a quick little sketch; however, I quickly regretted my choice of papers since the sketch turned out so well. Thankfully using my scanner and Paint.net made it pretty easy to remove the blue grid from the sketch. Making a really clean “coloring book” version of this sketch for the book, while still keeping the kind, but lively expression, was a bit problematic. It took some trial and error to figure out which lines could be removed or altered and which had to stay. I spent days making printouts, changing things, re-scanning, touching up on the computer and printing it out again before I had this final draft. Transferring the drawing to the fabric was accomplished with a permanent ink marker and a cut up printout of the picture that I traced like a puzzle onto the book page. (Yes I know it would have been less hassle to buy a transfer, but I was trying not to spend money).

The sketch turned out so well I printed out extra copies to send as Christmas cards and as presents for a select few people.

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Last night I went to a really great women’s meeting at my church. It was to celebrate the birthday of Relief Society which was organized in 1842.

One of the activities was to paint a 5×5 canvas. The teacher had prepared a demonstration on how to paint a lemon with “When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade”on it. Some of us decided to paint something else. Since one of the ladies asked me how to paint an apple, I decided I would paint one too and try to talk her through it. I don’t think I do a good job of explaining and painting at the same time because she gave up and went to a different activity.

Anyway I think It turned out pretty well so I thought I’d post it here. The canvas was already primed, so I started out with a coat of purple paint. Purple is one of my favorite colors, and I also thought it would complement the apple’s red color nicely. Next I added a red apple shape and began adding the highlights and shadows. It needed to dry for awhile before I could go any further with the apple so I laid in the green foreground–being careful to let some of the purple underpainting show through.

Next I added the white apple blossoms and put in a little light yellow highlights and some purple shadows.Adding the branch and apple stem next. It was to wet to do any fine tuning on the blossoms, So I went back to work on the apple deepening the shadows and brightening some of the highlights. Adding the shadows beneath the apple and blossoms was next, using a mixture of purple and a touch of black. Normally I would just use a bluer shade of purple but I did not have a dark enough blue available for that. Then It was time to dry brush the final highlights and shadows on the apple and retouch the blossoms. The background needed a bit more life and brightened up a bit. Adding a light behind the apple and fading it out really made the apple “pop.” At first I put too much yellow in it, so I lifted it out with a damp napkin and reapplied a lighter shade, and then dabbed it again to create a slightly mottled effect. Before signing it I added a few touches of red around the edges and softened it with the napkin as well.

I did get frustrated with it at times because acrylic is not a medium I use frequently and I also did not have my good brushes with me. working with larger brushes is a good learning experience though. It is a good idea to try new things an push outside of our comfort zones. You might just like the results ( when frustrated I find it helpful to get up and walk around the room and come back to it a few minutes later with fresh eyes.) I think I’ll try this exercise again . It’s fairly inexpensive since canvases this size can be found in the dollar section at Michael’s 🙂

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