Good afternoon!  Doesn’t the word cupcake make you happy?  The cupcake that started it all, below, was from Gigi’s Cupcakes in Nashville.  I used to live there a year ago.  Weird.   Nashville, that is!  I didn’t live in Gigis’s Cupcakes, because if I did, I probably would not be able to waddle out the door.  Believe it or not, I took about half the frosting off this bad boy and then re-sprinkled it.  Gigi’s does not mess around with frosting.

I wanted you to see the process from photo to painting to ‘sketch.’  I tried to get really strong light on the cupcake so that some if it looked white, and then the shadows are also strong and black.  I find that the most interesting ‘portraits’ even if they are of cupcakes, have a full spectrum of darks and lights.  The painting was done in watercolors while looking at the photo, and then the after sketch was done while looking at the painting!  For that I used pen and ink (why don’t we just say ‘inkpen?) and watercolors.  Sometimes I like the painting better, sometimes the simpler sketch.  It really depends on what mood I’m in.  I included the pink brushstrokes under the sketch, just for fun. Although I am mostly self-taught, I did take an art class at each grade level, elementary, high school, and college.  In college my instructor shared with me the very valuable exercise of doing a sketch.  Sometimes you do one before a painting, to center and focus you.  Sometimes you do on after a painting, to summarize or further learn from you painting.  You can also play with the scale and do your sketch larger or smaller than your painting.