Welcome Bienvenidos!

* Individual and group art classes are available :) Contact me here or Facebook or my website SueBetanzos.com

* Summer classes in Coloring, Painting and Mosaic are starting! Contact me here or Facebook or my website SueBetanzos.com to arrange a local class for a fun summer activity. Ages 9 to adult, beginner to advanced.







Sunday, October 8, 2017

You Are Loved Dog Portrait

Australian Shepherd dog portrait in graphite finished. I love drawing animals, dogs especially. It was really fun to play with the Faber Castell 9000 pencils. I'll list the tools I used for this at the bottom.

Drawing is the foundation for all, whether you doodle or want more. It's what humans have been doing to express themselves since the cave days of drawing :)

"You Are Loved", 14'x13.5", Dog Portrait, Graphite on paper. SueBetanzos.com


Tools of the trade for my drawing below:



• A set of Faber Castell 9000 pencils in the leads of: HB, B, 2B, 4B, 6B, 8B.
• A 9B and extra 6B Derwent pencil because I use those pencils  so much.
• Kum hand pencil sharpener.
• Mechanical .05 mm pencil with 4B lead for fine details.
• Pentel click eraser.
• Kneaded eraser.
• Small pointed blending tool to soften and fill some areas.

As you can see, my favorite pencils for graphite portraits are the 4B, 6B, 8B, 9B.
Any pencil is good for your sketch book.  Now start drawing! :)

Saturday, September 23, 2017

I See You Dog Portrait, Graphite

This Aussie dog portrait is almost finished. I love working in graphite pencils on a favorite dog breed, the Australian Shepherd.

This girlie's eyes say "I see you, you are loved" to me :) It is the message that shines from our companion's eyes whenever they look at us.




The Faber Castell 9000 pencils are awesome and I'll finish the darkest areas soon for contrast.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

I See You, Dog Art Portrait

Playing with my new Faber Castell 9000 graphite pencil set. The smooth leads stay sharp and leave rich marks, shading beautifully.

Also using a .05 Pentel hi-polymer lead in a mechanical pencil with a 4B lead helps get fine lines without sharpening. I love drawing animals. It's great to flip to drawing after the marathon mosaic mural :) Drawing is my foundation since forever.




This Aussie girl lives in Switzerland. The graphite is a study for a painting to establish the main values (lights and darks).  I was going to use it as an underpainting, but decided to let it stand on it's own.

Grisaille underpainting is really helpful when painting.  It is a technique many of the old and new masters use.
The main work of composition and values is established in black and white. Then it's just a matter of coloring or painting over it.

I like to establish the darkest areas first in relation to the lightest. Then it's easier to find your middle values. The eyes are usually the focal point in portraits. Get them right and the rest falls into place... usually ....

Monday, August 28, 2017

Artful Oasis

The finished mural with a few photo edits :)

After blending out some of the palm tree on the yellow area and color adjusting.




Before photo editing. Early morning was the best time to finish the edges, but the light was in a lot of shadow.  The mosaic mural was centered over the pool.  Their landscaper put the palm trees on either side after the installation.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Red Glass Mosaic Mural Progress

Can't wait to see this on the wall, sparkling with it's rich jewel toned colors!

Almost ready to grout, and the optional water bubble circles will be left out of the mural.

With the heavy moisture in the air, installation will be moved another week so the adhesive will have time to cure. The adhesive will continue to cure for about a month, but a week will be good for installation.

The grout will be a neutral gray in a middle tone, maybe 2 shades. Fast forward a couple of years in the intense Tucson desert climate  and it will fade to a shade lighter, as all exterior things do.
Except glass, ceramic, stone, some metals!




Thursday, August 10, 2017

Red Glass Mosaic Mural


6'x2.5' stained glass mosaic *** Almost Finished! *** Yay!

Just the tip to go. Then going back to add in bubbles (circles), accents, adjustments etc. If I get the glow tiles in time, I'll use them for some of the bubbles in the blue areas. Using iridescent glass now.

Will use dark grey grout as it will fade in a few years to light grey in the intense sun. Maybe black in the red areas.

Black marks in the center are where the mosaic halves join. Blue stickers are where the bolts go to install. Sanded calk will finish the edges when installed.

Fabricated with glass from local Expressions Art Glass and my stash of glass :)
To be installed at exterior pool area. Stay tuned for installation news.






Thursday, July 20, 2017

Red Abstract Glass Mosaic

A peek at the progress of this lovely glass mosaic.
Each glass piece is carefully matched in color, hand cut, shaped. Hundreds of pieces go into a mosaic.  It's further along now and I'll take new pics to share soon.












Wednesday, July 19, 2017

St. Anthony and the Silver Hoops


A small, strange magical story that happened last week.

Have you ever heard of of the little prayer to St. Anthony regarding lost objects?




I've always used it with good results - don't ask. I'm not an organized religion follower, yet I enjoy some of the Catholic saints.  I'm known for my St. Francis artwork and enjoy painting them because of the love and relationship he had with nature and animals.

St. Anthony is another person who has had a positive effect.
My little magic story:

I wore a pair of silver hoops shopping one day and discovered one missing when I got back into my hot car after shopping . I went back into the store and asked if anyone had turned it in - of course not.

I was bummed. So even though the earring had been lost at the store, I repeated the little prayer several times when I got home, then gave up. This was three weeks ago.

The other day, I got a back pack out I hadn't used -  since May. When I reached into the front pocket, there was the other silver hoop earring...
Honestly, I was astonished and in wonder - but refrained from the usual questions. Focused on Gratitude instead :)
Yes, magic Does exist, especially when we least expect it.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Coral Reef Mosaic Design

A custom mosaic design of the rich, colorful, vibrant life in a coral reef for a dear friend and mosaic artist Mermaids Sea Jewels.
Mermaids Sea Jewels specializes in beautiful medical alert jewelry and will fabricate the mosaic in her bathroom renovation. I can't wait to see her progress and am very excited for her.

Coral Reef Mosaic Custom Design,  by Sue Betanzos for Mermaids Sea Jewels

It's a large, ambitious undertaking that will be a creative journey she will document as it goes.
The mosaic will be fabricated in tile.  There are three panels surrounding the bathtub. The square in the center panel is the shower niche. The left panel will have the shower fixtures.

The floor of the bathroom was a custom design of playful, colorful blue swirls of iridescent blue tiles surrounded by sandy colored matt tiles - magical.

The concept was to use the line art and color key similar to a coloring book. This allows for artistic interpretation to serve as a creative spring board when fabricating - putting her own spin on it to make it her style.
The color illustration was done in colored pencil as a guide she will use when choosing tile. There is a scaled line art drawing (before coloring) that she has already printed, enlarged to full bathroom size on a banner printer at Kinko's to serve as a blueprint guide to mosaic from.



My Library Journey

A small peek at my process this summer.

After I upgraded my Mac, I lost my old version of Photoshop and MS Word.
This has me going to the library to use their software, tables - and enjoy their very cold A/C.

 ❤️ I'm a big supporter of libraries, bookstores, books, reading. Like all book lovers, I also have my own collection of dear books, like old friends.

I Love Books!


The library has always been a "home away from home" for me and this summer it has been another little studio for my drawing and digital work. I've known everyone there since 2000 or so. Seen it renovated, and just got new carpet.

Editing with public software and computers: While I'm not fond of PC's, it's good to have them available to use. Also the scanner on the copier is very good and large enough for works up to 11x17" and at up to 600 dpi scans.
The software GIMP is similar to Photoshop... bare bones version.

Eventually I'll purchase new software. For now, going to the library forces me into a new, comfortable, familiar environment and out of the isolation of the studio (part of the reason I continue teaching).






Friday, July 7, 2017

Rich Red Abstract Mosaic

Went glass shopping at Expressions Glass and I am working on this vibrant colored stained glass mosaic. It's large 6' x 2.5' for an exterior pool area. I will be posting stages in the creation of this mosaic from design to completion and installation.

Had to clear out and reorganize the studio, which was a good thing.
In fact, I'll be having a small online studio sale to find loving homes for a few pieces of art in a variety of media :)

Hand colored full size cartoon, ready to use



Coloring the bulk/Wht banner print out for color matching and because I like to color!
Used an old set of pastels to color the 6' x 2.5' print out.



Original art proposed for pool site. Changed to current curves.



It will be mosaics of stained glass in rich colors inspired by Georgia O' Keefe.
Also, working another mosaic that I am designing for a friend. She will be fabricating it in tile. It's super cool, I love it and will do a separate post for it.





Monday, May 29, 2017

St. Francis Love

St. Francis pet portrait paintings always get a lot of love. Whimsical, cheerful, full of details and color.  St. Francis pet portraits are very personal keepsakes of happy memories with our beloved furry companions.

Visit my Art Of Sue Etsy shop HERE  for St. Francis commissions and prints.

St. Francis and Kitties has been featured in Etsy's Catholic art collection Polyvore religious art, Pinterest, Facebook and more.  Here is this week's featured St. Francis pet portrait image: (sorry about the big watermark.)

St. Francis and Kitties pet portrait. Art Of Sue for commissions and prints.