Category Archives: Sugar Skull

sugar skull portrait

Alice, sewing

This is kinda fun. Isn’t that a weird thing to say? It should always be fun, right? Sometimes it’s not, though. Sometimes it’s work.

But this one was fun. Partly because it’s Alice, my daughter. Partly because it was quite challenging. And even though I’m not sure it’s successful as a portrait, I learned a lot by doing it and it’s just fun to draw a face again. I like skellies, too, but faces are fascinating.

Anyway, I think using cool colors on the makeup was a mistake with this piece. So I will probably take another crack at it and try warmer whites instead. Plus, I think it’s just too dark. Warmer whites and lighter values overall.

sugar skull portrait

Alice I, 10×8″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia


Sugar Skelly Dancer #3

detail of finished skelly

Finished Sugar Skelly Dancer number 3, detail

Here’s a sugar skelly dancing in blue and yellow with marigolds on her head. I am enjoying this process so much. Sometimes pastels seem fussy. This is a nice change from the usual.

I like drawing with a felt tip very much and I like the cartoonier feel of these. I will probably continue to work with them, so expect more where this came from!



Doodle iterations

I got to thinking about the faces that I used to draw all the time and the couple of cement blocks that I did with those faces on them and wondering how I could incorporate some of this sugar skull-duggery into them.

So this morning when I got up I doodled some of what I was thinking, which naturally led to an actual skull and then I thought, I wonder what would happen if I drew it in Illustrator? So I did that, and it was okay, but lost some spontaneity in the translation, I think. This could have been due to the very cheap mouse I was using, now lying in pieces at the bottom of my wastebasket. But I thought I’d also try it with a stylus on my iPad using the ArtStudio app. I liked this better and feel like I should do more digital drawing/painting.

Of all of my iterations, I liked Doodle number 4 best. Do you have a favorite?


Win a sugar skull pastel portrait!

Heather, 10x8" pastel on UArt 600 paper by Marie Marfia

Heather, 10×8″ pastel on UArt 600 paper by Marie Marfia

I am offering a free 8×10″ Sugar Skull Pastel Portrait to one lucky winner of the raffle at my Skelly Show at The Red Sable in St. Augustine, Florida during the month of October, 2015!

What’s a Sugar Skull pastel portrait, you ask? First I start with your picture, then I sketch it out with pastels, adding sugar skull style details. Simple! Here’s a time-lapse video of my process:

Wouldn’t you love to see a portrait of yourself as a sugar skull-ized crazy person? To enter, all you have to do is go to my show (at The Red Sable, hours: Monday-Friday 10am-7pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, closed Sunday), fill out an entry and drop it in the Sugar Skull Portrait Raffle box. That’s it! I’ll draw a winner on the night of October 30 at my Artist Reception slash Day of the Dead Festival slash benefit for Childhood Cancer Research and it could be you!

Bonus, you can opt in to my Bone Appetit! mailing list so you’ll get all the latest Skelly news delivered right to your inbox every week, including free stuff and subscriber-only deals on originals, prints and cards.

This Sugar Skull Pastel Portrait is a $150 value! So hurry down to St. Augustine during October and get your name in the box! Someone’s going to win, and it might be you!

Would you like a Sugar Skull Pastel Portrait? Contact me for more information and to arrange payment and shipping. Thanks!