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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

With a GREAT Sigh of Relief ... the Hollyhock Is Done!


Finished glazing aureolin on the flowers ...

... then started on the leaves. They have a nubbly surface, so I tried to create that impression by sponging first.

I then glazed with some phthalo green and gold, and indanthrone and gold for the darker areas.


Glazed over all with the same two mixtures.


TA - DAH! Well, not really. It was very difficult to get the look of shadows on yellow, as well trying to maintain the delicate feel of the petals.  I am very happy to call this DONE!

I did a black/white edit to see how the values came out compared to the original photo.


I also did a touch up on an oldie from a year ago, darkening the shadows. I think one of my big faults in painting is being too cautious. 
Meanwhile we have been having the most un-Vancouver-like winter.  It's been very cold since the beginning of December, with several dumps of snow. This was taken on our walk Sunday. we have had more snow since then, and still more predicted for tomorrow. Everyone you talk to here has said "ENOUGH"!! Our weather is usually with 0 - 5 C temperature, and rain, not -10c and snow. We are a pampered lot here in Lala Land :)

After a hard slog through the snow, it's good to have a lie-down in front of the fire.

And Bruno has done nothing for over two months. It's going to be interesting getting back to riding - for both of us.

This was my beast on Sunday. I've dug it out twice since then.

Thank you all for dropping by! Stay warm and safe!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

As I Drag My Brain, Kicking and Screaming, to Paint What I SEE not What I THINK I See

A detailed drawing, with all my scribbled notes [probably phone numbers and to-do lists, too]

I may have posted this earlier. This is the second attempt to get the color and darkness I want in the background -  about eight w/w washes ...

Using indanthrone, quin. pink and aureole to get flower colors; phthalo green, gold and burnt orange for the leaves and stem.

More glazes - starting to look like hollyhocks.

This is where my brain is balking. I "see" yellow and shadows, but somehow cannot make myself paint those shadows dark enough to look real - give the petals depth, form, curvature. A yellow hollyhock should not be blue! ARRGHHHHH!!! Looks like it's time for guts, "damn the torpedoes", whatever.
To be continued

Thank you all so much for dropping by!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Well ... THIS Is Going to Take a While!!! Latest Work in Progress

My Tracing. I really do prefer drawing free hand, but when the subject is this complex, and the details are necessary, I trace from my photo.

The subject

The colors. The pink hollyhocks, from my sister's garden, have beautiful shapes and shadows, but I thought I'd try doing them in yellow. The above photo is from my landlady's garden.

MANY glazes, starting with aureolin, then  gold with phthalo green, and several of  phthalo green and burnt orange for the darks.

Finally finished all the glazing yesterday, and am starting the subject.  I found I didn't get as much streaking from applying water to pre-wet before glazing by instead wetting gently with a spray bottle. So far, I am  using aureolin, and quin. pink with the blue shade of phthalo green for the shadows [weird combination though it seems] And I am staying with gold, burnt orange and phthalo green [yellow shade] for the greenery.
Once again, I leapt in without fully appreciating how difficult this would be. But we'll see what happens. I think I'll need to have a couple of "easier" paintings on the side to work on when I start going cross-eyed with all the detail on the hollyhocks.

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Distracted Parent!!!

My model - the distracted parent
"Me ... me ... come after me - my wing is broken"

My drawing, initially focussing on the head

First w/w applications of a warm grey-brown and some black
The eye done with a brighter orange - quin. sienna

Adding more burnt orange, and intensifying the detail of the head

Lovely burnt orange, applied w/w, using both a thin and also much thicker mixture, and intensifying the details of the head and neck

Tail feathers painted w/w with the warm brown then thick black dropped onto the tips and allowed to flow

A bit more detail added to the tail feathers, and she is done
"Distracted Parent"  33 x 28 cm
I debated whether to add some background - probably some light sponging  at the bottom with  the grey-brown to suggest ground. But I decided the tail feathers had become the focus; anything around them would be a distraction.
Colours used - quin. burnt orange, quin. sienna, quin. pink, quin. violet, indanthrone, cobalt blue
We have killdeer here all year round, and quite often they nest in the field, riding ring or even the manure pile. After the chicks have hatched, they are immediately able to run - and they do - like the wind, all over the place. Their parents must have quite the job keeping track of them. When anything "predatory" [including me apparently] comes near to the nest or the chicks, mom and dad immediately go into what is called distraction display. They make noise, and spread their wings and tail feathers, and sometimes even seem to limp along to give the impression that they are helpless, so the "predator" goes after them rather than the kids. All righty - that's the Nature lesson for today!

Thank you so much for dropping by.



Monday, January 2, 2017

Two Simple Paintings ... Step by Step

I started this with aureolin over all, then  did the leaves in quin. gold with phthalo green, and  green with quin. burnt orange for the darker leaves. The branches were painted with orange, quin. violet and indanthrone.

I used the same colors for the broken reflections . Then mixed aureolin, a quin. pink and cobalt blue  to indicate water.

I used a darker grey [with indanthrone instead of cobalt] to add rain drops, and  accent the focal area.

I used almost all the same colors, tending more to the warms -  aureolin, quin. gold and burnt orange, phthalo green, quin. violet and indanthrone.


I warmed the focal area with a thin w/w application of gold, then some burnt orange was  drawn in and softened.
Both paintings are about 12 x 6 inches.

HAH!!! And I thought we would have a mild winter!!! All of December was fairly cold, then it started to snow at the end of the month. And got even colder!! Nights are down to -10 to -15 C., and not anywhere near freezing during the day.
This is one of the willows in the pond near Bruno's paddock. I have always wanted to do some paintings inspired by it, hence the willow branches.

His Imperial Highness is NOT amused. Actually he's quite warm, wearing a quilted under-blanket and a heavy winter blanket on top. And he gets small mountains of hay, especially at night. [Horses generate body heat when digesting, so always a good idea to increase their hay when cold out.] I had to turn off the water to the barn as the pipes freeze, so I am doing bucket brigade duty with hot water. We are both missing our time together!

As for Maggie, she is quite happy to be outside whatever the weather.

Thank you for dropping by, and I wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

... just a quickie ...

my drawing

some work done last night ...

... and finished this afternoon
The Floss  11.5 x 10 inches


I had to get a card quickly whipped up for Pat [my good friend and landlady] for Christmas. Neither one of us  have much in the way of  Christmas spirit - left to our own, we would let it slide by, and happily wait for Spring. But Pat bought me a fantastic winter coat, perfect for walking the dogs and working around the barn in this cold weather. She knows me, so she didn't wrap it, just hauled the coat out of its box and had me try it on 2 weeks ago, and I've been living in it ever since. I bought my usual for her - a hefty coupon for a nearby garden supply outlet. Then she has all the joy [and she does love her gardening] of selecting her plants for the Spring, and planting and caring for them. And I have the joy of admiring and drawing and painting them. Perfect arrangement.
The painting is of her dog, Shayna. The name is something that sounds like it came from Xena, Warrior Princess. So she usually is called Flossy or the Floss. She'll answer to anything especially if there is food involved. She ate a bird seed ball I put out a few days ago, and is always on the prowl for granola I leave out on the ground for the birds. Yup, she's a hoover. But she is adorable, and loving, and Maggie's [my dog] BFF!

That's all for now ... feels like time for a long winter's nap.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday!!!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Winter ...

This was Maggie yesterday, having a blast in the snow, but glad to get in later by the fireplace.

I HAD to get a photo of this jogger  - wearing shorts at 8 AM at minus-I don't-know-what cold!!!

Bruno, showing off his new blankie. He has 2 older ones that were keeping him dry, but becoming heavy with retained moisture. He is warm and snug even at -10C.


Haven't been doing much serious painting - just farting around, trying different effects for some hollyhock leaves ...



   ... and trying some big swaths of paint to get the look of a forest's edge. I really do not get along with sedimentary paints.

Doing a lot of drawing though - trying to get the proportions and perspective right for a painting I am doing for Scott, my farrier. We initially started off with Scott, his horse and his dog, and, at Scott's request,  have moved on to including all his past Border Collies [three of them]. The only photos he has of the older dogs are not digital, so it's difficult to make them out from 4 x 6 inch prints. For the shapes, I am googling Border Collie photos on the internet; the colors will be fine from the old photos. 





Some sketches of coyotes - was thinking of putting them by the woods' edge in a painting.

Bill, aka psycho-kittie - my sister's cat, and he really is completely unpredictable.  He has this odd trait - his eyes turn from light green to a very dark almost black; it really looks as if he is possessed!




A LOT more coyotes.  I was getting frustrated - they were looking  like house-pets, not wild animals.


I quite like this sketch so far, but feel the horse at 3/4 profile [not full profile as this is] makes a more powerful image.

So here it is, at my least-liked time of year. And a close friend [his wife and I are very good friends] is in hospice. All one can do is to always continue trying to see the good and the beautiful in life.

As always, thank you for your visit!