Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cindy, continued ...

I did a bit of VERY light glazing yesterday after work
More light glazing today
Face starting to take shape
   This part of the painting I am taking very slowly, applying very thin glazes to achieve fur texture. I am using my favorite animal color combination of burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone blue. in varying   proportions. More to follow.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Beginning for Cindy, the Ewok

Miss Cindy, looking every inch the Ewok

My sketch
Masked, with 1st couple of washes
   Having finally completed the other commission, I could now start on Cindy. I want a somewhat warm, grassy background, that does not overwhelm with detail, as her hair is quite textured. So, I started with a fairly even wash of aureolin. When dry, I did some sponging with quite dilute puddles of quin. gold, quin. burnt orange, and indanthrone blue. I then glazed over that with a mix of quin. gold and phthalo green. This is where I am right now, and debating whether the background has adequate intensity. Mind you, with a textured background, it's easier to play with, without having to worry so much about mucking up a smooth glaze.
   ... to be continued.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

ShedRow Christmas Event ... or ... DAMN, It's Cold!!!

Brunz at morning hay

Icicles from his blankets
   I woke up early to head out for the show, wanting to have plenty of time in case the roads were bad with more snow. Well, I first had to use a hair-dryer to heat the window frame so I could close the frozen-open window. Yeah, off to a good start!
   Then I went down to the barn to feed Bruno, who was quite warm and happy, thank you very much. The icicles on his blankets indicate he was warm enough to melt the snow on his blankets. Then, pack up, and off to the show.
   The roads were very clear, plowed and salted, so the drive was not the problem I'd anticipated. So I arrived at Barb's, set up, and was there in the barn till 4:00. It was COLD in the barn, but only 2 exhibitors left because of it. The rest of us visited, chatted, sipped hot drinks, and I think had a good time. I did sell a framed painting [one I almost didn't bring] to a woman who was very happy with her purchase. For me, having someone that pleased and excited about having and displaying one of my paintings,  is worth much more  than the sale.

Barb greeting Santa

The farm looks very different under snow

Santa stopping for a "smokie", before he heads out 

Onno's car , loaded with salt for the driveway

Again, looking very different

Mallards in the back pond

This close-up of a tulip has gone to a good home

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Dreaded Moment Has Arrived ...

View from front door

Around the corner

Poor hollyhocks

A valiant effort by lupines and calendula

Bruno, the blue bit in the distance, out in his field
   Yup, it came last night, the dreaded cold and snowfall. Thankfully there is very little snow, and I hear not much more is forecast. However, it is going to be below freezing during the day, and, dammit, I have to be at an art fair tomorrow and it is an open air venue.
   I don't even want to say much about winter, the cold, the snow, and the dark except that I hate it. You can't ride; horses don't ski very well. You can't drive; I've had two accidents in the snow,  one of them involving me spinning in circles on Highway 99, and only being stopped by the cement divider. I REALLY hate the snow!!!
   Enough! More about the show tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another Process or ... Why Did I Say I'd Do It?

Original pic, "doctored" for best contrast
My sketch
Several washes - aureolin, burnt orange, carmine, indanthrone
Some preliminary shadowing of horse with alizarin crimson + phthalo green
Building up horse with bt. orange, purple and dk. blue
More horse detail, + start on woman
More horse depth; woman looks a bit washed out
Looking better, but both need MORE depth, + somehow must fix horse's ear
   I have an older, sweet/crusty [meant only with fondness] patient in one of the offices in which I work. We developed a bit of a rapport at the first appointment, and now email to each other - interesting stories, jokes, that sort of thing. M. knows I paint, and recently asked if I could do a watercolor of a friend of his, for him to give as a gift. The picture he sent really wasn't suitable , so I googled her name, and amazingly found another photo. It's not a good photo for reference, but I played with it a bit, got a decent sketch, and set to work. It's going s...l...o...w...l...y, I suppose because I'd like to have a better reference, but I'm muddling along.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bathtime, or Patience Is a Virtue

   I've been working on two commissions lately, and should be starting a third this week. This portrait is to be a gift [if it turns out well] His name , his "barn name" anyway, is Duke. Duke is about 11 years old, and has had a very successful career as a jumper. He's BIG [17 hh.] and extremely personable. I'm painting him for his owner, Barb, who has given me several tactful and much-needed kicks in the ass about my art. Thank you, Barb.
Initial sketch

Mask on, and aureolin wash

More yellow, some carmine [I've not used it before]

More carmine, some indanthrone

Too purple; here painting is, after bath

A glaze of aureolin again

Some burnt orange

More burnt orange, and indanthrone

Masking off; starting to thinly glaze greys
   Duke is a beautiful grey, so to show off the depth and variation of  greys, I needed a dark background. So I started by masking out his head and neck, and doing wash after wash. At one point, I realized I had gone too purple. What to do? That's where the bath came in. I took off as much color as I could, dried it, and started again. I think the background has turned out very well, despite the bath. And now I'm playing with the greys; right now I'm using three mixtures - a warmer yellowed grey, a neutral silver grey, and a cool purple one. Here's the Duke, so far ...

... and I've been painting, too

Original photo
Masked edges, and 1st glazes
Background intensified, masking removed
Colors started with rose and leaves

   I know lately it seems all I do is chase after chinchillas, and "play" with Bruno. But hey, I work, too [sometimes] I did this rose for the upcoming ShedRow Christmas Fair, to be held this coming Saturday. It's a small [9.5 x 7.5 in.] watercolor, unmatted and unframed. I will be putting the price at $80.00 Cdn. Another post coming tonight.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chin Mystery Solved, or Bruno's Dilemma

   A the end of this day, it appears it has been one of learning more about the beasties with whom I live. First of all, one may assume from the photo, I have discovered the secret of Baby's  escape route.  He has managed to chew a chinchilla-sized hole through some very dense plastic. My aunt and sister, Barb, were visiting, and they were curious as to how the rascal escapes. So I put him in his "playpen", with cornstarch bath dust and toys. He very happily rolled in the dust for a few minutes, and then ... PRESTO, he was gone. Barb thought she saw a hole, and sure enough there it was, and the chin wasn't. He had a great time blitzing around the living room, then headed into the bedroom. All three of us followed, and closed the door. I wish I'd had a video of the "chase". There we were, three quite adult and supposedly mature women, crawling around on the floor , trying to catch the escapee. Somehow, Baby leapt in front of me, and I caught him. But they are SO fast. There was one point, where he was screaming from kitchen into bedroom, and had to do a 90 degree turn. His front end was scrabbling in the right direction, but his hind end was still going in the original direction - hardwood floors are not the best for sharp turns. Any way, back to the cage he went, and the three of us had a good laugh at Baby and ourselves!
   For the BrunZ, it was a reality check today. For the past several weeks, he's been acting a bit spooky, and he is NOT a spooky horse. Apparently, he's been acting this way to get a rise out of me. I had a lesson with Rhonda, my trainer, today. She is a very good, upbeat person, and always gives the horse all the consideration he/she deserves. While I was longeing the lad, he spooked, and leapt toward me, and in so doing, got the line caught between his left and right legs. I had to let the line go, or he would have dragged me. So he went tearing out of the ring and across the field. I retrieved him, Rhonda closed the gate to the field, and the fun started.
   In his previous life as a pacer at the track, he was taught to GO like a bat out of hell, and win. The civilized niceties of a pleasure horse are not yet quite clear to him. Add that to the fact that he's a bit stubborn and very big, and you could have a problem. "Whoa" does not always mean whoa to Bruno. His reply is "Could we try this in a few minutes?", or "Have your people talk with my people." If you want a safe horse, it MUST halt when you ask for a halt. Sometimes the training, to me, seems a bit extreme. But I've had enough accidents to realize that the training demands are necessary. So on to another lesson tomorrow. Either he will be more compliant, or he'll be loaded for bear.
Just to get an idea of his size
   So that's been my day with the beasties.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Another "Process", or what am I doing up at 2:00 in the morning?

    I've been playing with this for the past few days, between work-time and horse-time. Above is the finished painting. It will measure 11 x 5 inches when matted. Below is the process, from sketch to last fussy glazes.

Initial glazes of aureolin on iris, then mask perimeter, and slop on some very wet washes. Photo taken while still wet.
I have intensified the dark in the background a bit with same colors, and on the iris I've added more yellow, and started to shadow it . For that, I used a very dilute purple/blue glaze.
After 2 washes, I remove the masking fluid. The washes are aureolin, burnt orange and indanthrone blue. 
For the stem and bud, I use phthalo green, with burnt gold and burnt orange, and a purple/orange mix for the bud tip.
Just more depth of shadow and hue. I also lift the warmer shadow on the far right petal, and went to grey instead.