Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Welcome to Venus - Ray Bradbury style

The BrunZ

Placed shadows 1st, then my fave animal colors - quin. burnt orange, and quin. violet

Keep building up with same pigments

Almost looking like a horse

More modelling

I just added the mane/forelock.
Looks like it needs more depth

Some quick sketches I did from photos on a friend's site
Peter, these are your birds. I tried for over an hour to find out what that big-footed bird is - I still don't know.

   I have only done a bit of playing around with pencil and brush today. The study of Bruno is on a 9 x 10.5 inch piece of Arches 140 lb. CP. I wanted to try putting down the dark cast shadows first, and then work the painting from there. It seemed to do well, but I felt very constricted working on something that small. I don't think I would make a very good "daily painter".
   The birds are based on photos from a friend's blog. He was out in "his" park the other day, where there is actually spring weather happening, and took some great photos.
   That brings me to Ray Bradbury and Venus. He wrote a superb book, "The Illustrated Man" [which was also made into a credible movie] The book was comprised of several short stories based on the tattoos on a man's body. One of the tales was about three  astronauts  trapped on Venus. This Venus had a breathable atmosphere, but it was CONSTANTLY raining so heavily that if you were outside without protective gear, you would more than likely go mad. OK, weird and extreme. [I loved it; I lived on science fiction when I was younger] To make a long story even longer, our weather here on the "Wet Coast"  definitely reminds me of that story.
   Cheers! And I hope you are having better weather wherever you are. Thank you for dropping by!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Lovely Day on the Farm

SE corner of Bruno's field, showing small berm on other side of electric fence

THIS is what was catching his eye

Three young bucks, out for a late lunch

Really shedding out

One would watch me, & the other two would graze

Very calm & quiet

   I had just finished untacking the lad, and had let him loose in his paddock. He was VERY interested in one spot just outside his field. I looked, and there were three "somethings" out there. So I opened the gate to let Bruno out on the field, and then quietly wandered out myself. I got part way to the other end, and thought I saw deer. So I quietly turned around and went back to the house to get my camera. 
   I slowly meandered again across the field, pretending not to look at the deer. Even so, they started to leave their grazing spot, and move away from me. I carefully kept on, then crawled through he electric fencing, and climbed the low berm. The deer were unsure. I sat down, and hoped they would take me as a "friendly"; they did!  I was up there, quietly taking photos, and just watching them for about half an hour. At one point, two of the bucks reared up, and had a bit of a fisty-cuffs .. all in play. [I've seen kangaroos do so, but never deer.]
   It was a glorious day, made all the more so by being permitted to enjoy the presence of the deer.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Old Stomping Grounds ... or ... This One Is Not Going Any Further

The Old Stomping Grounds
10 x 15.5 inches
    The painting above, I did about eight years ago. It is loosely based on a painting done even further back in time, by a woman artist from Vancouver. I never "copy", but the scene was SO well-known to me; I grew up very near here, and spent over thirty tears in the area.
   The scene is of an old store, a combination corner store and meat market. The convenience store [that term was not even in use in those days] was right across the street from the local high school, Magee H.S., and was usually packed with kids on school days. The butcher shop next door was small but well-supplied. The wooden floors were sprinkled with fresh cedar shavings. Most of the men who worked there were fond of dogs, and the neighborhood dogs were certainly LOVED of the store.  At least once a week, a pack of the local hounds would descend on the meat store and wait outside. Then came the treats, and you would see dogs heading for home with their goodies. I remember watching our family dog, Heathcliff [the name was from Wuthering Heights - I was very dramatic as a teenager] struggling for home, with a bone the size of his head.WOW ... he scored!!!
   When I did my interpretation, I placed all our family dogs in the foreground - from left to right, it's Ben [a rescued Bernese mountain dog] Heathcliff [or St. Heathcliff as he is remembered, a whippet/cocker spaniel cross] Ripley [another saint of a dog] and the boxer sisters [Lucy and Desi] Lucy and Desi are the only ones still with us, and they are doing very well, and are quite pampered.
Starting re-do - 14 x 21 inches
Painting simply, back to front.

I got this far before I saw my mistake; as usual, it's a drawing error.
The small diamond-shaped window is off center.

In 2 stages, I used masking tape, and then gently scrubbed with Magic Eraser.
I thank John Salminen for his video on removing unwanted color.

Cleaned up, and thin glaze of aureolin applied.

Phthalo green [yellow shade] applied.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lighting Effects & iPhoto Are Making Me Crazy [ or Crazier than Usual]

I think I left off here - darkened left [in photo] of neck

Same stage, different lighting 
Last three photos are at same stage today, with outdoor light, but different adjustments in editing.

No editing, other than cropping

   Miss Carmella is coming along very, very nicely; I am quite pleased with the portrait. But I find myself very frustrated with the editting; the bright colors [tip of collar, and dog tag] seem to appear true to the original image. The "animal" colors just do not do  the painting justice. Ah, well ...
  I e-mailed the painting image to a friend and fellow artist, Deborah Strong, as she also does a lot of animal portraiture, in colored pencil. She is the same woman who held the silk painting class last week. On her recommendation, I darkened the tongue, closest to the upper lip [do dogs have lips?] And I darkened the pinks near her flews and the gums and teeth. I glazed a bit more warmth into the eyes with quin. burnt orange and quin. violet. I'd like to get the chain done today sometime, and then put it aside for a day or two before really critiquing it. But I also would love to spend some time with Bruno today; I left him to his own devices on Wednesday, and Thursday I had to go to work.
   As always, all comments and criticisms are most welcome!!! Thank you all!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Something Different Today

Deb's studio

Deb, on far left, instructing

A simple example

My aunt, totally absorbed in her work

Linda, graphic designer, completely into her painting

EEK ... my 1st attempt

My next attempt, photographed in a bit of a hurry

My aunt's work

Another student's work

Most of Linda's work, which was fabulous

My hands, when I got home [they will be colored this way for almost a week]

   Deb Strong is an artist friend of mine [and was also an avid horse person, so we have a lot in common] She paints beautiful animal portraits and intimate nature scenes in colored pencil, as well as creating rich painted silk artwork. My aunt very much wanted to take her introductory course, so she generously signed both of us up.
   The course was one day, and gave us all a taste of what it is like to paint on silk. It is QUITE different from watercolor on paper ... WOW!!! But everyone found the process to be a heck of a lot of fun, and I know my aunt and I would love to do more. Another student, Linda, was so completely absorbed in her creative process, she did not speak, and we had to check to ensure she was still breathing. [kidding ... she was totally gone into her work] 
   A great time was had by all, and I would like to thank Deb for her wonderful instruction, and kindness for hosting us at her studio. And I must thank my aunt for her generousity in allowing me to attend the session.
   I almost forgot to mention - there is an excellent web site with several painters' work available for viewing. it is the "silk painter's guild", and the work is exquisite.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Carmella Continued

I think this is where I left off yesterday.
Taken in morning light.

Taken with flash
Some detail work around tongue/mouth.

More color around mouth.

Afternoon light.
Still working around mouth.
Very distorted color and value with flash.
All colors are placed [not at finished value]
except for chain and dog tag.

   I must say I am quite excited about how this portrait is coming along! The last photo I took [at night] does it NO justice whatsoever. But it's getting late, it is very hard to paint with blacks at night, and I am working as a dental hygienist tomorrow. So, off to bed!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Evolution of a Yellow Lab ... or ... Miss Carmella Will Need More Time than I Thought

I started off with a fairly detailed sketch.
This is on 13 x 18 inches.

I've done the first VERY light washes of aureolin & quin. burnt orange.
The watercolor paper is 15.5 x 22.5 inches.

I had to get the eyes done, so somehow it looked a bit like a dog.
The nose has several glazes done, the tongue 2 or 3 washes, and
I have started putting in washes of a grey for shadows.


More intensity all round, and I found I needed more aureolin on the neck and chest. 

I took this photo in morning light today, and primarily posted it
to show the effect of different lighting.

Here I am now. And it's 11:15 PM ... time for bed.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Kouza Dogwood

After the last session, I added some cobalt blue from the bottom up

More blue

Some darkening of leaves
Also, photo taken in daylight - WHAT a difference 

Completed ... I think
   When I was at Darts Hill last June [for an art event] I had an opportunity to spend some time taking pictures before the public arrived. It was a glorious evening with perfect lighting, so I took as many photos as I had time for. One of the "models" was an Oriental or Kouza dogwood, with a very elegant flower. Here are my photos, and my interpretation of one of the shots.