Monday, October 31, 2011

Note to Self ...

I HAD to post this - it completely cracked me up when I saw it!!!!
Himself and me.
The first note to self today was to buy a new riding bra. There is nothing worse for a rider than cruising along at a beautiful, even pace - the horse is giving his all - and your bra strap has decided to migrate south! 
Herself - Miss Maddy
First washes of aureolin and quin. burnt orange
A glaze of cobalt blue, to tone down the previous washes 
Getting into the quin. violet and more quin. burnt orange
The paint was flying at this point, and I managed to get a fine spray of burnt orange on her face. Considering that will be one of my primary colors on her face, I don't think it will be noticeable. The second note to self is to buy some good masking fluid, and try using masking film!
More quin. violet, and indanthrone blue.
I am not sure if I haven't gone too dark and too brown. I may start again, and leave the background white.
As ever, please feel free to leave comments!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Before I Hit the Proverbial Sack ...

I think the was the last version posted ... 
I've done a lot of darkening. It still needs a bit more, as well as some judicious lifting in the fur.
A new sketch I am working on, of a beautiful mare called "Madelaine".
And yes, I am very keen to paint her!
Unbelievably, the dwarf sweet peas are still valiantly blooming!
I took this photo this morning.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Tale of the Haunting Bunny ... the One Haunting Me!

Cute rabbit reference photo
Reasonable sketch
Light glazes on B., using cobalt blue
I used staining colors for background , and it looked much too intense, so I scrubbed with sponge to lighten
Darkening B., using aureolin, quin. pink and indanthrone blue
Re-working background, using viridian [I've never used it before]
I am hoping it tones things down, and adds a more gentle green
Viridian worked well, I think.
Added some shadow around B. and leaves.
I've got a light glaze of the darker grey on his face, and I am starting to think there may be hope for the rabbit.

I am being haunted by the ghost of Smokey. He was a friend's pet for years, and for her birthday [in May] I thought I would paint Smokey. The only photos she could find were less than helpful, so I found some reference photos, and set out from there. The first attempt was OK, but Laara said he was darker. When I glazed to darken, I lost all definition; it looked like a grey Schmoo. For those of you who are younger, there once was a cartoon called L'il Abner. One of the characters, actually there were tons of them, was called a schmoo. Essentially, they were little, slightly elongated blobs, with faces. [My sister has a schmoo; she insists it is a pug]
I really like to be able to do a good job in whatever I do, so I am finding myself somewhat frustrated by this painting, hence the HAUNTING!
As always, please feel free to leave any comments! [back to the schmoo] 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fun with Fungi ... or ... the Mushrooms Are Done

I think I left off here ...
More detail, and glazing overall
More of the same
Added some shadows to the mushrooms, as they were looking very flat.
Next project

I think the mushrooms are all right. They don't thrill me to bits, but I would certainly like to do more of that runny wash with staining colors. It's a bit difficult, as they run so quickly, but the effect is so beautiful. Next time, I'll use masking fluid, and do several washes to get more depth.
The bottom sketch is what I am working on now. I wasn't pleased with the last one; it lost too much detail in the fur with the last glaze. It just was not a happy bunny!
As always, feel free to leave comments - I love them!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Thought Mushrooms Would Be Easy ...

A photo I took while out walking recently
Working sketch
First [and scrapped] wash
Second time better
MANY more glazes on the shroomers

Initially, I was going to do a soft tree-ish background, but decided it would be too overwhelming for the simplicity of the mushrooms.  I did a very w/w wash of phthalo green mixed with quin. burnt orange, and added drops of aureolin. It was a bit hard to "control", but I think it turned out. The rest of the painting is, and will continue to be,  very thin glazes softened to almost nothing.  I lost all track of time this evening, so this is it for tonight. As ALWAYS, please leave a note if you have a question or comment.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Great Day All Round ...

Finished vignette
The Grande Dame   11 x 15 in. / 28 x 39 cm.
Looking NE from the lower levels of High Point
Wonderful walking/riding trail on perimeter
Looking NW
Looking NE from far side of H.P.
One of my favorite views form H.P.

Great day! Took 4 paintings over to High Point [a large "equestrian estate" around the corner].  They have a large community building, overlooking the huge indoor arena, that is used by members and others who wish to rent the facility. Apparently there is a lot of "traffic", and the manager was keen to display the paintings. I hope someone falls madly in love with them, and can't imagine a life without them! [Hahaha]
I did a few hours of painting after that, and managed to get the car finished - I think. Then my friend [and landlady] invited the Boxer Girls and I out for an hour and three-quarters hike around the perimeter of High Point. The entire development is enclosed by a very well-maintained pedestrian/riding trail. And it was a glorious day [clear and 18*C - felt like a summer morning].
I got back, changed into riding gear, groomed the lad, and had a short and sweet ride. I am keeping the rides short, so I allow his muscles to come back easily, and to keep the ride positive. He is learning to carry himself [as we say in the horse world]. He is developing the awareness and the balance and musculature to shift  his weight and propulsion system to his hind end. Left to their own, horses tend to use their front end - awkward, unbalanced, and tending to break down more quickly. In Nature, I suppose it doesn't matter as much, as horses do not live as long as they do when cared for in a domestic setting [THAT sounds awkward!]
Anyway, I must remember today when it is pouring rain or snowing outside. And as ever, please feel free to leave comments.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Goose Hunt

Where I get my real farm-fresh fruits and veggies.
You can just make out the North Shore mountains in the distance.
First stop ... ducks
Some attractive [ie. paintable] peppers
Another paintable, gourdish plant
Geese and goslings
My favorites, so big and handsome and low-slung
This should make an interesting painting
All in a row

I set out to get some greens this afternoon, and, as always, passed a small farm I have been meaning to visit for years.  They have poultry, most importantly - geese. So I pulled in and tried to find the owner. A Chinese woman eventually appeared, speaking almost no English [and me, no Cantonese]. I think she gave me an OK to take photos of the geese, so  off I went. I waded through muck and soft soil to find a way into their pens, and it was worth it! Of course, they weren't into posing, so I had to be very quiet and still, down on my knees, to get some shots, and then quietly and unobtrusively follow them around. But I have my goose photos. I find them so handsome and awkward at the same time - love them.
My shoes, after the great goose hunt.

ALMOST There ...

I left it here last night ...
Here now ... just a lot of diddly small things to touch up

At the expense of leaving the lad to find his own amusement today [I didn't ride], I've made fair headway on this painting. I'm feeling somewhat shcrumfly [at odds with myself - I have tons of things that need doing, and I can't seem to get to any of them - GRRRR] Best to leave the painting before I do something wrong.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Going Cross-eyed, but Pleased with the Results ...

As she is now
I've been working mostly on the front end

I was very excited with how the "grande dame" was coming along, so I HAD to post a progress report.  We had a heavy frost last night; I think it's gone now, so I can go out and play with Bruno!
To be continued ...  [by the way, I love dots ... ...]

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Update ... or I Need a Break ...

I think I left off here ...
Added some background, to give myself an idea of how dark to go with the car, and to give it a ground
More car color [brown madder]
Some "grass" in front [which looks like it will need some shape change] and a lot of fussy detail work on the car, most of which I can't even see on this screen!

The Boxer Girls have been taken home for the weekend, but they'll be back. Their mom misses them so much; she picks them up Friday night, and then brings them back Sunday evening. So now I have time for my things - Bruno and painting, and some gardening, too.
I still like the old car, but it has reached the fussy detail stage. I needed a break, so I thought I would post what I have so far. I must admit, it has been much more interesting/challenging to paint without a photo propped beside me. I find myself having to think and plan more.
I had a small inner debate earlier - painting or watching an end-of-the-world movie. I LOVE apocalyptic movies. It must be a carry-over from my younger years. I still remember my dad pointing out the satellite "Sputnik" to me, as it sailed overhead. And it was the time of the Cold War, when anyone who had a nuclear or hydrogen bomb to blow up was doing so. I really did have dreams [nightmares?] about trying to run away from some inescapable doom. Sorry, sometimes I get a bit grim!
Back to NOW. If any of you would like to comment, you are more than welcome to leave a note. I love them.