Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This Bottle Is CURSED ... or ... Time for a Break!

Unwanted blob of masking fluid on base of nose
Yes, dear Buddy - finally to be painted, if I stop making bloopers!
Photo I sent to Anne Zoutsos, asking for advice.
She is a fabulous painter of dog portraits.
N.B. - her comment "eh?" Didn't figure that one out till last night. Anne sent me the annotated photo 4 months ago. [bit slow on the uptake on that one!!]
First washes going very nicely. Then ...
I saw his head was the wrong shape!!! Too big on the left side of the painting.

While I wait for the spilled masking fluid to dry [again], I thought I would post an update on my painting.  Starting from the top photo, I managed to slop mask on the painting while I was prepping it. I am starting again, because last night I saw  - FINALLY - the huge sketching error I had made months ago. I had written Anne Zoutsos for help and advice, and she generously gave it, with her usual dry and brilliant sense of humor thrown in for good measure. I could not figure out what her comment "eh?" meant, until last night. I kept looking at the head where I next wanted to apply a darker wash, and it just looked wrong. Finally, the light bulb went on over my head - BINK! I had sketched the head outline as far as the ear, then added the ear, making it even larger. Using staining colors as usual, I couldn't lift, so drew another Buddy on wc. paper last night, and started applying mask this morning. So there I am, and there you are - all caught up on my "progress". I think the mask should be dry; I'll go back and get it right ! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Drastic Measures ... Well, Drastic for a Watercolor Painter

I left Miss Maddy here, a few days ago. To me, she looks somewhat like those strange monkeys with bald, pink or red faces!
I did some lifting with a soft sable brush, to start. That was scary!
This is a daylight shot.
This is an inside/flash shot.

First, I gently lifted color several times, no blotting, just wiping the brush and going back in.   Then I went over the entire face [not muzzle] and neck with a thin glaze of quin. gold. This was recommended by Linda Young, another blogging watercolor painter, from the Eastern U.S. The quin. gold has a bit of a greenish cast, and I was hoping it would tone down the excessive red/purple I found her to be. I think it did that, but as usual, I'm not sure I am completely pleased with the painting yet! So what else is new??? As always, all comments are happily received!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

More Gourds ... or ... Another Process YAY

This is the photo I was taking when those seed pods caught my attention.
Simple sketch for watercolor.
Light glazes to start.
For gourds, I use aureolin, new gamboge and quin. siena
For fence, it's indanthrone blue, quin. violet and quin. burnt orange.
I did a bit more shadowing before getting into the local color.
Intensifying the gourd colors
Starting the pattern on the large gourd.
I've painted the stems with a light brown, and the dark is the phthalo green mix.
I have pretty much completed the patterning, and my eyes are going cross-eyed, so I think I'll call it a night!!
As always, all comments are most welcome!

Monday, November 21, 2011

What They DON'T Tell You about Being an Artist ...

This isn't QUITE the color, but it gives you an idea.
An older painting that looks quite good matted.
Another oldie, looking fine.
Wild snail done last summer. The green mat suits him.
The sea turtle is perfect in deep blue.
This one was a bit awkward. We finally decided to pick up on the dark blue in his forelegs.
Another oldie, spiffed up with a teal mat.
An old study I painted of antique farming equipment, stored at a nearby park.
Another older painting, the better for the green mat.
The peony was a difficult decision for matting. We chose to accent the dark central color. 
The iris pods look good in warm green.
Grace, of course, gets a black mat.
Picked up the deep blue shadows with the mat color.
A study I did of Carmel.
This mat picked up on the dark green in the iris stem.
And the orange went well with the goose's feet.

A week ago, my aunt and I took 16 paintings to  the local art supply store, to do some mat selection. We were there for over 2 hours, sorting samples and having a good time [believe it or not].  I picked up the cut mats,  some acid-free linen hinging tape, and clear acetate sleeves to protect the matted paintings on Sunday, and spent some time today mounting them all. It never ceases to amaze me how much a piece of colored  cardboard around a painting can improve its appearance!!! I am so very pleased with how they look, I had to share. [ They are mounted squarely- it's my photography that is crooked]
This is all in preparation for a Christmas art show being held on Dec.4, at a gallery called Watershed Artworks, in North Delta. I have done very few shows [last year only] but I know I have a better idea of how to prepare myself, and present my paintings this time.
As always, all your comments are most welcome!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What I've Been Playing with Today ...

Sketch, loosely based on some of my photos
HAH ... looks like there is nothing there, but there is a very thin glaze of aureolin.
Still pussyfooting, with very thin washes
Ah ... that's better. Colors used are aureolin, quin. siena, phthalo green [blue], new gamboge
Just intensifying colors on all the gourds
Gourds I
6.5 x 7.5 in. framable image

I didn't want to put much of a background, just a bit more of a connection between the gourds.  I loved the pattern on the large one; it caught my eye when I was shopping last week. As ever, all comments and questions are most welcome!

Friday, November 18, 2011


This is an illustration by Allen Cantrell.
The caption reads "Shit, I hate winter!"
That about sums up my sentiments toward this time of year.
Lucy, modeling a winter coat I bought at the tack shop.
Desi, showing off hers.
It's the same color as Bruno's!
A neighbor touching up her snowman.

Yes, it's true - I HATE winter. While we're on a similar vein, I hate Christmas, too. There ... I am a Grinch, and proud of it! We rarely get a long cold spell. But I do remember one a few years ago, when I was carrying buckets of hot water to the barn for weeks, because the pipes froze. I swear my arms are longer as a result of that session!
I still have my sister's Boxers living with me. They have been here since Denise's house flooded in late September, and I have a feeling they will be here till the end of the year, when the renovations are completed. Denise asked me if I could look at blankets for them, so off we went today to my favorite tack shop, where they have dog blankies as well as horse gear. I picked up two for Denise to look at, when she comes over this weekend to visit her girls.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Obsessive Thoughts ... or Time for a Break

I woke up early this morning, thoughts and ideas whirring and flying around. This portrait was one of the things pestering me.
The last photo is where she stands now, though the colors are more saturated. It's  there, but it isn't. I am not pleased with the front of her face, nor her forelock and mane. I came up with two "solutions". Either I do some sort of muted, soft and almost splotchy type of background on the left, to tone down the redness of the coloring, and add some local color to her face, OR ... I START AGAIN! [which I really do not want to do]  So I think I will leave Miss Maddy for a day or two. I work in the office today, so that will be a good break from painting. Then I'll start playing with the other horse portrait commission, or better yet, do some completely different project.
As always [and even more so right now], all comment are most welcome!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

... Still Creeping ...

from last night's episode ...
more color on face and neck [believe it, or not]
Hah ... it snuck up on you, didn't it? It IS starting to look like a horse!

And if I spent the time painting that I do on the computer, I could be finished much sooner.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Well, The Slug Is Moving Faster than I Am ...

I left off here
I am still primarily using a scrumbling technique. It seems to give the most realistic texture for her coat.
Very slowly, I am adding depth, and modifying colors.

I had a riding lesson this morning, and Bruno was a star! When we  finished, I asked Rhonda to come in, and look at what I had done with Maddy so far. She really liked the head on the first painting, and agreed that this is a much better "pose".  So I shall continue  ... s l o w l y ... scrumbling my way to fame and fortune!  :)