Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Devil Is in the Details

... and there are certainly a LOT of details here!

I think I've finished my road map - absolutely mandatory with this one.

I left Scott and Bruno here last night ...

I've started adding some color, and doing some dry lifting; a lot more of the same is needed yet.  Linda Roth said she'd never been mooned by a man and a horse at the same time. Trust Linda to come up with a great comment like that! Maybe I could call it "Two Full Moons"?

As always, I love to hear from you! 

Monday, May 28, 2012

More Runny Paint ... More Lifting ...

First wash and lift while wet

Second, with the same colors

Third wash, with three different brown shades, and lifting while wet
I think i'll do some dry lifting, and then add some color, depth and shadows.

WHY did I chose such a difficult flower???

I think I'll make it a bit easier [ I hope ] by changing the reds to whites.

As always, your comments are most welcome.

A Day for Frogs, Ducks and PAINTING

This photo of Bruno being shod lends itself to the saturated w/w lifting.

Couldn't find my old sketch, so I've done another one.

First w/w wash, with some lifting while wet.

Beautiful morning shot of some rhododendrons in the garden.

Little did I know I would need a color-coded road map - still working on it.

Once again, it's too wet for riding outside, so I guess I'll just have to paint. Actually, Bruno has been doing phenomenally well. He seems to like being ridden off seat-bones and legs. It gets very abstruse in a riderly sort of way. All horses have a preference as to how they like to be ridden - the hands, the leg, the seat-bones and weight, or a combination. Right now, the lad seems most responsive when I don't muddle and nitpick with his mouth; he just hums along on weight shifts of my seat-bones, and variable calf pressure. OK ... OK ... you have to be there ...

As always, I love to hear from you!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Day light, before last wash

Day, after wash. I masked only the eye.

Studio light before

Studio light, after wash.

I think it's all right for a first attempt. Now I'd like to try this technique with a variety of subjects.

As always, your comments are most welcome. And if you absolutely cannot live without it, it is for sale. :)

Another Note to Self ...

I couldn't figure out why the shadows were making Paulina look like a bearded lady. The mixture was too grainy. So I did a small w/w with the colors I was using - cobalt blue, quin. pink and raw sienna. I think the raw sienna was granulating a bit, especially combined with the blue. When I tried yellow ochre, it seemed better. So, wipe and do the shadows again.

I'm working on details, and deepening shadows on the head. Then I will do another "wash and lift" to soften.

This is for Sandy. I put a hummer feeder outside the window where my computer sits, hoping to get a photo. I hear him humming - literally - get up to the camera that I have poised ready on the window sill, and he's GONE! How do you get your hummer photos, Sandy?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Bit of This and That ...

I call it "proboscisizing". When a horse really likes where you're scratching, the upper lip extends and sometimes wiggles, and if it's REALLY good, they might drool! Just what you needed to know.

More good times. The white on his neck is his racing tattoo. He seems to quite like a scratch there.

All cleaned up, and ready to rock!

Don't do this at home.  I'm taking his photo while sitting on his back. It's about as bright as taking pictures out of the car while driving ... and, yes, I've done that, too. He has his ears cocked back, listening to what I am doing. 

Now the neighbor's horse has caught his attention - his ears are focussed there.

A well-earned munch after exercise.

Garden update - the lettuce and snow peas are doing very well; the rest are slower.

I've slowed to a crawl with this. There is a little voice in my head saying "I could do better. Let's start again". I am trying to ignore that suggestion. I also had a thought about doing the bridge with this technique. Hmmm ....

I worked on Paulina a bit - intensified the green of her dress, and reddened her hair. Again, I am creeping along with the painting.

As always, your comments are most welcome! I love to hear from you.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Time to Call It a Day ...

Right now, I'm tired and probably more critical than usual, so I won't make final judgment ... but ... painting the neck has made it loose the floating, emergent, mysterious quality. I'll wait till I've finished the face and mane, Then I might do one more softening [I hope] overall wash. 

Why green? The color of youth, purity ... it just seemed appropriate.

I am off to bed!

It's Too Wet and Windy for Riding So ...

I just couldn't look at the glup of whatever in front of the horse's eye.

So I started again. This is after a w/w wash of aureolin, brown madder and ultramarine. I have also carved out some of the highlights while wet.

Here's the first wash of black.

A second wash, with lifting while wet.

And I've done some lifting after it's dried, with very small and moist or wet brushes. This technique is a bit like sculpting, as you carve the highlights out of the paint - quite intriguing. 

The start of a painting of my niece as a Mona Lisa [sort of]. I've painted the darkest areas with quin. burnt orange, and then a grey. 

I started the background with a graded aureolin wash. I let it dry, then did a bit of a scrumbled wash with quin. burnt orange, to give it an oil painting look - I hope. 

I've just finished a very w/w wash, dropping in quin. gold and cobalt blue. I think the next step will be a thin overall glaze of the blue again.

As always, your comments are most welcome!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Before I Go out and Play with the Lad ...

W/w wash of aureolin, brown madder and ultramarine. Then I lifted, while still wet, some of the highlights of the face.

RATS! I did not make up enough of my soft black mixture. 

Second black wash, and then some lifting while still wet. I must sat I am really thrilled with the effect. I am not as thrilled with what I see in the paper, and which becomes more apparent as each wash is applied. I am usually very careful about clean hands and surfaces while handling paper, so I'm not sure if it's me or something in the paper. I will say that I am very keen to try some Fabriano.

As always, your comments are most welcome! 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I've Always Wanted to Try This ...

Julian, as Romeo

Paulina, as the Mona Lisa
My sketch of Majesty, the rescue horse

Some color swatches, to see how they mix on the paper, and how well they lift

More swatches, and my basic animal color mixture - quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone blue.

I've always admired and been tantalized by the lifting technique used so beautifully by Roland Roycroft and Cheng Khee Chee. It involves saturating the paper, applying your pure colors and letting them blend on the paper, and then lifting as it dries and after the paint has dried. This method gives such a gorgeous glow and cohesion to  the painting. I've never really felt I could handle it, but I think the time is now, and the painting of Majesty demands its use. I'd like to have his head and neck finding its way out of the dark, just as he himself was found and rescued. Wish me luck!
I also have the sketches of my niece and nephew ready on watercolor paper. These are more "fun" paintings [I say that now ...]
As always, I love to get your comments!