Monday, July 30, 2012

Thank You, Prabal ...

I thought I had finished at this point ...

then I went over the foreground cobalt blue with a w/w glaze of ultramarine

added a bit of ultramarine to the bee' shadow

Then I received an email from Prabal Mallick, at http://michael-learns-to-paint.blogspot.ca   He asked a "what if" question - my favorite type of question! What if you darken the background behind the bee? So I did - a graduated and a flat wash of quin. burnt orange below, and another of cobalt blue above. I really think it makes the painting a much better composition. Thank you, Prabal!

As always, your comments are most welcome.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Another One I HAD to Get Out of My System

I started with the warm reflected light around the base of the window ...

I very lightly painted the shadows w/w ...

Worked on the wings and legs ...

Some yellow {aureolin + quin. gold} on the body ...

Started some of the detail - mind you, with something this small {about 5.5 x 7.5 inches}, it's almost all detail.

This is as far as I got today. It may need a bit more oomph!

This was the reference photo. The soft contrast of the cool and warm shadows, and the reflected light and images are what attracted me.

As always, your comments are ever welcome.

Paying It Forward ...

   A few days ago, Linda Roth awarded me the Liebster award. Apparently, it is awarded on the basis of what is considered a good and worthy blog that has less than 200 followers. I have a blog list of about 200 that I follow, so it is not an easy decision to come up with only 5; I would nominate almost all of them. However, I have decided to consider consistency of posts, and sharing ideas and giving help with art problems.


These lucky bloggers have the choice of passing on the Liebster to 5 more worthy blogs, or just passing.

Additionally, I must divulge 5 things you don't know about me. OK, this is an EEK for me, as I'm somewhat of a private person, but ...

   I do not own a TV. I got rid of it a year ago, and don't really miss it at all, and I definitely don't miss    
    the advertising.
  I think I could live without creating art as I do now. I could not live without a horse!

  I LOVE Italy - the food, the people, the language, the art, the architecture, the landscapes ...

  I have never been in a Wal-Mart.

  I collect frogs - wooden, stone, clay, papier mache, glass ... anything.

OK, Linda, I paid it forward!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"Live and Learn" Tuesday .. or ... Another Case of Win Some, Lose Some

Portrait looked like it was starting out well ...

When I started applying the flesh tones, the orange in the shadows was apparently too much.

I tried lifting it with a sponge, but it left the paper surface too grainy and roughened. I played with the hair , but that didn't inspire me too much, so this will be re-cycled as a color-testing swatch.

The bird seems to be all right. I wanted to play with a technique I read about a few years ago, gradually masking small areas and then painting.

Initially, I used aureolin, quin. burnt orange and cobalt blue. It wasn't quite intense enough, so I did some sectional washes with mixes of aureolin, quin. burnt orange and phthalo green[YS].   

It came out all right, but may need some tweaking.

As always, I welcome your comments!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Catching Up ...

It's a wet, cool, windy day, so we are ALL inside ...

I have the Boxer Girls staying with me again, till Friday. This is Lucy, zonked out on her pouffe.

Younger sister, Desi. One or the other of the two always decides to pine for their mom, and fast for a few days. This time it's Desi. She's been following me around, with her stomach making loud rumbly noises, but she WON'T eat.

Andy is getting some touching up. I had made him much too young-looking, soft and pale, so I'm doing thin softened glazes to rectify that.

I've also started two other paintings - a portrait ...

and a study of the baby swallow.

I touched up the bridge, playing with it all weekend. I'd like my #1 critic to see it. She should be here for a visit on Wednesday.

Everyone is a critic! This gorgeous emerald-green moth decided to take up temporary residence on the painting. I carefully caught him/her and let her go outside.

I've been trying out a trial of the Adobe Photoshop Elements for editing paintings. I find the program a bit complicated, but then, it's all new to me. And it's definitely more than I need in an editing program, but there isn't much choice if you have a Mac. So I'll just keep playing with it.

As always, your comments are most welcome.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Back to Work ...

I left this in disgust a few days ago, and worked on portraits instead.

I took it out again this morning after riding. Those are my paddock boot tips in the photo.

I've darkened the mountains , and am carefully darkening the abutment and girders. It doesn't look too bad when I put a mat around it.

Here's the back of my vet's head. It was the best I could do with one hand, as I was assisting.

It's not something I really like to see - a horse drugged to the point of almost falling over, with his head in a sling fastened to the ceiling, but that's dental care in horse land. Most horses get their teeth done every year or two. Bruno needs his done every six months. He has quite a malocclusion, probably as a result of a broken jaw when very young. He might have been stepped on or rolled on by his mom, or kicked when playing with the other young horses - it happens. Because of this, his teeth wear very unevenly, and he gradually get sharp points and edges on them, which can cut the tongue and cheeks. So today was the day.  

He had them done almost an hour ago, so he's probably just coming out of the sedation now. Then he can have his dinner. If they are allowed to eat while sedated, they can choke. There's your bit of horsey education for today.

As always, your comments are most welcome.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Almost Time to Get Back to the Bridge ...

I've painted his shirt, and put in a w/w wash of aureolin, quin. gold and quin. burnt orange for the background.  I am debating whether to go darker overall to enhance the backlit effect. Other than some minor touch-ups, Andy is done. 

Here, I've worked more on the features ...

and shading of the face and neck.

To tone down the variations in hair color, I did a w/w wash over all, with two hues of brown. I sent an email photo to my 2nd harshest critic [my aunt - I'm the harshest] and she thought the sketch looked better. Hmmm ...  

I think the two portraits are almost finished, so it looks like I'll get back to the bridge later today ... or start something new!

As always, your comments are most welcome.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Tale of Two Portraits ... or ... No Bridges Today

It's really starting to look like the big guy.  I can almost hear him laugh!  :)

Ali was looking rather scary at this point. The browns and pink-browns were overwhelming.  So I went over her entire face and neck with a thin wash of aureolin.

The yellow has toned down her skin tones, and now I am able to work on modeling her features with pinks, lavenders and blues.
I rode Bruno before settling in to paint today. We both seemed to have benefitted from yesterday's lesson. The shoulder-in and leg-yield were much easier.

As always, your comments are most welcome.