Wednesday, August 29, 2012

More Sketching than I've Done for a While ...

Leaf studies

I've done several sketches of the two poses I found most attractive.  One of the two is more a line drawing, the other a bit more detailed as to shadows. I'll see if Kim can mosey over this evening to choose which pose she prefers.
And I worked on leaves yesterday. Carrie Waller left a note, reminding me to SEE - as in see what you are seeing, not what you think you are seeing. I get impatient, and stop "seeing", and then end up painting what I think is a good approximation. WRONGO!!!
And now, off to the barn for some time with the lad, and some barn and garden work.

As always, your comments are most welcome.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The "Take the Bull by the Horns" Technique of Painting Leaves

Where I left off ...

Some direct painting of leaf shadows

One version of Trigger. I almost always use a grid for portraits. Then I take my time to go over it, and make sure it is accurate and has life.

I'd like to do a profile, too.

I'm still struggling with trying to paint what I think would be credible leaves. I took a lot of leaf photos yesterday, and will practice ... practice ... practice.
Drove into Vancouver to visit my sister, Steph, and the family. All were home, and that doesn't happen often. I even met my nephew's girlfriend - delightful and bright - going to Birmingham, UK to study medicine in the fall. I also took along the dreaded Burrard Bridge painting, for a final approval. John liked it, and I will have it framed as soon as he sends me the dimensions of the area in which it will hang. And I took home a bonus. Steph had just made some of her yummy potato salad!!! I dropped some off at my aunt's on the way home - she lives a few blocks from Steph. And then it was back to the farm.

As always, your comments are most welcome! 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

WHY Do We Do This???

Some light initial glazes ...

... and I end up here

Leaves are basically, there, but need more touching up.

Start petals, w/w with aureolin, quin. pink and cobalt blue.

The model

Why do we paint? And ride horses? - not just ride, but aspire to dressage movements? I'm feeling like a caged tiger today. I usually do get this way when fall is starting. It must be some sort of atavistic behaviour, like following the migrating herds.
I'm feeling very frustrated today. Still fussing with the *%&# bridge, though John said to frame it - he'll take it for his office. The leaves in this painting look like felt cut-outs. How to fix?
The weather is cooler. Bruno has been gradually getting his winter coat. He is also full of himself - makes for much more "exciting" rides. That's another "why". If I had known what it meant to ride and keep a horse those many years ago, would I do it? The number of times I left a lesson in tears of frustration, the many times I was injured ... And I still go back for more! If anyone has some answers, please let me know. I think I need to go out and do some physical work.

As always, your comments are most welcome! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I left off about here ...

I've darkened the background, the rose in spots and glazed some of it with a thin aureolin. I think I've done all I'd like with this. Flowers just don't seem to be doing it for me right now. I have a craving for more portraits and landscapes. 

This is the second rose I started, same flower - different angle, and cooler colors.

Meet Trigger. He must be nearing thirty years of age. His owner was at the show I had last weekend [which was quite successful - YAY] and she decided she'd like a portrait of the lad. So I was over at her farm on Monday taking lots of photos. She wanted him painted while he still had his summer coat, as he goes very white and shaggy in the winter. More good painting news for me - my brother-in-law likes the painting of the Burrard Bridge, and would like me to have it framed for his office. But I must admit, I STILL don't really love the painting.

As always, your comments are most welcome!  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Brief WIP and a Question

First washes were aureolin and two orange hues. Then I started going over those with a green mixture.

This was after the two complete washes.

I did another w/w wash with a much darker green.

Several glazes were done on the flower.

The first few glazes are done on the leaves.

I've posted about a third of the photos I've taken of this rose in progress.  I'm also working on another, the rose at a slightly different angle, and in predominantly cool colors. For a while, I have been thinking of creating an e-book, a short pamphlet of detailed and illustrated instructions on my technique of painting one subject. If it received a positive response, I would do more on other subjects, perhaps animal portraits and still life. My question is would any of you readers be interested in such a book? I have had requests to do a video, but my technique is slow, and would be about as interesting to watch as watching cement dry. I really would love to hear what you have to say about an e-book.

As always, your comments are most welcome! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Dog Days of Summer

Bruno following me. I guess I look more interesting than the horse next door; their screaming match was what brought me outside.

The hay guy delivered today ... 

One of the spare stalls is stacked floor to ceiling with 2nd cut local hay.

I had to postpone the delivery for a week because of the swallows. I wanted to wait till the babies were flying, so they  and their parents could get in and out of their nest.

I was out in the near dark last night, trying to re-set the gate. It was originally put up in such a haphazard way that the hinges are out of alignment.

I couldn't find my set of wrenches, so I called Andy, and asked if he could bring some.

And then he fixed the gate! :)

Andy, the hay guy, came today, and stacked 108 bales of hay in a spare stall. That should do Bruno for a year. I think Andy thought I was a bit mad, asking him to wait for a week till the swallows could all fly. I HAD to - they bring me so much joy when I am out there in the summer - swooping, soaring, and chirping and singing. They started flying on Tuesday, and today they are pros.
And a bit of information about the term "dog days of summer". Apparently it predates the Romans, but they named it. At this time of year, Sirius, the "dog star", in the constellation Canis Major, rises and sets with the sun. It was believed its presence added to the heat of the sun during the summer days. The Romans gave the time between July 23 to August 23 the name of "dog days". The Farmers Almanac lists the dog days as those from July 3 to August 11.
I absolutely love this time of year. We have glorious hot weather now - up in the low 30's C. And it's predicted to last for a few weeks, so my open studio/show/whatever should be lovely weather-wise.

As always, your comments are most welcome!

Still Here ... Still Painting - Two W. I. P.

Two views of a rose, taken from a slightly different angle - one to be warm, the other cool.

As always, your comments are most welcome.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

One Down, Two to Go ...

I like the effect I got using an extremely dry brush, dragged and scrumbled, to get the pink striations in the sweet peas. 

The leaves looked dead using only aureolin and cobalt blue, so I gave them a thin glaze of phthalo green. And it also looks much better cropped. So, I'm done here. Here you are, Renate!

Believe it or not, I keep adding more reds and pinks to Rhonda. I also glazed over the entire eye with a thin cobalt blue. And the teeth are done. Something still needs something though ...

As always, your comments are most welcome!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Wet Paint ... or ... Taking a Risk

I needed a complementary background ...

And I needed something light and loose to suggest foliage ...
so I taped off the image as best as I could with Saran wrap and masking tape, and did a splatter  and spray with aureolin and cobalt blue.

It's turned out all right, and there was only a bit of leakage onto the pony-tail. I'll touch it up a bit tomorrow.

I've also been playing around with this sweet pea, but it's just not grabbing my focus.

As always, your comments are most welcome!