Monday, December 31, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR from a Bunch of Crazy Party Animals

Bug, disgusted that I have a dog in here, has gone to bed early.

Lucy is here for a week while her mom is away on business.

The chins - Fat and Baby. They were very disappointed that a camera was in front  of their cage, and not a raisin.

And yes, I am indeed starting the hydrangea over!!! The pink was just not looking right, and I wasn't sure I could do a credible job with shadows on those pinks. I've started here with aureolin, quin. gold and phthalo blue. The blue is not a color I often use, and it will be interesting to see how it works out. 

I'm bringing in a bit of quin. violet, and quin. burnt orange mixed with the blue to get more intense darks. 

At this point, I feel I need to see some of the colors of the flowers. I've thinly laid in cobalt blue at the top, and will apply thin glazes of ultramarine blue on the bottom. So far, I really prefer the cooler colors.

As always, your comments are so welcome.
And I wish you all a most wonderful New Year, and thank you for being such great blog buddies!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

I'd Rather Be Hibernating ...

After several glazes of aureolin, quin. siena, phthalo blue and a touch of indanthrone, this is the result.  I like this  outcome better than the previous one - it has a cleaner look to it.

Most of the painting time was spent creating spots, shadows and reflections.  I much prefer this version to the last one. The focus of patterns and reflections is more apparent, more refined. Whoa ... I might even say I LIKE this one!!!
As for hibernating, I know I'd be safer! The day before yesterday, I was sent flying off Bruno's back. I honestly don't have any idea what got into him. It might have been something weird he saw next door, where my very strange neighbor lives. She has been around horses for more than 60 years, and she still does some incredibly thoughtless things to her horses. Anyway, Bruno did about 3 huge leaps and/or bucks, and I was airborne after the third one. I was still hanging onto the reins when I made a soft landing. I quickly let go the reins, as it is very dangerous to be flat out on the ground with an excited horse nearby. I wasn't hurt - shaken up, with a few sore muscles. But I did get back on and finish the ride, and His Highness was MUCH more agreeable.
Yesterday I took the dogs out for a long walk. I let them off-leash, and they were good about returning when called. However, at one point, the younger one got a whiff of something worth following, and crawled under the fence to give chase. I spent at least 1/2 an hour yelling for her, following the fence line, but she would not come back. So I had to scramble over the fence, and crawl through the brush. It was all mud, puddles, soggy long grass and blackberry brambles. [I was still finding thorns in my hair this morning!] I finally caught her, took her to the spot where she could crawl under, pulled her through, tied her up, crawled over myself, and headed for home. Man, I was angry!!! So, between the dogs and Bruno, I really think I would be safer hibernating.

As always, your comments are most welcome.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

HAPPY HOLIDAY from the Farm

For now, the background is done. I may have to touch it up when I get the flowers painted.

I've started the flowers. My plan is to go from cooler pinks on the upper left to warmer and more detailed petals on the lower right. 

The gradated washes are done for the cows, and I will start the girls this evening, unless I decide to turn into a vegetable and watch some science fiction movie.  :)

Here are the boys, begging for raisins. Baby is on the left, Fat Bastard on the right.

This is how Fat likes to sleep when it is warmer. 

Here's the Bug. I think we have finally "bonded". I had my doubts - cats are so different from most animals. 

Me with my BIG sweetheart.

I've posted photos of all of the weird and wonderful animals at the farm [myself included], so we could all wish you a very happy holiday, a Merry Christmas [if you celebrate it] and a wonderful, happy, healthy and prosperous   New Year!!!
I would also like to thank you all for being here with us on my blog. It has been a pleasure getting to know you!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Not Exactly Moving at Warp Speed ...

Not a lot of progress, but what I've done, I like. I am finding that this technique gives a more "organic" - for lack of a better word - appearance. I'd like to do more with the leaves and background before I start the flowers. THAT will be a challenge! 

By popular request, the cows are making a comeback. So far I have done three graded washes of aureolin, quin. siena and phthalo blue.

I finally got a photo of this portrait in decent outdoor light. It makes such a difference. I have yet again darkened the entire background with a w/w wash, and am making very careful and thoughtful adjustments to the shadows of his face. Being a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, I think it would be a good idea to start entering some of my work in their shows. There is a "Works on Paper" show in January, and this is one of the paintings I am considering as an entry.

As always, your comments are most welcome!  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Out of the Comfort Zone ... ACK!

Beautiful, but difficult, photo of a neighbor's hydrangea as reference.

My first timid glazes of some of the flowers' shadows.

The start of a background was in order. I decided to keep it warm, to accent some of the cooler flower colors in the lower right focal area.

Here, I've started a road map of the leaves, with some of the sunlight filtering through,  giving, I hope, some interest there. 

More glazes on the leaves and simultaneously the background.  That's the difficult part.  I would like to integrate the leave and their shadows into the background to give the painting more of a natural look. This one is going to take a while! And I find myself almost having to force myself to paint - not that I don't like it, just that it is a different style for me.

As always, your comments are most welcome!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cows - No ... Corn - Maybe

The cows did not work out. If I would have noticed BEFORE I put in the grasses, the cows on the right are all at  different levels. Another learning experience. After the fact, they would look much better with just a dark line at the object/reflection interface. Thank you to all of you who mentioned that a minimalist look would be better. I regret that I ignored the advice.

I painted all the husks this evening. I think the looseness is a reaction to the weather. It's snowing, and I hate snow. Horses neither ski nor skate.

Taken this morning. There is more coming down now. BOO! HISS!!

As always, your comments are most welcome!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cows Are MOOOOO-ving Along Slowly

They have their spots ...

and they have their reflections. Now I have to do a little bit of almost-not-there grass at the water's edge.

As always, your comments are so welcome.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

They're Baaaaack ... The GEESE

I'm trying to render a rough-looking wooden shack, partially covered with moss.  We 'll see how it turns out.

I had a lot of fun, in a watercolor-y sort of way, painting their bums, which are the focus of the painting. Right now, I am slowly building up their form shadows on top, trying to get a loose impression of feathers.

The cows are still waiting for some reflections in the water. I went to the local art supply store yesterday to get some transfer paper [a non-greasy type of carbon paper for watercolor paper] and they only had HUGE rolls of it. Their supplies over-all were generally low or non-existent, and the variety was limited.  Other than mail order, there seems to be a dearth of art supply stores here in western Canada. So I really must get organized, get my cross-border pass, and head down to the States for  some good selection and prices. As for the cows, I will have to trace their image, and transfer it using a home-made transfer paper.

As always, your comments are most welcome!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Do Blue Cows Make Green Cheese?

I left the ladies here a few weeks ago.

I picked it up again yesterday.  I have toned it down a bit with two thin washes, one of phthalo blue, and the second of cobalt blue. Then I painted a graded wash of quin. burnt orange form lower left towards upper right. I finally worked out a spot pattern for Les Girls, and have done two thin glazes with a black mixture. Looks like I'll need to do more of the black, and figure out what to do with the background.  

Miss Clementine has had some minor touch-ups, and I have made her available on Daily Paintworks.

It is raining like mad, so no riding today. I might take the lad out for a walk on hand later. And I think I'll have to take a boat into Vancouver to visit my sister. Stay dry. It's only two weeks till the days start getting longer again! YAY!!!  

As always, your comments are most welcome.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

SOOO Close but not Quite Finished ...

Here is Clementine right now, with some touches here and there, and some work on her ear. She is not QUITE done, but I had a request from Hilda Muxo, that she couldn't wait for the next post.  :)  So here it is.
Now I want to head out to the barn for a short and sweet ride on Bruno - short because the ground is quite wet and soft, and I don't want him hurting himself or pulling a shoe. Then off to Aldergrove, further east. I had a response to the posters I put up on Sunday, so it may mean another horse portrait.

As always, your comments are wonderful and most welcome!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Miss Clementine Is Almost There ...

 Here is where she is now.

Same stage, just different lighting and editing. It seems to make her coat colors more realistic. I am still not thrilled with editing photos of paintings. I recently had a friend mention that watercolors always look much better in real life than in a photo. Hmmm???
I am thinking of putting a soft w/w wash around her as a background, using a pink- and a blue-gray.

As always, your comments are most welcome.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I Was Swept Away by Clementine ... WIP

This is Tiberius, a somewhat grand name for a rather small-in-stature Pug. But what he lacks in size, he makes up in attitude. I was over at his home, taking photos of the owner's Highland cattle, and I couldn't resist taking some shots of Tiberius. This was painted about five years ago.

While driving off to get some groceries, I saw Mike and Tiberius out walking with the new kid, an English Bulldog.  Her name is Clementine. She is extremely friendly, and most photogenic. I've been looking at her photo for a week or two, and finally had to do a sketch yesterday, and start painting her today. This is probably about 1/4 of the way done.

As always, your comments are so welcome!