Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Almost Back ...

It's been a long month. I won't go into great detail, but the flu turned into a viral pneumonia, and, as a result, I have been out of commission for almost a month. Very hard for me, as I am not a patient person.
Enough said. I want to thank you all for your well wishes. You must forgive me for not keeping up on all your posts - I haven't felt like doing much other than lie around and read, and catch up on my favorite British murder mysteries. I loved Ken Follett's "Fall of Giants", and can hardly wait to read more of his work. 
As for painting, I still find I am not that keen to do much. I've played with the swallow a bit, losing some of the backlit edges. I thank Arena Shawn for the suggestion. And I have started to put some color in the hydrangeas. As usual, I find myself wanting to start again, but really it's not a bad painting so far, so I will put it aside until I can approach it in a healthier frame of mind.
Bruno has been sadly neglected, though I am sure he doesn't mind too much, as long as he is fed. I may try to lunge him today. But I must be firm, as horses tend to become a bit spoiled and unwilling to listen after a long time off. 

Thank you for dropping by.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Tea Rose and the Swallow ...

I kept looking at this rose, and thinking it was too insipid.  So I have pumped it up, and played with the background a bit. I must admit I like the background - dark where it needs to be, and softer elsewhere. 

I am still darkening the feathers, but basically it is done. Now I'd like to try something different.

As always, your comments and critiques are most welcome!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Oh, How I Wish I Could Ride Today ...

The pond is still frozen, and so is the ground. So no riding yet ... RATS!!!

I started to intensify the rose colors, but needed some background color to judge how much more.

This is background done. Now I can get back and really brighten the rose.

I started putting in the feathers, in a sort of scrumbly manner to suggest  the irregularity of a young bird's feathers.

More feathers, and a branch for him as a perch.

I am still playing with the feathers. I think it needs more darkening in the core area to give more of an impression of his being backlit.

I thank you all so much for your well wishes. I am slowly getting better. I am still pretty weak, and coughing, but improving. I went to work for half a day on Friday, and it was so good to get out of the house! I am dying to get back in the saddle, but I really am too weak, so I suppose it's a good thing the ground is frozen, or I'd probably try to ride anyway. I will at least take Bruno's blankets off, and see if there is still a horse under there, and then maybe groom him a bit.

Thank you again for visiting and writing!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I Sound Like a Cat Coughing Up Hair-balls, but STILL PAINTING

I have almost finished the background on this rose. 

This is Round #3 on the barn swallow. The background still needs some work before removing the mask.

Well, the rain stopped. The water drained off a bit. And now it is all frozen. The temperature has stayed below freezing for the past few days, and the cold is supposed to last till the end of the week. I woke up coughing, and have been busy coughing all day. I thought I would just quickly post the latest WIP's before I take all my flu meds and hit the proverbial sack.

As always, your comments are so welcome!   

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

And It RAINED and RAINED ...

I took this photo this morning. Last night, it was all under water. I waded through about 8 inches of water going to the barn at 10 PM. The rain was pounding so hard, that when it stopped, I looked up and wondered what was different - the noise had disappeared. We really do get some torrential downpours here.

It's still very wet, and yesterday the water was to the bottom of the large cedar tree. I was busy changing Bruno's blankets, from soggy to not-quite-as-wet, and finding a dry spot in his shed to put his food. I now have an intimation of what it is like to have a flood, and it is very disturbing. I think the worst is that one feels so completely helpless. But enough of that! It's stopped, and I will be out cleaning up and setting things straight in the barn.  

I have done all the shadows for now. It's time to get some local color on the flowers. My swatch is on the left. I'm thinking of cobalt blue and quin, pink at the upper left, and quin. pink and phthalo blue in the lower focal area. I have a feeling I will have to go darker on the left and bottom, and take some of the leaf shadow colors into the flowers. The other option may be to crop, but I'll get some more color on first.

Round #2 for the barn swallow did not work. I wanted to get a backlit effect on the bird. I still like that idea, and will try to get it using graded washes instead of random blobs of color and shadow.

As always, your comments are so welcome!

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Evolution of the Chicken

Those are raindrops on the lens. It is so wet, the ducks were swimming on the lower back lawn this morning. Hope you can see them.

It's so dark and gloomy today, the lighting is very poor for photography.
Chicken's colors are actually more intense, and the darks darker.
This is a small [for me] painting - 7 x 8 inches. I would like your opinion. I think she looks good standing alone, with no background. What do you think?

I have also started the fledgling barn swallow again, with a much lighter background  - w/w with quin. burnt orange, quin. siena and cobalt blue.

As always, I love your comments!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Are We THERE Yet???

Here we go ... from the top ...

This was a bit of a scary stage. But then I thought  it's only paper!
I wet the entire background, and very carefully stroked in two different mixtures - a dark blue/gray and a dark blue/green. I don't usually do this sort of w/w application, and was worried the colors would explode all over the page. I think it has given a good impression of the out-of-focus branches.

This is where I am now. I thought about darkening some of the background branches, but I believe it would ruin the overall delicacy of the painting. So I have darkened the main branch and some of the petal centers in the focal area, and  it is done!

As always, your comments are most welcome!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Doing It's Thing

I've been trying to think of a way to paint dead hydrangea. This I started with a w/w, go where you will, wash of quin. gold and quin. siena. I must admit, I like the shapes even at this early stage.

Again, all done w/w, painting groups of petals. I am using quin. pink, alizarin crimson, quin. burnt orange, cobalt blue and indanthrone blue. 

I am at this point now, and am quite excited about how it is coming along.
This will be about 6 x 8 inches when finished.

I am also re-doing this chicken, trying to keep her nice and loose.

I needed something else, something loose, to work on with the larger hydrangea painting.  It's quite a controlled painting, and all those greens are a bit much to look at for long. I also wanted to get out of the old comfort zone and into a smaller format.

As always, your comments are so welcome!