Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dare I Say "Hamming It Up"???

A quick w/w varied wash of aureolin and quin. gold ...

Some quin. burnt orange ...

and now some orange with alizarin crimson.
I'm poking along with this one, scrumbling the shadow colors.

One of my neighbors really liked this painting. It has gone to a good home in Seattle - thank you, Beth!
Christine liked the format and composition, but wanted a chicken, so ...

Masking off, after 5 - 6 graded washes of aureolin and phthalo blue.

Masking back on for the white tips of the feathers. I am using indanthrone blue, and a mixture of that blue plus orange and purple for the black.

This is after 2 w/w applications of the blue and the black. I think it needs 1 or 2 more.
This is what I've been doing all day, as the weather is just foul - pouring rain all day.

As always, your comments are most welcome!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Bubble-gum Pig

I forgot to take photos earlier. I did have a thin wash of an orangey-pink on the pig, and the background. I just wanted to get it finished this morning, not because I liked it, but I wanted to get it off the board so I could start another pig, or maybe the filly.

Once I started working on it, the little hummer began to grow on me! I played with some warm and cool pinks, working w/w, going all over the pig. I began to think he looked pretty good.

At this point, I believe he is "done", but you know I always love to touch up.  The name "Bubble-gum Pig" I think appropriate because of his color, and because it sounds a bit frivolous. :)

As always, your comments are most welcome!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

and Now for Something Completely Different ...

... from beginning ..

... to end.
I just have to clean up some of the dark edges  around the mouth, and I am done.  I had a lot of fun painting this one - found myself smiling and laughing sometimes as I looked at it. [No, not hysterical, mad laughter!]  I think I will call this one "SNARF". I'll definitely be painting more pigs!

As always, your comments are most welcome.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


I started out tentatively, with permanent rose and cobalt blue.

more rose ...

I added some alizarin crimson to the warmer shadows ...

... and just kept adding more of the pink.

This is where it started to feel more intuitive, as I was putting in more rose w/w. 

I worked on the leaves this morning, and it just seemed to flow, so to speak. It felt much more natural, easier for me to get the result I wanted. I think I have finally figured out where and how much to wet the paper, and how to place the pigment.

I am at this point now. I may put in a very thin background wash of aureolin,  and drop in some of the green I have used for the leaves.

What a wonderful feeling! It sneaks up on you while you're playing with the paint, and you suddenly realize you know and feel exactly what to do. It must be part of the proverbial learning curve. I know I have felt it a few times when riding, too. It is the "AHA!!!" moment, and there is nothing like it.
I visited the gallery in Vancouver yesterday - no photos, as it was a very wet and miserable day. But the gallery is fabulous! Small, but so perfectly set up, with an unbelievably eclectic and beautiful collection of art. I am looking forward to showing there this summer, and hope they will allow me to participate in more of their displays.  

 As always, your comments are most welcome!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Quickie

I used aureolin, quin. gold and quin. red.

A dash of quin. violet - very thinly - in some of the shadows.

And phthalo green [YS], quin. burnt orange and indanthrone blue for the leaves. I wanted to keep them very simple so they would not detract from the bud. I did this small [23 x 10 cm.] painting for the receptionist at work, who is doing her darnedest to get me booked with patients. It's a very slow time of year in dental offices.

I know this looks like a pink "blanc mange", but I'm hoping it magically turns into an exquisite pink rose. This one is for the dental assistant, who is such a joy to work with. Other than the fact that I am not busy enough to keep body and soul and horse together, it is a fabulous office in which to work!

As always, your comments are most welcome.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Home Stretch with Clementine #2

Since the last post, I have given her some skin folds, eye definition, and lips ...

more color on the muzzle, and the start of a nose ... 

I put in a background, and have placed her black markings.  There is just some touching up to do - darkening her muzzle and nose, and checking that she looks good overall. My plan is to put this painting up for sale at Daily Paintworks, and take the first one [with the painting of Tiberius, her "brother"] over to the owners as a gift.
That's it for now. I have 2 small rose paintings to paint for friends at work ...

As always, your comments are most welcome! 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hi-Yo, Silver-laced Wyandotte!

I've done a thin gray graded wash, dried it, then gone wild with the masking fluid.
A silver-laced wyandotte is a breed of chicken.

I am using quin. burnt orange, quin. red and indanthrone blue mixtures for the body and tail.

I am deepening the dark colors, and playing with the head while the body dries. I am SO tempted to remove the masking, but I think it needs more of the darks first.

I have also started a smaller version of Clementine. I may try exaggerating some features and colors to enhance the bulldoggishness.  

Misty is at this point. I may have to put her away for a few days or weeks, and then take a hard critical look.

This is my offering to watercolor land today. I submitted some images of my work to a small gallery in Vancouver, and received an enthusiastic response. I'll have to drive into town next week, and visit at the gallery. I hope it works out - I would love to get some more exposure for my paintings.
Life in the land of Horse is pretty fine right now, too. I'm riding 4 - 5 times a week, and Bruno is coming along. I have a feeling he will always be a bit stiff, and reluctant to yield to the inside leg - all those years of racing, pulling a sulky. I'm realizing levels of evasion with him. [Evasions are what horses do when they don't understand, or don't want to do what is asked - and I do ask nicely.] There is the "I have absolutely NO idea what you want".  Followed closely by "I think I get it."  Then there is "Yes, I'm trying, but it's hard for me."  And sometimes from Bruno I get a "Not on your life. Can you stay in the saddle while I do this??? I just feel like playing HARD."  So far, I have managed to stay in the saddle. :)

As always, your comments are very welcome!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

creep ... creep ...

I think I left the gray here ...

It's just a slow, fussy process of adding depth and detail using wet-in-wet technique.

While darkening the right side edges, I decided to add some drizzles of gray on the left to suggest rain falling.

I am at this point now, carefully putting in shadows and other details  in the head area.  I must admit I like the soft grays.

The babe was done, but lacked ground and depth.

I decided to do a very soft w/w wash around her head. I did not  want to get heavy, using dark shadows. To me, that would lose the freshness and lightness of her youth, innocence and fragility.

As ever, your comments are most welcome. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Still Slow and Steady ...

I am oh-so-slowly deepening the grays.

Still more, and I have started some detail around the eye. To soften the body and neck,  and bring more of the focus to the eye area, I am working the grays from the body into the background. Hopefully this will lose some of the hard edges there. I must admit, I am fascinated with using the different colors of gray in this way.

I have also started a small head study of the filly.

As always, your comments are most welcome!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Progress Slow but Steady ...

I've done an initial thin wash of quin. burnt orange for warmth.

Here, I have done another thin wash, this time of quin. red. You might also barely be able to see that I have started the shadows on the horse.

This photo was taken outside in bright sun. YES, we have SUN today. I have played with some cobalt blue in the background, and am slowly working on the horse. I am trying to avoid getting into a very dark background, as I did with the last gray I painted. I would like to somehow achieve a strong focus on the eye and upper head, but we shall see ...
I am done with painting for the morning. Now it's off to Bruno-land, to clean up his paddock, and go for a short ride!

As always, your comments are most welcome!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Horsing Around ...

This is a sketch of Misty, whose portrait I painted last year. I found another photo, this one from a fascinating angle. I have it on my watercolor board, and can HARDLY WAIT!!!

A sketch from another photo I found today on my trainer's site. I think it's a filly out of one of Rhonda's mares. Her name is Tega, and she is so adorable. Yup, it's another one I can hardly wait to paint.

Bruno and I have had 4 great rides this week, after my not being on him for about a month. He has even thrown me a few moves that would have usually got me at least part-way out of the saddle. But I seem to be more balanced, just "there" deeper in the saddle, and I can quietly sit through his misdemeanors, and then quietly correct him. I think the month of being ill gave me a needed break, and a chance to become somewhat more focussed in both my riding and my painting. I hope so!

As always, your comments are most welcome. 


I started the dried hydrangeas again, trying to evoke more of a subdued, wintery,  even stark look.

I am using only aureolin, quin. pink, cobalt blue and indanthrone blue.

I quite like the effect. What do you feel about this painting?

Bruno and I are having great times riding again. He even threw me a few horsey curve balls yesterday,  and I just stayed quiet, balanced, and corrected him. It is SO GOOD to be riding again!!!

As always, your comments are most welcome!