Monday, April 29, 2013

If a Battle Cannot Be Won, Do Not Fight It - Sun Tzu

I am trying to keep my mind occupied today, so I have been working on these two paintings.
Above, the entire paper, except the focal flower,  was done in a w/w wash of quin. pink

Just hopping around ...

Getting some darks into the background ...

... and a bit more detail in the petals.

This painting got a varied wash of permanent rose.

Then I did the same with indanthrone blue.

Here I've done some work on the grain of the wood, and the glass of the window.

The quote from Sun Tzu explains [sort of] why I am not riding today. It is sunny - gorgeous, but cold and SOOO windy! I would either be blown out of the saddle, or unceremoniously jettisoned from the saddle by you-know-who. This type of weather makes horses very frisky - to put it mildly. So that, plus the more intense level of work to which I am taking him, makes for a much more difficult ride. I think even a pro would have her hands full riding today. So I am choosing my battles. :) This is one I would not win today.

As always, your comments are most welcome!~

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Busy and Productive Morning ...

I have place a thin wash of the boot color as a ground.

Here,  I have started the laces with a thin blue-grey color.

I think it is SO close to finished. I am tempted to intensify the colors on the boots, but I have a feeling that if I do that, I will upset the balance of the whole painting. My apologies - I can't get the colors exactly as I see them in real life.

This is a small 6 x 6 inch cradled frame. I have applied several thin coats  of gesso, and let them dry. This is part of my quest to find an attractive, and more reasonably- priced alternative to framing.

I have here mounted the swallow painting on the frame with gel acrylic medium, and am in the process of varnishing it with an archival, gloss, spray varnish. So far, so good! I think I will also get some wood stain to touch up the sides of the frame. 

This is one of the two paintings I have on the board to go. It's a re-do of one I did a few years ago of a deer skull mounted on the side of a friend's shed.

This is the reference photo of the other painting I am starting. I am going to try flooding all the painting except the whites and lights in the middle. It should be interesting to see what it does to the leaf colors. I tried a color swatch of some old paper, and it looks OK.
This might be it for painting today - I have a date with the Big Guy!

As always, your comments are most welcome!

Friday, April 26, 2013

If Boots Could Talk ...

I have added some varied shadow colors - playing with a pink-purple, a blue, a violet and a brown - all mixed from the three colors I am using throughout. The colors are quin. burnt orange, alizarin crimson and indanthrone blue.

... just adding more depth of hue and shadowing ...

I have put in some ground shadow. I will also later paint a slight ground-line behind the boots.

Getting into more of the detail work here.  I might even finish it tomorrow.

I'll just have a quick grump here about how poorly watercolor transposes to  camera and computer - GRUMP.
I think I can attribute some of the success with this painting to climbing up from a learning plateau. But some of it is due to my riding. Over the winter, I had allowed myself to let Bruno become spoiled - unwilling to work. This past week of boot-camp lessons has worked like a charm with my riding and my confidence. And the confidence has appeared in other aspects of my life - like painting. Interesting!

As always, your comments are most welcome!   

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Boots Are Looking GOOD

I have started working on some of the dark detailing, to give me an idea of values for mid- and light-tones for the rest of the painting. 

To get the old scruffy boot look, I have used a combination of w/w and scrumbling.  I think it's coming out quite well. I may like doing still-lie as much as animals and florals!

As always, I love your comments!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Progress on Sadie Does the Swamp, and a New Painting ...

I have darkened the water, lifted out for her front end, and am still darkening her fur.

I have placed the beginnings of more background. I showed it to Scott [my farrier] today, when he came to do Bruno's shoeing. He liked it. Me ... I am still not thrilled with her face. 

Started a new one of my faithful paddock boots. I finished a ride a few days ago, came inside, kicked off my boots ... and then took a long look at them. I got my camera, and took a few photos.

I have laid in most of the basic color. Painting around those laces was a lesson in patience! But now that is done, it is easier to see where I'm going.
That's it for the art part of my world. My aunt is still in the hospital - still no decision on a course of action after three and a half weeks. And Bruno and I are doing Boot Camp - it's all good. :)

As always, I love to hear from you!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Miss Sadie's Progress ...

Here I am right now. She certainly has a more animated expression. The painting still needs some work - some reeds, done lightly,  in the background, and some dry brush in her coat.

For comparison, I posted the last painting I started of Sadie.

And for a bit of humor ...

As always, your comments are most welcome!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Still Playing with Geese ...

This is one of the two smaller geese I have started this week.  I was hoping to be able to get a smoother background without using the dreaded masking fluid, but it was not to be. So I scrumbled  instead, and I think I like the effect better. The colors I am using are quin. burnt orange, quin. siena, quin. violet and indanthone blue - all Daniel Smith.

I think I'll try to get a very dark background with this goose.  I learned, from the last painting without masking, that I have to use thinner washes. 

I was in Vancouver again today. I've been going in several times this week, as my aunt has been in the hospital for over a week. It's been somewhat of an emotionally draining time. But my aunt is looking and sounding much better, and her spirits are higher, though the doctors still do not know what is wrong with her.
While in town, I picked up the chicken I left for framing. I think Liz did a great job - just a good, simple mat and frame to show off the hen.

Sadie is being re-done. I like the water, and the background in general, but the look is definitely not Sadie's.  She is much more lively and mischievous. 

So I have drawn her again, using an older photo I have of her from when she was a pup.

As always, your comments are most welcome!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Goose Saga ... Continued ...

For the goslings, I am using aureolin, with a brown mix of quin. burnt orange, quin. red and indanthrone blue. The geese are painted with mixes of ultramarine blue and quin. burnt orange. The feet are quin. siena.

Just deepening the colors here.

I have placed the cast shadow, and a grey ground behind them  [quin. burnt orange and ultramarine blue].

A loose wash of aureolin and burnt orange to give the impression of tall grass  ...

I have darkened the adult geese. It looks like the grass needs  some darkening and detailing here an there, and the goslings will get more dark in the brown areas.
As I do not want to use masking, I have done the painting as a vignette. I was given some advice about masking alternatives [thank you, Peter] and will be trying Daniel Smith watercolor ground in the future.
I was given this photo recently by my farrier. It's his  border collie, Sadie. It is not a good photo for painting reference, but I think if I approach the project without my usual perfectionistic bent, and just play with it, it might make a cute painting. Scott is a genuine "good guy", and always there to replace and repair  my horse's shoeing.

As always, your comments are most welcome!