Monday, September 29, 2014

WOW! Another Process ... That's Two in a Row

Believe it or not, I started this with a thin wash of aureolin over everything.  Then I did several wet-in-wet applications of a green made with quin. burnt orange, indanthrone and phthalo green, and burnt orange alone. 

I made two greys -a thin one to indicate a ground [made of aureolin, pink and cobalt blue] and a darker one for the shadow [made with quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone] - and applied them w/w. 

Then the fun part started! I actually enjoy doing all of this mostly dry brush work, getting the details, textures and markings on the leaf.

Autumn II/ 6.5 x 9.25 in./ 16.5 x 23.5 cm.
I worked on the shadow, some more leaf detail and ... voila! it is done.

This was my reference photo. 

I could say this is a symbolic painting, representing the impermanence of life or the blighting of our environment, especially as I am in a bit of a grim mood today. The weather has changed - cooler and wetter, and I definitely love the sun and warmer temperatures. I haven't been able to ride for almost 2 weeks because of my "injury", and I love riding and being around horses more than I love painting. I have had to reconcile myself to only grooming the lad. My instructor advised me that Bruno would take advantage of the weakness in the hand holding the rein, and she's right, dammit! GRRRR!!!!! And so I will paint ...

Thank you very much for dropping by!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Another Process - Step by Step Botanical Study

I started with a thin wash of aureolin, let it dry then did a w/w drop-the-color-in type of wash with quin. burnt orange.
There is a tiny bit of masking on the upper right of the leaf.

I then went into the cast shadows, which were almost as colorful as the leaf itself. Again, I used aureolin and quin. burnt orange, with a soft black mixed with the orange, quin. violet and indanthrone.

I mixed a bright green with phthalo green and quin. gold, and did a dry brush application with that. I then glazed over the entire leaf with aureolin, and the shadow area with aureolin and quin. burnt orange. I find doing a gentle glaze, with a delicate touch after the original colors are dry, softens the painting, and gives it a more realistic look.  

Here it is with all the detail added.
The painting is 6 1/4 x 10 1/4 in. [16 x 26 cm.]
It will be available at Daily Paintworks.

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It's Maggie's Turn in the Limelight - a Portrait in Progress

I finally caught a photo of Maggie NOT as a blur of black.

Started with some thin washes of local color - alizarin crimson in her ear, and an aureolin, pink and cobalt blue mix for the light spots.

It was at this point that I took a good look at the model herself. I was sitting at the computer, and she was on her hind legs with her front paws on my lap. I was going in the wrong direction with her coloring! She has much more black on her face. The reference photo, taken at sunset, had wrongly indicated that she had more of the gold color in her face and neck than she actually does. So ...

I found another photo - here she is with her best buddy, both of them with their favorite stuffed animals. And I kept going to Maggins as she rested, checking her coloring. I am sure she wondered what the heck I was doing.

With this wash, I started correcting her coloration.

... continuing to do more w/w washes.

I am this point now. I have her eye done, and I am working mostly with the dry brush technique to darken her coat. I picked up a cat's tongue brush last week [as I was picking up a few supplies for my class] - it works beautifully.

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It Only Took a Month ... but It Felt Like SIX!

I can't believe it's been only a month since I started this. It truly feels so much longer. This was Aug. 22.

Today, I finished all the small details on the tack, and played a bit - very carefully - with the background. Then I sent an image of the painting to the buyer for her final approval, and got back "gorgeous". I am thrilled! Always, whenever I work on a piece, it looks worse to me the longer I work on it. There must be some sort of "law of art", like the laws of physics, to explain the phenomenon - the inverse art appreciation law???

I had an accident at work last Thursday. I was taking an x-ray, moving at full tilt, and caught my toe on a water-line. All of us at the office have done it, but I was traveling with such impulsion that I went straight into the edge of two walls. I split my scalp and bashed my thumb [thankfully left hand] into the wall. So that was it for work. I went to a nearby doctor's office, and he glued my scalp back together with "New Skin", very much like "crazy glue". I tottered off home, somewhat stunned and shaken. Then went for an x-ray of my thumb - nothing conclusive. But that's not too important, as you treat most fractures of fingers and toes very much like a sprain - ibuprofen and ice and immobility. I made myself a splint to wear at night, and I do not ride Bruno [though I have been lungeing him, and doing work on hand as he gets bored and cheeky very quickly when not being worked]. I am so lucky, and glad it was not my right hand!!!

Thank you for dropping by!! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Meet Leslie Redhead

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine emailed me to ask if I would like to be involved in the blog hop. I was thrilled, as Leslie has been a very good friend for me in the art world. She is always there to answer questions and give advice. And she even adjudicated my work for full active membership in the Federation of Canadian Artists. She is a full-time artist and art instructor, living in Vancouver with her husband and two teenagers, and the infamous Twilight. I have met her wonderful family, and even had Twilight stay with me over Christmas holidays recently.
I find Leslie's work to be beautiful, rich and vibrant. She is an inspiration to me, as well as a friend and mentor. Leslie has given me some information to post, as well as her brilliant painting of a milkweed pod. It is one of my favorites as well. I must admit, though, that I first fell in love with her poured watercolors. She is a master of this technique, so I am going to include a few of my favorites of her work in this genre.

Willie's Bakery

Bridge to Ronda

The Harmony Gate

The Matisse

Strands of Silk

Leslie was born in Murray, UT and was raised in Maryland where she was exposed to all the wonderful art that the museums of Washington, DC had to offer. Her degree is in Zoology because she planned on doing scientific illustration. However, after a move to Boston and the birth of two children, she began painting and teaching more in watercolor. Eight years ago her family moved to Canada which is where Leslie's husband is from. Leslie's paintings are in private and corporate collections worldwide. She recently graduated with a Master of Education in Art from the University of Victoria and has signatures with Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS), Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour (CSPWC), and the Federation of Canadian Artists (AFCA). Leslie continues to teach and conducts workshops in Canada, the U.S., and Spain. Her work is featured in Splash 10: Passionate Brushstrokes from the Splash: Best of Watercolor series, Leslie Redhead: the life of an artist, and Making It! Case Studies of Successful Canadian Artists.

Leslie currently resides in Vancouver, BC with her husband, two children, and dog. She is represented by Madrona Gallery in Victoria, BC. More of Leslie’s work can be seen at http://www.leslieredhead.com and http://leslieredheadart.blogspot.com

Thank you for dropping by. I hope you enjoyed Leslie's work as much as I do!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Just a Quick Update ...

Wet paint! Just finished up another botanical of blackberries that I started when working on the hawthorn berries.
Reference photo of Maggie. She is a very striking, almost eerie-looking dog ... very wild-looking. It must be those yellow eyes. And it is hard to get a good photo of her. She rarely is still. She has settled in well though - no more disappearing shoes or slippers, and no more new holes being dug in the yard. And she comes when called, at a flat-out run. :)

My drawing, done with a grid, has been traced onto watercolor paper and ready to be worked on though I don't think I'll have time till Sunday to work on it. 

I left the horse and rider painting here ...

Since then, I have darkened the horse [still need a bit at the front end]. The rider is done, though the tack and saddle pads need  some touching up. And I am working on darkening the background - it seems to add depth to the painting overall. This is a reasonable approximation of the colors and values, though I find that the more color and depth you have in a painting, the more difficult [if not impossible] it is to capture the actual look of the work.
I am trying to savor each remaining morsel of summer, spending a lot of time outside. And I start teaching my first class this Saturday, so I've been picking up a few supplies, and giving thought to what I will do that first session. I was nervous when I found out I had 8 students, but that has passed. I think we will do washes the first class, and I will chat with each of the students to find out their art experience and class expectations.

Thank you for dropping by!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Bruno Took on a Different Role Today ...

Miss Brielle up top with mom.

There was a big audience of great-grandma, grandma, grandpa and others. All the green foam at his lips is from the munch of grass he had while waiting for Miss B's diaper to be changed. One never rides in a soiled diaper :)

Bruno was so well-behaved and gentle.

My landlady's family was out today for a visit - it's so beautiful out here, and the weather is still summer-like.  As I was grooming Bruno, Henry [aka grandpa] watched with Brielle, who thought she'd like to try riding Bruno. While they watched, I lunged him, and then rode him, and he was extremely good, so I had no qualms about having wee tots on his back.  Brielle decided she'd like to have mom up there with her. So Katie got on, then we handed Brielle to her, and Katie put her in front. I walked them around for about 15 minutes, till Miss B. decided she'd had a long enough ride. She was very good and quiet, and I am so happy she had a great first- time experience with a horse. And Bruno was a super-star!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Get Your Red-Hot Hawthorn Berries HERE

Hawthorn berries
8.5 x 5.5 in.
22 x 14 cm.
$93.00 Cdn. plus $10.00 shipping anywhere

Sorry, I am having the devil of a time to get a paypal button to show on this page, but it is available through paypal.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Trying Out Some Botanical Painting while I Creep Up toward the Front of the Horse ...

Slowly working my way forward, doing detail work - tail done, hoof shadows, some  work on the tack ...

I started two botanical style paintings. These are hawthorn berries. The berries were started with quin. sienna. The leaves were done with a wash of aureolin, followed by quin. gold and phthalo green.

... glazed with alizarin crimson

... realized the reds and oranges were not going to give the depth of shadow I wanted, so did a dry brush glaze with a brown mixture.

Now I am back to glazing with sienna here, and will move to alizarin and see what I get.
Painting is 33 x 14 cm.

Blackberries - some berries were started with cobalt blue, the others with brown madder and a aureolin/brown madder/cobalt blue mixture.

Then I quickly got them dark - the berry on the left I tried to paint without masking, got impatient and masked the rest of the dark ones.

Now I have to go back and soften and play with the edges left by the masking.
This painting is 33 x 16 cm.

It's a gorgeous, sunny day here, but the wind is HOWLING! I'll have to wait till it calms a bit before going out to play with the lad. He's been feeling very feisty lately with the cooler weather.

Thank you for dropping by! 

Friday, September 5, 2014

It's a Beautiful Morning ...

I just had to get these photos just now, looking past the barn to the field and park beyond.

These two images are about the same stage, just different lighting/times of day when the photos were taken. I have most of the local color down. Now it's a matter of finishing the details, and taking a good, long look to see how dark I would like to take the background, and integrating the foreground with the background.
I have been doing double duty with animals, helping a neighbor, while she is away, with her two horses, two dogs and cat. So I haven't had as much time to paint, but it's coming along in the right direction.

Thank you for dropping by!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Some Time Away from Horses and Watercolor ... and It Was GOOD

Heading down to the beach ...

... more stairs

some gorgeous views on the climb down

... and still more stairs

locals at the beach - got some good reference photos of the gulls

... and a steep climb back up

I spent Monday afternoon away from horses and painting, and visited a friend in White Rock. It is a lovely, still small and quaint town. I think it started out as a beach community, and moved up the hills over time. The beachfront is busy all year round, especially in summer. It's a lovely stretch of homes and shops and restaurants. Pearl and I hiked down through forest to the beach, and ambled along for a while.  Then we stopped for a lovely leisurely lunch. A bit more ambling on the sea-walk, then back up the dreaded hill. WOW ... it's steep! My calves are still stiff four days later, and I thought I was in reasonable shape :)

Thank you for dropping by!