Sunday, November 9, 2014

Aurora Ranalis ... Loosely Translated as Light of Frog ... Another Process

This was the sketch for the painting. My model was one of the frogs in my collection - must have about forty.  The frog joke [and collection] started after I moved out here fourteen years go.  I had never seen or heard tree frogs before then. They are tiny and adorable, and have a huge BARGUMP noise for such a small animal. I fell in love with the wee beasties, and would rescue them if they wandered into my home or barn, or managed to fall into the pool and couldn't get out. They show up in the strangest places! 

First I did several w/w glazes with a mix of quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone to establish the shadows .

I had originally planned to try painting an effect like scarves of bright transparent colors, but it looked like so much work, so I opted for an impression of the aurora borealis. Here, I did a w/w application using aureolin and phthalo blue.

Then I painted two w/w washes with a dark blue-black mixture. And here he is - the tiny frog admiring the lights.

Aurora Ranalis
13 x 9 in.
33 x 23 cm. 

I added this photo, too, taken with a flash. It seems to interpret the painting more as I see it.
I have another pose of the frog on paper, ready to paint. This one will be in BRIGHT colors!

It's been pretty soggy here for the last two weeks. I haven't been able to ride, which I miss terribly. Just managed to groom His Lordship, and take him out for several walks on hand. I'm also doing a lot of studying online, catching up on all the continuing education courses I need for re-licensure as a dental hygienist. There was even one titled "Saliva: the Magic Fluid" ... how does that tickle your fancy????? Maggie, the stealth dog, has turned out to be quite a sleepy-head in the winter [I don't blame her - hibernating seems like a great idea to me, too] She doesn't really like the rain, and will only go out if someone else is outside with her. So it's pretty slow here.

On a very positive note, I am LOVING teaching! I am teaching the second session of classes [five classes per session], and this time I have seven students. They are all having a great time. And I noticed yesterday, in their project, that they are making big improvements in their techniques. For some reason, getting the paper adequately wet to allow for the pigment to flow was an issue, as well as using a very delicate touch when applying paint. Most wanted to forcefully and directly manipulate the paint, rather than allowing it to move on its own. But I saw definite improvement. And most importantly, every one is happy to be there, painting. I am thrilled to be able to do this!

Thank you so much for dropping by!!! 


  1. Sounds like you are having so much fun. Carry on!

  2. And we are so happy for you that you get to teach!
    The froggy is beautiful, and can't wait to see the next one!

  3. Beautiful work on this little frog, Kathryn!!! love the background and shadow...
    You sound like you're keeping yourself very busy. I know studying on line isn't that easy. My daughter is a registered Nurse but is getting her masters on-line...NOT easy with three kids but she's doing okay. And you're teaching as well!!! I get exhausted reading this...lol

  4. Stunning frog painting!
    Glad you're enjoying the teaching, fingers crossed it continues!
    Good luck with the dental job, also! xx

  5. I get exhausted reading this too! .You must be a lot younger than me. All that activity would whack me out --except painting the little frog. Fun painting. It must be nice to be having fun painting. I am going to follow your lead and do that myself.

  6. Oh Kathryn - this is awesome. The background really makes this frog sing...I can hear him. Well at least I think I can. Love those little fellas too. They always keep me company in the early summer mornings when I sit on the deck and watch the sun come up. Hope you have a beautiful day. Can't wait to see more. So glad too that your students are really doing well. Watercolor is so hard to learn but once they do I am sure they will be hooked. How fortunate they are to have a wonderful and I am sure enthusiastic teacher!

  7. Love your frog! Such a cute subject!
    It's soggy here too - Today is the first dry day for about a week! My house is one big mud bath courtesy of the dog! Glad you are enjoying teaching :0)

  8. He/she is adorable! And the background is beautiful! I am slowly getting started painting again, pffff a great relief! I was afraid my muse had left me forever, but I am glad she is back.

  9. Love your frog, and so glad you are teaching I know you are a blessing to them. love to you<Diana

  10. LOVE the frog, so soft and ethereal. looking forward to the next one. and i'm so glad you like teaching because i'm sure your students are happy. enjoy my friend! hope you get to ride soon!

  11. I have a feeling your students are making such noticeable is progress because you are such a wonderful and passionate teacher - those students of yours are very, very lucky to have you! Love the quizzical tilt to Mr. Frog's head and his obvious adoration of the Northern Lights! Charmingly done!

  12. I enjoy seeing your process. Super perspective on this cute frog.....would make a neat Xmas card with hin looking at the star:).....you can tell what I am working on can't you......

  13. Dear Kathryn,
    I absolutely LOVE your little frog! The shadow is perfection, and I love the colors of the light.
    Thank you so much for coming over to visit..
    Yes, I am feeling so much better... Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. Happy you enjoyed Oliver.

  14. p.s. I would have loved to be one of your students!

  15. Thank you so much for sharing your process with us. It is so exciting to see what techniques and materials you used. This little frog is so cute. Happy PPF

  16. Talk about frogs ... I've just bounced back into blogger land ... Hi Kathryn! Love the frog story & WIP, and I'm really pleased you are sharing your considerable talents with your students. I'm about to do an online course to try to get back up to speed, after spending 8 months in the Salt-mines of the non-art world