Tuesday, December 1, 2015

It's Been a While ... Chickadee - Work in Progress

I think you may have seen this drawing earlier.

I wanted to something different with the background,  something suggestive of brambles. I used daVinci's indanthrone[which is a not transparent] and some raw umber, splooshed them on wet paper, and then dropped on some plastic wrap, and let it set. It gave a nice random texture to the heavy pigments.

Started to work on the bird's local color. Those are my handy color reference photos beside the painting.

I lifted here and there in the background, trying to follow the pattern set by the plastic wrap.

More thin glazes ... I used my favorite triad - quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone in various combinations to get the browns and blacks.

A bit more glazed shadowing, and I am here now. I think he's done, but I'll let him perch for a few days to see how I feel about the painting as a whole.

Meanwhile, it's been a bit chilly here - frozen ground, heavy frost, and Bruno snuggled in two blankets at night.

Another scene from our walk. We are out every morning. My dog, Maggie, dances at the front door waiting to go, and her friend [my landlady's dog] barks from her spot inside her house where she can keep an eye on me. I don't dare ignore them!!!

There have been a lot of coyotes this winter - very large, healthy-looking specimens. I don't believe they'd go after  a fair-sized dog alone, but if they are in a pack, definitely. The one above was trotting down a main road out here at 8 AM. Then he stopped and watched the three of us disappear into the park. I am keeping a close eye on the girls when they are off leash.

Thank you very much for dropping by! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bright and Beautiful ... a Floral Process ...

Drawing I made for class. I decided to leave out the leaves in the painting.

I used four colors throughout - aureolin, quin. pink, brilliant orange and indanthrone blue.
I started a few of the petals to see how the colors would flow together, and then painted the cast shadows with a mix of pink and indanthrone.

The petals were all done with the wet-in-wet technique. 

Then I started working on the form shadows, again doing them w/w.

The centers were done with a dark violet.

I decided the pink in the upper right flower needed  more intensity to make it stand out a bit more. And now it's done :)
I REALLY needed something BRIGHT to paint. I may end up playing with screamingly bright colors all winter!

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Painting ... Making Mistakes ... Hopefully Learning ...

I played with the background of the chickadees, using "sludge" colors. That's what I call sedimentary pigments, as they are heavy and cover almost everything else. But I must admit, they give a decent look here. I'll probably try these two again, after touching up the drawings and doing a proper value study.

And this cutie will be done, too.

I started this in class last Saturday. I like the mountains, and the sweep of the hills ...

... but somewhere I lost it. I don't think the green was a good idea.

I did a quick finish at home. I think oranges and yellows throughout the work, with some violet shadow would be a better plan. The class wanted to do a landscape, so I thought I'd try to paint something along the lines of the big painting I have to do with all the animals. The person who commissioned the work lives in a part of the States with dry, rolling hills, with tall and rough-looking mountains in the distance, so I tried a practice run on the background. 

This is what I am playing with right now. Again, it was something I started in class; this one is preparation for a larger painting. I need the bright colors, and  the  accommodation of flowers - they don't mind too much what you do with their shapes and colors in a painting.

Thank you for dropping by!!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Bird in the Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush????? ... Works-in-Progress

I liked the sketches, and had good plans ...

... somewhere along the line, I lost it.
Started off with some brown madder.

Darkened the madder with some burnt orange and indanthrone.

Branch was painted with quin. sienna and alizarin crimson.

Then I made the mistake of sponging on cobalt blue and burnt orange. It might be salvageable ...

Bird #2. Again started with brown madder. It's a lovely soft pinkish-brown.

Browns and greys made with brown madder, indanthrone and burnt orange.  For the blacks I used quin. violet rather than the less intense madder.

A bit of burnt orange to brighten him up.

And another so-so background. ARRRGGHHHHH!!!!! 

I like the chickadee, but I'm hoping I think of something spectacular to improve the background.

There's still Bird #3 ...

In class last Saturday, students wanted to work on a simple landscape. So I started this one [again - it works well as a teaching demo].

I couldn't resist taking a photo of this adorable face.  I was on dog-walking duty for one of my neighbors last week. I think she has two or three bull terriers, all rescues.

Bruno is "ride-able" again, in a very limited way. I can only walk him for 20 minutes at most, with no tight circles, nothing fancy, just big and easy movement. But it is SOOO GOOD to be back in the saddle, and he likes the work and attention, too!

Thank you for dropping by!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Not Much Painting, but a Fair Bit of Drawing ...

This is a still life we worked on in the drawing class last night. I was grocery shopping in the morning, and remembered to pick up our "models".

Yes ... I have a skull living in a wig box in the closet. She was my dad's - he was an ear-nose-throat specialist, and I suppose availed himself of the skull for anatomical study for surgery. Sounds reasonable??? Whatever ... Zelda, as I named her, was a most accommodating model.

Another student brought in this beautiful dark, glass vase. It looked even when I was working on it!!! 

Plans for a commission. I am just starting to give it some serious thought now.  It will be large and complicated, so I have been procrastinating. 

Yes, it involves cats - eight of them, as well as a cockatoo, a parrot, two doves, two dogs and a rabbit!!!

So I have been doing quick cat studies in different poses.

... and more cats ...

... and still more cats!

That's pretty much it from the Farm for now. Bruno still is off with a hurt tendon, and we are both going a bit squirrelly from lack of exercise. So ... back to the drawing board and MORE cats!!!

Thank you for dropping by!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Are we There Yet??? ... Two Works Finished - the Cockatoo and the Tugboats

I left the poor bird here ... just a mass of feathers.

I used quin. violet, burnt orange and indanthrone to mix up some blue/violet for the beak and feet, black for the eye, and a brown for the branch.

I then went back in with the ultramarine/pink mixture, and gave the bottom of her body some definition.

I used the same blue/pink color to start adding some definition to her head feathers ...

... and kept on going till she looked right to my eye.
                                                                 "Pretty on Pink" 
                                                     36 x 40 cm.

I also did some fiddling [another technical term, similar to fussing] with the tugs. I intensified the colors of the tugs, especially the closer one, and I added some shadowed reflections underneath it. I also did some wet-in-wet applications of the dark sea color in a wavy motion in the foreground. All these changes were at the request of my aunt, and I agree with her appraisal and ideas.

I've had several people ask for my definitions of some of those technical terms I used in the last post. Blorping is applying fairly concentrated pigment in a happy-go-lucky manner. A wubble is what happens when the water/pigment ratio is off. I tend to make my washes quite smooth, and when there is excess water, it starts to move the colors in an unexpected [and usually unwanted] way.

 I may not be posting or painting as much for a while. My aunt went back into the hospital on the weekend, and it doesn't look good. So it goes ...

Thank you all for dropping by!!