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Friday, August 28, 2015

The Contented Cow and Other Stories

I started with a lot of w/w washes, with the cow masked. Above, I did one of aureolin, more intense at top and bottom, then one of pink, darker in the middle.

Some orange ...

... and some indanthrone

I removed the mask [it left the paper surface a bit rough - must get new bottle of masking fluid] Then I started the shadows with a violet made of quin. violet and indanthrone. I added a thin line of indanthrone to suggest a treeline in the distance. 

I did several w/w washes with a black [quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone] ...

... and also some direct painting with thin black paint. Looks like she needs her front end and eye area a bit darker, and some shadows painted on her white patches. And I think I'll add some friends for her out in the distance.
 I had started painting background washes like this about ten years ago, after I came across a book by Catherine Anderson, a California painter. Her work is exquisite, and well worth a look if you like this type of work.

My contented model

I started this as a class demo, with thin washes of aureolin and indanthrone.  [Can you see them - I can't!]

Then I did some spattering [using yellow, orange and blue] and spraying, after covering the area on the left with  watercolor paper and tape.

Some glazing with quin. violet ...

... some detail in the background ...

I removed the masking, toned down the fence with violet, and added some branches. It doesn't look quite as ethereal as I would have liked, but it's not bad.

This was another demo I did in class. I used aureolin, a pink, and cobalt and indanthrone blue.  The background was done w/w, and the grasses were painted directly. The grass shadow/reflections were done by painting vertical lines below the grass, and then dragging a wet flat brush though the paint. It always amazes me how something so simple could look so effective and attractive. [Must remember that - I seem to tend to the very complicated]. 

This is a quick thumbnail sketch for a painting my aunt requested. One of her friends is moving back to Toronto, and she would like to give her something that reminds her of British Columbia, hence the tugs in the mist with the forested shoreline.

I hope all of you have had a wonderful summer, and are enjoying these last weeks of warm weather.
Thank you so much for dropping by!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

So ... Long Time No See ... or ... Works in Progress

This was #2. There was too much of the quin. gold - didn't like the overall effect. ONWARD ...

Start of #3.  I used quin. burnt orange instead of the gold. I also used my usual animal palette of quin. violet and indanthrone blue, with some permanent rose and cobalt blue for the tongue.

Started to get some of his local color on.

More black ...

... and still more black ...

I masked out the logo in the background, and did several w/w washes  with orange, violet and dark blue.

Mask was removed, and the logo is there just enough to be noticed but not to overwhelm.

I visited the friend who commissioned the work, and she loved his expression but said he needed more black, so more black it is. I think it's almost there, just a bit of tweaking and probably one more overall w/w application of black. I considered using a dry brush technique, but was afraid that it would give a scratchy look, so all has been done wet-in-wet.

I was coming home from teaching last week, and thankfully had my camera. The girls were out in the field, so I stopped to take some photos. She looks like the epitome of the contented cow here.

Some goslings

Another view

Apologies for being away for a long time. I've been painting, but nothing I really like, and I'm trying to get more sketching done, too. And of course, there's Bruno. We've been doing more trail riding [something he is not accustomed to doing] so I am taking my time. His idea of rebelling is to stop dead and turn to stone, so I have been basically just waiting him out. From the saddle I tell him, "Bruno, I have ALLLL day, but you will miss lunch and snacks and dinner ... " It seems to work :) He LOVES his food! So other than the balking and a minor spook or two, we are doing well.

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Quick Peek at My Planning Process ... or .. A Short Course in Frustration

This was round #1 with the portrait. I was not happy with how his head and neck looked against his body, so decided to start again.

But meanwhile, I thought I'd play with the blacks to see how the logo would show up.

This is #2. I used quin. gold as one of the colors in the initial washes ... 

... but when I got further along, I didn't like the color it gave.
ONWARD! 

I did some fluffing around with colors this morning - just quin. burnt orange and some cobalt blue. I think it will look better.

This is the reference photo I was given ...

... and the original sketch.

And now for something completely different! This is one of the photos I took the other evening. I was fascinated by the turkeys, so of course I must paint them. They remind me of the alien in the movie of the same name.

I thought to do a larger painting [16 x 20 inches], but common sense prevailed, and I have started with an 8 x 10 inch soon-to-be-painted sketch.

Playing around with colors, and trying to capture the look of feathers. I do not want to render each individual one!

And I am mulling over how to paint these cuties.  

Now off to ride Bruno. It was cooler yesterday, as it is today. And His Highness was very full of himself. Riding him was like trying to drive a runaway tank. My bum and thighs can feel the workout they had!

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Host of Farm Animals and More ... or ... More Paintings Soon!!!

Crescent Beach - a small marina

Lovely sky and water reflections

Beautiful peach-colored hollyhock near the old farmhouse

Stewart Farm - heritage site of farm home and outbuildings

Two very photogenic toms

Their chatty lady-friend - she chattered away the entire time I was there taking photos.

Here she is.


The toms were in display the entire time.  Maybe the hen was sweet-talking them???

Then along came the family of Chinese geese. Dad was very protective, so I kept my fingers close to myself! 

The kids

Next door to the geese and turkeys was a huge pig pen.

And almost home, I stopped to take some photos of the local sheep.

I don't do well with a lot of noise and loud people. My landlady was having children, grand-children and great grand-children, and assorted other people, so I decided to head out at dinner time and see if I could get some reference boat photos for a painting I'd like to do. I missed out on the boats, but when driving around, did get lots of animal photos. The turkeys were hilarious, with the hen chattering and chuckling and squeaking to me [or herself], and I was trying to talk turkey back to her. The toms were on constant display, all puffed up, with tails fully flared, looking utterly alien. And the geese were delightful - mom and dad and four goslings. 
The area where I live is farming country - small hobby farms and a lot of wooded areas. And close by [about 10 minutes away] is the ocean, with miles of beaches, piers, boats and a long promenade. So I got a bit of everything today with my camera, and came home a happy camper!

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

An Elegant Bird ... or ... Step by Step Painting of an Ameraucana Hen

My drawing with scribbled notes made as I go along in painting.

First, a this wash of quin. burnt orange ...

... some permanent rose ...

... and finally some cobalt blue.

I painted the bright head and neck feathers with quin. sienna.  Body shadows were done with a mix of quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone blue. The legs were painted with a mixture of the same orange and blue, but with permanent rose in lieu of violet- it seemed to give a colder, harder-looking black, which I wanted for the feet.

More quin. sienna, wet in wet, over the front of her body, and some fluff around her beak painted in a soft black. I think the beard is one of the characteristics of this breed.

I did more work with the feathers of her body, using quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone to make both a soft brown and a black.

More work on the feathers ...

... and I believe she is pretty much done.
I painted almost the entire work in a wet-in-wet technique. I wanted to keep her feathers looking softer and fluffier [and I had no desire to render each individual feather!] 

I was more ambitious [or foolish] with this hen I painted about ten years ago. She was sent off to Washington state to be part of a charity auction for a horse rescue group.

Life has been somewhat rough lately, and I haven't felt like blogging or painting much. Seems to be improving, so I hope to be able to post about once a week.

Thank you so much for dropping by!