Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Stealth Dog and the Tunnels of Doom ... or ... Maggie Is an Escape Artist!

This is one of the barricades I put up. The entire property is fenced, with chicken wire along the bottom, but the wire is quite old and flexible.

Here's another hole she has started, leading to the next-door neighbor [who I am sure would skin Maggie alive if she caught her].

Another tunnel-to-freedom I found yesterday, going from the backyard into the riding ring, which is NOT fenced with chicken wire. So if Maggie gets in the ring, she is FREE!!!

What's a little Stealth Dog to do???

puzzled ... perplexed ... frustrated

... meanwhile Bruno munches away
We rode despite the steady drizzle, and had a great time!

Maggie back inside, re-arranging my bedroom rug.

For weeks now, I have noticed, while from the vantage point of Bruno's back while riding,  that Maggie is somehow escaping from the property. She likes to explore and hunt all over the neighborhood. There is nothing I can do till I finish my ride. But I keep eyes open to see where Maggie is making her return to the back yard. Along one area of the fence-line I have since placed several old flower tubs, filled with rocks so that a small but determined dog cannot move them. The tunnel I have filled with larger pieces of wood and more rocks.  For now, I do believe I have foiled her escape attempts!!!

Thank you so much for your visit!

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Old Grey Pony Is Finished, and BOY!!! Do I Need Practice with Pouring Paint!!!

Old Grey Pony
11 x 13 in./  28.5 x 34 cm.
Available at Daily Paintworks

I wanted to demonstrate poured watercolor to the class last Saturday. So I quickly found an image [of one of my favorite subjects] with strong values, got the drawing on watercolor paper, masked it, and took it to class. I think I started with the paint too concentrated, but went ahead anyway. I used hansa yellow [just because I had a lot, and never use it for anything else], alizarin crimson and indanthrone blue.

I made a mistake or two along the way, but it is a very enjoyable painting technique, and I will come back to it. I guess a better-prepared value study would be a good idea next time!!??? ... or ANY value study!! Must get into the habit of doing those!

Meanwhile, here in Lotusland [aka Vancouver] the rains have started. It is coming down so hard, you can hardly see across the street! Must be making up for the dry summer we had. So Bruno is out in his paddock wearing snorkeling gear and flippers, and I am inside with the rest of the menagerie, trying to decide what to paint next.

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Almost Finished ... a Pony's Progress

For a reference, I used an older drawing I had done of my neighbor's pony. [Kim preferred  the other, more dramatic  drawing I did to have as a painting.] Here, I am doing several w/w washes with a warm grey made of permanent rose, quin. burnt orange and indanthrone.

... continuing with the w/w applications ...

I moved to a darker [more blue/black] mixture for the nostril and muzzle. I also shifted to a cooler grey, made of the same three pigments. 

Thought it was time to get some background down. I used the permanent rose in a splotchy [purposely splotchy] application, followed by quin. burnt orange, and then several dark mixtures made of the same pink, orange and blue.

Amazing what a difference the background made!

I continued to darken the shadows, using both w/w and dry brush techniques.

The large areas of dark were finally dark enough, so I removed the masking. Now I just have to fine tune the mane and forelock, and see how it looks overall.

I wanted to create a sense of a sweet older pony. We've all seen them in the horse world - been everywhere, done all of that, won all the t-shirts - toting kids around all over the place without batting an eye at anything that would normally spook a horse. I love them! So I chose a softer, more gentle background, and hopefully gave him a quiet and gentle look, while giving him the dignified expression he deserves.

Thank you so much for dropping by!

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!!