Monday, November 17, 2014

"CATAWAMPUS" ... Another Process, This Time a Poured Watercolor

I must have used a quarter of a large bottle of masking fluid.

I poured, using permanent rose, aureolin and indanthrone in very dilute applications.

I masked some more, and did another  application of the same colors. I missed photographing the next step. There I went from pink to alizarin crimson to get darker shadows.

32.5 x 19.5 cm.
This is the painting now, in need of some careful glazing here and there, but basically done.
I love that word "catawampus" - it means kitty-cornered or at an angle. As my purpose and focus with this painting was the backlighting on the cat creating that angled shadow, I thought the name perfect.

Pumpkin obliged for the reference photo.

Thank you so much for dropping by - hope you enjoyed your visit!

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!!! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Today, I just found out, is Blog for Peace day. I can hardly imagine a more worthy cause than peace throughout our world. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Just Because I Like Geese and Warm Colors ... Geese-in-progress ...

I thought this was too beautiful a composition to not finish, so I flipped the painting over, and traced the geese onto the back, and started again.

Using the same colors throughout ... hansa yellow, alizarin crimson and indanthrone blue

Removed the masking last night, and did a bit of touching up and detail work this morning ... VOILA! DONE! I really like the hot colors, and the shapes caused by sunlight on their feathers.
Hot Geese
9 x 12.5 in.

Seagull Study
10 x 6.5 in.
I did this quick [for me] study of a seagull earlier this week ...

... and prepared three images for the class on Saturday. I've done the daylily before, but the class liked it a lot, and wanted to try it, so I'll be painting it again. The two landscapes will be excellent practice for flowing w/w washes for the sky and water.

It has finally stopped raining. For a while there, I thought I might have to build an ark for the animals! So I am heading out to play with Bruno - YAY!!!!! And I have an old university chum coming over this afternoon, with her husband, to help me finally set up a web site for my art.

That's life on The Farm today. Thank you so much for dropping by!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

UH ... MOO??? ... or ... Another Step-by-step Animal Painting

I wanted to re-do the painting I had done of the calf earlier this year ...
so I started in with my favorite color combinations for painting animals - quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone blue. I did several glazes of differing browns. I also used a touch of quin. sienna and alizarin crimson for the ears.

There were a few tense moments [of a watercolor-y variety]  when painting the eyes, trying to get  a soft fluidity with the colors.

I just kept on doing more w/w washes over the ears and head to darken and shape the calf.

 I glazed an almost-black over all, and painted some very gentle colors on the right to indicate the calf's body in the sunlight coming from behind her. I also painted a drop-in-the-paint type wash [using cobalt blue, a pink and some aureolin]  on the top and upper left to define her shape, and show off her sunlit ears and top of head. Did you notice the little drop of milk at the corner of her mouth?

UH ... MOO??
10 x 10 in.
25.5 x 25.5 cm.

Lastly, I gave her some long eyelashes, and painted some detail around her eyes.
I may do a bit of dry brush on her face to define the shadows and hair, but  I am quite pleased with her as she is!

Thank you so much for dropping by!! I hope you enjoyed the visit!

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!