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!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Tale of Two Parrots ...or ... Works in Progress

Since the last post, I went over the shadowed areas of the head with alizarin crimson.

Next I painted the blue ruff around the neck with ultramarine blue. Then ... the FUN part ... wetting the head, and blorping [a very technical watercolor term  :)] on lots of cadmium red. Right now, I like how it looks. We shall see what happens.  

I also started another parrot - same drawing, smaller format. I started by masking all the white feathers that were in direct sunlight. I wet the entire sheet, and loosely applied aureolin, quin. coral [a warmer version of the quinacridone pinks] and quin. sienna. 

I let it dry [no, I carefully used a hair-dryer, not feeling particularly patient], wet the entire sheet again, and applied thin washes of coral, sienna and ultramarine. I tried to encourage the blue to move more to the bottom, and ended up with two wubbles [another technical term] on the lower left.  

No problem! I dried it, re-wet it [using a firmer stroke than usual when applying water to loosen the areas of mistakes], and applied quin. coral and quin. sienna. It looks like that correction has almost completely eradicated the wubbles. Now I'll let it dry completely, and see what it's like when the masking is removed.

Thank you so much for dropping by! 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Why I'm Not Getting as Much Painting Done ... and ... a Parrot's Progress ...

Can we go for a walk NOW???
As soon as the sun starts to rise, Maggie is ready and raring to go! She has SO much energy! I take her and my landlady's dog out for an hour in the morning. And of course, Bruno; on the days I ride, it's another 2 - 3 hours there. Teaching is also taking time away from painting, especially the drawing class. But I'll get all of it organized ...

This is my reference photo, taken by a woman with whom I work. I loved the pose, and the colors in the neck area.  I had planned to work those colors into the background of the painting, but got swept away in a different direction,.

I masked the cockatoo and some palm leaves, wet the paper, and  dropped in some aureolin, pink and phthalo blue.

I started drawing in more leaves, and masking them ...

... and totally lost the bright colors.

So I will try something else. The parrot will now be red. I am painting the shadows in ultramarine blue, and the parrot will be done in cadmium red. These are both colors I never use, so this will be interesting.

My color swatches - I had thought a thin glaze of phthalo green would be a good shadow, but the ultramarine blue actually looks better. The green was quite dull-looking.

This is a photo I found on the internet that I am using as a color reference only.

Thank you so much for dropping by!