Sunday, October 4, 2015

Vancouver Scenes, and a Bit of Painting

This is the side entrance to the Vancouver Art Gallery. It was a gorgeous, warm, sunny day, and I wanted to be outside, but I also really wanted to see this exhibit - it was the final day. The gallery was showing an exhibition of 500 years of Italian art, on loan from several Glasgow museums. There were several exquisite Renaissance works - very inspiring!

I had to take a photo of the skyline near the gallery. Vancouver has changed so very much. Every time I visit [which isn't often],  there are major changes.

Photos were not permitted in the gallery proper, but I was drawn to some of the renovation work that is being done inside the foyer. To me, it looks quite lovely and has  a European flavor.

I had my sister pose at the bottom of the winding stairs. 

On the way home, we drove through an older section of  Vancouver called Gastown. This isn't  the showy, store-front view. It's one of the grungy alleys, and I thought the photo would be a perfect reference for an exercise in perspective for my drawing class.

The other side of the street - another good perspective shot.

We passed through Chinatown ...

... and along Commercial Drive where some fair was being held. I just had to get a photo of the "bee-man" with his wings.

Also on Commercial, I took a photo through  the windshield of this woman's wild green dreadlocks. I am like a tourist in my own city. My niece once said that going out in the city with me was like going out with an alien from another planet - always looking, always fascinated and amazed at what I saw. 

I did some painting this week - finished the contented cow, by giving her a solid shadow and ground.

And I am still slogging along with the tugs. I was darkening the treed areas in small bits and pieces with a dry brush technique, and it was so slow going.  So I decided to bite the bullet, and put some masking on and get it DONE. I will have to darken the water and foreground tug, and then re-assess.

The watercolor classes are still going so well - all are happy with their work, and inspired [including me].

I taught my first drawing class last Tuesday. That was not so inspiring! The class is extremely diverse - from those with absolutely no drawing background to others with many years of doodling and drawing. As for me, I have been drawing for as long as I can remember, and I'm finding it somewhat awkward to explain something that is so natural to me. Like ... how do you explain to someone how to walk who has never done so??? Somehow, I'll figure it out. I think the next class will involve much looser work using charcoal on large sheets of paper. One overall mistake I noticed with the class was that they were all very tight, and trying to be "perfect" in creating a drawing. And I must do more demonstrations.

Anyway, that's life right now. Thank you for dropping by!

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Contented Cow and Other Stories ... Works Finished, Works in Progress

I added a bit more shadowing to Missy, and gave her a spot on which to lie.  I took this photo in late morning bright sun, so it is somewhat washed out, even after increasing the overall saturation. But here she is ... finsk!

I finished the trio of goslings. 

I did this a few weeks ago, and liked the texturing, but not the overall composition so ...

... I am giving it another whirl.

I am still slogging away on the tugboats. I didn't like it, and couldn't decide why, and almost gave up to start again.  Then I tried playing with the format  - mostly the size [the tugs were lost].  If you look closely, you can see the pencil marks I made at the perimeter. I think it will be fine in a smaller format, and perhaps with a bit more saturation of color here and there.

And Batman was finally picked up but the purchasers, and taken to the framer.  My riding instructor and some of her students commissioned it for another [horse] trainer.

As for life in general, I am thrilled! One of my sister's friends manages a car dealership, and he found another car for me. I fell in love with it! It is a lovely graphite-colored Golf, and I am picking it up tomorrow.

Classes are going well - at least the watercolor class. I will also be teaching a drawing class, starting tomorrow. I have a rough outline, loosely based on the book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain". It's always something of a challenge teaching these classes, as I don't know what, if any, experience the students have had with art, and it is a bit demanding teaching something which comes to me quite easily. So I always plan for the absolute basics, and take it from there. Drawing tomorrow will be upside down, to dissociate the analytical/ verbal half from the holistic/creative side.

That's it for now. Thank you for dropping by!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Goslings Waddling along Nicely ... Baby Geese - Work in Progress

After the last post, I dry-brushed some aureolin here and there.

Then I mixed up a purply-brown and started dry-brushing the colors in their feathers with a mixture of burnt orange, violet and indanthrone. I also got serious about the anatomy and shadows of their legs. I used aureolin, burnt orange and indanthrone to get an almost-black olive green. 

Right now, I am continuing with the dry-brushwork on their feathers - this technique seems to work best for achieving that fluffy appearance. I think I'll put it aside for a bit, to let the colors set, and work on the tugboat painting.

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Baby Goose Has Some Siblings ... Work in Progress

You remember this little cutie. Well, there were actually at least a dozen of them scurrying around the field.

I masked the geese, and then painted three wet-in-wet graded washes - quin. burnt orange, pink and indanthrone blue. Then I removed the masking, and started working on their form shadows with a mixture of orange, pink and indanthrone. The beaks were first done with indanthrone.

The blacks of their eyes and beaks were painted with a mix of quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone. And I did a wash of aureolin on their legs.

I am here now. I've done two glazes on their form shadows, and am ready to get their local color  - a purply/grey - started. I have also glazed their legs with a green made of aureolin, indanthrone and orange. I have a feeling the color to be added to their feathers will have to be dry-brushed on ... carefully. That's why I have stopped here to take a break. And Bruno is hollering from his paddock. Time to RIDE!!!

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Odds and Ends and Works-in-progress ...

I was asked to do a skateboard-themed painting for a local charity. So I came up with this work [and in record time for me!]. The colors are new gamboge, quin. sienna with a slash of phthalo blue.  It was a large piece - about 18 x 24 inches.

I've also been playing with these fungi this past week. I started with the "shrooms", using aureolin, new gamboge and quin. burnt orange. For the tree bark texture, I carefully sponged on water to give random texture, and then, onto the sponged spots, applied mixtures of quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone.

More work on the mushrooms, using burnt orange.

I extended the tree shapes to create a vignette, and have been working on intensifying the tree bark in spots, as well as building up the depth in the fungi. This is a much smaller work - 12 x 8 1/2 inches.

I started teaching regular classes again this last Saturday. So again, my emphasis was on playing with the pigments in a wet-in-wet manner. I have found most people, when painting, want to stroke and stroke with their brushes on damp or dry paper, which essentially ruins the effect of watercolor. So my primary theme in every class is to encourage "playing" with the pigments on very wet paper. We had a very successful class in that respect. I had two of the students absolutely mesmerized, almost lost, touching their brushes to the paper and watching what happened as the paint moved on its own. It always rekindles my passion for this medium when I see people so blissfully lost in the beauty of the process, and then so happy with the results.
The above work is my demo start, and I think it's caught my eye - I'd like to see where this goes.
I've also started a large painting [18 x 25 inches] for my aunt. A friend of hers decided to move back to Toronto. So auntie wanted something reminiscent of British Columbia to send as a gift, and felt some tugboats lost in the coastal fog would be good. So here we go again ...

Thank you so much for dropping by! Hope you are all having a lovely end to your summer!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

{Metaphorically} Hatching a Gosling - a Step by Step Process

My reference photo, taken a few weeks ago at a nearby farm in the late evening [subdued lighting].

I masked the gosling and did several wet-in-wet graded washes, using aureolin, quin. rose, quin. burnt orange and cobalt clue. This gave me a a soft and glowing grey.

I sponged on some water on the lower left, and drizzled in some aureolin, indanthrone blue and quin. burnt orange. I wanted to create the effect of a cast shadow on the grass without direct painting, to create something a bit different and lively. I used aureolin for the head and neck, and bum and legs, and started working on the bird's feathers with greys and browns made of aureolin, quin. pink and cobalt blue.  

More feathering, and some shadows on the legs, using aureolin, quin. burnt orange and indanthrone to make warm greens. For the beak and eye, I used mixtures on indanthrone with burnt orange and quin. violet. 

I went over the bottom third with aureolin to give a "ground'.

Then did some adjusting of shadows on the left of the bird, and VOILA!
The framable size is just over 7 inches square, and the painting is available on Artfinder.

Now I'm going to do some more painting, and feel sorry for myself. I badly pulled a lower back muscle last week, helping a friend load some huge, full water containers into the back of her car. And yesterday, I was in a car accident, and wrenched [sprained] my wrist, thankfully the left one. But ... ONWARD!

Thank you so much for dropping by!

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!