Monday, December 31, 2007

Football Sketch, Last Sketch of 2007

University of Oklahoma (OU vs. Washington) Sketch
Graphite & Watersoluble Pencils
Reference Photo: Billy_A from Flickr

A quick sketch to familiarize myself with the shapes and directional flow.

Time Again For Review & To Look Ahead to 2008

Watersoluble Graphite on Newsprint.

Just playing with these new pencils received for Christmas. The newsprint is so light and doesn't take water well, hence the wrinkles, but is great for using charcoal or conte crayons. These pencils will be very useful for value studies.

The last day of 2007 brings pause for reflection. Reviewing the past year, thinking of areas where I can see improvement and what areas I would like more improvement. Such as a change in the way paint is applied or what steps are taken to set up and improve a composition. I want to see more passion in my work rather than just trying to replicate what I see. Asking questions such as what is it that made me want to paint this? Is it the shapes, the color, the play of light against dark? Does it bring back fond memories or is it more to do with a statement of sadness or injustice or joy?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hill Top Watercolor Landscape

Hill Top
6" x 4" Watercolor
Fabriano Soft Press Paper

I quickly painted this yesterday to finish out the gifts needed for the weekend. This is from my imagination and wanted to see how the color "Carmine" would work in a landscape. Palette was Antwerp Blue, Dioxazine Purple, Perinone Orange, Indian Yellow, Permanent Yellow Lemon, Green Gold, Viridian, and Carmine.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

Pears Sketch

Pears Sketch
Mechanical Pencil
Typing Paper

Practicing hatching and crosshatching with this sketch. This will be the next 6" x 4" painting for a Christmas gift. Luckily we are having our family Christmas this weekend rather tomorrow, so there is more time to paint!

Forgot to mention the reference photo is by karenboss from the Wet Canvas RIL.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Coffee Cup

Coffee Cup, 6" x 4", Fabriano Soft Press Paper
I could have corrected the bleed through along the back rim of the cup but I rather liked it so am leaving it. The cup and saucer are out of round but this adds to their personality. Maybe on the next one I will use masking fluid for cleaner lines and whites.

Doodles & A Pear Watercolor

Doodles to practice movement and attitude. Reference from Morgue File. Mechanical pencil and charcoal

6" x 4"
Fabriano Soft Press Paper
Another small painting for a Christmas gift.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Lemon Tea Watercolor

Lemon Tea
Fabriano Soft Press Paper

This painting was done today for my sister-in-law. Her birthday is the 27th and I hope she will like it.

Forgot to mention the photo is by kdkbrown from the Wet Canvas Reference Image Library.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Koi Sketch

A bit of charcoal sketching to figure out placement of the koi. I think the big central fish needs to move a bit more to the left or perhaps add another fish on the left. Will play around more with different compositions.
Charcoal is so messy it brings out the kid in me.

One of my favorite artists

Here is a link to one of my favorite landscape artists, Marc Hanson. He does a lot of plein air painting and always his work is fresh and inviting.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Rose Charcoal Sketch

This is a charcoal value study of a red rose done on typing paper. I'm thinking I may need to increase the size of the rose. This sketch is based on a reference photo from Morgue File by almogaver.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tree Study

This is all I had time to paint today, a partial tree study in watercolor, unless one counts the three kitchen drawers that were painted too. Still have five cabinet drawers to paint and hope to finish them tomorrow. It will be nice to have the kitchen back together, then maybe I can concentrate on painting! Oops, forgot that there is house cleaning yet to be done. :( Oh well, at least a stroke here and there with a paint brush makes the anticipation even more when there is more than a few minutes to paint.

I have also been looking through photographs that have red in them for a watercolor painting for a good friend's daughter. I am wanting something that says life is full of possibilities and hope. I have no doubt that I will find the right one.

One week until Christmas! I received three Christmas packages today from my beautiful daughter and her family. Can't hardly wait to open them knowing they contain art supplies. I get so excited, like a kid in a candy store. Hope you too get the same enjoyment and feeling of love, hope and peace that I do.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Winter Landscape Watercolor

10" x 5" Image size
Hot Press Watercolor paper

A quick 20 minute landscape in watercolor using Pthalo Blue, Cobalt Blue, Manganese Blue, Quinacradone Magenta, Quinacradone Gold, Burnt Sienna. The trees are a mix of Daniel Smith Undersea Green, Cascade Green, mixed with Pthalo Blue or Burnt Sienna or Quin. Gold. The center tree is not as solidly dark as it looks as it was difficult to pick up with the camera, the lighter dark to mid-values in that tree.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Godiva Again

I worked on this painting of Godiva again for my brother-in-law. The canvas is now on wood and overall I am fairly pleased with it, except for one area. The legs! So tomorrow I will look at them again and see if I can't correct them. Right now they are rather fat and look like stumps, rather than graceful legs.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Painting Yellow

Instead of canvas, the kitchen is getting painted in three different shades of yellow. If nothing else, it will be colorful with a fresh feeling. Along with painting the kitchen, we are having a go-round with colds. Hopefully, soon we will all be feeling much, much better.

When not sleeping or painting I've been enjoying the different Forums at Wet Canvas. Appreciating the artwork and enthusiasm of the different artists, from beginner to accomplished painter. Each offers a new or different view or perspective of their subject but all carry the same flavor of loving what they do.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Crepe Myrtle Watercolor Update

Worked on the flowers and the reflections in the vase. I'm not happy with the work on the vase. I could correct it with acrylics and may decide to do that. Right now though, I'm calling this one finished.

Worked on the brick and reflections in he vase a bit more. Next step is to work on the flowers and clarify the shapes within the vase.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Crepe Myrtle Watercolor

Crepe Myrtle
300# watercolor paper
9" x 13"

Today I worked on a watercolor of crepe myrtle in a vase placed on the back porch to catch the reflections. My reference is a photo I took earlier this summer.

Basically, I'm laying in color to cover the paper, taking my time when painting the flowers, to try and get the shapes right. Still have more to on the vase and stems as well as the leaves.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Brown's Pasture

I added more cows and also some purples. I like the colors in the trees and some of the blues that are popping out are not quite that distinctive in real life.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Garrett's Copal Website Link

This morning I've been reading about Garrett's Copal Medium and techniques for oil painting. Their Techniques page is a fount of information on paints, their values, hues and chroma as well as what colors work best in different areas and on different subjects.

I know it isn't as enjoyable to see works in process as it is finished paintings but I've reached a point where it is one step forward with two steps back. I am working with subjects that are new to me such as figures/animals as well as trying to retrain myself in landscape and still life. So I need to step back, regroup and relearn which is part and parcel of painting, at least for me. There will always be stages of growth and periods of what appears to be stagnation while in actuality those stagnation periods are producing future growth. It is with great hope and fervor that this proves true for me.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Brown's Pasture WIP

I'm still working on the cows trying to get a reseasonable likeness. I didn't use the Photoshop contrast on this to brighten it even though in real life, the colors are more vibrant.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Brown's Pasture

My apologies for the glare. The oil paint is still very wet. I hope to take another photo this afternoon as there have been a few changes to ground around the foreground cow. The darks look really black but in real life there are hints of red, green, blues, purple in the bushes and trees. If you are wondering about the white speck that really is a cow and it isn't white but naples yellow.

The painting is 20" x 16, oil on stretched canvas. The painting is of the cows in Brown's pasture which is just down the highway from me. I painted this from one of my own photos. Below is a composite of the steps I took to get to this painting.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Brian Simons

I have been admiring the work of artist Brian Simons. His use of color and design is impressive, in my humble opinion. I just read his e-book and am getting ready to prime the canvas with a reddish underpainting. My goal is to not be overly concerned with detail or nit pik the painting until the freshness is gone.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Robert's Godiva

For my brother-in-law Robert, 4" x 5" approximately, oils on unstretched canvas.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Godiva Update

I changed the direction of the horse and figure wanting it to face into the painting rather than out. Under this lighting the horse is showing a darker gray than it actually is. I will look at this again in daylight to see what needs to be changed or corrected.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Robert's Godiva WIP

I am really have a fun time painting this for my brother-in-law. Everything is being formed or drawn in with paint instead of pencil. But at least the basics are in with areas on the horses head (ears and mane) needing to be corrected as well as lighten the value of the horse. It has been a challenge to shape the thigh and calf of the woman's left leg half way correct. Then the shape of the horses legs need to be adjusted as well as the tail added in. There won't be a lot more done on this since is sort of a joke for my brother-in-law in that he gets the back view of my interpretation of Lady Godiva.

Lady Godiva

Lady Godiva by John Collier, ca 1897.

My brother-in-law jokingly asked me to paint him a copy of this painting. I am painting a small painting (4" x 5") but with variations as a joke on him, where very little of the horse and figure show. The horse is covered with the blanket and the figure covered with her hair except for small glimpses of skin. It may not turn out very well but it sure will be fun to see his expression.

I've been studying "Brushwork Essentials" by Mark Christopher Weber. It is a great book to learn how to load the brush and lay down strokes in a certain manner to render a certain effect. I have no doubt, with lots of practice, it will help with both acrylic and oils. With time and practice my goal is to be able to achieve the look I want without having to think about how to lay down the paint.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Creative Catalyst' Blog

Creative Catalyst Blog asked a question on their blog that I thought was eye opening (at least for me), "What are the invisible barriers to creativity?" I have no doubt that there are so many artists that ask themselves this question, I know I do.


16" x 20"
Stretched CanvasAcrylic

I am calling this painting finished. I know there are areas that can be corrected and may later decide to do that. For right now though, I am ready to move on to another painting. Paints used were Liquitex, Golden and Stephen Quiller artist quality paint. My pallete is Yellow Ochre, Quinacradone Magenta, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red Light, Cadmium Red Medium, Hookers Green, Cobalt Blue, Primary Cyan, Burnt Sienna, Viridian, and gesso.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Misty Almost Finished

With a lot of critiques by members of Wet Canvas' Acrylics and Portraiture Forum I am finally becoming more pleased with this painting. There is still work to do on the hair and maybe some other slight adjustments. But right now, I'm tickled that I stuck with this and learned so much.

The photo was taken under warm/cool fluorescent lights at night.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Another Misty Update

This is one overworked painting. I used alcohol on the face this morning to wipe off a lot of the paint then began again. The structure is better and tomorrow I will work more on the hair and look again at the shadows. I'm ready to go on to another subject though or a different medium :).

Friday, October 26, 2007

Misty Update

The shape of her face is still off. Her left cheek needs some reflected light and shaped a bit differently. Ater I took this photo, I added some darks below the upper lip and in the corners of her mouth. I am going to start another painting of Misty but this time in oils to see if I can work the paint more effectively.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Misty, WIP Update

I'm not showing a photo of where the painting stands at this time because it would frightened anyone to view it. Her hairline has receded giving the painting a rather ghoulish look. I've struggled with this painting but it is a successful venture thus far from my viewpoint. By spending hours mixing paint, painting and repainting areas, shaping and reshaping the parts of the face, is helping me become very familiar with the face. That learning may not show in this painting of Misty but I know it will in future paintings. As I sit here looking at the painting, I see distinct possibilities for a successful outcome of this painting. Hopefully, after errands and obligations are finished there will be time to paint!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Misty, What Went Wrong?

In looking at the painting this morning, my main question is, "where are the shapes and dimensions off?" So I put the photo of the painting in Paint and drew lines. Even my lines are off a little. The eyes should rest approximately half way between the top of the head and chin, the edge of the nostrils end at the beginning of the tear ducts. The edges of the mouth line up with the pupils.

I could have saved myself a lot of time by making sure the dimensions were correct before adding paint. By winging it though, this is a lesson I will remember for future portraits. Now I will restructure the face and hopefully get a closer likeness of Misty. I know she would appreciate that too!

Happy Belated 25th Birthday Misty!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Misty, WIP

Here is where the painting of Misty stands right now. The photo isn't that great. More work on it tomorrow. Have to correct the chin and widen the mouth.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Misty Work In Progress

10-19-07 End of the day photo taken under fluorescent lights with a glare. Tomorrow will be working on the nose, mouth area and the hair.

10-19-07 Here is a progress photo of Misty. I think I now have the angle of the eyes correct. It really helps to turn the painting upside down and paint shapes rather than subject. The eyes are not finished but at least I don't feel like two dark orbs are staring at me. Gave me a very spooking feeling. When painting the nose and mouth the painting will again be rotated to get a more accurate placement and shape. My apologies for the photos. My camera is definitely not taking good photos. This photo was taken outside then darkened to show the values more accurately.

I am using a mix of Liquitex, Golden and Stephen Quiller artist quality acrylics. Cobalt Blue, Primary Cyan, Hookers Green, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Dioxazine Purple, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red Light plus gesso.

Between the camera and the monitor it is hard to get an accurate photo. This sketch of my granddaughter, who will be 24 this month, is charcoal on a pale yellow ochre underpainting, 16" x 20" stretched canvas. On my monitor it looks red with hints of yellow and blue. The sketch looks somewhat like her and will correct as I go in with the underpainting. It was done from a composite of three photos.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Busy Saturday

The photo is of crepe myrtle I cut from the bush in the front yard. I have brightened and upped the contrast a bit on the photo. The sun was shining through the kitchen window onto the counter and I thought the crepe myrtle with the light going through the vase and water was lovely. Maybe one day soon I will try painting this photo.

Today has been a busy day in front of the computer with just a little painting. I started the acrylic version of the photo reference from the Wet Canvas Difference Strokes project. The photo can be viewed here. I'm changing the painting a bit from the photo but won't post it until the 20th of October when it can be posted in the Acrylics Forum too.

Most of the day was spent learning a new program for publishing newsletters. Beginning in January, I will be setting up the ANA (Artists of Northwest Arkansas) newsletter each month. So decided I had better learn the program and practice setting up the graphics and texts. It is a great little program called Publish It offered by Poster Software.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Watercolor Landscape

10-14-07 I reworked the painting, adding more darks to create contrast, lifted lights and added a few more rocks. I like it much better. The one thing I wish I could control is that to get the reds in ground means the sky goes more purple than it is. Now to seal the canvas so the watercolor won't run.

I reworked the trees on the right side of the painting a bit more as well as some of the foreground. This image is scanned rather than using the digital camera and is closer to what the painting actually looks like.

This has been a fun experience, painting with watercolors on canvas. The colors lift pretty well I had a little trouble glazing color and found it is better to lay down the value one wants on the first go when possible. I often think I am heavyhanded with a brush and touch the canvas too firmly and therefore, move the color instead of layering color. On my screen it looks a bit brighter red than it is in real life but the colors on the actual painting are really beautiful.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Watercolor Canvas

My first experience painting on watercolor canvas. This is a 12" x 9" size with the first layers of paint. My reference is from the Different Strokes monthly project in the Acrylics Forum at Wet Canvas. I thought I would try this first in watercolor so I could experiment with this canvas.

I love the way the paint just flows on and how the paint lifts easily to create lighter areas. Definitely will purchase more of the canvas but unstretched for easier matting and framing under glass.

Also, the purplish looking areas that show on my screen are really a neutral gray gravelly area. This monitor sure likes the red tones.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Computer Withdrawal

After having had a computer so accessible for so many years, I found out this past week what it was like to be without one as mine had problems and couldn't boot up. It shows how much a part of one's daily life a computer has become. I also discovered how necessary it is to back up the important information and having it in a paper file.

In many ways it was an opportunity as I rearranged my studio and spent time with my family. I didn't get any painting done though but plan on changing that this week. Painting is also a necessity to my well being. I can go a few days without painting then find that my fingers begin to feel the need to hold a paint brush while my mind is busily looking at what is around me. Noting colors, shapes, shadows, trying to mix the colors in my mind that I see.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I sketched this cow from a photo reference from the Wet Canvas Reference Image Library which provides its members with copyright free photos.
Painted with Daniel Smith and Holbein watercolors on 300# Arches cold press watercolor paper. The image size is 6" x 5" with a one inch border.

Below is the initial sketch. Had a time getting the eyes to look level and adjusted it while painting.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Eye Practice

More eye practice. This time I used the brush to draw the shapes rather than a pencil. Using a palette of Naples Yellow, Rose Madder, Indanthrone Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, Cobalt Blue, and a touch of Sepia. The width of the space between the eyes is too wide but my goal with this practice was again the study of color, forming the eye, keeping the colors fairly clean (not muddy). The lids are not as defined as they need to be nor are the brows and wrinkles. I am fairly pleased though with the eye color and shape of the eyes. The iris need more adjustments to look more realistic. Overall I am pleased with this effort even though it only looks a little like me.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Westville Trees

"Westville Trees" with its open spaces, light gray sky and the main focus on the trees, is based on an area located about 15 miles from me. I was driving down the highway and saw these two trees that the luminous light caught which created a wondrous beauty.

7" x 5 1/4" on 300# Arches cold press watercolor paper.

Placed for auction with eBay

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Color Trails Abstract


I wasn't happy with the intensity of the colors in the first abstract so I poured and moved acrylics over it, changing the abstract and the intensity. The paint is very wet and will take a few days to dry as it is painted very thick.

This photo was taken in daylight this morning. I added a few darks among the verticals shown on the viewer's left.

Abstract Watercolor
Arches 300# paper 11 1/2" x 15"
Daniel Smith & Holbein Artist paints

Another foray into abstract using watercolors, Indanthrone Blue, Manganese Blue Hue (can't find regular Manganese now), Cobalt Blue, Cadmium Yellow Pale, Naples Yellow, Quinacradone Red, Rose Madder. I rotated this painting in all four directions and I like it in any position but found this one the most interesting.

Fall Beginning

I painted this 7 1/4" x 5 1/4 watercolor this morning as the scent of Fall is in the morning air. It is on 300# Arches Watercolor paper and painted with Holbein and Daniel Smith artist quality paints. This painting is based on the view of the pasture outside my door. The image size is based on how I would mat the painting.

Paypal Accepted. Placed for auction with eBay!


Friday, September 21, 2007

Practice, Practice

This set of eyes was done looking in a mirror. The right eye isn't too bad but the left eye is muddy. I used Daniel Smith Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Holbein Rose Madder and Cobalt Blue. I would like to say the wrinkles are from concentration but they are from age and bad eyesight too. :D Back to practicing!

Watercolor practice of skin tones and eyes. The practice will teach me about mixing skin colors and blending tones in different areas of the face. As you can see I need a lot of practice especially in 1) letting paint dry before glazing in another color unless it is intentional, 2) drawing and shaping the eye, both in pencil and paint. There are pros and cons to mixing the skin tones before hand (in watercolor) or laying in one color then placing another color on top, letting them merge. I think that there is a place for both methods in a painting, especially in watercolor.

On Wednesday, I stepped down as a Guide in the Acrylics Forum at Wet Canvas, mostly due to health but also because I wanted to devote more time to studying and my family. Tomorrow, my mom celebrates her 89th birthday which brings home to me that time with her is not endless.

Happily, she is on a trip to the NE and enjoying life. My request to her was that she and the rest of my family bring home lots of photos for me to use as reference.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Empty Can Study

Update: Did just a bit more on this. Not perfect but a bit more satisfied with it.

Found this empty baking powder can, so painted it on a 5" x 6" 300# Arches cold press paper. The most difficult part of the can was the plastic lid. It still isn't correct, perspectively. I was looking down on the can just a bit and the lid was laying on the can so that just a bit of the inside of the can could be seen. It brings home how important little studies like these are, finding the problem areas and eventually resolving them.