Thursday, July 31, 2008

More Paint Marks

The pears are painted on scrap wc paper, 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" and I bascially used the same colors as I did in the little color study below. In the pears though, I let the colors merge more, beginning by placing the cool yellow then dropped in the Rhodonite Genuine (pink). In this I also used Ultramarine Violet plus the other colors mentioned below. I hadn't ever used a waterproof, acid-free ink pen to outline so I did it with this little play piece. Initially the painting began with two pears and then they grew and grew ha ha.

Using more scrap wc paper, 2 1/2" x 3 1/2", I played with color with absolutely no idea where it would take me. I layed in the warm and cool yellows (Nickel Titanate & New Gamboge), then the Rhodonite and Quin. Magenta (pinks) then cobalt blue, all laying more or less next to each other as the colors came down the paper. Then came the pthalo green, with touches of tranparent red oxide. There are blooms or blossoms, moved paint with the handle end of the brush and just played.

Mine of course doesn't look anything like the video of Stephen Quiller painting that I had watched a few days ago at But just splashing, dropping and moving more intense colors around has been fun. The colors in the photo don't show as chromatic and intense or the sharper contrast as it actually is in real live.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Arm Chair Traveling

I love to receive comments on this blog. Not just because someone has taken the time to read and leave a comment (which I greatly appreciate) but also it gives me an opportunity to visit their blog. This morning I visited Making a Mark, a blog by artist, Katherine Tyrrell. I found lots to read and enjoy along with more places (blogs) to visit. She has a good read about Maggie Stiefvater and Duane Keiser. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Free play on 3" x 6" Fabriano wc paper. I just couldn't stand not painting another day so last night about 9:30 p.m., I cleared the watercolor table and wet some paints. I had not opened the new tubes of Rhodonite Genuine, Ultramarine Violet or the Nickel Titanate Yellow so those were the first marks on the paper. The Rhodonite is the lovely pale pink in the flowers and the Nickel Titanate Yellow can be seen more clearly in the upper left area (viewer's left.) I went a bit heavy with the blue beneath the middle flower and will lift that. The blue is a cool blue next to a cool pink and am thinking it would have been better to use a warmer blue or color next to the cool.

Making marks/brush strokes on saved scraps of watercolor paper is a good way to overcome artist block or fear of white paper. By just placing random strokes, not being concerned with what it is or isn't, or whether it is the right value or color, is very liberating and I think, creates a bridge from right to left brain.

Monday, July 28, 2008

No Painting or Drawing

Note: My monitor contrasts decided it wanted to change on its own. So hope this isn't showing too dark or too light on your monitors. Gremlins again.

It hasn't been possible to get any painting or drawing done the last few days. When I haven't been on the go, I've been resting. Today has been another day running errands and moving furniture, etc.. away from the electrical outlets so the electrician can rewire. So art materials are packed away for right now. I'm keeping my fingers crossed it doesn't take long to complete!

The photo is of a watercolor painting done in 2003. It is 95F and temps are expected to go higher so thought a snow globe the perfect antidote to cool down. This painting was done from a still life setup. One thing I've noticed with my older photos is that their intensity has deteriorated. They look faded so I increased the saturation to give an idea as to the colors. The background in this painting (if I remember right) is Pthalo Blue, Alizarin Crimson and Pthalo Green which creates a very dark background.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Brown's Pasture, Again

I bet you are ready for a change from this painting. I know I am. I think the cow now looks more like a cow. I think the foreground tree leaves need work but I'm ready to move on.

I ran out of Ultramarine Blue and so the colors lean more to the "cool" side. To add a bit of warmth I used raw sienna, transparent yellow oxide and transparent red iron oxide. When this dries I will take it off the stretcher bars and store it as reminder of all that went into this painting.

I didn't realize how lost I would feel without ultramarine blue. It is a base color that I use in every painting. This taught me to double check my paints before placing an order. I am going to use alkyd oil paints on the upcoming painting and I know I have ultramarine in the alkyds . . . Thank Goodness!

A Surprise Vistor

I haven't been painting and today has more errands on the schedule. Mom was sitting on the patio when this little frog jumped on her lap. Having macular degeneration she couldn't tell what it was and jumped up because of the slimy feel. The frog promptly jumped back onto the chair leg and I managed to get a few photos. Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

It is hot in Oklahoma although the days are beautiful and sunny. The electrician is working in this heat trying to get the wiring completed. I certainly don't envy him his job. The last few days have had their ups and downs. Mom had a trip to the emergency room on Saturday but is slowly getting better. I haven't felt much like painting although I have spent time looking at artwork inbetween trips upstairs to make sure everyone is okay.

I received in the mail new paint I want to try, the Golden Open acrylics. They stay open longer so that edges can be blended easier and I am so excited by that fact alone. Sometimes in acrylics, to get the edges soft and blended, one has to paint in layers. So being able to blend from the get go is a big plus. I am a big fan of Golden and Tri Art. It is my understanding Tri Art also makes the Quiller acrylics which I have and they are great. Good body and luscious color.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Brown's Pasture

Have you ever had a subject that you worked and reworked, determined to keep going no matter how many times it had to be repainted? Well, the foreground cow has been that subject for me, especially its face. There is also a bit of glare coming across the canvas from the viewer's right. I'm going to let this sit overnight again and add some branches to the foreground tree. In real life, that tree isn't in the pasture but cows are notorious for rubbing against the trees to scratch those hard to get to places. Almost forgot, it looks like there is a 5th leg under the stomach so will get that changed too.

What have I learned from this painting? No matter the subject or medium, it is about shapes and values, lights and darks and, composition. I also began using lighter touches with the brush instead of such forcefulness, because by pushing the brush into the paint it can easily disturb the layer beneath and make muddy colors. Is this a painting that I would sell or give away? No way! This painting is good only in that it can teach others what not to do or what to do. That is its value and one I greatly prize.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Nimble Fingers

I was updating and rearranging the links of artists and art places I enjoy visiting when I accidentally deleted the list. Slowly, the list will be rebuilt if I can keep my fingers from hitting the wrong button.

The Brown's Pasture painting is still on my easel but may set it aside and start over. I think it is going from bad to worse even though I have added more contrasts. I'll dab and daub some more this evening before I call it quits on this one. Who knows, it could just be in an ugly stage and the next few strokes could put it right.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

An Intriguing Place

I am a huge fan of Qiang-Huang's paintings which can be seen on his blog. In his post today he mentions the work of Aaron Lifferth, so of course I had to visit his blog too. Both of these sites are a treat to visit if you love looking at brushstrokes, color, simplicity and design. From Mr Lifferth's blog I ventured to Best of Artists and Artisans, which has more art to explore and enjoy. Today has been a visual treat all around and for some of it, I didn't have to leave my arm chair.

Brown's Pasture, an update & a critique

This painting is still unfinished even though I woke up at 3:00 a.m. to work on it a bit. I was excited this morning as I put the wet painting in a studio frame to carry to a critique session put on by the Artists of Northwest Arkansas (ANA). We were honored to have Ralph Irwin of Ralph Irwin Studios, as the artist heading the critique session. Each member brought one finished and one unfinished painting and we spent the day listening and learning as Mr. Irwin reviewed each painting.

His critique of this painting was more contrasts (lights/darks), values changes as it moves from the background through the middle ground, into the foreground. And of course, finishing the livestock. This was my first "real life" critique and I found his comments on all the paintings most informative and helpful.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Brown's Pasture, Repaint Update

This photo shows the current stage of the painting. The photo was taken outside this evening and has some glare and a blue cast, especially on the viewer's right. There really is purple, orange, and red along with the blues and greens. I will continue to work on the values and the shapes of the cows and the mid-ground planes, before adding a more distant cow or two and completing the tree behind the foreground cow.

One way I check the values is by converting the color photo to grayscale. The other way is by squinting my eyes until I see only the mass tones. As can be seen, the cow is very dark because the light is coming from behind.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Brown's Pasture, Repaint

This photo shows the painting of Brown's Pasture done in December. I also darkened this photo because it was way too bright and light. Today I cleaned, sanded, and then wiped it down with oil so I could apply fresh paint. After wiping off the dust and excess oil, I began blocking in more neutral colors, reshaping the back and mid-ground. For the background my palette was Payne's Gray, Caput Mortuum, Cerulean Blue, Pthalo Blue, Transparent Red Oxide and Naples Yellow. I applied the paint thin enough so that some of the original colors would shine through. In the mid-ground area, Raw Sienna and Transparent Yellow Oxide were added to the palette mixes. This photo was taken at an angle because of the glare on the wet paint. To take the photo, I opened one of the studio doors and set the painting where it would receive both fluorescent and outside light.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Koi 3

Koi 3, Twinrocker watercolor paper, 15" x 22". The top photo has been desaturated because the colors in the original photo were too intense. This still isn't exactly right as the colors in the orange and white koi are really nice.
This painting has been quite a challenge. I still haven't added any scales. The orangy-red fish beneath the red/white koi was originally more of an alizarin crimson color and had more white showing but I didn't like it at all. So I added omitted most of the white and added orange into it.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Koi 3, In Progress

For this painting, I am working on Twinrocker watercolor paper and am getting use to the way the paint works on the paper. It is a heavier weight paper than the 140#Fabriano Aristico I've been using. Thus far, it appears to dry in spots and pretty rapidly.
In the painting so far I have used ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, pthalo blue, cerulean blue, manganese blue, phtalo green, permanent yellow lemon, new gamboge, raw sienna, quinacradone violet, scarlet lake (red), permanent red, and carmine.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Koi Correction

The area around the tail was changed a bit, shaped the lower fin and lifted the outline that had been showing around the head of the fish. Also, added more New Gamboge (yellow) into some areas of the blue below and above the fish. The painting is pretty accurate in color and value, except the lower right area is showing a little dark.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Koi 2

I started this painting last night of another koi. The background is realy bright and the colors show more in the original than in the photo. I'm not sure I like this method of painting koi. I will have to try it again to see if I can get the koi to have cleaner colors and better shapes. I haven't put in scales in and will probably change the tail area. I love this Fabriano paper because it really takes abuse well without rolling or peeling. Painted on a half sheet of Fabriano using Winsor Newton, Daniel Smith, Holbein and Maimeri paints.

Friday, July 04, 2008

A Presentation of the American Flag

I wish I could upload this video I saw on just a few moments ago. One of my cousins in New Jersey shared the link with me. It is so awe inspiring I just had to share it too. Click this link:

God Bless America and each of you and yours!

Celebrate Our Independence!

Flint District Courthouse
Watercolor Archives

Click the link to find out more about the old Flint District Courthouse.

Today is the 4th of July, Independence Day. A time to reflect and celebrate. Hoping each of you have a safe and wonderful holiday weekend.

Today is also my daughter's birthday (notice I didn't give her age!) We live several states apart so we communicate via the phone, e-mail, and through photos. So not only do I celebrate our union's independence I celebrate her birth.

No painting or sketching since Monday although I have been reading Alla Prima by Richard Schmid and watching videos. Check out if you want to view art videos online.