Monday, March 30, 2009

The Depot, Watercolor

The Depot
11" x 14"
Paper attached to board
After Modifications. I had to use white gouache on this to make some of the changes such as decreasing the height of the train. I am still not tickled with the window treatment but now it is definitely time to quite fiddling with this piece. Thanks for looking

Before Modifications

I believe I am through with this watercolor and will set it aside and look at it again in a couple of days.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Depot, Watercolor Next Step

Worked most of the night, defining areas. Still more to work on such as the light line through the clock, the back wheel on the train and the rails plus a few other things.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Chatter, Watercolor Small Steps

As a lot of you know, Creative Catalyst Productions offers fine art painting instructional videos from some of my favorite artists. No this isn't an ad but information about their new site,, which offers on demand viewing of instructional art videos. I love the ease of viewing online. I watched two last night, one by John Salminen on Urban Landscapes in Watercolor and another by Carla O'Connor, Figure Design in Gouache.

Only small steps were made yesterday with the Depot painting. I decided to be creative and put in a freight train using photos I had taken. Most of the miskit was removed so lines and angles can be corrected before adding more color and textures. Actually, I am not concerned about being too precise except for areas like the flag pole and light pole. The windows and doorways at least need to have the correct angles and height.

Woke up to light blowing snow this morning but the temp is now above freezing so it is mixed rain/snow. You can see in the photos taken this morning how pitiful one of the plum trees looks. At the time the photos were taken, a very fine snow was blowing but it is difficult to see in the photo. The photo of the wheel barrow was taken with the zoom lens.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Chatter, TGIF, Watercolor 1st Steps

It is "Thank Goodness It's Friday" (TGIF) day for a lot of people, signaling the end of another work week. It is a cloudy Friday morning and looking out my window, I love the way the grass is greening, set against muted colors of early morning. All is quiet and a lovely time for reflection and thankfulness.

A part of this morning has been spent visiting artists' blogs. I love going to one blog such as Deano's Den, then visiting the links listed and it keeps going, traveling from one blog to the next, viewing the next blog's links. There are so many talented, creative artists and it would be so easy for one to compare one's work and find mine lacking next to theirs. Instead, I take my work out of the equation and just get lost in the words and their paintings. Viewing artwork is rejuvenating to my soul and spirit.

I have been wanting to paint the recently refurbished KCS train depot in my home town which is now the home of the Historical and Genealogical Society. Last night I applied misket (the gray, shiny stuff) to watercolor paper to retain the white areas and am thinking the misket should have been watered down to get smoother, straighter lines for the flag and light poles. A pale layer of Deep Scarlet was applied to the building and roof, just to have some color on the paper. The sketch is so pale it is difficult to see the lines and will have to redraw the clock that is on the viewer's left.

I am using Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper, 11" x 14", but this time, I prepared a piece of paneling, sealing the wood, then glued the paper to the paneling with acrylic medium. I was curious to see how well the seal between the paper and the paneling would hold once the paper was wet. The really nice thing about doing this is the paper stays flat and taut.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Passion For Painting Award

What a surprise when Dean from Deano's Den passed this award to me and six other artists that he felt were passionate about painting. Thank you Dean, for the award and recognizing that painting is like breathing to me, necessary. Be sure and visit Dean and enjoy his art. He can wield a brush that fills me with envy. Check out his color and impasto work! Now I am suppose to pass this on to seven other artists that I believe to be passionate about their work. I haven't met any of these artists except online. Some are professional artists while some are on their way, all have the passion it takes to reach their goals and dreams.

Rhonda Carpenter
Theresa Rankin
Celeste Vaught
Ruth Harris
Deb Townsend

Now I must list seven other things I am passionate about. These are part of my everyday life:

1. My Heavenly Father
2. My daughter and family
3. My siblings and my mother
4. My friends, you know who you are!
5. The fresh, clean scent of rain
6. My dog, Lacey and animals in general
7. Believing that good overcomes evil.

As you can see, painting isn't listed, simply because that is a given and is part of my everyday life.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Daffodil, Watercolor

I have inserted a new photo taken this morning below the original so the differences can be seen. Not sure its an improvement but wanted a little more separation between the bell of the daf and the petals.

Painted this from a reference photo I took a couple of weeks ago. The reference photo is here.
It is on an 1/8th sheet Fabriano Aristico watercolor paper, painted to the edges. This is a practice piece trying to learn more about watercolor.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Chatter & Watercolor from the Archives

Yesterday, I took a much needed break from everything and just relaxed except for a few minutes at the gym and visiting Painting Friends to see the activity there. There is now a Lonely Brush Club where members can set up their own team and paint what they want, from the same photo, their own photos or from real life. The individual team decides the subject matter, length of time of the project and how often the team will post their work. Should be lots of painting enjoyment for the members wanting to study certain subjects.

I did this painting during the year of painting that a group of five did in 2005. We did a painting a week for a full year. That was a most enjoyable adventure. During that time, five strangers became friends. Because I don't paint flowers very often, I find them a challenge. I have to admit though, I love the colors in this one.

I forgot the mention that I think the reference photo used was from the Wet Canvas RIL.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Puzzle Piece Originator

In my post yesterday, I forgot to mention that the photo and idea came from Desiree. She is so creative and hope you will visit her blog, The Clothes Line and other laundry lists.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Puzzle Piece, The Assembled Painting

Below is the assembled Puzzle Piece painting. Top left painted by Sandy, top right painted by Ann, bottom left painted by Bonnie, and bottom right, painted by Delaney. I would say we didn't do too badly considering we all used different colors and did our best to draw our puzzle pieces to fit a certain size so they would line up pretty well. Another interesting note is that Delaney is in the 8th grade and is just learning to paint with watercolor. I think she did a tremendous job as she has only been painting a few months.

There is another puzzle piece painting in the works but this time the two teams will be painting the same photo but the photos have different color palettes. That should be interesting to see when they are posted next month.


There truly hasn't been any time to paint the last couple of days between dr's. appointment, running errands, doing paperwork, plus my first time at the gym . Also, the chain link on the fence has been replaced but we discovered my sister's husky, Bandit, can jump the five foot fence. So now extensions and wire will be put on the fence to extend the height so Bandit can't clear the fence when she comes for a visit. We have a beautiful rottweiler living across the highway that tries to get to Bandit and her German Shepherd roommate, Smoky, when they are here for a visit. We sure don't want any of the dogs hurt from a dog fight.

For your enjoyment, especially if you are a cat lover, the photo shows one of the kittens in the plum tree. This photo was taken a couple of years ago and I am pleased to say the plum tree and one apple tree survived the ice storm and are now in bloom.

For an artist, painting is never far from one's mind. While waiting for prescriptions to be filled today, I kept seeing a certain image in my mind. So now I have to sketch it out before the idea disappears to see if it is viable on paper or in paint.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Andy, Pencil Sketch

This sketch was done for another Painting Friends Portrait challenge. It is of a young boy named Andy. In this sketch, I drew him looking older. No doubt because of the placement of the eyes above the mid point of the face. Great practice though. :) This little sketch is about 3" x 5" on typing paper.

PF Portrait Comparison

I did a few things to the Paint Friends portrait painting which can be seen in the side by side comparison below. His eyes aren't level but that is the way they will have to remain in this experiment. Notice how the right side of his face has been reshaped. I softened the hairline a bit and added more shadows. The bottom and right side of his nose was reworked a bit along with more definition in the mouth area. Also changed the shape of his shoulders, and added a bit more definition to the tie. This does look more like Chris and the only area I am really displeased with is the level of his right eye.

Puzzle Piece Watercolor Painting

Remember the post where I mentioned the Puzzle Piece I was doing as part of an art group challenge? There were four of us taking a piece of the puzzle to make a complete painting. This is my piece of the puzzle. The one area I really like about this painting is the yellow green veggie just above the sign. Another puzzle piece is in the works to be posted in about a month. That one too will be a challenge my painting abilities. Isn't it terrific when we have to stretch beyond what we normally do!

Monday, March 16, 2009

PF Portrait, Experimenting

Well the experiment was a learning experience. I won't call it a failure but a step toward doing a better job on the next one. As you can see in the first photo, his face is fuller and there is too much space between the left eye and the edge of the face. Proportions off again. I totally messed up his right ear when the dark mixture ran over it, plus look at that hard line on the edge of the face and needed to shape the left shoulder more.

In the final painting you can see how I narrowed the face. Another learning experience with this one and one which I had experienced in the past, is controlling the darks, the staining colors which was, Pthalo Blue mainly. With the Pthalo, I used Permanent Alizarin Crimson and Magenta with touches of New Gamboge or Lemon Yellow to green. All in all, interesting, challenging and one to do over.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

PF Portrait, Experimenting 1

The online group, Painting Friends, is having a Portrait Challenge. It is a challenge to members to learn to paint portraits, ask questions and share information. One of the members gave us permission to use her handsome son's photo.

Wanting to experiment more with watercolor, water was spritzed on the paper then new gamboge yellow was dropped into the wet areas and allowed to run. The paper was allowed to dry then other areas were wet beside or running across the yellow layer previously painted. The whole time I was doing this, I kept thinking of Sandy Maudlin and the big white shape she uses and that John Salminen refers to in his video. So I was consciously trying to keep good white shapes while dropping paint.

Again, yellow was dropped into the wet areas, then scarlet lake, an orangy-red, was allowed to mingle into the yellow. The paper was tipped and tilted allowing the paint to flow. Once the paint was dry I sketched in the face of the young man. The top of the ear was a little too high so had to lower it after this photo was taken.

Now the big question is, what's next? Remember this is an experiment so who knows what direction this painting will go.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Quick Sketch

A quick sketch just to get my brain working in the right direction. Graphite on typing paper. The next step is to do a sketch with proper proportions and shapes for transfer to watercolor paper.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Watercolor Spree

In this link, I mentioned that the watercolor painting didn't turn out, so quit painting on it. This morning I decided to just play so I tried the paint bubbles and had more on me and the table than on the paper. It didn't work well for me but will try it again using more soap and a different container. Then I did a bit of negative painting, some splattering and dribbling paint. It was fun and a good break from oil painting

Monday, March 09, 2009

Birthday Portrait Update 6

Today is Sharon's birthday and her portrait is not ready. Hopefully it will be ready by the time she arrives home from her visit with her son and family.

This looks like Sharon if you look past the mottled skin. Another thing I have found strange is that the reds in are face are more of an orange-red while her pullover top is more of a blue-red. Really strange what a camera can do.

I am going to lightly scrap this down (again), leaving a ghost image, to use as a guide to get smoother skin tone transitions. Wish me well!

Friday, March 06, 2009

First Daffodil

It has been quite a week, very quiet as I slept and read, recouping my energy. I did do a little on the birthday portrait last night and started a watercolor. The watercolor though is one of those that didn't work out which sometimes happens. So to share a bit of Spring in Oklahoma, here is a photo taken yesterday of the first daffodil in our yard. Looks like some weeding needs to be done too.

Robert Genn had an interesting newsletter yesterday, about blues. It can be read online, Here

Monday, March 02, 2009


Today has been one of those days when I've struggled with the portrait painting. I have scraped and sanded Sharon's face again and reshaped it. Now I will let it dry overnight and begin again tomorrow.

On another note, I just finished visiting the blog, Dianne Mize: Bagatelles and Meanderings. In her post today one of the things she said struck a deep chord with me which was ". . . I argued with myself that I really needed to post something on the blog, but then I argued back that I'm not painting for the blog, but for my artistic discovery and growth."

I asked Dianne's permission to use this quote as it expressed so well the pressure I sometimes feel to post to the blog. Blogging is a wonderful way to share bits and pieces of what goes into a painting. We get to share our struggles, the excitement when an Ah Ha moment happens, the paintings either at various stages and/or their completion. Hopefully sharing this information has a second important aspect which is to contribute in some small measure to another person's growth too.

I so appreciate the artists such as Dianne who so willingly share their knowledge but most especially the way they share their art.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Birthday Portrait, Side by Side Comparison

This morning I did a side by side comparison with the photo I am using for reference. Using the Paint program lines were drawn on the painting and reference photos. Vertical lines from the inside corners of the eyes to the edge of the nose, vertical lines from the center of each eye to the edge of the mouth; horizontal lines from the bottom edge of the eyes to each eye to see if they line up, the same with the bottom of the outside edges of the nose. Then I drew lines around the mouth, a rectangle, to see how off I was in comparison to the photo. Next a horizontal line was drawn from the inside corner of the right eye to the inside corner of the left eye. That line, when drawn vertically from the bottom of the bottom lip to the edge of the chin should be about the same length. Then I looked at her shoulders and noticed how far forward her right shoulder appears. This taught me to do this comparison in the each stage of the painting instead of waiting until near completion. So now I have a bit of reworking to do.

I won't post the side by side comparison photo until I have reworked the painting. Then I will post the before and after so the differences can be seen. A further note, the goal isn't to make the painting exactly like the photo but it is my goal to paint a good resemblance of Sharon.

On a different note, we have a chilly 16F this morning after snow yesterday. The sun is now shining and we are going to have high temps around 40F. A lovely day but nothing Spring like about that cold air *grinning*.