Monday, June 29, 2009

Schmid/Swatland Study - In progress 2

Another update with what has been done today. I'm working left to right and there is much more yet to do. It is truly one of life's blessing to be able to enjoy the way I spend my time. Again, this photo is showing darker than the one on my hard drive. Must learn to compensate for that.

Doing this study has been an eye opener. It is not easy trying to follow brush strokes, mix colors, etc., and I'm not doing a very good job. But that is the whole point isn't it, learning to see and place strokes. I don't have all the colors used for this painting so I'm trying to come as close as I can. At this stage, I am trying to get the placement of the larger elements.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Schmid/Swatland Study - In progress

I started the study of Richard Schmid's "Fallen Pine" using the information provided by Katie Swatland at Swatland Studios. The link for "Fallen Pine" is from the Underpaintings blog. The photo was taken last night so it is rather dark but it shows the first two very thin layers. It is painted on 26" x 26" unstretched canvas which is going to be used as a window shade. Will see what the shade looks like hanging on a window when it is finished.

I used a two inch house painting brush and paper towels for the first layer then a #8 flat bristle which is the largest flat I own. I can see now I am going to have to invest in larger brush for larger canvases.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sharon & Robert Birthday Portrait Finished

Robert & Sharon
16" x 20"

I worked on this painting in small segments of time over the last couple of weeks. The photo on blogger looks a bit darker than the one stored on my computer. Wonder why that changes? Sharon hasn't seen this yet and I hope both she and Robert are more pleased with it now.

One of my beliefs that is in conflict with reality is that I can paint better than this. I think artists have to have that belief so that we keep striving for better. I know it is what spurs me on. Looking at this painting, it energizes me to want to study more, brushstrokes, edges, to see how the paint blends. To study the placement of warm and cools, how to turn forms, to see shapes and values.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Chatter, Happy Father's Day

My father on the palamino horse leading the Strawberry Festival Parade sometime prior to 1954, which is when he passed away.

My mom and dad, again the photo from the early 1950's. Mom always gets a spot beside Dad on Father's Day, since she raised the seven of us by herself from the time I was eight.

To all you Dad's out there, I hope your children are a blessing and even more, that you are and have been a blessing to your children.

On the art scene this morning, I've been browsing the Scottsdale Art Auction website, looking at their 2009 catalog. Wonderful paintings if you like realistic work and western art, which I do. :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I haven't painted the last couple of day so here are a couple of photos for your perusal. A cemetery near Ninilchik, AK, if my memory is correct. The photo below I took from a helicopter of Prudhoe Bay, AK at least 25 years ago. Amazing how time passes so quickly.

On the art scene, I signed up for Katie Swatland's "Learning From Richard Schmid" monthly online lessons. I have read this month's lesson and have been studying Mr. Schmid's and Katie's paintings although I haven't begun the study itself. I have only copied a couple of Master's works so this really will be a new experience.

One other thing before closing, somehow I lost most of my watercolor blog links and am slowly adding as I go along. This is the second time this has happened to me. One day they were there, the next all were gone except for four or five. Weird, eh.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Swan, Upside Down Challenge

A challenge was issued to the Painting Friends group to paint a photo of the swan upside down using one color and no drawing on the paper. Painted with Undersea Green by Daniel Smith, it was a challenge painting the shapes. My painting was so out of whack I had to lift color to reshape the bird. Painted wet on dry on Fabriano wc paper, 6" x 10 1/2".

Friday, June 12, 2009

Rose, Watercolor

6" x 9"

I can honestly say this is one of the first roses with which I am pretty happy. Painted from a reference photo taken a few years ago of the trelli roses outside my door.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Rose Value Study Update

I wasn't pleased with the background so made some adjustments there and on the table top area. Think this looks much better.

NOTAN & Value Study

The Yahoo Colorful Watercolor group is studying NOTAN's which are black and white studies of the subject. Using one of my reference photo and according to Rhonda's instructions, I went to Photoshop Elements, desaturated the photo and put the contrast to its highest limit, which can be seen in the photo above.

Next, I gessoed a piece of used watercolor paper, let it dry, then using Payne's Gray, applied the darks, which can be seen in the photo below. I had to apply the darks a couple of times, letting the paper dry between layers. This was very much like negative painting.
After that NOTAN study was posted at the group site, I then went back in with a wet brush and more paint and established mid-values and corrected shapes, while trying very hard to leave white space. The photo below shows a collage of different crops of the value painting. Which one do you like the best. I know they are quite similar but sometimes just a smidge cropped can make all the difference.
I thoroughly enjoyed using the gessoed paper for this exercise as it was pretty easy to lift lights and correct a few shapes. It is a pretty fast way to subject the subject, becoming familiar not only with the values but with the shapes and the structuring the composition.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sketching Practice

A quick sketch done this morning to familiarize myself with the subject. The vase is sitting on a lace scarf but I didn't sketch in all the holes. I took the reference photo a few years ago of red trellis roses in a vase. The viewpoint is looking slightly down on the flowers and vase.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Rooster, Watercolor

10 1/4" x 13 1/2"
Reference photo from Morgue File

A detail view

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Rooster, Sketch & Watercolor

I did this sketch yesterday on tracing paper then flipped it over and used a woodless graphite pencil on the back of the tracing paper to mark the lines. I transferred the rooster to watercolor paper, using a stylus or empty ink pen to go over the lines. The first wash has been laid down over the rooster and a first layer applied to the background.

More later!

Self-portrait sketch

Computer paper

Chatter, Rose Photo

Peace Rose

The roses are blooming in the yard and look so velvety and lush. These are beautiful roses and this particular bush was a gift from my friends in Wyoming who have a special love of the Peace Rose.

I didn't do any painting yesterday, instead I devoted my time to studying other artists' work. Their approach to laying down paint, what preliminary steps are taken before putting paint to paper or canvas. Looking at strokes/brushwork, their compositions, their value work and color choices. It can become a bit of "information overload" as my brain became saturated with so much information. So today, instead of thinking about all I read and saw yesterday, I will just paint and/or draw.

One of the blogs, I enjoy reading is Loosen Up, also listed in my sidebar. I enjoy her work and her writing. I was sorry to read that Linda Blondheim Art Notes will not be added to, but happily, Linda is leaving it as archive information. Linda always writes such interesting tidbits. Check out her collector blog, Landscapes of the South.