Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Painted Coffeebreak on a piece of  3 1/2" x 5 1/2" Fabriano Aristico wc paper.  Lost some areas and had to use white gouache, again.  Palette was pthalo blue, cobalt blue, quin. violet, quin. burnt orange, cad. red light, quin. rose, yellow ochre, cobalt turquoise and white gouache. 

Coffeebreak Sketch

A quick 4" x 5 1/2" sketch of Coffeebreak, who was my sister and brother-in-law's dog.  They always dressed him up for Christmas. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Snowy Trees

I'm trying to get into the spirit of Christmas by painting snowy trees.  I lost most of the white so had to resort to white gouache.  I used pthalo blue, indigo, cobalt, yellow ochre, quin. burnt orange and carbazole purple. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Watercolor Portrait, Final

I'm calling this painting finished for the most part. I may go in and correct the area of the nose between the eyes which needs to recede just a bit. Many thanks to Morgue File for the reference photo. 

Painting this brought home to me how much control I lack when it comes to painting with watercolor.  When I say control, I mean paint to water ratio, which brush stroke to use, when to paint wet on wet or when to paint dry.  Perhaps it is the effort to learn all of that is what makes watercolor so fascinating to me. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Blessings & Watercolor Portrait Update

Work in Progress

Before commenting on the WIP, I hope today and everyday that your blessings are plentiful. 

This WIP is getting overworked but I will continue on, shaping the features since it is good practice.  I saved the drawing so it can be painted again if this goes from bad to worse lol. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Watercolor Portrait, Adding Color

I flipped the drawing so it is reversed for the painting.  In the first photo,  I began underpainting the shadows using cerulean and cobalt blues along with quin. violet.  The second & third photos show skin tones over the underpainting. For the skin tones, lunar earth, English Red Ochre, Transparent Brown Oxide and Yellow Ochre were used.  The dark brown that is showing is not that dark and not that brown, more of a reddish tone.  This may not turn out to be a successful painting as I've rather lost the shape of the face and features so will redraw them so I can see how to paint them.   

Wishing each of you a Blessed Thanksgiving and thank you all for continuing to hang in with me even when the posts are sporadic. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Chatter & Fall Photo

I took this photo this week showing the last of the Fall foliage in our yard.  I love seeing the carpet of leaves and expect to see fairy dancers performing a dance to the miracles of Fall.  Very little painting or drawing done this week, only cleaning and sorting in preparation for a busy Thanksgiving week.  Family coming from New Jersey and Texas.  Hopefully, the preparations will be completed by tomorrow and I can get back to what I love most, painting and drawing. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

November Sketch Changes

I made some changes this morning as can be seen in the comparison photo above, based on a couple of critiques received at our portrait group.  I shortened the nose just a bit, raised the lips just a little and shortened the chin.  I also darkened areas and lightened some others. It does feel more finished to me and will use this as a base for a watercolor painting. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

November Sketch

I belong to a private portrait group and our November reference photo is by chilombiano at Morgue File.  Did this sketch today and am now waiting on critiques.  Since you don't see the reference photo I will tell you that the right nostril shape is off and I think the overall nose shape needs to be improved.  Once the sketch is critiqued then I will trace it to watercolor paper for painting. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Chatter & Photo

It is rainy this morning and it brought to mind baking smells in the kitchen in day's past when the weather was similar.  I love Mom's apple pie and this jar is of her canned fruit, but I can't tell whether it is apples or peaches ha ha.  The bowl and the wooden rolling pin are close to 50 years old if my memory is halfway accurate. 

Not much chance to draw or paint but my SIL did look at her charcoal portrait and she thought it was too dark.  That means there will be a third drawing which hopefully will be one she likes.  One of the pitfalls from working with photos is that the darks (shadows) can be really dark which is misleading.  It helps me to lighten the photo and also I need to look more carefully at shadows on people in real life. 

I've been procrastinating about painting with acrylics and oils yet when I think about painting with them I get an adrenalin flow.  Must get them set up so I can just walk over to paint area and start instead of just thinking about it. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Daylen Sketch

Made some corrections to the sketch and am calling this one finished.  

This morning's sketch of Daylen.  As can be seen I have the angles wrong on his features - the length from the top of the head to his forehead is a bit too long and some work needs to be done on his ear. 

Thanks everyone for the comments each of you have left on the different posts.  You are appreciated.

Friday, November 05, 2010

A Quick Note

The view across the street from the hospital.  
Do you see the person taking a sun break?

I won't be posting for the next few days.  Mom is back in the hospital after her fall two weeks ago.  Her lung had collapsed 40% but happily today it is now only deflated 15%.  Great News.  Will be back soon though. 

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

My Next Subject

Meet Daylen, a little boy I met in the Emergency Room when Mom fell.  I was given permission to draw/paint this little boy so he will be my next practice piece.  Also, there is a photo from Morgue File that I want to draw and paint that has wonderful shadow and light.  Plus, I have four sisters still to draw/paint.

Painting shadows, especially in watercolor, is a challenge for me as I am so heavy handed and have a tendency to have muddy colors. In Mary Whyte's video she painted a wash of ultramarine blue in the shadow area then while the color was still wet, she went in with a bit thicker wash of a reddish color and let those colors merge and blend.  Mary has her paper upright on an easel and it was a thrill to watch those gorgeous colors do their own thing.

I've spent an hour this morning at the website of Scott Burdick & Susan Lyon looking through their travel journal and demonstrations.  From their website, I armchair traveled to the Waterhouse Gallery to view work in the Great American Figurative Artists 2010 show.  Hope you enjoy the websites and show as much as I have.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Barbara Portrait Comparison Update

I posted this drawing at paintingfriends.com and they gav me a very helpful critique.  As can be seen, the skin tones were lightened, the area between the left eye and ear was widened, as was the neck.  The left eye was corrected so it is looking in the same direction as the right eye.  I'm not happy with the left ear so will correct that.  Overall though this looks much more like Barbara.