Thursday, April 28, 2011


Watercolor on Gessoed Paper
10" x 13 1/2"

I decided to just have fun this morning so gessoed over an old watercolor painting.  It was fun with the drips, splatters and using some thicker watercolor paint.  The berries are more of a truer red in the darker areas and may have to add some darks to separate the berries. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Apple Tree, Acrylic

Apple Tree
7" x 9 3/4" Image Size
Fabriano Aristico Soft Press Paper

Calling this one finished unless I see something that needs adjusting in the next day or so.  

We are flooding big time in NE Oklahoma.  The Illinois River has overflowed its banks 12 feet above normal level.  The highways have running water washing across them in areas and three schools are closed tomorrow because of flooding.  It took me almost three hours to drive 30 miles as I waited in a line of traffic then had to detour and go down Arkansas Hwy. 59.  Even that was a huge risk as water was rushing across the highway and a small log floated in front of me that I had to run over so need to get the undercarriage of the car checked out.  I was truly lucky that the rushing water didn't sweep me off the highway and the car didn't stall.  Saying my prayers of thanks, for sure. 

YOP1, Apple Tree Landscape WIP

There were two photos posted for the YOP Landscapes at  The other photo, shown below, is of the old apple tree that was just barely standing in our backyard. 

For this project, I am using acrylics on Fabriano Artistico soft press paper, an 1/8th sheet (7 1/2" x 11").  In the photos above you can see the beginning block in of all the areas.  

The bright green in the foreground on the first part of the block in, is Stephen Quiller sap green straight from the tube.  For the tree cast shadow I laid in Golden quin. magenta.  The rest of the colors used are WN hookers green, Liquitex brilliant yellow green, Golden Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Fr. Ultramarine Blue(Golden Open), Cobalt Blue, Raw Sienna, Cadmium Yellow Primrose (Golden Open) and gesso used for white. 

On the weather front, we have had so much rain that we are soaked.  That is better than having the drought conditions that are in Texas.  Sure wish some of this rain would help them.  One of our rivers is 10 feet above normal so you can imagine how much flooding there is around the river.  Today we have a 100% chance of rain forecasted ha ha.  But tomorrow, we are suppose to see some sunshine with more rain on Wednesday.  I'm thankful for this rain and that the storms haven't been too bad and no tornadoes in this area.   Still I frequently shut down the computer, grab a book and read during the worst of it all. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Brother-in-Law Project

My brother-in-law has a terrific sense of humor and is all the time telling funny stories.  Not only that he is great about offering and giving help when needed, like weed eating while his wife, my twin, mows our lawn.  He asked if I would paint this little boy mowing the lawn.  The statue came from his Mom so it is special to him.  Hope he approves of the paint job then the only thing left to do is to spray the little boy with a krylon spray.  No doubt this little guy will sit on their patio near the flowers. 

Friday, April 22, 2011


We have sunshine this morning after a lot of rain and some of the iris took a beating but these in the photo were a bit more sheltered.  One of my favorite flowers with its graceful lines and vibrant color.  Hope they brighten your day as they have brightened mine.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

YOP 1, Landscapes

At we began a year of painting (YOP), one painting a month for 12 months.  The topic for the YOP this month was landscapes.  Two landscape photos were posted on March 20th and the paintings were posted today, April 20th.  Each month a new topic/photo will be posted.  The YOP is a great way is for each person painting to decide what their individual goals are for that month's painting.  Members are encouraged to do thumbnail sketches, notans, color swatches, planning their work before actually beginning to paint. 

The photo above shows my 1st attempt at painting a bush with the light shining on it.  The photo below is my second attempt.  The same colors were used in both paintings.  The paintings are a failure in one sense in that they did not turn out as I envisioned.  On the other hand, I did manage to keep some whites and kept the "S" curve of the flow of the foliage.  The first painting has some good contrasts and values while the second painting has a softness that in some ways I find appealing. 
Below is the reference photo taken along a highway between my hometown and Joplin, MO.  Traffic was stopped because of an accident so it gave me a chance to study the light and shadow patterns on the trees and bushes. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Parrot Tulips

Parrot Tulips
15" x 22"

This one is done except perhaps painting in some veins in the petals.  The area of the leaves at the bottom shows a lot of blue areas.  The blue is there but is much less saturated than is showing here. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Parrot Tulips 3

Here is a photo of the progress made as of this morning.  Still much to do in forming the individual flowers and leaves and there will be some reworking of shapes.  This is straight from the camera without any adjustments in Photoshop other than using the Transform Skew feature to straighten the photo. 

On a different note, my heart goes out to those affected by the dangerous storms that just passed. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Parrot Tulips 2

Here is today's progress thus far.  It is a bit of a mess as I wasn't sure what I wanted in the background and I often lose my way with the flower petal and leaf shapes.  I've noticed too that I have not left any white within the flowers.  The background in the upper left (viewer's left) is actually a bit lighter and less saturated than what is showing here.  One other thing that I noticed are the two red petals in the lower right "kissing", so will correct that too. I have to say I am really enjoying painting this as it is a challenge plus painting on larger paper is a joy. 

The top photo shows the corrections made in Photoshop.  I used Levels to lighten then desaturated the photo as well as decreasing the blue in the mid-tones and shadows.  I also used the Transform-Skew button to straighten and square up the photo.  Below shows the original photo, taken under a mix of fluorescent, incandescent and natural light.  

Friday, April 15, 2011

Parrot Tulips 1

Sketched the tulips on a half sheet of 140# Fabriano Aristico Soft Press paper this morning.  I had to use Photoshop Elements Contrast on it so the lines would show.  Then did several swatches of colors to decide the palette and decided on Quin. Coral, Cadimum Red Light, Permanent Rose, Azo Yellow, New Gamboge, Viridian, Rare Green Earth, Fr. Ultramarine Blue, Pthalo Blue, Smalt (grayish-blue), and Quin. Violet.  All of these colors have been used in the beginning portion of the painting as shown in the photo above.  The photo was taken under a combination of fluorescent, incandescent and natural light then used Photoshop Elements Levels to lighten it so it to looked more like the painting. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Garden Onions

Garden Onions
9 1/2" x 14" 

As mentioned in a previous post, the reference photo used for this painting is by Scitzo from the Wet Canvas Reference Image Library.   This is painted on 15 1/2" x 22 1/2" Twinrocker watercolor paper with the image size cropped to 9 1/2" x 14".  I went back in and added more saturated colors to the ground and the onions.  I rather lost it in some areas adding a bit to much of the darks between the greens of the onions. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Painting Garden Onions, Monday Update

The coffee stain was so light in the background that paint was added to begin forming the ground.  The onion heads look washed out because of the amount of light hitting that area.  The photo was taken under fluorescent and incandescent lights. 

Paint to water ratio is so important and I know I've been using too much water in the mixture.  The paint to consistency needs to range from tea, coffee, milk, cream, butter, with butter having the least amount of water and used very sparingly in a painting.  Now to get this knowledge transferred to the painting. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Painting Garden Onions continued

A little more done on the onions or if you like, shallots.  My plan is to use coffee, staining the paper for part of the background. 

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Painting Garden Onions

Using a reference photo taken by Scitzo from the Wet Canvas Reference Image Library, this painting was started this morning.  Painting on a half sheet, 15 1/2" x 22 1/2" Twinrocker watercolor paper, the colors used so far are Quin. Burnt Orange, Raw Sienna, Azo Yellow, Viridian, Fr. Ultramarine Blue,

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Parrot Tulip Sketch

I think parrot tulips are a gorgeous and graceful flower with their cups and folds.  This sketch could have been taken further with more value contrasts but I get so impatient that I stop.  This at least gives me an idea of the flow, the light/dark patterns and negative shapes.  The reference photo was provided by Pat for the Painting Friends Friday Foto. 

On another note, I am so pleased that the Iris submitted for auction in The Help Japan Challenge has sold and been shipped to the buyer.  I'm hoping that she likes it.  Many thanks for your purchase and the American Red Cross will appreciate it too. 

I just looked at the sidebar and noticed the followers to this blog are now at 199.  This is exciting to me and hope that in some small way there is something you can take away from the various posts.  Many, many thanks to you all.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

From the Archives

Watercolor 2004

This was painted from a newspaper photo, with permission of the photographer, and a ceramic frog.  I eventually gave the frog away to a niece that collects them.