Thursday, September 29, 2011

If you are in the Northwest Arkansas area, be sure to visit Art in the Park, October 22nd!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


This photo was taken yesterday morning as the sun was coming over the mountain.  Love all the long shadows and the beautiful colors.  I think there is always beauty and mystery in backlit settings. 

It is the final week of Mom's 93rd birthday celebration ending this Saturday as relatives and friends gather.  It will be busy this week and hope to get in some painting but no guarantees. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mixing Greens

This isn't a pretty color chart but I was reading The Reilly Papers on landscapes posted by John Ennis, so while waiting to take Mom to church, I mixed watercolors.  In oils, Reilly used Lamp Black and White mixed as a neutral.  For some of these color mixes, Paynes Gray was added.  Base yellows were Azo, New Gamboge, Yellow Ocher and Raw Sienna.  Blues used were Indanthrene, Smalt, Cerulean and Cobalt. Some of the yellows were mixed with Cobalt Turquoise or Viridian.  One of these days I will do a much neater chart but for today this helps me to see what the colors will do when mixed. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Portrait Sketch

I belong to a small portrait group and this month's photo is by babasteve from Flickr.  Photos are used with his permission by the portrait group. 

The top photo is a crop of the bottom one and is most like the reference photo.  I wanted to add more information so I sketched beyond what the reference photo showed to give a vignette look.   I think the chin would look more rounded if there was more shading.  The turtleneck shirt wasn't finished either so her neck area looks like wrinkles rather than a shirt. 
The paper was shaded using an F graphite pencil then started the drawing with the chin and shoulder line, working my way up the portrait, as shown in the above photo.  I did use vertical lines for placement of nostril edges and lips plus measured the width of the eye to get the bridge of the nose width. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Foto

Each Friday at, photos are posted for the members to paint, if they choose to do so.  Today was my day to post a photo so I chose two.  My thought was that the members could mix, match, delete, include items from each of the photos.  In other words, make up one's own composition, paying special attention to the direction of the light source.  

Do you want to join in on this opportunity to create?  If so, you can join and post there, or you can paint, then e-mail me a link to your blog or website which can be posted here.  That way, we can all view your take on the subject(s).  Be sure to put "Friday Foto" in the subject line so I will know it isn't spam. 

I'm sure most of you have days when no matter how you try, a painting just doesn't go right from the beginning.  That was my experience yesterday.  The more I worked on the painting the worse it became so it ended in the round file.  Was this experience a failure?  Definitely not!  Each time paint is applied, a stroke made, values and shapes checked, it becomes a learning experience.  So celebrate all those paintings one might consider a failure because they are just another step along an artist's journey. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lady Cardinal

Lady Cardinal
7" x 9 1/2"

This female cardinal was painted for the year of painting (YOP).  The reference photo used is by mensatic at Art Morgue.  It was great fun painting this lady.  The colors in the painting are what I see in the photo although they are reading brighter in the painting than the photo.  

I began the painting with the eye and painted the head first.  Colors were laid in over most of the bird before working the background.  Palette colors used are Viridian, yellow ochre, azo yellow, Quin. Burnt Orange, Transparent Brown Oxide, Sepia, Moonglow(purplish), Smalt(blue), Cobalt Blue, French Ultramarine Blue, Perm. Red, Perm. Rose, Scarlet Pyrolle,

Monday, September 19, 2011


We began a three week long celebration of my Mom's 93rd birthday, this past weekend.  There will be a gathering of family and friends each weekend through October 1st.  One of Mom's great pleasures is to give to family and friends the quilts she makes which she did this weekend, giving quilts to her twin sister's children.  What makes them special is not only her age but because she is almost blind with macular generation and she does everything except the hemming.  

I hope to get some painting in during this time beginning today!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bird Study

 Bird Study
4 3/4" x 5 3/4"

To practice painting birds for the YOP which is due the 20th, this study was painted this morning using a reference photo from Morgue File by photographer, beglib.  I didn't sketch the bird first but used paint to shape it.  I began with the eye, painting wet on dry. 

Monday, September 12, 2011


7 1/2" x 9 1/4"
Fabriano Aristico Watercolor Paper

The background is actually the white of the paper instead of a blue tint.  Makes me wish it were strawberry season. 

I've also been doing sketches for the September YOP due the 20th.  I think I need to practice birds before actually doing the YOP painting. 

Friday, September 09, 2011

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Self-Portrait, Update

This is today's progress.  I'm really just playing to see what I can do with hair, color and form.  The hair color is darker than my own hair and I have a lot more grey than is showing here.  It's a good thing i have the drawing on tracing paper because I may want to continue to experiment. 

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Self-Portrait, First Washes

This photo shows the beginning stage of the self-portrait.  It is always a chance that a painting may or may not turn out as one would like.  I find each aspect of painting interesting and challenging, from deciding where to place which color, changing a shape, transitioning from warm colors to cool, slowly building values, while trying to model the features to actually resemble the subject.   So if the painting turns out as I would like, that is just the added bonus. 

Monday, September 05, 2011

Today's Second Self-Portrat

For this sketch, 4H, F and 4B pencils were used.  These two sketches sketched today are based on a photo taken in 2007.  I need to flip this upside down to look at levels/angles and shapes.  My head is leaning against my office chair and I was certainly in deep thought about something. 

Self-Portrait Sketch

Did this graphite sketch just a bit ago using an F pencil.  I wasn't so concerned with values as I was with the features.  It does look like me except my face is more elongated and the neck looks too wide.  It was fun getting back into portraits as it has been quite some time since I've done any sketching, of any kind. 

Sunday, September 04, 2011

From the Archives

I dipped in to the archives and found this kitty cat which was painted in 2004 for a year of painting project.  This little kitty painting had found a home with a dear friend who has since passed on. 

My time has been spent revamping my website and cataloging artwork using the Working Artist program.  This is all very time consuming but decided it was time to get more organized.  There are art supplies and other odds and ends data to be entered but will take my time and gradually get it all in.  I figure an hour a day should work.