Monday, January 30, 2012

Steer Wrestling Sketch

Another quick pen and ink sketch of Charlene's nephew steer wrestling.  The man's proportions are off yet I still like the strokes of a line here and there.  

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Still Life in Oils Update

This painting has now evolved from a brass vase and purple tulips to a glass vase and red tulips.  The reasoning behind this transformation is I did not like the center position of the brass value and felt there was too much space around the subject.  I could have added other objects but decided not to, even in the rework. 

More could be done on this painting like getting better greens and better form on the leaves but am calling this study done.  It was good practice building form/shapes.  Still lots to learn about warm/cool relationships and how they are affected by the lighting of the subject.  This was painted under color corrected fluorescent but that lighting is no where as good as natural daylight for getting truer colors. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Quick Sketch

A quick pen and ink sketch from a photo.  Trying to do these sketches to get the essence of the action/movement down. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Still Life In Oils WIP

It has been quite some time since I've worked with oils so thought to begin with a still life.  Hope you will excuse the glare on the upper right panel area.  A lamp was focused on the still life set up and it created the glare on the panel. 

I began working on an 11" x 14" Ampersand panel by sketching in the subject with charcoal, then blocked in the darks first.  I was really enjoying laying a stroke down and stepping back then I became carried away at the end of the day and took a brush and softened everything, which became over blending.  I'm trying to teach myself new habits such as laying a stroke down and leaving it, but am finding that old habits are quite difficult to break.  

The color palette is Utrecht Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Pthalo Blue, M. Graham Dioxazine Purple, WN Permanet Rose, M. Graham Cad. Red Light, Holbein Alizarin Crimson, M. Graham Transparent Red Oxide, WN Yellow Ochre, Rembrandt Cad. Yellow Light, Permelba White.  I am using is M. Graham Alkyd Medium, which helps with drying, as I am trying to stay away from materials that could combust. 

I may have to break down though and use a different medium as a couple of the oils are so stiff that it feels like I am fighting the paint.  I think those tubes of stiff paint must be quite old.  The brushes are cleaned at the end of the day using Goop then washed thoroughly until the water runs clean. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Donkey Sketch

I took several photos the other day of some donkeys and decided to sketch one of them using charcoal.  I'm not adhering to the daily sketch schedule as there are so many things that take up my time so I'm tickled when I do get a sketch in the book. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Working With Greens Again

This morning I wanted to work with greens again, in acrylics.  I used Pthalo Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Dioxazine Purple, Burnt Sienna, Indian Yellow, Cad. Yellow Medium, and Raw Sienna to mix the greens .  I wanted to see what these different mixtures would look like once the paint dried, as acrylics dry darker.  I'm striving for realistic looking greens - sometimes I get it, sometimes not.  This unfinished study is from my imagination but areas like this can actually be found in this area on any dirt road.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Another Sketch

I did this sketch yesterday in charcoal while watching a movie about Woody Guthrie, "Bound for Glory".  It was the position of the figure that caught my attention and of course, that old car in the background. 

I've been lax about thanking everyone for visiting this blog and want to correct that by saying "thank you" now.  You all make a difference with your interest and the comments you leave.  It's been a pleasure chatting just a bit via the comments and I always appreciate the feedback.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Today's Quick Sketch

These are some of my acrylic brushes stuck in a clear glass jar.  As you can see, the sketch isn't finished for two reasons, time and the ink pen was going dry.  I could have switched pens but rather liked the incomplete look.  Also, the object of these sketches are to get as much information down to suggest the subject within a certain time frame.  You can see my beginning strokes on the top ellipse with the dashes and then the side curves of the jar. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bell Pepper

Bell Pepper
6" x 6"
Acrylics on Ampersand Board

This painting was done from a reference photo I took a few years ago.  The camera blackens the darks but there is color in the shadow and reflected light at the base of the pepper.  

Palette for this painting is Quinacradone Red, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Pthalo Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, Hookers Green, Brilliant Yellow Green, Raw Sienna, Cad. Yellow Medium and gesso for white. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012


This was sketched from one of the Thin Man movies.  It is Aster at a train station and the legs of people standing near him.  Hope it is okay to sketch from tv shows and movies since it is for practice only. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012


11" x 14"
Acrylic on Ampersand Panel

Blocking In

Here is the beginning of another landscape using acrylics.  The reference photo I'm using was taken around 11 a.m. so there was heavy shadows under the trees and brilliant light in the sunny areas.   I drive by this location every time I go to town and it always offer something different to view with the changing weather and light.

Using a #8 bristle filbert brush, the 11" x 14" Ampersand board was toned with Golden Burnt Sienna, Stephen Quiller Transparent Brown Oxide and Indian Yellow.  I let that dry then began laying in the sky using Golden Open Acrylics Ultramarine Blue with regular Stephen Quiller Cobalt Turquoise Light and gesso for white.  The rest was blocked in using the colors listed above along with W/N Hookers Green, Liquitex Brilliant Yellow Green, Golden Quinacradone Red. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Sketches for Today

 Timer - 8 minutes Sharpie pen
 Shoe - 8 min. Sharpie Pen
This one was the very rough beginning of a sketch of Gene Autry.  Notice how out of shape the eyes are and unfinished it all is.  I had the DVR on pause and hit the wrong button so lost the image and couldn't get it back as the movie was over ha ha. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sketch of the Day

He is almost recognizable, at least to me.  This is Jimmy Stewart, sketched off the Western channel, approximately 20 minutes with pen and Ink.  The only part I really like is his nose.  Went too heavy on the lips and they are not formed the best.  Tried to pay more attention to the hatching in this one. 

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Transitions, North Pasture & Sketches

11" x 14"
Gessoed Ampersand Board

The reference photo for this painting is posted below.  You can see how unlike the reference photo the painting is.

Several of us at have begun a sketch a day, taking not more than 15-20 minutes for the sketch.  I've decided to use an ink pen for the sketches with my long term goal to lay a line down as accurately as I can to form the basic shapes of the subject, instead of just scribbling, which is what I'm currently doing.  

The first sketch is from yesterday and then a sketch of actor Al "Fuzzy" St. John done this morning.  Fuzzy played Lash LaRue's sidekick in some old western movies.  It doesn't look like Fuzzy but pausing a movie and sketching is a great way to practice.

Saturday, January 07, 2012


That may seem like an odd name for this post but it simply about how paintings can transition from one look to another.  These four photos are of the same painting.   Because I didn't like the look I was achieving and because it differed from my original idea of a snowy, foggy winter's day, I kept changing it.  It is far from finished but I do like the direction this is going now as can be seen in the top left photo. 

One of the acrylic artists whose work I admire is Charles Harrington.  Having seen his work in real life, I can tell you the photos simply don't do them justice. 

Another thing of note today was reading the Compose blog posted by Dianne Mize.  She said, "Keeping a painting fresh and alive is not a matter of following a set of rules--including intentionally trying to loosen up--nor is it slinging paint willy-nilly.  Rather, bringing life into a painting comes from an inner attitude of wondering what one will discover next and allowing the painting to move forward within that intention."  Now isn't that an eye opener! 

Friday, January 06, 2012

Tea Party 2 Update

 This is the painting as it looks now.  Some of the feedback I received was that the chair didn't look like a chair, the red dish on the left was too distracting.  I also corrected the left eye a bit, reshaped the bottom lip and made it a little fuller, took out the too defined space between the teeth and darken a lot of the boa feathers.  You can see the difference in the comparison photo below. 

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Tea Party 2

Tea Party 2
6 1/4" x 9"

Tea Party 2 WIP-Progression Shots

 I began painting a larger facial shot of the little girl shown in the previous posts.  The top left photo shows where the painting stands now.   Think I need to lift the color on the little girl's cheek and jaw line as it looks bruised rather than in shadow. 

The palette for this painting is Cobalt Blue, Burnt Sienna, Pthalo Blue, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, Viridian, Perm. Rose, Yellow Ochre, New Gamboge,   I don't want to get so caught up in the technical that I forget to try to be more expressive with the brushes and the color.  That is a hard thing for me to achieve since I am trying to be oh so very careful.  The good part is I have the drawing on tracing paper so can simply begin again if I don't like what I see. 

One of the portrait watercolor artist I most admire is Ona, who has the Emotive Expressions blog.  She creates the most delicate of skin tones yet has marvelous values.  Every time I began getting impatient, waiting for the paper to dry, I would think of her work and how much time and patience she must have.  That would slow me down long enough to allow the paper to dry. 

Even though, the shadow tones are not what I would like I will continue on with this painting, reshaping the lips just a little and lowering the left eye just a tad while continuing to build the shapes through more color and values.  Wish me luck and a good eye!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A Birthday Sketch

A dear friend is celebrating her birthday today so did this sketch of her this morning.  Teresa, hope you have a fab day. 

Monday, January 02, 2012

Tea Party 2 Update

 Acrylics were used over the watercolors today to try to get some semblance of the facial features on this little study.  Think I'm going to call this one quits and do a much larger painting.