Nope, I haven't disappeared... just taken a bit of a holiday break. I've been working on this little guy while I have been waiting for my paints from Daniel Smith (impatient, I know). In the mean time, I did pick myself up a couple of other new watercolours and a daylight lamp for myself (gotta love boxing day sales).
I'm almost done this one... just a few more highlights left once the paint is a bit more tacky and I think I'll call it done. I'm really happy with the way the feathers turned out on this little guy. I spent some extra time on them trying to get the shapes just right. I kept my palette fairly limited: indigo, turquoise blue, titanium-zinc white, burnt sienna, and just a touch of raw sienna.
I also treated myself to some new paints this Christmas as Daniel Smith Art Materials is having a bit of special with their watercolour triads (free shipping to Canada!). Here's to hoping that the colours don't get hung up in customs for too long and I can experiment with them.
I do believe that I have finally finished this painting and it sure looks snazzy on the wall. I learnt a lot doing a grisaille underpainting... so much so, that I have started a new painting using the same technique (I'll show a sneak peak of that painting tomorrow).
The only thing that I didn't enjoy with this painting was using Gamsol... I didn't like the stickiness that occurred as I mixed it with the paint. If anyone has tips on how to use it... I would love to hear. My next painting I will be using linseed oil on the top layers.
This evening I managed to get a little bit more done on this little sparrow. He is fun to paint, but the blues are difficult for me to to, especially capturing the bright highlights on the feathers. My goal is to have this one finished by the end of the week so it can have the weekend to dry and then receive varnish next week. I am working on a deadline on this one as he is a commission for a friend for Christmas.
I also got word tonight that one of my paintings sold at the gallery (yipee!!). The one that sold is Quiet Contimplation... and is a favourite of mine. There are ten more days left to the show and as much as I would like to hang the paintings back on my walls I would be complete ecstatic if they sold.
I am determined to finish this painting and I am getting closer and closer to the end with every paint session. I've added many of the rail details to the lighthouse and starting to work on the railing along the bottom. There was some touch-ups to the blue in the ocean and the sky and I am pretty happy with it now.
I have added a lot of colour to this layer of the painting... and I do believe it really has helped to tie the painting together as a whole. I have a little more work here and there on the lighthouse itself and I probably will add more colour to the bushes in the foreground yet. The only other major area of work left is the ocean and possibly the sky. I want to tone down the colour (chroma) of the blue which should help more with the feeling of depth in the painting.
I hope you are not getting tired of seeing this Work in Progress yet. I've done more work on the lighthouse... strengthening the shadows with purple and the highlights with yellow. These two colours are really helping in creating the depth I was hoping to get in the lighthouse.
The next stage will be getting more colour into the rocks at the base of the lighthouse and perhaps more colour in the lighthouse. Once all that is done and I'm happy I'll be adding the details in the railings and around the top of the lighthouse.
When I saw this picture in Barbara's flickr collection I knew that I had to paint it. I modified it from the reference slightly.... taking out the bird feeder and replacing it with a branch. I think this de-clutters the painting and helps to emphasize the chickadee.
I've begun a new painting tonight... one that I have been meaning to do for a little while ago. This is a new bird for me and I do believe it will be a challenge... I haven't yet attempted an iridescent look using oil paints yet. With acrylics I usually apply an iridescent paint in the final layers, but with the oil paints I don't have such a paint with me. So... a combination of blues, yellows, and whites should be able to allow me to make a nice shiny feathery look.
Ipainted this one sometime ago... but there was always something about it I didn't quite like. Looking at it the other day I knew what that something was.... the background. The background for the painting was very light and the magnolia blossoms seem to fade into it. So, with my trusty linseed oil and brushes, I glazed in a darker colour mixed with yellow and alizarin crimson. I feel the flowers pop more now and I am really happy with the result.
Opening night at Place des Arts was an absolute blast! It was really neat to see my art hanging in wall and watching people going from wall to wall looking at all the wonderful pictures. I am really motivated now to continue working on some larger works so I could (perhaps next year?) have a solo show.
Its amazing sometimes to realize how small the world really is. While at opening night last night I bumped into another artist that I have been conversing with on Wetcanvas. Amie is also showing several of her reduction cut prints at the same show. It was really neat to meet someone in person that I met online.
I wasn't fully prepared for the opening night (blame it on my lack of experience... this being my first show). Next time, I need to make sure that I bring business cards and I need to work on marketing myself much more during the show (thanks for the tips Amie!).
This guys was lots of fun to paint and I'm really happy with how the colours turned out. I used a combination of transparent red earth, cadmium orange, hansa yellow light, and cadmium yellow medium for the body of the bird. There was also a touch of sap green here and there for some of the shadows and titanium-zinc white for the highlights.
I was going through some photographs that I took last summer on a trip home to Saskatchewan and was reminded of the incredible sunsets that grace the prairies. This painting will join the set of sunset paintings that I have been creating over the past little while.
I'm getting my colours figured out for sunsets and soon I'll be moving to larger scale supports (I have a stack of 8" x 10" stretched canvas' waiting to be used).
I've done some updates to this painting... though I do not know how obvious the updates are. I've added more colour to the sky and water (strengthening the horizon on the water), added many more layers to the fall trees, and adjusting the rocks somewhat.
It feels nice painting on a larger scale than I have recently. When I finish the apple and this lighthouse... I have my eyes on a 36"x24" canvas sitting by my desk. Now, only if I could decide what I want to paint on it.
I finished another long-time work-in-progress, Chipper. I am slowly working through the pile of incomplete mini-watercolour paintings. I'm hoping to finish more of these before I start new little ones.
This was a fun little guy to paint... I used my bigger paint brush and just let the colours flow, especially on the background. Its been a while since I've used my watercolours and I almost forgot how much fun they can be. I do believe that there is going to be a few more watercolour paintings in the next little while.
I am getting very close to the end of this painting. Tonight, I started adding the fine details to the top of the apple and some of the water reflections. I've been avoiding the big splash... that is going to be the most challenging part of the painting.
I didn't finish my framing last night and that is the number one thing on my to do list today. Besides the framing, my to do list isn't all that bad. I have a couple of paintings I really want to get finished (my apple painting and my lighthouse) so I can start on a couple others that I really want to try. With the miserable weather outside, I'm hoping to get a lot done.
This painting and I just clicked this evening... it hardly took anytime at all to paint and I'm really happy with the results. I think I am starting to get a good feel painting and drawing these little songbirds.
I'm not sure what colour layer this is at... the background has undergone several colour changes... grey to tan, to a blueish-yellow-white... I'm pretty happy with the background now, but that still might change as I continue work on the stream of water and the apple.
Now that I have all my miniature paintings done (well, a lot of them done) for the upcoming show I am in, I am going to spend more time finishing up some of my larger paintings. Up on the easel now is this apple painting and my espresso cup painting being done in acrylics.
This guy reminds me of a fuzzy teddy bear... I had so much fun painting him! I have a couple more little chipmunks that I want to try painting but not before I've finished a few other paintings I have started.
I was brave and decided to try fur in oils... I'm finding the fur is taking me much longer to do than feathers but, then again, I seem to be putting in much more detail into this guy than I have with my birds. This is two evenings worth of work, and I am hoping I'll need just one more evening to complete it. Even though it is taking me a while to finish... I have been very much enjoying the process. I'm using a multitude of browns, whites, greys, and a lonely green with my goal being to get as close as possible to capturing the colour of a chipmunk. I will be definitely posting a completing version of this guy.
Big news for me this weekend, I was accepted to show in the 'Positively Petite' Place des Arts annual miniature show from November 8 to December 21, 2007. The opening reception is on November 8 from 7:30 to 9:30pm and if you are in the Coquitlam, British Columbia area you are invited to attend.
Its not that I haven't been painting this week... I just haven't had a chance to post anything yet. I felt like painting another chickadee last night (I think this is chickadee number 35) hence the glare spots in the photograph. I was trying to be a little bit looser with the brush strokes in this one... but, I will probably go back and add some white detail to the feathers yet when it dries a bit more.
Something a little different for me today... I saw this sunrise sometime ago and I just had to paint it. Now that the sun is rising later in the morning it is easier to catch the sunrise. This is the view from my window looking towards Coquitlam and Simon Fraser University.
This is the third bluebird in this series. I'm really happy with the way the branches turned out. I was trying to get a feel for distance behind the bird and I do believe the couple of branches in the background really do help with that.
After much pondering I've decided to start selling these miniature (ACEO) painting pre-matted ready for framing into a standard 8" x 10" frame. I'm really impressed with the way the paintings look in a simple frame with ivory matting. Originally these little paintings started out as a way to practice painting. But now, I am spending much more time on them that I wanted to present them in a different way that is more appropriate for these little paintings.
I've finished matting and framing all my show submissions and now it is just a matter of driving over to the gallery and handing them over to the jury. I'm am so excited and nervous as this will be my first submission to a juried show.
I've been working on this little guy during lunch at work lately. Since I don't usually have too much to do during lunch (and my watercolours are very portable) I decided to bring a small field watercolour kit to work and paint at my desk. I saw the reference image of this guy on Wetcanvas and I couldn't resist the pose. It looks like he is taking a quick pit stop on the side of tree to check things out.
More experimenting with blues (and reds in this case). I've been experimenting on how to create more subtle 'natural' colours in my paintings. Compared to my first oil bluebird several months ago I've come a longs ways to mixing more natural colours.
Arrgg... photographing wet oil paintings in the evening is got to be impossible. I tried about 20 shots of this one and this was the best of the bunch. This is another (and possibly the last) painting that I am going to enter into the upcoming art show. Though, this might not be the final version of this one. I am thinking that once it is dry in a couple days I will go in and tweak some of the highlights and deep shadows in the center of the flower.
I only have two more paintings to mat and frame and I can see myself in the very near future making a trip to the gallery to drop off my submissions. Once I have these little paintings done, I am going to return to work on my somewhat abandoned lighthouse and my apple still life.
Just finished another oil painting destined for my entry later this fall. I am particularly pleased with this one... especially the way the leaf turned out. I kept my palette simple are really tried to emphasize the contrast between the highlights and shadows. I think I am going to have to do another one of these fall paintings.
I don't have a finished painting to share tonight, so I thought I would share a quick picture of where I paint. This is my main working area... I got the best little desk from Ikea (cheapish... so I don't have to worry about ruining the desktop) with tonnes of shelf space. I typically paint in front of the computer and when I paint larger paintings I use an easel just to the side of the desk (can't see it in this picture).
"My Work Area"
On the keyboard is my newest painting (still lots of layers to go... I can paint birds in one go, but flowers seem to take a few more layers for me to complete. To the right is my apple painting and to the left is a recently sold painting waiting to be packaged up.
I hope to be finished the painting on the keyboard in the next day or two and I'll post it when its done.
The countdown has begun for the art show I want to enter with only 25 days left to finish several more paintings, get a few more matted up, and to purchase 8 new frames to put them in. I'm super excited about the prospect of showing in my first local gallery!
Just a quick little still life for me today. I've been busy with more matting and other life's distractions. I painted this one in watercolour some time ago and thought I would try it again but this time in oil. Same reference, but two totally different looking paintings.
One thing in this painting that I am rather proud of is the blues. Normally, blues give me the most headaches when it comes to painting. But not in this one. I used cerulean and indigo and I think I achieved just the perfect blue for this painting.
I wanted to try my had at another glassy still life and this salt shaker caught my eye. I kept the colours simple in this one... focusing more on the values than worrying about colours. The only colours used were mars black, paynes grey, and titanium-zinc white.
This weekend was a busy one for me. I have my eyes on an upcoming petite art show and I have been busy cutting mats for a whole slew of little paintings. I've also been busy sketching out several more miniature paintings that I am hoping to be done in time for the entry deadline. This will be my first juried art show and I got my fingers cross! Entry isn't for another month, but if I do get accepted I will be making an announcement in this blog.
I've been working on this one for a few days now... finally I think it is done (unless I see something). I tried not to fuss with the details on this one as much as I normally do, but I just couldn't help but pick up that tiny brush and add some details.
It's been a while since I played with my acrylic paints, but the quick drying time (even with glazing medium) absolutely drove me batty. So, to solve the problem, I picked up a stay-wet palette not too long ago. And... I love it! I've only been using it for two nights now (in between oil painting) but I can't believe how much fun acrylics are again. I can put the paint down and it is still usable even the next day. Its absolutely brilliant!
I started this painting last summer when it eventually went into my 'complete sometime in the future' pile. I've rescued it from that pile and I hope to finish it this week. I'm still working on little oil paintings at the same time (multi-tasking at its best I tell you) and I'll post those as I complete them.
The trees are starting to show some of the first colours of fall out here which inspired me to paint this miniature painting. I kept my palette pretty simple: indigo, hansa yellow light, cadmium yellow medium, scarlet red, and titanium-zinc white.
I've been working on this one slowly all week... not that it was a particularly difficult... but I have been super busy with work and just haven't had the time this week to do much painting. I have been goals to finish at least one larger painting, do some framing, and hopefully a couple small paintings.
I got up bright and early this morning to get this one finished. Now that it is completely and I am relatively happy with the way the fur turned out, I think I am going to go through my reference images and see find another kitten I'll paint.
I haven't been getting quite as much painting done these last few days, but I did manage to do a little work on this cute kitten I saw in the image library at Wetcanvas. I've tried painting cats in watercolour... but I've never been totally happy with the results. With the oil paints, I am much happier with the way this painting is turning out.
My palette is fairly simple: titanium-zinc white, indigo, raw sienna, hansa yellow light and sap green (the last two colours were for the background and the kitten's eyes). The eyes were quite the challenge and I think I didn't do all that bad.
I gave the marbles another try tonight... concentrating on using only three colours: paynes grey, indigo, and titanium-zinc white. I do have to say that I am quiet happy with the results tonight. By only using the three colours I was really able to concentrate on getting the reflections and light spots looking more accurate than worrying about all the colours.
Somedays, I swear, my camera hates me. No matter how many times I photographed this painting.... I just couldn't get it to photograph well. I suppose this is just going to have to be one of those that I scan later in the week.
This marble was a heck of a lot more difficult to paint in oil than it is in watercolour. Not sure why... perhaps I am just fiddling with it too much. I'm going to try another one.... but this time I am going to pick a marble that has less colours in it and concentrate more on the reflections and refractions.
I still got a number of colour layers that I want to do, and I'm not happy with the background colour so I am tinting it a blue as well. I think the blue will help the water stream and the apple 'pop' more from the painting.
Another quick little chickadee for me tonight. I've painted this guy once in watercolour and I wanted to try him again in oil paints... but this time with a different mood. I've been playing around with different shades of grey and light colours for backgrounds and I really love the way it looks in real life.
I do believe that this is my best painted robin yet! I'm soo happy with this one... very tempted to keep it for myself. I got some colour tips from the new books I got: the brown of the bird is a combination of sap green, raw umber, and titanium-zinc white. The orange breast is a combination of raw sienna, cadmium yellow medium, and winsor red.