December 30, 2008

The Blues

I haven't completely stopped painting this holiday... but I came pretty darn close. Lately I have been working on a couple smaller watercolours (I move between the two as I get frustrated). But, today I had a request for a musical painting... a perfect excuse to take a break from the watercolours. I found the perfect reference photo from morguefile.com and I just knew that I had to give it a try. I kept my palette nice and simple: titanium-zinc white, indigo blue, and burnt sienna. I also kept my brushes simple: I only allowed myself two 'larger' brushes and no fiddly details. I was to keep this one simple.



"The Blues"
reference by clarita100 at morguefile.com
14" x 11" oil on canvas
© 2008

There is still a few details left to go. The strings still need to be added and I want to strengthen the whites in few places once the paint is a bite more tacky. Overall, this one was a tonne of fun and nice and relaxing. I'll post a final photo once the details have been added and in better light.

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December 21, 2008

Pansy Garden

With all the snow falling (and on the ground) I decided to paint something to remind me of warmer times... something spring-ish. I also do have to admit that pansys are my favourite flower and I think I have somewhat figured out how to paint them.



"Pansy Garden"
3.5" x 2.5" watercolour
© 2008


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December 19, 2008

Coffee Still

I think I'm done this one. I've changed the background to a more greyish blue which I think complements the warm orange tones in the coffee. This painting was an exercise of loosening up a little (something that I do not do nearly enough) and to just enjoy the process of painting without worrying about being overly realistic. Its was lots of fun and... was wonderful to paint something 'warm' during the cool nights we have been having lately.



"Coffee Still"
8" x 10" oil on canvas
© 2008


Speaking of cool nights, I thought I would include some of my snow pictures that I've taken over the last few days. I am sure there will be ample opportunity in the next week or so as there is another large snow storm heading my direction.



Snow at the university
© 2008


Snow outside my place
© 2008


Snow on the drive home
© 2008

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December 16, 2008

Snow and Coffee

Though it may appear through the lack of regular updates on this blog that I am not painting often, the opposite is quite true. I just haven't been finishing much lately, mostly due to the fact that I am working on larger projects this month. My 'nearest' to completion paintings is below and the only thing left is the background. I started out thinking that a nice orange/burnt sienna colour would look awesome, but, now that I see it I am second guessing myself. Now... I am leaning towards a greenish-blue. Thoughts? Suggestions?



"Coffee" Work in Progress
8" x 10" oil on canvas
© 2008


This weekend saw the first snowfall in Vancouver. Though, snow does not happen all that often (or so Vancouverites will say) it does seem to cause panic on the streets. There is suppose to be another snow storm cruising through the area tonight which mean more snow pictures tomorrow.



Snow!
© 2008


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December 13, 2008

Holiday Berries

With the holiday season right around the corner, I thought it would be fitting to paint at least one holiday themed painting this year. One can find these prickly holly plant all over Vancouver and their prickly leaves let you know if you've come a little too close.



"Holiday Berries"
2.5" x 3.5" watercolour
© 2008


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December 07, 2008

Apple Splash, Work in Progress

Got a little more done on this apple painting yesterday and today. Its been staring at me from the easel for the last couple of weeks and I've decided that it is about time that I finished it. Most of my effort yesterday was taming the 'fluorescent'-ness of the greens/yellows of the apple. Today, it was working on the background (a nice glaze of indigo) and working on the details on the water stream. I've been working more tonight and post that update tomorrow when I have some natural light to photograph it.



Apple Splash, work in progress
11" x 14" oil on canvas
© 2008


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December 06, 2008

Coneflower

I think I am finally done this one... The flowers gave me nothing but trouble and I definitely need lots more practice in that area. Lately, with all the rain and gloomy weather, I have been finding myself painting spring-y paintings with a longing for warmer weather already.



Coneflower
4" x 6" watercolour
© 2008


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December 04, 2008

Work in Progress, and Banana Muffins

I didn't finish my painting tonight... but I had a good excuse, I was making banana muffins (recipe below)! I, for a while, thought I had ruined this one by over painting the flower. I managed to rescue it by scrubbing and blotting to lift some of the paint. The greens I'm starting to figure out, but flowers are still my nemesis.



untitled
4" x 6" watercolour
© 2008




Banana Muffins
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
2 eggs (beaten)
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cups bran
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
chopped walnuts

Beat butter and sugar and creamy and then add bananas, milk, vanilla, and eggs. Stir in the dry ingredients, mixing until smooth but do not over mix. Fill muffin pan, sprinkle with nuts and bake at 350 for 22 to 27 minutes.

I've been experimenting with soy flour (1/2 cup) and with spelt flour (1 cup) and it tastes good!

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December 02, 2008

Untitled Chickadee Painting

I couldn't let the first of the month pass by without a post. Nothing completed to post, but I'm working on a new chickadee painting (no title yet) with some cone flowers included. I'm still working on painting flowers and I'm getting more confident each time I paint one. This little guy should be done in the next couple days and I will definitely post it when I'm done.



untitled
4" x 6" watercolour
© 2008


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November 30, 2008

More on 'Apple Splash'

I haven't forgotten about this painting... just been working on watercolours until I figured out my next step with it. Tonight, I've added more yellow, greens, and reds... its almost a fluorescent colour in real life, but the next few glazes will tone done the saturation of colour into a more realistic colour. The roundness is starting to take place, and as I add the lighter areas... the roundness will become more and more apparent.



Apple Splash, work in progress
11" x 14" oil on canvas
© 2008


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November 27, 2008

Poof

I went with a slightly larger than ACEO size on this one... and that 1/2" of extra space really gave the painting a different feel. I think I might try some square miniature paintings in the future. This chickadee is a poofy little fellow (hence the name) and I wanted to capture the feel of a damp cool morning. The weather has been dreary and wet here lately and I've been noticing the birds are more poofy lately and (hopefully) keeping good and warm.



"Poof"
3.0" x 3.5" watercolour
© 2008


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November 22, 2008

Early Snow

The snow hasn't started falling here yet... but, for the first time this season, I saw wet snow flurries in the extended weather forecast. I'm hoping for the snow not to come yet as I am still enjoying the 'green' outside. I really love painting song birds, but I seem to always paint bluebirds, robins, and chickadees. A pattern I should perhaps deviate from.... mmm... So, what other songbirds should I paint? Any suggestions?



"Early Snow"
2.5" x 3.5" watercolour
© 2008



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November 21, 2008

Daisy Patch

This is one of those paintings where everything just seemed to work.... especially the background. Its hard to see in the scan, but there are very subtle colours of brown, green, blue, and even purple. I also really love the way his orange belly turned out... it was a new combination of colours for me (a recipe I have written down for future reference).



"Daisy Patch"
2.5" x 3.5" watercolour
© 2008


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November 16, 2008

Poppy

This one has been on my easel off and on for a couple of weeks now. Flowers have been my focus lately... trying different techniques out to capture the subtle colours of the petals. White flowers have been especially challenging... but, I bought myself a small tube of cobalt blue and that seems to be the trick for me. They white poppies seem a little washed out in this scan, but there is much more subtle colour in them in real life.



"Poppy"
4" x 6" watercolour
© 2008


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November 15, 2008

Cardinal Amongst the Leaves

This one is fresh off the easel... a special picture for my Grannie. I struggled with the reds for a bit, then discovered what combinations of red, blue, green, and yellow create the perfect shadows and highlights. Now, I'll let it sit for a couple days and see if I can spot any places that need touch ups. Then, it will be matted, framed, and sent off it its new home.



"Cardinal Amongst the Leaves"
4" x 6" watercolour
© 2008


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November 13, 2008

Back to the 'Ugly Stage'

I've added my first colour layer to the apple and as a result, I'm back to the ugly stage. The best way to describe this stage, in my opinion, is a badly coloured black and white photo. There will be many more colour layers, each one slowly adjusting the colours of the apple. Right now... it is a tad bit to 'fluorescent' in colour. But, as the colours get added, they will tone down and be more natural. Stay tuned for more to come!



Apple Splash, work in progress
11" x 14" oil on canvas
© 2008


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November 11, 2008

From the Sketchbook: Fall Leaf

I had a wonderfully busy weekend visiting and being a tourist with family that was in town this weekend. As a result, no new painting tonight... but instead, I present a sketch from my sketchbook. I've been collecting leaves and practicing drawing them. The make a great still life once they dry. I'm hoping to have a painting ready for posting tomorrow but if not I'll post another one of my sketches.


watercolor sketch
watercolour and ink sketch
© 2008


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November 05, 2008

Down to Earth

Today was an earthy day... fall is starting to pass by and there is less and less colour in the trees as the leaves are falling more quickly now. I had lots of fun playing with all my earthy browns and greens... especially the granulating ones. I'm working on a very special painting right now... but I won't be posting it until I'm done (don't want to spoil the surprise).



"Down to Earth"
2.5" x 3.5" watercolour
© 2008


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November 03, 2008

Lil' Hummer

I am slowly working through my pile of 'starts but never finished' paintings in between other paintings. This guy was started a couple months ago... but I wasn't sure how to handle the small sparkly feathers on him. I've been practicing my technique and I think he turned out pretty good.



"Lil' Hummer"
3.5" x 2.5" watercolour
© 2008


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November 02, 2008

First Layer Complete.... I Think....

So I think I am finished the first (under layer) for this painting. I could do more... but, I think I am satisfied with this. I have lots of water and waterdrops.... Lots of fun. Unless I see any major changes over the next week I anticipate the first layer of colour going on next week (once this layer has had enough time to properly dry).



Apple Splash, work in progress
11" x 14" oil on canvas
© 2008

November 01, 2008

Jumping-Jacks

It was a crazy busy week this past week which meant, unfortunately, I didn't get much painting done. Just too darn tired in the evenings. I did, though, manage to slowly work on this one and had the energy to paint a little tonight to finish it. I'm still experimenting with my greens... though I think I will have to make some colour charts to really figure out some of my mixes.



"Jumping-Jacks"
2.5" x 3.5" watercolour
© 2008

October 27, 2008

Splash... another update

Just a quick update on this painting tonight. I am getting ever so closer to being doing this layer so then I can move onto the colour layers. Most of the waterdrops are done... except for the lower right corner. Still got some work left there.



Apple Splash, work in progress
11" x 14" oil on canvas
© 2008

Quote of the day: A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. - Herm Albright

October 25, 2008

Sleepyhead

This little guy, with his half closed eyes, looks like he is just waking up from a mid-afternoon snooze. Perhaps he was up too late the previous night.... Who knows!



"Sleepyhead"
2.5" x 3.5" watercolour
© 2008

October 21, 2008

Violets

As promised, a new chickadee ACEO from me tonight. I've been practicing painting flowers and mixing greens lately which naturally lends itself to these little paintings. I have a larger watercolour with flowers that I have been trying to figure out the perfect mixes of its greener. I'm getting closer, but not quite yet. So... there shall be another one of these in the near future.



"Violets"
2.5" x 3.5" watercolour
© 2008

October 20, 2008

A Little More on Apple Splash

This weekend was nice quiet weekend. I managed to get some work done on a couple paintings, but never actually finished any. There is still a number of water drops and streams to work on/tweak on my apple painting, but I can definitely start seeing the end of the griselle layer (black and white layer).



Apple Splash, work in progress
11" x 14" oil on canvas
© 2008


I'm hoping to have a new ACEO/miniature painting to post tomorrow. I've been experimenting with granulating watercolours for the backgrounds and practicing my floral painting skills. I got some absolutely beautiful flowers this weekend from some great friends. I tried taking pictures of them tonight, but they just don't photograph the same without daylight. The batteries are fully charged and tomorrow I'll be snapping lots of reference photos.

October 17, 2008

Morning Dew

I'm letting the paint dry on my oil painting for another day (I have a tendency to drag my hand across and through the wet spots...). Tonight's offering is a chickadee amongst some dewy leaves I photographed this summer. I seemed to have waterdrops on the mind lately for some reason....



"Morning Dew"
3.5" x 2.5" watercolour
© 2008


Quote of the day: To do in what you love is freedom and to love in what you do is happiness. -- unknown to me

October 15, 2008

Apple Splash, Almost Done the Underpainting

I'm getting ever so closer to finishing the under painting of this one. I've got all the areas blocked in and and just need to finish the gazzion waterdrops on the apple (and the splash of course). It's really starting to come together now and I can't wait until it is time to put colour on this one.




Apple Splash, work in progress
11" x 14" oil on canvas
© 2008

October 13, 2008

Happiness Is...

not a destination. It is a method of life. (Burton Hills). I really enjoyed painting this little guy... and the little smile on his face (beak?) is a happy little accident in the way the paint went on the paper. I'm not complaining though. That's one of the joys of watercolour painting... the little accidents that occur when paint goes on paper. Those, and the water blossoms (what happens when water/colour is dropped onto almost dry pigment) are my two favourite things about watercolour.



"Happiness Is.."
3.5" x 2.5" watercolour
© 2008

October 12, 2008

Fall-Time Robin

A quick little watercolour painting for tonight while I wait for (oil) paint to dry.




"Fall-Time Robin"
2.5" x 3.5" watercolour
© 2008

Apple Splash, Update

I put this one aside for a while, getting too overwhelmed by all the details in the picture. Sometimes taking a break from something helps to clear the head so one can figure out a plan to continue forward. In my case, the acrylic paintings (yes, I've started another acrylic painting), helped to to give me the mental break needed for this one.



Apple Splash, work in progress
11" x 14" oil on canvas
© 2008


I've been concentrating on the water stream and working out from there. So far so good... My palette has been very limited so far. The darks are a combination of ivory black and burnt umber, and the lights are titanium-zinc white. I'm generally following the wonderful workshop by WFMartin on Wetcanvas.

October 08, 2008

Chicago Bean, Finished!

I think I'm doing this one... I'll probably let it sit for a while before varnishing just to make sure there is nothing else I want to change. I'm happy with the reflections on the bean, especially the buildings and people on the right hand side of the bean. The palette was kept fairly simple: cobalt blue, black, cadmium red, and yellow ochre.



"Chicago Bean", work in progress
8" x 10" acrylic on canvas
© 2008


Quote of the day: Happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them. ~ Anonymous

A Little More on my Bean

I got a couple more hours (with many breaks during) work done on this one tonight. It is getting very close to being done, and there is even a small chance I'll finish in time of the "Different Strokes for Different Folks" deadline. I'm going to get a bit more done tonight before heading to bed.



"Chicago Bean", work in progress
8" x 10" acrylic on canvas
© 2008


Quote of the day: While I am doing my work, I am aware of the fact that there are 1000s of other artists right now in their own studios going through the same mind-chatter and fears that I'm going through. Simply, artists learn how to proceed, or they don't. -Robert Burridge

October 07, 2008

Chicago Bean, Work in Progress

Another busy day today (trying to recover a 'dead' computer), but I did manage to get a little more done on my shiney Chicago bean. Posted below is a closeup of the part that I worked on. I'm working with a limited palette. Started out as a Zorn palette (blue-black, yellow ochre, white, and red) but I just couldn't get a nice sky so I added a cobalt blue. The canvas was first covered with a nice loose burnt sienna base before I started painting. Its coming along slowly... but I'm having lots of fun doing it.



"Chicago Bean", closeup
8" x 10" acrylic on canvas
© 2008

October 06, 2008

Oh No! Not Another Work in Progress

I had every intention of finishing this one this weekend, but I suppose you can't always have it your way. I was feeling frustrated with my two oil paintings so I thought I would give the Different Strokes for Different Folks challenge hosted by Karin Jurick a try. Her picture this week seems like a good challenge for me.... it was a shiney object and I love painting shiney objects. But... as not to bring on the evil anti-muse oil painting demons, I thought I would whip out my acrylic paints and give it a whirl



"Chicago Bean"
8" x 10" acrylic on canvas
© 2008


This is as far as I gotten today. Though I had good intentions to finish it tonight, I do have until Tuesday evening to submit it. I got my fingers crossed that I can finish it in time.

October 02, 2008

Autumn Chickadee

Finished this one today.... having fun with fall colours. The trees are really starting to change colours now with the cool rainy weather starting to move in. I'm thinking of collecting some leaves this weekend and giving a try at painting them from life. Could be interesting and fun.



"Autumn Chickadee"
3" x 5" watercolour
© 2008

Snowy Perch

I've been busy working on several pieces this week, including this one. Reds, for me, are quite the challenge...especially to get all the different shadows and highlights just right. I absolutely love the combination of the blue snow and the bright red bird. I do believe that there shall be more cardinals in my painting future.



"Snowy Perch"
2.5" x 3.5" watercolour
Private Commission
© 2008


Quote of the day: If you want to be happy, be. Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here. It seldom happens that a man changes his life through his habitual reasoning. No matter how fully he may sense the new plans and aims revealed to him by reason, he continues to plod along in old paths until his life becomes frustrating and unbearable— he finally makes the change only when his usual life can no longer be tolerated. -- Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Лев Никола́евич Толсто́й)

September 27, 2008

Oil Paintings in Progress

Tonight was a 'work on all the other paintings I've started' and I ended up going back and forth between two paintings that have been sitting on my easel (or on my wall) drying. This first one, started in the summer has received another layer of paint on the boat and I've started putting in the details into the hull. Its slow going, but that's okay. I'm a slow painting.



Gisbson's Landing, work in progress
9" x 11" oil on canvas
© 2008


The other paintings that I was working on tonight was started last month and is based of one of my photographs. It will be similar in style to my last apple/water painting, only this time it will be bigger. I'm also trying out a more detailed griselle before going onto the colour layers.



Apple Splash, work in progress
11" x 14" oil on canvas
© 2008


Sorry about the glare off these paintings.... the paint is still very wet and my daylight bulb is horrible for being difficult to photograph under.

Quote of the day: Very little is needed to make a happy life. It is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -- Marcus Aurelius (121 - 180), Roman emperor and philosopher

Autumn Chickadee, a work in progress

Continuing on my theme of chickadees and autumn, I've started working on this little guy tonight. I've got a ways to go yet, especially on the background. Lots of colours, leaves, and textures are still left to be painted.



"Autumn Chickadee"
3" x 5" watercolour
© 2008

September 25, 2008

Pit Stop

I finished this guy tonight... taking lots of time to glaze the background. So many different colours in it... all glazed together: purple, yellow, green, gold, and blue. It really felt good to bring the painting size up a bit. I was able to work with the details in the flower much more easily and with much less stress. There is definitely going to be more watercolour paintings on this size paper.



Pit Stop
4" x 5" watercolour
© 2008

September 23, 2008

untitled chickadee, Work in Progress

I was hoping to finish this guy tonight, I'm almost done... but not quite. Its been a while since I've worked on larger watercolour paintings, and I do have to say that it is quite fun. I have more space to add the details to the painting that I just can't always do on a smaller scale. It also allows me to experiment and practice. In this case, with flowers. Flowers have been frustrated me on the smaller scale lately, so, by going larger for a little while, I can practice getting the details right that make a flower a flower.



untitled, work in progress
4" x 5" watercolour
© 2008

September 20, 2008

Fall Perch

Another colourful autumn painting from me tonight. Lots of fun again with this one... and even a touch of shimmer in the background.



"Fall Perch"
2.5" x 3.5" watercolour
© 2008

September 19, 2008

Splash of Colour

Sometimes it is necessary to just go wild with colour... and I suppose this is the result. I'm starting to see more and more trees turning colours out here. I can't wait until the full colours come out... its like a second spring.



"Splash of Colour"
2.5" x 3.5" watercolour
© 2008

September 18, 2008

Sunny Days a Coming

This guy has been keeping me busy the last couple days, a bit larger than usual which allowed me to get more detail in the eye and in the body. Lots of fun! I also loved painting the water drops on the leaves. My one weak spot, and something I really need to practice drawing, are the little toes on these guys. It is hit and miss with me when it comes to them. I tend to do them better in oil paint as I can go over it a few times until I get it just perfect. Watercolour is not that forgiving (though, I could invest in a tube of opaque watercolour for times like this).



"Sunny Days a Coming"
4" x 6" watercolour
© 2008

September 13, 2008

Flower Days

September, so far, has been a pretty slow month for me... I've been working on some larger paintings so I haven't been posting quite as much. I finished this little guy this morning, though he has been on my easel for a couple of days. I wanted to try some softer, more subtle colours... and I think I accomplished that.



"Flower Days"
2.5" x 3.5" watercolour
© 2008

September 09, 2008

Her Royal Highness, Finished!

I put the final touches on this kitty tonight... though, obtaining a decent picture of it proved very difficult. I'll take some better pictures (with close up details) tomorrow when I have some daylight.


Her Royal Highness
6" x 6" oil on stretched canvas
© 2008


edit: I've updated the picture with one taken with daylight.
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