My next biggest painting is slowly taking shape on my biggest easel today (thanks Dad for making the easel for me!!!). I thought about trying it on my smaller easel... but, then common sense took over and I pulled out the big one. I started by blocking in the cyclists (one at the moment just looks like a bit of a blob) first just to get a feel for how it is all going to fit. Then, I started blocking in patches of colours just to see what would look the best. I've decided on an orange/purple/grey combination and I think that was a good choice. Lots more work left... though, I may take a break and work on a watercolour over the weekend.
Took this one off my easel tonight and hung it on my wall. I'm soo tickled pink at how well it turned out and how quickly I finished it considering it is my largest painting to date. Though, that will change... I've started an even larger one tonight for my brother. Hopefully it won't take nearly as long as this one has been a long time waiting.
I'm almost finished this large (for me) painting... just a touch little bit to do on one of the bouys and the center. It has been a very (very very) long time since I have used acrylics and I forgot how fun they can be. I am trying to stay loose, using my bigger brushes and not getting too fussy about the details. Up close I struggle to keep the details out... but when looked at from a distance, I am super happy with the way it looks.
Its been almost a week since my last update, but... I do have a most excellent excuse, though I cannot share until the new year (some details still need to be worked out). Until then, I thought I would share where I paint and what has been distracting me (besides holiday planning/visiting/baking/preparing). The watercolours have been put aside just for a little while as I have a few last minute very large paintings that have a very tight deadline for me to finish. This one is based off a closeup picture I took of a tugboat on the coast up near Gibson's Landing (on the British Columbia coast). It is a surprise... though those who are being surprised by this don't check my blog regularly so I think it is safe to post it here.
I didn't manage to get much painting done today... busy trying my best to get the very very last minute holiday cards out to everyone. I am so late this year that I think all my cards will be Happy New Year cards instead of Christmas cards. I've also started writing down and thinking about my New Year's resolutions (I have a terrible habit of not following through with them). This year... I'm going to try to get some good realistic goals and keep to them next year. Stay tuned for my list (which should appear shortly before the end of the year).
Today I worked more on Spider, completed some of the shaping of his neck and the top of his neck. I've also started blending and shaping the whiskers along his face and neck. The masking fluid lines were slightly too wide so I've had to slowly adjust so that I can just blend the colours together. So far so good.
I don't have a new painting to post tonight (been busy doing holiday cards and getting ready for the upcoming holiday break), but... I thought I would share some more bird photographs from my recent trip to the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. I'll have a new painting (or at least an update on a work in progress).
Okay... so I know I shouldn't have started another another painting without finishing some of my already in progress paintings... but, after feeding the chickadees on Saturday I just couldn't help myself. When inspiration attacks, one must not ignore it.
I got a little more done on Spider this weekend, mostly in 'greying' up the fur (when compared to the photograph I had Spider a touch to brown. Its been a busy weekend working on all sorts of projects (painting and photographing), so overall... a good productive weekend.
No paintings today... had way too much fun at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary feeding chickadees and snapping photographs. I got some absolutely awesome photographs of chickadees as well as ducks, sandhill cranes, and some other (yet) unidentified birds.
After nearly a month of rain... it sure felt good to feel the sunshine on my skin. Even all the song birds seemed to be out in full force today! I hope the sun manages to stay around for a little while before the next winter rain storm comes.
There was a little bit of sunshine poking out at the end of the day... ending what seems like weeks of nothing but grey, wet, and rather miserable weather. I started this guy last week at lunch and managed to finish him today at lunch... just as the sun was starting to poke out. So... with this one done, I've started a new lunch time painting showing nothing but sunshine!
I brought out the oil brushes and paints today and finished this Vancouver landscape painting tonight and managed to photograph it before the sun sent for the evening. It really felt great to finally finish an oil painting... I think this is my first finished in one many many months. I've actually prepped and gessoed my next canvas and picked out my next oil painting. This next one is going to be my largest oil painting to day! I'll post some work in progress shots when I get some paint on it.
It has been a long while since I've last worked on this painting, but it is one of my goals over the next while to finish some of my many 'works in progress'. I remember getting very frustrated with all the green in this painting so I am hoping that now that some time has passed since I've last worked on it that I'll be able to get past that frustration and finish it.
Finished another painting from the 'to finish' pile... I started this one months ago for a Different Strokes for Different Folks Challenge but I never managed to finished it in time to post for the challenge. Though... I am done now! There a few things I would different if I was to paint this type of painting again... including paying slightly better attention to the shadows and their value. I kinda got lost in the icing...
Its been a little while since I've posted an update on Spider. Progress has been slow and steady... layer by layer. All the masking fluid has been removed and I have also started to soften the edges between the hard edges and the fur of the kitty. I'm happy with the progress so far and I will keep on plugging away at it.
This one was a bit of a challenge... I tried to get 'snowflakes' using salt on a wet background... but, the aquabord and the salt did not want to cooperate... thus, the 'fuzzier' snowflakes in the background. Overall... I think it is a successful painting and I'm happy with final results.
I'm slowly working through my 'to finish' pile and I'll have an update on another painting tomorrow night. I've also started a very special commission that I'll post the beginnings of in a couple nights.
I think I am finished this painting, unless of course I find any last little details to take care of. If I can't find any changes to make over the next week or so... it will be sealed and varnished ready for framing.
I've finally finished the paintings that I will be using for this year Christmas Cards... gosh... I hope I haven't left if for too late for my international recipients. Though... I suppose a late holiday card is better than no holiday card.
This is the first painting for my Christmas cards this year... a cute little chickadee caught out during a snow storm. The snow in this painting proved to be quite the challenge and I am not fully confident that I accomplished the look of the snow. Looking at the painting now... I am thinking that perhaps a darker background would help the snow to look more like snow.
I got a little further on this tonight... slowly working on the layers to get the colours just perfect. I'm slowly getting to the end of this one and I am amazed at how quickly it is going. When this one is done (and I have caught up on some of my other 'works in progress') I think I'll do another apple water painting on a larger sheet of aquabord that I have... perhaps the 11" x 14" one.
This one has been keeping me busy lately... many many layers of translucent watercolor are slowly being laid down on the aquabord. This painting is a true test of my perseverance and patience. There will be many more sessions left before this one if finished.
I've finally managed to get a decent photograph of this work in progress. The photograph is still slightly over saturated... and colours are not perfect... but it is pretty darn close. Thank goodness for cloudy days and sleeping cats (important if you don't want their nose in the photograph). The sunset itself if very close to being done... then, it is just a matter of adding the downtown Vancouver buildings and signing. Yah! Then, on to my next oil painting.
I had so much fun painting this guy... its was one of those paintings where everything just worked: the colours, the drawing, and the surface of the painting (aquabord) allowed the highlights to lift so easily. With every painting that I am doing on aquabord, I have to admit that I am liking it more and more. I think, once my stash is used up that I am going to purchase the aquabord that is mounted on 2" hardboard so that it does not need to be framed.
Just last week I treated myself to a shiney new moleskin sketchbook (one with watercolour paper). This is one of the first sketches in the sketchbook and I have to say that I absolutely love the paper! I'm in sketchbook heaven! I've also been experimenting with splattering my watercolour paints.... learning a new lesson along the way: always cover that what you don't want splattered, especially other paintings. Oopps... Oh well... I'll just have to figure out how to include the new spots in the painting.
I managed to make a little more progress on the sunset painting with the goal to finish it hopefully in one or two more painting sessions. I'm still having some difficulties photographing the reds without loosing all the subtle colour changes... this was the best of many attempts. I have a whole heck of a lot of canvas's lined up ready for paint and my goal is to have a much more productive month in November.
I don't have a finished painting tonight... so, I thought I would post an update on my kitten painting. Work on this guy has been slow and steady (in between the bird paintings) but I've been happy with the result so far. My goal is to have Spider (the kitty) finished in time to send him to his home by Christmas. Time is slowly running out... I better pick up the pace.
It took a few days longer than I hoped to finish and post this one... things have been super busy at work and I just didn't have the energy to paint. But, feeling a bit more energetic tonight so I put the final touches on this little guy. Lots of fun painting all the leaves and all the bright colours on these really rainy days.
The evenings have been bitterly cold lately... setting new record lows in my area... hence the desire to paint cooler feeling pictures. I've been experimenting with different washes of blue to capture the cooler autumn evenings. This one was a combination of ultramarine blue, indigo, and turquoise (all Daniel Smith paints). I've also added a touch of duochrome saguaro green in the feathers on this little guy for an extra little bit of sparkle.
I am beginning to think that the only way I am going to finish this bird challenge is to start painting multiple birds in the same painting. One bird at a time is starting to be a little slow. Oh well, there is still lots of time to finish!
I have gotten a bit more done on my oil sunset painting, but had some difficulty properly photographing it tonight... so, I thought I would post my latest bird challenge painting. I love playing with the fall colours in this one and have a few more ideas for more fall themed paintings.
Not a great photo... and a work in progress so it may be hard to see the details, but this is the first oil painting that I have worked on in over five months. The cats had a very long cat-nap this afternoon so I stole the opportunity to pull out the oil paints. It took a few minutes to get back in the grove of using oils... but, this is a good start. In a few days when the paint dries, I'll be adding another layer and I'll post an update then.
Another quick little chickadee painting... this time with lots of colour! I spent most of the evening cutting watercolor paper for more watercolor paintings and priming canvas for oil paintings. I have been enjoying watercolours... but getting the itch to play with the oil paints again. We'll have to see how this is going to work with the cats.
Another little lunch time painting tonight... It feels great to take a break from the more detailed paintings with these little guys. The days are getting shorter, the weather is getting cooler, and the trees are starting to ever so slightly turn colours. Its a wonderful time of the year (one of my favourites) and lots of fall themed paintings are in the planning stages.
I have far too many paintings on the go... but I find that I can rotate through them so as I get frustrated with one I can move on to another. This one is a surprise for someone of their late kitty "Spider". I'm taking my time with this guy hoping to get a good likeness.
I have gotten further on my works-in-progress... but, thought I would post a picture of my little helpers. They seem to, at times, get jealous of the time I spend painting and do what they feel is necessary to get my attention. I suppose when I am painting the best place to do that is at the easel. More painting updates will be posted tomorrow.
Happily finished this one tonight and on to the next. I'm really happy with this way this owl turned out and I think I am starting to figure out this Aquabord (I have 8 more 4 x 4's to play with). I've kept my palette fairly simple for this painting... in some ways. I used pretty much every Daniel Smith brown I own, indigo blue, and new gamboge (also both Daniel Smith watercolour paints).
As promised, an update on the owl painting. I've managed to get a fair amount done on this guy with only a little bit more left on the body and neck. Another update (an possible the finally) will be posted tomorrow.
These may seem a little out of order... I usually have a couple of paintings on the go, at home and at work. This one was completed at work during my lunch hour... I struggled with it a little as I just couldn't get the colours that I wanted. In the end, I am pretty happy with it. Tomorrow I'll post an update on my other owl painting.
Starting layering the watercolours on this one tonight (sketched it up quite a while ago) and I'm really loving the way it is turning out. I'm trying a slightly different technique this time... using my smallest brush (10/0) to layer in the the feathers on this guy. There is much more to do, but... its actually going quite fast considering the size of the brush I'm using. That... and I have two furnaces (aka the cats) keeping me company on the couch while I paint.
I'm trying to catch up with some of the many unfinished bird paintings I have hanging around my easel. This one was, as was the previous bird painting, was painted on Ampersand Aquabord. I tried a few new things with this one: I used a larger mop/brush to lift paint to create texture on the leaves and I used more transparent layers to create a brighter, richer colour in the bird. Over all, I'm rather happy with this guy.
Its been awhile since my last posting... went on vacation and just needed some down time before getting back to the easel. Before I left on holidays, I ordered Ampersand Aquabord from Daniel Smith to experiment with. I do have a couple paintings on the go trying out different techniques on this new surface... but, this little chickadee is my first completed painting.
The surface is much different than working on paper... having both its pros and cons. The pros: I love the granulating effects I can get with some of my colours, I love the texture and the feel of the brush on the surface. The cons: My colours do not seem quiet as brilliant on this surface... but that could be a technique problem and not necessarily a surface support issue. The other con is that the surface turns a slight brownish-tannish (?) colour when water is added to the surface making a tad bit more tricky to know what the true value of the colour being laid down is until the surface dries.
I wouldn't say that the aquabord will replace my use of paper... but, it is definitely a fun surface to paint on and I have lots more of it to use.