I have been eye-ing this photograph for some time now... and finally decided to paint it (though it is not quite finished). It was taken by my brother near my Baba's house in rural Manitoba. There are so many farmyards being abandoned as people move away... it is almost sad to see.
My brother took a number of photographs of these farmyards that I think they will make a nice series.
Time Gone By (Work in Progress)
Photo Reference: Mike (my brother)
I was contemplating painting a snowy scene (it is December), but with all the rain and warm weather out my direction... it is looking like it will be a green Christmas and not a white one. So... I thought I would paint something a little more 'springy'. The picture is a little washed out, but in real life the greens and gold are more vivid.
Finished! This one took a few re-dos on the background before I was happy with it. Its hard to see, but I have some nice glazes of gold and greens over top of the sap green. I am happy with the end result and I have it hanging with the other butterflies on my wall now.
Painted a finch today... felt like experimenting on the background, looking for a more abstracty look so tossed in some rubbing alcohol and salt. I'm pretty happy with it.... though, I think I could have pushed the abstract-ness of it a little more.
Taking a short break from oils while they dry to work on a quick little wintery chickadee painting. The branches of the tree turned out a little darker than I hoped... but the touch of sparkle from the luminescent watercolours make up for it (I think). It adds just the perfect amount of shimmer to the branches.
I thought I was finished, but then I noticed a few things that were bothering me about this painting so I made some ever so slight changes. Did a little more work on th eye and I added a few overall washes of colour to the body (both on the duck and his reflection). Now... I am happy to say I am finished.
I am working on (yet) another butterfly painting, though this picture does not due the background justice. I had a bit of a rough start on this one... the greens of the leaf got washed out with slightly too much white applied. So, when it dries I'll be adding a glaze of cadmium green hue to add more colour to it. Tomorrow I hope to finish the leaf and perhaps start on the butterfly.
It has been a long time since I last worked on this painting but I do believe that I am finally finished it (sorry about the light glare, I will take a better picture tomorrow when it is light outside). I love the colours and all the dew drops (so sparkley)... I do believe this one is going to be back on my 'to do list' as a much bigger painting with even more dew drops!
Golden Dew Drops
10" x 8" oil cradled wood
Image Reference courtesy of a good friend, Peter Biglowe
Another butterfly painting is finished and hanging on the wall drying. I love how the orange of the butterfly really pops off the green of the leaves. This painting is based on another photograph I took at the Butterfly Gardens in Niagara Falls, Canada.
I am almost finished the background. Going to let the greens tack up a little before putting in some of the veining details. I am really loving the contrast between the brightly lite leaves and the dark shadows. The butterfly should really pop!
I started my next butterfly painting... I am going for a slightly more detailed background (increasing the 'complexity' with each painting I do). I hope to have the background done in the next couple days, then I will tackle the butterfly.
I have been painting these butterflies on cradled hardboard (which I totally love painting on). The surface is prepped with a minimum two coats of extra heavy acrylic gesso (one layer brushed stroked on one way, the second layer perpendicular to the first). Then I sketch in my drawing and seal it with a layer of fine pumice ground. I absolutely love painting on a layer of fine pumice ground... not only does it have just the perfect amount of tooth for the paint, but it super nice to blend on. I bought myself a small jar (which is almost done) so I suppose I just might need to splurge on a larger jar in the near future.
I absolutely love the shiney metallic blue of this butterfly and it is a shame that this is the only photograph I got of it at the Butterfly Gardens in Niagara Falls, Canada. I suppose that this means I will have to make a trip back someday to get more photographs!!
I never thought I would enjoy painting butterflies so much (not sure why.... perhaps it was the greens of the plants or so just something about their delicateness) but I am having a total blast painting them.
The blues are a combination of Titanium White, Phthalo Turquoise, and Light Blue Violet. The greens are a combination of Titanium White, Sap Green, Cadmium Green Hue, and Green Gold.
Still painting butterflies, but this time attempting a green leafy background (a bit of a warm up to finish this tulip and this tulip painting. I am spending a little more time on the leaf under the butterfly trying to get a more realistic looking leaf (green and foliage have always been my nemesis). So far so good I think.
No... you are not seeing double, I loved painting this butterfly so much that I had to paint him again. It is a slightly different pose than the previous one and on a slightly different support (see picture at the bottom of the post) but otherwise has been painted using the exact same palette. I am having so much fun with these butterflies that I have started another one! Stay tuned.
Taking a break from watercolours today and picking up the oil paints after a long hiatus from them. This summer I traveled to the butterfly gardens at Niagara Falls and was amazed at all the varieties of butterflies! I snapped this photograph of one particular fellow that was resting on the stone path and thought it would make a lovely painting.
So close that I can almost declare it finished. I am going to let it sit on the easel for a couple of days to see if there is anything else I want to change. I may add some more colour to parts of the blue of the water... and... well, not sure what else.
A second version of the painting I finished the other day... this time a lighter background and the resulting image is completely different. I don't know which one is my favourite. All the colours used between the two paintings are the same (including the slight touch of white to recapture a couple of lost highlights).
Taking a small break from the wood duck painting to paint one of two titmouse portraits. The reason for "one of two" is that this was originally suppose to have a light background but I wasn't happy with it so I turned it into a dark background. As a result, there will be a second painting with this pose with a completely different background. It will be interesting to see how different these two paintings will be with same posing bird.
It is hard to believe that it is already November (where did the year go??).
I am working on the details on the duck now and it is really starting to look pretty good. The back has a combination of Daniel Smith (DS) Mayan Blue, DS Indigo Blue, DS Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, and DS Sepia (with a small amount of DS Chinese White to recover a couple little areas of white). Soon I will start work on the water and sky... not going to put in too much detail here, but just enough to add to the atmosphere of the painting.
I am slowly regaining my strength and comfort levels (its been one week since surgery) and I am just starting to get comfortable enough to sit up so I can do some painting.
I have started working on the reflection of the duck, which is actually the part of the original reference photo that attracted me to it. The reflections is looking pretty good and I am happy with the way it is turning out.
Life has been a little... well, none productive this last week. I had surgery earlier this week and now I am at home recuperating. That basically means... no work, no lifting, and not too much moving. So, in other words, I can do lots of painting! This is my first painting since I have returned home and for the life of me I don't remember who took this reference photo of this one. If anyone recognizes it, please let me know so I can properly credit the photographer.
Just a quick little painting today. Haven't had much time for painting the last couple of weeks (between work and winterizing the yard). I hope to resume some what more regular posts and paintings in the near future.
Taking a break from the drake duck to paint a quick little picture of my favourite bird... the chickadee. The weather person was talking tonight of the possibility of *gasp* snow showers this weekend! So... I thought I would paint a little bit of a wintery scene... just to get used to the snowy look. Hopefully no snow showers appear... I still have stuff in my garden!!
It has been a little while since my last update... but harvest season was (is) calling. I have been busy canning tomatoes, salsa, and lots of wonderful fruit chutneys. This winter I will be enjoying the wonderful tastes of summer.
I have been slowly working on this guy... adding more to the back end and just starting on the reflection in the front. I feel like I have made the wing tips at the back a little too blue. The beauty of aquabord is that the colour is pretty easy to lift and I should be able to tone it down fairly easily.
Last night was a perfect autumn evening... little breeze, cool and crisp... perfect to do some tomato sauce canning. While the boiling was doing its job sealing the jars... I managed to get a little more done on this guy. I've started working on the tail and rear water reflection using a multitude of colours. The one thing about working on a palette like mine (little dabs of paint everywhere)... is that I never really know the name of the colour that I am using... but, I do (for the most part) know where I want to use the colour. If that makes any sense.
I got a request to paint a wood duck drake... so that means the Gastown painting I have been working on is on hold (again) while I work on this guy. I have never painted one before so it will be a good learning experience.
So the summer has come and gone, and near my home town in Saskatchewan I see they are under a frost warning (!!!) already. Even here, though it did get up to 30 C today, the leaves on the trees are starting to show a hint of autumn colours. I suppose soon fall will be upon us.
I am making good progress on this fun little cityscape (based on a photograph I took in Gastown, Vancouver, British Columbia). Today, layered in some washes on the walls and slowly painting in the bricks.
I started this one... oh, a couple years ago. And by start... I mean I drew it out but never got around to painting it. Perhaps, a bit of 'large size painting' intimidation... but not anymore. I have been challenging myself over the last year to paint bigger! I hope to finish this one soon as in the next week or so my new aquabords should be arriving. Yah! New art supplies!
Finally finished!! Now... have to wait until a new order of ampersand aquabord arrives before I can do some more of these. In the mean time I will be working on some of my incompleted works in progress.
Spent a little time in between weeding and planting to sketch out this (my favourite) scene from the coast of British Columbia. You couldn't really complain much about life when sitting on the coast watching the boats cruise by.
Not much painting has happened this month so far. It has been a month of gardening and visiting (my Parents and Grandma were down from the prairies) and generally just being away from the easel. I have though, dusted off the cobwebs from the easel and picked up my brushes. The plover is almost done and now I have started on the reflection on the water. I think I will be keeping the background to a minimum, just like my recently finished loon painting.
Oh... and on a excited note: My frames from Daniel Smith arrived so I can start framing and hanging some of my paintings. Yah!
I am still trying to get a hang of adjusting my photographed paintings to look right on my 'new' old laptop so I apologize if this one is too dark/light/contrasty.....
Another bird painting for me... in this heat I find watercolours more relaxing and with this heat wave I tell you I need all the relaxing I can get. Less moving around means not quite so hot. For the last two weeks there has been no rain (my poor garden) and temperatures up around 30C nearly every day. I spent some of the week setting up an under-the-mulch soaker hose system on a timer so my garden could be much needed water and that water could come at a time and way with the least amount of evaporation. So far so good. Suppose to get a good thunder-boomer tonight so fingers crossed for some much needed rain.
Is it July already? My goodness... where did June go?
I finished my loon painting and already got the frame ordered and on its way. Now just need to figure out where to hang it. Please excuse the poor photograph (bad light and a laptop that doesn't let me see the proper contrast.... ) I'll try to take a better picture of the painting in the morning.
June has finally arrived and brought with it... more temperature swings and weird weather (yesterday it was 30C and today... 19C), but I am happy to say that my garden is in, the flower beds are ready for the heat (all planted up) and thus I can do more painting. Sadly in this rush to get all the gardening stuff out I just haven't had much time left in the day to paint. I am hoping to change that in the month of June and I hope to have many paintings done this month as I have all sorts of partially finished paintings hanging on the walls!
It has been a pretty busy couple of weeks out in the yard getting everything planted... but, that is all done now (for the most part) so it is back to the easel for me. Updates and paintings should be happening a little more often now.
I am getting ever closer to completing this painting. The body of the bird is mostly complete, except for the slight tweaking here and there. Now on to the water...
The loon is really starting to take shape now... I am almost done the body and making some good progress on the wings. Next... the background. Going to be a challenge on the aquabord as I do find it difficult to lay in smooth washes. One of the benefits of aquabord is that the paint lifts easy... the draw back is that the paint lifts easy.