Saturday, February 28, 2009

Birthday Portrait and IT's SNOWING

We had near 70F on Thursday with daffodils blooming. Today the high has been 27F with light snow. Good thing I didn't pack away my winter duds.

This is where the portrait stands right now. I am going to look at it for a day or so because I may need to reshape Sharon's eyes just a bit. I will study them more and decide later. The camera picked up the shine on her cheeks and chin as those areas are not quite that light.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Birthday Portrait Update 5

More work on the shape of Sharon's neck, her pullover, Robert's shirt and on the dog, Coffeebreak. I am reshaping Coffeebreak's left leg/paw. Still have fine tuning to do on Sharon's eyes, ears, etc., as well as on Robert's ears, hair and on his shirt. I'm hoping that the next post will be the finished painting. Wish me well!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Birthday Portrait Update 4

Moving forward, showing this morning's work. The red of Sharon's pullover is more of a blue-red but the camera loves to make it more of an orange-red. Still much more to do but the outside world is calling, so must run errands.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Birthday Portrait Update 3

Yesterday was a truly enjoyable day. I watched a couple of videos by Sharon Sprung on artistnetworktv.com. I mixed different hues on my palette with the goal of matching Sharon's skin tones. I finally settled on Raw Sienna and Cad. Red Medium for her skin tones, using either more red or more yellow depending on the tone needed using white or Naples Yellow to lighten and Black or Burnt Sienna to darken. For the green tones, I used raw sienna and black, mixed to the value wanted. I also have Alizarin Crimson, Cad. Yellow light and Cobalt blue added to the palette for cooler tones.

Happily Sharon came to play cards last night, so I brought her down to my studio and had her close her eyes until she was in front of the painting then, had her open them. Her expression was priceless and wished I had had the camera ready for a photo. I won't forget her delighted, surprised expression. It was a special moment even though her birthday isn't for another two weeks. But, I put some paint mixture on a palette knife to see if it matched her skin tones and it did, perfectly lol. Now I can go ahead with more confidence.

I worked on the shape of her nose and mouth and have the basic shape but the nose looks flatter than it actually is so will correct that. Her smile is almost correct too but still needs more adjusting. So far this is just the base of the painting and plan to fine tune everything. I changed the background as well and it is a warmer gray-green with hints of red and blue. I am now using oils mixed with alkyd oils.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Birthday Portrait Update 2

Yesterday I worked more on Robert's facial features. These are pretty close to accurate as far as shape and placement. I am painting very thinly as I work through each area, scraping and repainting as needed. The background is just there and isn't finished. This is what happens when I don't have a clear idea as to what I would like in the background area.

A little background on Sharon and Robert which is important in this painting. They are two of the happiest people I know. Every photo I have of Sharon shows her smiling. Robert is always joking and is gifted when it comes to telling a story. That is what I would like to convey in this painting, their outlook on life and how much I enjoy and love them.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Birthday Portrait Update

This morning's update - still blocking in shapes, changing proportions. This photo was taken outside and had to be darken to bring it closer to what it looks like in real life. The palette I am using is Ivory Black, French Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Cadmimum Red Light, Cadmium Red, Permanent Rose, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Yellow Light, Naples Yellow, Brunt Sienna, Viridian, and Titanium White.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Birthday Portrait In Progress

I was hesitate in posting this but thought "in for a penny, in for a pound" and perhaps someone could benefit from what I am doing. The benefit may be what to do or what not to do. I could have started this portrait with a charcoal drawing but decided to draw with the brush.

I began the painting yesterday on a 16" x 20" canvas. I primed the canvas with acrylic gesso and let it dry. Next, a mix of French Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna and gesso, to tone the canvas. When that dried, the gray mixture was lightened and used that to position/place the figures. This dried for at least 24 hours.

In the next photo I begin the blocking in process using Alkyd oils. I have to rework the size of Sharon's head as it is too narrow and a bit too small, change a couple of shapes in Robert's forehead as it looks like he has a dent on the right side and indicate his hair line a bit better. Plus, I have to block in Coffeebreak, which is their dog that died last year.

The red is showing very saturated in Sharon's top while the lights have created a glare on part of Robert's face.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Animal Lover

I am a big animal lover. You ask, "What does that have to do with art?" Well, there is an organization called Art Helping Animals which I think is fantastic in what they do. So please, check them out. Their link will be posted in the Blog Roll on the side bar in just a few minutes. Below is a photo of my dog, Lacey. When Lacey was a puppy her paw was caught in a trap. My brother helped me to release her. Since then she has made her home with us. We get a lot of strays in this area and at one time had five, now we just have Lacey. My niece will be bringing Sammie, a shitzu puppy, to live with us. Hope he and Lacey become friends quickly!


My twin has a birthday coming up in a few weeks so since she doesn't check this blog, I will post the portrait WIP I will be doing of her and her husband. She gets to see everything I do in person so she doesn't feel the need to visit this blog. She has also requested a caricature of her five grandchildren. Having never done caricature, it will take some practice to get a reasonable likeness with emphasis on certain attributes of each child. That should be fun!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Watercolor Figure, February 2HC

One of the paint groups I belong to has a monthly paint along. The object is to work two hours, stop and post the work, no matter the stage. This is where I stopped at two hours. The reference photo used for this painting is from Morgue File. I'm not sure how complete this painting will be but I do like the light on the skirt with its indication of folds or gathered areas.


Forgot to mention the size. It is 7 1/2" x 11" painted to the edge. So far the colors used are DS Hansa Yellow Light, New Gamboge, Holbein Perm. Alizarin Crimson, DS Fr. Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Quin. Burnt Orange and Ultramarine Violet.

I think this is the finished piece. I may work on the left and right arm a bit but won't repost if any changes are made.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Parrots from the Watercolor Archive

I wish I could say that this week I have been so busy painting that I didn't post. That wasn't the case so I wanted to post something that added color and zing to my day and chose this painting from 2004. The reference photo used was from the Wet Canvas Image Library. I still have this painting and it has been one of my favorites. It was the first and only time to paint parrots plus, I used saturated color which I don't normally in watercolor.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Stormy Night

It was a stormy night in Oklahoma and filled with tragedy in some areas. We were blessed to make it through without injury or damage of any kind. This morning the ground is rain soaked and it rather a gray, dreary day until one looks closer. One can see the red in the bushes near green cedars or yellow ochre grasses with areas of green showing through. It is a lovely morning. We are safe and well.

To add a little brightness here is a photo of the porcelain trays and bowls I used to mix paint for the Egg & Glass painting. I was looking at the way the light was brightening the colors and they just glowed next to each other. That glow doesn't show in the photo but when I look at it, my mind remembers how it looked and it brings a tingle of excitement.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Complementary Color - Eggs & Glass

The egg and glass is from a photo I took of a still life set up on a table. I think it is okay but I should have used a cool yellow in some areas rather than a warm yellow. The photo on the right that leans more toward reddish purple was taken under warm/cool fluorescent bulbs while the photo on the left was taken under natural daylight. What a difference lighting makes.

The color theory group I recently joined is studying complementary colors. We began by doing color charts, mine are shown below. My charts aren't neat but it does give me an idea as to the complementary colors and how to gray them.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Spring Cleaning & More Oldies


Yesterday was spent rearranging furniture in the studio and cleaning. Do you ever reach the point where you can't work until the studio has been cleaned and straightened? I do and yesterday was it for me. Today, is sorting and tossing out things that I've stored thinking "one day I'll use this" but never have.

This watercolor painting now hangs on my sister's wall and was painted in 2003. It is still one of my favorite paintings. The purple border is computer generated.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Some Oldies

When does a sketch become a drawing? These sketches are from either 2003 or 2004. The bird house had such character with its peeling paint and vines. When I look out the patio door, I still see it in my mind even though it has been torn down.



Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Puzzle Piece Painting for A Watercolor Group

I've been painting but it is for a watercolor group project and the painting can't be shown until it has been posted in the group. Each member was sent a photo to paint and then the paintings are put together to make a whole painting. The person setting this up did a terrific job with the smaller individual photos as the compositions can stand alone or in a group. I thought it would a photo of simple shapes and design but to my surprise it was a complex photo and challenging to paint. I had to stretch my abilities to even complete the painting. Stay tuned because eventually the painting will be posted.

Since I can't post the Puzzle Piece painting, my thoughts jumped ahead to Spring and our annual Strawberry Festival. To go along with those thoughts here is a photo of strawberries before they were cleaned and stemmed to make Strawberry Shortcake.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Power Back Today, Hooray! Hooray!



Power came on at 7:40 a.m. this morning after being off since 1:00 p.m. Tuesday. Nothing like camping out for a few days. Happily we had gas heat and running water. The food in the refrigerators and freezers is ruined but no damage to the house at all that we are aware of at this time. Some people in this area were not as fortunate.

Mom basted quilting blocks by kerosene lamp and listened to books on tape and music. My sister and I spent our time reading by flashlight or candlelight. Now I know why farm folks lived by early to bed, early to rise.


The photos taken Wednesday don't truly catch the amount of ice on the trees and wires as in real life it looks like an ice fairy land. Happily that day the sun shone just for awhile. By Thursday most of the ice was gone and by Friday there wasn't a trace.

We are blessed as it could have been so much worse. Our thanks to all those workers at the electric company, the highway crews and those clearing limbs and debris. My small hometown, suffered so much more damage than we did, even though we were without power longer.

I did begin a small watercolor painting but didn't finish it as it took so long to dry. I noticed too, along the banks of the water how it looks curved even though they are actually straight because the paper curled when it dried so it needs to be flattened.

Now to catch up on what has happened in the rest of the world.