Saturday, November 28, 2009

Palette Knife Study

It's been over 25 years since I did a painting with anything other than paintbrushes. When my cousin Diane very thoughtfully gave me a Dick Blick gift card, I decided it would be the perfect time to get some painting knives and give this a try again.
This is a small (6 X 8) oil study. The most difficult part of the process was that I kept thinking in terms of how I would use a brush...but definitely started to feel my way toward the end.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Winter Moon
6 X 8 Oil on stretched canvas

Had trouble sleeping last night, so I got up and painted this little painting that I may be using for this year's Christmas card.

Landscape Commission
Work In Progress - Stage 2

This is the second stage of the landscape painting I am working on. In this phase of work I am blocking thin layers of color in, keeping them the same value (lightness or darkness) as the underpainting.
I also start to do some refining, without getting into a lot of detail. I shifted the fence over to the left because I felt it was too centered. Think this works much better.
At the end of my painting session, I take a palette knife and lightly skim over the painted surface to remove any thick spots of paint. I want to keep this layer thin, and save the thicker, more textured paint for later on in the process.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Landscape Commission
Step 1 - Underpainting

This is a landscape commission I have started working on recently that is of a log cabin in Wyoming. The light will be filtering in through the trees on the left, creating some great sunny areas as well as deep shadows. In the foreground grasses, there are many summer wildflowers, which I am am really looking forward to painting!
There is a rocky run-off area that starts just off center at the bottom of the canvas, and curves slightly left before disappearing. The fireplace is stone. It's a gorgeous place, and holds lots of happy family memories for the owners.
There may be a glimpse of a log cabin workshop behind the left side of the cabin - checking with my client to see if they want that there (my notes were taken months ago, and are not clear in that area :( )
I thought it would be interesting to post my process in steps. This is the underpainting, which maps out the dark and light areas. Doing this first helps nail down composition as well as the values and is very helpful when starting to block in color. In this particular painting, my underpainting is more detailed than I would normally have because I want the client to get a good idea what this will look like at the onset.
See you when the next step is complete!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Portrait of Jenna 9 X 12 Oil on linen
Almost done!

I think I am almost finished with my portrait of Jenna for the Wet Canvas Portrait Swap. We are working from photographs, so I really checked some measurement and did some refinements and feel that I have gotten a better likeness of her. Will put this out of sight until the middle of next week, then I will give it another look to see what else needs to be done. This has really been a great learning experience, and also a lot of fun!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Different Strokes from Different Folks
Airport Travelers Challenge
'Traveling in a Pack' Oil 6 X 8

Whew! Barely got this done in time before the challenge finishes. When I saw Karin Juick's reference photograph for this challenge, it took me back to the days of traveling for my work with the federal government...rushing to get to the airport in time (and that was before 9/11), layovers, jet lag when traveling to the west coast. As we would be rushing through the airport to catch our flights, it always made me think of our group as being a pack of wolves...sticking together with the Alpha in the lead. So here's my interpretation of the DSFDF Challenge for Weeks 52- 54.
Just to let you know how serious I was about this challenge (and to give you a laugh), I actually went out and purchased miniature toy wolves so that I could approximate their body shape and color. Then I placed the toys on the floor and used my mini maglite in a dark room to shine down on the toys so that I could determine the shadow shape. A bit difficult holding the maglite in one hand, and sketching wolf shape and shadow shape with my other hand!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Portrait of Jenna 9 X 12 Oil on linen
Work In Progress

I have been participating in the Wet Canvas Portrait Forum annual portrait swap. We get paired up with another participating artist, and do each other's portrait. I got a terrific partner in Jenna White, and you can check out her beautiful artwork on her website and blog.
I thought this would be great practice for doing something I am very interested in - portraiture. Not from a business aspect, but because I really want to paint my granchildren while they are small, and I know that the more practice I get, the better I'll be able to paint.

This is almost done. Have a few more things to do, then I will post the final.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Spring Goose 8 X 10 Oil

Early this Spring, I went out with some fellow artists to capture some of that spring blush on the landscape - those beautiful colors that appear before everything starts to turn green. We stopped at this shallow springs, and a goose hopped into the water from the edge of the bank where he had been restinig and started to swim toward us. Made for some great photos! I am sure he thought we had some food for him...


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