Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mommy, Scatch - Painting in Progress

Progress on the "Mommy, Scatch" painting. Probably the reason I don't do more faces, figures, people is that they are so hard, so time consuming. Little brush marks, little smidgens can make or break each small feature. I saw a bit of yellow in the little face, so added some, now it's too much, so I'll fix that tomorrow. I can also see now on the screen that my daughter has webbed pointer and middle finger, so I'll fix that as well. Tell me if you spot anything else.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Little Dreamer

Little Dreamer, Painting in Progress
Or I may call it, as I originally thought, "Mommy, Scatch" since that's what she says, and pulls up her shirt for her belly scratch. It helps to put it up, to see the flaws. It looks okay, but not like her, really. The nose? Maybe too long? Maybe too big for her little face? Hmmm. Do like the eyes, though, they came out good.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mommy, Scatch

Mommy, Scatch will be a painting, and this is just the planning stage for the piece. My little grnaddaughter, Katie, loves to have her tummy scratched, and I caught her one day sitting dreaming in Mommy's lap, snapped a quick few photos. I hope I can do it justice.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Watercolor Layers

Watercolor Value Study in Layers.
There are several layers of color here to produce this silver grey color.
One: Alizarin, Cobalt, and Cad yellow medium
Two: Manganese Blue and Quni Sienna
Three: Alizarin and Pthalo Green

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Little Curled Leaf and New Brush

Little Curled Leaf, Oil on Canvas Panel, 5" x 7"

We grow so accustomed to our tools, don't we? I've been using nothing but flats and bright for oils, which are square ended brushes, long and short. But I do use a round (pointed) tipped brush to draw in my roughs. The other day at the art store, the brushes were on sale, and so I bought a larger mongoose round brush, and played with it here on this little painting. It feels so different, more like drawing, but I like the way you have to let the paint be thicker, not much room for "fussy". Funny too, since watercolor rounds are all I use for watercolor. Go figure.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Nappy Sketches

Sitting with little Katie during nappy time, waiting for her to fall asleep, sometimes I read and sometimes I sit and sketch, whatever happens to pop into my head. A few pen and inks from last week.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Value Sketch Pastoral

Value Sketch for Pastoral Painting, various pencils
I have a request for a large pastoral painting, and wanted to give it some prep time. So I'm sketching from photos and references. I plan to paint this one in a smaller version first, a 16" x 20", which is almost proportional to the 30" x 40" planned. This way I'm not committing to a painting that might not work out. I can work out the bugs before I go to the larger version.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Day 22

Magnolia in Pastel Pencils, and Carbon
Trying the magnolia blossom from a different angle, more for the shape than anything else. I kind of like the bowl facing right. The more I work with this, though, the easier it gets. By the time I'm ready to paint it for the request, it'll be a breeze. Well, maybe not a breeze, but easier anyway.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Magnolia in Watercolor

Magnolia in Watercolor

I did an oil today of this fake magnolia, and wanted to try it in watercolor as well. It was really hard to control. I did a lot of scrubbing and used Chinese White in the end to perk it up some. Tricky to get the colors deep enough, but not too dark. Detail below:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Magnolia Oil Begun

Magnolia Oil Painting Begun
I wanted to see how the magnolia would look larger than "life," (it's a fake flower) so I started this little 8" x 10". I will also try this one with a cool light on it, since this is warm. The cool light will of course, produce bluer shadows. I like the front petal so far, but I'm not sure about the colors in the center yet. I'll have to wait and see how the other colors sit next to it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Value Study for Magnolia

Value Study for Magnolia Painting
I have a request for a white floral painting in a vertical format at 10" x 12" (to match a previously purchased painting I did) so I've been looking around for white flowers. I found a fake magnolia in the craft store, so now to see if I can do something vertical with it. Using my proportion scale from my graphics days, I cropped this drawing to manage that size. I think it will work. I'll do more drawings before I settle on a composition.

On another note, although I don't get many visitors to this blog, I would like to put out some feelers for interest in an online oil painting class, geared to beginners, come January. I was thinking a six week class for $60.00. Please send an email if you are at all interested. Write me at, and I'll see what the interest level might be.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Poppy Samples

Today was a business day. The Daily Painters Gallery is doing a book, and I had to make up my page for that book (each painter gets his/her own page.) Being computer illiterate, it took me forever to decide on images, write up a blurb, figure out how to size the images, then go back and do it right. At one point, I lost everything I'd done (images were way too big) so had to start all over. I also did some samples on canvas paper for a revision of my poppy painting set, in which the colors were not quite right. Samples 1, 2, and 3 above. They are subtly different. I took notes on the color mixtures, and hopefully will get it right for the revisions. No time to sketch today.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wonky Bowl with Onion

Day 16

Wonky Bowl with Onion

Graphitint Pencils, Watercolor, and Gouache on Watercolor paper.

One of the results of participating in the every day for a month project is my renewed interest in my tools and toys. I've used pencils and sketchbooks that have been sitting neglected for quite a while. I'm having fun with that part of it, although much like doing a painting every day, the crunch is always what to sketch or paint. I do always enjoy having made that choice in advance, and knowing way before I do the sketch what it's going to be. With my paintings, I try to at least start on the next painting the night before, so I can just set up in the morning and go about it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Day 15, Pastels

Onions in Pastel, Conte and Stablio Pencils on Craft Paper
Image size is 6" x 9"

In an ideal world, I would love working with pastels, especially pastel pencils. They blend, they layer, you can go darker, you can go lighter, you can erase, you can change your mind, you can build up colors. The colors themselves are rich and vibrant, but with varying pressure, you can change that too. You can be subtle. I love the nice grab and scritch on the paper.

However, with these pencils, I spent as much, if not more time whittling them down as I did drawing. A lot of carving with an Exacto blade, often to find the freshly exposed color crumbling as I carved. Yuck! Maybe they are too old, and that's why they are so brittle. Maybe I need a lighter touch, or a sharper blade. But for whatever reason, as much as I love the effects, the frustration may make them NOT worth it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

November 14, 2008

Gesture Drawings, really quick, really loose.
Most of the time, my gesture drawings look really bad, really not cool. But these I like. Click to see them larger.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thumbnails Bowl with Stripes

Thumbnails for Painting

I'm not sure if you can actually make these out, but they are thumbnails for a painting I'm starting. I was trying to work out the placement of the subject mater in a square format. The first sketches showed me three ideas I didn't like. Bowl too centered, bowl too small in the format, main fold of the fabric too much in the center. The bottom sketches come closer for me, with the darkest and last one being the one I'm using for the layout of the painting. I really don't take the time to do these little sketches as often as I should, but when I do, they really help avoid drawing and design problems later on down the line. I'll add the painting to this post later if I can figure out how (I think you just do "edit post.")

Here's the painting done, two days later.
The composition is pretty strong, and I think that's because of the thumbnails.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

People in Pen and Ink with Watercolor

November 12, 2008
A couple of people sketches, but I cheated today. These were done in pen and ink earlier, and today I just did the watercolor part. BUT..hey, they count. I especially like the lady face. The pen and inks under her weren't especially good, so I just painted right overtop. It works.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Day 11, Value Studies

Value Studies for Painting, sketching with a purpose

The second one is done with a water soluble graphite pencil, a Derwent product called Aquatone, more fun than serious. The first one is more an effort to define the shapes and details of direction and interaction between the shapes, and darks and lights. Interesting that each one of these value sketches will make the actual painting part much easier. Working out the positioning and all the changes from the references that I'll make in the final painting.

Addendum: Here's the final painting. The sketches really helped.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Value Study, Day 10

Value Study with Markers.
I just plain like the look of marker drawings, so I'm not really sure how much good they do me as value studies, but it at least is a start when you are thinking about a painting. I'll probably do this again in pencil before I begin the painting, it's a little easier to see the actual values then.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Garden Bunny

Garden Bunny
Watercolor Pencils with Watercolor

This little polymer bunny is colored to look like weathered metal, copper maybe? He lived in my Mom's garden for quite a few years, along with a few critters and gnomes. She adored gardening, and passed it along to all of us, and many of the grands too. The bunny came inside before Ike, and he hasn't left the studio to go back outdoors yet. So today I thought I'd draw him.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Day Eight

Salt and Pepper Shakers

A quick watercolor study, done without pencil. I guess you'd call that freehand watercolor. Usually I like having even a small pencil sketch underneath, but I was thinking of inking overtop and so wanted it loose. No ink, right now anyway, I like this one as is. Maybe later, though.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Iris Face

Iris Face, watercolor on Arches rough scrap, 6" x 6"

A small watercolor today. I was thinking about good brushes as I did this one, since I have a couple of really, really good brushes for watercolor, and I didn't use one yesterday. Today I did, and what a difference it makes. I am convinced that for watercolors, paper and brushes are the key. For oils it's good brushes and the surface. Linen (yum) is my favorite, of course. And stretched linen is the nicest bouncy surface to work on. I haven't gotten to the point where the quality of the paints makes much difference to me, whether it's top drawer brands or the student grades. I know a lot of artists have their favorites, but at this point I haven't gotten fussy about that yet.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

November 6, Sketch 6

Day 6, trying to keep up with the sketching every day for the month.
This is just some color play in watercolors, since I have two freshly stretched paper mounts (on Gator Board) and I'm thinking of another watercolor for the Daily Painting. Wanted to mess around with the yellow shadows as a mix of purple and yellow. I have to find the right combination of the two, since I have a lot of different purples and different yellows. These don't work as well as I want them to. So it's good to have some scrap paper to experiment with.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Kuratake Brush Pen

This little sketch was done with pen and ink, specifically, the Kuratake brush pen. I like this tool. It comes with cartridges of ink. The brush part can be very, very fine for detailed lines or with more pressure, a nice hefty brush stroke. Little farmer man, done in Earthbound sketchbook. The pages are paper bag colored, but show up more greenish here.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fall Colors

Fall Colors

A little watercolor playing today. An imaginary scene, using the colors I love.
Wish that I had done the sky first, instead of last, but really was just playing around, so that's okay too. Keeping up with my resolve to do something sketchy every day in November.

Monday, November 03, 2008

November 3, Drawing 3

Avocado in Watercolor
Watercolor on Winsor and Newton Rough 14o lb Paper.

I was doing a small oil of this little avocado for the painting blog and decided to go ahead and do it in watercolor also, for my drawing every day project. The image is only around 7" x 7" but I like the paper a lot, in my MaryLou Sketchpad.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Beach Towels

It is so good for me to take the time to sketch. I was sitting at the patio table enjoying the sunshine when the two towels drying on the chairs caught my eye. The white towel had so many subtle colors in it. Not captured here at all, really, but the doing of the sketch started a small seed germinating for a painting, where maybe I could catch some of those wonderful subtle colors in oils. I used my Kuratake pen, which has a water soluble ink, but which is really fun to use. It bled into the soft blues, but oh, well, just a little sketch.

Maple Promenade

Maple Promenade
Oil on Canvas Panel, 11" x 14"
Available at $45.00 plus shipping.

Another Wauwinet Road rendition of the autumn maples. A little nostalgia again.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Louisiana Crabs

Louisiana Crabs
Watercolor on Richeson (top) and Arches (bottom)
My son-in-law, Jim, went crabbing Friday morning with one of the guys from work. Armed with string and chicken parts, they weren't at it long. The crabs went into an ice chest, with ice. I thought I had found a couple of frozen ones to draw. Such great colors. But one of them warmed up enough under the light on my drafting table to squirm around and scooted himself right off the table. He didn't like me trying to pick him up, either. But despite his claws, I got him back into the ice chest, for later with Old Bay in the pot. Doesn't the top drawing look like a dance?

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