Wednesday, April 29, 2009

16" x 8 " Acrylic on wood panel

Whew! Here is my entry for the Different Strokes Challenge. Tonight is the guess I just made it.
This one really was a challenge. Acrylic can be so frustrating. I have an ongoing love/hate relationship with that medium! Am going back to oil for a while!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Quiet Time

Acrylic on Canvas 14" x 18"

A few days ago we went to "dog-friendly" Hathaway Nature Park on Shell Creek in Punta Gorda. Watching Roger Bansemer's on line recordings of his lovely Florida "shorescapes" had greatly inspired me to paint palms and water! Roger's negative painting of "sky holes" is fascinating...but...not quite as easy as he makes it appear. There is a link to his website below.

No sooner had we arrived and walked out on one of the docks than we heard a splash. A quick glance told us an alligator had just slipped into the water across the creek and was swimming toward us. Could have been attracted to Jade since they find cats and small dogs tasty treats...but... Jade is 89 pounds! Anyway, we watched it approach and then move on before we started exploring the paths. The mosquitoes are not buzzing yet but the sun was pretty hot in the early afternoon. Here are a few of the reference photos for "Quiet Time". I thoroughly enjoyed this painting and appreciate the critiques of Irene, Ileane and Zena!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pretty Jade - Waiting to play ball

Last night Jade graduated from her Basic Obedience Class! She was promoted to the "Canine Good Citizen Class" which will begin in two weeks! It has been almost four months since she came to live with us! She is an amazing dog! It's still a mystery why and how a family could have given her up. The shelter told us it was because they lost their jobs and home. I could go on and on about how sweet, smart and obedient she is! We adore her! The only thing we might change would be her tendency to be so vocal. She barks when she wants something and when she's excited, and her bark is loud! She carries a toy around with her most of the time which we think is so cute. Our male German Shepherds usually carried tennis balls or dirty pieces of rawhide! In this photo she is waiting for her "daddy" to play with her. About ten days ago we sent a DNA sample for testing to find out exactly what makes up her pedigree. She is a Belgian Tervuren Shepherd...but may be a mix. We will know soon! There is still some question as to her age, somewhere between three and five years old.

Am going to take a short break from painting people. This afternoon we are going to a nature park to walk the trails and take some photos. Roger Bansemer has inspired me to paint another Florida landscape. It's beautiful sunny day here ...78 degrees with a slight breeze. Just can't stay inside! Will paint tonight!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Scooter - Study for portrait of Jed

10" x 8" Oil on Canvas

This is painted from a photo taken by me about three years ago. I love the way the light is tickling his face! I'm not a great photographer, so am pleased I captured his impish smile in this one! Jed's quite a character. Not sure what size the portrait will be. Will not crop so closely...will include his arms. Will change the division of the grass and driveway. I am keeping color notes but am not yet satisfied with the warms or cools in the skin, more mixing but am eager to satisfactorily finish this little study so I can go to work on the portrait!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A New Mouse in the House

Yesterday Frank gave me my very own Studio Mouse. A Black and Decker Mouse Hand Sander! Perfect timing for preparing a board for the Different Strokes Challenge. It's so cute I just had to chat about it. Using the sander, my 16" x 8" board was ready for Gesso in no time along with two 6" x 8" pieces. First I sand, then I paint the back and edges with white craft acrylic paint (which costs less than gesso). When that is dry, the front is gessoed and left to dry totally. Then, another sanding. These steps may be repeated if necessary. These prepared boards are my favorite supports. The surface is smooth for detail whether painting in oil or acrylic. I even got started on Diana for the Challenge after printing Karin Jurick's reference photo. This start is in acrylic but I may finish in oil.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Work in Progress

36" x 24" Oil on Canvas

Our son Edward on the water. This is a labor of love...I am painting from a favorite photograph which was almost destroyed in Hurricane Charley! Since this one is for "me" keeps going to the back burner. Now about 70% complete...maybe I can finish it this month!

After taking Lisa's workshop, my eye is catching more detail in the photo of the today I am reworking the mouth and teeth. Hopefully the finished painting will be posted very soon. The waterways chart or nautical map is posing a problem. Haven't decided how to handle that yet.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Virtual Workshop - Day 2

Apples and Spoon, 6" x 8" Oil on wood panel

Sunday at noon we resumed painting the apples and spoon after remixing the palette of colors if needed. Carefully guided and encouraged by Lisa, we painted toward the finish. The transparency was an aid in checking and rechecking the drawing. Lots of emphasis on taking time to really see every little nuance inside the reflective surfaces. On Monday a photo of the completed painting was sent to Lisa for a final critique. She took time to really look at my painting and provided a thorough critique. Thank you, Lisa!

I sometimes tend to be careless and if something looks "close" I might just leave it. Lisa reminded me that "close" isn't acceptable when a little more concentration and a bit more effort will result in a finer painting. This was a much needed refresher course on warm and cool body and cast shadows. Lisa suggested that I pay closer attention to edges by asking myself, "what the edges mean, why is something soft, what effect does it have, when does it need to change"...Of course, those of us who have been painting a long time "know" these things, right? concentrate on other areas where we aren't so confident and forget to pay attention to the obvious! A workshop like this brings our efforts into focus on the parts and not just the whole...

I am pleased with my painting! Lisa Gloria conducted this workshop professionally, Ustream glitches were minor, participants were friendly and it was fun visiting with them on the chat line. I look forward to taking another workshop with Lisa and highly recommend her virtual workshops to anyone wishing to perfect his/her painting skills! No travel, no carting art supplies around, just do the workshop from ones own studio!! Gotta love the internet!

A photo of Lisa's completed apple painting and the paintings of other workshop participants may be seen at her blogsite

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lisa Gloria Virtual Workshop- Day One

Saturday at noon the first session of the experimental on line workshop began.
Lisa is a fabulous artist and a great instructor. She pre-mixes all the colors on the palette. Not my usual way so thought it would be interesting to try her method. Oh, it was! Interesting yes...easy NO! All participants had been sent a photo and a transparency. Five colors were used plus Flake white and Ivory black The mixing was a struggle since we were trying to closely match selected color areas of the photo, background, apple skin, flesh, etc. with five values. Then the freehand drawing and the wash, followed by the first layers of color using a drying additive. After approximately 3-1/2 hours the session ended and we were asked to email a photo of the days work to Lisa for a critique, and let the painting dry overnight to resume again Sunday. Critique notes: I had gone too far for the first day, edges were too hard, but otherwise was off to a good start.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Ava Grace

10" x 8" Oil on Canvas

Here is my very first attempt at painting our great niece, Ava. I have never painted her beautiful skin color before and am clueless but learning. I chose a pose in a red dress to capture the reflected red throughout. A peek at Chris Saper's book "Painting Beautiful Skin Tones with Color and Light" helped a little. I am happy with the painting but want the next one to be more "painterly" and less a Harley Brown portrait!

Tomorrow I am participating in Lisa Gloria's on line workshop! Should be very interesting.