Thursday, June 30, 2016

Morels WIP 2

A quick update on this project. I chose a palette of DS Quin. Burnt Orange, DS Quin. Sienna, olive green, DS Undersea green, warm sepia, Phthalo blue and Perm yellow. I wanted more saturated color for this morel painting. After the painting was complete I added copper metallic paste here and there for a more exciting effect. I used my finger to apply. This stuff is new in my tool kit and I love it. I used the paste primarily to highlight all the yummy textures. I just finished giving the painting a light coat of Krylon spray varnish and when it's dry I will add the 'feet' to the back of my substrate as I plan to float mount this in my frame.

In this image you can see my collection of metallic pastes.

I tried spring green on for 'size' but quickly nixed that idea. Love the remaining colors.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Morels and Bookmarks

I've got two 11" x 14" shadow boxes that I've wanted to use for paintings so I chose to use morel mushrooms for my subject, at least in one of the boxes. I'm taking a similar approach to a painting I created back in 2011. I've coated a piece of matboard with Liquitex gesso and added bits of leaves and twigs to replicate a forest floor. I also coated some oak leaves I saved from last Fall. Oak leaves are the best leaves I've found for this application because they are sturdy and pliable, even when dried. I will attach those with gel medium. I also tried out a new medium...string gel. I used it to form the mushrooms and give them a 3D appearance. The string gel was surprisingly easy to work with and I can imagine all sorts of projects I could use it for.

I found myself with lots of scrap Yupo and I hate wasting art materials so I made about a dozen bookmarks with the bits and pieces. I think they turned out rather well!

Saturday, June 18, 2016


This is Maggie, a beloved pet who belonged to my friend Mike. I had been telling Mike I'd paint her portrait for him but his only photo of her wasn't the best reference. I finally decided there was enough info in the photo to give it a go and after asking Mike a few questions about her to fill in the blanks here is my result.

I have been admiring Vickie Nelson's animal portraits on Facebook lately so I wanted to apply a similar treatment to the background in Maggie's portrait. Vickie isn't shy when it comes to backgrounds often going so far as to surround her critters in vibrant, colorful abstraction. It shouldn't work but it does. The subject doesn't seem to get lost but becomes a part of the whole composition. Rather than a BG that gets slapped on at the last moment to keep the main subject from looking so lonely on the paper it becomes a stage for that particular pet's favorite toys, a favorite blanket or just a bunch of colorful shapes, patterns and/or textures. Anyhoo, I love the look so I tried it on Maggie. Mike told me she loved to ride in the car so I gave her a '57' Chevy-ish car all her own. I think it suits her.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Trilliums in Bloom

Love the neat texture. It adds so much interest.
With the plastic wrap in place. I saved my whites with liquid fisket.

The woods around these parts are currently carpeted in wild trilliums and it's a glorious sight.  I wanted to pay tribute to this flower that blooms for such a short time, often alongside wild forget-me-nots, with a small painting.

I pulled out a trick I haven't tried in years...saran wrap aka plastic wrap. It's a cool way to add some interesting effects/texture.  Simply cut pieces of the wrap and place on your wet paint. Make sure the paint is really wet or nothing will happen. You can then manipulate the wrap any way you wish. Also don't remove the wrap until the paint is thoroughly dry or all your lovely textures could be lost. By adding the forget-me-nots I was able to try out my new tube of watercolor, Periwinkle by American Journey.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Back to the Drawing Board

Sorry for the lapse in updates. My flamingos fell by the wayside when my COPD flared again this Spring. Seems it's become an annual event. While recovering I needed to avoid the alcohol ink fumes so I completed a commission for a long time friend, a watercolor painting of a lady slipper I've been promising her for yeeears, and also a few pencil sketches for myself. I forget to simply draw something for my own pleasure. I enjoy it and don't know why I don't do it more often. I need to remedy that.
This gal is strickly from my imagination.

The receptionist at my doctor's office.
Lovely girl.
She has a perfectly oval face.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Feeling Flamingos

I feel like painting flamingos, that is. I've been mulling this idea over all week and finally did a quick line drawing. I found a few references photos on PaintMyPhoto and worked with those as best I could. My plan so far is to work on Yupo with alcohol ink and collage. I'll be making my own collage paper so I'll have to sort out my colors, etc. The birds will probably be done with acrylic paint similar to the cats on Lunch Rush at Chez Dumpsta'. 

I'll be posting updates so stay tuned.....

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Something Different

A little something different from me. I dreamed this one up...literally. The composition and the colors. I just wish I could get the colors to show true. For those that are familiar with Adirondack's 'Willow' alcohol ink that's the color in the sky, not Pesto green. I hate when these things happen. It's the funky 'Willow' green that makes the painting work IMO. Ah well....

This is another small work...5" x 7" on Yupo. I added some cut paper collage and flexible modeling paste. For the patterns in the white and red areas I painted over the alcohol ink when it was dry with black acrylic paint, then used an old credit card I had notched and dragged that through the wet paint until I was satisfied with the results. Voila! 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Varnish Day

It finally warmed up here at long last, warm enough to spray varnish outdoors. I sprayed my latest ink paintings including my bug series in batches and they are now curing before they will be mounted, matted and slipped into acetate envelopes. I belong to an inking group on Facebook and there seemed to be some confusion as to what varnishes work best on alcohol ink. Up until just lately I was using Krylon Gallery Series UV Archival gloss spray but I've found that Krylon's UV-Resistant Clear gloss works just as well and cost much less. One member of the ink group had heard that the gloss spray would disturb the ink but I found that it's simply not true.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A B. C?

Here is the repaired painting. I stenciled a honeycomb pattern on the background to finish the piece.

Hopefully this image will allow you to see the area of damaged Yupo I circled. When I'm working on certain insects I will cut away only a few sections of frisket at a time. In this case I saved the bee's wings until last so the Pitch Black and Yellow Sunshine ink wouldn't get on them. When I attempted to remove the frisket from the left wing I accidently dug into the surface of the Yupo and peeled off a thin layer leaving a rough area. I managed to solve the problem by cutting a piece of the glossy backing paper from the frisket into the shape of the damaged wing and gluing it in place with gel medium. Another solution could've been another piece of Yupo but I decided the backing paper would work best for this purpose.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself. I think I'm losing it and if winter doesn't end here soon in northern Michigan I'm going to completely lose my mind. Anyhoo, this is my latest bug, the wonderful bumblebee. I love to hear their deep throaty buzz in the garden on a hot summer afternoon.