Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Kitty Kocktail ~ drawing



This project may be beyond my expertise as a painter but I want to give it a go anyway. I've never painted a clear glass anything before but there's always a first time.

I met this adorable little kitten this past September at the hair salon I frequent. One of the hairdressers had rescued him and brought him to work because he needed to be feed every 1-2 hours around the clock. He was so tiny he fit in the palm of my hand and he was such a sweet kitten. The stylist that was caring for him had taken a photo of him in a wine glass and she showed it to me on her cellphone. I never forgot it so when I arrived for another hair appointment last week I asked permission to use the image for a painting. Thankfully she still had the photo and gladly she agreed. I know I've drawn this too small already and need to enlarge it. I'm not known for my steady hand so we'll see how well I do. I may have to paint this more than once to get it right.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mama Luv



I just completed my latest cat painting and I'm pretty happy with it. Shame that my blues appear more red violet in places but I was happy to get a halfway decent photo at all today. It's so gloomy.

I saw Karina's image of a mother cat with her kitten on PMP and knew I had to paint it. Shy kitten, protective mother...a short story, if you will. It speaks to a part of the mother and child bond that exists in both the human world and the animal kingdom, but a very important part. To quote Stephen King, "There's no bitch on earth like a mother frightened for her kids.”
 

Monday, December 08, 2014

Little S-Kittles



The title popped into my head while I was finishing this painting and I think it works. It's been almost a month since I updated my blog so I thought I'd paint some kitties and post them. I have another feline painting ready to go, too.

I was inspired by a photo a friend posted on Facebook, Tracy Meadows. Tracy rescued a litter of kittens recently. He said he found them under his porch and the photo he posted was just too darn cute to pass up. I asked him if I could use it and he obliged. The actual kittens are all a smoky grey so I decided to take a lot of liberty with my palette. And this is my favorite palette....golds and violets. I used DS Quin deep gold, DS Quin Burnt scarlet, DS Quin sienna, DS Carbazole Violet and DS Quin Violet. With these colors I can go just as vibrant or neutral as I want with no mud making involved. Hope you like. 

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Liquitex Flexible Modeling Paste ~ product review



I'm always on the lookout for ways to add texture to some of my paintings. Today I experimented with this product and I highly recommend it to artists that prefer to work on paper like myself. It's flexible, as the label states, so it won't crack on flexible surfaces. Up to this point I've been relying on Liquitex gesso to get a degree of texture but there's a lot of moisture in gesso and it takes a long time to dry. Also it's rather runny, causing the paper to buckle, and has to be worked and reworked with a palette knife or other tool to produce an interesting surface. However this product is thick, easy to mold and dries much faster. It's also possible to get a high degree of texture not possible with acrylic gesso. I created this sample floral to see how well the modeling paste accepted watercolor and ink. It behaved very similar to gesso. Paint was pretty easy to lift but I think the surface tended to stain a bit more. If a non porous surface was needed a coat or two of high gloss gel medium over the modeling paste would accomplish that.  

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Silverbark at Sundown ~ complete (acrylic and collage on paper)



I'm going to call this done now. It doesn't look like I've done much since my last post but I spent a lot of time just looking at the painting and deciding how I wanted to create the leaves. I finally settled on a paste paper that I copper leafed on one side, painted on the other. I used tracing paper so the copper leaf would show through and tone the yellow. This produced a fairly accurate representation of birch leaves in Fall. Then the issue was where to place the leaves and how many wouldn't be too many. Did they distract or benefit the painting? Branches were never where I needed them and I knew I should've added the leaf placement to the original drawing. Dang! Ah well, a Chinese white pencil and a violet Prismacolor Verithin solved the problem. Cutting those teeny, tiny leaves was a chore, as was using tweezers to handle them. I think it was worth the effort and time, though. I'm pretty happy with it. :) The final size is approx. 6 1/2" x 29".
Work in progress

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Silverbark at Sundown ~ WIP 2



Many glazes later...many, many glazes later, I finally started work on the markings on the birch trunks. I love the distinctive 'eyes' they display and am surprised so few artists that paint birch trees fail to include them in their paintings. The trunks will receive more washes of color...red violets, yellow and cerulean blue. I plan to use cut paper collage to add the leaves when the paint work is complete. Birch leaves turn yellow in Fall so I need to make my own yellow paste papers to order. Then plenty of cutting and pasting is in my future.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Silverbark at Sundown ~ sketch and wip 1



This is the beginning of my latest project. It's another birch painting done with acrylic on 140# Fabriano HP w/c paper. I have a few stands of Silverbark birch across the drive from my home so I have plenty of reference material right outside my front windows. I plan to use the palette from my color study (see previous post). This painting will be much larger, approx. 6 1/2" x 29". An odd size but I've always wanted to do a long and very narrow format because I love the look. I've been waiting for a sunny day to forge ahead and that day has arrived. It's been so terribly gloomy lately that I've left lights on all day long. Not ideal conditions to create subtle color variations.

Side note: After painting 'The Rusty Gate Post' I contacted the photographer responsible for my reference image. I wanted to know more about this gate and he gave me enough information to locate the gate on Google Map. It resides outside a charming little B & B in the UK. Here's the Coach House B &B (link) on A413 Brackley Road, Silverstone, United Kingdom. Seems I guessed the wrong finial. Ah, well....


Monday, October 13, 2014

Autumn Scene ~ color study (acrylic)



Here is my painted color study, just completed. It's small, roughly 5" x 13". I decided to use tube acrylic because acrylics can be more forgiving than watercolor and I wanted the freedom to change things up should I want to switch colors. I just may paint the final piece using acrylics!

I began by using the acrylic paint like watercolor and gave the entire paper surface a Yellow Cad. Light wash, including the birch trunks. I switched to Cad. Red Light, which is actually orange, and added a light wash while the yellow was still wet. I've never been happy with any tube orange but decided not to sweat the small stuff just yet. I knew I could adjust things later. I didn't bother masking the lower leaves for this study either. I just wanted to see how my chosen colors worked together. Once the yellow and orange were dry I mixed Deep Violet and UB to create various degrees of red and blue violet and laid in my darker values. Then it was all a matter of tweaking. At one point I was afraid I had gone too dark on the birch trunks but as I kept going it all began to work. Birch bark is so white it reflects color well, even in shadow...especially in shadow...which provided an excellent opportunity to bring some excitement to the trunks. I completed the leaves using mostly yellow and violet but hit a snag when I added Cerulean blue, my 'pop' color. Full strength it looked awful but mixed with a little white to soften it, it worked very well. I added the pale Cerulean to the background, some of the leaves and both tree trunks. To complete the study I toned the orange areas with a light wash of deep violet, very diluted. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Autumn Scene ~ color study



Autumn Scene is a temporary working title until I see how this goes. I just completed this color study with Prismacolor colored pencils on a thumbnail sketch, roughly 4 1/2" x 1 1/2".  I want it to be full of vibrant, unexpected Fall colors and blowing leaves. Lots of windswept action. I'm using a double complimentary palette here...yellows and violets with oranges and blues. Because these colors (yellows/oranges) and (violets/blues) are analogous, it should work. I want one 'pop' color. Not quite sure what that will be yet. Possibly turquoise or teal. Something blue-ish and vibrant.