Monday, February 28, 2011

The Usual Suspects~my current working title

I couldn't resist. I cropped and greyscaled the image. I then added the sepia tint & text.

Here I've altered the image in Elements. I used the cutout filter first, then replaced the existing colors in the original photo with purples and greens.

A friend recently approached me and asked if I would paint a Jersey cow for her. I said I would try but haven't heard back and been given the go-ahead yet. In the meantime I took the liberty of browsing the Wetcanvas image library for cow photos. When I came across the image of these young bulls submitted by Impshlady it grabbed my interest immediately. Normally I'm title challenged but this time the title came to me before picking up my brush. I don't believe these are Jersey bulls. I did a bit of research online and suspect they are Brown Swiss. Irregardless the breed, I was taken with their stance and expressions. Don't they look like a gang of young hoodlums? I can just imagine them in a police lineup or on an old Wild West wanted poster. I'm currently working on my drawing. The biggest challenge will be sorting out legs as there are other bovines in the background and there's a tangle of limbs to deal with.

Monday, February 21, 2011



I'm calling this one done. I applied a few more glazes to the background, finished the mouse, removed any masking, tweaked Phoebe(my model) and generally tidied things up.

Here's a little background on Phoebe from her loving Mom, Marcia Van Osten:

Phoebe is a "papered" full Persian. Her Persian name is "Sugar N' Spice Girl." Her "twin" sole litter mate is Rudy the Himalayan. ("Little Boy Blue") Their Mother was "Olivia", father "Noah". Olivia is 1/2 sister to Donny and his sister Marie.. She is actually 9 yrs old, but tiny- 5-6 lbs. She is a Cream Cameo Persian. VERY spunky, active and of course demanding.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Contemplation~WIP 3

Quick update, poor photo. I still have lots more to do on this one. I've been applying many glazes to areas of the background to get the really dark values. Normally I'm not one to do a lot of glazing. I'll be using a stiff bristle brush to lift some of the paint on the side of the cat's face in deep shadow as it's become almost completely lost. It's barely visible IRL and the camera couldn't pick it up at all. I'm staying with my original palette with one exception...I added some DV raw umber.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Contemplation~WIP 2

I started this yesterday but couldn't post an update until today. My camera batteries died.:( Today was in the mid 40's so it was just too nice to stay inside. This is where I am at the moment. Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy so good weather for painting. My palette is fairly limited...DS Indigo, DR cobalt blue deep & warm sepia, DV burnt sienna and MaimeriBlu crimson lake.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Contemplation~WIP 1

Marcia Van Osten has graciously given me permission to use a photo of one of her beautiful Persian cats as inspiration for a painting. This is Phoebe deep in contemplation. I've substituted a real mouse for the toy mouse in the photo and drew my sketch directly on watercolor paper, in this case Arches #140 coldpress. I've found sometimes the more often a drawing is transferred the less 'life' is carried over. By the time it finally arrives on the working paper it's lost it's vitality. I realize some subjects would be very difficult to freehand onto the final paper but in this case I think I can get away with it.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


Here I've taken the liberty to mat and frame the painting online...a simple pale gold metal frame with jet black mat.

I've included two closeup shots to try and show the blue iridescent paint and gold ink which doesn't want to show up well in photos. IRL the blue is less apparent and the gold is more apparent. I could not correct this in my photo editor.:(

To complete this piece I've added the eyes of the crows and embellished their feathers with DS Iridescent Electric Blue. I also added some metallic gold ink for highlights and to help tie the crows into the background so they don't look cut out and pasted on. I've been wanting to do a painting in a narrow horizontal format for a long time but couldn't decide on the subject. This gathering of crows turned out to be just the ticket. Final dimensions are approx. 25 1/2" x 11 1/2".

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Cawcus~WIP Update

I have been working, albeit slooowly, on this project. I decided on a Venetian plaster look for the background. I wanted something predominately warm so I started with a little perm. yellow, then switched to DS Quin. gold, Quin. gold deep and D-R Warm Sepia applied with a sweeping cross hatch motion using a damp 2" synthetic brush. Since I'm using black Speedball ink (which is opaque) for the crows I transferred my drawing first and brushed on the background paint right over the unpainted crows. I've found painting with Speedball ink works very well. It washes off/out with water so I was able to use my good watercolor brushes and it's wonderful for producing a deep, rich true black. Today I finished painting the crows. I'll be adding some iridescent paint to the feathers, possibly some colored pencil, finishing the eyes and after a suitable amount of 'look time' I may tweak a few areas before declaring this complete.