Sunday, March 31, 2013

Dance Class

Dance Class/ oil on board/ 7" x 5"/ available at Low Country Gallery )(HH)
This study also uses a limited palette. The colors included ivory black, titanium white, turquoise, raw sienna and burnt sienna.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

I see you

I See You/watercolor/ 6.25" x 7.5"/ SOLD
The goal for today's painting was to create texture and form in  a white object. This is accomplished by the cool and warm juxtaposition of colors, the soft edges and the very gradual value changes. Good experiment!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Into the Sunshine

Into the Sunshine/ oil on board/ 7" x 5"/ $125

In this painting, I wanted to try a limited palette before I suggested that my class use it. This was painted using a limited palette of ivory black, titanium white, transparent red oxide and yellow ochre. Once completed, this painting was beautiful and serene but seemed too dark for a child. Therefore, cad yellow medium, turquoise and persian rose were added.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sunlit Pansies

Sunlit Pansies/ watercolor/ 12.5" x 16"
I found these pansies in a sunlit patch this morning and spent the day painting them. These will be part of Open Studio next month.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Looking for New Tricks

Looking for NewTricks/ oil on board/ 4" x 4"/ SOLD

A small painting in bright colors to match the beautiful spring sunshine this morning.
This painting was done to work on color mixes and brush texture.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Watercolor Wednesday: Clowning Around and Silk Tulip

Clowning Around/ watercolor/ 13.5" x 11"

Large Silk Tulip in progress
This watercolor will be part of my Spring Open Studio series.

Artist Note for WW: This was painted in layers. The first layer was laid in wet into wet but in pieces. The blues and yellows were put in separately to keep them distinct, Details and dimension were then added wet onto dry in the next layers. Finally, areas were lifted out to create the effect of backlighting.

Below is a technique of painting silk in watercolor style (without resist lines).
The artist that seems best known for this method is Karen Sistek (link). I have worked to get this technique working in my hands for the last 3+ months.  After the silk is painted without resist lines, it must be steamed to heat set the dyes and then will be fixed to a canvas (two more procedures that have been tricky to work out.)
I will post these when they are successfully mounted onto canvas.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Preview of Spring Open Studio

Spring Roses/ watercolor/ 11" x 16.5"

Silk Poppy before steaming and applying to canvas
For an open studio this spring, I plan to have at least ten large paintings displayed. My plan is to have three silk paintings on canvas, and three large oil paintings. The others will be large watercolors. Here is a preview.

Details and invitations will follow.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Daffodil Study

Daffodils in Cobalt Vase/ watercolor/ 5.25" x 5.5"/SOLD

The challenge for this painting was the blue-black background. This is cobalt blue mixed with ivory black applied in a wet flat wash onto dry paper.
I painted the daffodil shadows as I lost the light in my studio. When I paint with less light, I usually find that I see a darker value (hence the quin gold in the shadows). I will retry this study in the light. I believe that the shadows will probably end up a lighter value... interesting to see.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Gerbera Daisies

Spring Gerbera Daisies/ oil on board/ 8" x 8"/ SOLD
Today, I wanted to capture the bright sunlight on the gerberas. I also hoped to paint the glow that these flowers radiated despite the seasonally low temperature outside.
 Therefore, I chose to paint with mostly warm tones.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

More Rabbits

More Rabbits/ watercolor/ 8.5" x 8.5"
A little watercolor "sketch" today. Because the rabbits were so dull-colored, I tried a bright background. I like this color transition: passionate purple, quin magenta, scarlet red, translucent orange, water, and a wet wash of cobalt turquoise and cerulean.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Easter Bunny Applicants

Easter Bunny Applicants/ watercolor/ 8" x 9"/ $65

This painting was a warm up for the complex watercolor I am working on. The colors used were: rose madder genuine, yellow ochre, cerulean and cobalt blues, sap green, cad yellow, burnt sienna and ivory black. The small rabbit is a floppy fellow from France. He usually lives in a fashionable box.
The large one was an Easter gift, many years ago to my daughter and his soft fur has chocolate(?)  hug marks.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Stairway Cat

Stairway Cat/ oil on board/ 4" x 4"/ $55
I posted two watercolors earlier this week and had only a little time, so I am posting a small oil painting. I like the pops of red and blue on the fur of this portly cat.

Today, I helped two special students photograph their art portfolios. Seeing their well executed work compiled made their exit dates to college seem too close. Like my children, they will be gone too soon.

I love what Kahil Gibran wrote:
"Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which
you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.......

Monday, March 18, 2013

Nose to Nose

Nose to Nose/ watercolor/ 5.5" x 10.5"/SOLD
This is the second painting in this Easter Series. One objective for this painting was to have the plush fur look different than the real rabbit's coat. Plush texture is similar to painting "shine". It requires soft edges, gradual value transitions and the placement of warm next to cool colors.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bear Hug

Bear Hug/ watercolor/ 9.5" x 9.5"/ SOLD

This is the first in a small Easter Series: hugs, eggs, rabbits, in watercolor. I want to experiment with the texture of the furs and interesting light.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Single Pansy and Pear Studies: Limited Palette

Single Pansy in Glass/ oil on board/ 4" x 4"/ $55
Both of these paintings used similar colors: mostly the red green palette listed previously with the addition of cad yellow medium. The top painting used a lot of the cool green (turquoise) and the bottom, a lot of the reds (magenta and cad red light (in place of cad red scarlet)). Each painting, because of the limited palette, has pleasing color harmony.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Garden Pack of Pansies

Garden Pack of Pansies/ oil on board/ 6" x 6"/SOLD
I love pansies. I love oil paintings of pansies by Quang Ho (link) or Richard Schmid (link)(link)(link). These wonderful artists, with careful brushwork, paint the essence of these little flowers.  I feel like I am making progress.I am glad, however,  that pansy season is just beginning so I can continue to work on what I see in my mind...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Exploring/ oil on board/ 6" x 6"/available at Low Country Gallery )(HH)

Today, I wanted to paint reflections. I took an image of seagulls with beautiful reflections and imagined this wonderful dog in the same tide pool. I love the orange of the dog's coat with its blue green visual compliment. Makes me wish for the beach!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring Foal

Spring Foal/ oil on board/ 4" x 4"/ SOLD

I am not posting Watercolor Wednesday today. I have a large watercolor painting that needs minor adjustments before submitting to a show deadline. Hopefully, I'll post a preview of it tomorrow.

Today's daily painting was inspired by the beautiful spring day. I especially liked the backlighting and the fresh yellow greens in the grass. A different view of this little foal was gifted for a special birthday yesterday.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Beautiful Face

A Beautiful Face/ oil on board/ 4" x 4"/ sold
 A special FB friend sent this photo a while back and gave me permission to use it. Today, this beautiful face with all of its colors asked to be painted as a small daily painting. I wanted to also illustrate the size of a small 4" x 4" painting. This size is so small that I often have to photograph and load it into my computer to see what it really looks like!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Still Life Study

Still Life Study/oil on board/ 8" x 8"
The objects in this still life were beautiful. However, despite a promising thumbnail preliminary sketch, this little painting just wouldn't work. The board had been previously wiped (usually this is good luck for the next attempt) but this painting changed color, style and even subject if one considers adding adding an interest line to "hold it together" as that.
Sometimes, the goal matters.
Today, another daily painting is finished.
My large painting, more importantly, is going slowly and well, so far. So, there is that.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

How to Paint Watercolor Eyes

These are eyes on larger paintings.
They are painted with  a technique learned from Paul McCormack.

Using a TINY brush,
wet the entire eye except the highlight.
Drop grey into the white of the eye and bleed it up to iris.
Drop in iris color, let it spread over the pupil and work it out to the edges of the iris as it dries. The iris is soft edged, not a cutout ball. Drop in ivory black for soft edged pupil.
Next, put the iris color plus black where the upper lid shadows the iris and drag this color around the outside of the iris.

Place a warm dark red to the upper lid line down to the tear duct.
Put mostly cad red to the tear duct keeping away from the highlight and 
bleed it into the white of the eye.

This second eye is not quite finished. This eye belongs to a child, so there will not be lower lid mascara but the upper lashes will be defined, a little more green shadowing will be added and the flesh tone deepened.

It takes a great deal of time to paint a watercolor painting when it is done in transparent layers. Paul McCormack said that a head and neck study takes him 80 hours. I am into these little eyes, which are a small part of the completed painting, over 90 minutes each eye and that is for the incomplete one....

Friday, March 8, 2013

Blue Jay Study

Bluejay Study/ watercolor/ 5" x 9"/ SOLD

I am currently working daily on large watercolors in hopes of a submission to a large national juried show. Sometimes, I make an irretrievable mistake. Most recently, it was having a little too much cerulean blue in a shadow color which made the skin tone too "grainy".  Because technical excellence is one criteria for acceptance, I must restart a painting and on those days, my daily small paintings are not completed.  Today, however, this little guy just wanted to be painted and the big paintings just had to wait!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Dashing Sandpiper

Dashing Sandpiper/ oil on canvas board/ 6" x 6"/ SOLD
I painted this on a canvas board and  followed Julie Ford Oliver's  (link) suggestion to "fracture" more gently. I think that disrupting the edges of a subject by scratching or fracturing adds a lot of movement to a painting. It is fun to do. If you are interested, you can get Julie's art byte about her fracturing technique at Daily Paintworks.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Watercolor Wednesday: Iris Study

Iris Study/ watercolor// 5.5" x 6"/ $100

This little watercolor was painted in only two to four layers: wet onto dry. The colors used were alizarin crimson, winsor purple, passionate purple, sap green, quin gold, indian yellow and a touch of aureolin. The background was ivory black, raw umber, some sap green, burnt sienna and alizarin crimson. Many of the edges were softened after painting with a clean water wash.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Onion Study

Onion Study/ oil on board/ 4"x 4"/ available at Low Country Gallery )(HH)

Today, I am painting in oils after my trip. My first painting was a "wipe". This little study is better. I love the colors. I disrupted the surface by scratching again. Julie Ford Oliver mentioned that Charles Mundy uses scratching on his paintings, so I will look his work up sometime this week, when the dust settles. I am continuing to experiment with fracturing and struggle with taking too much paint off. Again, Julie Ford Oliver suggested a lighter touch in a comment she made to the blood oranges painting, so that will be what I think about next time.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Pansy Study

Pansy study/ watercolor/ 7.5" x 5.5"/SOLD

Still warming up after a week away.
I found painting the shadows and lit areas on the orange pansy a challenge. While this finally works, I think I will try painting sunlit orange pansies again. Here, the best shadows were created using scarlet red, translucent orange and a hint of quin gold (the gold quickly dulls or muddies the color). The lit parts are aureolin and white paper.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Spring Sunshine

Most of February's small paintings
These are most of February's small paintings. During the month, I also worked on some large paintings for upcoming national competitions, worked out painting on silk without a resist and then mounting on canvas, and attended the fantastic workshop led by Paul McCormack and completed year 8 of my ten year master art quilting class....busy.
I am home finally and warming up with a small spring watercolor.

Spring Sunshine/ watercolor/ 5" x 7"/ SOLD

This was painted quickly with only three layers of color.The colors included aureolin yellow, indian yellow, translucent orange, cobalt blue, quin gold, sap green and undersea green.