Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays

I am presently drawing out my next very large portrait (24 x 36") but holidays and working are getting in the way. I'll finish the drawing stage and post it after the holidays.

In the meantime I want to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season full of fun, good health, and as free from stress as possible.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tess finished

I did a lot of work on the fine details on the face and worked some more on the body. I'm calling this one finished. I purposefully left the body less detailed as I wanted the focus to be on the face. The body shows more of the typical look of watercolour as a medium.
Now I can work on getting ready for three Christmas parties I am holding this week.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tess step 5

I darkened the floor under Tess, lifted highlights, and started adding details and making corrections. The face is mostly done. I just have the fine overlapping hairs to do there. I still have a lot of work to do on the body but the main values are there.

Tess step 4

I was able to do a few more hours on this yesterday but had to wait for daylight to get a photo. I am trying to get it finished this weekend. I was delayed by other deadlines in my life.

I darkened the background but have darker washes to put under the dog still. I went over the whole painting darkening the values again. Next will be the subtler shading of the light areas and the blending of the washes already there. The final steps will be the fine details of the fur.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tess step 3

Two weeks is a long time between posts. This is my busiest time of the year and life as well as other art related events have kept me from painting. Last weekend was the annual fine arts and crafts show where I had a table (see photo above). It was held at the Shania Twain Center and her wall of awards distracts from the sellers' tables (very busy background). But otherwise it was a great two days.

I am also decorating for Christmas which takes almost a week because I have so many decorations. I am holding two Christmas parties and have deadlines to get that all done. That is done except for the tree so I can now get back to painting.

Step 3
I have just continued with more of the same, laying in areas of colour to darken it and work out where areas of light and dark are. I have added a warm wash to the background but it will still get a few more glazes of different colours so this isn't what the final version will look like.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tess step 2

This morning I finally had a chance to get back to this painting. Life has a habit of getting in the way of my painting. I have continued adding basic washes to start building the values. I also finished the eyes and they are looking more life-like. I like finishing the eyes first because it makes me want to keep working on a painting. It's like they are watching me. :) I am working nightshift all weekend so I don't know if I'll have time to work on this more the next few days.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tess step 1

I have started a commission of one of my favourite subjects. This painting will be 11 x 14". So far I have it drawn out and I have started the first washes. The fur has wonderful bluish highlights that will be fun to paint. I haven't decided whether to leave the background a greyish colour or change it later. I'll see what it looks like as it progresses. The highlights in the eyes are still covered by masking so they are still dull looking. I'll take that off in the next couple of steps and the eyes will come to life.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Step 13 - finished

I finished this painting and have managed to flatten it nicely. I have to take a proper photo tomorrow because today is dark and very grey.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Step 12

Today I finished the candy canes and worked some more on the ribbon. I just have the bow to finish and then the final correction of values and details all over the painting.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Step 11

This morning I finished the glass ball on the far left, corrected the reflective shadow under the glass ball, added a darker shadow to the right of the glass, and worked on the candy canes. The end is at least in sight if still far off. I just have the candy canes and ribbon to do and then all the final adjustments. A big part of the finish will be trying to flatten it once completed.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Step 10

This morning I finished the dark red ball and one candy cane. I also worked some more on the ribbon, the yellow ball, and the other candy canes.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Step 9

Today I removed all the masking on the teapot and glass after giving the tea a final wash of yellow. I corrected all the hash highlights left by the masking so the teapot and glass are finished unless there are final corrections after the rest of the painting is done.

I also worked on the candy canes and the glass balls as well as adding more colour to the ribbon and darkening some of the table. I basically worked all over the painting. The paper is still badly buckled which makes painting hard and I'll have to try straightening it when it's done.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Step 8

Only about two hours painting today so far. Probably won't get more done because I am in the middle of preparing Thanksgiving supper.

Today I added a wash of reds to the tea. I will give it a nice yellow wash to finish it off next time. I have also started adding a few reds to the other objects just so I can erase some of the pencil lines and still tell where I'm going. Lots more corrections done on highlights of the glass as well.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Step 7

After over 4 hours of painting today it feels like I am going nowhere slowly. I keep adding layers of colour but it is building up very slowly. I took more of the masking off the glass and teapot and corrected some of the highlights. I added a warmer wash of the table colour to half the painting (it will be darker still on the right side). The most noticeable area is the tea where I've started adding washes of colour to try and get the values as well as the colour right. Still many more washes to go.

The most frustrating part is the huge amount of buckling of the paper that I am experiencing. I hope I can weight it down to flatten it once I am finished. I won't ever work on this weight of paper again unless I can glue it to a backing. The only reason I am painting on it in the first place is that it is a requirment of the show it is going in.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

step 6

Today I have darkened the far background and lightened the shadow in the bottom left. I removed some of the masking in the teapot lid and corrected some of the values there. I darkened the darks on the glass. I also darkened the shadows in the foreground and made them more of a brown colour. The whole right side of the table in the painting will be much darker and I will be putting a unifying wash of a pale brown over a lot of the table and shadows later. I want to get to the reds in the tea but I will be putting in darker browns in there first.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Step 5

The best intentions... :) I said I was going to finish all the background before I started on the objects but I couldn't wait to get started on the glass. I'll just work the whole painting at once. It will keep the values consistant anyway. Many more washes needed to get the darks in the glass right but it is fun putting in the abstract shapes and watching it emerge as an image.

step 4

This morning I did a few more hours but it is slow going as I work out where the washes of colour start and end. It is faster once I start glazing layers of washes to build up depth of colour. So far today I added a blue wash in some of the glass. This will end up as a highlight and be mostly covered by darker colours later. I also added another dark wash on the background and some of the shadows. It is difficult to get a good photo with so much contrast between the dark background and the white paper. The photos will look better as I get more paper covered.

Speaking of paper, this lightweight paper is still driving me crazy with the buckling. I won't use it again unless it is glued to a support (which is what I usually do).

Monday, October 4, 2010

Step 3

I worked all weekend so today was the first chance to get back to this. I am finding working on 140 lb paper very frustrating compared to my usual 300 lb. This paper buckles and warps with every wash and is starting to pill where multiple washes have been added. :( I am going to have to handle this paper very gently.

Today I added more colour to the table and started laying in the shadows. They will be getting much darker before I'm finished but the first washes are time consuming as I make decisions about where everything goes. I want the background and table top completely finished before I start with the objects on the table.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

step 2

I have added the woodgrain in the table (a long and tedious process) and added a first wash of lighter wood cover over all the table. There will be more washes of colour there that will soften the effect of the woodgrain. For some reason the table is showing up less yellow than it is in real life. Probably because of the rainy day again.
I also added another dark wash to the background shadows.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Needed Break step 1

I have a deadline of just 3 weeks to get this full sheet painting done. This is the second time I've painted it. The first time was years ago as a commission (this was my photograph and still life set up). I'm painting it again because I like the light and the composition. It will be in a show where the paintings have to be on 140 lb paper (half the weight I'm used to painting on) so they can be rolled for shipping. The lighter weight needs a lot of getting used to as it buckles while wet, although, so far, it is flattening out again as it dries.

I have drawn it out, added masking fluid where needed and put in the first background wash where a lot of the shadows will be. I have also started painting the drops of condensation on the lid of the tea pot. This painting will be a lot of tiny dots and lines of paint.
The photo is dark because it's a very dark and grey day outside today. It's hard to get a good photo when most of the paper is still white.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Weekend workshop

This last weekend I taught another two day workshop on painting reflective metal and glass. Most of the participants had never used watercolour and some had never painted before. I was very proud of the work done over the two days. Here is a photo of the class hard at work and one of their paintings at the end. They have the instructions for finishing them at home.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Deadlines are piling up

Hi everyone,
Sorry to be so long between posts. I have been out of town at an art association meeting. Two of my paintings were juried into the show and both received awards. :) I am now starting a real deadline crunch with two workshops to be taught, two paintings to start and finish, and multiple committees that I am on with work in progress all to be done in the next month. I will try and post here as I can but it might not be as often until things settle down again. I will definitely post finished paintings at least.
Thanks for your patience. Why is the fall always so busy for art related deadlines?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lianne step 1

I am starting this portrait for a few reasons... I have a deadline for the Portrait Society of Canada for an online portrait show, I took the reference photos for this portrait a long time ago and have been trying to get to it, and I am experimenting with a slightly different version of painting a dark background with a portrait so it blends into it better.
I started by going over the whole background as well as her shirt with a grey wash. I then added a darker wash over the background only. I will keep going darker on her shirt as well but I wanted to see where edges were for now. The yellow light on the right of the painting is from my desk lamp. It is grey and raining right now without enough light to get a good photo with natural light.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Art in the Park

Here are a couple of photos from this year's Art in the Park. The temps were over 30 C with wind gusts up to 50 km/hr. Not the best weather for it. But lots of visitors to the tents. The first photo is my tent set up and the second is some of the other tents. I did shop as well as sell this weekend. :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunflower finished

I finished this painting while sitting at Art in the Park this weekend but high winds kept me from starting another one. I am finding orange/browns very difficult to properly photograph. The bottom petals are a very warm burnt sienna/pink/orange colour. This is as close as I could get it.

Reference photo by Mustcreate from the image reference library at

I'll post pics of Art in the Park in the next couple of days. I am exhausted and I have to work tomorrow.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Art in the Park this weekend

Painting has taken a back seat to preparing for our local Art in the Park this weekend. Most of my supplies are packed and I'll set up my tent tonight. I'll be finishing the Sunflower painting while there and maybe others as time permits.

The event is much bigger than the first one last year. There will be 22 artists with tents as well as many community organizations with displays. It is also in conjunction with the Great Canadian Kayak Challenge (2 days of races on the river beside the park). Live performers on stage and food and kids activities round it out with a beer tent for the adults in the evening. The weather looks like it will be perfect so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the forcast is accurate.

If anyone is in the Timmins area this weekend, come and check out the event.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sunflower - a quick painting - step 1

Actually, this is the second day I've worked on it but I didn't take photos after the first session. I started it as something quick to work on at my local art club's open studio last Sunday. I got another hour to work on it today.

It is very difficult to get a good photo today as it is very grey and dark out. The next one will be better. I have a lot more glazes of colour on this to do. These are just base coats to decide on colours and start getting closer to the dark values.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

This Too Shall Pass - finished

I'm calling this one finished. There isn't a lot of details but that was purposefully. This is not a painting showing architectural details. It is showing them as symbols of each civilization. I was happy that I decided to include the sphinx as well as the Statue of Liberty to add some human quality to what would otherwise just be buildings.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

step 3

I started using the pale browns on the architecture and worked some more on the statue. I want to keep the buildings fairly pale and transparent to indicate they are fading in time.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

step 2

I started picking out some of the darker values and worked some more on the statue.

This Too Shall Pass step 1

Our art club's show in Nov has the theme signs and symbols and it took awhile for me to come up with something that fit the theme. This one needs a little explanation I guess.

Throughout history there have been many civilizations that grew to dominate the world of their time. They thought that their civilizations would last forever and grow stronger. Each have diminished and were replaced. In this same evolution of culture and values, our civilization will also follow the same course as the ones before. A hard reality to accept.

For this painting I could have chosen many more cultures but I wanted to keep the painting fairly simple and show the progress over recorded history. I chose the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and our own picking icons from each that represent each one and are immediately identifiable. In step 1 I started painting in a sky background that will unify them and started with a few of the darker areas of the statue.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Seeking the Light - finished

I think this one is finally finished. I'm having trouble getting a good picture of it though. I'll frame it tonight.

Friday, July 30, 2010

step 16

Another dark value wash put on the areas in shadow. This flower is definitely at the ugly stage. I am nightshift tonight so I won't get any more done today.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Step 15

I did a little more on the last flower today. You can see the ghostly image after applying the first washes. I have to let this dry thoroughly before doing more glazes of colour. The colours in this photo aren't exact but I'll get a better one tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Step 14

I'm finally starting on the last flower. I finished the other flowers today and worked a little on the stems and the reflections of colour in the crystal dish. Once everything is basically done I will go all around the painting correcting colours and values.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Step 13

I got a little time to paint this afternoon before nightsift again tonight. I darkened the background one more time with a wash of blue. I also darkened some of the values on the main tulip on the left. I am almost finished with that one. Just a few more adjustments on it to go and I can start the last flower.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Step 12

I am concentrating on the front tulips and just started the one on the right while waiting for the other one to dry between washes. I am having a hard time getting the colours and values where I want them but it should get there with more glazes of colour.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Step 11

I have started on the first of the two main flowers. Only the first washes are down and there are still many more glazes of colour to go. I will be making the shadowed areas of the flowers quite dark to make the light areas really pop.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Step 10

I had time to do a little more this afternoon but it's nightshift again tonight. Work really gets in the way of my painting LOL. Tomorrow I will get a lot more done because I'll be sitting at our art club's open studio again with nothing else to do but paint for 4 hours.

All of the background petals are at least started if not finished. Once they are completed I will start on the two front tulips.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

step 9

These petals are getting tedious because I have to sort out which one belongs to which flower so I can get the values and colours right. :) I did more on the background flowers but had to stop to let it dry. I won't have any more time for painting today because I'm nightshift tonight.

The colours in this photo are a little off because they were taken using my work lamp. It is grey and raining today.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Step 8

I worked on the top left flowers today until it got to hot in my studio. Still more glazes of colour to add but the values are getting there.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Step 7

I did a couple more hours on the petals this afternoon. I don't want to start the front two flowers until all the background ones are completed. There are still many glazes left on them but they are pretty wet right now so I have to take a break for them to dry before adding more colour. My intention was for the background ones to look almost abstract or at least difficult to make out which petal belongs to which flower. That is how they looked in real life and I want the focus to be on the front tulips which will be much clearer.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Step 6

I had a little more painting time today. The leaves are finished (I think) as well as the bowl. I will go back and look at them again for final corrections once the flowers are done.

I started on the first petals getting a feel for the colour scheme I want and the best way to get it to look how I picture it in my head.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Step 5

Despite working today I managed to get a lot done on this. I added a purple wash to the background and the shadows (the tulips will be peachy colour). I also worked on the crystal bowl and the leaves. I want to get everything else done before I start the flowers.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Seeking the Light step 4

I didn't get much time to paint today but this evening I started the first washes of green on the stems and some shadows on the table. I also added small amounts of masking fluid on the crystal bowl that the tulips are sitting in. The photo has a pink cast to it because I took it by lamp light. The white areas are still white in real life.
I won't have time to paint the next few days because I'm working so you will have to be patient for the next steps. :)

step 3

I added a second wash of black to the background. That is the last of the black I will use and the rest of the washes will be colour.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Seeking the LIght step 1 & 2

I looked through my reference photos for something to work on next and decided that these tulips bending towards the light would be fun. I might have said in an earlier post that I am going to paint smaller for awhile but changed my mind for this one because it needs the larger size for more impact. It is 18 x 24"

I corrected the drawing that I started yesterday and put on the first wash in the background. I am using lamp black for the first washes to speed up getting the darks established. I will use washes of colour on top of it.

The first picture of the drawing was hard to photograph when it is just pencil lines on white paper. The second photo shows the background but you can't really see the drawing.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Magnolias finished

I finished working on this one started at the workshop last weekend. I deliberately left this a little looser than my usual (although it might not be too obvious :-) ).

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Reflections on Breakfast finished

I have decided to call this one finished because not only am I tired of working on it, but also because I am frustrated by the masking fluid I couldn't remove. It will never look the way I wanted it to. I am happy to move on to something new at this point.