Saturday, November 28, 2009

What I've been up to...

I haven't had time to paint lately because I had a table at a Fine Arts and Crafts Show over this weekend (at the Shania Twain Center) and it took me a couple of weeks to prepare for it. It was a great chance to meet the public again and get my paintings seen. I didn't sell any paintings but lots of reproductions, cards, calendars and hand-painted bookmarks. Now that this show is finished I can finish putting up Christmas decorations, hold a couple of Christmas parties, go to a few more parties and then get back to painting. So it will be a little break before I get back to posting painting progress. Thanks for being patient.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Contemplation Finished

I darkened the skin tones almost everywhere, added more defined values on the hands and feet without adding a lot of detail (I don't want them being the focus), and added a warm wash over the background. I'm calling this one finally finished this and I'll get it framed this afternoon.

Contemplation step 7

I have continued correcting values (darker and darker) and skin tones over the whole painting. Once the figure is correct, I'll go back and add a wash or two over the background.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Contemplation step 6

I finally got back to this after working nightshift all weekend and starting to prepare for a Christmas Craft Show next week.

I worked all around the painting darkening values again and I am finally getting close to the correct shades. Lots more work to be done especially on the hands and feet but it is getting closer.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Contemplation step 5

I continued to darken the darker values in the skin tones. I also tried a new technique to blend the areas in shadow into the background. I added a wash of warm brown to the background but extended it over the darker skin tones to make them fade into the background. I have to do a lot more work on the face yet, this is just a rough indications of features right now. And there are still lots of washes to go all over the body. I'll have to start working on the hands and feet as well.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Contemplation step 4

I darkened the background with another wash because I was having trouble getting the darks on the skin tones dark enough without the background to compare it to. The background will end up a warm brown at the end. I worked all over the sking tones gradually darkening them and starting to bring out the shapes.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Contemplation step 3

I have continued to work on the skin tones building up the darks. A long way to go yet to get the depth I want.

Contemplation step 2

I have started on the skin tones laying in the first washes.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Contemplation step 1

Our local art club (the Porcupine Art Club) is holding a show with the theme of nudes at the end of this month. The title of the show is Bare Arts II and we have all been asked to do two paintings for it. I have the one finished (Introspection - nude male) so I thought I would do a companion piece of a nude woman and call it Contemplation. The colour schemes are going to be similar. It is 10 x 7" to fit a frame I already have.

This is step one. I have drawn it out and put two glazes of colour on the background to start the process of making it receed and the figure pop out. I have discovered that a mix of Ultramarine Turquoise and Alizarin Crimson makes a lovely indigo colour that is non-staining and lifts. :) The first two washes are that although, in the second wash, I added a little quin gold to mute the blue a little.
I am hoping to get this done quickly (the deadline is two weeks) because I have an idea for another painting that needs to be done before the Christmas Craft Show in three weeks. Nothing like giving myself deadlines.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Commission finished at last

Sorry about the length of time between posts the last little while. I have been really swamped between work and re-decorating my bedroom (a completely different kind of painting). This is finished as well as I am able with the photos supplied by the client. I hope she is satisfied with it.

Next, I am trialing an idea I had. If it works I'll post the experiment here and then start my next painting. I also have to get everything ready for a Christmas Fine Arts Show the end of the month. I have reproductions to print out, and maybe a few small paintings to do.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Commission step 7

I have completed the girl to about the same level as the boy (except the eyes need a bit more work). I will now work on the baby and get that to the same level as the others and then make decisions about final skin tones and the background.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Commission step 6

I have finished the boy as far as I am going to take him before the other figures are completed to the same level. I will then have to decide if I am going to make adjustments to all the skin tones together at that point.

I have to work nightshift tonight so it will be a couple of days before I start on the girl again.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Commission step 5

I worked today so I didn't get a chance to take a photo of yesterday's work by daylight. So, the photo isn't the best. I started working again all over the painting skipping from one face to another. I finally decided I wouldn't get anywhere unless I concentrate on one at a time. I started working mostly on the boy's face at that point. Still a long way to go on it but you can see the difference it makes focusing on one part at a time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

comission step 4

I finally had a chance to get back to this commission. I softened the harsh edges from previous washes of skin tones, corrected shapes, and then added a wash all over the faces to bring it closer to what the finished tones will be. Still many more layers of colour to go but I have to let this layer completely dry before lifting high lights. This is not a very good photo as it was taken by light from the lamp (it is a very grey, dark day outside today).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Waterlily Finished

I finally got this finished and framed this morning. I worked some more on the center of the stamens, softened some hard edges, and corrected all the water droplets. Now I can get back to the commission I'm working on.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Waterlily step 14

I finally had some time to paint so I continued to darken values all around the lily. The way to paint in bright light is to have dark shadows. I wish I could get a whiter watercolour paper but I'm using extra white as it is. It just doesn't give the dazzling whites found in nature. I also darkened a lot of the center of the stamens to make the few in bright light stand out. I am coming to the end of this one soon so I'll have to get a good photo rather than one taken by flash as these have been.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Waterlily step 13

Just a little time for painting today as I am nightshift all this weekend. I don't know if I'll get much done the next couple of days.

I've continued to work on the shadowed petals and started delineating the center stamens some more. I still have to go much darker overall to get the dramatic lighting I'm trying for.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Waterlily step 12

These steps don't show much difference between them but I am gradually adjusting the values of the petals in shadow. I'm going to have to each one separately to completion now instead of jumping around the painting. The shadows are still much darker on the reference photo so I have to decide if I want to go that dark or stay a few shades lighter.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Waterlily step 11

I got a little more done this evening. Not a lot of change from the previous post but darkening more of the shadows. Once they are all done close to the finished value, I'll brush a light glaze over all the shadowed areas of petals to unify them.

Waterlily step 10

It's cold, grey, wet and there are snow flakes in the air. :( But it's a good day for painting. I continued to add darker values to the petals in shadow and started defining some of the stamens in the center. I have to let that all dry and I'll do some more a little later.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Waterlily step 9

I was able to squeeze in an hour of painting this morning trying out my new studio arrangement. I moved all the furniture around yesterday to avoid bright glare on my work from a south facing window. I feels strange but I'm sure I'll quickly get used to where everything is. I have to work nightshift tonight so this is all I'll have time for today.

I darkened the back petals some more and have started adding shadows on some of the brighter petals.

Friday, September 25, 2009

waterlily step 8

I tend to work on one painting at a time and that seems to be happening again. I want to keep working on this one now until it's finished. More work today on some of the leaves and then I started blocking in some of the darker values of the petals in shadow. Half of the whole flower is in shadow and I will have to keep going darker to get that look. I have to work tomorrow so I doubt that I can get anything thing more done then.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Waterlily step 7

I didn't have as much time to paint today as I had hoped. I managed to darken more values on the leaves and start the darkest, back petals of the flower.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Waterlily step 6

Today I finally got the background dark enough. There will probably be a final wash (maybe dark green) over it at the end but it is dark enough for now. I still have to work on the lily pads to the bottom left to get them looking the way I want, and then I can start on the flower.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Helen's kids step 3

I continued to work on darkening the values all over the faces and started to block in the hair.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Helen's kids step 2

I started adding the first light washes all over the painting to work out the areas of highlights and general shapes.

Waterlily step 5

I have continued to add dark washes to the background. It is still too transparent and needs a few more but I'm working out the greens that have to come through it. I want to finish everything else before I start work on the petals.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hellen's kids step 1

This is the start of a small (8 x 10") commission. It's hard to see the pencil lines even though I tried to adjust the contrast. It will be more obvious once some colour is added.

Waterlily step 4

I've mostly just added another layer of darks on the background. I can't do much more until that dries well.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Waterlily step 3

I stared adding some of the greens in the lilypads around the flower. They will all be much darker when finished of course. What a difference painting a large macro painting after doing the bookmarks which were basically miniature paintings.

Waterlily step 2

I masked the areas that were bright white that I wanted to save (they are the pale blue colour mostly in the middle). I started with a first wash of a dark green grey colour over the dark areas of the background. As usual, there will be many more washes added to get it dark enough. I also painted a first wash on the stamens so I will be able to paint the darker areas around them more easily.

Waterlily step 1

This photo might be a little hard to see because of the difficulty getting a strong contrast on the lines of the new painting. In the next post the composition will be easier to see. This is 20 x 24" and is from a photo I took of a lovely white waterlily growing in my little pond.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The last of the bookmarks

I'm happy to be finally finished painting bookmarks. I've run out of bags and don't want to order any more because I don't want to paint more of these. Maybe in a year or two but it's a lot of work. I still have about 50 left for Christmas sales so I have plenty for this year. Now it's on to larger paintings including a commission.

Getting to the end of the bookmarks

This is today's batch of bookmarks. I did some copies of ones that had already sold as requests from a few people so that is what I've been painting for a few days. Only six more plastic bags for them to go to reach 100. After that it is back to painting larger work.
The one on the far right is on it's side to fit in the picture.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A few more bookmarks

I finally had a little time for painting so here are the bookmarks finished today.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Next batch of bookmarks

The main reason for painting my bookmarks was an outdoor show (Art in the Park). That was held yesterday. No sales of paintings, but some of the bookmarks, cards and reproductions sold. But it's not too early to start thinking of Christmas craft shows, so I painted a few more bookmarks while at the show yesterday (sitting in the cold). Here they are (most already in plastic bags).

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Last nights bookmarks

I managed to get six done yesterday. I decided that I might as well do a couple of bookmarks the same while I am painting to save time.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Today's bookmarks are mostly about cats.

Everyone who has seen my bookmarks in real life, have so far liked the realistic cats the best. So, I am doing some more of them. They take longer than anything else of course. :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Today's bookmarks

I painted another five and then played with some liquid gold leaf to do a couple more as abstracts.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another late night of bookmarks

My visitors left today so I managed to get today's lot done but to late to get a photo in natural light. The top one is of a polar bear swimming underwater. I might add some bubbles to make it clearer when it is completely dry.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Late but I got today's done

We have family visiting from out of town so I just got todays bookmarks done. The photo isn't the best with the light at this time of day.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Seven more bookmarks

While sitting at our art club's open studio today, I was able to paint seven more bookmarks.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

today's bookmarks

Today was all about cat's eyes. I got four more done.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Latest bookmarks

I managed to paint 6 more today. I won't have time to paint tomorrow because I have to work but I'll get more done on the weekend. Most of my ideas are either out of my head or from my own photos but some are from photos donated by artists from all over the world on the online artist's community Wet Canvas (

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Today's bookmarks

Here are the five that I painted today. There might be some glare on two of them because they were already sealed in their bags when I remembered to take the photo. The eyes in the center are from a photo of my Himalayan cat that I had.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


At the end of Aug I will have a tent at a local fine arts and crafts outdoor show. To prepare for it I have been painting bookmarks. I hope to have about 100 ready for sale by then so it means painting about 5 a day. I am finding that I'm enjoying doing them but I have to learn to make them simpler. Spending half an hour to an hour on each one is not going to be economically smart. :) These are the ones I have completed so far.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Nude Male finished

I'm finally finished this one. Now I just have to decide on a title. I'll mat it and frame it later tonight.

Nude step 8

This morning I continued with adding more glazes of colour and darkening the values some more. I also added more dark to the whole background. Now my signature isn't as stark white. I only have a couple more hours to do on this and it will be done.