Sunday, November 11, 2018

Maverick finished

I've worked the last couple of days on this doing tiny touch ups all over it and finishing the side edges. I have to wait for tomorrow until I can get a good photo because it's dark already and I need daylight. But unless I see something wrong tomorrow, it's finished. Now I can start my Xmas decorating. :-)

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Maverick step 8

Today I am close to finished on the face and the underpainting is done on the hair. I need to let it dry to do some fine details and also need some time to get a fresh look at it to see what needs fixing now. This isn't a good photo.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Step 7

Another couple of hours work and the skin tones are starting to become smoother. I'm having trouble mixing the right red for the lips so I'll try a different red tomorrow. I also worked on filling in some of the underpainting on the hair.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Step 6

Today's work will be very hard to see. It was a matter of working all over the face correcting small areas of colour, value, shape etc. Still a long way to go. I think it's only about half done. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Step 5

This shows a combination of yesterday's and today's progress. I'm still working my way around adjusting both large areas of colour to shape the features and fine areas of blending or details. Lots of work to go yet.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Step 4

Another couple hours working on this. I'm fighting the consistency of the paint the whole time. And it doesn't help that the reference image isn't very good for the colours. However, I'll just keep working at it and hopefully it will turn out ok.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Maverick step 3

I've been sick with a cold and didn't feel like painting for a few days. I'm gradually feeling better so I did another couple of hours this morning. I'm rethinking all I've already done and I almost feel like starting over with a better reference image. I don't like the quality of it and it's effecting the painting. I'll finish this one though and then maybe start a larger one from a different photo for me. I am reworking almost all the skin tones because I didn't like them and they will have to be reworked again. I am sure this will be the painting where I try glazing at the end.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Maverick step 2

I worked another couple of hours on this but I'm really struggling. I waited to get a set of professional paints that I thought would be so much better but I'm gradually getting out my older ones. The new ones are too transparent (the pencil marks show through), I'm having trouble mixing the colours I want because they are pigments I'm not used to,  and they are so creamy that they can't be layered because the new layer lifts the first one. I'll have to let each layer dry much longer between. So it's back to my usual paints until I have time to do small studies and see if I can use them at all.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Maverick step 1

Today I started a portrait of my third grandson. It's 8 x 10 and in oils. I'm also using some new oil paints which are thinner than what I am used to so I can't layer them like I'm used to. I'll have to leave a day to dry between layers. So new painting, new paints and new technique. Lots to get used to.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Yes, it’s final

I decided I like the blue shirt so I cleaned up the brush strokes in the background and made sure the edges were painted and it just has to dry. Tomorrow I’ll be starting the drawing for my youngest grandson. I got the cradle board gessoed today so it will be ready to draw on.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Step 10 Final?

Today I changed the shirt to a dark blue colour. I'm not sure if I'll leave it that dark or if I'll lighten it to look more like denim. I'll think on it overnight and get a better look with fresh eyes tomorrow. I worked on the couple of little things that were bothering me in the face and I think the head is finished.

shirt colour fail?

I should have posted this step 9 yesterday but forgot. I finished the head except for a few corrections to go and I started painting the shirt the colour in the reference image. However, I don't like the colour. I want something richer and cosy looking. I'll correct it next session because it is easy to do with oils. If this was watercolour I wouldn't be able to as easily. The photo looks a little strange because I was using photoshop to trial a blue colour shirt. The painting doesn't have the blue in real life.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Matteo step 8

After today's session the face is almost finished. I am still working on thh hair and want to get that finished befoe  start on the shirt. Sorry for the tilt in the photo. I was trying to avoid the glare of the lights.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Matteo step 7

Another couple of hours work and I've finished the underpainting on the hair. The face was still too wet to work on the shading. There is a little glare from the lights on this. I'll have to be more careful when taking a photo.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

photo for Step 6

I fixed one problem and can't figure out how to edit the first one. So here is the photo that was supposed to go with it.

Matteo step 6

Another morning painting and I can finally recognize the likeness. I still have more work to do on the shading of the skin tones and just the underpainting is on his neck and ears. I’ve started laying in the dark areas of his hair as well.

I’m having a problem posting my photo today because I’m trying to do it from my phone. I’ll have to wait to add it so I’ll try again later.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Matteo step 5

Another few hours work this morning. By raising the upper lid on one eye by only a millimeter the painting looks much less sad. I worked all over the face correcting colour and value and blurring edges but I still have a lot of work to do on corrections. I also laid in the first under painting on his cheek and lips. You can tell I have given up on the alla prima technique I was trying and have gone back to my usual way of applying multiple glazes of colour. I'm enjoying the oil paint results but still just feeling my way getting used to a new medium.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Matteo step 4

Another couple of hours work done on this. I got the background done then started working on the parts of the face already done correcting colours and values. Lots of corrections still needed but it's slowly coming along. The main problem I see right now is that he looks too sad. A slight change in the cheek shading and a lift center of the eyelid will fix that as well as the mouth when I work on that.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Matteo step 3

Another few hours work on this. I've already reverted back to my usual way of painting with oils. My reference photo wasn't good enough to see clearly for matching colour as I go so I am back to getting the values right and close to the right colour, then I'll go over it later with glazes for the corrections.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Matteo step 2

First day of painting. It's slow going but fun. This is after 3 hours.

Friday, October 5, 2018


I've started something a little different for me. It's an oil painting of one of my grandsons but not done in the traditional way. I am going to attempt to do this alla prima which means going over the painting a small area at a time and putting the exact paint colour (value, and chroma) in that particular spot and as I go it leaves a finished painting behind that needs very little correcting. That is my intention, anyway.

It is fairly small (8x10") and on wooden cradleboard with gesso. The drawing was made then I have sealed it so the graphite won't move.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Finished Man with a Vision

Another three hours work this afternoon and I'm pretty confident it's finished. I added a pale yellow wash over the whole painting so it looks like it is late afternoon. I'll leave it overnight and look with fresh eyes in the morning in case I see any corrections. Then I just have to apply the protective finish and the hanging hardware.

Step 10

I worked awhile longer on this last night. I'm working on glazing in the darks to correct the values in the skin tones. Still a lot of layers to go.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Step 9

+The shirt is finished and I've finished the ears and mouth until the final adjustments. Lots more shadows to add to bring out the contours and get the values right. But it's starting to take shape now.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Step 8

This morning I worked mostly on the face building up colour, darkening values, and working out contours. The photo looks a lot more blotchy than in real life. One more layer to add to finish the shirt I think but still many glazes needed on the face.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Step 7

Another few hours work done. More work on the shirt (still more layers to go) and then I spent most of the time working out the contours of the face. It still looks very flat because I haven't gone dark enough but I needed to put in the underpainting to feel out where all the features go before going for the darks. Still many more layers to go but finally starting to look like something.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Step 6

Another few hours done today. I'm taking a little break and then I'll do some more. I've started the first washes on the skin tones, corrected more of the eyes, and put more colour in the shirt. The shirt won't end up this colour. I just needed to add layers of colour for depth.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

step 5

Today I've finished the background unless there are corrections once the painting is almost finished. I also started the first washes in the eyes.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

step 4

A few more hours work today. More work on the background building with still more glazes to apply there. I started to put the first under colours to the shirt (this won't be the final colour) and just starting to block in the eyes to see if they look right for proportion.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Man with a Vision step 3

A few more hours work on it this morning. The background has been covered with at least one wash of colour everywhere but many more layers of glazes yet before I can start on the portrait.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Man with a Vision - Step 2

Tday I decided on the painting plan (which areas to paint and in what order) and started with the first washes of colour in the background. The painting looks very cartoon like or like a colouring book at this point but many more washes of colour will give it the realism that I'm after. I have to let these washes dry completely before I go farther. The painting of the background has to be finished before I start the building and lastly the figure.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018


Now that the yard and garden are ready for summer I can get back to my painting. Here is the drawing with the masking fluid on it ready for the first washes. It is almost impossible to get a good photo of white paper with faint pencil lines and white masking but it will be clearer in coming entries.

Monday, April 30, 2018

found treasure finished

I've finished the second painting. I just have to wax it and put on the hanger.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Step 4

Another couple of hours work on this and half the candies have their main colour on them. Next is finishing the rest to the same point, lifting all the highlights, adding more darks, and unifying the colour of each. The shadows  need checking as well. I'll get a lot more done tomorrow.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Found Treasure step 3

Another couple of hours done on this one today. Still a long way to go and very different from the other one. Even though the subject is almost the same, it is a different angle and different lighting. It is still hard to get a good photo because of all the white background.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Colour Spill finished

Three hours working on this one today and the painting is finished. I just have to figure out where I'm going to sign it, protect it with a wax finish, and put on the hanging hardware. Then it will be back to the other painting. This photo isn't as bright as real life.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Colour Spill step 3

A couple more hours of work on this one today. I have all the base colours in the candy. They are looking more 3 dimensional but still a lot of work to be done. I have to give them all a unifying wash, lift our highlights, and I can see the shadows need to be worked on some more.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Found treasure step2

I've started the shadows on this painting but they are different than the other painting. These shadows are in a more diffuse light. I've also started trying different techniques for the candy working out the best way to colour them.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

colour spill step 2

More work on this today. The shadows are done and now I have to build up the candies to be real and solid enough to make those shadows. The masking fluid is off ready for the next washes of colour. I am going to have to work on these an hour at a time because they are a literal pain in the neck. :-)

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Starting two new paintings

Our local art club (the Porcupine Art Club) is having a show in June at our local museum. The theme of the show is Colour Riot. I'm painting two entries for the show and took the reference images around Easter (I think you can tell). They are being painted together because the candies are the same colour in both and they should match. I had a hard time coming up with titles but here are the first steps. They are a challenge in a lot of ways. The background is going to remain white so I have to be careful not to dirty, splash or make a mistake on those parts. They are both 12 x 16" so I am working hunched over and my neck and shoulders get sore after about an hour. They are also subjects that everyone knows and loves so I have to get them right. They are both on watercolour paper wrapped around a canvas and will be protected with wax when finished. Still a lot more glazes of colour needed on both paintings but you can see the composition and get a glimpse of what they will be.

"Found Treasure" has the  first wash on the candy and then masking fluid applied on the "Ms" on some of them (that was a challenge in itsself). It also has masking fluid on the highlights on each candy. The next stage will be removing that for more washes of colour.

"Colour Spill" is a little farther along because there are no M and Ms so no need for the extra masking fluid. I added the first wash of colours in the shadows while the other painting dried.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Our Best Friend finished

I took a couple of hours this morning to finish this commission. I just have to wait until it is thoroughly dry and then apply the wax to protect it and add the hanging hardware.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Step 7 of Our Best Friend

Today I worked all over the painting correcting values, colour, and a few details. I also added a pale blue background at the client's request. The client also chose the title of "Our Best Friend" for the painting. This is about 3/4 finished and next I have to correct a few contours and darken more of the values but it's coming along.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Step 6

More work all around the fur darkening and defining the colours and softening some lines.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Step 5

Today I had time to work on this again. I continued blocking in colour all over the fur but it will take many more washes of paint to build up the depth. I also have finished the eyes except for the last touches after everything else is done. I have to decide if I'll colour the background or leave it white so as not to distract from the dog.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Step 4

More work on the fur today. It will go faster once I have all the different colour areas blocked out.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Step 3

Today was more detail work on the eyes and nose and then blocking in more of the subtle shades in the fur.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Step 2

Now that my family have all flown back to their homes my life can get back into a semblance of routine. I was able to work a little more on this painting concentrating on the nose and eyes but also starting to block in some of the washes of colour in the fur. It's hard to get a good photo with so much white of the paper still showing.

Monday, February 26, 2018

New Commisssion

I know it's been awhile since I painted but life got in the way. First there was the xmas chaos, I had family visiting for a month, I had the flu, then my brother-in-law (from my last post) died from his cancer. His celebration of life is this week. But life goes on and the paintings on my "to do" list keep getting longer.

And so, I've started my next commission. This is a memorial painting of a beloved dog. I have wrapped the canvas, drawn it out, and started the first washes. It will become much darker as I add the next washes. I always start with the eyes and nose and once they are right the face will look right. I am also trying different mixtures of colours (on some scrap paper) to get the fur colours right. Hopefully I can get back into painting regularly and update this blog more often.