I’m in Daaawg heaven! Oil painting demo… How to paint a Dog…

I was looking for an article I had written when I came across this demo I did a while ago and thought I would share it with you again. This time I have it step by step so you can follow the progress.

Here’s a photo of Montana, I love his beautiful smile! I used some artistic license to create a playful element and a pleasing composition.

I began with a 11″ x 14″ canvas I primed with 3 coats of Gesso and sanding lightly when completely dry. Not too smooth as you want to have some tooth for the paint to adhere to.

Montana On my easel

Next, I tinted the canvas with burnt umber thinned with oms, applying it with a brush.

Burnt Umber paletteTinting my canvas

Then smooth it off with a neatly folded rag. If you bunch up your rag, it will leave marks on your canvas.

Smoothing it out

Next I drew in Montana with a brush and Burnt Umber thinned with very little oms. Stay as dry as possible.

Drawing of Montana

Once drawn in, I begin filling in all the darks with a mix of Burnt umber and Ultramarine blue thinned with a little oms, still being careful not to over-saturate your paint with oms.

Adding darks

I mixed Ultramarine blue with a dash of transparent red oxide, plus white for the blue skies and for the clouds, I mixed some white with a grey I made with transparent red oxide and Ultramarine blue. For the lights I mixed white with transparent red oxide and a tiny dash of Ultramarine blue.

Montanas palette1

The colors I’m using for this painting are; Transparent red oxide, yellow ochre, Ultramarine blue, Burnt umber, Titanium white Alizarin and cadmium red.

Once I had laid in my darks, I filled the background with blue skies and clouds, placing Montana on the beach, his favorite place to be.

Blue skies

I painted in the yellowy brown colors above and below Montana’s eyes. I mixed Transparent red oxide with yellow ochre. To darken the mixture I added some burnt umber.

Montanas progress1

I then added the blue grey markings on his forehead and nose and blended the fur with the white color which is Titanium white with a dash of transparent red oxide and tiny dash of ultramarine blue and grey.

Montanas progress2

I then painted Montana’s eyes with Transparent red oxide, a dash of blue and burnt umber. Next, for his tongue, I mixed a dash of cadmium red, grey, alizarin and white with a teeny dash of yellow ochre and white. The grey I refer to is a mix of transparent red oxide and Ultramarine blue.

Montanas progress3

Next I painted in Montana’s teeth with some transparent red oxide, a dash of yellow ochre and white.

I premixed my greys. Actually I always premix all my colors, it’s much easier in the long run even though it takes quite a bit of time preparing my colors, it still saves me time and hassle in the end. For the browns in the fur I mixed together some transparent red oxide with yellow ochre and a dash of burnt umber.

Montanas progress4

I mixed some titanium white, a tiny bit of transparent red oxide and a tiny dash ultramarine blue and a tiny dash of yellow ochre for the white fur; to which I ad a dash of gray made up of burnt umber and ultramarine blue. It’s a little tricky working the dark and the light fur without greying the black. I used a clean brush with every stroke from black into the white fur so that I didn’t grey any of the black fur. I left little bits of the underpainting showing through and that warms it up from the inside out.

Hope you enjoyed the progress picks and how I develop a painting.

Montanacompleted

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Thank you for your patience….

It’s been a while I know. It’s hard writing anything when one is in a dark place. Slowly the light is beginning to seep in and brighten things up a bit. I’ve also been suffering with chronic lower back pain. I can’t sit for long periods of time, making it difficult to get any work done. I had to put the editing of Teacups and roses on hold as we had software issues and in the middle of switching to another program and learning how to use it! By end of July we should be back to normal and get back on track. I signed up with a new gallery and right now, I’m painting like crazy to replenish my stock.

I also just started a huge piece, 4′ x 5′ and will be uploading my progress with images and some video footage. I’ve spent that last few days prepping my panel for painting.

Over the many years of oil painting, there are some process that I’ve learned to implement when it comes to prepping painting panels. I way prefer painting on a wooden panel as apposed to canvas. I use Gamblin’s oil painting ground to seal the painting panel and once dry, I prime the panel with a mix of underpainting white and burnt umber. Basically an off white color to break the stark white ground.

New panel

Mixing white and burnt umber

Prepping panel

Yes, tinting ones canvas is great, but the main reason I prime my canvas with a layer of  oil paint, is Tooth. Your paint needs something to adhere to. I found that first priming this way, I can go over my entire canvas with one pass without having to go back to repaint or touch up. Alla prima made easier and quicker! Yes it takes a week to dry, but it’s worth it, believe me, you will be so glad you waited patiently. It literally cuts painting time in half.

You’re probably wondering what I’m going to be painting on such a huge panel?

Roses.

Teacups and Roses underpainting….

Another day closer to spring,  I’m so excited! I can’t wait to get my flower and veggie garden going. I’ll have tons of subject matter to paint, outside, my favorite place to be in the summer.

I completed my drawing and will be mixing some neutral grays to work on the underpainting. I filmed the drawing session and will be filming the process of mixing grays and how I made my value finder.

When I set up my still-life, I couldn’t find the right paper for the background, so I found an image of roses I liked and painted it into the background, really going for the look of  wallpaper. The rose lasted all of one day, so really had to improvise. So back to my palette, I have some grays to mix. I’ll be filming and explaining my process every step of the way right up to the very last brush stroke.

Have a wonderful day and happy painting!

Teacups and Roses underpainting

Teacups and roses drawing ~ Detail

Did you know that the Secret is in the grays?

Yesterday I spent the day setting up my new still-life and prepping my canvas. Today I’m going to be drawing in my image. I usually have two approaches to painting; direct painting, or indirect painting. For this one I decided to go with indirect painting. I begin with an underpainting and layering.. I actually find this approach pretty sound and would recommend it before direct painting, especially if you are a beginner. I realize some would argue the point, but in my own personal experience, direct painting is way more challenging. Once my underpainting is complete, I’ll mix up a set of grays and begin mixing color. I’m going to be filming the entire process from the drawing to the very last highlight. Teacups and roses is my subject matter. I’m excited! I love this still-life and look forward to sharing my process with you!

Did you know that the secret is in the grays? I’ll be filming how to mix the perfect gray and how to use grays and why you need them.

Have an Excellent day and Happy painting!

on

 

 

One of the best ways to improve your work….

Don’t you wish winter was over? I know I do… I’m more of a spring and summer kinda girl. I can’t wait to work on my garden and grow veggies and soak up some warm sunshine!

Back to my studio, I’m working on a project I can’t wait to share with you! It’s big and will probably take several months to complete. In the meantime, did you know, one of the best ways to improve your work… is to paint every single day. Set a time limit and do your best to stick to it. Start with four hours and then decrease your time limit as you improve. Start with a small canvas with one object and then add a few more as long as you keep it simple. Challenge yourself with a very limited palette like I did on with the bowl of eggs and water and the silver sugar bowl. When your time improves, challenge yourself with a larger piece. Anything is paint worthy. Coffee mugs, teacups, glass or even a rusty old pot. It doesn’t really matter. Pick something and go for it!

Begin with an underpainting using burnt umber and then add color. Try to stick with a very limited palette to challenge yourself even further.

I would Love to see some of your studies! Feel free to post your pics in the comment section below!

Silver sugar bowl

Painting eggs and water1

Apples for christmas

 

 

What a joy painting such a happy Pooch…

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Montanacompleted

I couldn’t help but fall in love with Montana ❤ His smiling face and bright eyes touch my soul.

I mixed some titanium white, a tiny bit of transparent red oxide and a tiny dash ultramarine blue and a tiny dash of yellow ochre for the white fur; to which I ad a dash of gray made up of burnt umber and ultramarine blue. It’s a little tricky working the dark and the light fur without greying the black. I used a clean brush with every stroke from black into the white fur so that I didn’t grey any of the black fur. I left little bits of the underpainting showing through and that warms it up from the inside out.

Hope you enjoyed the progress picks and how I develop a painting. More to come!

 

Today’s progress on Montana the pooch…

Blue skies

I worked until 11pm, I’m done, tired, but I did promised I would load my progress by the end of the day. It’s the end of the day and here it is :- )

The colors I’m using for this painting are; Transparent red oxide, yellow ochre, Ultramarine blue, Burnt umber, Titanium white Alizarin and cadmium red.

Once I had laid in my darks, I filled the background with blue skies and clouds, placing Montana on the beach, his favorite place to be.

Montanas palette1

I mixed Ultramarine blue with a dash of transparent red oxide, plus white for the blue skies and for the clouds, I mixed some white with a grey I made with transparent red oxide and Ultramarine blue. For the lights I mixed white with transparent red oxide and a tiny dash of Ultramarine blue.

Montanas progress1

I painted in the yellowy brown colors above and below Montana’s eyes. I mixed Transparent red oxide with yellow ochre. To darken the mixture I added some burnt umber.

Montanas progress2

I then added the blue grey markings on his forehead and nose and blended the fur with the white color which is Titanium white with a dash of transparent red oxide and tiny dash of ultramarine blue and grey.Montanas progress3

I then painted Montana’s eyes with Transparent red oxide, a dash of blue and burnt umber. Next, for his tongue, I mixed a dash of cadmium red, grey, alizarin and white with a teeny dash of yellow ochre and white. The grey I refer to is a mix of transparent red oxide and Ultramarine blue.

Montanas progress4

 

Next I painted in Montana’s teeth with some transparent red oxide, a dash of yellow ochre and white.

I premixed my greys. Actually I always premix all my colors, it’s much easier in the long run even though it takes quite a bit of time preparing my colors, it still saves me time and hassle in the end. For the browns in the fur I mixed together some transparent red oxide with yellow ochre and a dash of burnt umber.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to complete the rest of the fur and then finish off the final touches!

 

Painting Montana the Pooch…

I recently received a commission to paint Montana, the adorable pooch. Unfortunately he is no longer with us :- (

I’m posting my process with progress photos to show I how develop a painting. The easy way!

Here’s the photo of Montana, I love his beautiful smile! I used some artistic license to create a playful element and a pleasing composition.

Montana On my easel

I began with a 11″ x 14″ canvas I primed and sanded smoothly. Next, I tinted the canvas with burnt umber thinned with oms, applying it with a brush.

Tinting my canvas

Then smooth it off with a neatly folded rag. If you bunch up your rag, it will leave marks on your canvas.

Smoothing it out

Next I drew in Montana with a brush and Burnt Umber.

Drawing of Montana

Once drawn in, I begin filling in all the darks with a mix of Burnt umber and Ultramarine blue.

Adding darks

Tomorrow I continue filling in color with more progress photos. I’m excited!

Troubleshooting my new painting…

Troubleshooting my new painting…

It’s crazy how life takes over and how one gets lost in all the little details that totally take away from the big picture. Sometimes I just have to stand back and take breath and pick one thing and go … Continue reading

Selfie with my lil smokey dragon ;)

I’m often asked if I ever paint from my imagination. Yes I do…. Completed my underpainting, now for color!

Naomi's Amuse

Naomi’s Amuse

Oils 18″ x 36″

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painting in the garden

Peonies and tea

 

 

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The challenge for me is orchestrating the design into a workable plan.

Last night I began working on my design for a new painting. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this. I know I say that about every painting, but this one is like something I have never done before. The image came to me in a moment of meditation, thank you kindly to the powers that be…

The challenge for me is orchestrating the design into a workable plan. The model, Christie, is one of my closest and dearest friends. She has a beautiful relationship with crows. They know her and are already spreading the word when the spot her. Next thing, they are flocking around her and landing on her car awaiting her loving attention and treats they have come to expect from her.

Christie drawing

This piece is going to be life size and although pretty dramatic, there will be strong connectedness between the human and animal spirit.  I can’t wait to share my vision and interpretation of a touching moment caught in time.

Chopin plays his piano and soothes my soul…

It’s a beautiful morning on this first day of March. Although it looks like rain on the way, there is such a beautiful light flooding through my window. I moved my studio upstairs. I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner. The attic room was purple, but not for long. I painted it a dark sage green. The colour of ambient atmosphere. Perfect for painting people and still from life. I’m so fortunate to have this space in this north-west facing room.  The window light is more than enough light for painting. The natural light is way more uplifting for my spirit. Chopin plays his piano and soothes my soul while I write, sigh…

Here’s an image I took with my iphone of my studio. I love this space. I can close the door and shut the world out while I paint and swoon over the most beautiful music that touches my muse in such a profound way.

my new studio

In reply to your question, Felta, about how I set up a portrait sitting. How long a sitter sits and how much do I get done in one sitting.

I have two windows in my studio. I sit with my back facing the one window, so the window light falls on the canvas on my easel and palette. The sitter sits near the other window. Generally I like a two hour sitting, although I can manage an hour if the sitter falls asleep and needs to go home for a nap. Two of them fell asleep sitting for me yesterday hahaha!

Rolf's portrait

In this image, the sitter, Rolf came over to sit for his portrait quite late in the day and the light began to fade. I turned on a 5000k light and faced it up towards the ceiling. The light bounced off the ceiling and created the perfect light for my sitter. The first sitting took a few hours. This time was spent drawing his face with my brush on a canvas I stained with a wash of burnt umber the day before. I used burnt umber for my drawing. The second sitting was an hour and half. Half the time was spent laying in shadows and searching for the correct colours. I found the right mixes and made notes. The third sitting was in my new studio. An hour, Rolf fell asleep, lol, he had a long day at work, standing all day cutting hair. My studio is so peaceful. I have the most beautiful view overlooking a gorgeous Zen Garden David created. An old blue and gray house in the neighbors yard and the trees behind the house looks so inviting. I am definitely going to paint this view. Soon.

The colours I use for flesh tones are as follows, but first remember this, although we all have our own skin tone recipes, they are never written in stone. Skin tones differ and also depends on what surrounds the skin. Light and colour illuminate the skin. Our skin is like a mirror that reflects everything around it. Here are a few recipes I picked up from Daniel Greene, one of my favorite portrait painters. I found his mixtures to be pretty spot on. I like to premix some of my colours, especially when time is of the essence.

Raw Sienna + Cadmium red light. This is for the reds in the half tones and the hot reds in the shadows.

Chromium oxide green. I’ll explain how I use this colour…

Look at your hand. Hold your had sideways like this.

My hand

Notice that as the light begins to turn to shadow there is a green colour and then the hottest colour is right where the shadow begins. Right next to the hottest colour is green and then the shadow is made up of the ambient colour of the room . You can see it closer to my thumb.  If you notice the top left side of the image, the folds between my thumb and forefinger are red and then surrounded with a subtle green. Notice the green surrounding the indentation.  You will also notice the yellow colour of my skin in the light. Yellow Ochre + White and a dash of purple, I made up of Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine blue. Always think complimentary colours when you paint skin tone. I use Chromium oxide  Green and the Raw sienna and Cadmium red light mix for the shadows. For the deepest shadows I mix Sap green + Alizarin. Two transparent colours. You want to keep your shadow colours thin. Always tone down your reds with green. Always tone down your greens with red and that includes pinks too, as that is made from reds. Always use complimentary colours to tone down the intensity and Nothing else. For pinks I use Burnt sienna + white. For orange tones I use Burnt Sienna + Yellow Ochre. Always tone down your yellows with purple. Nothing else. Remember, Yellow Ochre is a yellow. I also mix up a pile of Transparent red oxide and Ultramarine Blue for my darks. Transparent Red oxide + Burnt sienna with a dash of blue + White makes a great base for skin tone too. It all really depends on the sitter’s skin tone and the ambient atmosphere. Alizarin and Viridian make a beautiful dark colour for shadows in the the background too. I also sometimes use Viridian in skin tones too, it really depends on the skin tone of the sitter.

As I mentioned in previous posts, make up colour charts of the colours you use. You can’t go wrong. If I don’t know what combination of colours to mix to arrive at a certain colour, I use my colour charts. It’s fail-proof.

skin tone colour chart

Hope this helps, please feel free to ask any questions should I have missed anything.

Good luck and happy Painting!

A successful painter once told me to never be satisfied with mediocrity…

Wow, now that the crazy rush is over, well almost. I can get back to planning the year ahead. I have a few projects on the go. One of the projects involve painting a collection for a fund-raiser. More of that to come later as it develops. I plan to paint more prolifically this coming year. One thing I do intend to take part in, the practice of a one hour, tonal study from life as a warm-up to start the day. I find this practice excellent for self discipline and improves one’s skill over a short period of time. One of these days I’ll film a demonstration to show how easy this is and how much pleasure one can derive from it :- )

The best way to progress as a painter~ is to paint. A lot. Every day. The more you practice, the better you get. There are no hidden ‘Secrets’ or shortcuts to painting beautifully. One cannot put an apple in a blender and expect grape juice. What you put in, is what you get out.  A successful painter once told me to never be satisfied with mediocrity. Always push yourself further than your capabilities. Challenge yourself with the most difficult parts first and when you have that down, challenge yourself even further.

Currently on my easel is the first of several paintings for a fundraiser I’m taking part in. More to come on that.

Happy painting :- )

Stan on my easel1

The trumpeter on my easel….

Well now that the show is over, back to my studio to complete the trumpeter and many others stacked up waiting for completion. I’m going to begin with the trumpeter. I had seen him playing his trumpet at an anti-pipeline demonstration on the grounds of the parliament building in Victoria. I began the underpainting some time ago and finally got him on my easel and worked on it enough to show at the opening of my show. The underpainting was done  in Raw umber. trumpeter underpainting So here I painted the background with Raw umber plus Flake white replacement. I then painted in his face using Flake white replacement,  Transparent red oxide and Ultramarine blue, Chromium oxide green and Venetian red. (Indian red would be a good replacement if you cant find Venetian red.) Always think Complimentary colours when painting flesh tones. If the intensity of the reds are too strong, lower them with green and visa versa. trumpeter progress1 Here I painted in Ian’s hands and his sweater. I cant remember what colour green I used for the sweater, but I think it may be a combination of Viridian green, Transparent red oxide (it’s complimentary) and white. I always make sure I leave some of my underpainting showing through so that it can optically mix with the colours I paint over it. The jar on the left is my favorite painting medium, stand oil, walnut oil and Gambin turpentine. The jar on the right is Gamsol odourless turpentine. trumpeter progress2 Here I began painting in the trumpet,  still much to do, I used a combo of Gamblin’s Flake white replacement, Yellow ochre, Lemon yellow and Raw umber. Note that the colour of his flesh is reflected in his trumpet. I was fortunate enough to have located Ian through a chance meeting with a friend of his. lucky me, hoping Ian would be so kind as to pose for the rest of the painting 🙂 more to come…..

Miss Rose…

I met this delightful young lady in Fan Tan alley whilst out taking reference pics for a painting I’m planning.  The image I had in mind was very clear and very specific. I knew exactly what I wanted. Fan Tan alley was it, all I needed was a model.  Low and behold, Miss Rose appears. I couldn’t believe it. She was the Exact image I had imagined as the subject of my painting hours before. Wardrobe and all. Blew my mind. I happened to have our new Canon 5D camera and took some fabulous pictures of her.  Cali, if you’re reading this, please contact me again, your email address is incorrect. You may text me, my number is on the card I gave you.

A little Still-Life to warm up the day…

Tea and Manderines to warm up the day. A little still life I put on the back burner. It’s on my ‘To Complete’ list, as are many paintings waiting in line.

Nothing like a surprise Studio visit to get me motivated. You know, there are no chance meetings. We are meant to connect with those who help us on our healing journey.

How to set-up an Oil Painting Studio…

Setting up an Oil painter’s studio can be a costly affair. It doesn’t have to be. In this Article I give you the basics of setting up your studio, how to make your own easel and how to organize your space. I cover the paints and brushes and mediums I use.

To learn more about Oil Painting, I have 10 half hour video series on how to paint a portrait Get your Free Portrait Painting video series here!

I posted a short one minute video on how to mix a fleshtone for a portrait and that Video can be found HERE

Feel free to join us on The Oil Painter’s Studio Facebook Group and get in on all the awesome Videos, Tips and Lessons on everything Oil Painting!

Hope you enjoy the article and if you have any questions, feel free to ask!

photo 3 (2)

Studio

This is a basic set-up with a north facing window. I bought this easel for under $250. I added the wheels so I can easilly move it around. A table for my palette and brushes. In this set-up, extra lighting is not really necessary. Some aren’t so lucky and need some kind of lighting set up to paint.

Lighting

lighting skylight

Lighting is everything. I assure you, I have researched this subject thoroughly. I have tried Every type of lighting on the market. Some Artists are fortunate enough to have a north facing window, this would be an ideal lighting condition, However, some aren’t so lucky. The alternative, 5000k natural daylight. This is inexpensive and I’ve seen all sorts of companies trying to pass off studio lighting for way too much money. I was able to get mine at a fraction of the cost. I am fortunate enough to have a skylight in my studio, however on dark cloudy wintery days, I switch on my panel light, it’s like a skylight without a skylight. It’s best to mount it as high as possible at a 35% angle to prevent glare.

The reason for the 5000k light, is it is the truest light form you can paint to. The colors on your palette and on your canvas remain true. Anything else would be too yellow or orange or blue and can alter the illusion of color and you will end up with a painting that can’t be viewed in any other lighting. If you show your work in an outdoors show, your colors would be off, guaranteed, been there, got the T-shirt. I use this light, it’s pure white, neither yellow nor blue.

lighting

Easel…

Although I love my floor easel, I also designed and made my own wall mounted easel with a slider. You’re welcome to copy my design. I also mounted a stick at the top of my easel on which to rest my hand. If you have a floor easel on casters, I suggest you place it on a rubber mat so it doesn’t move.

Shabbychicstudioeasel attachment

Chest of Drawers…

This is ideal for placing your computer monitor, your brushes and jars of turpentine/medium, whatever you use.

Studio setup

In the top drawer I have placed my colors in a row all along the width of the drawer. This way I can easily find the colors I need. The next drawer down I keep paper towels, rags etc. Next I keep paperwork, receipts, notes and drawing pads.

Palette, brushes, paints and mediums

wall mounted palette

I mounted my palette onto the wall next to my easel. then I mounted a piece of glass I tinted with burnt umber and white.  Here’s an article I wrote on how to tint your palette.  How to tint your palette and why you should

Brushes, I use Mightlon, they’re great brushes for an affordable price.  They hold their shape beautifully and last longer.
Oils, I’m fussy, I love Old Holland classic oils, high quality, the best I can afford. Feels good to work with, smooth and never disappointing.

Mediums. I can’t handle the smell Turpentine. Which means I can’t use Damar crystals. Too hard on the lungs for me, being asthmatic doesn’t help. FYI, Damar crystals do not dissolve in odorless turpentine or Gamsol.
For medium I use Walnut oil and Stand oil and Gamsol’s odorless mineral spirits. It takes a while for Stand oil to dissolve in oms, so give it a week or so to dissolve. Stir, never shake.

Paper towel and clean-up.

I prefer to use paper towel instead of rags to clean my brushes and for turpentine use. This way I can discard the paper-towel and not have turpentine soaked rags under my nose. I also find that the cheapest brand or even recycled paper towel is best. No lint. Avoid the big fluffy rolls of paper towel.

Even though one can’t smell the odorless Mineral spirits, it is still a chemical and is still dangerous. I paint and handle all chemicals and oils with disposable gloves.
A fan is really needed, always have the fan on when using chemicals and a window open is ideal. Vacuum and clean your studio often to rid of dust. Nothing worse than dust and animal hair on your freshly primed canvases or freshly glazed painting.

My favorite brush cleaner is Turpenoid. I can’t live without it. The best ever! It will even clean off hardened stiff brushes, it’s amazing and totally Non-toxic!

Good luck with setting up your studio and happy painting :- )

For those of you who are learning how to paint in oils… Get your Free Portrait Painting video series here!

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A new painting on my easel…

Spent the past several days working on a new painting in a little corner in a hotel room in Vancouver.

‘Amanda’s tea party’. I’m really enjoying this painting and plan on completing it by friday.   I decided to paint Amanda first in color and continue with the underpainting with raw umber  before I finish the rest in color. I do prefer an underpainting. It makes my life as a painter, so much easier. My drawing is resolved and all I have to worry about is the color and light.

The sparkle in Amanda’s eyes adds playfulness to this image and the cakes and sweets on the table with gorgeous teacups and cute stuffed animals around the table is such a delight to paint. I can’t help but smile while painting this very cute scene :- )

A Little flesh tone Lesson

It’s Thursday morning, listening to Mark Farina’s Mushroom Jazz, very mellow tunes, great painting music. Truth in position, Mushroom Jazz 4

Today’s going to be a little lesson on painting flesh. I’m still working on Emma and going to be painting her ankles and feet. She’s sitting on a rock on the beach and the reflection of light on her skin renders a slightly blue purple color on her skin. She’s a red-head and has very fair skin too. The rocks she sitting on, will be darker shades of blues and purples with light reflecting from the sky, sunlight and water. The orange u see, is the under-painting.

The base color for flesh is Ultramarine blue and Burnt Sienna plus white. So mix up a pile. To warm it up add a dash of Transparent red Oxide. This is a very strong pigment, so just a tiny bit at a time. For the tender flesh areas, add a dash of lemon yellow to the base color.

Mix up a pile of  Permanent Alizarin and ultramarine blue to cool the flesh tone down mix in the purple-blue color to the base, really depends on the light. For dry brush scumbling I use a pink mixture of permanent alizarin plus white to give the skin it’s luminosity. The tips of the toes are going to be a red pink tone because of the blood flow. For the veiny area add a little lemon yellow with a hint of green into the flesh base.

I use a mix of burnt sienna and ultramarine blue for my darks and also a dark mix of Viridian and Permanent Alizarin.

Now I’m set and ready to paint. I begin with the shadow under her right foot, then paint in the red areas on the soles of her foot with Transparent red oxide, cad red and Alizarin mixed in with some flesh tone.  On the lighter tones I added a dash lemon to the flesh and the pink red tone on the top of her foot is a little cad red and alizarin mixed into the flesh base. I used lemon yellow for highlights. I blended the shadow color under the foot and painted in some of the surrounding rock.

I wanted this foot to kind of blend in with the background as it’s not part of the focal point. So subtlety is the key. Any questions, please feel free to ask.

Greatness requires enormous time…

I’m making some progress here with Emma paying her Cello, not too long now, hoping for under a week. This painting has certainly challenged me in every direction and then some. If ur drawing skills are not spot on, ur in trouble. I highly recommend practicing often, daily in fact. Greatness requires enormous time. Based on a study by Anders Ericsson, it takes 10 000 hours to perfect ones craft. That’s 20 hrs a week of practice for ten years. There are no shortcuts. U gotta put the time in. Find the work of a master painter and emulate him/her. Study their technique, look at edges, light, reflective light, the colors they use. There is so much to learn. Undeniable talent equals countess hours of practice. There’s no mistaking it. There’s no faking it. Put ur arrogance away and humble urself. Immerse urself in study and practice. Once u have learned to control ur arrogance, then u will grow as a painter and as a person.

I still have a ways to go yet…years of practice. Diligence.

A new distraction…

I’m within an hour of completing my painting, why is it, that this is where artists drag their heals? Does it perhaps have something to do with separation anxiety? I’m beginning to think so. Come to think of it, I don’t really want to part with that painting, I want to keep it for myself.  I tried to distract myself with a new painting. A very talented Cellist. I sketched it in and it’s ready to paint. I’m excited and cant wait to sink my teeth in. The almost completed one looms in the background, beckoning me to complete it. I’m so torn right now :/

Seasoned avocados…painted to taste…

Oils 8″x10″

Spent the the day painting my favorite breakfast food ~ avocados 🙂 This was definitely a very enjoyable subject, I wanted to ad some interest painting the seasoning sprinkled over the avocado and plate. I’m happy with it and am planning on completing a painting again tomorrow.

The Pink Grad Dress

A color study of my daughter in her pink grad dress… Although I chose this pose for the study, I’ll be painting a different pose for the final painting and plan on painting a close to life size piece of her. I can hardly wait to start 🙂

A humbling experience…

I sit here in my studio in front of my easel, Gandhi’s image warms my smile. I had my fair share of struggles with this painting. I guess I wanted to honor this great man on an elaborate canvas, but instead I painted him on an oil primed board, lot’s of texture. At first I struggled with it, on the verge of giving up the board and starting fresh on canvas. But then I awoke the next morning to find Gandhi’s face beaming, his stance and character with a life of it’s own. I’m pleased 🙂

My son, his wife and my two grandsons have left South Africa and are in a plane heading for Canada. I can’t even begin to contain my excitement. Tears stream my face, it’s been way too long. Soon I”ll be holding my two grandsons for the first time. There are no words to describe how I feel right now….. elation? Most definitely 🙂 🙂 🙂

October Skies…

Finally getting this painting off my easel and onto my wall. I painted this from a plein air study I did last fall near the market in Sidney. It`s a fairly large piece, 24“x36“

Orange tea

Started working on this still life several days ago. I’m really enjoying this painting and yes I’ve painted this same tea cup in four paintings. There’s good reason. I will continue to paint it until I get it right. Even if I have to paint it for another ten paintings, this tea cup will be there 🙂 I also have intentions of adding a little leaf in front of the oranges on the bench. That’s on tomorrow list of things to do.

Strawberry Tea

It’s been a busy couple days and have had little easel time 😦  Now my camera is on the fritz for some strange reason, just trying to figure out how to reset it. This is the only decent pic I was able to get. Tomorrow this painting will be completed and the next one started. Busy working on creating a new still life set-up. Going to include some color. Ah I can see it. Now where did I put my sketch pad….and time for tea too, hippie style hehe 😉

Tulips and strawberry tea…

Worked on this till last light, bout halfway at this point. A few more days work left. I put this painting aside for a bit so I can view it with a fresh eye and tackle the problems. I am going to glaze the teacup as the values are a too high and also the tulips still need work and will be toned down  too. Getting there…..I’m learning 🙂 Most importantly, the more diligent one is, the sooner improvement will be evident.

Some easel time….

Yay, made some progress….managed to grab the last hour of daylight to work on my painting. I’m pleased with how it’s turning out. I’d been pondering the background pattern, and decided to include it as a sort of ambient flavor, like background music.

Tulips and strawberries….

Just started with this still life, my light source is a window close to my still life. So tomorrow I can resume 🙂

New painting update…

Well here it is, a painting inspired by David Leffel 🙂

On my easel…..

Started a new still life today and this time going back to painting to natural day light. No more fake lights, too many issues. The under-painting is done and have began painting in color.

Almost there…

Here’s another update of my painting, getting there, almost complete 🙂 just have the cloth to finish and some tweaking here and there……and viola!

Mother’s Kiss

I had completely missed ever blogging about this painting I did of Banafshe and Kuddus. I do have intentions of one day completing this painting 🙂

New still life…

Just started this still life, sketched in my subject matter with ultramarine blue and transparent red oxide. The silver bowl and pretty teacup inspired me to paint this still life. I wanted something colorful and light, looking forward to painting in color now. This is a warm up for some serious still life painting 🙂

Progress…

I painted in the orange and re-arranged the twigs, still needs some fine tuning….

Chalice and grapes on my easel…

Spent my day working on this little still life, have some tweaking to do still. I’m pleased with the outcome thus far.

Todays update….

Oils 18″x25″

Spent the day working on this painting. I have a few more final touches to paint, drying time is required. I’m pleased with how this is turning out. 🙂

On my easel today…

I have two pieces I’m working on today, one a landscape I started en plein air in Sidney and a still life to be completed today….

Studio still-life set-up

New years first painting…

New year, new beginnings, new resolutions, goals and aspirations. Upon my easel is my first painting for this year…. Close to completion….