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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Watercolor Seashells


I spent the morning playing with some seashells and taking photos of them for a still life painting I am going to start soon. I have an awesome SLR camera that seems to be much smarter than me as I could not get it to focus on all 3 shells at once. I know there is a setting for this but where is it again... so rather than read the manual again I put two photos together.
I liked the angle a bit better of the back shell in the one photo where the focus was crisp on the back shell and softer on the first two shells. Then I grabbed the first two shells from another photo where the spiral was the focus point. I put them together and just loosely touched up the photo to make things a bit smoother.
I bought these shells last year when I was christmas shopping and have been trying to find the time to paint them, whew, just under a year! I was going to do a mix of different shell types but these ones just seemed to fall together so nicely, so maybe a mixture for next time.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Feb 3 - 15, 2009 - Federation Mixed Medium Show

Federation of Canadian Artist Mixed Media Show
My painting Room For Two was selected for the Mixed Media show at the Federation of Canadian Artists which will be on from February 3 until February 15, 2009 at the Granville Island gallery.

Monday, December 29, 2008

March 26 - April 25, 2009 - Solo Exhibit at Place des Arts

Solo Exhibit at Place des Arts I will be having a solo exhibit at Place des Arts entitled Beneath the Layers. It will be a selection of roughly 35 paintings done in watercolor and graphite.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Watercolor Architectural Detail Painting - The Guardian

Watercolor Architectural Painting Demo
This is the completed painting. It was alot of fun to paint and the textures turned out really cool which makes the face seem like it is really coming out of the wall.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Watercolor Architectural Detail Painting - Update 2

The darks have been built up more and things are starting to look pretty cool I think, I love this statue :) The darks still need to be pushed a bit further and maybe a touch more color added.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Watercolor Architectural Detail Painting - Update 1

Watercolor Landscape Demo
I have started to build up the tonal values using two of my favorite colors, French Ultramarine Blue and Sepia. They have such a nice texture together and depending on how much of each you add and how much water, a huge range of tonal values and hues. I continued adding thin layers until the tonal contrast was nearly completed on the face.
I then used a neutral gray for the background to add texture and interest. Sprinkling a bit of salt on the wet background paint adds additional texture and helps the pigments to separate giving interesting edges and a larger range of hues.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Watercolor Architectural Detail Painting of Grotesque

This is the reference photo that I will be working from for my next painting. I found it on WetCanvas and it stopped me in my tracks I just love it! It turns out the reference photo was taken by a very talented artist, Amie Roman.
As it turns out she also belongs to the Federation of Canadian Artist and I bumped into her at the Christmas Party at the gallery recently. She explained some of the printmaking process to me...it sounds very intriguing, I just wish I could clone myself to find more time! Check out her website as she has a great gallery of her work and also teaches classes if you are so inclined.
I have stretched the paper and transfer the outline drawing to the paper. Next I applied a wash of New Gamboge to give a bit of glow later on. I forgot to take at photo at this stage so will post an update tomorrow on the progress.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Watercolor Column - The Corinthian


I thought this was still not finished so I added some more darks and warmed up a few areas and I am much happier with it. I liked it before but now I think the contrasts really work nicely and the textures are more pronounced.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait of Nikki Completed

Watercolor Pet Portrait - Christmas Gift
The portrait of Nikki is completed. I painted a few highlights around her face and muzzle and then warmed up a few areas to balance things out. I think her portrait turned out quite nicely and is going to look very nice framed.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait of Nikki - Update 4

The portrait is really starting to come alone. The sparkle is starting to really show in her eye and her fur is getting much fuller. Still more detail to add in her muzzle and I will likely add a few more highlights just to add a bit more depth and fullness. The darker blanket helped ground the portrait more and it has a nice texture to it.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait of Nikki - Update 3

Different shades have been painted to the portrait to add more depth and shape. Nikki is a very dark dog with lighter patches of fur so the darks need to be quite dark to get the resemblance.


Once the darks are fully established I will then glaze over them so they read more as brown than black to maintain the monochromatic portrait feel. She is really starting to take shape now :) The blanket needs to be darkened so I will do a bit more detail to her muzzle and will then save the whites with masking fluid and paint in the blanket again.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait of Nikki - Update 2

Watercolor Pet Portrait - Christmas Gift Commission
More of the layers of fur have been built up by painting many more thin detailed layers of color. I could probably have added more of the darker colors in washes and then added the more detailed layers over top but I just find adding the thin detailed layers, although time consuming, gives such a richer level of depth and texture. Nikki's portrait is starting to take shape!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait of Nikki - Update

The darks have been mapped out and some of the texture has been painted in. The layers will be built up slowly to add depth and texture to her fur.

Although this is a monochromatic portrait, several colors are used to give a push and pull effect and achieve the darks without a chalky or flat appearance.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait of Nikki - Sketch

Pet Portrait - Dog Memorial Portrait
This is the sketch of Nikki a sweet dog that recently passed away. This pet portrait is being commissioned as a Christmas Gift for her 'grandmother'. The portrait will be monochromatic, painted on 11 x 14" Arches watercolor paper.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Demo Drawing Nearly Complete

Still a few more tweaks to her eyes, mouth & eyebrows to nail down the likeness. Just little bits off that are throwing things off...I think :) Bunny is complete, wew, what a lot of fur!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Update on the demo drawing

Here is an update of the portrait I started at the demo at the Outlet in November. I did not get too much done at the Outlet but I have gotten a fair bit done now. The resemblance is still off a bit but it is getting closer. The portrait will be a christmas gift and the background will be very dark as it is in the lower right hand corner. I want to leave the darks until the end to prevent smuding but I wanted a bit done to better judge the tonal range for the portrait.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Room for Two Watercolor Painting of Montreal Building

This is the finished painting of the photo I took in Montreal (or Quebec City...I took so many!) The color is a bit off in the photo so I will have to wait for some sun and try to take the photo again. I also used a bit of gouache and texture medium in this one just to try out some new tricks.

I was expecting more of the texture medium, perhaps I do not know how to use it properly, maybe it works better with different pigments or in larger quantities but it seemed like it did not add much more than a good granulating pigment would offer so why not just use a granulating pigment...will have to explore more :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reference Photo

I thought I would upload the reference photo that I used for the column as well.

Reference Photo

I thought I would upload the reference photo that I used for the column as well.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Watercolor Column - Completed

Well I think this column is completed but I will have to live with it a bit to be sure. I have to clean up a few of the edges a bit but will wait until I am 100% sure I am done, or at least 99% sure.
It took me much longer than I expected but I am quite happy with the texture created by going it slow and building up the layers lightly to reach the darks.
I am quite happy with the sky color and how smoothly it turned out as I don't usually do large washes so was not sure if it was going to be a fiasco or not! I am still working on a title for this one as well...I will have to mull it over for a bit.

Art Demo Photos at the Outlet

Here are a couple of photos of me working at Artisan Craft Fair at the Outlet on the weekend. It was a lot of fun and I met some great people and fellow artists and crafters.
There were a few other painters set up there with beautiful original paintings and prints for sale. There were also some really cool jewelery artisans there and of course some amazing pottery. I tried to purchase a piece but it had already been sold, of course I should have bought it when I saw it when I was hanging my artwork earlier in the week....you snooze you lose ;) But luckily the potter, Joan Grisley from the Tri-City Potters is open to doing custom work so all is not lost!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Demo at Place des Arts in March

The exact date has not been ironed out yet but it looks like I will be doing a demo at Place des Arts during the time that my exhibit will be on display. I will follow up with more details closer to the date.

Watercolor Demo at Port Moody Art Association

I have been invited to do a watercolor demo at the Port Moody Art Association on April 27, 2009. It is a very large group with artists focusing on all mediums so it should be a lot of fun!

Watercolor Demo at Art Focus Group

I will be doing a watercolor demo at the Art Focus Group on February 25, 2009. The group meets from 7-9 pm that night so please come out and enjoy the demo. It is free for all and you are more than welcome to join the group.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Art Demo at the Outlet Nov 22 from 1 - 3 pm

I will be doing a graphite demo on Nov 22 from 1 - 3 pm as a kick off to my exhibit at the Outlet and as part of the Leigh Square First Annual Winter Artisan Fair. My demo will be located in the Residence Room along with a demo by Catherine Dumaine who will be working on a loom.

I hope you can make it for a visit and to check out all the crafts. It sounds like there is a great variety of crafts and artwork so it should be a lot of fun!

Leigh Square First Annual Winter Artisan Fair
The Outlet Workroom
2253 Leigh Square, Port Coquitlam
November 22 - 23 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
http://www.portcoquitlam.ca/arts - 604-927-8400

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Watercolor Column - Adding the Details

Watercolor Column Demo
Things are starting to take shape now. Many (many) layers have been added to slowly build up the colors and tonal values. As I want to maintain the glow underneath, each layer must be thin enough to show the underlying layers and dark enough so that depth is added without washing out the previous layer.


I think at this point I need to darken the sky to better judge how much further I want to push the darks so that the lights shine more. The colors I have used overtop of the under painting are burnt umber, new gamboge, raw sienna, sepia, french ultramarine & yellow ochre.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Watercolor Column Underpainting in Purple

Watercolor Underpainting
This is a painting of a beautiful building that I am currently working on. I have just completed the underpainting and now will start building up the layers of color. I do not usually use a purple underpainting but have heard other have really enjoyed it so I thought why not give it a try!
I used a mixture of French Ultramarine Blue and Permanent Alizarin Crimson to give me various shades of purple. French Ultramarine is one of my favorite pigments as it is so beautiful alone or mixed with other pigments. It is slightly opaque and gives a beautiful texture to the layers applied overtop of it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Watercolor Figure Painting - Under My Thumb

Prenatal Portrait of Mother - WatercolorThis is a recent watercolor painting I completed of a soon to be first time mother. I tried to obtain a similar likeness to my graphite portraits but with watercolor rather than pencil. This is the second in a series of prenatal paintings, the first is of the father's hands and will be posted shortly. I wanted to keep this one soft and lighter than the father's hands to further emphasize the femininity of the painting.

I loved the shadows off of the thumbs hence the name of the painting and also liked how the belly ring is stretched nearly to the limit!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Baby Portrait Grandaughter Completed

Graphite Charcoal Portrait of Baby
Well I think this little cutie is completed but as always I will leave it to sit a bit and take another look with fresh eyes. I understated her hands and clothing slightly so that they do not take too much attention from the face. Again, her face is much more developed than a sketch should be but I just can't seem to help myself!

Instant Art for Kids and Adult Kids

I went down to Granville Island to drop off a painting for my upcoming exhibit at the Federation of Canadian Artists yesterday and happened to walk by a small gallery on the island that looked interesting. I remembered the space had been empty for some time and was told by the residing artist that in fact she had 'taken the space on' for only two months to share art with the community.

Her name is Jeanne Krabbendam and she also is a member of the FCA and teaches at Emily Carr, check out her website at http://www.jeannekrabbendam.com/home.html She had easel's set up for anyone, including kids to use free of charge and at their leisure. As I had the kids and husband in tow I was a little reluctant to let the kids slap on the paint as they can be 'a little' messy when they get going. So Jeanne showed me this cool trick for transferring images and making 'instant art'.

Take a photocopy of an image that you like and cover it with masking tape. Rub all of the air bubble out and smooth it out as much as possible with your finger nail pressing firmly. Then drop the taped paper into warm water and wait a few minutes. Take the paper out and rub the paper off the tape and voila, you have an imprint of the image on your tape. I don't know who was more excited, me or the kids! Jeanne then explained that you can also use acrylic medium the same way and put the images on just about anything, tile, wood, paper etc. Aha the possibilities are endless...

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Baby Portrait Grandaughter - Rough Sketch


I have transferred the image to the watercolor paper using a home-made graphite paper. I use the premade paper for painting as the lines are harsher and I have learned the hard way if you are going to transfer an image using the premade paper, you better intend to draw darkly and be very committed to the rough sketch!

By making my own graphite transfer paper I do not need to worry about the harsh lines and the transfer paper is reusable many times. I took a photo of the portrait so far and have adjusted the values in photoshop so that the lines are more clearly visible. The actual portrait is much lighter

in real life.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Baby Sketch of Grandaughter for Christmas Gift

This is a mock up that I will be using as a reference photos that I will be using for my next graphite portrait commission. Her grandmother is commissioning the portrait as a Christmas gift.



I took her hands from another photo as she just looked so cute with her hands in her mouth and her little daisy's on her pjs but the lighting was not great on her face and the angle was a little off. Her face in the second photo was perfect and I just matched the size of her hands so that everything fit together nicely. Luckily the angle of her body was the same for both so things fit together quite naturally.



The portrait will be done as a pencil sketch on arches watercolor paper so it will not have as much depth and detail as a full portrait but I think being more 'sketchy' will enhance the fragility of her face and hands nicely.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Life Drawing Sketch

This is a quick, 15 minutes quick, sketch of a friend of mine from Suite E Life Drawing group. We decided to take a night and do 15 minutes portrait sketches of each other and it was a blast. We all took turns 'modeling' and the other frantically sketched until the timer went off. We kept rotating the groups so we all got a variety of subjects and the class flew by!

I was thoroughly exhausted by the end of the evening but I hope we do it again soon as it was great practice!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Character Buildings from Montreal and Quebec





These are some reference photos I took while on vacation in Montreal and Quebec a few years back. I have most of my paintings completed for my exhibit in March so I have a bit of time to try some other subject matter. There are so many little things I like in each painting that it is a little tough to decide which to try first. Of course, there are also things I don't like that I will need to edit out and add in so it should be interesting. I love all the texture in the window with the paint peeling off and I love the lighting on the two windows and the little scroll trim above...aha what a dilema ;)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

People's Choice Award for Favorite Painting

My painting, "Pride" won the People's Choice Award at the 14th Annual Art Focus show at the Outlet. This is a very cool award as it is chosen by guests of the show and there are many beautiful paintings to choose from in all different mediums and covering many a large range of subjects matter.s
Thank you to everyone who came to the show and thank you for all of your votes, it is a very special award for me!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Watercolor Hands Painting

This is the latest painting in my series for my exhibit in March. I will likely crop it a bit more once it is framed but I like to paint as much as possible on the paper in to make framing easier. I have a few titles for this one floating around but have not decided on one yet.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Some of my photos from the 14th Annual Art Focus Show

Of course I did not take any photos of the band or the opening reception because I was too busy chatting :) But I did get some photos of myself and my paintings thanks to my crew :) The band was really great nice jazz music, not so loud that you could not chat and upbeat enough so that you could dance. And yes there was even some dancing!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Photos from TriCity News

Colleen Flanagan from Tri City News came out and took some photos of myself and fellow artists Jan Sinclair and Christina Mets for the local paper. It made the front page of the community section and my painting "Pride" (the lady with the eyes and the purple scarf) made the front page of the paper! Very cool :) You can view photos on their website at http://www.bclocalnews.com/tri_city_maple_ridge/tricitynews/community/30719619.html
http://gallery.pictopia.com/tricity/gallery/60525/photo/6269504/?o=9
http://gallery.pictopia.com/tricity/gallery/60525/photo/6269506/?o=8

I hope to obtain permission to post the photos here but it will likely take a few days :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Opening Reception for Art Focus's 14th Annual Show

The opening reception last night was a success and I think a lot of fun for everyone. I met some new friend and was happy to see some 'old' friends as well at the show. There was a live 3 piece jazz band that was really good which really added to the atmosphere, the wine did not hurt either ;) It is supposed to be sunny both today and tomorrow so it should make for a nice show as the windows fill one whole wall of the Outlet which makes for great lighting for the artwork.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Watercolor Portrait - Untitled

This is my latest watercolor painting for my exhibit in March. I for the life of me can not come up for a name for this one....any suggestion?!? I have come up with a few names but nothing that is sticking...hmmm

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

FCA Artist Choice Exhibit - Nov 4 – 16, 2008

I recently joined the Federation of Canadian Artists and am happy to say (ok very very happy) that I have been accepted to exhibit my artwork at the Artist Choice exhibit November 4 – 16, 2008 at their Granville Island Gallery.

This is very exciting as the Federation has many, many very talented artists as members so to be chosen for an exhibit is pretty exciting! I will be displaying two of my recent paintings, "Balance" and "Ready or Not"


It is nice to finally see all of my hard work submitting forms for exhibits , which is really, really not exciting, actually pay off!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Cool Self Portrait in Graphite

This is a very cool self portrait by a fellow artist I met at BrushStrokes (an online art site) He did this portrait as an experiment (very successful experiment!) on black paper using graphite pencils Works by J.Kelley: Self Portrait#links

The harder leads are used for the highlights and the darks are reserved and are created by not drawing on the paper. I am going to give this a try after my current paintings are finished (working on 2 right now). I am guessing that it is a little unforgiving as it is probably very tricky to lift off the graphite on black paper without disturbing the paper....but will be fun trying it out.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Life Drawing Classes at Suite E

Suite E Life DrawingI attended my weekly life drawing class at the Suite E Life Drawing group located at Poirer Recreation Center in Coquitlam. I am so lucky to have such a great life drawing group to attend. I go most weeks and I have seen a big improvement in my drawing and 'seeing' skills. Most of my life drawings look pretty horrible but it is all a means to an end and it is such a great way to relax after a long day.

This is one of the sketch I did last night in about 30 minutes. I am working larger than I usually do I think this is about 12x28" so I am finding it a bit of a challenge to get the proportions right and am trying to focus on the 'outline' rather than getting caught up in the shading as I often do :) The model is one of my favorites as he always does such amazing poses that literally throw your mind into right mode.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Christmas Card Watercolor Portrait

Every year I say I am going to paint a Christmas card for our family to use rather than sending out a purchased card but I always end up to busy painting commissions that I do not get time to do it. So this year I figured I better start really early and here it is!

The little gift in her hand was imagined as the toy she was playing with was not visible. The red took some playing around to get it right but I think I got it pretty close to how I wanted it. I am going to the printers this weekend to get some prints made for an upcoming show so I will bring this one along and have some cards made as well. Talk about being ahead of the Christmas rush for a change....could be a new tradition...ha or not!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Solo Exhibit at The Outlet - Nov 12 - Jan 4, 2009



The Outlet will be displaying several pieces of my artwork both in graphite and watercolor at The Outlet. The Outlet is located in Port Coquitlam at Leigh Square.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Watercolor Portrait - Ready or Not

Watercolor Portrait - Ready or NotI have been working on this painting at the same time as another one of the same model and I think this one is complete. There are a few minor tweaks I may make but I need to get a bit more distance to be sure.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

14th Annual Art Focus Show - Oct 10, 11 & 12, 2008


Well I have not been posting as frequently as usual as I have been busy getting ready for the upcoming show in October at The Oulet in Port Coquitlam. It is a group show with the Art Focus group, a Port Coquitlam artists group. Many works will be on display from all of the artists and there will be a opening reception Friday night 7:30-9:30 pm on Oct 10...it should be alot of fun! The show will continue Sat & Sun from 11 - 5 pm


The address of The Outlet is below
Arts Village Location
Parks and Recreation Department
#1100 - 2253 Leigh Square Place (map and directions)
Port Coquitlam BC V3C 3B8

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Watercolor Figure Painting - Walking on Air

Watercolor Figure Painting - Walking on Air
This painting is a little different than the previous paintings for my exhibit in March at Place des Arts. I wanted an etheral feeling to her as she just seemed so calm and peaceful yet so full of movement.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Covering up Mistakes in Watercolor

Just when I thought it was safe to go into the art store without buying anything...I found the coolest thing :) Creative Mark makes it and it is called AquaCover liquid watercolor paper. I had to try it just because it seemed too good to be true, a non-yellowing liquid paper to cover up 'mistakes'. It comes in several colors to match the more popular watercolor papers including Arches bright white and natural white. It is great to have on hand for small touch up and for negative painting. I have not used it on a real painting yet but have played with it on scraps and it works as good as they say, very cool.

It is also great for negative painting but I think it is likely best used in small amounts. I am sure you could use it on drawing done on watercolor paper as well if you needed to. My only concern is whether it is truly archive which is why I have hestitated to try it on a painting. I will have to check it out further, either way, it was too cool to pass up :)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Watercolor Figure Painting - Thief of Hearts

Watercolor Figure Painting
This little cutie may need a few minor touch ups but I need to leave it for awhile to get a bit of distance. The hearts on her panties were crazy to paint as they were so small and wrinkled, I do not know how miniature artists do it! This painting is 11 x 14 so for my old eyes I think I should have gone 16 x 20...next time :)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Studio Lighting

I am nearly finished two more paintings in my series for the exhibit at Place des Arts in March. I have been really getting a great deal of painting done lately due to late night and early morning painting sessions, who new there were all these extra hours in the day ;) I recently purchased a couple Ott Lights and they have made a world of difference in my lighting set up. During the day my studio has a south facing window so light is not a big issue most days but at night they are a must.

I still need to mount them to something somehow, or should I say my husband needs to. He did offer, he really needs to think before he speaks ;) I am hoping to have the lights set up so that they can be above me and slightly behind me yet still have them mobile so that I can easily adjust them for taking photos of my finished artwork as well as for taking reference photos of still life's.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Watercolor Monochromatic Portrait - Security Blanket

Monochromatic Watercolor PortraitThis is a monochromatic watercolor portrait of a child for my exhibit in March at Place des Arts. I started it awhile back and just got time to finish it. I may still add more wisps to her hair as it is looking too stiff but thought I would post an update at least.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Watercolor Painting - Pride Updated

Watercolor Portrait Demo
I did a few touchups to this painting and I am much happier with it, mainly on the scarf but it really affected how the skin tones appeared to me. I darkened the shadow areas of the scarf more which helped to blend in the fine lines and I think made it look less busy.
The skin tones also appear more subtle due to the darks and I am much happier with it now so I think she is finally done!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Watercolor Painting - Ripples

Watercolor Painting - RipplesThis is the latest of my watercolor paintings for my exhibit, number 20 out of 38, yay more than half way there! Committing to an exhibit is a sure fire way to get motivated and get painting. It has been a really great way to push myself to also try new ways of looking at things both subject matter wise and technique wise.

This is my second painting with water and while I liked the way the water turned out in the first painting I wanted the water to look different in this one and it definitely does. I also really love her hair, it shines across the room even from the opposite end of my studio which is over 10 feet which is really cool :)