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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Watercolor Painting - No Longer Adrift

Finally got a decent photo of my driftwood painting, No Longer Adrift, but even still the sky is much darker near the top in the actual painting. I think I just need to break down and get some decent lights for photography...ahaa :(
The driftwood was actually quite gray but I could not resist painting the warm tones that would be in the wood if it had not been sitting exposed to the elements for so long and I am quite happy with the decision :) I love the way the wood forms the arch to meet in the center.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mother and Child Commission Portrait Framed

Yay the custom double matt is completed so I picked it up and framed the portrait today so that it can be shipped out tomorrow :) Looks very nice but I must say I am going to miss my companions as they have been keeping me company in my studio all week!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Watercolor Driftwood Painting - Update #3

It is hard to see much difference online but the colors looks much richer now than they did in the previous post. The darks are not showing up well in the photos so I will try to photograph today in the sun to see if it helps, I can't believe we get a sunny day for a change, yay. The water and rocks have been darkened and next is the sand and then will decide whether more work is needed on the driftwood. I can hear the paper screaming, "stop, no more paint, I can't take anymore"....will see :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Driftwood Watercolor Painting Update #2

Well I think things are getting better...I keep going back and forth with this one ;) I have darkened the sky and darkened many areas on the driftwood. I still need to tone down areas as there is alot of detail and I worry about losing the focal point so the bottom half and the area on the right of the driftwood needs be pushed back more.
Then I will darken the water and sky again and do some more work on the land :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Driftwood Watercolor Painting Update #1

Watercolor Seascape Driftwood Painting
I thought I may as well post an update on this since I am sitting here staring at it on the screen to see if I have really made any progress since this morning :) I think I have, some areas are starting to recede more and things are getting a little bit toned down in areas as it was getting a little too red and bright all over so it seems to be helping.
Another layer has been applied to the rocks and sand but still a fair ways to go on them. The sand is much too bright right now as are the rocks so they will need to settle in a lot more as they are steeling the focus from the driftwood. Back to the easel....

Driftwood Watercolor Painting

This is a painting I am working on right now of a piece of driftwood. I really like all the twisty shapes in the wood and how it still reaches out to the ocean even though it is stuck on the seashore.

The original reference photo was taken by a very talented photographer, Tom Burke, who was nice enough to let me use his photo for the painting. In the actual photo the wood is much more gray but I wanted to show the richness and warm so I have warmed it up considerably.


The sand and rocks have been painted in roughly and will require a few more passes to give them more shape and form. Areas of the driftwood also need to be pushed and pulled back and forth a bit to give more dimension but it is getting there. Then I will decide whether to go darker with the sea and sky :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Toy for Christmas

Art Studio Setup
Fine Art Studio Easel Set Up
So I got some cash this year for Christmas and it has been burning a hole in my pocket. I have been pondering being a new easel for several weeks now, which is a long time for me to make a decisions, usually if I think I need something for art I must have it. Gets me in a bit of trouble sometimes with the other half. Luckily I have a large studio but it is getting pretty crowded as I inherited my hubbies old desk and 3 matching bookcases, bought an really cool drafting table from craigslist for a killer deal several years back, a couch, another small desk and a zillion frames. So I had to think about it awhile to see if I really needed yet one more item in my studio. The answer in my head of course, I must have it :)

So I checked out several options and found one that seems to be made for me. It can be adjusted easily to allow painting vertically, horizontally or anywhere in-between. Holds canvases up to 84" high. My hubby graciously offered to go and pick it up for me and help me set it up and even he was impressed with how pretty it looked. It is made of beechwood so has a nice warm glow to it, I could hardly sleep that night, who says I am obsessive.

So the next morning, of course bright and early, I set myself up and started to paint, what a difference. I have used easels before but always got a kink in my back, usually during life drawing, and have found them a paint as I could never get them set up correctly as always wobbled or slide around. This one stays where it is put and because it is so adjustable I can always have my main subject at eye level. Best studio item I ever bought I think :)

Only down fall is of course now I need to reorganize the studio...again :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Matt Framing Options for Mother and Child Portrait











Trying to decide on which matt looks best with this portrait, the warm matt with a single bright bevelled edge or the bright white double matt. I like them both and I think either would work well. The warm matt has a bit of texture and is a warm off white whereas the double matt is smooth and bright so would be more of a contemporary feel. I don't have the large double matt in the 18x24" size so I just took a close up photo of a 16x20" matt. Once my client decides on the matt, I will put the frame together and post a photo of the framed portrait for the full effect :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mother and Child Portrait Commission - Update #7

Mother and Child Watercolor Portrait CommissionWell I think this portrait is complete but I will leave it overnight to see if anything pops out at me. I did several minor tweaks to her eyes, mouth and laugh lines so again they need to dry completetly.

I will wait to sign it as well until I hear back from my client to see if she is happy with it but I believe a nice glass of wine is in order!

Mother and Child Portrait Commission - Update #6

Mother and Child Watercolor Portrait Commission
More adjustments have been made and things are getting closer to completion but still a few minor tweaks her and there. Her eyes have been adjusted slightly but still need a little more adjusting as they were a touch off in size. It is so tempting at this stage to rush as adjustments need to be done on dry paper to keep things crisp so it is a matter of make a minor adjustment, let the paper dry...completely, then adjust further.
Both of their mouths have also been adjusted and require one more pass to complete the final adjustments. Just softening of lip lines to look more melded in and to finalize the shapes here and there a touch.
I have softened the mother's laugh lines slightly as well and added much more of the finer details to her hair. No to let the paper dry again, good time for a coffee break :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mother and Child Portrait Commission - Update #5

jMother and Child Watercolor Portrait Commission
Several more adjustments have to both the mother and child and their portraits are getting very near completion. Just small adjustments and tweaks here and there and then softening areas where needed. Some of the paint is still wet a few areas ( her chin & neck and his right cheek) look a little darker than they really are.
Both of their hair needs to be filled out a bit in areas as well and the clothing needs a few more adjustments as well.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mother and Child Portrait Commission - Update #4

Mother and Child Watercolor Portrait Commission
Well I kept meaning to post an update today but could not stop myself from painting long enough to take a photo. The old, oh just one more tweak game ;)
I have been working all over the painting now, on the mother in areas and on the son further refining the features and darkening the darks where needed. The mother's features are getting closer, just tweaking needed now in little stages and softening of areas. Her lips are closer but still need a bit of shaping and her bottom lip needs softening which will make it appear a bit fuller.
I have added the darks to the child and I do not think anything on his face will get darker but areas will be shaped and softened in stages.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mother and Child Portrait Commission - Mother Update #3

The final darks are being built up to completion and the mother's features are slowly being built up. Some areas look a little harsh again right now as they will be softened next but they need to fully dry first. Her lips look a little wonky right now as the line is off in areas but it will be built up to form the correct line by the next post. The darks are really making the lighter values glow now and things are starting to take shape!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mother and Child Portrait Commission - Mother Update #2

I have done more work on establishing the darks on the mother and have refined her features more. The shadows on her face look a little harsh right now but they will be softened and will settle in more as the process continues. I am slowly building up the layers to form shape and form and working on creating a unified feel to the painting. Both of their features are really starting to come together now!

Mother Child Portrait Commission - Son Update #1

Mother and Child Portrait in Watercolor
Could this guy be any cuter? He is alot of fun to paint and I am lucky enough to have been sent many photos of him, I think he is smiling in every photo. He is definitely a happy boy! I have most of the lights and darks blocked in and have added some of the details to his eyes, nose and mouth.
More layers will be added to build up both the boy's and mother's features and the darks on the mother's sweater will be blocked in next to better judge the tonal range of the overall painting.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Mother and Child Portrait Commission - Watercolor Painting Update #1

Mother and Child Portrait Commission - Watercolor
Listening to Sarah McLachlan christmas CD and painting a mother and child portrait, what could be better? Sometimes I think someone is going to come and ask me for royalties as I am always listening to Sarah while I work, seems like it should be declared as a business expense somehow ;)

I have been painting most of the day and am quite happy with the progress so far. I have laid down some of the darker values and done a fair bit of negative painting in the mother's hair. She has such amazing hair, I could spend days just painting her hair!
Her facial features are starting to take shape as well and will take a break from her to ensure the paper is completely dry before continuing on her face. It is really nice working this size and I think it is the perfect size for a double portrait as you can really get in and add the details.

The baby's clothes have been blocked in and I will start building up his face to the same level as his mother's and then I will start to remove some of the graphite prior to continuing to model their features further.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Mother and Child Portrait Commission
Sketch on Watercolor Paper

I have transferred the initial sketch to the watercolor paper and refined the details more for both the mother and son. Some areas of the graphite appear quite dark but the lines lift easily with a soft eraser if they don't dissolve during the painting process.
On to the painting!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Mother and Child Portrait Commission - Rough Sketch

Mother and Child Portrait Commission
This is a sketch of a mother and son that I have been commissioned to paint as a surprise gift by a friend of the mother's.
The sketch has been drawn on plain paper and I will then transfer it to the watercolor paper and then finesse it further before beginning to paint. Some of the lines and shapes are a bit off at this point as this first draft is just to get the landmarks down. Once the rough sketch has been transferred to the paper the details are more finely tuned.
The painting will be done as a monochromatic painting using sepia on an 18x24" sheet of Arches watercolor paper.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

January 12 - 24th - FCA Student Show

Geisha Graphite Pencil Charcoal Portrait
Watercolor Painting Architectural Detail
Watercolor Painting of Statue

Three of my pieces will be on display at the Federation of Canadian Artists gallery on Granville Island from January 12 until the 24, 2010. There will be an opening reception Thursday, January 14th from 6-8pm. The Federation does not have many actual Opening Receptions so I hope you can make it down to see the show!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Information Overload

Well I think I may have fried my brain, quite happily, over the past two days! I had signed up to a site months ago that has art videos that you can watch online for a fee or buy the cd, http://www.artworkshops.tv/ Then I forgot all about it after watching one free demo that I did not find very interesting.

They sent me an email just before New Years saying that as a thank you to their customers I could watch art videos by Creative Catalyst (a great wife & husband production team) all day for free on New Years day, aha bliss. Well, apparently they gave 24hrs from the inital download time & I had downloaded several at the same time so I had two days of watching videos for free, almost 10 in total!

I did not make it through all of them as "real life" kept calling, but I managed to learn many new tequniques. Needless to say my head is still spinning! The vidoes were really good and several were by artists that I was already a fan of and there are many more videos that I will have to watch later and pay the fee, well worth it I think. So needless to say I didn't get much painting done, but it was well worth it :)