Sunday, January 13, 2019

birdwalk

Photos from a birdwalk I took yesterday with NJ Audubon. 3 hours in 30 degree temps. I almost didn't go, but it wasn't windy so I thought it might not be bad, and ot wasnt, far from it.
We saw 25 kinds of birds, mostly ducks and seabirds, but they were too far away to photogrsph.
But I was equally impressed with the dunes! Such beautiful winter colors. If I were a weaver ...

Friday, January 11, 2019

peppermill

My brother has several peppermills--a couple of which I swiped over a year ago to paint. Maybe I'll be able to return them soon.

Monday, January 07, 2019

petirojo

That's Spanish for "robin" and my nickname for my dear friend Robin.
Before I started painting this I was looking at some of my recent bird paintings and realized that often I go in with the same density of paint all over ...Here I deliberately tried to keep some berries and branches more faint.

And, I took Rhonda's advice and floated a light wash of cobalt over the background of the chickadee painting. It worked well to bring the chickadee out more, and also helped to unify the background. Great suggestion, Rhonda, thank you!

Sunday, January 06, 2019

shell series

I took some close-ups of the shells in my banner and I want to do a series. I'm picturing mingled washes and great shadow shapes.
This is my first try, call it practice.
I think I need to spend some time mixing colors before I go on.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

how to finish?

I painted this years ago when I was painting with a still life group. They were an ambitious group, and with them I painted bigger--this is a full sheet!--and more complex still lifes than I ever had, or ever have since!
I feel this needs something to be finished.
I might continue the patterned fabric, but maybe more loosely, on the left side. A light wash on the right?
What do you think?

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

sometimes ...

it doesnt't work out so well!
When I painted the background, I wanted to keep it a cool gray, then I floated in a touch of raw sienna her er snd there and sprinkled on the salt.
You can see how much the snow effect varies, especially across the top....
The top left, dark and with a strong effect, comes forward too much; also the effect stops on the chickadee's back, forming a tangent--an awkward connection that subverts the illusion of volume.
Better to keep the background lighter (unless the bird is white! should've painted a snowy heron in there).

Monday, December 31, 2018

oyster shooter

I hardly ever use masking fluid. (Though I will sometimes, if I think of it, use a wax crayon, which isn't removable.) Probably I don't use it stategically, but to me it is always too obvious.
I saw someone use a masking pen online and got myself one to try.
It goes on easy, very controllable, but is nearly impossible to remove! I gave up; where I was able to remove it, the paper is damaged.
(I wanted to take a picture of the pen, but I think the cats must have batted it under something!)
Back to no masking fluid.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

smilla

There are so many great watercolor and ink paintings of black cats online where the artist lets the flowing of the color define the shapes of the cat--they always amaze me! It looks like magic.
I don't know how they do it, but I thought I'd blunder in.
I identified the parts I had to keep lighter, then started flooding the colors in.
I think it'll take a lot of practice to find the right technique and to have the confidence to get it right on the first go, without having to keep going back and "adjusting"!

fishing boats

6x6
Back to fishing boats ... Not very Christmasy though. i should've hung a wreath on one!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

melo

My photogenic boy!
Not worrying about getting the stripes just right has been a real help!

Friday, December 21, 2018

cardinal

Lately, whenever I drew a cardinal, it seemed "off," but I didn't  know why.
So I drew lines on my reference photo to see what lined up with what ... and discovered that I'd been putting the eye in the wrong place, as well as not making the head wide enough.
In sparrows, for example, the eye sits on top of a line drawn from the middle of the beak; on the cardinal the top of the eye aligns with the top of the beak.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

junco

Several people asked about the snowy backgrounds in my recent bird paintings, so I thought I'd do a step-by-step.
I painted the background, very wetly, with cobalt, quin pink, and raw sienna.
But I waited too long to sprinkle on the salt!
I wasn't too happy with how the background turned out--too blue, I thought--and was going to abandon this one. But I finished it anyway, and spattered it with white watercolor.

Monday, December 17, 2018

too far or not far enough?

I couldn't tell if I did too much or too little here, then realized it's a bit of both.
Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to see it afresh and add something to improve it.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

preparing or procrastinating?

A gray, rainy Sunday here. I decided to take the day off from working and do some painting. (Since I work at home I have to convince myself to put the work away!) Wound up measuring and tearing paper; drawing; taping papers to boards ... I could call it prep work--my mise en place--but it feels more like delaying!
So I've got eight potential paintings all ready to be painted: now to convince myself to not find those boards intimidating!
I think before tackling any of them I'll try a little more free-form painting of poinsettias and Christmas cactus

Friday, December 14, 2018

gilly & arya

Not as pleased with this as I had hoped to be.
I was trying to concentrate on shapes of values, and, to some degree, I think that worked.
But where it fails is in expressiveness, generally, but specifically in their faces.
At least I painted today--have been somewhat lax the last week or so.
Back to the drawing board.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

my cats

Drawings to paint of my cats, Melo and Sansa and Gilly and Arya.
I'm glad I decided to photograph these; looking at the photo I can clearly see a few things that need tweaking.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

melo

One of my cats, Melo, sitting in a wreath.
I painted the wreath first because it was the part I was most worried about.
I kept the floor close to Melo in value because I didn't want to attract too much attention there; though I am now thinking of adding a little shadow ...

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

pine cone

Jo MacKenzie sent me the reference photo for this, which I painted after watching her pine cone painting videos on YouTube. Jo's emphasis on planning your values really helped.

oyster shells

The inside of an oyster shell can be so colorful. These were served on a plate garnished with strands of seaweed, which I found so visually appealing.

Friday, November 30, 2018

melo & arya

This was coming along pretty well, then I started having trouble with Melo's face ... and the overworking began! I didn't finish; though I may, just for practice.
I will definitely try this one again, hopefully having learned from my mistakes.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

chickadee

A couple of winters ago, I took some photos of birds in my yard after a snowstorm. They were all overexposed but I liked the quiet wintry mood that caused.
This is my first attempt to paint from one.