Sunday, July 12, 2009

Watercolor Painting - Peeling Paint Update #2

I finally got an update online now I have been having blogger problems & my images would not load. I think it is the computer gods trying to get me off my computer and back to painting, it is working! I roughed in the bricks and used several layers for the sky but may still add a layer or two once the rest of the colors are brought up to completion. The windows have been blocked in but still need more layers of blacks to give more depth and then need to fill in the window pane to set it back into the house. I am really happy with the way the peeling paint turned out so far :)
Watercolor Painting - Quebec Window Peeling Paint

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Watercolor Painting - Peeling Paint Update #1

Watercolor Painting Demo - Peeling Paint Well a bit of time has passed since I started this demo as I had to reformat my computer to try to restore my webcam, only to find out that it is a hardware issue, not software so now I need to find my warranty for my computer...awk! I never buy the extended warranty, perhaps I jinxed myself by buying it as I have only had the computer for less than a year...ok enough griping!

So I meant to take a photo earlier but was so happy to be back painting that I forgot. I painted in transferred the drawing and then masked off the whites so I could paint the dark layers of wood beneath the peeling paint without having to worry about saving my whites.

I used several layers of paint, more than I thought I would need, and will continue to add more layers as the painting progresses to give more depth. The bricks were under painted with yellow to give a bit of a glow through the layers I plan to add on top. I am going to make the bricks warmer than in the reference photo to add more contrast & because I like warm bricks :)

The house has been under painted with several layers of a blueish gray painting in some of the darker areas just to keep things balanced. I am still debating on how much detail to add to the windows as I am tempted to add the detail I see within the window panes but will wait to see how the painting progresses as it may be more interesting just to see the play on lights & darks.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Watercolor Still Live Seashells - Beached

Watercolor Still Life Seashells - Beached
"Beached" - Watercolor 11x14"

This is my latest seashell painting called beached. The conch seashell is from one of my stash and I took a super close up photo of it and then imagined the background, a place where I would like to be!

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, March 16, 2009

Watercolor Seashell Painting

This is the latest in my series of watercolor shells that I have done. I just loved the shapes of the shell and the different colors. I exaggerated the colors a little to create more of a glow. I used the same palette as with the Shell Trio painting which shows how versatile a limited pallet is and there are so many other possibilities using this combination of pigments that I have not even tried yet!

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Watercolor Painting on Canvas

When I was buying my frames for my exhibit recently I found a product I thought I would never use for watercolors. I was looking for the fredericks canvas that is for painting with watercolor but the store no longer carries them so the sales person suggested using a ground on my own canvas instead.

I thought it would be too messy and too much work but apparently, all you need to do is paint the absorbent ground on the pre-gessoed canvas...hmm, now I am really intrigued. You can also use it on hardboard, wood or other surface to create a porous watercolor paper like surface. You can then display framed under glass or seal the surface afterwards to seal and protect it as you would with any watercolor surface not under glass.

Gesso is like a bridge connecting the support and the paint and the absorbent ground is applied to any gessoed support to mimic the absorbency of watercolor paper. For the full technical information and instructions go to Golden's site Aha just when I think I will not have anything else I 'need' to buy when I go into the art store I find something new I just have to try :)

As a bonus, it can also be used to cover up mistakes on watercolor paper or for negative painting. You can also mix the ground with acrylic paints for a colored ground





Labels: , ,

Friday, March 06, 2009

Watercolor Abstract Painting - Update 1

Abstract Watercolor Painting
I have developed a few areas and really strengthened the focal point (paint is still wet so is a bit darker than it will be when dry). I am still not sure if it is finished.... I will have to live with it for a bit to see. I may try to create more tension by strengthening one or more small areas just to lead the eye a bit more but not sure if it needs it yet.
Abstract painting is so different from the way I usually paint but it is so much fun and I am learning ALOT as I go. It is definitely not as easy as it looks but obviously that is what makes it interesting :)

Labels: , , ,

Monday, March 02, 2009

Watercolor Statue Painting - Wicked Winds


This is a painting I have been working on for awhile between the seashells and a few paintings before that. I had to keep taking breaks from it as it was much more detail work than I realized but I am quite happy with it. The layers had to be built up slowly so I jumped around alot working in different areas for variety. I quite like the way the background turned out as well. I had to do several glazes to get a color and texture I was happy with & I think it looks pretty cool and offsets the face nicely :)

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Watercolor Dog Portrait of Dudley - Update 4

Watercolor Pet Portrait
Spent most of today working on Dudley and I think he is nearly complete. Many layers have been added thinly to build up the depth and the darks have been darkened and glazed over many times to give a rich glow.
Just a few minor tweaks here and there but I have to let things dry a bit to ensure the lines are crisp as it is just a few small details that are needed.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Watercolor Dog Portrait of Dudley - Update 3

Watercolor Dog PortraitThe directionality of pretty much all of the fur has been painted in so it is now a matter of building up the layers using cool and warm variations of brown to create shape a depth. Varying the amount of pigment and water gives a huge range of tonal values as does adding small amount of blue or red pigment to the browns used.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Friday, February 13, 2009

Watercolor Dog Portrait of Dudley - Update 2

Dudley is starting to take shape slowly but surely. The darks still look a little funny in areas but as the layers get built up it adds to the depth and blends in more naturally. By the next update most of the underpainting should be completed so the shape of his head will be more natural looking and things will just keep getting furrier :)

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Watercolor Painting - Portrait of Girl

Watercolor Portrait Demo
The under painting of the skin has been started and the background has been painted in using winsor lemon and cobalt blue. Many layers have been used to slowly build up the form of the hair, hands and face. Salt was sprinkled on the background for added texture and left to dry thoroughly.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Watercolor Statue Painting

Watercolor Statue PaintingThis is a painting I did recently but just got around to taking photos of it today.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Watercolor Seashells - Completed Still Life

I think this is 'completed' but I will leave it for a bit to be sure. I darkened the upper half of the sand to add a bit of depth, I may darken it more but need to get a break from it to be sure.
I also lifted out some highlights to the shells to provide more contrast and shape. The darks inside the shells were touched up using burnt umber and burnt sienna.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Watercolor Seashells - Update 4

Still more darks have been added using the same colors as previously used just in darker mixes. Still a ways to go!

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, January 05, 2009

Watercolor Seashells - Update 2


The background is much richer now and I am nearly happy with it. I will add a bit more variation to it once the shells are further developed. I used more french ultramarine, yellow ochre, indian red, burnt sienna and cerulean blue which are then also used to develop the shells.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Watercolor Seashells - Background Update

Still Life Watercolor Painting of Seashells
The background has been roughed in and let dry but I am not happy with it so will add more layers to get it darker. So far I have used cobalt blue, french ultramarine and burnt sienna. I like the texture though and the variations in color that is starting to occur. I used masking fluid around the shells & spattered some in the background so I did not need to worry about working around the edges quickly.

Labels: , , ,

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.

Labels: , , , , , ,

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!

Labels: , , , , ,

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.

Labels: , ,

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.

Labels: ,

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!

Labels: , , , ,

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.

Labels: , ,

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

Labels: ,

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.

Labels: , , , ,

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.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

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 :)

Labels: , ,

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 :)

Labels: , , ,

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.

Labels: , , , ,

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!

Labels: , , ,

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 :)

Labels: , ,

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Watercolor Figure Painting - Into the Blue

Watercolor Figure PaintingThis is a figure painting that I just finished for my upcoming exhibit at Place des Arts in March.

I have never painted water before and I am quite happy with the way this painting turned out, both the water and the flesh tones. I tried to caputure the peaceful anticipation of being engulfed in water, warm of course ;)

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, August 22, 2008

Watercolor Portrait Demo - Pride Completed

Watercolor Portrait Demo
I adjusted her skin tone a little and softened a few edges. The yellow on the scarf was also painted in and some of the purples darkened. The background has faded into nothing with all the added color so I darkened it as well and that really helped.
I think this is completed but I will leave it for a few days and have another look with fresh eyes. I have been staring at her too long that I feel like she is starting to stare back at me ;) Distance is a good thing!

Labels: , ,

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Watercolor Portrait Demo - Pride #3

Watercolor Portrait Demo

The fleshtones have been painted in and more layers have been added to the scarf. The white looking areas will be yellow but I am waiting until nearer the end to paint in the yellow shading.
The detail on the lashes and brows has been redefined as they were starting to blend in a little.
A bit more modeling needs to be done on her face as well on her nose as it is looking a little flat.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Watercolor Painting - Pride #2

Watercolor Portrait Demo
More layers have been added to build up the face and her scarf. I have been moving around alot to let each area dry thoroughly as , especially with the purple, the paint is leaching a bit if it I don't let it dry thouroughly.

Partly due to the strong staining colors used but also I think that I am working on the back of the paper which is a bit rougher, oops. Always label your paper BEFORE you cut is so you don't forget :) Maybe this time I will remember!

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, August 18, 2008

Watercolor Portrait Demo - Pride Underpainting

Watercolor Portrait Painting DemoMost of the form has been painted in and I have painted in a bit of the detail on her scarf. I just love the way her scarf has wraps around her face. I am not following the reference photo exactly as this is not a commission so I can be a bit more free with my interpretation of this subject.

I have painted in some of the highlights in her hair as well. The highlights in her eyes are a little much right now I will tone some of them down later.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Watercolor Portrait Demo - Pride


This is the sketch for the portrait that has been transferred onto 140lb Arches Cold Pressed paper. The eyes are actually drawn on that dark as they will be quite dark in the final painting so I don't need to worry about the pencil showing through.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, August 15, 2008

Watercolor Painting - Pride

Watercolor Portrait Reference Photo

This is the reference photo for the next painting that I am painting for my exhibit. I love the close up on the eyes and the way the scarf surounds her face.

I found the photo on MorgueFile from a wonderful photographer, Luis C. Tejo. More of his work can be seen at MorgueFile, this photo is at http://www.morguefile.com/archive/?display=53669&

This painting will be in color rather than monochromatic to add a bit more variety to the exhibit and just for fun and a change of pace. It will be 11 x 14" on Arches watercolor paper.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Watercolor Figure Portrait - Lazy Days


Watercolor Figure Portrait
This is another painting I started for my solo exhibit at Place des Arts but did not get a chance to finish due to commissions. I had painted it in January but when I was putting the finishing touches on the background I had a major accident!
I had used masking tape to get some nice crisp lines but did not push the tape down enough and the paint leached onto the figure. Only small amounts but enought to totally wreck the painting, ugh.

So I painted the figure again in sepia rather than cobalt blue as I had originally done and left the background light and with a bit of texture, which I think looks better anyway. I liked the cobalt blue but I like the sepia more so it all worked out for the best in the end :)

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Watercolor Stretching Boards

So I have been experimenting with different methods of stretching watercolor paper and have come back to the support that I originally had but was not using properly, isn't that always the way!

The first method I had tried was using the drawing board, soaking the paper and then taping it onto the board with the gum tape and then stapling to corners. While this was the most consistent method, it was also the most consistent with keep the paper smooth. The tape works well but is a real pain to get off the paper and board once the painting is completed. Later I found a foam board that worked very well for this but the tape was wrecking the board when I removed it.

I then tried to build myself a paper stretch, well I had my father-in-law build it...anyway, it worked very well. But, always a but, I found the texture of the paper so tight that it made the paper much rougher than I am used to. Which would be great for landscapes I am sure and very wet in wet painting. No matter how much water I threw down, the paper seemed to go back into shape and buckle very little.

Then I heard about foamcore or gatorboard and that you could just use 3M masking tape to tape the paper down and then peel it off. I tried a foam board that was 3/4" thick but was not dense enough so it warped the paper a bit, but still worked well. I was working very dray though and the tape still lifted off in areas. When the painting was finished, I misted the back lightly with filtered water and lay it between paper towel and foam boards and then weighted down with books for 2 days and the warps came out very nicely.

I then read, on the package, of the board that I had purchased years ago and had been using gum tape and heave duty staples on that if you just use regular office stapler, that is all you need. Of course it works like a charm :) It is just a dense foam core or gator board but it is all I could find in Canada locally. It is called Incredible Art Board and is available at Opus Art Store and can also be ordered online. I purchased the larger size for the full sheet of watercolor and used it for my latest commission and it was a pleasure to work with. Very light and sturdy which is really nice as I tend to move my paintings & drawings around alot when I work.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, August 11, 2008

Watercolor Figure Portrait - Untitled #2

Watercolor Figure Portrait
This is another (finally) watercolor portrait for my upcoming exhibit in March at Place des Arts. It is done in sepia again and is as of yet untitled...any suggestions anyone?
I have a few ideas floating in my head but nothing that grabs me yet :) I started working on it months ago and just did the finishing touches after completing my last commission. Only 22 or so left to go.... Next!

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 14


Just a few finishing touches to be made to the daisies and the yellow flowers and then I think Kelly's portrait is complete!
I have done several tweaks over the past couple of days that are very subtle and are hard to see online but I have softened areas and darkened some of the flower centers and shadows. The deck has been darkened as well and more of the wood grain defined. A few more tweaks need to be made to the shadows and then I may add the panel lines from the house in the background to anchor everything down but will wait to see on the final shadows.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 13

More of the detail has been added to the flowers along with some shadows and some extra leaves to fill out the area above Kelly a bit more.

The shadows are a little hard to see in the photo but they have been painted in with a bluish gray in some areas and pinkish gray in others show the reflected color of the flowers.

I will wait until daylight to add in the final details to the flowers. The deck has another layer painted onto it and will be darkened a bit further.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 11


The flowers and leaves are being built up slowly painting with thin layers. I am focusing just on the purples flowers at the top and the leaves right now alternating between them to allow the paint to dry.
The yellow flowers will need more depth added as well but I want to wait until the rest of the leaves and the purple flowers are finished to judge how much they need to be toned down as the purple will make the yellow pop even more.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 10

Kelly's portrait is very close to completed so I have moved on to the foliage and flowers and will come back to make any minor adjustments. Once the background is completed I will better be able to judge if areas need to be touched up or softened.

The yellow flowers have been set in with several layers of cadium yellow and a few layers of new gamboge. The purple flowers are being built up with thin layers of perylene maroon and french ultramarine.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 9

Many more layers of sepia, payne's gray and burnt umber have been added throughout to further build up the fur texture. Her face has been evened out more but still requires a bit more work to soften edges and define her fur patterns. The deck has been darkened and will continue to be darkened with layers of payne's gray. Burnt sienna and cobalt blue will be added in areas for depth and warm. Things are starting to shape up!

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, July 28, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 8


More layers of light and dark fur have been painted througout. The woodgrain has been lightly suggested and the layer of paint has been painted both with payne's gray. A few more layers will be added to darken the step underneath and create more texture.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 6

This update shows much more of the fur defined and softened in areas. The shadows on her face have been blocked in and will continue to be developed and softened in areas ... right now her face looks a little jig-saw-puzzlish, that will get better.

The photo was taken at night with flash so it looks a little more golden than on the original. A wash of yellow ochre and burnt sienna is to blame but it pulls things together and softens areas to help create the wispy effect of her fur while mainting the shape with the underpainting.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 5

More wisps of fur are being added slowly in thin layers to add depth and ensure a rich glow. If the layers are added heavily I find that things can start to look flat and the colors are not as luminous.

Her nose has been blocked in and will continue to be built up. I love the blueish tint on the underside of her nose, I think it will add a very nice cool depth once the layers are built up on top. I used a mixture of Burnt Umber and French Ultramarine for this black. I also used a mix of Perylene Maroon and Winsor Green for a secondary black used in the pads of her feet which gives more of a reddish tone and is not as deep. I do not like the pre-made blacks as they also tend to be flat and lack the luminosity of a mixed black.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, July 21, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 4


Kelly is finally starting to show her colors :) Many layers of sepia, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, payne's gray, winsor green & perylene maroon have been painted throughout to add depth and texture.
I have established the darks on the pads of her feet to better judge the white values and will continue to build up areas throughout as I tend to skip from one area to the next to allow the paint to dry and to give my eyes a fresh view.
All of the masking fluid has been removed and the jury is still out on whether it is helpful or not. I usually just paint negatively around shapes to preserve my whites and lighter colors and while I like the way the masking fluid behaves in the fur and larger areas, I don't think it was helpful in the foliage area.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, July 18, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 2

Many more layers of foliage have been added and many, many more layers of masking fluid so it still looks a little odd. The fluid will be coming off soon on the foilage and a few details painted in once the darks are dry.
I have added the masking fluid to her fur to retain the white wisps of fur and once the background has been worked on a bit more I will start adding the darks and mid tones to her fur. The colors look very washed out in the photo due to the lighting so hopefully the next photo will be better as it will be in natural light.

Labels: , ,

Monday, July 07, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 1

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Golden Retriever
Things look a little funny right now as there are still spots of masking fluid glowing a yellowish ting but I thought I would post an update anyway.
I do not usually use masking fluid but thought it would add nice depth to the foilage once the painting is complete. The areas where the masking fluid has been removed will be painted in, some areas as flowers and some as vines and foilage. The area on the left will be wisps of fur that will also be touched up using both negative and positive painting to shape the fur. Leaves will also be painted in loosely overtop of the wash to give the suggestion of foilage and add depth.
I have started the underpainting of Kelly's fur using sepia in different dilutions to give structure to the fur. This golden retriever's fur is quite light in some areas and very rich in others so I think there will be a nice contrast in the fur once the glazes are added over the underpaintings. I will be away from the studio for a week, gasp, so this will likely be the last update until I return, I am getting separation anxiety already!!!

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Sketch


The sketch has been transferred to the watercolor paper and has been adjusted in photoshop so the lines can be seen better online. The flowers & leaves will be done very loosely for a glowing effect whereas the deck and Kelly's portrait will have stronger details to ensure that they come forward and that Kelly stays the focal point of the painting. A few of the flower petals and leaves will have more detail just to lead the eye and add interest.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, July 04, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait



This is a reference photo for my current commission which is a memorial portrait for Kelly, a much loved Golden Retriever who recently passed away. The portrait will be 22 x 28" painted in watercolor and will be a surprise gift for her people from a friend. I have started on the sketch and am looking forward to painting her surrounded by all the flowers.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Watercolor Figure Portrait - Untitled



This is another watercolor figure portrait done with a monochromatic palette of sepia for an upcoming exhibit at Place des Arts.


It is part of a series of paintings that will be on exhibit in March 2009, 7 paintings down, 31 more to complete, haha, good thing I work best under pressure!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dog Portrait Commission Munsterlander 2

Watercolor Portrait of Dog
Murphy's portrait is really starting to take shape now as most of the darks have been added. The eyes look a little funny still as the 'color' has not been added to her iris's which should set them in nicely. Her right cheek needs a bit more shading as does the tip of her nose.

Once I have a few more glazes of watercolor painted on I will do the finishing touches to the darks and add more texture to the fur on the face & ears.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dog Portrait Commission Munsterlander 1

I have started adding some of the darks and have added several layers of fur already to create a fuller effect once completed.
I have only added one overall wash of watercolor at this point just to take away the starkness of the paper and will add several washes as the painting progresses to soften the edges and blend areas together more smoothly.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, June 09, 2008

Dog Portrait Commission Munsterlander Sketch

Dog Portrait Commission Munstlander Sketch
This is the outline sketch of Murphy, a beautiful Munsterlander dog that I will be painting as a monochromatic watercolor. I have done the sketch small and will enlarge it then transfer it to the watercolor paper.
I usually start out with a large sketch but I wanted to keep it small to ensure that I caught all the details as the photo is blurry. I think I have captured his personality already though even with the limited detail.
The eyes I had to 'feel out' as in the photo they are in total shadow but he seems like a loyal intelligent dog so I hope that I have caputured that in his face and eyes.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Dog Portrait Commission Munsterlander

This is a reference photos of a portrait that I will be starting on Monday of a Munsterlander dog named Murphy. The reference photo is very small but it is a surprise gift and it is the best one available and the pose and expression on Murphy's face are so sweet.
I will be working from several reference photos to get more details but the general pose and tonal values from this photo will be used to ensure that Murphy's character is captured.
The portrait will be 18 x 24 in monochromatic watercolor which will give a very nostalgic feel that I think is very fitting for a hunting dog.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Watercolor Still Life of Nautilus Shell


This is a still life painted in watercolor of a nautilus shell. I can still see the curves in the shell everytime I close my eyes, I think they have been etched into my brain I starred at them so hard! It was fun to paint though and a nice change from what I normally do.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Friday, April 04, 2008

Watercolor Figure Portrait - Reach


I thought I had posted this but looking back I did not, funny because it is my favorite in the series! It is a monochromatic figure portrait done in sepia watercolor and is currently on exhibit at Place des Arts in Coquitlam BC.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Friday, March 28, 2008

Newborn Baby Watercolor Portrait - Fighting Sleep


I think this baby is finished but will leave it for a few days to decide if it needs tweaking. He looks like a little old man which goes with he personilty totally as he is so serious about everything. I have titled this portrait "Fighting Sleep" as he was trying so hard to stay awake but failed miserably ;)

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Newborn Baby Watercolor Portrait wip 2


Many more layers have been added to build up the shape and add texture to the hair. The object the baby is lying on is from imagination and is not really a blanket or mattress. I wanted to mimic the shape of the baby but add a contemporary feel.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, March 10, 2008

Newborn Baby Watercolor Portrait




This is the start of my latest painting. It is of my own baby boy fighting sleep but losing the battle. It is going to be done as a monochromatic painting in watercolor. I really like the effects of monochromatic artwork whether it be black and white as with pencil or graphite drawings or a single color.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Friday, February 29, 2008

Watercolor Portrait of Baby Boy Completed


This commission for grandma is completed! This baby was alot of fun to paint as he has such a cute expression and amazing eyes! I love painting or drawing children as they just have the funniest expressions, you can almost hear the thought process!

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Watercolor Portrait of Baby Boy update 2


I forgot to stop and take photos of the progress but basically I have just been building up the tonal values using thin layers of sepia. The toy his is playing with is one of his favorites right now and took forever to paint! This painting will be a gift for his grandma or as we call her, mamaia. She has been watching the progess and is very excited :)

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Watercolor Figure Portrait - Inner Peace



This is my lastest in my watercolor figure series. I just loved the pose in the reference material but I think it comes across even nicer in the painting.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, February 08, 2008

Watercolor Nude Figure Portrait


This is another watercolor nude figure painting monochromatic with sepia. I am working on a series for an exhibit proposal for a local gallery in Coquitlam, BC. I have not given this one a title yet as still tossing around ideas:) I really like the monochromatic look and feel whether it be black and white or as in this case sepia.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Watercolor Nude Figure Portrait


This is the latest monochromatic painting I have done using sepia watercolor on Arches coldl-pressed watercolor paper. It is 11 x 14 and was painted using many thin glazes of watercolor to build up the depth and details.

I am working on a series of painting using the sepia for a monochromatic effect similar to black and white for contrast but with the warmth of sepia.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, January 28, 2008

Stretching Watercolor Paper

I have been getting ready for a couple of exhibits and have perfected my process of stretching my watercolor paper so that I almost enjoy it. I have heard it is not necessary to stretch good quality paper 140lb paper, I am using Arches, but I find it gives me piece of mind to do it even if it does not need to be done! I have tried watercolor blocks twice but both times they buckle even with a wash that is not very wet, I don't use a huge amount of water so they should be able to withstand my washes...

I float the paper in a pan of filtered room temperature water for 45 seconds and then hold it from one corner until it stops dripping. I then tape each side with watercolor tape, 2 times, 1 piece overlapping the other for strength. I then give each corner a quick staple and wait for it to dry overnight.

I only have a few more pieces to do for my first exhibit I am preparing for and just discovered the perfect paper stretcher, not my opinion, that is it's name. It has been around for a long time so I do not know why I have not heard about it sooner as it seems to work quite well from reviews I have read. I found a video of it's description on uTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Z2zeS0oVi4 The guy, not sure if it is Ken Bromley, the creator is quite funny. So I am going to have to give it a whirl and see how it handles. It would be so nice not to have to muck with that sticky tape anymore. Not sure which is worse touching it wet, yuck, or scraping it off the board after the painting is finished.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Watercolor Figure Portrait Demo Completed

The fleshtones have been evened out using glazes of yellow ochre and burnt umber. Highlights have been gently lifted out to add more contrast. The shadowns and the background were darkened with sepia.


Labels: , , ,

Monday, January 07, 2008

Watercolor Figure Portrait Demo 3


Just the finishing touches are left which will give the figure a more natural glow and will define her features a bit more. The shadow lost a bit of punch due to the glazes of Yellow Ochre and Burnt Sienna so I darkened them with another layer of sepia.

I may darken the background and/or warm it up a bit but I will wait till later to decide.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Watercolor Figure Portrait Demo 3


After the sepia dried completely the shadows were deepened with ultramarine blue using several thin layers to build up the color slowly.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, January 04, 2008

Watercolor Figure Portrait Demo 2


Several more layers of sepia have been added and blended. I love the reference photo as the pose is so interesting and the lighting is great but the quality is very poor so this has been a little more slow going than I had hoped as I really have to squint to see the details. Nearly every time I start a piece of artwork I vow that I will not use poor reference material... I recently purchased a new digital camera that takes amazing photos so hopefully this will be the last one I struggle through ;) I blow the images up in photoshop or picassa which is free from google and alter the lights and darks so that I can see more detail which really helps. The image pixelates but if I squint I can get a better idea of how the shapes fit together. I bought a lightbox for the same purpose a year ago just before I discovered it works better on the computer ;) I now use my lightbox mostly as an expensive prop for my painting board, hmm. After looking at the adjusted reference material on the computer I notice that a portion of the hair was hidden in shadows so I will need to adjust that but overall the underpainting is complete.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Watercolor Figure Portrait Demo

I am trying another method of under painting for this watercolor figure portrait. The underpainting has been started using a more traditional color, sepia, to build up form slowly. There are still many more layers to be added but the general form is clear. Charles Novich was featured in the Artist's Magazine using the colors I will be using which give the skin a warm brownish glow.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, December 28, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Completed

Well I think this is done! I will leave it for a few days and come back to it to see for sure and I will likely make some tweaks. I have added a few more glazed to the hair after lifting out some highlights. To lift out the highlights I just used a nylon angle brush with clean water and a tissue. You could also use a razor blade to scratch out the highlights but I think it looks too harsh. It is also scary to take a razor blade to a portrait after all this work! I also lifted some highlights out on the skin, eyes and shirt. I love this stage but it is easy to get carried away so I have to watch myself. The paint also lifts very easily at this point as there are so many layers of paint on the paper to a light hand is good! This photo seems to be a bit less red than the original, I can't seem to get it right ;)

Labels: , , ,

Watercolor Portrait in Demo #8

This update photo was taken at night so the colors are a little off. Mainly in the hair, I don't think it was that red at this stage. I have added the shadows to the hair with a darker mix of French Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Umber and Yellow Ochre. I also added a few layers of Rose Madder Genuine to give her skin a healthy glow including her lips.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #7

The hair has been painted in several layers to add depth and to obtain the rich red color in her hair. A dark mixture of ultramarine blue, burnt umber and yellow ochre was used for the darks. I then glazed over all of the hair with raw sienna and then a mix of burnt umber and a touch of sepia to give the red and brown tones. Still a bit more work to be done to add the detail to the hair.

Her face has been glazed with cadmium red with a touch of terre verte several times but still requires more glazes to give her a rosy glow. The lips have been painted more heavily with the same mixture. The eyes have several glazed of indandathrene blue with a touch of cadmium red. I may add more glazed once the portrait is nearer completion and will lift out the highlights later as well.
Posted by Picasa

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #6


A bit more modeling with venetian red and darkened the background.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, December 14, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #5


Now the face is modeled a bit more with venetian red which is an earthy color similar to indian red but not as opaque.

The color is again brought into the hair. The background has been darkened with a bluish green mixture. It will be darkened a few more times as I go. The shirt has been blocked in with cobalt blue and a touch of terre verte and will be modeled loosely to suggest shape but not too much detail.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #4

The features have been modeled a bit further using the watercolors very dryling now and blending well to avoid harsh lines in the portrait. I have added the background color which is a granular purple shade. I plan to darken it significantly as I go. I am continuing to add all of the flesh colors into the hair so that the hair looks more natural and has more depth.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, December 03, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #3

The hair and face were covered with a light layer of Naples Yellow and then the features of her face were further modeled further very carefully. Now I am adding layers of light red to give a bit of color to her skin and hair. The colors are a little off on this one as I had to use the scanner again and the board does not fit the greatest on it!

Labels: , , ,

Monday, November 26, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #2

The blue underpainting has been overpainted with a olive green mixture to comeplete the grisaille. It looks more brownish than I think it should at this stage, and even moreso online, but we will see how it goes! It does have a nice glow to it though and she is starting to look less one dimensional.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo

I started this portrait prior to doing the last two cat portrait commissions and am now getting back to work on it. I am going to do it as a work in progress and it is my second attempt using the same drawing that I used for my first attempt using the grisaille method. I have transferred the drawing to the watercolor paper and have painted in the lights and darks using only blue. The full image would not fit on my scanner but you get the general idea.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, October 22, 2007

Watercolor Portrait of Baby Girl Completed

Well I think my first attempt at this watercolor portrait is completed. I will leave it a few days just to be sure but I am pretty happy with it. I lifted out some highlights and touched up a few areas. I may add more detail to the hair and I need to fix the pupils a touch but need to wait until they are completely dry. I tend to run into trouble due to my impatience and not waiting for the paint to be completely dry....aha what can you do ;)
Posted by Picasa

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Watercolor Portrait of Baby - Demo 3

Watercolor Portrait of Baby Girl
Well more layers have been added to this watercolor portrait and I am happy to say she does look like she has been out in the sun too long anymore :) The brows and lashes have been darkened a little more and the lips have been plumped up.

I still have a bit more work to do, softening some areas, intensifying the background and maybe adding a bit more blush into her skin to see if I can make it a little less blue in some areas. I think I overdid it a bit in the underpainting, but it was so much fun! Aha, live & learn ;) I may also add more definition to the hair but will wait and see. It is easy to overdo it with watercolor for me so I may just leave the hair as is...

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Totally cool right side/ left side brain 'test'

I just saw this on Maggie's site and had to check it out. It is so cool, give it a try and see, no you don't have do do any math or think, it is not a 'test' like that ;)

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Watercolor Portrait of Baby


I am spending more time doing watercolor now so thought I would post my latest watercolor portrait as it progresses. I am trying a new technique so I plan to paint this portrait until I get it right :) This is my first attempt and I figure if I get to 20 attempts and I am still unhappy I give up! Just kidding :) This is the underpainting done using only blue. The idea is to build up the structure using an underpainting and then add the flesh tones overtop...I think I may have gotten a little carried away with the underpainting.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Using grids for proportions tutorial

I was taught to use the grid method in elementary school and was amazed at how simple it was to use. Unfortunately, I was under the impression that using a grid was 'cheating' so I never used it again. Years later I went to an exhibit of Vincent van Gogh and was astonished to see that he and many other masters used the grid method! Well that was good enough for me!

I decided to give the method another try. I drew grid lines, 1 inch apart, with a permanent marker onto an sheet of acetate film. I blew up my reference photo to the size that I wanted and placed the acetate over top. I then drew grid lines with an F pencil onto my drawing surface. While this worked very well, I was spending too much time drawing and erasing the grid lines.

I now use the process below:
  • I now blow up my image to a size that I am happy with and print it off.

  • I then print a grid using 1 inch squares that I created in Photoshop (you can also use a word document for the grid) directly overtop of the printed image. You can use whatever grid size you like but I prefer a 1 inch by 1 inch grid.

  • Then I print the same grid onto a piece of tracing paper and draw my initial sketch on the tracing paper.

  • Once I am happy with my drawing I use a light box (ok, so I use my glass dining room table with a lamp underneath) and transfer the drawing to my drawing paper.

  • If I have a hard time seeing the lines, I will go over them with a black felt pen.



This may seem like a bit of work, but if you have ever used the traditional grid method only to be dismayed by grid lines showing through on your final drawing, the work seems minimal in the long run. Also, I found that drawing my grid lines manually often led to slight discrepancies between the grid on the picture and on my drawing. Small discrepencies turn into big discrepancies when you are working on a portrait!

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Graphite & Charcoal Materials Tutorial

Drawing Surface
My favorite drawing surfaces are smooth or medium bristol board and arches hot pressed watercolor paper. The watercolor paper provides more tooth for the graphite and charcoal to settle into.

Pencils
Any artist grade pencils will do. Experiment to find a brand that you feel comfortable with. I generally use F for the initial drawing as it erases easily without too much damage to the paper. I also like to use mechanical pencils as well as regular pencils as they maintain their shape well.

Charcoal

Again any artist grade charcoal that you can find will work well. The degrees of hardness ranges from HB (hardest) to 3B (softest).

Erasers

I use mak tak as a kneaded eraser. You can buy it at any stationary store. It is used for tacking pictures to walls but it works perfectly for lifting graphite and/or charcoal from drawings and for erasing.

Blending Stumps

Soft paper felt with double pointed ends used for blending. If the point wears down you can use sand paper to repoint.

Tortillions

Soft rolled paper with pointed end used for blending

Chamois

For the smoothest blending and to lift off extra graphite or charcoal.
Tissue PaperFor a rougher blending effect and to lift off extra graphite or charcoal.


Miscellanesous

Tracing paper to draw original artwork on, transfer paper, masking tape for holding template in place, drafting brush to remove eraser and graphite residue, chamois for blending

Labels: , , , , , , ,