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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Spotted Sandpiper Follow-up

You are so correct, Laure. I'm way too timid when it comes to light and shadow. Intellectually I know I a light area in shadow is darker than a dark area in light, but I have a tough time doing it.

I pushed the values farther .... and I resolve to do some studies with light and shadow in mind. For some reason I do better with values on a 20 min challenge than I do when I get involved with detail. I want both detail and values!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Spotted Sandpiper # 50

I think of spotted sandpipers being little sunbirds. They come for the summer and hang out on the edges of ponds and rivers, often running about on half submerged logs ... seemingly always in the sun.

I'm out of my comfort zone. Historically I've painted very careful detail on hot pressed surfaces and illustration board -- or I do rather loose sketches. Here I'm using coarse watercolor paper and not painting each feather. I'm trying for light and form and trying to keep the color fresh; combined with having the bird accurately drawn.

Please critique.

Monday, July 26, 2010

# 20 my flowering adenium

I love adenium plants and have a number of them growing in pots. This plant is almost 30 years old and flowers every year in the winter. This year however, it has been flowering throughout. The strange thing is that the flowers have got lighter as the summer has increased. At the moment the flowers just have this bright pink edge whereas in the winter they are almost completely pink!
Nature is amazing isn't it! Such wonders!

Painting #74 - Cactus Flower

I think the only reason I like gouache is for the effect of painting on black paper.  I just love the way it pops and the light just shines.  
Yes, I'm hooked.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cow Skull #49

Laure's blog posting on July 14 got me to thinking. I'm reaching the midway point on my 100 Paintings Challenge -- a good time to remember why I'm doing it. I keep wanting to slip into quality and no quanity, yet the goal of this challenge is quanity over quality. Over the past few months I've become a believer .... and just getting in there and painting is the road to learning. We should spend a significant amount of time exploring, experimenting, and enjoying. Three Es. And we're not reaching out, if we don't make some mistakes along the way.

Here is my latest, a twenty minuite challenge. I'm learning to appreciate what a short time frame can teach me. To do it I have to focus on what is important and let the rest fall by the wayside. The resulting painting often has more life in it than my careful work. A little voice down inside is telling me I should do a 20 min challenge of an idea before spending hours on the idea. I bet the end result on the detailed painting would be way better ... or I might even move on to the next painting.

Painting #73 - Into The Sun

This is Tim, my SIL driving his boat and I was sitting behind him.
I am happy the way this turned out, just what was in my mind.  Lots of hot sun in front of us with great shadows.
Lots of inspiration when I visited there.

Friday, July 23, 2010

# 19 Blue Flowers

These grow in my veranda 'garden'!!!! Its monsoon time and so many things are beginning to bloom. I got this plant in Assam, and it has traveled with me to Kolkata! The flowers are so beautiful and quite unique as they grow out of the leaves! Unfortunately they only stay in bloom for a day!
This was painted in my journal, and I wish I had left the background white...I tried putting in the impression of the leaves that were surrounding the flowers...and now I feel the background is a little too overpowering and the flowers are getting lost!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mellow Fellow: Bison # 48

I think this is my favorite pose that bison take. I like the curve of their back and their massive form.

Pelikan pen and watercolor from one of my photos.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Painting #72 - Black-eyed Susies

My Black-eyed Susies have increased a lot this year and I always have to paint them each year as they are one of my favorite flowers.
This year I was trying a new background.  Trying being the key word.  More trying necessary, but I always learn something doing this.  I am out of mask-it so I had to use gouache on the rays and they look so dull!
Mistakes are so great for learning.

Monday, July 19, 2010

#18 Crystal!

I attend a painting class once a week. For the last couple of weeks we have been painting a 'large picture' (this was 24"square) of crystal and tried to capture the reflections and glints, the values and colour on a wide expanse of space. I would really appreciate your critical comments on this painting.

#17 Veggies from the fridge!

This was a 'quick' painting. I challenged myself to finish it in 2 hours. Just took out whatever veggies I could find in the fridge....chose a variety of colour and started painting! Stopped at the end of of 2 hours, resisting the temptation to fiddle, and am quite happy with the result. Painting quickly helps me to focus on what really is important.

#16 the hut in the Himalayas

I was on a trek in the Himalayas last year and took a number of pictures for reference for later paintings. This is one of them....I loved the light glinting on the roof! I have painted it as a card for my mother's birthday! Its 7"X10".
I am just beginning to work on landscapes and wonder if I have managed to get the distance of the background mountains....or whether there should have been more blue in the picture.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Grizzly and her COY # 47

I'm trying to capture mood, not detail. The Mama grizzly and her COY (cub of the year) were disappearing into dusk and light snow. For more about her, go to my blog.

Watercolor on Strathmore #140 watercolor paper.

Painting #71 - View From Park

While on Lake Winnebago we tied up at a park and this was the view out onto the lake past a little peninsula.  The sky, clouds and light were amazing.
I am certainly getting my seascape and sky practice in from that visit!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Painting #70 Pelicans

Spending a day on the lake with my daughter and SIL gave me lots of inspiration and these pelicans were one.  I thought they were only around the oceans.
Good opportunity to try seascapes.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

#46 Bluebird Comparison

Blue Version

Yellow Green Version

Here are two very similar pieces and I'm hoping for some critiquing.

Some of you may remember a similar posting back in early June (#26). That one was straight out of my sketchbook and done on location. A friend asked for a little Yellowstone sketch and so I thought I do this subject for him. (I hate tearing pages out of my sketchbook and hoped I could make some improvements). The little tree has been a favorite of both the friend and us for years.

These are both drawn after I got home. I won't say now which one of these I did first. I'm very curious which one you like best and any other pertinent comments.

# 14 & #15, light and shadows!

I was waiting on the railway station in Delhi a few days ago, very early in the morning, and noticed what a good picture the opposite platform,, with its bench and grill made, the rays of the early morning sun  was just gently lighting one side but a a hint of shadow remained on the other. These are all old structures, that are getting spruced up and painted for the Commonwealth games India is hosting this year!

The next one is also an early morning picture painted in the home of the friend we were visiting. They live in an old house with a huge garden and many litchi trees! I loved the gnarled trunk, and again used a pen to add more detail and depth to the picture!

# 13 My flowering cactus

My cactus plant flowered for the 1st time...I am really thrilled! It opened up for a few hours and then went back into this closed form. We are in the middle of the monsoons here so possibly it hasn't been dry enough for the flower to stay open. But it is beautiful as it is! It was a quick painting and I can see that I haven't got enough 'depth' in it. The paper was also not a very good one, so I couldn't do anymore work on it. A great lesson learnt...don't use rubbishy paper for watercouours!!!

Painting #69 - Gallardia

The Gallardia are blooming around here and I just had to paint one.
I am laughing at myself painting all these blooms when one of my goals was to improve landscapes.  I think my 'self' is trying to tell me something.
However, I am getting more comfortable using yellow.
And, I learned something from yesterday; I cropped it closer and it looks better.  Thanks.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Critiques?!! What's Going On?

After a bit of discussion by the members of the 100 Paintings Challenge, it has been decided that the members of the challenge can post up to two paintings each month with a request for feedback as to what works and what might be done to help areas where the artist is struggling.

The followers of the blog are welcome to comment and offer suggestions as well—if the artist has requested feedback. The main focus of the 100 Paintings Challenge is still to do 100 paintings within one year with the focus on quantity rather than on quality.

It is a foregone conclusion that every time we put brush to paper, it is with the intent to do our very best. With that said, we recognize that there are times when "fresh" eyes, other than our own, can see what we cannot.

I ask that everyone review "Giving/Receiving Feedback" section in the lefthand sidebar before leaving feedback.

Thank you for joining us on our artistic journey. We welcome comments, feedback and questions!

Updated From Critique Remarks

Thank you all for your suggestions.
I darkened some places and lightened some others and cropped it closer.
I think it looks better.
Thank you.

Painting #68 - Succulent For Critique

The reference photo below is from a friend and I used the painting for Cactus Monday.
I like the painting and LOVE that cobalt blue.  I see a love affair coming with that shade of blue.  This is the first time I have blended three colors together.  Each petal was done separately using cobalt blue, yellow ochre and rose.
I also know the colors are not the same but I like my colors, one of those artist license things.
What bothers me is the background.  I wanted the plant to 'pop' more and have more texture.  I was on the way to overworking it so I quit painting.

Have at it ladies!  
I know I will appreciate anything you have to offer.

Sap Stealer: Rufous Hummingbird # 44

A rufous hummingbird is stealing sap from a sapsucker's seep. For more about this be sure and go to my blog.

My goal is to capture how delicate a hummingbird is and the whirr of its wings. I considered including lots of foliage and branches. This branch is tucked inside a dense willow, but I decided to keep the focus on the bird and the branch. I wanted to capture the detail without getting too tight.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Red-Breasted Sapsucker # 44

The weather here has been beastly hot, and so I finally have a chance to stay indoors and paint. It is hard keeping up with everything as this time of year.

Sapsuckers are known for a unique behavior, they drill little holes in trees and suck sap. I was delighted to find this one about three weeks ago. Watercolor painted from my photo on Strathmore #140 cold press.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Painting #67 - Polo Hats

My friend sent me a photo of these ladies when she went to a polo match because she knows I have been in a 'hat' mood.  Suddenly I have a hat series going.
Friends are so thoughtful and this was fun to paint.

This is one of those paintings where paper made all the difference in the world and is actually the second painting I did.  The first one was on Aquarelle 125# and turned out so bad I had to redo it on different paper.  
This one is one Strathmore 140# and the paint did exactly what I wanted it to do unlike the Aquarelle paper where the paint just sat there.

On to the next painting.

Monday, July 5, 2010

# 12 Windows

I love windows and doors, especially old ones. This is from a picture I took last year on a visit to Portugal. I have painted a small version in colour, but thought I would try a monotone. I have not done a monotone before. It was fun to do, especially as I had to think through the values and tones and have certainly learnt something new. I have used Burnt Umber (one of my most favourite colours) to try and get the oldness of the building! Maybe I should have used handmade paper, as the texture may have added to the paintings! Next time! Comments will be appreciated.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Revised "Crumpled" (# 43)

Laure sent me a very thought provoking digitally enhansed version of my "Crumpled" (great blue heron). I love it! She could see how swampy Florida habitat lends itself to the crumples, and I have to admit, Oregon has a few thick riprian areas the herons like to stalk around in. The painting on top is Laure's computer enhased version.

... and here my heron after I added more paint. I think it is a much more interesting painting now. The last of my ink was added after I studied where some of the suggested foliage went.

If anyone decides to crumple too, I suggest using rather light-weight watercolor paper. I used medium weight and even after ironing it doesn't lay flat. It looks better scanned than in real life because the scanner doesn't show any shadows.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Crumpled # 43

After reading Kelly's technique on her warbler, I got a whim to try something really different. My aim was to capture an antique effect .... but I have to admit I'm not wild about the end result. But I'll let you all see what my whim led to.

I inked the great blue heron first, then crumpled my watercolor paper before adding the washes. I figured the paint would sink into the creases a little more than where the paper was still smooth. Oh, yes, I ended up ironing the end result so it would scan half way decently.

# 7,8,9,10,11

We've been away on a holiday to Goa...so a few of these are all sketches from a journal I kept during the holiday. My daughter got me a set of paints, so I experimented with some new colours! We are in the middle of the monsoons here in India so there was constant, often torrential, rain, but the surroundings were lush and green, so many shades of green, and the paddy fields filled with water! All the pictures were done plain aire and I totally enjoyed the experience. Its more complicated in a way, as one has to be able to focus on what needs to be kept in the picture and what doesn't.
# 7 Tiger Lillies
# 8 Tilling Fields
Another view from the veranda of our guest house. Through the rain the farmer continued to plough his fields! Goa, being on the sea also is full of Coconut trees!

# 9 The bread fruit tree
I last saw these trees when I was in Jamaica. I was delighted to see one growing right in the middle of our guest house garden. It brought back so many memories! The leaves are large as is the fruit which is served cut into slices and fried...and  tastes like fried bread! Tottaly delicious, but also totally fattening!!
One of the reasons for joining this challenge is also to experiment within the water colour range...so I tried using a pen for this picture. My daughter is from design school, so was very encouraging, which helped! I really enjoyed that and it seems to have added depth to my picture!

# 10 Coconut Palms
Another view from the veranda, really tall coconut palms in the foreground and paddy fields behind. This is a painting 10X14" in size and done on water colour paper. I used the pen again and feel it definitely strengthened this picture.
# 11 Bird of Paradise
This was a picture of the entrance to the guest house but taken from inside the room, looking at the view through the open door. The blue window looks into the kitchen... I really loved the yellow flowers (am not sure what they were) and the orange bird of paradise. The rain had washed all the plants and they were shining...the colours were so bright!

I painted more on this holiday then I have done in a long time. I think the inspiration was constantly around as I love painting from nature...and there was so much of that. After Kolkata it  was wonderfully quiet and became a very peaceful week! More pictures will come from this trip!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Kelly - Paintings #33, 34, 35, 36, and 37

...I'm back in town and back on track. I really need to get crackin' if I want to make this challenge. Here are a few really fast sketches. I'm going to have to do a lot of quick sketches if I want to catch up!

Painting 37 - Eastern Towhee

Painting 36 - Eastern Towhee in Orange
This one was fun. I just wanted to create a flat form
with color. I normally pay attention to detail, but I wanted
to leave that style behind for a while...

Painting 35 - Willet in the Gulf

Painting 34 - Eastern Kingbird in the High Meadow

Painting 33 - Prothonotary Warbler painting study
This was a five-minute value study for an earlier painting. After I figured out how to work out the real painting, I tossed this on the floor and forgot about it. A couple of days later I saw it on the floor and picked it up and scribbled over the top of it with pastels and charcoal, really grinding the pigment into the paper. Then I stuck it under the faucet and doused it with water, washing a lot of the pigment off and soaking the paper completely through--who knows why... It ended with an old-fashioned fabric feel that I liked, so I decided to use it in the challenge.