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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kelly - Painting 33

(Oil Pastel, 9x12 Sennelier Oil Pastel Paper)

"Gold Daffodils in Pink" was another experiment. I wanted to see how dark and rich I could take the color using the Sennelier oil pastels, and I wanted a blurry lushness I could get lost in, so I slathered the pigment on in waves and used a smudge stick to blend and blur. These daffodils are from my front yard. It was grey and cold and snowing, but the flowers were working their hardest to brighten things up. I snipped a few and brought them inside so their gold color would glow and fill the room with spring.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The forgiving nature of acrylics made it fairly simple to sketch out my son tinged in the computer's blue light. I was thinking of how to keep warm and cool colors on the same plane on his face and what color the background needed to be to stay as background as the values are so similar. This is one of the first paintings I felt was completed (as much as I feel anything is finished) in one sitting. The 4x4 size was a big help and my subject had had enough of me staring at him. My biggest challenge I have discovered is the technical aspect - typing, blogging, the importance of clicking the correct area -quite the opposite of acrylics.

A New Challenger!

Please join me in welcoming Liz Cutler, our latest challenger! Liz is a painter working with oils, acrylic and pastel. She has only recently started to work in watercolors. One of the things I liked most about Liz's response to her goals for the challenge, was her candid admittance to the fact that she loved to dive in and indulge in color. I think we can all relate to that!

Liz is looking to learn discipline with regard to crafting her paintings, getting a handle on the age-old question, "Is it finished?" and seeking to develop a habit of completing work rather than leaving for the next great opportunity.

Liz, welcome to the challenge and best of luck!

Kelly - Painting 32

(Oil Pastel, 9x12 Sennelier Oil Pastel Paper)

Last year for the 100 Painting Challenge, I worked exclusively with birds, but this year I'm adding flowers and insects into the mix. This painting is my first floral still life. I brought these tulips home from Whole Foods in an attempt to "buy" a little spring since Mama Nature wasn't handing it out for free.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kelly - Painting 31

(Oil Pastel, 12x16 Sennelier Oil Pastel Paper)

I bought Sennelier oil pastels today with birthday money my parents gave me. I'm in love. They are so luscious it's like painting with lipstick...or creamy butter (yum). They glide across the paper leaving pure pigment behind and blend easily with a smudge stick.

This juvenile Tricolored Heron was learning to fish when I spied him last June in Hilton Head, SC. He was moving cautiously down a branch that had fallen in the water, flapping his wings to balance and never once letting his gaze move from the tiny fish swimming below

Three Shells - #10

Three Shells 8x12 Watercolor (c)2011 Dora Sislian Themelis
Moving on to #10 in the challenge with Three Shells. At this rate, will I get 100 paintings done in one year? I'm not so sure, but I keep going. I am trying to decide whether to look over some of my photos for ideas or keep painting from life. I've been doing well painting what I see and not so sure I want to go back to photos. I will have to think about it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Petite Petit Wine Bottle #44- Sheryl Hawkins

When I saw this wine label, I knew I wanted to paint it!  So full of tiny details and very colorful.  Of course, once I started to paint- I thought many times that I had gotten into something I wished I had not started.  There were many little details I didn't notice until I had started, and several I just left off since they were too small to try to paint!  Besides the amount of detail, the toughest part was getting the bottle dark enough.  I am glad I did this painting and I enjoyed adding the outlining with my rapidograph, so I did learn some new things.  The wine in the bottle was very good also, so all in all, a good project!

watercolor with ink on 140 lb cold press (rough surface)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kelly - Painting 30

(Watercolor, 12x16 Arches Cold Pressed 140 lb Paper)
This painting was an experiment. I took a fern frond and painted it, then pressed it into the paper to see what would happen. I used watercolor for some of the prints and thinned-down acrylic for a few also. It was quick, MESSY and fun. The flowers are totally made up...I just wanted a color to help bring out the yellow eye patch on the White-throated Sparrow.

# 82 Tigers Nest Monastery Bhutan

I have been painting now for almost 2 years. Its been an amazing experience of learning, sometimes frustrating, sometimes exhilarating....but never dull. Today is a day when I feel I am sailing on a very high wind of sheer joy at having completed a difficult bit of work, and being totally thrilled with what I have produced! I normally paint quickly and use little colour. In this picture I experimented by using both, very little pigment in the misty bits and lots of thick pigment in the dark rock faces! I also surprised myself by taking time to complete the picture slowly, waiting for washes to dry and actually spent time in doing the detail on the monastery. I think the paper made a huge difference as well. I used a really thick paper (Cansons 300 lb) which was able to take the many washes easily.

Friday, March 25, 2011

# 81 Flowering red adenium

I came home after a week to find that my little adenium was giving out bright red flowers! So I was inspired to do a quick 20 min. challenge. Its interesting to see that my quick sketches are improving and the 20 min challenge has certainly contributed to that. I spend the first few seconds focusing on the main colours and form, do a really quick sketch, and start painting without too much thought! It works. I would have liked to spend time doing a background that would enhance the painting, but couldn't manage that in 20 mins!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blood Oranges on Silver Tray- #43 Sheryl Hawkins

I found out about Blood Oranges on a trip to Italy.  They are wonderful, but not available for very long.  They are in the stores now and we are buying them whenever we go- the color is beautiful and they taste great.  I am still working on reflections, hence the silver tray.  I used some of the pattern of the tray to separate the oranges from the reflected oranges, but tried to keep from putting in all of the pattern- just enough to hopefully show the different surface.

Watercolor 9X12 cold press

Lorrie #6 - A Faithful Friend

Binocular Friend - Watercolor, 6 x 9 inches

Yes, these binoculars are a faithful friend! I'll bet some of you also have such a friend!
 With a hundred paintings to accomplish, I realized it would be useful to commit to working on certain things that will help me grow, so I've come up with six categories of paintings to work on. One of them is "Unusual Subjects" (things I wouldn't typically paint). Hence this one. Who knows what will show up next?!?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

#42 Cape Disappointment - Sheryl Hawkins

Cape Disappointment  Watercolor 18X24

This watercolor was one I really enjoyed painting.  I saw the photo of this marina in a magazine years ago and just knew I could live there!  It looks so beautiful and  the location is great also.  It is located on the coast of Washington state where the Columbia river empties into the Pacific Ocean.

18X24 watercolor, 140 lb cold press  

Still Life #9

Shells with Pebble 
Okay, so I ditched the apple and painted #9 with The Paints That Annoy. At least I didn't have to deal with red colors and get angry. Next week I will be shopping at the nearest art supply store. I have had it!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Dark Apple Hides Shells - #8

Dora Sislian Themelis,The Dark Apple Hides Shells- #8
8x12 Watercolor on Arches 140lb cold press paper
(c)2011 The Artist

I just finished #8 of my 100 Paintings Challenge, The Dark Apple Hides Shells. I am trying so hard to use up these paints so I keep painting this apple. Finding the time to paint has been rough this week as my granddaughter isn't a kid who sleeps for hours. Not that I need hours, just time to think. I like quiet time where I think of what I want the painting to look like, and I don't have alot of that right now. It's okay though, because painting does get done, eventually. Slowly, but surely I'm working through the challenge, keeping my head in it as I go.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lorrie #5 - Berkeley Tree

Berkeley Tree, 8 x 12 inches, watercolor.
On a recent trip to Berkeley it was damp and a bit chilly, but I was determined to paint something before I drove home. I pulled over in town and parked the car a few times, looking for something that stood out. This huge tree, crammed up against a tall building, certainly did. So I sat in the car a while and did a reference painting, and then later at home did this one. Notice the lack of cars or people! I had no patience for all that. LOL. There is a lot of detail missing from the hills behind, and the streets and so on. But I'm trying to "keep it simple" so the focus is the big tree (and the other yellow ones).

Kelly - Painting 29

Chiggy decided Wearing of the Green was in order. He usually has to get in on some form of holiday action! A very quick watercolor...the letters, however, I dropped in using PhotoShop.
(Watercolor, 7x10 Arches Cold Pressed 140 lb Paper)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Challenge #1 Cheri Homaee

This is my first painting for the 100 Painting Challenge. Some days you feel like painting and some days you don’t this is one day I didn’t feel like it but forced myself to paint. I love cherries, but I always take small bites just in case there is a worm decided to make his home in it.

12 x 9 Acrylic on Canvas

“Life is just a bowl of cherries, don’t take it serious, its mysterious. Life is just a bowl of cherries, so live and laugh and laugh at love, love a laugh, laugh and love.” Bob Fosse quotes

A New Challenger - Cheri Homaee!

Please join me in welcoming Cheri Homaee as our latest challenger! Cheri has several artistic pursuits in that she works in acrylics, graphite and photography. You can see more of her work by visiting her art blog over in the left hand column or to see her photography work here.

Cheri's goals include improving her art, her patience(!) and learning new techniques from others.

Welcome, Cheri! I think you will find all of your goals met by the time the year is up. The patience may take further practice beyond the first year though—I'm still learning that one!

Monday, March 14, 2011

#39, 40, 41 ACEO watercolors- Sheryl Hawkins

I have had these packets of ACEO papers for a while and finally started using them.  I couldn't resist them when I saw them at the art supply.  They are so small and cute and perfect for doing small watercolors.  I like them for practice since the small size means you can finish a painting without working for too long.  They even make tiny envelopes for them!  

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Kelly - Painting 28

This is the same White-throated Sparrow that shows up in painting 27, but here he's flown to a sparser tree (instead of the tangle of branches), and he is perched high above me...looking down. It was an interesting sight because he was still puffed up for maximum heat insulation and could barely see over his puffy belly feathers. Snow had not accumulated on these unprotected branches, and the clouds were getting darker. Although I painted the branches tight, I decided to make the bird and sky watery and loose.
(Watercolor, 12x16 Arches Cold Pressed 140 lb Paper)

#79 and #80 lights and shadows

I'm quite fascinated by boats and reflections. I am also interested in catching reflections in different lights, and the lights itself. This was early in the morning...and there was a clear light about!  The fisherman was getting ready for his day's work, possibly finding a spot from where he could throw in his net for the day's catch!
The next one is of the banyan tree I can look down at, from my kitchen window. The tree is full of new transparent leaves as summer comes along. It was early evening and the sun caught the new leaves making them glow in the light. The sky was pink touched with shades of amber and the whole scene was infused with wonderful warm colours.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lorrie #3 & 4 - Costa Rica birds

Great Potoo in Costa Rica, watercolor 5x8 in.

Blue-crowned Motmot in Costa Rica, watercolor 5x8 in.
Continuing with the bird theme ... we love those birds!! I've been away for a couple weeks in Costa Rica, and only did a couple paintings on the trip because I didn't want to spend time looking at the paper instead of the real-time vision of splendor in that land! These two paintings were gifts for our tour guide and van driver. The birds are based on illustrations in the bird field guide, painted into impressionistic representations of the settings in which we saw them during the trip. I balked at adding serious shading to the critters for fear of toning down their lovely colors!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Other Side of Dark Apple- #7

Other Side of Dark Apple 
(c)2011 Dora Sislian Themelis
8x12 Watercolor, Arches 140lb cold press paper

This is the latest entry of my 100 paintings challenge, #7. Difficulty feeling like painting kept me from working and moving ahead. The paints, set-up, paper is out and available and still, I didn't paint. Today I was determined to keep at it. Thankfully, everything is ready for when I finally get myself together. I moved the still life to the other side of the table to see the items in different light and shadow. I like the apple for color, but I'm not happy with the colors. Still fooling around with these paints and maybe that's what is holding me back? Whatever the reason, it doesn't matter now because I painted and this is done. 

Paintings 6 and 7: St. Patricks Day around the corner - Thinking Irish!! - Claire

St. Patricks Day is coming around the corner, and I'm feeling a bit Irish.....
and a little more....

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kelly - Painting 27

I saw this White-throated Sparrow back in January. I was at a local park photographing birds while Matty and his friend were sledding. This fellow was tucked so deeply into the branches it was impossible to photograph him, but I studied him for three or four minutes while he sat puffed up against the cold, knowing I'd turn him into a painting. It wasn't quite as dark as I painted it here, but the sun was starting to sink, and evening was falling hard--the cold biting bitterly and leaving my fingers practically numb. To create the background, I masked out the branches and bird, and used a heavy wash sprinkled liberally with salt. I wanted the dark blue to convey cold and impending nightfall. I used many layers to create the dark, dark branches, trying to add to the feel of dusk.
(Watercolor, 12x16 Arches Cold Pressed 140 lb Paper)

Monday, March 7, 2011

#37,#38 Sea Shells - Sheryl Hawkins

oil on canvas 5X7
oil on canvas 8X10

These are both oils painted on canvas.  I think actually that both would benefit from being painted on masonite to help with the smallest details. On masonite, the brush easily glides instead of the bumpiness that can show on canvas. Still, they were fun to paint and I wanted to use the beach glass to work on reflection and translucence.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Kelly - Painting 26

This is the same bird that showed up in painting 14 and painting 11. I took the ref photo for him back in March of 2010 in Florida. It was so windy that week I spent a lot of my time stretched out in the sand trying to keep warm (which helped me capture some cool angles on the birds).
(Watercolor, 12x16 Arches Cold Pressed 140 lb Paper)

# 77 & 78 Experimenting some more!

These are 2 pictures I did recently. The first one was done from some sketches that I had done during a trip into the mountains. I had to remember and imagine the colours!!! It was a really good exercise. However I am not happy with the 2 huts, they are a little too defined! I have also realised that I prefer to work a more loose style, so this picture doesn't really turn me on too much!
The next one is of boats on the river. This is from reference pictures I took. It was early morning and there was a mist on the river. The fishing boats were all  moored on the river bank. The sun had just come out so there were tiny glints of ochre on the boats, otherwise everything was in shades of grey, all shadowy colours! I did this picture as a practice really, as I want to do a series on boats, and wanted to experiment with shades of greys and try to catch early morning light. Not sure I have got it quite as I want, but its a beginning.

Friday, March 4, 2011

#5 and #6 Paintings- Dora Sislian Themelis

 Dark Apple, 8x12 Watercolor
 Dark Apple in the Afternoon, 8x12 Watercolor
This week I'm offering two watercolor paintings to the challenge. I switched paint companies and used MamieriBlu watercolor paints for these pieces of work. Previously, I was painting with a small travel watercolor set of Windsor&Newton paints, which I was very happy using. However, I'm running out of paint! In my large palette I have plenty of new paints, but the colors are different and not what I'm used to. I did my best though. After finishing the first painting I decided to keep the same objects except to change their direction and turn the apple to the more pleasing side! Playing with the paints, the water load, and difference in color tones kept me going. Once I finish up these paints it's back to W&N for me.

#35, #36 Doll Dresses - Sheryl Hawkins

My mom makes and sells doll dresses, and I painted a few of them for her to use on business cards, signs, etc.  They were so fun to paint because I wasn't worried about painting a masterpiece, just something to illustrate her work.  I am also painting some fun little beach designs to use in my soldered charms and will post them next. These quick and easy watercolors are just good practice and a good way to warm up for more intense paintings.

Painting #5 Valentine tea bags - Claire

Painting #5:  I left quite a bit of white space with this image because I wasn't sure what I wanted to write on it. Also, I figured that I could reprint it as a card and write different notes on it. It was fun painting the tea bag and trying to capture the packaging.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Kelly - Painting 25

Painting 25, "Orange Jungle Bird Building Nest," is another departure from realism. Before I get back to a few more detailed watercolors, I wanted to play in rich pigment, creating lots of swirly energy as the frantic spring nest building season starts to shape up. I feel like this little bird is deep in the shadows of the rain forest's canopy where life, birdsong and moisture fill the air...
(Oil Pastel, 12x16 Arches Cold Pressed 140 lb. Paper)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

#34 Garden Time- Sheryl Hawkins

Can you tell I am so ready for Spring?  I want to get out in the garden and do the Spring clean up so I can kick off gardening season!  I painted this from a photo in my vegetable garden area taken last summer.  I love to use my sons' old toy tractors in the garden for fun.  They had quite a collection of these Ford tractors (just like their Grandpa's real one).  This watercolor is painted on Arches cold press paper (9X12").