If you would like to receive encouraging comments on
your artwork, leave encouraging comments for others!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Three to Fall #13

On Dec 7 I posted "Four to Go" along with a little sketch that triggered the painting. I liked the sketch better than the painting. Lorrie had some good advice for me ... look at both and figure out what I like better in the sketch.

Here is my redo. On "Four to Go" I felt like the nest stood out like a soar thumb. It just pops out -- empty. This time I wove it into the painting both with the twigs in front and I warmed up the nest so it blended into the painted.

I like this better than "Four to Go."

Painted on Pentalic's Westport 140# smooth surface watercolor paper. I don't think the paper is making any difference ... just the person pushing the paintbrush. Please feel free to critique.

Watercolor Still Life - Dora Sislian Themelis

Winter Nest ©2011 Dora Sislian Themelis
10x14 Watercolor on Arches paper

Evergreen Nest ©2011 Dora Sislian Themelis
10x14 Watercolor on Arches

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season with good health, happiness and family! Pictured are #43 and #44 still life watercolor paintings I was able to squeeze in during this hectic time.
Happy new year to all of you!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Kelly - Painting 100 :-D

Wishing everyone love, peace and joy!

Yeah! Another year under my belt. I've had this painting finished for a while, but couldn't post it until today! You know Chiggy....he's always getting into the holiday spirit!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Trees #11 and #12

May peace and happiness fill your homes during this Christmas season.

I enjoyed playing around with colors of both of these Christmas tree paintings, and then couldn't decide which one I like best, so I'm posting both. The top one is painted on Pentalic's Nature Sketch 130 # paper. I like how it took the salt. This paper does not take miskit at all well (I only used miskit on the balls and star and it was O.K. for that. Often I end up peeling paper off when I put more miskit on this paper).
This tree is painted on Strathmore Series 400 140# cold press watercolor paper.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kristin, 56 &57 Ptarmigan Parts

Who doesn't have 20 minutes to sit down and draw from life? I have been struggling the last couple of weeks because I have been so busy I haven't been able to find the time to work on the challenge. Then one morning I was reading a blog post by someone who teaches art and natural history about how he wants to convince his students to draw from nature for even just 5 minutes a day. 5 minutes seems too short to me, but I would like to establish a daily habit, like stretching or taking a shower. So I have been delving into my box of ptarmigan parts which sits on my desk for needed moments of inspiration.

 5 x7" watercolor and ball point pen, which I like the idea but not the practice of

 5 x7" watercolor and pen with permanent ink that doesn't smudge

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Early Sunrise #10

This is the view I saw when I woke up and looked out of our van in the wee hours of our camping trip a few weeks ago. I slept with the door of the van wide open so I could take and peek and then sleep for another hour before getting up. More about Klamath Basin camping on my blog.

The sky above was clear. A low cloud bank hung just above the horizon and the sun hadn't broken the horizon yet. I wanted to capture the smoothness of the sky above so I picked a good paper: Strathmore Gemini, I think 140#. I like how the paper took the paint for the sky and how rich the red turned out.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dragonfly # 9

During the summer time my husand and I often photograph dragonflies with a good friend, Eleanor Pugh. This one one of Oregon's larger dragonflies, a paddle-tailed darner.

I knew I wanted to try for detail on this one so I painted on Strathmore's 140# cold press Series 400.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lorrie #64 - Toodle-oo Bird

Toodle-oo Bird, watercolor 12 x 16 inches
Adding to our posts of birds ... this one was inspired by Duke Ellington's recording "East St. Louis Toodle-oo" because... um um um. I guess it was the plaintive horns in the tune. My daughter had selected some songs for me to paint to, as a fun enrichment and inspiration. Bet she wasn't expecting this! (me either). The paper was mediocre at best... you can see the texture of it, like burlap, but it shows up more in the photo than the original I think.

Sunshine #8

Teri, one of this Challenge's graduates, has shared Sunshine's mischief on her blog since 2009. When Sunshine, her cockatiel, died recently Teri posted a whole series of photos of her dear Sunshine on her blog, http://painteddaisies.blogspot.com/. I couldn't resist painting her beautiful Sunshine. My goal was to capture the beauty and joy of her little bird.

Watercolor on watercolor paper -- I forgot to jot down just which paper I used.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Winter Watercolor #42 Dora Sislian Themelis

#42 Winter Cardinal ©Dora Sislian Themelis
8x10 Watercolor on Arches paper

I thought there would be no way I could get to paint these last couple of weeks before Christmas. Somewhere in my day I found twenty or so minutes and decided this was it! I gathered a few items, went to my art table, arranged the table lamp to a more desirable angle and sketched quickly with just enough water to get color on the paper.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Milky Way #7

I may be breaking some record for how many challenge paintings anyone has posted in such a short period of time, but I'm taking advantage of being stuck at home.... and most everyone else seems to be getting ready for Christmas instead of posting.

I painted this for my most recent blog post ... trying to capture the Milky Way as seen from my 'bed room window' when we are sleeping in our van.

Painted on Pentalic's Westport Watercolor Block 140# smooth surface. I wouldn't call this paper smooth, but I like the gentle roughness. It takes miskit well (I spattered miskit on for the stars). It is a nice, durable paper.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Great Egret #6

This makes white birds for three of my first six posts. White birds pose a special challenge ... and I'd like to get better at handling those whites. So... bear with me. Learning and exploring is what the challenge is all about.

Painted on Pentalic's Nature Sketchbook paper 130# 25% cotton. ... a nice paper for a soft effect, but not for crisp detail or juicy washes. Definitly not for miskit.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Still Life Watercolor #41 Dora Sislian Themelis

#41 Blue Vase with Sunflowers ©2011 Dora Sislian Themelis
15x20 Watercolor on Canson paper
It took twenty minutes each session to complete this watercolor painting of the last of the sunflower photographs. Some challenges were: different paper than I had been using and a larger size, individual sheets rather than a block, artificial light causing color confusion, I realized my art table is too high for painting and I couldn't get away from the work to see where I needed to go next.

Photographing the painting at the art table was awful due to the lighting so I moved it to my big dining room window and the whole painting changed. What a difference natural daylight makes!

Wanderin' Weeta's Mute Swan #5

I spotted a photo of this swan on Wanderin' Weeta's blog ( http://wanderinweeta.blogspot.com/ ). The graceful position of the swan caught my eye. With the blog owner's approval I'm posting my painting of it.

I've been experimenting with white birds on different papers. The whites popped on this paper so much better than on my egret painting (my #1 post on this challenge. It just a little painting on inexpensive paper but I particularily like how it turned out, or maybe I should just say, "I achieved what I was after."

Painted in my Bee Paper Aquabee Super Deluxe sketchbook -- 93# 'heavyweight drawing paper.'

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Four to Go: Robin's Nest and Falling Leaves #4

Once again I have a thumbnail which inspired the painting plus the painting. I like the thumbnail better – but I must admit I was doing both under less that ideal circumstances. Sunday night I took my husband to the emergency room. Poor guy ended up having emergency surgery for a hernia on Monday. I just couldn’t bring myself to sketch hospital beds or bags of saline solution and I’m too shy to paint people who might notice. But his window looked down into a closed courtyard with three stories of building all round. The courtyard had half a dozen trees and in it I was surprised to see last summer’s robin’s nest. Painting was a good way to distract myself.

I did the little sketch first, on Strathmore’s high surface 2 ply – a lovely smooth paper for pen and ink but not one on which I usually add color. Still, I like how the paper took the color -- nice and fresh.
Since I liked how the first turned out I decided to paint a ‘better’ one for the challenge. This is painted on Strathmore’s Aquarius II 90# synthetic watercolor paper. The paper was fine, but the artist wasn’t in high gear. I actually like my first sketch better.

My hubby has been one sick puppy, but he is home again and slowly perking up.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lorrie #62 and #63 - Moonlight Tree & Dawn Tree

Moonlight Tree, watercolor 9 x 12 inches
Dawn Tree, watercolor 9 x 12 inches
Playing with some background washes and making trees using methods other than "painting them on with a brush." Dawn Tree was an experiment using a color I never use--earth green--because it's muddy right out of the tube. Over the dried background wash, I put down plain water in the shape of a tree trunk and large branches, then added the earth green in spots, and also added mixtures of earth green plus ultramarine (for a cool variation), and earth green plus vermillion (for a warm variation). While that was still wet, the smaller branches were done with a fun technique called... can you guess by looking at it?? While still damp, I touched in concentrated colors here and there. This was so much fun. I could not resist doing it again with different colors (Moonlight Tree) and again (not show).

The Last Apple #3

I wanted to put some juicy paint on Strathmore's 400 series 140# cold press watercolor paper. I drew and inked the apple first,then covered that part with miskit. Then I added the dark wash background. The miskit peeled off easily. I like the modulation in tone that I was able to achieve. Finally I painted the apple etc.

My original My sketch is much smaller than my final product.
and here is the sketch that triggered the painting ... inked without pencil on location ... then color added at home. Dale photographed the apple for me and I looked at my laptop while I added color.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Kristin #54 & 55, flowers on duralene

I have been playing drawing with colored pencils on duralene, which is just drafting film. It is pretty fun because you can work both sides (I painted the back of the white one) and get a lot of value and hue quickly (which is hard for me to do). So here are some quick flower sketches and experiments. I was working from my photos.

 Iris, Colored Pencil on Duralene
(c) 2011, klink. 5x10"

Dryas aka Mountain Avens, Colored Pencil on Duralene
(c) 2011, klink. 5x8"

Ready to Hunt: Great Horned Owl #2

Just for fun I thought I'd include the sketch that lead to this painting. Dale and I were driving at dusk and I spotted the great horned owl sitting in the vast openess of Lava Bed National Monument's high desert ... only the owl was sitting on a sign post. I knew immediatly I wanted to paint the scene. I quickly scribbled color notes along with the quick sketch.
Except for a few clouds beneath the moon, the sky was ever so clear. I wanted to capture that clarity ... but I either picked the wrong paper or it could be the paint ... I like the sky, but it is a little grainy. I picked good paper, but is is quite rough: Strathmore's Geminii 140# rough.

Any ideas what paper would give me a clearer sky?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Great Egret #1

Thank you ,Laure, for the warm ‘Welcome back Introduction.’ Greetings old friends and new ones I hope to meet.

I’ll be the first to admit when I finished my first 100 Paintings challenge about a year ago I savored what I had accomplished and heaved a sigh of relief that it was over. I made it all the way! Only later did it sink in how much I had learned during the challenge. One of the most important insights was the importance of experimenting and enjoying. Also, much to my surprise, I had discovered I could have meaningful interactions with other artists via the internet. I enjoyed watching others grow … and I enjoyed the encouragement and sharing my work with others.

Now, to change the subject: Right here, at the beginning, I’m going to be a little bit wordy and comment on why I want to include a focus on paper as part of my challenge. In years past, when I was painting professionally, I almost always painted very detailed work: watercolor on illustration board; acrylic on masonite. My style was very realistic. Now I want to be more artistic.

Mostly I’m a bit frugal when it comes to my art supplies. On my first round of The 100 Paintings Challenge I started out mostly experimenting on three of relatively inexpensive papers and virtually all the paint came out of an ancient tin box of pan watercolors. Then I happened to find a tablet put out by Strathmore featuring a variety of their good watercolor papers. I started having fun with it; and mentioned it to a fellow artist who I know from Yellowstone. Judy surprised me with samples of several more brands. Wow! By now it was dawning on me that papers vary a lot …. And that means the results we get varies a lot. I don’t plan to try every paper in the store, but I do plan to use a variety of papers and let you know what surface I’m working on for each painting. Some of it will still be on my old standbys -- I want to try a variety of art on different surfaces. Most of my paintings will be watercolor or pen and ink plus watercolor. By the end of this challenge I hope to have a good understanding of which paper I want to grab for different types of paintings. I’m hoping it’ll be a relatively short list that I settle on.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Look Who Came Back!!

I am so very pleased to announce that Elva Paulson of Elva's Field Notes has rejoined the challenge and will be working to complete another 100 paintings!

When Elva and I chatted about her rejoining the challenge, she shared with me that in the past, her focus was always on the "end product" and not so much on exploring or experimenting. As she has seen more and more change in her art from that playfulness, she wants to focus in on that aspect and bring more of that to her work.

Elva will also be doing a lot of experimenting with various types of paper to see what works best for her to achieve the various results she desires in her work....sounds to me like something we could all learn from!

I invite you to check out Elva's blog if you have not—it's quite a treat as she tells a story like no one else AND there's always a story!

Welcome back, Elva! I look forward to the coming year!