Thursday, June 25, 2015


There is nothing more fun to watch than a new puppy exploring and little Luna does not disappoint in her love for everything new! I like the composition and the way Luna is sitting/laying. Her looking up (for a treat no doubt) engages the viewer well. I think the shadows caused the feeling to be darker than I had originally envisioned, but it still works. She is such a pretty pup I don't think I did her justice!

Father's Day

This painting was done using a photo I took on Father's Day. The angle of the photo was possible by my climbing up into our tree house... great view! I pushed the colors to be brighter and I like the result. Is this my new style? Well, maybe if I am still painting this way after 50 more paintings we can say, "Yes."

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Girl, The Earring, The Dutch Artist

So many teachers learn by painting the old masters, so I took a run at the famous painting by Johannes Vermeer titled, Girl with a Pearl Earring. The eyes are the most important part of this painting and I am pretty satisfied with my rendering of them. My pallet was limited to Ultramarine blue, Yellow Ochre and Naples Yellow, Burnt Umber and a Vermillion, I liked doing this one and might do it again on a larger canvas.

Holding Hands

The shadow in the sand of the three little children is what drew me to the photo. I think the colors of the shadow work but again I am more rough than impressionistic. I like the runner in the background and his shadow.


Hmmm, I like the colors and shading but I think my style is more sloppy than loose and artistic. Still working on that!

We all Scream

For Ice Cream! A DPW Challenge and a nice one to paint on a hot summer day. I think the shadow values are pretty spot on and they help shape the cone and ice cream. Looking at the photo of the painting, I think my shadow could have been blended more in the foreground but overall I am happy with the result.

Drawing Lesson of Spanish Dancer

Learning the value of value: light and darks. The focus of this lesson was using toned paper and charcoal to suggest a woman dancing. The reference photo was a Singer Sargent painting called "Spanish Dancer." Using a blocking method and a few strong strokes, it was easy to see an image beginning and the balance of the light and dark that made his painting so powerful. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Baseball in Oil

I really enjoyed painting this one. I like the values, the colors, the shading. It is from a tutorial by Hall Groat II an American impressionist painter. His work is luscious and I hope to be doing more of his lessons in the future.

Rear View

This was a Daily Painting Challenge from the DPW web site. I think if I would used used a orange/yellow tone inside the car it would have read better. The complement of blue is orange and the two side by side would have brought the eye around the painting more. That said, you can kinda tell it's a car and that is success enough for me today.

Oh Boy.

Ah. Um. Well? Oh, this is a flower... thought you might need help knowing that. I do not know what went wrong here. I sort of got lost and never did find my way back. But, not every painting is a proud moment... right? Let's call it an abstract and then call it a day - or a flower.

Window in Italy

This was another lesson in acrylics - painting this colorful window. Why the two were different colors I don't know but it made for a fun exercise. The stucco parts looks good to me, but the sloppiness of the windows bugs me everytime I look at it. I wonder if the window colors would have matched if it would have made the whole thing feel better?

Avocado and Vase

I picked these two subjects based on their color. They are yellow ochre and burnt umber and made it easy to mix the toned values for each subject. The painting is maybe a bit on the boring side, but the harmony of color seems to keep my eyes on the painting. Or is that just me?

Friday, June 12, 2015

If lipstick wore shoes ...

These might be the shoes it would wear! Beautiful color and the photo caught such an odd angle it added some mystery to an otherwise boring straight on shot. I like the overall work but I wonder if it may have been better to have moved the shoe a bit more up and to the right to keep the eye moving. I could have also changed my background color lighter and darker to vary things. 

I. Am. A. Tomato.

When I finished this still life and stood back to look at it, I felt it was screaming at me: "I. Am. A. Tomato!" What really attracted me to paint this was the shadow that looks like a little animal with cute pointy ears. So, maybe the tomato felt it should set the record straight. This looks very graphic arts to me, but I like the color and shading a lot.

Bridge of Monet

In one of my Will Kemp lessons I did the shadow study for this Monet painting. I then did a watercolor wash and the used pastels over the watercolor. I think the darks are too dark and the lights not light enough... lessons must continue.

Rooster for Kia

I have chickens but no rooster. So, this one is for Kia. I tried a new technique, tried to fiddle less and be loose with my brush strokes. I don't have much good to say or like about this one suffice to say, it does in fact, look roosterish.

Lena's Sister, Kia

I have a great little flock of chickens. My favorite was one named Lena but sadly she passed. Her sister is this one named Kia. She is not as friendly as Lena but still pretty - in a chicken sense of the word. I like the shadows in this painting both on the ground and on Kia. The composition - which can be tricky in a 6x6 also works here for me.

Iceland Immigration Museum

This lovely building sits in front of the Icelandic Emmigration Center in Hofsos in northern Iceland. Right next door is where the poet/author Bill Holm lived for some years. I loved the photo's composition and colors. I do like the shading of the building but I would like to do this one again someday and try and do it justice. Maybe memories get in the way when painting?

Far far away...

Iceland landscape. What a marvelous place to visit and take photos of marvelous things to paint! I am not as happy with this one as I could have been. I think overall the colors of each object is too different from the next so that they are all fighting: like sisters. I should have used a more limited pallet but I fear the memories of our time got in the way of painting simply.

On the Water

This painting is from a photo on the morguefile web site. I loved the composition and colors of reflection in this great photo. In the completed piece, I like the way I captured the water - even though my photo of the painting does not show it very well. The boat could have been squared up in a few places is my only change.


Doing this painting really made me think about the old masters painting in grisaille .Having done the charcoal drawing first made painting this so much easier. I might have to change my method! I like the burnt umber as an onion color - it is used almost right out of the tube and it's transparency adds to the effect.

Onion Drawing Kemp lesson

This onion drawing was part of a Will Kemp lesson on getting the darks and lights in first and in the right value. I like the way it turned out - value wise it really shows three dimensions. I painted this as well and will post it next.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Drawing of painting by Boldini of John Singer Sargent

Another Kemp drawing lesson! Love the contrasting colors in this one. The drawing is really a preliminary sketch of the darks and lights and it should help you see if you need to make changes before you paint. I think Boldini did just fine with the balance.

Cezanne Apples Still Life I and II

These were great fun to paint. I love the many layers of colors and the tone of the paintings. The richness of his work is beautiful. I think it helped to do the drawings first - maybe some sort of map is set in our brains?

Apples Will Kemp Lesson

Remember me? Wow. One very busy May for this girl! I have been diligently painting/drawing but not always taking the time to photograph, upload and post my paintings. I will try to do better - mainly because catch-up is really tough!

The drawings below are from a Will Kemp Lesson on finding light and dark in your work. I have enjoyed his lessons and while my work may not always show it I feel I am learning a great deal from him. The next post is the paintings of the same Paul Cezanne apples.