Friday, October 30, 2015

Apple Week #5

Apple Week closes with an oil painting of a Pink Lady apple. There are the slightest tinges of pink and light green in this apple and I enjoyed trying to capture them. I haven't painted in oils for 6 weeks and painting this piece reminded me how much I have missed that medium. My hope for this week was to see if I had grown as a painter by painting an easier subject... I think I have a bit, especially in shading and choice of colors. All in all a good week. Now, on to making apple pie! 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Apple Week #4

This little apple is a McINTOSH done in acrylics. The colors were so pretty together and they gave the painting a fun variety. So far, Apple Week is teaching me a lot. Mostly, about what I have learned in the last 6 months and what I still need to work on. The first list is way shorter than the second. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Apple Week #3

Hats off to all the colored pencil artists in the world. Their patience! They amaze me. This colored pencil drawing of a green Granny Smith. I thought the two would make a good match and I think they did. I wanted more of the small lighter colored circles and ovals in the apple, but somehow I lost them in the process. All-in-all a good experiment. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Apple Week #2

Black and version of yesterday's apple. Not as appetizing looking but I hope it still looks apple-ish. Drawing using only two colors really forces one to look at the shadows and details. I think I may have become one with the fruit for awhile there. Nice place to be. By the way, no apples were harmed in the making of this drawing, unless you call coating it in caramel and chopped nuts harmful. : )

Monday, October 26, 2015

Apple Week Apple #1

This week I am going to paint an apple everyday. Maybe I will eat one everyday too. In this painting I was hoping to get the fine gradation of the yellow and red lines along the side and I think it worked. The goal of an apple a day for a week is to allow time to experiment a bit. Apples are a good subject for that. Simple. Pretty. And delicious.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Vibrant Pear

One of my loyal followers (my sister) recently suggested I do more "vibrant" art. Because, she really likes it (baby sister - of course).  : ) This very vibrant pear was a tutorial by a gifted pastel artist, Ria Hills. Her work oozes rich color and I so admire it. Her lesson on pushing color for this pear was helpful and I love the way the finished fruit grabs you by the collar and shouts, "Are you looking at me?" : ) Good suggestion Sis!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Autumn's Reggata

Nothing as simple as a leaf floating on water. They look just like tiny boats and seem to have both, an energy and calmness. I was going for a smoother water look, but honestly that looked so boring I had to add some surface tooth and then I liked it better.   

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pastel of Peanut

Steven Seelig, an amazingly talented photographer in Chicago graciously allowed me to paint from his many awesome photos. The photo reference for this painting is of Peanut and I painted it in pastels. Good choice for making soft fur. I definitely like the way the eyes turned out.They look kind. I think you can tell a lot about the kindness of a dog by their eyes. To see the reference photo and Steven's website,  (Click Here) .

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

White Shed

The last of the fall colors were hanging over this little white shed creating a wonderful contrast. I like the shadows on the shed and ground and the red sprinkle of autumn. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

What a Hoot

This snowy owl was sitting on a fence close to our home and was very courteous to wait patiently right there until we had plenty of photos of him (or her?) to pick from. The watercolor underpainting is again bringing out nice colors that would otherwise be hard to create in pastels alone. I am happy overall with the end result.... or maybe ... nope. I am good with it. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Brother From Another Mother

The struggle I had with this painting was whether or not to color it. I really wanted to, but I refrained. I may have to do one in pastels to get that urge out of my system. Good shading I think and hopefully it shows that they are two different colored eggs.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Found it!

I found this skull in the woods and knew it would make a great pencil sketch. After a good soak in bleach and a long dry in the sun, it was ready. I really like pencil artwork - the simplicity of it and the strong difference in values, but it is by far the most time-consuming work. One brush stroke loaded with oil paint can cover oh so much more than a tiny stroke of a pencil. No bones about it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Pomegranate in Pastel

The amazing pomegranate. Colorful skin wrapped around a mass of seeds that are a curious gathering of crunch. I like the end result of this piece. I had a watercolor underpainting and it shows through here and there and brings an added dimension to the layers. I was able to produce lost and found edges and I think the shadow colors are accurate. Now, off to eat those seeds. Curiouser and curiouser.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ponte Vecchio

Another watercolor from Anna's Italy photos. This looked better in my imagination's painting of it. ... which is frustrating. Oh well. I like the ink work - the shading and cross hatching. I think I am missing painting with my oil paints today.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Knock Knock

This painting was from a beautiful photo my Anna took when she was in Italy.  I admire a handsome door - especially an Italian one. The shadow here is maybe the wrong color or too black - especially compared to the other mixes of color in the stone and the weathered wood. At the end of the day - the only thing to say is, "Who's there?"

Friday, October 9, 2015

Laufás Church

This little white church is where my great-grandfather, James Hall was baptised in 1875. I admire this lovely place for many reasons and it felt good to paint it. It may have been a better as an oil painting but I do like the rocks in the front and the bright red on the roof and they may have been tough to master in oil paint. And as an Icelander I say goodbye in Icelandic: Bless Bless.  

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Other Red Leaf

Known as sumac. Rarely do people drive for miles to see it's autumn beauty, but, they should. It is so pretty and much easier to photograph because it's leaves hang down in single file and the overlapping is minimal. I used pointillism (meaning is a bazillion dots) as the underpainting and I like the end result and the richness of the colors. I have found that watercolor is way harder to photograph or scan than oil or acrylic. Now go out and see some red leaves!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Good Chat

There is a graininess to this painting that was not intentional, but I think it adds another dimension. Or maybe I would just like to believe that. The use of light and dark is well placed even though some areas I wish I would have worked more pastels into it but, that is enough chatting about it for now. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Alias; Acorn Squash. This little beauty was one of many growing in my garden this year. I liked the splash of orange-yellow on the side. This painting was done by using ink first, then watercolor, then pastels. Trifecta in mediums - and I don't mean the spooky kind. Boo!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Blue Sled

This photo is of my nephew and has always been a favorite of mine. The colors are rich and the expression on his face - priceless. I am happy with it.... and his mom said the resemblance is there, so, that's enough for me! P.S. Just an early reminder Minnesotans: winter is coming!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Reid's Wine

Charles Reid is a famous watercolor artist and his work is gorgeous, inspiring and magical. I have been studying his methods this week and this is one of his assigments. I did the same painting three times and each time I improved. I can't help but wonder what it would look like after 30 times... but after 15 times I am pretty sure the wine bottle would be empty.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Rock On

This was painting from an old black and white family photo. It was fun to decide what colors their clothes might be. I must admit when I think of the old days I always imagine everyone wearing sepia or gray colored clothing which comes from looking at the old non-colored photos. The shadows are the best part for me, well I like the pose of the youngster too.