Monday, November 30, 2015

Ebony and Ivory.

Back to painting with oil paint. I was attracted to the reflection in the black key and made that my focus. I was able to capture it, I think. The angle of this photo makes me imagine it was taken by a mouse, or maybe a hamster, with a rather wide lens. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Classic

Thanksgiving would not be the same without it. This was tougher to paint than I thought it would be. The different textures of the whipped cream, the crust and the pumpkin filling all brought challenges. I think as a whole it looks pie-like, but the individual pieces could have been stronger. I think there is still one piece left and I hope it has my name on it. : ) 

Twice Baked.

 Biscotti. Bake them once, then cut, and bake again. Great dipped in a cup of coffee on a cold Minnesota morning. This pencil drawing looks a bit more like toast but so did my biscotti. I like the way the lower right bottom ridge of dark crust came out. The holes and pieces of almond have a realism to them too. Fun to paint and eat.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


This speckled face had to be done. And it had to be done in pencil. Such a sweet face she has! I cropped it generously from the original and I do like the composition and the way her eyes hold you in. I could have spent another day making pencil marks but, I have pies to bake, potatoes to peel and miles to go before I sleep.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Double Scotch.

This was a joy to paint. I broke it down into values from light to dark and kept plugging them in. I am happy with it even though it may be darker overall in value from the original. I used acrylics and they always dry darker so maybe that is why. If I am going to have a drink- this is my go to. Single malt scotch - straight up. Pretty glass optional.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Got Cream?

Summer strawberries just waiting for that bowl of cream to swim in. The bottom berry is my favorite; it looks most real to me. The realism challenge here was to pay attention to the tiny seeds and specks of white highlights. It felt like painting individual grains of sand. : ) Thankfully, most challenges have an end point. It's Friday. Happy day. Over the weekend, I may just have to take a 4-inch brush and paint a wall. Or two.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Susie was Selling Them.

Seashells. Tiny motorhomes. Tons of details. Perfect for a realism drawing. Great test of my patience. I almost failed that test and quit half way through. Glad I kept on scribbling. The end result is almost realism... close enough for me today anyway. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

One of My Favorite Things.

There were six of them in the box. My husband didn't eat any. There are none left. Feel free to do the math. I really loved painting this doughnut. I like the chocolate rendering and the small pieces of cake-ness in the bottom right. I kinda wish I had six more. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Spoonful.

Another shot at realism. This drawing was less toil so maybe the struggle was mostly my ineptitude or maybe I am getting used to the style. I like the way the lines in the spoon and their shadows came out. I think the shadow under the spoon handle could have been darker, but I didn't dare try for fear I would over do it. A fine line there. Pun completely intended. I keep humming Mary Poppins in my head. Sorry if you are too now.

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Movie

And popcorn!  Another realism challenge. I don't know if this painting style is supposed to be tedious and gruelling, but it is. I am hanging tough and staying with it for a bit longer to see if it is my lack of ability or the way of the style. There is more yellow in this photo than the original piece due to my camera. A few of the kernels have believable shading, but realistic? Not even close. I would be embarrassed to say just how long 5 pieces of popcorn took me to render. Longer than the average movie, for sure. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

After Dinner

I admire photographic realism as an art form. It is... so, well, way cool. This after dinner mint is my attempt at the style. Miles to go before I am even close to where I would like to be, but we all have to start somewhere. For sure I will be doing more of these... not the mints, but ... oh, never mind, you knew what I meant. I think it's time for dinner!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Red Fox Kit

My cousin Sean Hall, creates a stunning calendar every year from his trail cam. He graciously allowed me to paint from his calendar works and I picked this little fox kit. Adorable face and - oh my -- the eyes. I hope I did his "September" photo justice. Well, take my word for it - I didn't really, so a link to his calendar store is here. I enjoyed painting the little fellow, even though the fur felt daunting at times I am pretty happy with the eyes. : )

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Pink Pink...

What do we have here? Ahh, um, a Pepto Bismol highway? A Georgia O'Keeffe? The side view of an ear? Does it look at all like pink satin fabric? Yep, didn't think so. Crazy busy day today and I said to myself, "Pick something on the easy side. Something with one or two colors and make it a good exercise in shading." Tomorrow I am not listening to me. At all. : )

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Green Glass Cup

This cup reminds me of my Mom. She collected green depression glassware. It was nice to have her memory in my head while I painted this piece. Painting glass can be tricky, but I think it looks glass-like and green to boot. A good paint day. A good memory A good Mom.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Purple Plum

The light blue cast of color on this plum is what I was hoping to "get." The camera took a bit of it away when I photographed the painting, but I think I came close.  I am pretty happy with the way the shadow on the top of plum looks, but that was more by chance than plan. In my fruit world, plums are a bit like a 2nd or 3rd cousin, I never really think about them, but when they are right there in front of me, I enjoy them immensely.

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Jolly Good "Yellow"

I tried to complete this painting as fast as I could. My goal was to focus on the lightest and darkest areas. Just get the big picture. It was a good exercise but at the end of the day, I still fancy the details.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Slice of a November Summer

When it's 65 degrees in Minnesota, in November, you paint watermelon. I was going to paint this one in pastels, but the oil paints on my palette were the perfect colors for the melon. I worked at getting the intricate varying lines of color that appear on watermelon and I think I accomplished that in certain areas. I failed at getting the miniscule drops of juice that form on the surface but I will try again on another. Maybe if we have a 65 degree day this January I will. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Coffee or Tea?

Is this a coffee pot or tea pot? I don't know, but I painted it because it was all white. Trying to paint an all white object is a good exercise in getting values right. The gist of the pot is there but maybe too sloppy all around? Tighter brush strokes? Less dark value? More questions than answers on this one.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

I Lost Mine

Yes, I did. I knew I had a bag of marbles, somewhere, but I couldn't find them. I actually had to say to my husband, "I've lost my marbles."  : )  Painting these two in oils was a test in color theory, shading and the ability to keep a steady hand. I like the way they turned out. Glad I found them.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Three Cherries on a Plate

This watercolor of the cherries was a fun one to paint. The rich colors and the simplicity of the design made it so. I like the way the colors came out on the cherry in the lower left with it's yellow, orange, red slide of color from left to right.