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Showing posts from June, 2015

Wolf Acrylic WIP

Well finally, we have had some rain (been in the doughnut hole with rain all around us, but none for us) so thankful as it has dropped the temperature and we don't have to water today.  Been almost 3 weeks in the mid 90's and with little or no rain and it has taken its toll on the garden and lawn.  We are right at peak for tiger day lillie blooms and they are turning yellow and had much fewer blooms this year due to lack of water.  Looks like at least a couple of days back to normal, high 80's.  So it is PORCH TIME!!! 
Here is my progress on the wolf and as always I see things in this picture I don't see when I am working the piece.  So I see some things to soften and correct.  Yes, I am working this wolf slightly darker than the actual reference photo coloration as I want to do several wolves at night in my next picture "The Call" which is a sequel to "Heeding The Call". 
I wish I could figure out a technique, but appears I am just repeating laye…

Wolf 1 WIP

Ok, here is the wolf, whose portrait I have already done in oil, and I am now trying to do in acrylic.  So many folks are doing such marvelous paintings with acrylic alone or in combination with other media that I thought I'd try again to see if I can get that individual hair look.
I started with one liner brush and acrylic slower, then tried varnish and gloss medium to thin and liquefy the acrylic but didn't like the chopped off hair look.  So now I changed to a #1 flat bristle and am working dry brush in layers trying to get the variegated colors that comprise this wolf's coat.  He has a lot of areas that are variegated white and black, not gray, but individualized white and black flecked fur. 
Not sure this is the best color photo but couldn't get outside as it is thundering, of course raining somewhere else, just not here.  But just shot this indoors and don't think it is all that good. 
Lots more to do here and will keep working over it, that is the good thing…

Red Tail Hawk 5 WIP

Well here is today's update on my hawk which is slowly coming along because I have been watching golf on tv and reading a Jefferson Bass book. 
I keep adding more layers of pencil and frankly am amazed that the mat board just continues to take them.  When I think the feather work gets too dark I hit it with a bit of white pastel and work it all over again.  Since this one is being a bit tedious for me I as I often do in these slumps I start to read and study a lot and look at other people's work and techniques (thank God for WetCanvas).  Also I am finally getting into the summer time routine, porch in the morning (getting lesser each day) and then board yourself up in the afternoon as it is HOT HOT HOT.
So reading about I get all these new ideas and start to try other techniques and just had to start a wolf head portrait piece that I already did in oil, but am now going to try to do it in acrylic.  I will try to work on that a bit more tomorrow hoping to find a rhythm and the…

Red Tail Hawk 4 WIP

First off thank you Val for telling me what your first reaction was, that I had lost the beak in the background coloring.  It just points out how important it is to have others give you meaningful critiques and input.  Studied on it for a while and while not sure if this will be the final, I think the beak does pop out more now that I've used a lighter value than what I had in previously.  I also think it may have made the strengthened the focal point more of the eye area because it picks up some of the eye color as well.

Also I bit the bullet and sprayed the pastel portion with workable fixative and am hoping that will keep it in place and not go flat on me, but ... we'll see.   The dark green also has been migrating and it has been difficult to keep the color pencil area clean as every time you move the board some of it floats down. 
Patience has never been one of the virtues I was blessed with and color pencil is tedious and slow at best.  Sometimes it doesn't bother m…

Red Tail Hawk WIP

Normally I am not the biggest fan of backgrounds, but felt that I needed to get this one in so I could overlap the feather work where needed and also get some more color in to judge the color of the hawk itself.  Once I got it in I got excited as I felt it start to snap a bit and pull together outlining where I think I am going. So before I mowed the grass I got that background in fairly quickly, using five shades of pastel.  And then, because I didn't melt at 94 degrees, this afternoon I started to work under the beak and finished around the eye.  I will now work from left to right trying to protect and not disturb that pastel.  I might get brave and try to fix it since I am not really concerned that I keep the actual colors (if it changes it darker I don't think that would be a problem).    I know the mat board won't take many more layers and I will probably need hit it again to keep it from getting that flat look.  So a light spray of workable fixative might be just th…

Red Tail Hawk 2

Well this is to keep me more honest than you as I am trying to keep the pressure on me to get back into the art room consistenly and make something positive happen.  So this is my progress through today.   I do find that I am using quite a bit of graphite in this piece along with the color pencil and am thinking I better get my pastel background in before long.
Bloody hot outside, going to be 97F degrees today (I know it is supposed to be summer, but come on!!) so nice to be inside - thank goodness for air conditioning.  I really don't know how the people in the olden days lived in the South with this heat and humidity.  I finished the book I was using for inspiration so hopefully my drive to continue doesn't dissipate. 
Thanks for stopping by and hope you are having a great week.

Red Tail Hawk WIP

Ok, so what started as a bit of a rest and focus turned on other things, then getting really nasty sick, turned into a full out slump.  I just got where nothing interested me or jump started my motor to get into the art room.
So how great is our mind??  I think I have mentioned before I am a voracious reader, everything from Smithsonian magazines on politics, art, literature and science to James Patterson and Nora Roberts.  Yes I am a huge fan of Nora's I think she just writes an interesting read and I like that she does a series of books, so you learn about the characters.
So, you might ask, what does this have to do with this hawk?  Well, the book I am currently reading has hawks involved, and we have three different hawks that frequent our yard, two Shin and one Red Tail Hawk.  They are just magnificent creatures even though I know they chase my birds.  But I neither have the camera or ability to capture them in a photo that would be good enough for this kind of a reference.  …

Spring on the Blue Ridge

Spring on the Blue Ridge
Yes, I have to admit it, I have been in a bit of a slump for a while now.  I have found other things to do and haven't gotten in the art room and so  now it is hard to get excited about anything.  Looked at a bunch of photos and it was all blah!!  So I decided to do something I haven't done before, just get the paper out and go at it.
So this is a real smooth water color paper, hot press, that I bought and haven't figured out how to use - gosh I sure don't know why  - got to learn to read more carefully I guess.  So I threw a yellow wash all over it, except for a bit of sky color.  Then drizzled some dark green/black mail box paint I had sitting around for some of the tree trunks, the road and tunnel hole.  Let it all dry.
Then used a sponge to put in some of the leave shapes.  Then added the splashes of color with the palette knife for the rhododendrons, flame azaleas and mountain laurels.  I kind of liked slopping …

Plein Aire Flame Azaelea

Well last day on the mountain and while my better half catches a quick nap I tried to capture the light delicacy of a flame Azaelea.  Right now on the Blueridge at 5,000 feet, we are at the peak of Spring.  The Flame Azaeleas, Mountain Laurels, little yellow daisy-like flowers, wild purple flowers, and other pinks, plus the deep purple-pink of rhododendrons are at full lush bloom.   I liked this flame Azaelea, a pretty good sized bush, because it didn't move and the light seemed to,stay pretty constant.  If I continue with this plein aire thing I sure got to figure out how to get a lot quicker.  What I do like, however, is the fact you got to go with the first stroke, not overwork, stay loose and get the essence.  All those are great lessons to incorporate into other work. Thanks much for stopping by. Feel free to leave me your plein aire tips.

Plein Aire Cloud

Well a relaxing and reatful few days away it is not.  Both of us got a stomach bug, nasty little devil that has hung on now for 5ish days now.  Puts a whole new meaning to "squeaky clean"  Since Paulie is a day or two behind me guess I will play while he sleeps.   Still working on the clouds over the mountains.  I am finding working plein aire another challenge with its own set of rules.  Boy it tweaks the memory because it changes so darn fast.  Guess I am glad you don't know what I started with.   I haven't figured out yet how to work fast enough to try a fuller scene.  I am using a view finder to just find a small square so I don't get so overwhelmed.

Plein Aire - Night Cloud

Came back to our porch as day was changing to night over the mountains.  Just had huge rains and sky was trying to clear out.  So saw this beautiful sky and just had to try to capture it on paper as well as on the camera.  Such color in the clouds, grays, purples, pinks and yellows as the sun was reflecting.  Drew this very quickly but a bit mad at myself as I still did too much blending.  Working on grayed paper that is pretty smooth.  Paul was surprised at how fast it came together.  One thing about mountain skies is the beautiful clouds so am going to try to catch some more while I am here.