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Showing posts from July, 2015

Carnavale Mask WIP

I had so much fun doing the last mask I thought I would try another.  Again this is going to be a combination of primarily pastels, some gold leaf and acrylic covered with pastel.  This is a lot more elaborate and hoping I can pull it off.
This is on artagain paper, recycled and the black will lend itself to really helping the background and also give soft edges as the feathers fade in and out.  I already have a few issues, this is on mat board, and it has a definite indentation, just like golf balls, so the pastels just want to skim and not sink in.  And I started with the gold leaf design so I didn't lose it and have put it on three times now, but oh well, and looking at this it won't show up as much as I would have hoped in the color areas, might try another couple of coats and see what happens.
I would like to thank Helga O from PMP who kindly put up her pictures from her trip to Venice and this lovely reference shot.  She has several more, so there could be more masks in…

The Venetian Violinist Finished

The Venetian Violinist
Yesterday it was a Luna moth in the garden and  started off today with our big Shin hawk, all 2.5 feet of him, landing on our roof.  Went on the patio and we both just looked at each other, I was about 10 feet from him, he definitely knew I was there but didn't fly.  He was a beauty too.  Then I convinced Paulie to come out too and they looked at each other.  He regally accepted our homage and then gracefully flew two roofs down for another sit down as the crows has him pinned down.  Wow, what a way to start the day.
I was going to post an update on this picture but realized I was almost done so might as well finish it, however computer decided to act up so posting this morning.  This picture went so fast and am thinking it was b…

The Venetian Violinist WIP

Since there are rules for everything I assume there are rules for correct cropping.  I haven't Googled it, suppose I should, but maybe ignorance is bliss.  Anyway I cropped this as an experiment.  What attracted me to the picture is the golden venetian mask, then the violin and then the hat.  I think you had to have both the hat and the violin to be sure that the mask/face is the center of attention.  But I felt I just couldn't have the violin just floating up there so I needed the second hand holding the bow.  In composition I think that diagnols are good at helping move the eye and suggests action, so maybe that is a good thing to include?  I also wanted to have a dark background and just sort of have him materialize out of the darkness.  So we will see how that goes....
Thanks much for stopping by and taking a look and hope you have a great start to your week.


Well the little "bear", which they are not in the bear family but in the kangaroo family,ius pretty much completed.  I am really happy with how this turned out, both koala and background were such fun to do.  Going with a background that just sort of materialized was quite a bit of fun, so much so I am trying again.  Got the background complete and now trying to figure out what to put on it. 
The new experimental background this time wasn't done using saran wrap, instead I used lots of water and acrylic, one of the main colors is thalo blue and yes, of course, I now have blue hands.  Moral of the story, use gloves next time.   Oh well, live and learn.
Thanks much for stopping by and hope you have a great weekend.

Koala WIP Acrylic

Ok, hopefully the mystery of what I am putting on this experimental background is now solved.  Remember, I just put acrylic colors randomly on paper, sprayed it with water and put saran wrap on top and let it  dry.  When I turned the paper around I thought that the right-hand side looked like a tree trunk, so it pretty much told me what I'd have to paint, and I had been wanting to do a koala so that's how I got here.  They are pretty strange looking animals.  I am taking a lot of creative license here, using the pose photo from Susan Freeman, of PMP.  I really wanted to have a good look at those button eyes and the nose/mouth on these guys are pretty unusual so I am using another reference shot that gives me a better look at the facial features.   I also changed up the coloring to make it bit richer than what was in the original photo. 
My quest to figure out a fur technique continues and using some advice from another artist I am trying to use the #6 round.  So the base lay…

Grey Wolf

Gray Wolf

 Well here is the final version of my gray wolf in acrylic, also included the first time I painted this in oil - which do you prefer?  I am still trying to figure out how to do the fur technique.  In this case this wolf is very salt and peppered black and white and I also wanted to get a feet for more individual hair but also create greater depth.  I am hoping that you see some improvement between the two.  Think I did these about 3 months apart.

                    *******   T E A S E R *******

Now on to the next thing .....  what do you think I am going to put on this background?
This is one of this week's experiments.  Made an acrylic background, paint, sprayed with water and put saran wrap over the top and let it dry.  Took a look at what it made (turned it around a few times hoping for inspiration) and let it tell me what I should paint on it.   What do you think??????    Will update you soon.
Thanks much for stopping by and have a…

Snuggle Buddies WIP

These adorable lion cubs are from a shot by Glennis Weston.  Glennis not only can take wonderful photos, but she is also a superb artist, just one of the many inspiring folks at Paint My Photo.

Anyway, been a while since I worked on velour paper with pastel, so am giving it a go again and I have to remember the technique I kind of like is more scumbling than strokes.  Only thing about the velour is that it doesn't blend and if you go over with another color it tends to cover the subtle below colors.  I am really glad I took this shot as I now have some clarification of what I couldn't see in the photo of what might be happening behind the bottom cub's head, so think I have it in my mind now and am going to just do my thing and see how it falls.  I have taught myself to work off of the ipad for reference photos and not print them out any more, but with this being off kilter it is causing me a bit of an issue, will be glad to get to the guy who is more upright.  I think …

Reaching Out

Reaching Out
Here is the last two day's experiment.  I wanted to do a study of a baby elephant because I want to give an 11"x14" elephant for a baby present.  The baby's nursery is done in grays and elephants are the Mom's favorite.  So I thought I would try working with a medium, something I haven't done previously.  You can see below where I used modeling paste where it would accentuate the wrinkles.  Didn't work exactly as I thought, and I ended up using a cut up plastic card to try to get darker color into the grooves.   But  I really like how it makes the ear look more 3D.  I took some literary license too, as I was working from a wonderful reference photo by Angeline Rijkeboer of PMP , and her little one was just cov…

John's Sunset

John's Sunset
Thank you to Ro Lovelock's brother-in-law for this wonderful sunset photo with all the beautiful colors.  I am trying to figure out how to use a palette knife and since I am trying to do plein aire clouds thought this might be a good place to start.  Let me tell you that little knife is trickier than it looks, that's for sure.  I am really pretty get at getting blobs of color, not so good at getting nice little sharp lines. 
Absolutely failed at getting the light reflecting across the water.  But at the end of the day it was fun to go to the beach and I am sure I did learn something - fingers crossed.
Hope you are having a great week and thanks for stopping by.

Red Tail Hawk

Red Tail Hawk
                                                                  Color Pencil/Pastel
This piece was done from an awesome reference shot by Angela Calabrese of Paint my Photo.  PMP just has moved to a new site because it has grown so large with both artists and photographers, check it out at
Well I am thinking that I am done with this piece but will leave him sitting out on my easel for a while so I can look for any more corrections that I think I might need to do.  Biggest thing now is to stop and don't overwork it any more.
This piece is done with a pastel background (remember I had put workable fixative on it to keep it from spreading onto the hawk itself, and now I've retouched and refreshed it a bit).  The bird itself is primarily color pencil.  However, for the final feather work I us…

Wolf 5 Acrylic WIP

Well am continuing to work on the wolf and have gotten the head in pretty good shape I think.  I am happier with the coloring and only have under the left eye to finish up and then it will move on to finishing the body.   The hairs on the body are both medium short with longer tufting around the scruff of the neck.   It does seem easier to work over and in layers with the acrylic than it does with the water mixable oils, as they seem to get gummy.    I will be interested when I post them together if you can determine a different in the finish between the oils and acrylics.
I have tried several application techniques on this piece and seem to end up doing a lot of dry brushing and then some glazing to get the colors and texture that I am looking for.   I am still using the #1 flat brush and a small filbert that I got for $1 at Cheap Joes in Boone, NC.  I bought all they had and wish they had a few more as I find them indispensable brushes - just love the size.
I have to say that I am …