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Showing posts from March, 2018

The Fortune Teller finally finished acrylic figure

The Fortune Teller
She certainly was a fun project and came together pretty much as envisioned.  But it is the great thing about painting, each picture has something different to teach you.  While you might struggle in parts and aspects, if you push through you will be pleased to accomplish something that helps you in the next picture or so.

I really like the drama of this piece and have to credit background for that.  While my goal was to pain this realistically, it is not hyper realism and I was able to use some of the techniques I learned while I was doing the performers series.  I always have to remember to step back.  Like Monet is the best example, right up close it is a bunch of squiggles, dashes and blobs of color.  But step back and magically it comes into focus.

On to…

The Fortune Teller WIP Continues

Well we finally are going to get a break from the gray, cold, wind and rain - what they call the wedge here as it comes down the Appalachian mountains.  I don't always hibernate when it is like that, but it is not my favorite weather.  Did get a bit stir crazy from so many days of it and took off for a wonderful long walk yesterday.  So when it decides that it is going to be sunny and the temps are going to get to the mid 70s, it is time to enjoy the porch.  Thinking of all the videos I can watch or how many pages of my book I get to ready.  Sounds funny for a retired person, but I am getting a day off!!  So, probably not much painting going on today just enjoying and seeing if we see new birds - our most unusual to date is a Red Bellied Sapsucker.

Decided to do this painting using purple as one of the main underlying colors.  So there is purple in just about everything from the black background to the shadow skin tones.  I think that it ties the picture together pretty well.  Al…

The Fortune Teller WIP

Yes, there is progress it is just slow at this point.  Still trying to get things blocked in and get underpainting ready to do some glazing.  Will try tomorrow to get the rest of the dress blocked in and then I can begin to get the upper layers coming together.  I still keep fussing with her eyes as I don't think I accurately got the exact likeness, but you know, I think it is good enough.

I want to thank Helen Eaton for lots of her precious time and help as she was guiding me through setting up an Etsy shop.   Each year for the last couple I have tried an online platform for selling, first Daily Paintworks, then FASO and now, this year, Etsy.  I did pretty well at first on Daily Paintworks, but then it fell off when I tried to increase pricing a bit.  On FASO I never really got traction as it is a pro site and, well, let's face it, I am not a pro.  Etsy is a pretty economical place to sell and I am hoping to unload some of my smaller paintings.   I would rather do that then…

Fortune Teller WIP acrylic portrait

Well I have spent quite a few days on this face. changing, tweaking and still see more that I want to do on it.  But again, that is the blessing of acrylic, it loves all the layers.  The more layers the smoother it gets.   I do also notice however, that when it gets tougher I start to feel my enthusiasm deteriorate and I really don't want to get painting cause I feel it is so hopeless.  But, always got to remember you go through many ugly stages and hopefully with the next brush of color, you will start to get something better.  Also got to remember to stop, step back.  Watched an English portrait artist yesterday who trained in Italy and he would walk back to the same spot, mix or measure and then walk up and put on one stroke of color.  Then proceed to do the same thing again for the next stroke.  So moral is, no stop isn't what it is all about.  (Just as an aside, I was relieved to see that that artist didn't get an exact likeness, got a lot, but actually made the mode…

New Fantasy Piece acrylic realism

This is the new project in my fantasy series.  The inspiration for this came from a terrific reference photo from Neil A. Kinsbury, from PMP, who has posted some fabulous and very dramatic shots.  He is a story teller extraordinary.   I have wanted to do a number of his shots for some time now. 
Decided I wanted to do this in acrylic and in a Singer Sargent feel.  Oh that I could only do his brush work and strokes!!  also was ready for some very structured realism, I sure don't know why.    I must be excited about the piece as I was up very early this morning raring to get started on it.   I wanted to be sure I got the face blocked in all in one setting so that the colors are similar and I just felt I had it going.    I already am half in love with the drama of this piece.
I think the title of this piece is going to be Fortune Teller, so I am changing it up from Neil's…

My Imaginary Friend acrylic dragon, fairy, fantasy

My Imaginary Friend
Thinking this fairy tale is completed and that My Imaginary Friend as an idea came together.  This was pretty fun to do and it was more complicated than some I have done lately.  I think I worked about 20 hours just on the dragon alone, tweaking and refining.  It is always a challenge to take multiple photos and try to make them come together and be cohesive.

I do like that challenge and will definitely try to do another piece from several references I have already pulled.  However, I think that I do need to work larger the next time around. Not really sure that I got the scales right on this but he does look rough and smooth so I do like the different textures.  I did end up and put a darker glaze over the gate/wall and I did lighten up the c…

dragon, fantasy, fairy WIP

Well been working and changing, and then changing more and have now reached my stopping point today.  But I think I am pretty much there in many areas, just really have to do the final tweaking on the little girl.  As always when I post something like this I see the changes so clearly on what I want to do and then even some I didn't think I needed to do.

Thanks Val, you are correct, I did get a little carried away with my block in on the grass and didn't have the tail attached correctly, hoping I corrected that now.

Also still working on how I want the direction of the dragon eyes to go.  Val, you suggested toward the girl and got to think about how I would do that.

Looking at this I think I am going to change up the neck lines on the left side of the dragon to more match the right side, not that way in the reference, but I don't like the way it is looking right now and I think it would help that left arm look a bit more sensible.  Ok, the more I look at it I see the c…

dragon, fairy, princess, fantasy WIP

I hit a stopping point and thought I would go ahead and post as I have some things to do this afternoon that don't include painting.  I am glad that you guys like the sky, it is a bit whimsical and I like that it adds brightness to the overall piece.  The one thing that I really like about the acrylics is that you can continue to layer to your heart's content.

I think I have to figure out a way to make the dragon look less robotic so will have to deemphasize  the armor plated look.  Maybe just go with scales on the arms and a few definitions of the segmentation?

One of the things that I wanted to do in this piece was try to make planes (background, middle and foreground), does it feel like there is distance in the picture?

Sorry lots, of questions in this post, but think I am at a point where I have to make some changes or else I will be stuck with what I've got.

Thanks much for stopping by and taking a look.

Dragon, fairy princess, fantasy, WIP

Well here is where I am at the moment and you can see My imaginary Friend is starting to take shape.   I do think it would have been a bit better on a larger canvas but I wanted to work on paper.  Ended up however cutting down a canvas piece that I had.  I don't know but canvas scares me and I always feel like I am going to make a mistake and that mistake takes up room and hangs around a long time.  Plus canvas is pretty rough and to get details you need smoother.  Well I did the canvas hoping that if I paint on it enough I will get a feel for it.

I have to make myself not touch the little girl's face any more.  I probably have overworked it as it is, so nothing more.  Pretty much just getting in the base tones now.  I am working with so many translucent colors - who knew so many were my favorites?  Anyway, I am ending up blocking a lot of things in so that I can cut down on the guidelines which got a little dark for me.  One nice thing about acrylics I can always redraw at a…

Fairy WIP and This and That

Just an update on my project, got the cartoon finished.  So I put another coat of regular gesso on this canvas as it is pretty rough.  I added the cartoon and then put another coat of clear gesso over the top of the Saral drawing.  But, thought I would go ahead and post this for tomorrow since it is so humid here it is really drying slowly.  I even used the blow dryer and it is still kind of wet.  So I have to admit guys, you are my time fillers rather than me watch the paint dry.
I also included a pic of one of our neighbors, he happened to be the one closest to the fence.  You can see my whirl just in front of him.  This is all they do all day is scrounge that pasture and eat.  Always with their heads down.  They have their own schedule and show up in different parts of the pasture almost the same time each day.  Occasionally they will actually run across the pasture.  Yep, doesn't take too much to entertain me.
thought I would take a pic of my new art space.  It probably looks…

Thought Process and Prayers

What the heck are all these pictures?  Well here is my thought process as I am trying to get more creative this year and continue my fairy thoughts.  I came across Richard Long's photo and realized I never have done a dragon and that seemed very fairy-like to me.  I took the second dragon reference because it showed some details that I thought I would add to my dragon.  I wanted to figure out a background that wasn't so simple as just a sky, and after trying some castle ruins, kept looking and found the gate with the castle background.  Flipped it horizontally to fit the way I saw the picture.  Next was to find a little girl that had a pose I could utilize to turn into the fairy.  I am not really good yet at making up details from my imagination so all these things help me toward the final product.   So these are all my visual aids in developing My Imaginary Friend - bet you see where this is going?

I hope, so that is where the prayers and fingers crossed come into the pictur…

Costa's Hummingbird acrylic painting

Costa's Hummingbird

It is really funny how the mind works.   I think when you are an artist you are always observing things and if we let it the mind subconsciously makes connections.  This picture came about because I watched a video on painting a hummer, am making address changes (boy is that a project, they don't make it easy) and I was thinking about April when the hummers arrive in our area.  I didn't leave them a forwarding address at our old address so am wondering if I will get any here in the new house.    This attempt is sending positive vibes into the stratosphere.   My other birds are so forlorn when we go, they just don't know what happened and it makes me feel bad.  But we are acquiring birds here and of course that pesky squir…

Red Planet fairy fantasy pastel

Red Planet
Here is the red planet idea pretty much finished.  Made some time this morning and I had a lot of fun with this and I like the idea, probably enough to try and paint it in acrylic, as I really like the original reference photo.  I am so happy being able to take the time to paint again as it is a necessary thing in my life to make me feel complete.

I definitely will have to find someone in a similar pose where I can see the entire body pose as I would really like to see her completely against the sky.  I did end up using some traditional pastels in the orbs and again going over the red planet.  Only thing I am not happy with is that yellow and black equals green - so my yellow orb doesn't really read yellow. …

Warrior Fairy WIP

Eureka!!!   I found the cookie sheets.  They were were in the garage, of course, makes complete sense, as I moved a lot of the paper products there so the movers wouldn't get involved with my studio stuff.  Since I worked hard in there for a couple of hours yesterday trying to get it organized, I decided I deserved a play day.  After all it is TGIF.

So, out came the pan pastels and I decided to try to work out a picture of a warrior fairy.  I found a photo reference from Neil A. Kingsbury, a photographer from PMP, who definitely is a pro photographer and has some wonderful dramatic shots that I think I can convert into my fairies series.  I like his original shot too, as it is the warrior and the background of the same person, it is something I will probably try  as well.

Anyway, since this is working out an idea I decided to do it in pastel.  She is the fairy warrior who is exploring the universe and has the backing of the light orbs, water, earth and air to give her additional p…