Sunday, December 6, 2009

Wilkweed ~ "Blowin' in the Wind" Version 4

I have a short workday on Wednesdays, so last Wednesday afternoon I got the sudden urge to work on another Milkweed painting! I tried to take into considerations suggestions that I received here on my blog and on some art forums I belong to.
This one is quite a bit darker, and I tried to incorporate a lot of texture. I wasn't as successful with the Epsom salts this time, and had to get out the handy-dandy Proxa-brush to lightly scrub back to white for some of the seed fluff.
I finished this up yesterday morning. I happy with a lot of this: My experiment with granulating medium and India ink worked fairly well and gave a lot of interesting texture particularly in the bottom part. I also gave the whole painting a light spattering of iridescent gold acrylic paint which is easier to see in real life.

I think I could have done a bit better at composition, that's something that seems to get away from me sometimes!

Here is a closeup of some of the texture:

I think I've got a few more of these in me, so stay tuned!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Blowin' in the Wind -Third attempt

Here's the third attempt at this subject, and I have to say that I'm actually kind of pleased with this one!
The colour didn't come out on the computer as rich and gold as it is in real life, but you can get an idea anyway. I'm currently in love with using black paint and I used a lot of it in this painting. I believe it has its uses, especially in something that isn't super realistic. You often hear in watercolour or other artist circles to "never use black". Well, I guess I'm the sort of person, who when she hears something like that just has to try it!
I used Epsom salts for the fluffy seeds this time, and really liked the effect. I read the outside of the box, and these salts have so many uses! Not only are they good for creating neat effects with watercolour, you can soak in them, feed your lawn and garden, and give your house plants a boost! I don't feel so bad now for buying such a big container of them.
After I finished this painting, I set my models free in the wind, and hope I have some of these lovely wildflowers blooming in my garden next year, and playing host to the Monarch butterfly!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Milkweed: Trial and Error

I've had in my mind that I want to paint some milkweed pods with the seeds blowing in the wind.
I'm having trouble, however, getting the picture that is in my mind onto paper...(isn't that always the way?)

Last weekend's experiment went well until it came to the silky seeds. I had used masking fluid, and the filaments came out too thick. I tried to fix it with some white paint. I like the background, but other than that I don't really like it that much.

This morning, I thought I'd play around on the back of a failed painting, and ended up with this:

It's a bit more like what I had in my mind, but not entirely. I didn't use any masking fluid, but did resort to a tad of white acrylic for the fluffy seeds. I also used some epsom salt which gave some cool effects. I also had fun playing around with some unusual colours. I used lamp black, and Quinacridone gold, with a bit of Gamboge.

Back to the drawing board tomorrow!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Autumn Berries - Finished!

Well, the idea was to post a lot of progress shots along the, I got one more and then I finished it! LOL

Here is the progress shot, with the first wash on some of the leaves.

Then, since it was such a yucky, rainy day, I did nothing but paint. I had the house to myself (Pat was at a Chili cook-off),I had the music blaring, and I proceeded to overwork that one leaf there. (The dark one)

Overall I was fairly satisfied with most of this painting, there are parts I really like and some not so much.

Anyway, onward and upward!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Back at it!

Well, it's a perfect day for painting: cool, wet and windy! A blustery fall day is just the incentive I needed to get back at my Autumn Berry painting.
Today I worked on the stems of the berries, and I've just started putting a light wash on the leaves.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Berry Fun!

Slowly working on the berries...I do a few, take a break, do a few more, take a break...etc!
This afternoon we are planning on taking a drive to Rondeau Provincial Park, so I hope to come back with even more reference photos to have on hand!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Weekend Watercolouring...

Seems like the only time I have (or have the energy) for painting is on the weekends. Lately they have been busy with family Thanksgving and visits, so I haven't been in the studio much. Now that the weather is turning cooler, I look forward to more of my favourite pastime!

Today I decided to go through some of the photos Pat and I took while out on a nature walk a couple of weeks ago. There were some beautiful red berries that caught my attention, so decided to give them a go.

Using the photo as reference, I did a very quick pencil sketch. I then deepened some of the values and will use the sketch as a guide. I loosely traced my sketch onto the backside of some Arches 140 cp paper. (My favourite!)

Here is my studio set up. I am mostly using my sketch as a reference and only peeking at the ref. photos occasionally. There is my one and only brush that I will be using! You can see an open book by Ann Blockley that I have out as inspiration. Love her work!

I'm loving the reds of the berries so far!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hare's Lookin' at You, Kid!

This is based on a photo I took of a very friendly rabbit that came to visit while I was staying at a cottage recently. He was very bold and at one point jumped right up on the deck with us. Okay, I screamed when that happened, I don't know why, but I've never seen a bunny do that before!

This is watercolour and coloured pencil on the back side of Arches 140 lb CP paper, and the size is approx 8" X 10".

Monday, August 24, 2009

Make Hay While the Sun Shines!

I had a sudden urge to paint something with acrylics yesterday, so I dragged a canvas out of the closet, and dug out the acrylic paints. I had taken some pictures of the hay bales that were sitting in the field behind our house so tried to compose a picture using them as a subject.
I still have a lot to learn about acrylic painting, but I really had a lot of fun doing this! One thing I probably need is some kind of proper palette, instead of the back of an old margarine lid...or not, but those darn paints really dry out fast!
Anyway, here it is.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The View from my Backyard

It was such a pleasant morning, I thought I'd sit out in my backyard and do a little sketch before they take the wheat off. We live right on the edge of our town, and each year we enjoy the view of the field right behind us to the west. Most of our weather comes from this direction, as well as a nice breeze. Today, sitting beside the field, it was downright windy! I had trouble keeping my moleskin open, but it sure kept me cool. A little moth decided he would like to keep me company and sat at the edge of my ultramarine blue for most of the painting.

I also sketched some more flowers today. I'm trying to decide if I like the pen and wash for my flower sketches or pencil and wash...what do you think?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Visit to my Sister's

Last weekend, my mother and I took the train up to Belleville to visit my sister. The weather couldn't have been more perfect! Fairly cool, yet sunny. On Saturday we took the Belleville Garden tour. We saw many gorgeous gardens and flowers...kind of makes you want to take the rototiller to your own garden and start over! Of course I forgot to take the memory card for my camera, and only got a few pictures.
On Sunday we headed over to Prince Edward County, which has a wealth of galleries, wineries, artisan cheese making, wonderful homemade chocolate, and beautiful scenery! We sampled some lovely (and not so lovely!) wine, cheese and chocolate.
I brought my sketch book, but only had time to do this quick sketch from Janet's sunporch on Sunday morning while everyone was getting ready to go out for the day. Her neighbour has a dairy farm. Those little black and white things in the sketch aren't large dogs, they are supposed to be cows! LOL

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


It's been a cool and rainy day today, so I finally finished this painting! I think I like it...but am trying to decided whether to crop off some of the top and left hand side.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wednesday's effort

Worked some more on this yesterday, and I hope to finish it today. Will take Lauren's suggestion and leave most of the bottom right white. I had already painted some of it, but won't do much more.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And today...Robin's Nest WIP

Today, I tried to work more on the nest and a bit on the background and bird. On the nest I did some more negative painting and a bit of positive using some white watercolour, sometimes mixed with other colours. Lots of work yet to do!

Robin's Nest WIP continued

Yesterday I removed the masking fluid from the nest...yikes! Truly in the ugly phase now!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

She Has Hungry Mouths to Feed

I've started on a watercolour of the Robin family we had nesting at the back of our house. I've been taking some pictures along the way, so I thought I'd share them here. I forgot to take some when I first started though!

I had originally thought I'd do the nest with negative painting, but I decided I'm too lazy and got out the masking fluid! You can see it in the last picture.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

More from the Garden Journal

A few more from the journal. I'm really enjoying sketching the flowers from my garden! So far I've done only the perennials, but as summer comes along I'm sure I'll be painting the annuals as well.

Garden Journal Entries

I've been delinquent in posting on my blog! I've got several more entries in my garden journal. Keep in mind these are just sketches, I usually limit myself to 10 minutes or less per flower.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

April Showers Again!

I was so pleased with my last "April Showers" painting, I decided to try another one. This one is based on the daffodils in my neighbours yard. Yellow flowers are definitely harder to do than pink!

But I think they look nice together, so I may do a few more!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

What a wonderful day!

It's been a wonderful warm day today!
The temperature right now is 20 degrees Celsius, and it's sunny and windy. Hung the laundry out to dry on the clothesline today for the first time this spring, but now there is a thunderstorm warning! I got my garden journal out again today to sketch the hardy Lamium that has taken over almost everywhere! The think I like about it is it attracts lots of bees. Today a big old Bumbler came to visit while I was sketching. Gotta go, I hear thunder!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

More April Showers....An encore!

Well I ruined the last version of this painting when I tried brushing on I've attempted another one, this time using spray varnish! I actually think I like this one better. I also bought some more canvases, so I'll be playing around some more with this type of painting.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another Garden Journal Entry

It finally stopped raining long enough to go for a walk this afternoon. When we got back we spotted these little blue snowdrops in the garden by the driveway. Soon there will be a sea of "Star of Bethlehem", and more, but for now this is the only colour besides green!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

April Showers

I was disappointed with my last painting so I thought I'd try something really different. I found a little 8 X 10" canvas and covered it with gesso, then painted with watercolour paint. When it was done, I sprayed it with fixative and then varnished it.

It was almost impossible to get dark values with this, but I kind of liked the washed-out effect.

Finished Vineyard painting

Well, I pretty much overworked this one to death! Not happy with it at all, but I'll show it to you anyway!
I still like the original sketch the best.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Working from a Plein Aire Sketch

While in Michigan last fall with Sue and Lauren, I did several sketches using pen and wash. One of my favourites was of a vineyard. I remember it being very windy, but sunny. It was a wonderful day, and painting from this reference brings back some great memories.

This is the sketch:

And here is where I am with the studio painting so far:

It probably won't end up looking anything like the actual vineyard we were at, but that's okay!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Starting a Garden Journal

I've decided to start a garden journal, and hopefully sketch all of the flowers and veggies that grow this year! Here is my first entry, some brave little snowdrops.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Peeling!

I'm trying to do at least one painting a week, or at least use some kind of art material even if I don't complete anything. I just feel out of touch if I don't paint something!

Today I finished this little acrylic still life. I'm still learning the ins and outs of acrylic painting, and since I started out with watercolours, I'm having a hard time not using them the same way! I have to keep reminding myself that I can paint light over dark! I'm sure I'll catch on eventually.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

And Now for Something Completely Different!

Here's something that I did recently while playing at Sarnia Sue's and after watching a video of Pat Dew's. Hey that rhymes!

Anyway, it was all about texture and composition. We went to the dollar store to buy things that would create texture. Not too sure if I succeeded with the composition! Anyway, I've decided to name this "Ariel".

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Landscape Practice

I've had a week off work, and am nursing a cold, so I thought I'd get back to practising landscapes. I took a lot of pictures when I was in Belleville this past fall, so I thought I'd use some of those for inspiration.

Here are "Early Autumn Drive" and "The Old Mill".

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I haven't felt like doing any large paintings lately, so I thought I'd tear up some pieces of the 300 lb watercolour paper that I don't like and play around! Most of these are pretty whimsical, so I've decided to call them Whimsies! I wasn't sure what to do with them so I put them on Ebay. Who knows if they will sell? If they don't, oh well, they were fun to do! And a fun way to try out new ideas.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

An Excellent Source of Potassium!

Here's a little something I painted this afternoon. I'm still experiment-ing with Fluid Acrylics, and trying to evolve from using them like watercolours to using them like acrylics! The subject will be cut up and eaten with my Cheerios tomorrow!

Polar Storm II ~ Arctic Fox

Here's another painting in the Polar Storm series that I'm doing on a textured gesso background. I only use two colours with these: Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine blue. This is the second try for this little guy. I thought he turned out pretty well, and he's sure in keeping with the weather we've been having lately! It's all the way up to -7 degrees Celcius today! Break out the sunscreen and flip-flops!