I got such a positive reaction to my recent pastel painting of Adventure Bay that I did another for my Mum’s “World’s Greatest Shave ” fundraiser auction. There’s already been anabsentee overseas bid for it so I hope it does well for the Leukaemia Foundation on the night. This photo is on the dark side- need to hone up my photography skills a bit .
A friend saw the first pastel on Instagram and asked if I could paint a small canvas for her as it brought back lot’s of childhood memories of holidays spent at Adventure Bay.So I went ahead and painted this one today. I think it’s my favourite because of the lively colours in the shadows on the sand.
Then I decided to break out my new Schminke watercolours and try a large (for me) painting. I really only use watercolours for pen and wash sketches these days so this was a bit of an adventure. I did find I’d forgotten a lot of the techniques but was happy I’d remembered any to be frank! I like the reflections, the clouds are OK ,the shadows are too pink and the foilage is overworked.
It was interesting trying the same painting in pastels, acrylics and watercolours and made we want to brush up my watercolour technique and try a few more. We’ll see how that goes!
I painted a small pastel of these wooden boats a few years ago and this week I scaled up a bit and did a 70 x 90 acrylic canvas of the same scene. It took much longer than my usual seascapes because of all the detail in the boats and the mooring ropes. I’m pleased with the finished painting as I think I’ve captured the light on the end of the first two boats which is what first attracted me to the scene. I also like the repetition of the boats and the patterns of their internal wooden ribs. The ropes add some horizontals and vertical accents and the reflections in the mirror like water give a tranquil feeling to the painting.
Here’s a few shots of the painting as it progressed.
Now, I love painting, you all know that, but this last month has had me on the annual Christmas rush orders overload and I am definitely looking forward to a break over Christmas. I’ve only had time for my day job and painting. Staying up to midnight and getting up at six has been the only way to get through all the custom orders – I’m still waking up with only 10 days to go to find hopeful emails from distant lands requesting 2 x 3 ft paintings to be done , shipped and under the tree by Christmas morning! It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a polite way of saying ” Are you out of your mind!!!!!” Still, I finished the last order I was prepared to take on 2 days ago and only have one small commission for a very fussy customer ( me) to finish off and I can put away the brushes for a few days. No doubt I’ll be itching to get back into it after the break .
Here’s a peek at all the commissions that will be finding themselves under far flung trees this Christmas. Whilst some of them might not have been my first choice of subject , all of them have real significance for the people who commissioned them. I’ve enjoyed helping others bring their ideas to life and being part of a very special and thoughtful gift giving experience. My favourite is the prairie sunset…. what’s yours?
Last week I was working on a commission for a client of Lone Mountain and here it is after I added in the foreground trees covered in snow. I echoed the purple /blue shadows on the mountain in the foreground and really piled on the snow on those tree branches. It was very satisfying laying on thick swodges of snowy blues and whites to build up believable snow laden trees.
After the snow settled I started in on an entirely different scene of the impressive cliffs of Moher in Ireland. What a contrast to all that snow! Now it was green, green grass and those stark cliffs plunging into the ocean. The client wanted me to focus on the light on the foreground grasses and that bright sky against the distant grasses, and I’m happy with the end result because she’s happy!
On Monday I posted off my latest commission and was waiting for a client to get back to me before I could start the next one so Tuesday found me with a RDO (rare day off) and no paintings waiting to be done! That really doesn’t happen often at this time of year with a steady stream of Christmas commissions coming in( as I write there’s already a new painting on the easel and 2 more waiting to be started).
With no painting on the go I found myself eyeing off my stash of fabric and favourite black sheep stamp . I love cottons and had a lovely earthy piece with tan,cream and terracotta stripes that I decided to pair with a tan cotton drill and turn into a couple of bags. I stamped away happily , making some decorative patches to sew on the flaps and backs and then spent a few hours at the sewing machine which has been feeling very neglected lately. By the end of the day I’d finished off 3 bags featuring the sheep print and felt reconnected to my sewing machine !
But now it’s back to the easel……………I need to get some big snow covered pines on the foreground ridge , and maybe a few falling snowflakes.
This is my first venture into the world of aviation art and it was a lot of fun. The hardest part was getting the lettering right – I must have done it a dozen times! I’m really happy with the painting overall and especially like the little spots of light on shining on the propellor housings. I just learn so much when I take on a new subject – who knew painting a plane could be so much fun!
Sometimes I need a bit of a kick in the pants to shake me up and get me a bit braver when it comes to using colour. When I think I’m getting a bit too safe I like to break out the acrylic inks and use them as an underpainting.
I’ve been pretty liberal in the cliffs with deep violet, turquoise blue and a dollop of yellow orange as well.I just lay it on with a soft brush and let it run and bend. Sometimes I just pour it straight onto the paper or canvas or add colour with the droppers.
I’ve used a lemon yellow in the water and mixed it with the turquoise to make a strong yellow, green underpainting. I give the sky a yellow ochre wash and I’m all set to be a bit braver when I start adding the acrylic paint.
Here I am part way through. I’m liking the cliffs although The Writer thinks the purple is a bit strange. I often ask for a critique from various family members walking past ( and yes they do sometimes try and avoid eye contact!) I’ve found the best critic is The IT Geek who has an uncanny knack of homing in on the bit I’ve been secretly worried about whereas The Writer often homes in on the bit I’m quite pleased with.
I’ve still got a lot of work to do but I like where it’s heading . I ‘m trying for really sunlit cliffs and I think I’ve got that on the island. Sometimes it’s the small areas that draw the eye and I like the gap between the headland and the island. The beach area and it’s trees have a lot of work to do yet as well as the water needing some more glazes. We’ll see what happens tomorrow!
Had a clear weekend so gessoed up a canvas and did my second painting in the Sardinia series. Capo Testa is a wonderful area on the north-west coast of Sardinia. There’s a maze of walking tracks amongst the huge boulders and so many wildflowers it’s like a series of rock gardens. There’s the mild scent of curry wafting over the cape from the yellow curry plants and the stunning blue of the Mediterranean in the background. Hope I managed to capture just a little of this amazing place which I hope to get back to some day.