July 27, 2006

Landscape in oils

This one took a couple of days, because it is oil paint, and it had to dry a bit before I could put the subsequent layers on. It is a simple landscape, and I'm not sure if it is done or not. The canola fields in full bloom are so spectacular, and the color is so powerful that it almost makes one's eyes hurt. Portraying that effectively probably needs a canvas twice this size.

July 25, 2006


I started keeping a sketch book by the phone so I can doodle while I am talking. This is a very loose copy of an image from a child's of books called the Spiderwick Chronicles, by DiTerlizzi and Black. Wonderful books, and the great illustrations seem so effortless and charming. The character's name is Hogsqueal.

July 24, 2006

Field of Cars

Although I managed to accomplish quite a bit yesterday, this is the only image that was completed. It is a digital photograph altered in PaintShop with the enamel filter. I love the way the sky is interpreted by the digital formula.

Other than this print, I printed a digital image, started an oil landscape painting, and worked more on a large mixed media painting, none of which were completed enough to share.

July 23, 2006

digital watercolor Still Life with Pears

I took this picture as a reference for painting a still life, and then applied the watercolor filter to see what it would look like as a painting. The watercolor filter is a really good learning tool to figure out how to paint an image. The filter removes a bit of the reality of the image, and reduces it to the component parts which makes it easier to understand and interpret.

Still, I think it stands alone as a viable image, even if it is a digital painting.

July 22, 2006

Poppies - Digital Watercolor

I snapped this picture of poppies in my front yard a few weeks ago, and transformed it using the Photoshop Elements watercolor filter.
I love the way that the filter picks out the most important elements, and blurs the rest. It doesn't always work, so I have to experiment to see which pictures can be altered this way, but when it is successful, it is quite exciting.

July 21, 2006

Felted Crocheted Bag

I started this crocheted bag about a month ago, using a pattern from a book. I felted it in the washing machine, and it is quite solid now. I think I felted it more than the one in the book, so it doesn't look like it was supposed to, and it is much bigger than I expected as well. It is a bit plain as is, and I think it needs something more like beads around the flap, and a tassel of beads at the bottom.

I will post more pics when I get the beading done.

The color of the wool is nice, anyway.

July 20, 2006

Digital Watercolor of a Fox

Well, I started out OK, and managed to do some art every day for about a week. Then work got in the way, and put a temporary end to art. I let my internal critic get in the last word before a trip to Quebec City, and left my camera at home, so I don't even have any pictures of that beautiful city to draw or paint. Ignoring the internal critic is always my biggest battle.

So, back to some art.

I took this photo in a zoo, just before the zoo was about to close at the end of the day and the animals were all getting hungry. This fox was going through all the motions of hunting a pigeon that landed outside the pen. It was fascinating to watch as he crouched down and shifted his feet to get a better grip in preparation for the jump-and-run attack. Of course, the pigeon flew off, and the fox was left with eating pre-caught food.

Unfortunately, the original picture had an obvious grid from the chain link fence, and it was impossible to get rid of it. I scanned the picture into Photoshop Elements, and added the watercolor filter. It is a passable image now, and looks quite nice printed large (13x19) on watercolor paper.

July 6, 2006

Gwenny at 8 hours old

This is a beginning of a sketch of a baby. I still have lots of work to do on it, but thought I would post several versions of the sketch as it develops. There is always lots of pressure when drawing someone known to the artist, because if the picture doesn't look exactly perfect, then it will be considered an insult. But I keep telling myself that it is always better to make the attempt than to avoid the difficult parts.

I haven't done a lot of drawing since I left University, so my skills are a bit rusty. I am hoping to try to practice a bit every day to get my skills back, and this was a great subject. Such a peaceful baby - for the first few hours of life.

July 5, 2006

Gulls on the Rock

I was looking through the photos that I took on a recent trip to St. John's, Newfoundland, and found this one picture. It was taken on a very misty day on a wale-watching boat tour. We missed the wales by an hour or two, but I thought this was worth the price of the boat trip.

Encaustic landscape two

This painting was an attempt at creating a landscape using encaustics. I used a combination of encaustics I created myself, and wax crayons. I have included the picture at three stages, to show how it developed.

The first was just intended to create an overall background to lead the painting in the general direction of a landscape.

The next stage involved adding the drops of color, which I had thought would look like flowers, but it just ended up looking totally abstract because I couldn't get teh drips small enough. This technique would work great as a Jackson Pollock type abstract, but I was going for a landscape, so I decided to try to salvage it. I starting using the heated tip of a soldering iron to draw trees and plants in the encaustic paint, and it seemed to improve the image, so I kept going.

Encaustic is a difficult medium to work with - it gets muddy very quickly, and it is difficult to keep the colors clear. I ended up scraping away a lot of paint before I was satisfied enough to stop.

This is the final finished painting. It is still somewhat abstract, but it is very clearly a landscape.

Sunset - encaustic

This is another encaustic painting on canvas. The colors are a bit garish and outside my usual palette, but I think it turned out OK. I think I will try it with a blue sky instead of the bright sunset.

Long Weekend of Art

I decided to try painting with encaustics. I decided to start with an encaustic painting I had started last year, but I had put away because I wasn't satisfied with the colors or the composition. Originally I was trying to use the encaustic like paint, working on a canvas with some lace and rice paper added for texture.

I added drips of contrasting color from a height, to get splashes, and I am a bit more satisfied with the picture, but I think it still needs some pale blue dots to counterbalance the yellow.

New Beginnings

I thought I would try using a blogger for a 30-day-artist kind of project. I am hoping to create and post at least one piece of artwork every day, or get started on something at the very least. I really liked the concept of the 30-day artist website, but the original site already has a 30-day artist committed. I hope to explore a variety of mediums and share a new piece of art every day (at least that's the plan). Eventually I will try to incorporate how-tos and demos where possible.

If you want to check out the 30-day artist site, it can be found here: http://www.30dayartist.com/blog/index.php