December 17, 2014
We’re going to Taos, New Mexico today! My next collaboration is of the beautiful and historic San Francisco de Asis Mission. A sketch is first made for the client’s approval.
The painting is framed in our Senkarik Signature frame. The white nearest the image is masked off with blue painter’s tape. This will be pulled away when the piece is finished, leaving a straight, clean edge. The Mission is the main focal point so I begin drawing the Southwest architecture with a brush dipped in a thin oil wash of Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson + Liquin.
The entire area of the window above the door is washed in with mixes of Ultramarine Blue + Liquin and Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson + Liquin. I’ll come back later when that is completely dry to add the frame and window panes.
Now the Mission is drawn I start on the foreground elements. A rectangle is made on the floor surface to determine the placement of the upright posts of the bench. Please remember, you can enlarge this or any of the other images to see them better.
Bracing my wrist on a mahl stick to steady my hand I sketch the statue of St. Francis located in front of the Mission.
The oil wash is complete. I’ll make a few adjustments while painting but this drawing gives me a basic “Road Map” to follow as I work. If you would like to receive an email every time I publish a new post please feel free to subscribe to my blog. CLICK THIS LINK and scroll to the upper right side of the page. You will see a heading EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS. Just enter your email address and click the button “Sign me up!” It’s easy. And if you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged!
December 14, 2014
One of our readers wanted to know what brand of Alkyd Oil Paints we use. Jack and I like Winsor-Newton Griffin Alkyds which can be purchased at JerrysArtarama.com There is no need to use any mediums or grounds with the Alkyds and they come in the very same colors as regular oil paints. If you don’t want the Alkyds to dry quite as quickly they can be intermixed with regular oil paints! OK, back to the easel. The flowers are completely dry so we’ll work on Gragson first. I pull out a special color for his beautiful coat, Ivory Black. White is mixed in for the highlights on his shiny fur. I let a little of the blue from the container behind him reflect onto the side of his face and back.
Rumsfeld is next. I love his eyebrows, doesn’t he remind you of Donald Rumsfeld? His coat is painted with various mixtures of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. Some of the Black left over from Gragson is used on Rumsfeld’s shoulder. Since the sun is shining from the upper left the catch light in his eye is placed at the edge of the pupil at 11 o’clock. Light transmits through the cornea, illuminating the iris on the opposite side. So the area of the brown iris from 5 o’clock to 7 o’clock is made lighter. You can see this better if you’ll enlarge the picture, just click on the image.
Now, pretty little Baby is painted. I let her fluffy tail hang over the edge of the box which adds to the dimension.
“Three Little Gems” is complete. Don’t you think that’s a nifty gift idea Denise came up with?
Here’s a couple of pictures from other angles so you can see how the design works. The most fun thing is Denise is going to make a unique piece of Jewelry for Maria. So she’ll have a gift within a gift! Isn’t that so cool? Hugs,
December 12, 2014
I’m using Alkyd Oil Paints for the Jewel Box. They come in exactly the same colors as regular Oil Paints but dry much, much faster. Unlike Acrylics the colors remain true, they stay exactly as you lay them down and don’t darken as they dry. The Amaryllis in the background? They are part of our living Christmas Decorations in the studio! We have several: they were planted in pots, two at a time, 10 days to two weeks apart. This way we’ll get to enjoy the gorgeous blossoms for a long time. If you’d like to enlarge this or any of the other pictures just click on the image.
The critters are perched on a tile floor that makes up the top of the box. I paint it exactly like I do on canvas, covering the entire area with the light and shadow areas.
Then the lines separating the tiles are pulled into the wet paint of the floor. I have to work quickly, the paint is drying fast! I’m totally not used to that :)
The edge of the lid serves as the edge of the tile. Then the side is painted in an adobe color with textured brushstrokes. I leave the washed in area of blue-greens at the bottom. It’s now dry and will be the base color for the Geraniums we’ll plant here.
A mass of Pink Petunias fill the ceramic containers behind our “Fur Babies”. The flowers are blocked in with different combinations of Permanent Rose + White.
Geraniums line the bottom portion of the Jewelry Box. I need for all of the flowers to dry before I can do any more work. Hope you’ll come visit our next session; I’ll be painting Baby, Rumsfeld and Gragson. Hugs,
December 11, 2014
I recently completed a commission called “Is That the Dinner Bell?” My clients loved the piece so you can imagine my surprise when I received a call from Denise. She started out, “I have a real issue with the painting…..” My heart sank. Then Denise continued, “We have a dear friend who loves our ‘Fur Babies’ and the painting. Could you do something with Baby, Rumsfeld and Gragson for her as a Christmas present?”
We discussed a few different ideas, then Denise asked, “what about a Jewelry Box like you auctioned at your Collector Event last year?” PERFECT! We decided to paint all three babies on the top surrounded by flowers. I love collaborating with our collectors, they have such wonderful ideas. The bottom of the box is coated with black acrylic, the other sides are primed with white acrylic. I also paint a square of white acrylic on the inside of the top. This is where I’ll put the title, our code number of authenticity and a personalization for the recipient. Using blue painter’s tape the facing edges of the top and bottom are covered. Also the bottom of the box is taped off to keep it clean when the sides are painted.
The original painting serves as reference for the animals. I just enlarge the section with the three, print it out and tape it to the easel. A light pencil sketch is first made on the lid. Then bracing my wrist on the mahl stick to steady my hand I begin drawing the babies with a brush dipped in a thin oil wash of Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson + Liquin.
The dogs’ red kerchiefs are washed in with pure Alizarin Crimson + Liquin. Don’t forget, as you go through my post you can enlarge any of the pictures by clicking on the images.
I wash the sides of the box bottom with thin coats of Pthalo Blue + Liquin and Viridian Green + Liquin. I just scumble this on randomly, my main purpose is to cover the white. By using the Liquin washes the sides will be dry to touch in the next session. The fronts of the yellow boxes holding the top and bottom are marked with a piece of blue tape. This helps me to keep them oriented correctly.
The same washes are used on the top to develop the background. The flower area is completely washed in, continuing the design over the sides. That’s it for today, we’ll let the box dry overnight and continue tomorrow. Hope to see you then. If you would like to receive an email every time I publish a new post please feel free to subscribe to my blog. CLICK THIS LINK and scroll to the upper right side of the page. You will see a heading EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS. Just enter your email address and click the button “Sign me up!” It’s easy. And if you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged!
December 8, 2014
After painting the snow in Farolito Shadows I realized Old Man Winter will soon be visiting us here in South Texas. With several large potted plants to protect from our occasional freezes Jack and I thought it would be nice to make a greenhouse on our deck.
The sides are made of freeze cloth, stapled at the top and bottom to 8 foot long closet rods. The corners are clipped with large binder clips from Office Depot.
On warm days the sides can just be rolled up and held up with a small bungee cord. The infrared heater in the corner will make our greenhouse nice and toasty on freezing cold nights.
Here’s a closeup of the raised side. They hang from bicycle hooks we purchased at Home Depot.
Another shot of the rolled up side secured with a bungee cord. Please remember, you can click on any of the pictures to see them larger.
POOOF! Our greenhouse completely disappears on nice days. When a blue norther blows in I can roll the plants into the corner, drop the sides and flip on the heat. All of our tender plants will be safe and protected from the clutches of Old Man Winter. Thought you’d enjoy a day off from painting and seeing a little snippet of our garden! Hugs,
December 7, 2014
The tall stalks of Mexican Bush Sage sway to and fro in the gentle breeze. The cool blues and purples drop behind the warm pink of Marley’s outfit.
The front forks of the bicycle frame are painted in a warmer purple made of Magenta + Dioxazine Purple + White. I don’t delineate the spokes of the wheel. The detail would draw the viewer’s attention away from our star of the show, Marley! Leaving them out also gives the impression of movement.
Permanent Rose + White is used for the main frame of the bike. Then I begin adding some of the detail on Marley’s boots. I keep the colors subtle so the design won’t distract from her face.
As I mentioned previously, I thought this little stuffed bear was so cute. He was in the background of the reference photo, I moved him to the wicker basket on the bicycle. He is painted with mixes of Turquoise Blue + White.
The warmth of the Nasturtiums in the foreground container makes them jump in front of the back wheel of Marley’s bicycle. The bright blossoms are mixes of Cadmium Red Light and Cadmium Orange.
Marley Bear 14″ x 11″ Original Oil Painting
What a nice day for a bike ride though the garden! Can’t you just hear Marley singing to her little bear as she glides along? Thank you for joining me in the studio. I appreciate all of you who follow my blog and the kind comments you make. I write this for you so please feel free to ask questions. Hugs,
December 6, 2014
The background will be painted first, my color mixes are shown above. #1. The three globs are mixtures of Sap Green + White in various proportions. #2. Three different shades of Viridian Green + White. #3. Pthalo Blue + White. The three pools of color to the left of mixture #3 are washes made of Pthalo Blue + Liquin, Sap Green + Liquin and Viridian Green + Liquin.
To start the background is washed in with the thin oil mixes. This gives coverage near the edges of the canvas. That way I don’t have to paint that area as thick and the sides of the piece will dry more quickly. Since it’s a Christmas gift that makes it much easier to frame.
Now for the opaque oil paint. The warmer greens (Sap Green + White) are used to the left of Marley. The cooler mixes of Viridian Green + White are reserved for the area to the right. Those bushes are farther away so I want them to recede. This follows a very simple rule: Warm Colors Come Forward, Cool Colors Go Back.
Now let’s get to work on Marley. My mixtures are shown above. #1. This is the basic pink for Marley’s top and shorts, Alizarin Crimson + White. #2. The shadows for her clothing, Alizarin Crimson + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White. Many of our readers have asked how to mix skin tones so here we go. Group #3. All 6 blobs are Terra Rosa + MUD + White in various proportions. #4. Terra Rosa + Alizarin Crimson. If you are painting people, Terra Rosa is a must have color. #5. Ultramarine Blue + MUD + White. #6. White + a touch of Terra Rosa. #7. Cerulean Blue + White.
Marley’s forehead and the sides of her face are painted first with some of the darker skin tones. Then work begins on the hair, working into the wet paint of the skin makes it easy to soften the edges.
Next I establish the shadows and basic planes of her face. Using the mahl stick allows me to steady my hand as I work on the fine details.
WHEW! Got Marley’s face almost done. I’ll come back in and make a few minor adjustments later but it’s really close at this point. If you would like to view this or any of the other pictures larger just click on the image. And please, always feel free to ask questions! Hugs,
December 4, 2014
A Christmas surprise is up on the easel next! The recipients don’t follow my blog so I can share the process of the portrait with all of you. One of our long time collectors asked me to paint “Marley”. It’s a gift to her pastor and his wife, who are the sweet little girl’s grandparents. Mary Sue sent several pictures but when I saw this one I knew it would make a wonderful portrait. Isn’t she darling?
After lightly penciling her image on the canvas I begin blocking in the basic plan with a thin oil wash.
My idea is to have “Marley” riding her bike on a garden path surrounded by flowers. I love the little bear in the background of the reference photo, I’ve decided to pop him into the basket on the front of the bike.
We’re all sketched up and ready to begin painting. My main intent at this point is to get the portrait “Washed In”, not make an exact likeness. I will focus on that when I paint her face. Hope you’ll come back soon. If you would like to receive an email every time I publish a new post please feel free to subscribe to my blog. CLICK THIS LINK and scroll to the upper right side of the page. You will see a heading EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS. Just enter your email address and click the button “Sign me up!” It’s easy. And if you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged!
November 30, 2014
The long spiky leaves of the yucca are made by holding a medium size Bright (square) brush sideways. The sword-like brushstrokes pull easily into the wet paint of the wall. If you’d like to know more about the brushes I use CLICK HERE.
A slightly larger Bright brush is used to shape the individual cactus pads. When applying the paint I give the brush a twist, forming the oval pads.
The thorns on the cactus are indicated with a fine liner brush. I don’t try to make each and every one, just a few here and there that glitter in the sunlight. Then the snow that’s collected on the pads is added, it’s a lot like frosting a cake :)
I originally had planned Chamisa in this corner but realized it would be too similar in color to the mums. So we’ll go with some sage, typically found in the high desert. It fits in well with the cactus and yucca. The soft, gray greens look so nice with the blues and lavenders of the freshly fallen snow.
I love Chili Wreaths. Again, the side of my Bright brush is used to highlight the hot, spicy peppers with Cadmium Red Light.
Farolito Shadows 14 inches by 14 inches Original Oil Painting
Farolito Shadows cascade across the rough adobe wall and bright portal. Even though it’s late in the afternoon the candles are lit. Tiny flames dance and flicker, ready for Christmas Eve celebrations in Santa Fe. If you’d like to see this or any of the other images enlarged just click on the picture. Thanks to Kent and Joe for allowing me the fun of painting this wintery scene. I’m looking forward to working on the other pieces in their Four Seasons Quartet. Hugs,
November 29, 2014
The background is made with cool greens that will provide a dark contrast to the warmth of the Farolitos along the top of the wall. “Painting Forward” I begin work on the Santa Fe building. Farolitos, or luminaries as some call them, are paper bags filled with sand that have a candle inside. It’s fun developing the shadows they cast on the ancient adobe.
Light and dark mixtures of Pthalo Blue + White are used for the bright blue door.
The crenelated shadows also fall across the door. Their edges are softer than on the wall because they’re farther away from the Farolitos.
This piece is painted on the sides of the gallery wrap canvas. I have to use a step stool to paint the top edge. It’s a good opportunity to show you my studio setup. My easel, palette and taboret are on wheels, it is very easy to move things around to accommodate any size canvas. If you’d like to see the arrangement I used in our old studio to paint a six foot by eight foot painting CLICK HERE.
The bags of the Farolitos are highlighted with a little Cadmium Yellow Medium near the bottom to give the impression of the votive candles burning inside.
Mums have survived the cold, the flowers are blocked in with mixes of Cadmium Orange + Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Orange and Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Yellow Medium.
AND…..Let it snow! The mums and entry courtyard are blanketed with the soft fluffy stuff The white snow is made cooler in the back with mixes of Ultramarine Blue + White. The foreground is made warmer using mixtures of Dioxazine Purple + White. I follow a simple rule, Cool Colors Recede, Warm Colors Come Forward, to help give depth to the painting. The blue door reflects into the snow directly below it. So I pull a brushstroke of Pthalo Blue + White into the white shadow along its base. Pure White is reserved to indicate the sun streaking across the smooth surface. Thanks for following along today. Hugs,