Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Riley Staring Off into the Wild Blue Yonder - Oil - WIP 1 & 2

Here's the underpainting for the painting I'm working on from the sketch I did last week. I did the underpainting in acrylic (this time I used water as a thinner LOL) because I wasn't feeling patient enough to wait for an oil underpainting to dry.

Here's the first stage of the oils. 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pastel Portrait - Finished

I changed the background and am much happier with it now, there was just far too much going on before.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Pastel Portrait - Work in Progress 2

I'm not loving the background in this, my original thought was that the wall angle would add some interest but I decided to axe that and go for a simpler background.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Pastel Portrait - Work in Progress 1

While the baby oil on Big Red dries...Here's the initial sketch of the pastel version of the portrait I previously had done in pencil.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

You're Kidding Right? I Didn't Seriously Do this Did I?

Last night i decided to do a quick background for a painting I want to do. I know I want it mostly red and since the gesso I used was white I thought I'd just slap on some red acrylic paint as a foundation so that I could paint over it tonight in oils. 

I thought I was being SOOOO smart! HAH! I have three jars of solvent, one is water which I rarely use, one is baby oil which I use to clean my brushes, and the third is linseed oil which I use for thinning. I've thought of labeling these jars but decided that I'm smart, I can tell the difference between them...apparently not. I'll put that on the list of mistakes not to repeat, "never think you're smart". You may be able to tell where I'm going with this one...

Yup! You guessed it! I used baby oil to thin the acrylics instead of water. One might also think that I'd have copped on by the fact that the large quantities of paint I was putting on my brush kept sliding off and slopping back down on the palette. Oh no! I didn't cop on then! I just chalked what I thought was weird paint behavior up to the fact that I'd gotten used to oils and didn't remember this from my acrylic painting days. I just put my hand under the brush like you might a spoon full of liquid and slapped in on the board. It wasn't until I got all done and noticed that the first corner I painted was kind of shiny and slick that it finally dawned on me and I smelled the "water" and realized what happened. I will definitely be labeling those jars! 

Here's what I found this morning. A slick and shiny painting with baby oil oozing out. :S

Here's a close up of the drips. Nice ehh?

Well, I guess if anyone was wondering what would happen if you mix baby oil and acrylic paint, I've solved the mystery! To continue the experiment, next up is to see how the oil paints go on over the top. I'm holding my breath!

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Callaway Gardens Building - Oil Painting

Callaway Gardens Building

Here's a painting of a building at Callaway Gardens. This building has a restaurant upstairs on the opposite side and a shop and something else on the lower floor on the side that's showing. I was bummed because by the time we got here the shop was closed and I missed an opportunity to browse.

The photo I took seems to have spherized the image a bit, I guess the same thing must have happened on the other paintings I've photographed (vs. scanning) but the subject matter in this one seems to have accentuate it. I swear, the roof doesn't bent like that in the original. I'll probably scan this and the others when they get dry enough.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Callaway Gardens Butterfly - Oil Painting


This is an impasto painting which I've never done before, well, on second thought I guess I have, it's just been an incredibly long time. Anyway...I had so much fun slathering the paint on!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Callaway Gardens Patio Overlooking Pond - Oil Painting

Callaway Gardens Patio

Here's another painting I did from the photos I took at Callway Gardens here in GA. I was able to get several great shots while I was there so there will be more to come :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another Sketch

I was able to get another sketch of Mr. Roo (Riley that is) the night before last. He sometimes will stand on the deck outside the french doors on the opposite side of his ottoman perch and the chair that goes with it, which I was sitting in at the moment when I caught this. He stands quite still for long periods of time just staring at the world so it was a great time to sketch him. I think I'd like to turn this into a painting, I'll have to keep my camera handy and snap a reference shot then next time he takes the position.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My First Abstract

Oil on Masonite

I want two large abstract paintings for my family room and have decided to try to create them myself. I decided to start really small and see what happens and hey, if by some miracle I create "the one(s)" then maybe I'll just scan them in at really high resolution and order them blown up on canvas from Here was my first attempt, well, actually truth be told, it's my second attempt but the first attempt is going in the trash.


Thank You so much Adriana for another award!
There are so many great blogs to pass this on to but I'm going to need to come back to this later.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Here are some sketches I did last night while watching Runaway Jury on tv. I saw the movie before so it didn't take all of my attention and I was able to scribble a bit.

This is Riley, he's a greyhound/pointer mix, or that's the guess anyway. He came from a puppy rescue in Colorado. He is a very slender and sleek guy. Here he's in one of his favorite places, laying on the ottoman looking out the window at the birds, squirrels, neighbors, and anything else which may float by. He kept changing position (darn him) hence all of the starts and stops.

Here he's moved to the chair to settle in for a good nap. Yes, the dogs are part of the family and do get to sit where the humans do. Thank God it's microfiber, that stuff is wonderful!

Here's a sketch of Morgan and Riley, they were sleeping in separate locations, they just happened to fit like puzzle pieces into each other on the page. Morgan is another rescue dog, she came from a humane society in GA, her mom was found wandering the streets pregnant, was brought into the the humane society and gave birth to the most adorable litter! The guess is that she's a boxer/lab mix.

I couldn't possibly have gotten sick of the dogs...they must have left the room at this point. They were getting a bit self conscious having me stare at them so much. I know dogs don't get self conscious but by the looks they give one would swear that they do.

The final sketch, this is of Morgan who has claimed the ottoman, one of her favorite evening places, though she's not quite as slim and flexible as Riley and sometimes it takes her a couple of turns and landing attempts before she gets herself positioned so she feels like she won't fall off.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Flower in Oil - Final

Here is the final of this painting. I can't quite get the colors in the scan correct, the flower in the painting is actually a bit more orange but this is pretty close. I finished a portrait for James Parker's Windows to the Word blog, as soon as it dries enough I'll scan that in and post it. I also have a few paintings which are in the sketch stage, I'll try to get those scanned and posted in the next couple days as well.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Flower in Oil - Work In Progress 1

I've been working on this painting here and there for the last couple of weeks. It's another flower I photographed when I was at Callaway Gardens last summer. A good friend of mine and I were debating what kind of flower this is and we decided that it looks like an Iris. For some reason I feel it should be something more exotic than that...oh well, I guess I should have written it down. This painting is oil on gessoed poplar plywood and is 14.75"x7.75".

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Lemonade Award

Joan Sicignano has given me the Lemonade Award. Thanks!

The Lemonade Award given to bloggers who show gratitude and a positive attitude. I would like to share this award with the following artist with generous spirit.

The Lemonade Award goes to the following artist :
James Parker
Carrie Jacobson
Kim Denise

The Lemonade Award rules:
1. Post the logo on your blog
2.Nominate at least 7 blogs that show great gratitude and or/attitude
3. List and link your nominator in your post
4. List and link your nominees in your post and let them know they're recipients.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sunflower in Oils - Working 5

I went back and put more details in the flower, I think I may be done with this one. I've been having a hard time getting good photos of it so when it's dry enough I'll scan it in and re-post it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sunflower in Oils - Working 1

This is the initial sketch for an oil (water miscible) painting of a sunflower. I'm working from another of the many photos I took during my visit to Callaway Gardens.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Crazy Tomatoes

Crazy Tomatoes
Oil Pastels

I had fun going crazy with this! I was definitely NOT in the mood to color between the lines!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Just for Fun!

I'm a HUGE fan of the show It's Me or the Dog and trainer, Victoria Stilwell so I decided to do a quick caricature of her.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Horse in Oil Pastels - Work In Progress 2

I worked on some of the details. I used tortillons to blend the pastels. I'm pretty happy with the base wash I did as I'm not seeing any little specs of paper popping through like I did in my initial, pre-baby oil discovery, attempt.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Horse in Oil Pastels - Work In Progress

I love working in dry pastels but recently have been reading a lot about how toxic they are, especially when working in an area which isn't properly ventilated (guilty). So, I thought maybe I'd give oil pastels a shot. I haven't used oil pastels since high school, and I wasn't much of a fan of them then. My first attempt went horribly array and ended up a big mound of mud. Here's my second attempt which I'm much happier with. One of the reasons I'm much happier with it is that I did a google search and found that baby oil can be used as a solvent. So, armed with my baby oil, I started this painting. I started by blocking in areas of color, then I loaded a paint brush with baby oil and worked at making it into a wash. I left it to dry and when I came back I realized the hazard of baby oil...the grease stain! When I walked away this horse didn't have a halo, when I came back however...Oh well, guess I'll be putting a background in this one for sure! LOL!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pencil Portrait - Work In Progress 1

Here's the initial sketch for a pencil portrait I've been working on. I'll be posting the rest of the stages over the next few days.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunflower in Pastels - Final


Here's the first of what I believe will be a series of sunflower paintings. I took quite a few photos of these beautiful flowers while at Callaway Gardens and they're all screaming to be painted. I'm also currently working on a portrait which I hope to have up soon.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

When to say When...(Sunflower in Pastels - Work in Progress 2)

I've worked on this some more and am trying to decide if it's time to stop or if I want to put more details into it. I think I'll set it aside and look at it again in a few days with a fresh eye.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tomatoes - Work in Progress Part 1

I was flipping through my sketchbook this past weekend and a piece of paper fell out with this sketch I'd done drawn on the back. I drew this a couple of years ago when I was inspired by the tomatoes growing in my vegetable garden. I thought it looked fun so I've decided to a pastel painting of this. Here's my initial sketch, I generally start off everything using a yellow ochre colored pencil so it's a little hard to see.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sunflower in Pastels - Work in Progress

This is a pastel I'm working on of a sunflower. I love flowers and took lots of photos of a wide variety this past summer during a trip to Callaway Gardens.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Boston's South End Pen and Ink Finished!

Boston South End
Pen and Ink
Here it is! I've completed my pen and ink/watercolor? (did I originally say this was also going to be a watercolor?) of Boston's South End. I decided in the end to skip the watercolor on this one. I think the subject matter and the fact that I put in so much detail with the pen and ink warrants keeping this black and white.

I had some photos which I'd like to work with printed up today and I also have a bunch of illustrations for a children's book which I desperately need and want to work on. Unfortunately, I don't feel I'm in the mental mode to get back to those yet. I may pick one of those up next week. In the mean time, I think my heart is calling out to the pastels! While I'm working on that I've got the initial sketch for the first of the children's book illustrations set up on my desk where I can let my subconscious work through where I'm going to go with those style and media-wise as this seems to be my hang up on getting those past the sketch stage. 

Friday, February 6, 2009

Boston's South End - Work in Progress Part 5

I worked on the buildings and the plants, I'd liked to have gotten this finished but it's getting late and as I can no longer see straight I've decided to call it a night.

Boston's South End - Work in Progress Part 4

Mostly I worked on the brick sidewalk so, there's just the buildings, plants, and touching up left to do. I'm hopeful that I'll get the rest of the pen and ink done by tomorrow. Then I'll need to decide whether or not to proceed with the water color portion. I've been working on 300# watercolor paper which is not the easiest thing in the world to do pen and ink on such a rough surface. I need to stop frequently to remove paper fibers which get caught in the nib. Not to mention that the ink doesn't go down the smoothest on such rough paper. Not to say I didn't know what I was getting into, I've done this several times before, it's just to say that for that reason alone I may proceed with the watercolor. 

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Boston's South End - Work in Progress Part 3

I worked some on the ground on the left and finished up the pole in front. I'm starting to wonder if I may just leave this as a pen and ink and not apply the watercolor to it. Usually when I do both I don't get as detailed with the pen and ink portion but for some reason I haven't been able to help myself on this one.