Workshop – Animal eyes and Textures

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Last week, I gave my first art workshop. It was for a private art club here in Victoria, The Windsor Park Art Club.

The workshop was titled “Animal eyes and textures”. It was a simple 2 hours workshop. With this being my first workshop, I was, of course, overly prepared and optimistic in the amount of information I wanted to pass onto the attendees! I think I prepared for a full 2 days workshop instead, haha.

It went really well, but I didn’t get to cover as much material as I had hoped at first. I was able to explain and demonstrate two eyes, two fur textures and talk about the remainder.

To prepare for this workshop, I knew that I wouldn’t have much time to paint live, so I did a few run through examples beforehand. I gave myself a time limit of 10 minutes for each examples. That was quite the challenge, as I never painted so fast before! I actually liked doing that exercise as it forced me to be more concise right away and focus a lot less on tiny details.

Here are my ten minutes exercises:

I was only able to demonstrate the first four examples, but I think that it went well.

My next workshop will be at Opus Art Supplies in Victoria on Saturday, February 17, 2018. It will essentially be the same workshop, but tweaked for the right amount of time!

 

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Hello, my name is Sam. I like nuts.

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Hello, my name is Sam. I like nuts. Acrylics, 8″ x 10″

A quick little painting before the Moss Street Paint-In show.

I really liked the expression of this little guy. Squirrels are very expressive and I love their interactions with humans. We used to have a little guy like this (named Bob) who would just sit around on his hind legs and wait for his daily peanuts, right in front of our patio door in Quebec City. It drove the cats bonkers.

Thanks to Eltasia on DeviantArt for the great reference photo!

The Lookout

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The Lookout, Acrylics, 12″ x 24″

I decided to do another crow painting. The Lookout features the beautiful view of the Olympic Mountains that we have on Dallas Road at the end of Cook Street in Victoria.

After my last exhibition, several people contacted me to buy the other crow painting Haters Gonne Hate (that piece that is not for sale because it is going to be part of a bigger project).  Since people in Victoria love crows (and I do too!), I wanted to make a piece that I can put up for sale for my next exhibition at the Moss Street Paint-In next July 15th.

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Danny (The gentle therapy horse)

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Danny (The gentle therapy horse), Acrylics on canvas, 16″ x 20″

Just got back from my trip to Quebec and was able to do the finishing touches to this commission. It is due tomorrow, so got it done on time, yay!

Danny is a very sweet, very gentle horse from the Victoria Therapeutic Riding Association, a great non-profit that uses horseback riding for people with disabilities. I was lucky to meet Danny for a photo shoot and was very impressed by him.

It is for a birthday present and I am really excited for the client to receive it tomorrow!

À bientôt 🙂

Gotcha! (A big cat is still a cat…)

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Gotcha! (A big cat is still a cat…), Acrylics, 24″ x 36″

I’m finally done! It seems like it took me a long time to work on this piece. My first “big” piece (2 feet by 3 feet).

I love cougars! I love how graphic their faces are and how their physique is sleek and graceful. However… they’re still cats! It’s hard to resist a swinging tail, even if you’re a majestic beast!

Thank you Deirdre (DeeOtter) for the amazing reference photo on DeviantArt and giving me permission to use it for my art.

I’m so thrilled that I finished this painting on time for the Fairfield Artist Studio Tour in which I will take part next weekend. Come see me and two other artists (Linda Skalenda and Valerie Wells) in the parking behind Mother Nature’s in Cook Street Village!

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À bientôt!

I will always love you Girl! (Marsh Wren)

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I will always love you Girl, Acrylics, 5″ x 7″

I realized that I didn’t paint any brown bird yet..  So, here’s a little marsh wren, singing its little heart out for the laaaaadies!

I’m still in the middle of painting my large cougar painting, but I thought I’d take a little break and add another piece to my little birds small paintings collection.

I hope to be able to finish that big painting by the end of the weekend! Then again, I might get side tracked by another small painting.. Ha!

À bientôt!

Goldfinch

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Goldfinch, Acrylics, 5″ x 7″

The fourth painting in the small birds series. We used to have so many goldfinches on our feeders when we lived in Quebec.

I love their super vibrant yellow colours. My son and I used to call them “flying lemons”. With the way they sing, I always imagined that they spoke Japanese for some reason, haha.

Thanks to Rodney Campbell on paintmyphoto for the reference picture.

I’m working on a large painting of cougars right now, but will continue to do a few small bird paintings (or other!) here and there.

À bientôt!

Bohemian Waxwing

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Bohemian Waxwing, Acrylics, 5″ x 7″

The second painting in my small bird painting series that I’m planning on doing. I’m trying to get smaller paintings done quickly so that I can eventually get back to my initial project of doing one painting a day, along with bigger canvases on the side.

This guy was part of a band of (gypsies! -that’s a bohemian waxwing after all.. hehe) that emptied the tree of its berries in front of my old studio in Quebec City. They looked like a bunch of thieves with their little black masks on!

Waxwings have a special place in my heart. They are the first birds that I photographed many years ago that got me interested in bird watching. From then on, I was hooked!

Paintings to date

 

From most recent

Yesterday, I got into the process of updating and tweaking the photos of my art work so that they would be more true to the pieces. I also needed to do this in order to get some art cards printed!

It has been quite a challenge to get back into painting about a year and a half ago. I’ve decided to have a look back at what I’ve done and it’s really interesting to see the progress.

I came to the conclusion that I definitely want and need to be more productive..

At first, this blog was supposed to be about daily painting. It worked for the first few paintings, but I quickly realised that it wasn’t going to be possible to keep that up with my schedule and the level of detail that I was trying to achieve. But, I am thinking about giving it another try! It would be a great challenge and learning experience. I would really like for my pieces to be more painterly. So, maybe doing a few daily small paintings and doing a big one once in a while. We’ll see!

Lèche-Vitrines (Window Shopping)

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Lèche-Vitrines (Window Shopping),  Acrylics, 11″ x 14″

In French, “lèche-vitrines” (window shopping) can be translated literally by window licking.. which I think is pretty appropriate in this case (hence the French title!).

This is my cat Slinky. I really liked the way the light was contouring his silhouette, enhancing his fluffiness. It’s weird to paint an animal without painting the eyes! Hopefully the personality still came through.

We have a lot of hummingbirds hanging around our balcony. It’s really nice to hear them chirping around. Luckily, most of the time the cats are inside! But once in a while, the just like to taunt them..

It was challenging to paint man made structures like the balcony, the door and the inside. I tried to get away from the safety of the airbrush for the background. It’s a learning curve!

À bientôt!