First self-portrait in paint. That was kind of painful and a bit weird. I realized how complex my eye colour is.. blue-gray with green and even a touch of brown. Not that obvious to paint on an 8″ x 8″!
The skin looks a bit splotchy, I guess I got too used to paint animal fur! To be fair, my reference photo didn’t have much contrast and the light was pretty flat. I still wanted to use that photo, because I liked it and I needed a front view to complete our family portrait. Ross’ individual portrait is facing right and Cole’s is facing left.. so, the front view just made sense!
Whatcha doing there? (Female cardinal), Acrylics, 5″ x 7″
Another little painting for my small paintings series of small birds. I like the subtle colours of the female cardinal. It’s not as “in your face” as the male, but I find the variety in the plumage is quite beautiful.
The inquisitive look in this little gal looks like it’s looking at us with the question: “Whatcha doing there?”
I’ll be working on a bigger canvas soon, but will continue to work on these little paintings at the same time.
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!
Small, quick painting done to try to “loosen up”. I’ve decided to try to do more of these very small paintings, so that I can do quick ones and try to not get too caught up in details. Hopefully after doing several ones, my painting will be a bit more painterly.
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!
This piece was inspired by an awesome photo taken by StacyD on Deviant Art. She graciously gave me permission to us her image as a painting reference (thank you!). I thought this was such a funny image.
You can imagine that, if hamsters gave each other a challenge, one would be “The Strawberry Challenge”, hehehe. The little guy on the right can’t quite seem to believe that the one on the left is really going for it. It’s almost like he’s thinking “Really??! The WHOLE thing?!”, then shakes his head. The one on the left is thinking “I can do it! Om nom nom..! Mine, all mine!”
On a deeper level, you can draw a parallel to what’s happening in society…
I went back to a smaller canvas with this painting. And, with the subject being small, on a smaller canvas, it was quite a challenge! I think I’m going back to a bigger canvas next time. I thought about painting it bigger, but it just didn’t work with those little guys. I didn’t want to end up with Godzilla hamsters (note to self for future painting…).
“Why the long face?” is the painting of a horse that I rode a few years ago, when I took my employees horseback riding. It was such a great day, lots of fun! I love the color of that horse’s coat and I was very happy that it was my ride.
Horses are more difficult to paint than I thought. The bone structure is so different than the other animals I have painted so far, I had to really study the anatomy to make sure that it was right. The nostrils, particularly, were really challenging. And the eyes. And the harness. haha, pretty much all of it!
I ended up doing a red oxide wash to try to convey the richness of that coat. I also used my airbrush to do the background. I’m slowly getting the hang of it and I really like the effect of depth that it brings to the background, without taking away from the main subject.
I think that my next painting will be on a smaller canvas. I need to be more productive! So, a few small ones before another big one should do the trick.
Fluffius Maximus was our resident raccoon neighbour this summer. He lived in the tree in front of our condo. Every morning, around 8 o’clock-ish, we would hear the crows chasing him up the tree. Then, he would settle into a squirrel’s nest, and stay there until the sun went down, occasionally checking up on us. After he had thoroughly destroyed the squirrel’s nest, he moved on. The poor squirrel looked quite distraught when he saw its nest after Fluffius vacated the premises. I don’t think he got his security deposit back.. hehe.
This painting went through a lot of changes since my last post. It went through a phase where it looked like a dumpling, then it could have been a character in the movie Coraline, with tiny beady eyes. I had to totally repaint the eyes, and rework some parts of the background to un-dumpling Fluffius.
It was my first time using the airbrush to paint. I actually really like the result! It was a bit inconvenient when I had to reshape the body, but it was still doable.
Now that my son is back in school, I might get a chance to paint more!
At last, I was finally able to start painting again!
Here is the evolution, so far, of my new piece “Hairy Neighbour” (title subject to change, haha).
For now, I’ve worked two days on it. I started by transferring my sketch with pastel pencil on my toned canvas.
The first day was to work on the background. This is the first time that I use an airbrush to do a background (or to paint anything, really). So, there is a learning curve to it, but it seems to have worked for this piece. I had to do several layers and pretty much started over a few times before I got to an acceptable background. I will most likely be painting a bit on it to give it more texture.. I’ll see once the raccoon is completed.
The next step, were the eyes. I like to start with the eyes first. This way, I know if I’m on the right track or not.
Then I did some minor correction to the eyes and start restating the lines of the drawings.
My next step was to start blocking the different tones on the head, very roughly. Everything will be refined, but I needed to start with a base. A lot will change. I started to detail the ears and also blocked in the tree.
I will put the raccoon’s body in front of the bottom right branch, to give it more presence (it looks too small like that). I will probably rework the tree branches with a palette knife and, after the raccoon and tree are done, I will retouch the background if needed.
Hope to put the finished piece soon! I’ve also got to work on the title…