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!

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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!

Purple Finch

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Purple Finch, Acrylics, 5″ x 7″

The fifth painting in my little birds series (of little paintings!). The purple background probably entered my subconscious because it’s Easter weekend, hehe. I love the colours on these little guys. This one was scouting my grandparents’ bird feeder,  probably waiting for me to leave the area.

I used to get really confused between the purple finch and house finch.. until I saw a purple finch. Then I realized that all the previous ones that I saw were house finches!

I just noticed that all my five paintings in this series have birds facing left. I’m wondering if I should continue that trend for the sixth or break the pattern and rebel with a right facing bird. Mmmm, decisions, decisions.

Gotta start working on the cougar painting background tomorrow!

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!

Self-Portrait

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Self-Portrait, Acrylics, 8″ x 8″

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!

Animal next 🙂 À bientôt!

Whatcha doing there? (Female cardinal)

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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.

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!

Fluffius Maximus – The Raccoon

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Fluffius Maximus, 16″ x 20″, Acrylics

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!

À bientôt!

 

Work in Progress – Hairy Neighbour – Part 1

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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.

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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.

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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.

2016-09-12 14.27.35.jpgThen I did some minor correction to the eyes and start restating the lines of the drawings.

2016-09-12-14-38-542016-09-12-15-26-46My 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…

À bientôt!

Haters gonna hate

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Haters gonna hate, Acrylics, 12″ x 24″

Aaah, at last! It seems like this piece took me forever to finish. I think the reason it felt like it took me so long was because I didn’t have lots of long stretch of time to work on it. Also it’s my biggest acrylic painting to date. But it’s done.

The background has gone through several stages, but I’m actually pleased with how it looks like blurry cherry blossoms in the distance. The tree trunk was done with my palette knife and a few glazes. I really wanted a nice contrast with the black of the crows and always liked the mixture of pink and black. I also tried to give the impression of the sun dappling through the tree onto the crows.

There are a lot of crows in Victoria and a lot of cherry trees! I love how the crows prance around. They also seem to have quite a complex social system going on. This was a painting that I created from several different pictures and observation. I thought that this scene could easily be transposed to humans..

What can I say, Haters gonna hate! hehe