Monday, April 24, 2017

WOO - HOO ... Final Stage of the Cats

THIS is what I LIKE! A nice soft and supportive background. I mixed some gold and indanthrone, painted along the outline and scrambled it outwards to soften. I may add a touch more near her eyes with the blue, but overall I do like the look.

This was one of my many attempts to get "the look".

Sponging ... NO!

A swatch with some other attempts and color combinations.

More trial and error ...

EEK!!! NO!!!


Like the effect but not the color. Thankfully, I had all the color studies I had done earlier  with which to play.

Nice, but too dramatic, I feel, for the owner. I will be using gentle colors tending to warm, and something to bring out their eyes.

And this is a sketch of one of my next projects. Meet the Greater Bilby. I had never heard of this beastie before, and when I saw a photo, I felt compelled to draw and paint him. He is a rabbit-sized marsupial, living in the drier areas of Australia. He is also on the endangered list. I would like to do [hopefully] one drawing and/or painting a week of an endangered animal.

Thank you so much for dropping in!!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Looking absolutely nothing like a cat!!! ... just thin washes of alizarin crimson and burnt orange

Wet-in-wet applications of aureolin and burnt orange for the eyes, and thin direct applications of a black started on her face.

STILL not looking much like a cat. Continuing with direct applications of the black ... 

Another w/w of burnt orange for the eyes. Then I wet the entire area on which I want some black. I start with a very dilute mixture to get the paint flowing over a large area, then stroke on some thicker pigment. I continue till the paper is too dry to accept paint.

A pair of pupils - always a good idea. Also another w/w application of a dark brown from the top of the eyes to simulate shadow. NOW she's starting to look like a cat! 

A bit of touching up with thin glazes of black, and she is done. Just a hint of background needed. 

Another strange-looking beastie! I have wet the entire head and neck and stroked in some phthalo blue and a mix of that blue with a bright pink.

These eyes are also done with w/w applications of aureolin and burnt  orange; the ears with pink and a touch of burnt orange. Lots of teeny, fine brush strokes in the direction of hair growth ...

... and still more brush strokes ... 

I like how the process of wetting and softly brushing in black softens the appearance of the coat. So once again, I mix up three dilutions of color, wet the entire area to be black, and start dropping in paint.

And here is Black Cat #2. I wasn't sure if I really loved the look, but after leaving the two portraits for a day or two, and putting them side by side, I quite like them. YAY!!!!

I worked on these two together - just mixed up a vat of black paint and got going. They were both done inside of a week [that must be a record for me!] The next one is going to be more of a challenge - he has a very flat face ... almost no facial "structure" to work with, as well as having some fussy coat coloration. But that's five portraits done so far!!!

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Tale of the Tabby or Another Painting Process ...


First washes - light grey for fur, aureolin with phthalo blue and burnt orange for eyes 

Adding texture to fur

Several washes, and many teeny strokes of dilute color ...

More of the same ... and shadowing her eyes

Adding part of the body

Intensifying and detailing

Here she is so far. My plan is to get all eight cats to this level of completion, then line them all up and decide on a unifying background for all of them. So far, I have three done ...
The colors I use with this cat for the eye are aureolin, phthalo blue and burnt orange, with the shadow made of burnt orange, scarlet lake and indanthrone. Her fur, both greys and blacks are made with burnt orange, scarlet lake and indanthrone. The initial stages are a wet-in-wet technique, followed by one heck of a lot tiny brush strokes [a somewhat meditative exercise]. 

Such a sweet-looking girl.

Another photo I am using to get a better idea of her striping.

The next two cats, both blacks, are waiting on the board. One will be getting a phthalo blue under wash, the other a red.
The cat saga continues ...

Thank you so much for your visit!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

OK ... Hilda, This Is for YOU


Spooky-looking eyes - using aureolin, quin. burnt orange and phthalo blue

Getting her furry - quin. burnt orange, scarlet lake, a bit of indanthrone

Adding the more neutral grey - orange, scarlet and indanthrone

Same colors for the bit of her back and shoulder

Touched up and darkened here and there. A very light background will be added later, after I finish all eight of the cats, so I can see them all together and decide on some unifying colors.

Several days ago, Hilda Muxo Klinger [fellow blogger] left a message on my artist's Facebook page. She very thoughtfully and kindly enquired if I had disappeared from the face of the Earth. Not quite! But I have been busy, and posting from this newer laptop is much more awkward and time-consuming. When I take photos, I download them onto my older desktop [which no longer can access my blog] There I edit them, because the photo editing is much better than the laptop. Then I have to mail the photos to my laptop, to make them accessible for me here. Damn, I really dislike computers!!! Anyway, thank you, Hilda! on to more cats ...

Thank you so much for dropping by!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Isn't he magnificent?? You can understand why they were revered and worshipped long ago. I think this is one of the Spanish wild bovine breeds. There are several groups in Europe that are "back-breeding" to re-create some of the older breeds of animals. They were actually better suited and more fit to survive in their environment. The concepts of back-breeding and re-wilding are fascinating to me. I wanted to create an homage to this magnificent animal. My idea was to have him roaring out of the cave, with images of his ancestors behind him - sort of symbolically showing his return.

This is a photo of a skeleton in one of the German natural history museums. I used  the shape to create my image.

First tentative washes, with burnt orange and an indanthrone/pink mixture.

Getting into the blacks - pink, orange and indanthrone.

Gradually building up shadows defining musculature and indicating light source.

Starting a scrumbled background with aureolin, pink, burnt orange and indanthrone.

Finally gently spraying the entire paper, and dropping in black and letting it flow.

Darken one side of the face and neck, and add [by direct painting and lifting] some prehistoric graffiti  on the wall behind him.

My critique ... the bull does not look massive and impressive enough. Perhaps a different format? Also, having the bull emerging from  the cave-like background would have been more readily accomplished using a lifting technique. Ah well, live and learn.

Thank you all for dropping by!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

With a GREAT Sigh of Relief ... the Hollyhock Is Done!

Finished glazing aureolin on the flowers ...

... then started on the leaves. They have a nubbly surface, so I tried to create that impression by sponging first.

I then glazed with some phthalo green and gold, and indanthrone and gold for the darker areas.

Glazed over all with the same two mixtures.

TA - DAH! Well, not really. It was very difficult to get the look of shadows on yellow, as well trying to maintain the delicate feel of the petals.  I am very happy to call this DONE!

I did a black/white edit to see how the values came out compared to the original photo.

I also did a touch up on an oldie from a year ago, darkening the shadows. I think one of my big faults in painting is being too cautious. 
Meanwhile we have been having the most un-Vancouver-like winter.  It's been very cold since the beginning of December, with several dumps of snow. This was taken on our walk Sunday. we have had more snow since then, and still more predicted for tomorrow. Everyone you talk to here has said "ENOUGH"!! Our weather is usually with 0 - 5 C temperature, and rain, not -10c and snow. We are a pampered lot here in Lala Land :)

After a hard slog through the snow, it's good to have a lie-down in front of the fire.

And Bruno has done nothing for over two months. It's going to be interesting getting back to riding - for both of us.

This was my beast on Sunday. I've dug it out twice since then.

Thank you all for dropping by! Stay warm and safe!!!