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!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

As I Drag My Brain, Kicking and Screaming, to Paint What I SEE not What I THINK I See

A detailed drawing, with all my scribbled notes [probably phone numbers and to-do lists, too]

I may have posted this earlier. This is the second attempt to get the color and darkness I want in the background -  about eight w/w washes ...

Using indanthrone, quin. pink and aureole to get flower colors; phthalo green, gold and burnt orange for the leaves and stem.

More glazes - starting to look like hollyhocks.

This is where my brain is balking. I "see" yellow and shadows, but somehow cannot make myself paint those shadows dark enough to look real - give the petals depth, form, curvature. A yellow hollyhock should not be blue! ARRGHHHHH!!! Looks like it's time for guts, "damn the torpedoes", whatever.
To be continued

Thank you all so much for dropping by!