Friday, 31 January 2014

71. Collage for '30 in 30' Challenge - January 2014

Collage of original oil paintings

Well here it is, my friends. Work, hospital and other things meant that I only managed 15 - I omitted the 'Eggs' work-in-progress (No. 64) as, small-scale, it looked too similar to the final piece. However, I actually did four times the amount I managed back in September and each one is an original so I'm happy.

I've just had a look at the other collages that are starting to appear on Leslie's blog and they are fabulous! Well done everyone, it's been great.

Happy February - I hope and pray we can all keep creating.  xx

70. Day Thirty: Gerbera from Bouquet

Still Life, Griffin alkyd oil on Pebeo canvas board, 10cm x 10cm (approx. 4" x 4")

This is my submission for Day 30, painted a day late but the post-date is the 31st (when I actually painted it). Thank you, Leslie Saeta, for giving us an extra day to post - I didn't manage 30 but thanks to your challenge, I painted a whole heap more than I might otherwise have.

Another benefit is that I've spent less time doing tight drawings (don't get me wrong, I love drawing and detail) but instead have had to dive straight in with the paintbrush. 

Below, is this morning's work in progress.

Ugly stage - I'm sure I can see monsters!

Colour, phew!

Colours:  Burnt Umber, Magenta, Titanium White, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue and Lemon. (In the final painting (at the top), I used a mix of BU and UB surrounded by Naples Yellow Light for the centre of the gerbera.

More Alizarin.

More colour and a few tweaks to go.
The back wall is a mix of BU and TW.

It's good to be thankful, don't you think? So, here is my Oscar speech!  :D :D :D

Thank you to Leslie Saeta for setting another great challenge to push us and make us better. Thanks to my cousin Alli for sending me the Boxing Day photos of Melissa, et al. Thanks to my friends in JJ's group for the truly beautiful bouquet of flowers when I came home from hospital. Thanks to all of you who have visited my blog and sometimes left a comment - all so encouraging! Thanks to my husband for understanding that art keeps me sane. Finally, a really special thank you to my cousin, champion and adopted 'sister', Marjorie, who has been a constant source of encouragement to me but who has managed never ever to be critical. Love yah, Sis!

(The next post will be a collage of all my paintings for this challenge.)

Thursday, 30 January 2014

69. Day Twenty-Nine: Bouquet from JJs

Still life, oil on Pebeo canvas board, 10cm x 10cm (approx. 4" x 4")

Day 29, goodness! I hope you have been enjoying painting every day; I've really enjoyed looking at the work of so many talented artists - it's been a joy.

I'm pleased with this as it's the second painting I've managed to do today (this time for Day 29 of Leslie's '30 in 30'). However, in no way does it do justice to the actual bouquet sent to me by my lovely friends.  There is nothing to relate to the size of the vase but it is a smidge over a foot high.

"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time."
(Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island)

68. Day Twenty-Eight - Rose

Still Life, oil on Pebeo canvas board, 10cm x 10cm (approx. 4" x 4")

The beady-eyed among you will have noticed that the date of this post has changed.  I quickly painted the WIP below this morning and posted it under Day 28 then back-dated the schedule date to the 28th. It's been bothering me since then as, in truth, I was not able to do any painting at all on the 28th so it now shows the date it was actually produced.

I'm going to try to knock out one for Day 29 and post it shortly while there is still some daylight left.

Work in progress

I wanted to post something for Day 28 and had only got this far with a rose from a bouquet I received.  Better post and photograph very soon!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

67. Day Twenty-Five: Another Whinlatter Landscape

Landscape, W&N alkyd oil on gesso-primed hardboard, 4" x 4"

Wow! Day 25! How are you all getting on? I had only a short time to paint this morning so knocked this out. I started out with a paintbrush but was taking too long so reached for the palette knife to get it done faster. A few weeks ago, I covered the support with Quinacridone Gold acrylic then put it to one side; you can see it peeping through the sky area and also where my initials are scratched out. 

Have a great weekend everyone.  xx

Friday, 24 January 2014

66. Day Twenty-Four: Man with a Dozen Eggs

Urban landscape, oil on Loxley stretched canvas, 10" x 8"

Hi Everyone, he's now finished and I wish I knew his name. On the day we were having the car fixed, I saw him between two buildings, holding his dozen eggs and looking very serene sitting on a bench, softened by an old car seat! However, he was actually complaining to himself in a low, consistent mutter, completely oblivious to the rest of us. 

I loved the way the he was in silhouette, with the sun streaming in beside him from between the other building, bleaching the grass so that it hurt your eyes to stare at it. The upper part of the image is actually another building - it was generally grey but had lovely pastel colours reflecting from it in the heat. In the foreground, there was a carpet mat precariously strewn across the large concrete step but I left it out - everything else is as it was.

Warning: nerdy element follows...

Have you guessed yet that I love Michael Harding's paints? They are beautifully intense as they contain no fillers or driers but are worth the initial layout as you need only use a fraction compared to other brands. However, initially, I used various mixes of MH Ultramarine Blue for the jeans but, even tempered with Burnt Umber, it was too bright. I had to scrape it off and pull out my Schminke Delft Blue, which is Indanthrene (or Indanthrone Blue in other brands), PB60. I love the indanthrone pigment and have used it a fair bit in watercolours and acrylic over the years. It's a lovely compromise between the very bright ultramarine (PB29) and the sometimes dull Indigo (various pigment mixtures depending on manufacturer). 

I always replace my paints according to pigment colour to ensure I get the same hues across manufacturers and, if the name changes, you are still OK. A few months ago, I wanted an opaque yellow to lighten mixes so did a hunt for PY35 across W&N, Royal Talens Rembrandt and Schminke Mussini (have you tried Schminke soft pastels? Yummy!).  In the end, I chose Schminke's Cadmium Yellow1 Light, simply because the price was best in that particular store.

Does anyone out there use PBk60? Schminke Mussini Atrament Black (aka. Perylene Green) is one of my best discoveries and it appears in all my Caribbean palm and coconut 'tree-scapes'.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

65. Day Twenty-Two: High Street, Black River

Oil on Pebeo canvas board, 10cm x 10cm (approx. 4" x 4")

Good morning everyone, eight days to go!  This is a scene that I regularly see when I'm in JA.  It is the High Street in Black River which runs alongside the sea. So what does that make this painting? A seascape? A landscape? An urban seascape? :D:D:D

This morning, the plan was simply to knock out a quick and loose(!) painting so I chose a palette knife and a small support. However, I get so lost when I'm doing any type of art that, without realising, it ended up with much more detail than I'd intended. Never mind, we've got something for Day 22 and that's all that matters, isn't it?

I'm working on a way of putting my initials into these little paintings less obviously as I don't want them to be a distraction but my colour shapers are too thick. Maybe a darning needle? Still thinking...

Have a good day everyone and thank you for visiting my blog, painters and non-painters alike. xx

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

64. Day Twenty-One: Work in Progress - Man with Eggs

Urban landscape, oil on 10" x 8" stretched canvas

I have been 'umming and ahh-ing' about posting this as it is not a new piece but a work in progress (see post number 60, Day 9).  However, since posting last time, I've added paint to the underdrawing, doing a little bit on it each day.  Eventually, I hope to show the gentleman in shade with the sun streaming in beside him on the grassy area.  For this, all the tones will have to be absolutely right.

I used MH Burnt Umber to put the darks in the foreground; isn't the colour rich and fabulous? I could have used Raw Umber but I'm hoping the intensity of the BU will make the subsequent blues look more vibrant. Seeing how luscious his RU and BU are, I am so tempted to buy his Burnt Siena, simply to experience the vibrancy of that colour in his range but maybe that's not a good reason to splash out on a tube of paint, even if it is only Series1. The website says: "Its tint power is noticeably stronger than the more opaque Earths." Gimme, gimme!!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

63: Day Eighteen: YS Falls

Waterfall, oil on Pebeo canvas board, 10cm x 10cm (approx. 4" x 4")

I did this quickly to avoid missing out on posting yet another day. (I've been in hospital so am somewhat out of kilter and hoping to catch up soon.)

In case you're interested...
YS Falls is in Santa Cruz, Jamaica.  It's a beautiful, peaceful spot where you can take the family, swing across and/or have a swim and it consistently gets good reviews.  To gain access, you park then travel on an open-topped, long vehicle. (Sorry, I don't know the right name but it's very safe and you shouldn't feel ill going to the top.) The tour guides are polite and helpful; they'll take photographs if you ask and won't hassle you.  So pack a picnic, your shades and 'cozzie' and give it a visit.

Initially, I used fast-drying alkyd white for the waterfall but my husband couldn't tell what it was supposed to be so I scraped it off and re-applied it - no better.  After scraping it a few times, I remembered my Robert Gamblin Radiant White!  What a difference!

For the dangly foliage that drops down to the water, I scraped back to the warm yellow imprimatura layer.  I have quite a few colours but for each painting only normally choose a handful (as you would with pastels) - my choice is different every time - but, as I wanted to complete this quickly, I used pre-mixed greens.

Colours:   MH Permanent Sap Green and Schminke Atrament Black (for the deep darks), MH Oxide of Chromium, MH Bright Green Lake and Schminke Turmaline Green (free sample!).  Also, MH Burnt Umber, MH Unbleached Titanium, MH Yellow Ochre, W&N Naples Yellow Light, Gamblin Radiant Blue (to cool the water; also in the leaves directly above the fall) and, as mentioned, Radiant White.  The water at YS Falls is very clear but that's not obvious as I used RB and YO, opaque colours - very nice, but opaque nonetheless.

Phew! Can I go back to bed please?!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

62. Day Fourteen: Road to Harpenden

Landscape, oil on acrylic-primed Pebeo canvas board,
10cm x 10cm (approx. 4" x 4")

Good morning fellow painters, I didn't envisage having time to paint today but woke up at 4:30am and, still wide awake an hour later, decided to do this little study using only a palette knife to apply the paint.  It's fiddly to work so small with a knife but, like most things, I guess it just takes a little practise.

The colour you can see peeping around the edges of the image is Quinacridone Magenta acrylic.  It was left over from something else so I used it as an imprimatura layer on a few little supports.

Off to work shortly; wishing you all a successful day.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

61. Day Eleven: Negril Beach Painting

Seascape, oil on W&N stretched cotton canvas, 14" x 10"

As I mentioned in post No. 59, this is the little version of a larger painting I have been doing for my office (see below). I may add writing to the billboard on the right (on both); it advertises a bar so should enhance the scene but I just wanted to get it done and posted so I can move on to the next one.

We've got sunshine today which is lovely.

Rather than use a lot of words, I'll show you the stages of this painting.

Initial sketch/drawing in pencil, pen and ink

Blocking in the sky and foliage

Blocking in the sea and sand

Painting around the edges

... and the RHS

Mini me!!!

There are quite a few differences; can you spot them?  Who said "One's bigger!"?  :D

I have a little bit of fiddly work to do on the larger one, such as the billboard signage, tidying up a small part of the background foliage which I had wiped out and painting a small fence. Whenever I go back to it, I enjoy painting it as it is so big and I feel like I'm actually in the scene.

Have a lovely weekend and happy painting everyone!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

60. Day Nine: Drawing of Man with Eggs

Landscape, Mars Lumograph 100 2H pencil and Staedtler 0.1 'Fineliner' 
pigment pen on 10" x 8" stretched canvas

This is what I did on Day 9 of Leslie Saeta's '30 in 30' challenge but I shan't be posting it to her blog as I intend to do that when it has been painted; however, as I did some art on Day 9, I am posting it here.  It's proving difficult to complete a painting every day, go out to work and get a bit of sleep but I'm still 'as happy as Larry' because this challenge is again forcing me to create something every day - thank you so much, Leslie Saeta, you're a diamond!

I love drawing and this was no exception.  This time, however, I did use a ruler to get accurate lines on the building; I probably won't be too rigid with the paint though.

NB.  You may remember from post No. 56 that I'd ruined my salon picture by adding paint to it. Well, I had nothing to lose so I took a big brush and loosely painted over it with much warmer colours (W&N Cadmium Red, W&N Indian Yellow, W&N Naples Yellow Light, MH Unbleached Titanium, MH Phthalo Blue, MH Cobalt Blue (Christmas present!! :D :D :D) and some fast-drying Titanium White) and when my husband saw it later, he said "That's much better!"

Exodus 31:1-5 - Your art is a blessing and it's important - enjoy it. xx

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

59. Day Seven: Negril Drawing - No Rules

Seascape, Derwent Onyx (dark) pencil and Staedtler 0.1 Fineliner
on W&N stretched cotton canvas, 14" x 10"

This is a section of a scene I have sketched and painted many times.  I painted a 4ft x 3ft version of the whole scene just over a year ago and have since painted little versions of part of the scene.  

In order to get straight lines for the buildings without a ruler, I held the pen securely whilst running my little finger along the length and width of the support.  It's easier if you have a 'plate' surface but can still be done on something as 'notchy' as canvas if you go carefully.  It's impossible on a larger support, of course, as you'd have to have really long fingers.  Again, it needs to be re-photographed in daylight.

Monday, 6 January 2014

58. Day Five: Dreaming of Parrottee

Seascape, oil on Pebeo canvas board, 10cm x 10cm (4" x 4")

It is so sad to see the way the US and UK are being battered by terrible weather.  To those of you being hammered by snow, wind, rain and general greyness, here is something more pleasant to look at.  Roll on Spring.

I may have to re-photograph this in daylight and re-post as it's dark outside. (Now done.)

57. Day Four: Homeward Bound

Landscape, oil on Pebeo canvas board, 10cm x 10cm (4" x 4")

I rapidly painted this but was disappointed because I missed posting it to Leslie Saeta's site in the requisite time but then realised it could still be posted to my blog as that is always available!  This is one of the great things about Leslie's challenge - it makes us more productive than usual.  

The rather straight white line was applied with a palette knife but the rest of the painting was done using a couple of Monarch brushes (lovely!).

No worries, although the original image was taken on my phone on a rainy evening, I wasn't driving at the time!  I'm off to work now.  Happy painting folks.  :)

Sunday, 5 January 2014

56. Day Three: Salon Drawing

Landscape, Mars Lumograph 100 2H pencil and Staedtler 0.1 'Fineliner' 
pigment pen on 10" x 8" stretched canvas

This is the 'SOS Beauty Salon' in Jamaica, close to where we have the car serviced. It's a very brightly-coloured building with descriptions of some of the treatments neatly written under each window, including a little drawing of a lady's head and shoulders.  The owner was friendly and let me take a photograph.  

The scene looks calm and quiet as a drawing (I have omitted some of the loose elements, such as chairs, a table, crates and bits of foliage) but it is a very lively place with lots of activity - the buildings on the right are Hanks Cafe and Bar and lots of other shops are to be discovered down the path behind the salon.

This drawing took me a while and I notice the roof line is a bit 'off'; however, the roof on the left is actually like that.  When I was happy with the drawing, I went over the pencil lines with a permanent black pen then erased most of the pencil.  I then applied acrylic paint...
... oh dear!  Maybe I was tired but I made a proper 'Horlicks' of it!  I intend to paint over it using different colours and, if that improves it, I'll do another post.

I'm enjoying looking at all the '30 in 30' entries - so much talent out there!  Well done everyone and thank you for sharing.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

55. Day One: Boxing Day in the Tropics

Seascape, Oil on canvas, 12" x 10"

Hello everyone.  This morning, my cousin sent me some photographs of how she and her family spent Christmas.  This one is Boxing Day.  They are so lovely that I decided to paint one to kick off Leslie Saeta's '30 in 30' January challenge.  

Good luck everyone; remember, as our Prime Minister keeps telling us here in the UK: "We are all in this together!"  Happy painting! xx