Tuesday, October 31, 2017


This is what happens when your skeletons get out of the closet!  

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Touched some copper iridescent pigment to the eggs and the metal of the lamp, then amped up the color (Perylene Maroon) to the pillow (still damp here so we'll see how it fades as it dries).

Put some pale turquoise green behind the flowers and pillow and then marked some lines in the space with watercolor pencil.  Drew around the lines, the sugar bowl, creamer, and plate with a Sepia watercolor marker (Winsor Newton) and bled that out a bit with clean water.  Now what?  That pillow dried okay - not too dull or faded but I really had to go in with intense color to get it right.

I think I'll finish this one and return to the older ones that aren't quite right and see what I can do - then take some time away from the still lifes for a while.  

Elizabeth asked me why I put in the things I do - in order to teach her about still life painting/composition.  But all I can say is it looks like I break several rules and use whatever comes to mind, thinking about shapes and textures and overlapping things a bit, leaving some space, trying not to be too heavy all around, etc.  I guess I'm working my way into still life! ha ha  I have a couple I think are good - but some are really bad, too, so still a work in progress.  Sorry I couldn't be more help, Elizabeth, but I'm just going by intuition in some ways but also I have learned a bit about composition and shapes and leading the eye around a painting (from years ago lessons).  (The bag behind the lamp was just put there as a shape, nothing more, then I changed the color because I thought the gold looked good behind the rosey pink and gold of the lamp - no other reason.  The bird made me think of the eggs - from my imagination; and the color is the bronzey gold that's on the lamp metal bits so tied that in.  That's about all and maybe I should be able to say more and I can't because I'm not taking enough time to plan?)

Friday, October 27, 2017


The title found me when I picked up the tube of new Rose of Ultramarine pigment by Daniel Smith - lovely, deep, rich, purple with undertones of cerulean blue.

(See how the pillow on the left faded out so much into the 300# paper?  I'm going to have to amp up the color in places to make this one sing.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Put the last one away to sit for a while - I'll decide what it needs later.

Started with pulling things together to sketch, then started on the painting (a full sheet - 22 x 30 inches - Arches 300# cold press paper).

The lamp, the sugar bowl and the creamer were all my grandmother's things.  Her name was Rosa so I want to incorporate her name into the title...later it will come to me.

Don't know why I changed the color of the bag in back to quin gold but I did, so there! ha ha  Added a few little eggs in the front of the ceramic birdie, too.  Need to remember to overlap and tie things together more in this one as I move along, even though I'm predrawing directly on the paper after doing my sketch.

Monday, October 23, 2017


Darkened the top right corner after placing a pillow behind the lamp base shape and putting down some pattern behind the plate of figs to tie the colors together, top and bottom.  Added more to the bottom pattern.  Okay so far...

But not completely happy with this one.  Which means more work to do?  Or put it in the "look at it later" bin?

The colors IRL look dulled on the 300# paper - is this just a feature of the heavier paper?  Or of the colors I'm using?  Or??

Saturday, October 21, 2017


Another sketch done before painting to decide items, colors, shapes, etc.

This one is going to be about the figs (from photos in a magazine as I've never seen figs around here ever), and my cobalt blue items with other things as I go along.  I need to overlap things more than I've been doing, I think.

And after gathering things, doing the sketch, looking closely at the magazine photo of the figs, I began painting (I do draw out the items on the paper since I cannot seem to really paint without some guidelines).

Figs and Blue Glass (with an added rattan lamp which had it's top removed because I liked the rattan look without putting a lamp in there).

Will work more on the background and get some good patterns to pull the whole together at the end (I hope).

Thursday, October 19, 2017


Since I put the 2 oranges on the right in after I painted that area pale blue, I need to lighten then a bit to give them more shape.

Then, it will be done.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Added some soft color to the pink background by prewetting it and scraping watercolor pencil onto the background.  Then put in the little pencil bag (Color Me Happy).

Almost done?

Sunday, October 15, 2017


As I drew on the Arches 300# coldpress paper, I changed things because of the placement and the size of the paper (half sheet = 15 x 22 inches).

Some more things to add and more do to on this one.

I ordered 10 sheets of Arches 140# cold press paper from Dick Blick on September 25th; according to my notices, it was not shipped until October 3rd, and was not delivered until October 9th.  I called and emailed Dick Blick and let them know I was NOT happy at the delay and reminded them there are other art suppliers out there.  BUT this is the first time I've had a problem with shipping taking so long from them.  I think they sent it out to the wrong place (I got an early notice that it was sent to FedEx in Wisconsin which means it went from IL to WI which is a rather odd route to get to Kentucky).  

Friday, October 13, 2017


Some items I have on hand to make a painting.  I began this one with the drawing, making a cruciform shape and then fitting things into that shape - I think that will make a stronger painting in the end.

What I don't have, I'll gather from photos cut from magazines (for color choices or shapes).

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Putting the pattern behind this was a good idea.  The color is a bit much, but I like the way it falls back in some areas and comes forward in others.  

What do you think?

Monday, October 9, 2017


This one has no patterns behind anything, just white paper.  But I'm liking the texture created by the watercolor on the 300# coldpress paper.  Nothing wrong with light colors and it's coming along well so far.

Saturday, October 7, 2017


After some input from some blogger buddies, I thought I'd work on this a bit more.  Added some oil pastels here and there to bump up the color in places and push back the "cut in half" dark blue vs. aqua blue.

Hmmm...still not sure about it.

Thursday, October 5, 2017


This painting was fighting me every step of the way from the first total fail to this. 

Even pulled out some oil pastels and a bit of white gouache.  Not worried about it not being pure watercolor, as these are still learning pieces.

It is done.  
That is about all I can say about it.  
Some you win, some you do not.  

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


Here's the 2nd one I started over after the previous fail.  Half sheet (15 x 22") Arches 300# coldpress paper.

This is more like the colored sketch I did.  

But...I am not getting a good pattern or enough visual interest in my recent paintings - plus I am cutting them in half almost all the time (need to break that habit).  So...time to take a break and rethink how I want to go on with this...

Sunday, October 1, 2017


This is on a half sheet (15 x 22 inches) Arches 300# coldpress paper.  I did predraw (after the previous fail, I needed more direction and help with spacing elements).  Then I began painting.  

I don't often (never) paint on 300# paper but I have a few sheets of it so I intended to use it at some time.  The paper really soaks up the pigment and water but creates nice texture just by the fact that the 300# does soak up the pigment and water.  Unfortunately, it then causes everything to be so pale.  Which is not what I want.

So...I'll have to go back in with everything except the chair (I'm liking the color and value made from Daniel Smith Shadow Violet with just a touch of Genuine Rhodonite = pretty!).

So, stay tuned (if you aren't tired of all this experimenting of mine) and see what happens.  

This is not what was planned at all, except for the chair and tulips so who knows...I will also go back to the original plan and do another.  Using half sheets limits me - it feels like I'm unsure about the size of things and placement more on a smaller sheet, as if I have more freedom on a full sheet.  And I am not leaving enough white or getting good patterns in my paintings yet.  Maybe it's time to take a break from trying to paint in this style and just paint.  

We'll see where this experimentation leads in a few weeks or months (everything you learn and study goes into your own style and color choices and changes it a bit - for the better, I hope!)