Friday, June 26, 2009

Portrait of Lindsay with Swim Cap

For lack of a better name, here is my portrait of Lindsay with Swim Cap. I've always wanted to be able to paint portraits in watercolor but I find it very intimidating trying to capture a likeness as well as getting the skin tone right. Those same concerns stopped me in my tracks with this project after I laid down the initial wash of color. It took the encouragement of a couple of painting pals to get me going again. Once I finally got over the fear of messing it up, I took off and completed almost all of the painting in one day. I'm pretty happy with it since it is a new thing for me but I'm not sure I quite captured her sweet face. The eyes gave me quite a bit of trouble. I feel happy to have completed it (although I might tweek the bottom a bit after I stare at it for a while), and I'm excited to start my next painting.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tahoe Art Faire

My computer Internet crashed so I had to get my IT guy (definition: my hubby!) to get it up and running again. This a is a painting that I've been working on for a long time. Actually, I started it, putting in all the shadows with a lavender under painting and then got "stuck". I've never started with the shadows first so I wasn't really sure how to proceed. At one point I had everything in but it wasn't really cohesive so I put a glaze over the entire thing to unit it but it ended up causes my darks to bleed and give it a gray overtone. I tried to lift a little of the gray and add more details. I never could get the sky back to it's sunny day appearance. Here is my final product.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Following the Masters Assignment #3 - Completed

My following the Masters Assignment (#3) is finished barely ahead of the deadline. This month our challenge was to paint our choice of landscape, copied from a master painter. This is my rendition of View to the Almafi Coast, by Carl Frederic Aagaard. I chose this painting because I enjoy the subject matter and because I knew it would be a challenge for me. Painting foliage is something I'm still working on.

Camping at Mt. Madonna

Even though the weather has been so cool, we decided to get the summer started with a local camping trip to Mt. Madonna. Even with the cold weather we had a good time. We met some nice people camping next to us and got a kick out of all the Boy Scouts camping there, too. The nicest surprise was when we found out that Jeff's sister and hubby were the docents for the weekend! So we got to see Russ and Jan and Ron perform at the amphitheater. My friend, Jill, and her family were there as well! Small world!

Here is a plein air I did our accommodations!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Backyard Mural

After years of talking about it, I am finally going to attempt to paint a large mural in my backyard on the exterior of our house. We have a large blank wall and just a few height-challenged plants in front of it. I started by sketching out some ideas, rejecting them and finally settling on the one I deemed to be the EASIEST. It depicts one of my family's favorite vacation destinations - Sand Harbor, Tahoe.

After I got the thumbnail sketch fleshed out I transferred the simplified design to a gridded paper. The challenge was how to transfer this image to my very heavily textured stucco wall. A couple years ago I painted some butterflies on the front of the house just to get a feel for how difficult painting on this material would be -- VERY! Well, drawing on it isn't any easier! I ended up using a large piece of graphite and resigning myself to the fact that my "drawing" would be very "loose" indeed. Hey, if it doesn't work out I can always just repaint the wall, right?!!

I used white tape, a yardstick, a ladder and a large level to help me "install" the grid on the wall. Then, using the large chunk of graphite I started to draw in my design. Here are my efforts so far.