Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Brag!

I was very pleased and excited today to find out that my portrait of Miss Windy took 3rd Prize in the professional oil/acrylic division at the Oil Heritage Art Show in Oil City, PA. This was especially exciting because it is only 5x7. In recent years only very large pieces have received any sort of awards.

Windy (oil on board, 5x7)

Friday, July 25, 2008

New Addition to Goldfish Series

Continuing my series of goldfish paintings in colored pencil, here is a veil tail goldfish on black card stock. My objective in this painting was to use the black background to emphasize the shape of the fish and make the highlights stand out. Whenever I paint living things (animals, fish, birds, people) I always start with the eyes. The eyes give you piece the spark of life and help to establish character from the first stroke of color. Once the eyes are painted, the first step in painting this piece was to base all of the lightest areas with a light wash of White. The darkest areas were first washed with Black Grape, the compliment of Orange. After the initial washes, the color was built up in layers with the lightest, brightest oranges layered in last.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

New Pet Portrait - Lucky

I finished up a portrait today that will be a gift for a friend. This is my first portrait using colored pencil. I am very pleased with the result. The reference photo had a very dark background and I liked the idea of the shiny coat against the really dark background, so I painted this piece on black cardstock. The photo is not entirely accurate. It is very difficult to photograph black cardstock because the dark background causes the camera to read colors a little differently. This little portrait is about 4x5 before matting.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My New Website

No pictures today, but I am very excited. I have just finished setting up my new website. There you can purchase my pattern packets and original paintings, find information about my travel teaching, and other bits. The website is still under construction and new pages are being added, so it is not totally complete, yet.

I hope that you will take a minute to visit my website and look around.

My blog will continue to be active. This is a place for sharing information and new projects, so I hope that you will continue to visit here often.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Colored Pencil Miniature

This week I have been working on a miniature in colored pencil. You may remember from previous posts that miniatures are very small paintings-usually not larger than 24 square inches. This piece is 4x4, or 16 square inches. It is painted on Bristol Vellum paper. I think that an even smoother surface would be better for miniatures so that detail will be easier to achieve. It is also important to keep your pencil point very sharp. A dull point will not allow you to achieve sharp details in your work. It felt good to get back to working on really small pieces again. I have not really done a new miniature for nearly a year.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Can you paint on leather or faux leather?

Today's project is painted in acrylics on two different surfaces. One is an organizer and the other is an address book. The material for both of these is faux leather (I don't think either of them is real leather). Both are ring binders so you can purchase refills.

So, how do you paint on this surface? Is it durable? The answer to the first question is that you can use regular acrylic paints. Simply clean the surface with an alcohol wipe before you begin to paint and then just go to town. It is not necessary to put any sort of varnish over the finished work, either. Is it durable? You bet! I have several luggage tags that I painted at least five years ago and they still look like new. They have been on planes and in and out of cars and hotels for all that time. The paint is not even worn.

This design is an adaptation of Ros Stallcup's roses. Ros' roses take some time to learn, but once you get the technique, they are pretty easy to paint and they are always impressive to see.