Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ben and Lucas final

Ive gone into the background with negative painting, using a dark mix to paint around the leaves to make them appear out of the mottled greens. The color is hookers green, deep magenta and ultramarine blue dark.
My camera is unavailable for a few days, thus the inconsistency of color from the previous postings. I had the original painting scanned to a disc and seem to have lost some contrast and clarity in fumbling about in the resizing/uploading process. Anyhow this happy pair is finished, unless I cant resist fiddling a wee bit with it tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Should have this finished soon...

I'm putting a transparent layer of cobalt blue on the smaller boys shorts, and quinacridone gold on the others. Then a bit of lifting of highlights with a clean damp brush and I think that part is done. The shadows have knocked back and become part of the local color. I've defined the eyes and facial features some more and indicated the patterns on the shirts on top of yesterdays shadows, without too much detail, I have to watch myself constantly to not get bogged down in finicky details. Now I have to think about making sense out of the background next.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ben & Lucas further developments

I think I'll tackle the clothing next, beginning with a careful study of the shadow values. I'm mixing a warm light wash of ultramarine blue + permanent rose, a middle tone of ultramarine blue + permanent alizarin crimson, and a cool dark tone of winsor blue + perm alizarin crimson. I'm applying the light wash first anywhere there is shadow and after it dries following with the medium and then the dark, watching the reference photo for the hard or soft edges of the various values. At this point its all about lightness and darkness of shadow areas with actual local color to come later .

Ready for a change from fiddly passages, I've added more intense greens to the background with lots of juicy paint allowed to run together.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Work in progress continued from yesterday

Gotta get more darks in the background to better assess my values for the boys..

Ive done a bit more laying in facial tones and indicating where the eyes will be. Those plaid shirts could be quite daunting..

The hair is basically anything left on my mixing tray and a few sprays of water.

Skin tones going on the legs, being careful to go around the sun dapples.

Concentrating on getting the reflected lights right..a streak of new gamboge inside the top left upper leg, and along the jaw lines.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A watercolor work-in-progress

I'm beginning a commision piece about 20x22" of these cute little boys, Ben & Lucas. I selected this photo as a reference out of a couple dozen I took while they played on our swing.
Here is the preliminary pencil drawing..(the lines are darkened by the contrast button on Picasa, they're really not this dark)

I've lightly penciled in all the major light and shadow areas to guide me.

First an all over wash of skin tone made of new gamboge and cadmium red.

It starts to look scary at this point with the underlying colors going in. Putting in some greens to kill that white background will help.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Goodbye Blue Moon

A sad farewell to our last foal...Blue Moon, named for his crescent moon star and his lovely blue eyes, has gone to Nova Scotia to be a Cape Bret'ner. He will be keeping company with a miniature donkey, some goats, and a flock of chickens. Now we are down to 5 minis, hard to believe we kept 17 horses a few years ago, but with the downturn in tourism, the decision to end 10 years of saddle and cart rides for summer visitors, and our aging creaky bones, this number looks a lot more manageable. We will still do rides for our small B&B and cottage guests, just not the entire world any more. So now we are down to 4 originals all aproaching 20 years old, who will likely live out their days here, and a sweet two year old filly.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A great day at the beach..even in November

Looking at 4 days of rain here, we can count on free entertainment at the beach, with smashing crashing roaring waves to ooh and ahh at.
Todays tide seemed to be really high, the water was spilling over the top of the wharf and all over the parking area. I keep checking the cellar here, so far the water is staying in the drainage trench in the concrete floor , going out the pipe as it should, and flying out in a waterfall at the pond end of things.

I think in a few years, with rising sea levels they will lose the covered bridge in the village if something isnt done to raise it. The water was 4 inches below the bridge on the sea side and the bridge wall was underwater on the creek side with the bridge acting as a dam. Its a tidal creek with the water swirling in both directions at high tide.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Charolais and hereford

Reference pic

I always loved cows. As a child I milked a lot of them, Barbara was my favorite, a beautiful Guernsey who let me ride on her bony back. She must have been so glad when Bessie the pony arrived.

Continueing my foray into acrylics, I've been working on this painting the last few days, its a sort of learn as I go process, unlike watercolor its so easy to make corrections. This one is 9"x12". I hope I can get a little faster.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bedroom Mural Finally Finished...I Think

This has been a two year project, a mural in one of our B&B rooms that has been unfinished the entire past season. I got tired of apologising for it so I finally got a move on the past two days and got on with it. Acrylic is a foreign medium to me and this is not at all the style I would like to paint canvases in...but I always wanted a window in this wall so the guests could lie in bed and see the sunrise and the Bay of Fundy. Way too expensive, it would need a dormer built they get this instead!I'll probably fiddle with it some more...whoops, there's no fastener on the window....suggestions appreciated.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Guy Fawkes Night, Nov 5

Seemed like a good excuse for a party with so many people of british origin in the neighborhood, self included. I remember being small, in England, going house to house probably with my older brother, and "the guy" being trundled along in a wheelbarrow or baby carriage. The guy was an effigy of the hapless Guy Fawkes of 1605, made of old clothes stuffed with straw. has a good brief history of the gunpowder plot which the original Guy Fawkes was hung for.
So the kids all over England would go house to house with their refrain,"pennies for the guy?" collecting change to buy fireworks for bonfire night. The evening of november 5 was looked forward to with great excitement as families lit backyard fires, threw their "guy" into the flames, and shot off enormous amounts of fireworks.

11 year old Chloe and her Dad, most recent Brit immigrants, initiated Jimmy into the how tos of building a guy which they did admirably, and being stuffed with dry leaves he incinerated brilliantly. Lots of people, lots of pot luck food, lots of beer, fireworks and flames, loads of good fun. We must make this a tradition...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Good bye Wee Willie

Today was a hard one, as 16 month old Wee Willie went to his new home in Fredericton. Above are his baby pics, the cuddliest little foal ever, he looked like a furry toy horse. Now at around 26" he's still little and sweet and his new "Mom" instantly fell in love with him.

Minis are so intelligent and trusting, Willie hopped right up into the van and behaved perfectly for his new owners. It looks like an excellent home with experienced horse people. A phone call from them just now reassured me that he's settling in well with his new horse buddies... still, its so hard to part with them. His sweet presence will be greatly missed here.