Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 28

I feel like I am hitting my stride - only took 28 days (hahaha), into the habit of painting daily, the ideas are flowing (okay - most of the time), I am 'drawing' more, not detailed but I am getting the imagery and info I need (and want) and enjoying my models!! Well, actually I enjoy my 'models' all the time.

Today's offering is pure fun - a bit wonky, but I don't think I would have attempted this at the beginning of the month. The 'blue ball' rules in our house. Luckily for us Cleo is the ball girl and Kali loves a stick - everyone is happy!

'The Blue Ball'
Acrylic mixed media on 140lb
coldpress watercolour paper 

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 27

Tried something a bit different today. Put a transparent glaze (transparent brown oxide) on for the last 'layer' to see what would happen. (Unfortunately in my enthusiasm I did not take a before picture. I do like how the paint reacted to the glaze - have much richer darks and lights. From a distance you can see the image is a dog (not a lot of detail is noticeable) but the light area around the one side of his muzzle draws you in for a closer look and then the viewer can really see the brush marks, watercolour crayon and some light stencilling. I did use some collage but I would not use that weight paper again (around 90lb) - it is just too heavy for my liking (I usually use a paper no heavier than 50lb) The collage pieces show up more in the scanned image than the original.

Acrylic mixed media on
140lb watercolour paper 

Monday, 26 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 26

This was my start from last night. It has a bit of history - a drawing, with some paint underneath, which wasn't working for me - so I scraped white gesso over it. I then did a quick drawing, mixed up a neutral and painted around the image and stopped. I just wasn't sure where I wanted to go. So left it overnight and took a second look this morning. (I did a new drawing for Day 25)


I tried to keep some of the underpainting, not as much as I planned but it's all about the practice - right!

....who doesn't like a dog with a bandana!
Acrylic mixed media on Arches 140lb
coldpress watercolour paper

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 25

Acrylic mixed media on Fabriano 140lb
Coldpress watercolour paper

Meet Max - a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Well a corgi for sure and Cardigan's have quite large ears compared to their cousins the Pembroke - all rather confusing but I do think Max takes pride in his ears!

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 24

Worked on two dogs today - Day 23 and Day 24. I was behind a day posting and while not a big deal I really wanted to get back on track. They are both totally different - still trying to find my way !

Have some process images to share - I find them helpful to look back on!

Free hand drawing, painted background
and then a 'black' mix for the dog 

Added some tissue paper that was stenciled 

Transparent red iron oxide rubbed/brushed over the image. 
Did this a couple of more times

Acrylic mixed media on Arches
140lb coldpress paper 

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 23

Todays dog from 'start to finish'.....Happy Saturday!!

...looking a little anxious about where this is going..... 

'....still a bit pensive but can live with the result'
(and deserving of a better name!!)
Acrylic mixed media on
Arches 140lb cold press watercolour paper

Friday, 23 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 22

'Waiting for Dinner'
Acrylic on 140lb cold press watercolour paper 

Paint is pretty thin in spots, you can see some paper with no paint and quite a bit of transparent red iron oxide that I used for a 'first' layer. Could I have done more - probably....maybe...but this is where I choose to stop. And our dogs were waiting for dinner! She is quite different from yesterday's pup.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 21

Today is 'another' day. Hooray!!! This is what I was thinking after I posted Day 20 - 'shouldn't have posted or not tried to paint - probably both'. Well, I have to say that the last 2 days has been a great learning experience.

So, what did I learn.....

1. I have been told that when I am painting if I am asking the question 'should I do this?' - the answer is always yes. I haven't really put this to the test in a big way, just in small ways that won't have any great overall effect on the painting.

2. If you are going to make a change - then make a change. If you are finding yourself stuck - then 'throw' something on the support that is going to make you react! I am interpreting this as 'go big or go home!'

I was going to try and 'fix' yesterday's painting.  I just couldn't. Decided what the heck let's make a change - not something small and fiddly, but a big one! And once that's done - I wonder if I should paint the background red - not just any red, but a dark cad red? Well - where is my cad red deep!!

'a little miffed and disappointed by choices
made and would you please fix my ears!'
Acrylic mixed media on canvas

'Not as miffed and red is a good colour for me'
Acrylic mixed media on paper 

I am going to shorten her name to 'Ruby' and hang her in a prominent spot in my studio - a lovely reminder of what you can happen when you take some risks in the studio!

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 20

So little time for painting today.....all the 'stuff' I haven't been doing because I've been painting....well today was the day a choice was made to put painting to the bottom of the list. I am going to call her a work in progress - time to put the paint brush down and step away from the paint!! Tomorrow is another day and yes - those ears need more paint and a bit of a tweak!

'a little miffed and disappointed by choices
made and would you please fix my ears!'
Acrylic mixed media on canvas 

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 19

No sketch, no idea at all! .....Just a blank canvas and some paint and my favourite painting tools.....

'...and there she was'
Acrylic mixed media on canvas 

Monday, 19 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 18

Another day, another dog. Quick sketch, blank canvas, some paint, water soluble crayon graphite and collage. A little 'wonky' but that's what you get with a little rascal. Hope you enjoy today's pup.

Quick sketch 

Acrylic mixed media on canvas 

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 17

Doing some reflecting on what I have learned so far.....

1. Don't plan ahead......have an idea, but paint in the 'moment'
2. I like the Winsor Newton watercolour pens for creating a quick sketch before starting to paint
3. Sticking with the dogs (...not going to the dogs...groan....) has taught me a lot. Where I started, where I am.... and where I hope to keep going.

My dog for today has a lot of elements in it that I am really happy with - some of the original paint and marks, as well as some of the collage are still visible - huge progress for me.

The start with initial sketch 

..... in between this and the finished portrait are lots of layers of paint, some areas where I spritzed the paint with water to get some runny parts and some stencilling at the end of painting.

Acrylic mixed media on canvas

                                   ....I love her to the 'moon' and back....

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 16

Scanned closeup of 'Tao' 

Acrylic mixed media on canvas
(Photo of whole image)

Neither one of these pictures is spot on for a reproduction close to the actual colour of the painting. Seemed to have ended up at either end of the value scale. I would like to have a decent one in my photos - so will give it another try tomorrow.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 15

Although it is February 16 - I am a day behind posting for the 30in30 - so that is why I am on Day15!

I wasn't really paying attention to what 'animal' year it was for the 2018 Chinese New year and when I found out it was the year of the dog I had to smile because I started off the challenge thinking I would do a few dogs and here on Day 15 is another dog! I figure this is a meant to be and I am glad I have continued with the dogs! I've learned a lot, had some ups and downs painting wise but it has been worth every minute of 'studio angst' as well as experiencing some 'aha' moments and of course just feeling lucky to be painting.

This is a work in progress. It has been a while since I have worked in such a structured way - using stencils, photocopying the dog sketch, cutting it out and applying it to the canvas and then painting. I was fortunate to take a workshop with Ann Bagby (a number of years ago) and this is one of the techniques she showed us. Ann painted the image and then cut out and applied it to the support (that is how I remember it!! and Ann probably did a few other things - but I haven't bothered to ready my my peril maybe!) I had tried this technique back then (with limited success) and I thought what the heck - will give it another go with this painting. I marked off where the dog image was going to be and left it most of that area white - worried about getting bleed through from any colours underneath.

So this is where I will leave it for today and I am hoping to finish it tomorrow or at least pretty close to being done.

                    !!In the meantime...... Happy Chinese New Year to you all!!

Initial layer of stenciling 

Stage 2
Ready for some paint

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 14

What can I say.....another dog. Meet 'Millie'  - just a little pooch looking a little miffed as it was too darned cold to go for a walk this morning!!

I did a very quick sketch just to get something down and then got out the paint. As you'll see from the final painting I didn't follow it exactly. It just gives me some ideas and a few guidelines to follow when I start painting.

A quick sketch to start with. 

Acrylic mixed media (graphite & water soluble crayon, stencil)
on 140lb cold press watercolour paper

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 13

This is my favourite 'dog' subject - the beautiful Cleo! She is such a beautiful girl - both inside and out. I don't think I will ever be able to do her justice, but just think how many paintings can be done trying!

...Cleo had a very serious demeanour during this 'sitting'!  :))

Acrylic mixed media on birch panel

Detail image

Apologies for the very poor photo of the 'whole' image. Terrible light here today and it doesn't help being the world's worst photographer! The scanned image is much truer to colour.

!Happy Valentine's Day to you all!

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 12

Busy day and rushed to paint. I mentioned yesterday the I felt 'Gus' was a 'bit' overworked. He was.....I had lost some of the lights and I knew as I was painting that I was getting a bit heavy handed. So today just went 'searching' in the random marks. And it was a bit of a search, but I think worthwhile in the end. I discovered that 'turquoise' is not the same between brands and heavy body, fluid and inks. I subconsciously knew that but 'Daisy' will be a lovely reminder.

Start.....or the 'Ive got nothing' stage!!
Collage, drawing

Random paint and now I think I see something 

Acrylic mixed media on
Strathmore mixed media paper
('140lb heavy weight')

Maybe a bit overpainted, but for me this is all about discovering something new!

Thank you to everyone who has visited and left comments. Greatly appreciated!!

Monday, 12 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 11

It was cold this morning......really cold and by noon it was warm and the snow was melting. That is 'weather' in the Foothills of Alberta. A 30 degree temperature change in 4 hours!

The Start
Prismacolor Premier Black pencil crayon,
collage and graphite


Acrylic mixed media on
140lb cold press watercolour paper 

I would like the 'dogs' to be freer and looser and they are starting to loose those qualities. Will have to 'think' on this and try something different tomorrow......

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 10

Another day, another dog......still using cold press paper. It's handy by so I seem to go for it first. Will have to get out some hot press paper for the next one No retriever today, thought I would try something else. There are not a lot of bulldogs in our area. The last one I saw 'in-person' was at a puppy class we took one of our dogs to a few years ago. The bull dog wasn't particularly interested in any of the other dogs and instead preferred to 'sit it out' and watch the rest of them play. They have pretty interesting features but I must confess I enjoy our labs. They are perfect for our lifestyle - walking/hiking - spending time outdoors in all the seasons! Some days I have trouble keeping up with them!

Step 1
Drawing and collage 

Step 2
A bit of coverage using Transparent Red Iron Oxide
and Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide 

Acrylic mixed media on
140lb cold press paper 

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 9

This 'painting thing' has had me out of sorts for the last few days. I have felt myself get tighter and tighter when painting and I have not been happy with some of the results. I am trying different subjects and experimenting with materials - maybe too many variables - but is two really two to many!? The other issue I am having is there is a painting sitting on my easel. It has been sitting there for way too long - daring me to do something - anything! I have been 'picking' away at it with little success. So I have it at the back of mind when working on other things. That is about to change and I will share that in another post.

So for today - back to the dogs. Took a different approach for starting. I had purchased some of the Winsor Newton watercolour pens - on sale - don't ask me why because I hardly ever use watercolour anymore, and used them to put down a quick loose sketch. I then spread some transparent yellow iron oxide on the paper and pushed it around and wiped some off with a damp paper towel. The watercolour didn't move much until I sprayed  everything with water. Then some movement - which I was hoping for. Then on to applying paint with a chiseled edge brush. I kept the palette limited and also set a time frame so as not to overwork things. A few details added with graphite and a couple of stencils and done. I am very happy with the lovely 'Bella'!

The Start
Winsor Newton Watercolour pens and Graphite

Acrylic mixed media on 140lb
coldpress watercolour paper 

Friday, 9 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 8

The Fairest Fowl Series
Acrylic mixed media on canvas 

When people see the chickens the conversation always starts off with - 'look at the rooster' - well....not a rooster, but a hen. Contrary to popular belief hens can be as colourful as a rooster!

Done a couple of months ago thought I would give her a day in the spotlight.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 7

How can you not like a snow day? Just me and the girls - Cleo and Kali (best inspiration ever), some lovely walks in the snow and studio time. 

'Snow Day'
Acrylic, graphite and Caran D'ache
water colour crayon on canvas 

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 6

We have gone from a 'winter storm watch', to a 'winter storm warning'. Expected snowfall in the next 24-36 hours is expected to be  35cm (~12"). The temperature is forecast to drop and a wind chill in the -26C (-18F) on Thursday. So what does that mean for me......will blanket our large animals this evening (will keep them warm and dry) and give them a couple of bales of hay, make sure the generator is gassed up (fingers crossed we don't loose power) and fill up a couple of water containers - better safe than sorry. So what does the weather forecast have to do with painting? I will not have to/want to go any where and I am going to paint!!! I would like to make some progress on some paintings that are so close to being 'finished (but is any painting ever really finished?!) and get caught up on my 30in30.

Didn't have a lot of time for painting today but that is okay. I am happy with direction the dogs are going. I am not nor will I ever be a realistic painter. That is just not the painter I am. I love the freedom to work without a reference and instead from memory. If I do need a little help with one of the 'dogs' I can always sneak a peek at one of ours - they like to spend time with me in the studio - especially having their afternoon naps. Makes a very nice atmosphere for creating.

acrylic mixed media on canvas

Dotty - if you are reading this - she needs a name! Please!!

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 5

I am working on some other paintings - not making a lot of progress, but at least I can say 'I am painting'. At the end of todays efforts I had some paint left over and a piece I had used to lift some paint. This is the result. Alas, no photos of where I started - I was a bit rushed - but will try to remember for next time. This is purely experimental - a bit of collage added, some caran d'ache crayon and washi tape. Is it a dog or a 'wild thing'  - not sure and it really doesn't matter to me. Was some fun play at the end of a painting day.

'The Wild Thing'
Acrylic mixed media on 140lb coldpress paper
(collage, caran d'ache, washi tape, stenciling & graphite) 

Monday, 5 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 4

No paint today - just a bit of graphite.....

I don't draw enough. I've done a very good job of convincing myself that I don't have enough time to paint and draw?! I avoid drawing and then when I do get out my sketchbook and have a go I struggle. Hmmm.....I wonder if I tried setting aside 10 or 15 minutes a day - every day - kind of like a daily practice - now there's a concept!

Graphite on 110lb acid free drawing paper


Sunday, 4 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 3

Some thoughts on supports.....I really like hot press paper and birch panel. I am trying to use more canvas supports. I am not as free with mark making on the canvas for fear of damaging it hence the use of the birch panel. I use to like cold press paper, but not so much anymore. I think the quality of the cold press paper is something I need to look at. I have a lot of cold press paper from the early days of art making so I will continue to paint on it and see what happens.

This 'pup' is painted on cold press and I really don't like how the paint took to the paper. Time to get out the hot press!

'I love Dogs, but cold press paper.....not so much!'
Acrylic on cold press watercolour paper 

Viewing the scanned image (and it is pretty true to colour) - the lower part of the painting has much better darks than the 'top' (the face). When I next paint, and have mixed a 'black' I will add a bit of 'dark' to some of those areas and see what happens.

Have a lovely day wherever you are!

Friday, 2 February 2018

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 2

It is still officially Day 2 so I guess I am back on track. It has been a while since I have painted. Not by choice, so I am quite 'rusty', and inspiration is not jumping out at me. I have looked through some of my art journals......and there are a lot of them and plenty with empty pages. I went for the 'dog journal' - is a project that never quite got the attention I intended and today it provided me with some much needed inspiration.

Acrylic mixed media on 140lb hot press paper

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day 1

I am already behind! Thought about all the different ways I could approach the first 30 Paintings in 30 Days in 2018 - had some ideas.....none of which have been followed through on....I am just happy to be painting. Even if it is just a little.

'Companion in Training'
Acrylic mixed media on 140lb hot press watercolour paper