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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Jack, the Musician unfinished

I want to teach you how to maximize the look you want
 painting inspirational, informational and impressionistic portraits in watercolor. 

 Let me show you how I do it. 

#46  "Jack the Musician"  unfinished   6/29/11    11 x 14 watercolor.  NFS

 I will work on this painting again tomorrow when I am fresh. So far it looks pretty much like Jack, my son, who is the band leader for Velvet Rut. They play popular music from almost any era all over the midwest and he will be playing at our 50th anniversary. Yay! He is such a dedicated young man and I love being his mom and live for his bear hugs and smile.


As you can see, this painting is a little over halfway finished.  Since this photo was taken I have already lightened most of the blue shirt on the left shoulder (right bottom of the paper) with my sink sprayer.  It is just too dark.
1.To begin, I carefully drew the face, measuring with my pencil.   I lie it flat on the paper to get proportions.  this painting is twice the size of my photo.  You can use a grid or whatever suits you best or you can work from life
2.  After I get the drawing finished I add masking with a masquepen to keep the wonderful whites and pieces of light.  This masque  tint is green, but you can get other colors.
 3.   Next I proceed to put a wash of clear water over almost all the face, hat, ears and hair.  
4.  Now I added a light wash of lemon yellow over the face and letting it bleed out into some of the other areas.  It is very light, so it will not be seen much, but it adds life. 
 5.  Proceeding while the  painting is still wet, but not shiny, add any of the colors that you see in the photo or make them up, but keep them subtle at this point and tip your paper to let the colors bleed. make sure you wet any dry edges while you are on the face so that you don't have specific lines.  At this point you want it very soft.  
 6.  Please stop and evaluate now and let the painting dry or go on to the hat or background.
After the whole painting is dry, I then rewet almost all of the face except the lightest parts with clear water, and begin the same process over again trying to maintain similar colors, and heightening the shadows.  Sometimes it will look pretty garish when it is wet, but remember, it dries lighter.  
7.  The painting as you see it is finished to this point. After it was dry I removed the masking on the face.
 I am going to finish it and show you the background and finish the detail that will make it sparkle. 

‎# 46 "Jack the Musician" 6/29/11 11 x 14 watercolor.  

Monday, June 13, 2011

"Field Poppies"

12 x 24  acrylic on unframed canvas  6/11   $155.00 

These poppies had been popping up in a nearby grassy 

field and I had been wanting to capture their free 

flowing wispiness before their graceful petals fell.  

It is not easy to make yourself stop painting before you 

say too much! 

Sunday, June 5, 2011


watercolor on 140 lb archces paper
$175.00 framed and matted

Golden winter bushes with blue shadows behind the tree and rocks, muted trees in backlit shadow. The twin towers are also muted at the back of the park  The grayish sky is all this painting needed to be a fading memory.

Let's Stop and Look Over the Edge"
$150.00  unframed
 pastel 6/2/11, 11 x 14. I have heard that there are no shadows in heaven, and yet an artist depends on them for depth and of course color. I imagine heaven like a butterfly wing or a clean fresh child's face. No need for shadow there! 
Just purity. These rugged rusty rocks are filled with jigs, jags, rough texture and very colorful slubbed shadows. They are weathered and full of secrets of age.

"Lean on Me"
5 x 7 acrylic  $45.00

6/5/11  Grapefruit and lemons are colorful, good for you and yummy too.  Gobble them up with gusto, put them in your drinks, your salads, and make sure you have some citrus with breakfast.  My mouth is watering!

"McHugh Falls, Seward Highway, AK"

"McHugh Falls, Seward Highway, AK"
watercolor on canvas  9 x 12  $75.00

The falls are about 20 ft high and can be seen from the highway. The lavender foggy sky made the lush landscape look greener than ever and the mist fell on our raincoats and umbrellas. Aaah!