Here's an update and hopefully an improvement over the pomegranates that I posted on the 4th. Rather than leave the lighter ones as they were, Rhonda suggested darkening them - so they didn't look so much like onions. Her suggestion worked. Thank you, Rhonda.

Using a blind contour drawing as a springboard for a painting allows a lot of freedom for an artist. Almost anything goes, and imagination can have so much fun discovering what the painting will be.

Instead of using fluid acrylics to rework these, I added transparent watercolor over the existing acrylics. In case it didn't look so good, it could be wiped off quickly. Hope they don't resemble red onions ..... well, maybe a little ..... or a lot?

They've been renamed, too. Now they're "THREE OF A KIND."



My mom purchased some oil paints for me when I was in sixth grade. She was the best encourager a young artist could've ever had.

Later while I was in college, acrylics became the 'new' medium to use instead of oils. Once our two boys were nearly out of high school, I made time again to paint, and took off with the latest rage of watercolor in the late 80's.
Last summer oils became a challenge to relearn. Posted here is my reference photo followed by a two minute oil sketch, followed by a quick study, both on paper. The last post shows the final study. None are finished paintings.

As usual, it's the shapes in the photo that fascinate me, like the shapes of the hands against the dark shape of the coats. In my classes we've been discussing which of the seven elements of design each of us are most drawn to when we create art.

One of the artists in class is most driven by the element of direction, one by size, and many by color. Several lean toward the element of texture. One woman loves scale or size as a motivating element.
I am certainly a value painter. Contrast of values attracts me the most for sure, then shapes, then textures. Fourth on my list is color, with direction and line next, and size or scale being the least important to me.
Progress for the new year may mean dragging those oils back out. I do love the smell, the creamy consistency of the paint, the way the brush springs back against the canvas.....

"TEA TIME IN RYE" Oil on unstretched canvas 12 x 9"



Expression in art can have many meanings and forms for an artist. Today's demo was a quickly painted landscape using juicy watercolors, and I actually didn't want to leave the painting to go to a great holiday gathering of friends. Of course, we had a really good time together, and I was so glad I went.

This little oil painting, also from a summer ago, expressed my immediate impression of two people communicating. I realized during this morning's demo that when I'm forced to paint fast like this, I'm may be more likely to capture the essence of the message. Maybe I need a timer on me once in a while to speed me up, to help me capture that sense of moment that adds life to a painting.

This oil is a study of basic shapes for sure, with value and contrast being emphasized. Though the proportions could be more accurate, it's still something I could work with for a larger painting later.

Tomorrow's day includes working with fluid acrylics again. Painting with them seems to allow more freedom in my approach, and I like that. I've worked on one fluid acrylic painting for a couple of weeks now and really don't want it to end. The process of building the painting is a lot of fun so I'm sure that I won't use the timer to speed me up. It'll be posted as soon as it's done, as well as today's demo. Can't wait to show you.

"BEFORE CLASS STARTS" Oil on unstretched canvas 9 x 14"



This unique window was near our hotel in Venice. Actually, we stayed in an updated old monastery, not hotel, in Academia, the artsy area of Venice. The place at one time was a home for orphaned boys, and they've remodeled it to be graciously comfortable with some very up to date features.

These ancient walls have been repaired, plastered, bricked over, and patched as much as possible, and that look fascinates me immensely. The textures of the structures there are beyond belief. And the stories those walls could tell when they learn to talk.....

The painting is done in a trasnsparent watercolor style using fluid acrylics. Acrylic ink was used with a nib to help create some of the cracks in the walls, too. It's a painting I really didn't want to finish because it was so much fun to do.

"PRAYER BOX" Fluid Acrylics on 140#HP Arches 15 x 21" COLLECTED



Here's another oil study done on canvas last year. Strong shapes appeal to me, and as our model switched seats after about a ten minute pose, it was easy to add her new pose next to the old one, creating some dynamics to the study.

Though this painting is small, it was an great adventure in shape and value, with some play on texture. Color appears to be important in this study, but the strength of the painting comes from the the over lapping and interlocking shapes of different values.

This is another painting study that needs to be developed bigger, either in oil or fluid acrylics. That will have to wait until after the holidays, though. I enjoy the apparent sense of intimacy shared by the 'two' women.

"GIRL TALK" Oil on unstretched canvas 9 x 12"