Friday, January 19, 2018

Lemons in a Decorated Bowl

Daily Painting Challenge - Day 19

One of the things that has been a 'challenge' about this challenge has been being able to photograph the paintings in the right light. Often by the time I have finished the painting, it is 3pm or later and the good light has gone or the light just is bad that day. Yellow is a particularly difficult colour when it come to getting the lighting right.

When this January challenge is over, I'm determined to keep painting every day, but not posting every day. I'm looking forward to
1. Being able to spend more time and give more thought to what I'm doing.
2. Tackling larger works
3. Waiting for a day with good light to photograph things for posting.

 On another note, after I have photographed the painting, to crop it, I usually just upload for simplicity, to google photos. As soon as I hit the 'crop' icon, all these filters appear.
Usually they look awful, but this black and white version caught my eye.

I quite like this painting in black and white.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Lemon Love

Daily Painting Challenge - Day 18

The title for this one was easy, since the bowl has the word 'LOVE' painted on the bottom of it.

As promised yesterday - a lemon study.
Though I didn't make it all that easy on myself by choosing a bowl with lettering painted in it. Doh!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Oil, Vinegar and Basil

Daily Painting Challenge - Day 17

Specifically olive oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar and basil.

Today just got silly if I'm honest.
On a day when I had to get my son to both physio and orthodontist (different locations) and daughter to dance lessons (another location) and husband is in Japan I choose to fit basically a full size painting into a tiny 8 x 8" panel? These are supposed to be studies! What was I thinking? .... Tomorrow... simplify!!! I might just paint a lemon or something.

Something clicked while I was doing this painting: Some artists paint in the main subject matter first, then they paint in the background. For the longest time I couldn't understand this approach because if you paint the subject matter first, you then have to be very careful to paint around it.
I would usually paint the bulk of background first, then paint in the subject matter so that you don't have to be so careful, then go back and finish off the background.
The problem, is that you need to match the background to your subject matter - the subject matter should come first. The background is firmly secondary - you can adjust the values round your subject matter as needed to give the subject matter center stage.
As in this painting - the background gets very light in places to really make those bottles pop.
Okay I'm a convert. From now on I'll be leaving the background until later.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Oil and Rosemary

Daily Painting Challenge - Day 16

I'm really done with painting flowers for a while.
This olive oil bottle is an object I've been wanting to have a go at painting for a long time, because it 'glows' under my kitchen lights. I knew those fiddly bits in the glass would be a challenge but I was actually more daunted by the Rosemary. I wasn't sure how I was I was going to tackle it. Turns out it was a lot easier than I expected - you just need the right brush.
This is my favorite painting so far of this challenge.

(8 x 8 inches)
20 x 20cm approx
Oil on Gessobord  

Monday, January 15, 2018

Monday Morning Tulips

Daily Painting Challenge - Day 15

I went out again to find tulips and found these. They are the tiniest tulips in the world. Fortunately I had a tiny blue and white pitcher that fit them nicely.
This is painted mainly with a brush but I also decided to have a play around my palette knife.

While painting I almost always listen to a spoken pod cast, usually something to do with art. For some reason I get too distracted listening to music.

Anyway today I was listening to this one about artist Kenny Harris.

The Savvy Painter: Kevin Harris

Afterwards I looked him up and I'm blown away by how good and inspiring his art is.
Love it. He might be my new favorite artist.

(8 x 8 inches)
20 x 20cm approx
Oil on Gessobord  

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Cherry Huddle

Daily Painting Challenge - Day 14

I have used this challenge so far to try to crack how to paint flowers. But I had to forgo the flowers today. Little things like family got in the way. Husband to airport, one daughter to a dress fitting, another daughter to a food drive.
So I had to choose something that was quick - cherries!
I painted this in 1 hour 20 minutes, which is quick for me.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Calla Lilies

Daily Painting Challenge - Day 13

A few things about this daily painting challenge:
  • It has sparked a ton of ideas for larger paintings, which I'd really like to be getting on with, but can't really start yet because I feel I have to get to the end of this challenge.
  • It opens you up to having to show all your pieces whether you think they are any good or not. 

I actually went out today to buy some white tulips to practice for an idea I have brewing, but couldn't find any so bought these Calla Lilies instead. So this composition isn't really what I initially had in mind. However I'm on a mission to practice painting all varieties of flower, and this turned out well I think.

(8 x 8 inches)
20 x 20cm approx
Oil on Gessobord   

Friday, January 12, 2018

Pale Yellow Aglow

Daily Painting Challenge - Day 12

Flowers are always tricker than you think they are going to be and take twice as long to paint.

Here's a progress shot. You can see at this stage I have started putting in the yellow and the basic shape is there. I used a fair bit of purple for the shadows on the right of the flower.
At this stage I realised that although the petals are pale, they were too white, so added just a touch of a creamy yellow and went in with a smaller brush to add some definition to the center of the flower.

(8 x 8 inches)
20 x 20cm approx
Oil on Gessobord 

Thursday, January 11, 2018


Daily Painting Challenge - Day 11

Similar composition to yesterday but with three different varieties of rose of varying sizes.
Even though I was trying to keep things loose, the white rose took me at least three attempts. The white has just a hint of yellow. I tried three different pigments before I got a flower that still looked white, not yellow.
I'd like to try a bigger version of this composition at some point.

I guess this challenge really has become about painting flowers.
So difficult to do a composition like this on a tiny little panel.

(8 x 8 inches)
20 x 20cm approx
Oil on Gessobord   

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Three Odd Bottle Buddies

Daily Painting Challenge - Day 10... and Featured Artist Spotlight Interview with Daily Paintworks! 

Yesterday, I was thrilled to receive an email from Daily Paintworks - they have asked if I would like to be their next Featured Spotlight Artist! And of course I would love to!

Here's what this means:
  • I get a featured interview that is published on DPW blog and in their daily emails for a week.
  • They run a competition for a week to give away one of my paintings.
  • Any artwork I post gets to be listed at the top of the daily 'What's New' page for a week.
  • My giveaway painting will be featured on the Daily Paintworks facebook page.

Competitors will be eligible to win my painting if they've purchased a painting from Daily Paintworks within the last 30 days - or if they buy one during the week of the competition. 

Here is the interview:
Spotlight Interview

So happy to have been asked to do this. I'm actually going to use this painting I did today for the giveaway. I'm very happy with the composition. I like the tall gangly-looking roses sitting in their little bottles. I had to use a smaller brush than I usually use. As the painting is only 8 x 8 inches there's a lot to fit in! Those rose heads are really tiny!

About the three bottles:
  • The green one I picked up for next to nothing at a tag sale. I'm assuming it's a very old bottle as its looks very vintage.
  • The middle bottle is one of those frosted glass bottles that is popular at the moment. The 'frosting' was a bit of a challenge -the rose stem sort of fades away and the frosting kind of diffuses most of the reflected light.
  • The final bottle was from a set of 3 identical bottles I got in the bargain bin at Target. A massive $1 for all 3 (I'm such a big spender). Always good to be on the lookout for this sort of thing (my husband wouldn't agree: "are these bottles multiplying?").

(8 x 8 inches)
20 x 20cm approx
Oil on Gessobord  

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

All Is Rosy

Daily Painting Challenge - Day 9

Another rose from the same bunch as yesterday, I got into observing all the variations of color I could see in the shadows in-between and under the rose petals.
I have found that when trying to capture roses, the painting goes through an 'ugly stage' where it doesn't look much like anything. You have to fight your way past this stage - eventually a likeness of a rose emerges.

(6 x 6 inches)
15 x 15cm approx
Oil on Gessobord 

Monday, January 8, 2018

January Rose

Daily Painting Challenge - Day 8

This rose study almost turned out a bit Georgia O'Keeffe abstract-ish. Not sure how that happened. Sometimes it just happens.
I'm 1/4 of the way into my 31 day challenge now and using the opportunity so far to tackle flowers which I find difficult to do.

(6 x 6 inches)
15 x 15cm approx
Oil on Gessobord

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Refracted Light

Daily Painting Challenge - Day 7

Super happy with this painting. I'm drawn to slightly unusual compositions and I'm also happy with how the colours in the light turned out. This daisy was actually set up on a white cloth and a white background but I exaggerated the colours in the light bouncing off the surfaces. I'm also getting to be a fan of 'lost edges' which are easy to do with glass, because the edges do get lost at certain points.
I really made an effort with this one to simplify the gerbera daisy and instead spent a lot of time focussing on mixing the lights and darks.
I cracked open a new tube of paint that I haven't tried before - Napthol red. It has a peachy tone to it already, but I also added a touch of Cadmium orange. Totally love this colour.

I think this set up might work well for a larger painting which I might attempt at some point. 

(8 x 8 inches)
20 x 20cm approx
Oil on Gessobord  

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Printers Posy

Daily Painting Challenge - Day 6

Persevering with the Gerberas.
For this one I wanted to try an approach that a lot of artists use (but I don't use often) -which is 'blocking in'; ie you block in all the main colours and then you go back and add highlights and refinements later. The idea is that you start with an impression of the painting, getting the main colour themes right first. Not my comfort zone, but I'm trying to experiment with different techniques. I would not in general take this approach - I'm not generally a fan of working over the top of paint I have already laid down but I decided to give it ago here, just to see.

Here's a progress shot to show what I mean. At this stage I have really just put down three colours on the yellow flower: a bright yellow, a yellow ochre and a slightly darker ochre.
Then I went back in and added some definition. I think this worked really well with the yellow gerbera. It was much harder to do with the pink gerbera as the petals varied in colour from one to the next.

The little bud vase I picked up a couple of weeks ago in Crate and Barrel. I ummed and ahhed for ages as it was priced at $4 (big spend!). When I got to the checkout it was reduced to $2, so now I have 4 of these in different colours!

'Printers Posy' (the title), refers to the colour theme here turned out to be almost Yellow, Magenta and Cyan (process printers colours). I made this connection about half way through the painting.

(8 x 8 inches)
20 x 20cm approx
Oil on Gessobord

Friday, January 5, 2018

Fickle Gerbera

Daily Painting Challenge - Day 5

For today's painting I decided to focus on a small 6x6" study of a single gerbera. Flowers are tricky because the variation in value can be quite subtle. I decided to change the lightbulb from a daylight bulb to just a regular lightbulb which has a softer light, which is better to illuminate flowers.

Not sure if I can get away with another study of these fickle gerberas which have already started to droop since yesterday. This one is still standing.

Today's weather news: yesterdays snowmageddon storm has subsided, leaving a bright, sunny, snowy day, perfect for photographing paintings!

(6 x 6 inches)
15 x 15cm approx
Oil on Gessobord