Friday, 15 December 2017


I am working on a little painting experiment right now.  I have not used watercolour paints, aside from my travel sketchbook, for a long time.  I hope to have a series of these done early in the New Year.

Watercolour sketch 9x12

Acrylic sketch 9x12

Monday, 11 December 2017

Drying Rack

I have been busy finishing off my Life Drawing course so I haven't had much art to post here.  I did get this fabulous drying rack HANDMADE for me, by the talented Colby, 16 year old wood and metal work 'artist'. Click this link to check out Colby's website -  Colby's Woodworking  This sucker is solid metal, nice and heavy and holds a lot of various size paintings.  Currently I am drying several 9x12 panels in preparation for a painting experiment I am planning.
My FABULOUS solid panel drying rack.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Street scenes

I am constantly saving pictures for potential paintings - this painting was from a picture taken several years ago when I went to Victoria for my first watercolour workshop.  I did not turn out any keepers in that workshop but got some good photos.  Still plugging away at this one.  A few little tweaks with perspective and it should all be good to go!  Savy Painter podcasts keep me motivated while I am painting.
9x12 oil on linen panel

The blahs...

I tried to do a quick one hour oil sketch from life. However, I found the result so boring I wiped it off.  I must have chosen the wrong colours and I really did not want to spend a lot of time trying to do the tablecloth pattern so this was a wiper!

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Figure Drawing

One of the best ways to improve your drawing skills is to take a figure drawing class.  Which is what I am doing now.  This is a copy of an old master drawing so I had about 3 hours to work on it versus the drawings done in class are roughly 1 1/2 hrs each.

Charcoal and Chalk on toned paper

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Practise til perfect

9x12 oil on panel
This little keeper is created for an upcoming 'Call for entries'  and I am still working out some shading issues, but the theme was retro.  This one is either Saturday morning cartoons or Rumpus room View - orange shag and wood panel - ahh the 70's.  Speaking of which, I found these dandy fashions when I googled orange shag, retro styles, etc. - shocking, yet refreshing to see models who are soooo normal!!
retro mens wear 70's

Tuesday, 14 November 2017


I am reading a really great book on Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaccson   Da Vinci was amazing with the scope of his projects and skills.  However he did have a difficult time 'finishing' his projects.  Reading this made me feel a bit better about my sometimes painting habit of working on something then not quite calling it finished and leaving it 'for awhile'.  NOT that I am anywhere near the skill level of 'Leo' but I could totally relate to how he would often not finish a number of his projects.  He was often "stymied because his conceptions were "so subtle and so marvellous" that they were impossible to execute faultlessly. "It seemed to him that the hand was not able to attain to perfection of art in carrying out the things which he imagined" p 81
I am sure many artists out there can relate to this, in that what we envision the painting to look like just never seems to turn out the way we want.  My current struggle is with creating light in my paintings - so I am back to studying more on value and colour to try to help with this.  Below are this weeks homework for Figure Drawing class and my recent stab at 'finishing' the sleigh ride painting.
Charcoal sketch of Old Master drawing for homework

Calling it on this oil on panel

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Finishes and starts

Starting a painting is always easy and exciting and hopeful.  You get this picture in your head about how you are going to do this piece and of course it is quite perfect.  Then you start - and I always seem to really like the painting up to about 1/2 or 3/4 of the way through.  Then something goes south, a part of the picture isn't working or you over work it or you get bored with the painting.  I often (and I guess a lot of artists do this) abandon the painting or set it aside for awhile and then just can't start it again - mostly cause I don't quite know what to do to 'fix' it, I found this website,  Draw, paint, mix that helps you to get past this problem.

This oil sketch below is just a quick one - to help me loosen up - completed in about an hour
Oil on 8x10 wood panel
 This is an example of a painting that I was loving, but then ended up overworking bits and not liking it by the time it ended.  Must embrace these experiences and learn I guess!
Ukrainian Village church - Oil on 9x12 panel

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The Lineup

In an attempt to squeeze in some painting, I did a quick draw and sketch in oil from a photo. This herd of cows was eyeballing all the tourists near a canal in Holland and they looked like a police line-up of suspects, hence the name.
18x14 oil sketch on canvas

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Get loose

My name is Mud - 8x10 oil on wood panel
In order to loosen up I am back to doing some small, quick paintings.  Daily Paintworks is a good website for inspiration as it has weekly challenges - this week's challenge is to paint your art supplies.  So I threw down what was on my table and whipped this off in an hour.  It is not fully complete, but I really like the loose feel of it.  Mud is the stuff at the bottom off the cleaning jar.

Friday, 27 October 2017

It's a wiper

The one hard thing to do is to not beat myself up to much when a painting goes south and just wipe the sucker off.  I think I am getting better at this.  The above is an example... I started this one because I really love this bread box.  It is kind of retro and I bought it not just to store bread in, but because I loved the colour and it looks good.  I threw together this 'still' life, putting in the orange for some colour and the plate cause it matched.  However after working on it for the last 3 hours, I realize that the box is too big for the rest of the objects and that it just isn't translating so well onto the canvas.  Hence it is a wiper.  I will wipe it away, save my canvas for another day and call it a learning experience.  NEXT time, start with a pencil sketch... save yourself 3 hours!

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Metal Challenge

Today, just had a couple hours to work on something so I tackled my little 8x8 painting of the pizza place.  The biggest challenge was getting the metal pizza ovens and hoods over them to look like shiny or dull metal.  I wanted this one to be quick and loose and got it down fairly quickly.  I unfortunately used the same brush on the sky that I had previously used on the metal, so that I greyed the outdoor, backlighting toooo much.  Now I will have to wait until this baby is completely dry to get back some really bright light behind the pizza guy.