Monday, February 24, 2020

Local Wave

"Local Wave"
Image size 4.5" x 8.5"
I love painting waves and I am enjoying working with pastels.  I used a small piece of mat board coated with pumice gel.  That gives such a nice tooth to the surface.  I'm happy with the more subdued colors in this painting.  Usually, when I use pastels, the colors in my paintings are really pure and bright.

I'm almost finished painting the ceramic pieces for my mural.  All of the pieces are laid out on my worktable in the garage and I am adding a variety of different blues and some greens to the water and bits of blues covering the fish to push them underwater.  I'm pretty sure I will finish the painting portion of this project this week.  I need to start interviewing concrete guys so I can pick someone to create the base for this mural.  I thought about trying to do it along with my handyman, but decided that I really don't want to take on that part of the project.  Ten years ago I probably would have, but I'm getting more selective in the projects that I choose to take on now.  I guess I'm getting lazy in my old age.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Onion Value Study

"Onion Value Study"
Image size 4" x 6"
I spent most of the week painting the pieces for my ceramic mural so this is all I finished for my weekly painting.  I enjoyed working in black and white last week so I decided to do it again.  Last week I used charcoal.  This week I used pastels instead.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Wave Study in Charcoal

"Wave Study in Charcoal"
Image size 10" x 13"
I've worked with charcoal very little in the past.  For this painting, I used powdered charcoal to give the paper a medium value base and then used my kneaded eraser to lift lighter values and vine charcoal for the darks.  I finished with white pastel for the lightest lights.  I enjoyed working this way and I like the black and white result as a change from my usual love of color.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Solo Garlic

"Solo Garlic"
Image size 4" x 6"
I found a sample piece of a sanded pastel paper that I haven't tried so that was the start of this painting.  It is called "Pastelmat" and I really like the surface.  It almost doesn't feel like a sanded surface because the texture is very subtle.

I like working on sanded papers, but usually,  it really eats up my pastels.  This one had enough tooth to grab the many layers but used the pastels much more conservatively.  Also, it was easier to fill the paper for more solid colors.

I enjoyed adding colors to this white object that aren't really natural.  I think it gives the subject a more vibrant look.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Practice Koi Tile Mural II

"Practice Koi Tile Mural II"
Image size 18" x 36"
Glazed Ceramic Tile
I decided that my tile painting had too many middle values, so I overpainted a lot of the background to give it more punch.  I'm much happier with it now.
Here's how it looked last week:
Which do you like better?

I've been painting the small side of the tile mural for my backyard.  I have painted the background color for the water as well as the lily pads and most of the fish.  I won't add the other colors in the water until the big side is painted up to this same point.  I want to paint the added colors in the water on both sides at the same time so that they will read well together.  

All of the pieces for the large side are scrubbed (to get all of the clay dust off of them) and laid out (again) on the paper pattern.  That takes a while to do just that!  I'm excited to finally be ready to paint the big side.  It will probably take another 3-5 weeks to finish that.  Then, after I paint the extra colors in the water on both sides, I will add a layer of clear glaze to all of the pieces (about 550) and start the firing process.  I can fit about 50-60 pieces in my kiln for each firing.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Practice Koi Tile Mural

"Practice Koi Tile Mural"
Image size 18" x 36"
Glazed Ceramic tiles

I finished painting the practice painting that will lead me into painting the huge tile mural for my yard.  I was really nervous about finally painting the clay because I didn't know how it would turn out.

I don't know if you can see in this photo, but two of the lily pads have the dark green veins oozing and they look really bad.  Also, I added a dark green around the edges which doesn't show because the glaze that I used was too transparent.  I wasn't sure if I could add more glaze and refire but decided it was worth it to try.  

I used my Dremel tool to grind the dark green glaze that had oozed out of place by the veins on the lily pads.

Then, I repainted the same background color over the areas that I ground. These are two different lily pads.
You can see how different the color looks before it is fired.  I also painted a different dark green around the edges but didn't take a picture of that before I fired it.

Here is a picture of a portion of the painting showing the newly fired lily pads.
I'm also not entirely satisfied with the color in the water.  I think it needs to have more really dark areas and also some greenish color.  This week, I think I will add some glazes to the water and see what happens.

Knowing that I can add glaze and change things really reduces my sense of anxiety about painting the real mural.  I'm very happy that I had this smaller version to use for practice.

I've started painting the small side of the mural.  It will take a while!

Monday, January 13, 2020

ACEO Fuchsia

ACEO Fuchsia
Image size 3.5" x 2.5"
I've been working all week on painting my "practice" tile mural so I just painted this ACEO for my weekly painting.  I haven't painted flowers for a long time and I thought it would be fun.  The background in person is a warmer color that looks better than this picture.

I'm almost finished with the practice tile painting.  I'm both excited and scared to see it once it is fired.  I've painted the fish and lily pads as well as the base color for the water.  Now I will add more colors in the water and over the fish so that they look like they are under the water.  That should be a really fun part to paint.  Then, I will put a clear glaze over each piece and fire everything.  Hopefully, that will all be done this coming week.  Fingers crossed....

Monday, January 6, 2020

View From Heisler II

"View From Heisler II"
Image size 20" x 16"
A couple of weeks ago I posted a painting from this same reference photo, but it was on a long, skinny canvas.  It had been done as a palette knife painting using acrylics.  This is also a palette knife painting, but I used oils.  It was much easier to paint since the oils don't dry quickly.  The first one looked a bit more abstracted because I had lots of specks of the black underpainting showing.  Below is a picture of the first one.  Which do you like better?

Also this week, I finished the bisque firing for all of the tile mural pieces.  As long as I don't break any, I can start painting.  I will first paint the 'practice' mural that I made from the first pieces I cut that were too small.  If that turns out well, I can paint the real thing.  If it doesn't turn out well I guess I will just sit down and have a good cry....

Monday, December 30, 2019

In The Reeds

"In The Reeds"
Image size 5" x 6.5"
Monotype using Akua ink and colored pencil

The reference photo for this was taken on a trip to South Carolina years ago.  We visited a beautiful plantation and it was a fresh, sunny day with clouds drifting by.  I have painted this scene before using oil paints.
I like the effect of the black ink as the main color with color added.  It reminds me of a colorized black and white photo.

Monday, December 23, 2019

View From Heisler

"View From Heisler"
Image size 6" x 12"
I painted the canvas black before I started this painting.  It is a palette knife painting.  For me, it's harder to do a palette knife painting with acrylics than it is with oils.  Even though I was using heavy body acrylics, they are still less stiff than most of my oils.  I do really enjoy using the palette knife regardless of the medium though.

I hope you all enjoy the holidays and enthusiastically embrace the new year!!!

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