Paintings 14&15

Hello everyone, it’s Friday again and what a relief! It’s hard to believe that this set of paintings marks the half way spot! Only fifteen more to go and it seems the time is flying by. Here are paintings 14 and 15:

#14 “Etched in Concrete”, oil on birch panel, 8″x8″
img_4344This painting is from a photograph I took of a natural patina of sorts, in concrete. I was mesmerized by the diaphanous form of a cloud, tree or mushroom that just occurred naturally. I found it beautiful and amazing.
When I set out to paint it, it was interesting. Often times I tag a painting as representational or abstract. In this case, it’s a representational painting of an abstract image~go figure.

#15 “The Look”, oil on birch panel, 4″x4″
When I saw this photo of this goat, I had a chuckle. The look on the goat reminds me so much of one of my sons when he’s in a certain mood. I like to approach portraying animals as I would a human portrait;  I think it adds a lot of character and is a lot of fun.

I am reminding myself to enjoy the little things.

Wishing you a great weekend!

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Paintings 12&13

Hello everyone I hope you are doing well. Below are numbers 12&13:

#12 “Brown Eggs”, oil on panel, 5″x5″img_4337When I saw a photograph of this, I knew I had to paint it. The “brown” of the eggs against the robin’s egg blue of the carton really caught my eye.
When I started painting this, I realized how difficult the “brown” of the eggs really is. It’s was hard to define and match the colour, for me at least. It’s more like a range of light caramel, light chestnut, bisque and burnt sienna instead of just brown.
The blue of the carton in all it’s variations is one I have loved for a long time. So I didn’t have trouble with it. I am happy about the way the “cardboardness” of the egg carton turned out.

#13 “On the Way Home”, oil on panel, 8″x8″img_4338This painting is based on a blurry photograph I took through the car windshield. We were on the way home from a trip out-of-town. Suddenly, whilst the sky was shifting, I saw the most vibrant red in the sky. I remember never having seen the sunset that red. Maybe because it was sandwiched between dark and smouldering clouds, but the red was really intense.

Thank you for reading.

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Paintings 9,10&11

Hello everyone, it’s Monday and I hope your holiday preparations are well under way. Below are the next three installments of my paintings:

#9 “Two Halves”, oil on panel, 4″x4″img_4305This piece was a pleasure to work on, it gave me no troubles. Sometimes, regardless of the perceived difficulty or ease of a picture, some paintings will give you problems. But this one was straight forward and enjoyable to paint. I especially like the imperfections in the flesh of the avocado and the beautiful variations and depth of the green.

#10 “Raven Study”, oil on panel, 4″x6″img_4310This piece was partly a learning experience in figuring out what kind ogf brushstroke would  give the look of feathers. Unless you are painting in the Hyper-Realist style, you need only to suggest the look of feathers, not paint each one. I think in the end it looks believable. I do like the monochromatic look with a hint of blue-black.

#11 “El”, oil on Gessoboard, 5″x7″This piece, in case you don’t recognize it, is ‘El’ from the Netflix series, “Stranger Things”. I thoroughly enjoyed the series and thought the little girl who played this character was beautiful. So I attempted to paint her, but it the painting ended up portraying her to look older. With the time frame I was working in, I didn’t want to correct it or do it over. And I do like the feeling and look of the piece.

It has been a lot of work so far. It is one thing to paint everyday but to finish a painting a day is quite challenging for me. The good thing is, it’s like a crash course; I am learning quite a bit about oil painting. And that’s a good thing, since my motivation for this challenge was to get more proficient in oils.

Thanks for reading,

Wishing you a great week!

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Paintings 7&8

Hi everybody, TGIF! I hope your week has been good. Below are paintings #7&#8

#7 “The Diver”, Oil on Birch Panel, 5″x7″
img_4290I always liked the look of being underwater with the light shining through from the surface. In real life, I’m kind of scared of being underwater despite knowing how to swim.  I really liked this picture when I saw it and attempted to paint it.

I am happy with the way it turned out. I think it could have looked a lot worse, like one of those magazine ads. I wanted it to have an introspective and psychological aspect. I like the diver figure obscured with the dark blues of the water. The darkness is contrasted by the glow of the light. It almost feels like a metaphor for life.

#8 “Study of Bird Skull”, Oil on Birch Panel, 4″x4″ img_4295This painting looks better in real life. In this picture, there’s more contrast in the contours. In reality, the painting is more subdued. That’s the look I was going for. I wanted to use a limited palette to render light and delicate variations in tone. I wanted to illustrate the beauty and delicacy of the bird skull.

I hope you like these so far.

Wishing you a lovely weekend.

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Paintings 5&6

Hello everyone, I hope your week is going well. Below are #5 & #6:

#5 “View”, Oil on Birch Panel, 4×4img_4265
I painted this little scene using a copyright free photo reference. I love the vibrancy of the colours and the turquoise patina on the rock walls. I also love the contrast between the shadowed walls and the saturated colours in the light.

#6 “Study of Caravaggio’s Judith”, Oil on Panel, 2.5×5″img_4273
I have long been an admirer of Caravaggio’s work. His mastery of chiaroscuro and drama of his scenes are intense. The painting I was studying is called Judith Beheading Holofernes. The subject matter of this painting was very popular and many artists depicted this scene. I don’t like the gory part of the painting but Judith’s face really captured me.

I decided to use an even smaller surface to work on but I think the painting looks powerful and big somehow. I tried to capture the expression of the original since the other aspects were not possible.

One of the aspects I’m talking about from the original painting is the colour. It is impossible to duplicate in my situation, since I was working from a digital reference of a photo print. Also, I was painting alla prima with paints that are made of different pigments. Also, the manufacture of the paint is different was well.

Despite the differences in materials, technique and the time constraints, I really enjoyed working on this one.

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Paintings 3 & 4

Hello everyone. Needless to say, it’s getting kind of hairy with the holiday season ramping up. I don’t have my tree up yet and usually I like to have it up on December 1st. So I wanted to let you know that I will try to post regularly but the paintings in my posts will likely have a one-day lag. Anyhoo, below are paintings 3 & 4:

#3 “Persimmon with Hazelnuts” Oil on Panel, 4×4″
img_4240I love persimmons and as it happens, this was the last one I had left. So I decided to paint it. To make the composition more interesting, I threw in some hazelnuts. This painting was done from life.

#4 “Unknown Hooves”, Oil on Panel, 5×7″
img_4253This painting was done from a photo reference. I had saved this photo from a copyright free site because it looked interesting. But I have no idea what animal these hooves belong to.

I found the forms of the legs and hooves really interesting to draw. I especially like the contour of the shapes. Here is a close-up of my sketching in the underpainting:
img_4249

I hope you have a good week.

I will remind myself to stay calm and be mindful of compassion to others in this holiday season.

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Painting Challenge #1 & 2

Hi everyone, as I took the plunge yesterday into A Painting A Day Challenge, I have been busy catching up. Below are paintings 1 & 2:

img_4226#1 “Still Life with Handmade Pottery”, oil on Birch Panel, 4×4″

The first day was a mad rush to get this piece done since, I just committed to the challenge in the same afternoon. The pottery featured in the painting is one of my pieces I made at the end of summer. This is my first still life painting and it was done using a live reference, not from a photo. It was nice working from life but also difficult, because of the shifting natural light while I was painting. I am pleased with the way this turned out.

There’s something about the simplicity of still lifes that appeals to me. I am drawn to Still lifes that have very simple composition with very few objects. I think that the simplicity invites the viewer to really look at things.

The thing I like most about painting is when the painting shifts from the “ugly phase” into interesting passages and starts coming to life. Usually this happens when things quiet down and you get into a “zen state”, where you just observe and paint and all other things fall away.

img_4231#2 “Red Sea and Clouds”, oil on Gessoboard, 5×7″

The second painting was done using a reference photo loosely. It’s an abstracted seascape that was manipulated with textural effects. Here is a detail shot:

img_4233This is the first time I deliberately pushed oils incorporating organic effects.

I hope you liked my first two, hopefully I can manage to fulfill my commitments for this month!

Wishing you a great weekend!

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December Daily Painting Challenge

Hello everyone, Can you believe it? It’s December 1st.

I’ve always been interested in the Painting A Day movement started by Duane Keiser. Since PAD, there have been many challenges within the artist’s community. I wanted to participate in some form of daily painting sometime in the future. Then, just the other day, I was reading Naomisnotebook.com a fellow artist and blogger who took up this challenge for the month of December. I thought, is she crazy? December is a crazy-busy month! After some encouragement and inspiration, I have decided to take on this challenge.

Mind you I’m kind of terrified, but this commitment will force me to do something I’ve always wanted to do. In my experience, there’s never a good time to start anything like this. So I guess I’ll start at the worst time; in the heart of the holiday season with lots of family and social obligations. So it’ll be a real challenge. In the end, I believe it will be rewarding.

My hope for this project is to obviously get better at oil painting, but also to develop a painting routine, loosen up and take the fear out. I will be on a modified schedule; I plan to do 30 paintings but I might not post them everyday. I will also take Christmas off. Most of them will be small-scale and I want to explore the Still Life genre but I won’t restrict myself to it.

Today is day 1 and as I’m writing this post, I am not even ready. But technically, I have until the end of the day to complete a painting. No pressure 😆!  I hope you will find this project enjoyable if not, entertaining.

I leave you with one of my favorite paintings from artist Abby Ryan, whose approach I want to adopt; daily painting as meditation:

img_4220
Still Life of Shadows by Abby Ryan

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“Moo?” Oil on Panel, (“Doh” moment)

Hello everyone, as promised, below is the finished oil study:

img_4189Sorry for the glare in the photo. This piece is 5 x 7″ done alla prima with a break in between. It’s part of my growing farm animal collection 😄.

The story about this piece is one of those “doh” moments in life, where you are incredulous of how dense you can be:

As you know, I was trying to loosen up my paintings. Some of the ways that you can do this is to use larger brushes and larger surface to work on. So as I was reaching for a larger surface, the only one I had already sanded was this 5×7″ panel ( it was cold and rainy and I was being lazy and didn’t want to go outside to sand). It wasn’t larger by much, but I proceeded to use it anyway.

As I was painting, I couldn’t figure out why I kept on reaching for smaller brushes to execute this painting. Half way through, I realized that while my surface was bigger, I was trying to convey a larger subject. The studies I did previously were close-ups of animals. In this case, the whole body of a larger animal is portrayed. Hence the need for smaller brushes. If I were to do a very loose study, I could have done it with bigger brushes but I didn’t want it that loose. Anyhoo, a lesson learned, however embarrassing.

Here is a closer look:
img_4190You can see some loose brush strokes especially on the leg of the cow. Suffice to say this painting isn’t what I intended in terms of really pushing looseness but it is finished.

So far, I prefer doing farm animal portraits rather than full body. I may do a few more full body studies to see if this one was a one-off.

Thanks for reading and I hope your weeks is going well.

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WIP, Cow Oil Painting

Hi everyone, just wanted to post a quick work in progress:

Cow, wip, oil painting

Above, is my diy pochade paintbook in action. I’m currently working on a cow. All these farm animals are new to me😄. Wonder how many of them I actually will paint. You gotta admit there’s a certain charm about them.

I know I haven’t posted many group shots but, I envision these animals looking great as an ensemble. Right now, I’m still enjoying painting these. It’s not to say that I haven’t had my share of challenges! Stay tuned for the finished piece in my next post.

Wishing you a great week!

 

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