Monday, February 28, 2011

Parked Gondola

This is for A Day Not Wasted, February 2011 challenge. It's oil on 9x12" canvas board.

This is the first time I'm doing a painting for this particular challenge. When I saw the reference photo (ref photo), it reminded me so much of John Singer Sargents' Venice paintings. So I decided even with the short month and all the house renovations that's going on, I wanted to do this challenge.

I had read that John Singer Sargents' palette included mars yellow. So for the fun of it, I got myself a tube of mars yellow. I started with an acrylic ground of black. My palette included mostly earthy tones: mars yellow, yellow orchre, burnt sienna, terra cotta, sepia, asphaltum, sap green, ultramarine violet and ultramarine blue. For the dark areas, I've left some of the black underpainting showing. I kicked up the color for the seats by adding in Indian red and a touch of Winsor dark red. For the far end of the background I took a more black and white approach (white plus sepia).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shepherd in the Snow

This is for Feb 2011 Virtual Paintout challenge, Romania. It's oil on 10x12 canvas board.

When browsing in Goggle Map, I found that Romania had an interesting mix of different climates: from sunny beaches by the Black Sea to the snowy mountains in the middle of the country. At the end I was debating between a beach scene and this snow scene (ref photo). I chose this one since I have not done too many snowy paintings. What caught my eyes with this scene were not only the herd of sheep and the mountain scenary, but also interesting color choice of the shepherd's outfit: purple and green.

First I started my canvas with an acrylic ground of a purplish brown. Then for oil paint I used a rather muted palette: violet gray, Portland grays, white, sap green, sepia, asphaltum, ultramarine violet, and yellow orchre were the main color. Viridian and ultramarine violet were the main color for the fashion forward shepherd. I also used palette knife to add edges to the painting for the fence and branches.

Monday, February 21, 2011


This is for Feb 2011 Word Press's clear lake challenge. It's oil on 6x8 canvas board. (ref photo)

I did the water and reflection using thinned down oil paint so it had the consistency of water color. Then I used my fan brush to create the ripple effect while the thinned paint was still wet, and tissues to blot away paint for ripples and high lights. All these had to be done within an hour or so before the thinned paint dried. They final touches were added using thicker paint and palette knife. The color I used were mainly cadmium yellow, sap green, ultramarine blue and ultramarine violet.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Apples and Metal Jar

This is for Rookie Painter Feb 2011 challenge. It's oil on 6x8 canvas board.

This month's challenge is back to still life, with red and green apples and a reflective metal jar. (ref photo) I decided to do this challenge a little earlier this time since there are a couple of other challenges that also seem interesting I want to see if I squeeze into Feb. House renovation also added in additional distraction this month.

The apples are mixture of alizarin, madder, Windsor deep red, cadmium yellow pale, cadmium orange, sap green, lemon yellow, ultramarine violet and ultramarine blue. For the jar, I also added some Paynes grey. This was a good exercise to practice light, shadow, spheres and reflections.
PS. I realized after I had submitted to Rookie Painter that I might have gotten carried away a little bit with my highlights on the apples. So the version shown here I have toned down the highlights.