Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Forbidden City

This painting was done at Anastasia Art House. It's oil on 24x36 stretched canvas.

The picture is based a picture we took when we visited the Forbidden City in Beijing, China last fall. The photo was originally from the prospective of us, the tourist, looking up at these awesome buildings. In this painting, to make it less boring, I changed the perspective as being from a bird's point of view, flying towards one of the buildings. The angles of the perspectives are also skewed and a little more severe.

As the roofs took up the majority of the canvas, I created extra interest for the roofs with texture paste. Using a plastic fork, I created grooves on the paste. Texture paste was also used for some of the columns to give them a raised feel as well as some of the windows. That was a painstaking process, and took a few sessions at the Arthouse just on the texture.

Once the texture paste was dried, I painted with oil with the main color being Chinese red, vermilion, cadmium orange, chrome yellow, red brown, ultramarine violet and marine, raw and burnt umber, prussian blue, viridian and compose blue. At the end I added many details into the painting, including these little statues at the corner of the roof unique to ancient Chinese architecture, symbols on the exterior wall just under the roofs (those took a long time), as well as the gold color pattern at the top of the center building using pure gold color in acrylic.

This painting took a total of 4 months worth of sessions at Anastasia Art House. I finally had it framed, and it is hung now in my husband's office at work.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


This is for May 2011 Studio Atelier challenge, Sunflowers. It's oil on 20x24 stretched canvas.

I had always wanted a painting of sunflowers. So when I saw this challenge at Studio Atelier (ref), I thought I had to do the challenge. The single flower against a field of sunflowers with nice bright sunshine and blue sky makes a very nice painting. The yellow-orange colored flower is also a nice contrast to the blue sky.

I first prepared my canvas with a yellow orchre acrylic ground. The main colors included cadmium yellow, chrome yellow, cadmium orange, alizarin, madder, lemon yellow, viridian, sap green, ultramarine violet, burnt umber, yellow orchre, and compose blue for the sky. I also used sharper edges for the foreground flower, while fuzzier edges were used for the background flowers.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Morning Paper at Cap Ferrat

This is for Virtual Paintout May 2011 challenge, Cote d'Azur, France. It's oil on 10x12 canvas board.

We visited the French Riviera a few years ago and were just so charmed by the places we visited: Eze, Cap Ferrat, and Nice. So I started by looking in Eze and Cap Ferrat. I came upon this little cafe in Cap Ferrat and thought the scene reminded me of some of the paintings by Edward Hopper. I could either do mountain and ocean, or this scene, and I chose this scene. (ref photo)

I changed outdoor view to be pure harbor scene, as opposed to harbor behind the parking lot, and I also tried to lighten up the room just a tiny bit. This scene is not the easiest composition-wise especially when deciding what elements to keep and what to change. Hopefully I made this ordinary scene semi interesting.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Princess and the Flower Girl

This is for Calypso Moon Art Movement, May 2011 challenge, Royal Wedding (ref). It's oil on 10x12 canvas board.

I watched the Royal Wedding while I was painting "Beyond The Sea" (Hawaiian Sunset). and had to stop many times to stare at the TV because the wedding was just so beautifully done. So when I saw this challenge, I thought it would be nice to paint something from this wedding. Plus, I have a commissioned work I need to start soon involving some portraits, so I thought I would use this opportunity to practice my portrait skill for this challenge.

The scene I chose was from when the wedding party and the families were waving to the crowd from the balcony at Buckingham Palace. The littlest flower girl seemed to be bothered by the noise and also seemed to be bored or irritated. Kate bent down and tried to comfort her. I thought this show of kindness on Kate's part was so sweet and considerate. So I wanted to capture this "Kodak" moment with my paint and canvas. For composition purpose, I actually took two screen shots from the YouTube Royal Wedding Channel a couple of seconds apart, one with profile of the flower girl looking at Kate, and one with Kate looking at the flower girl, as the timing of the two looking at each other were actually not that perfectly timed on YouTube.

To begin painting, I applied a red oxide acrylic base to my canvas because I wanted the figures to have a warm glow. The oil colors I used included some standard portrait colors, such as Rowney flesh tint, naples yellow, cadmium orange, white, madder, alizarin, permanent rose, terre verde, burnt sienna, ultramarine violet, raw and burnt umber, and ultramarine blue as background (I don't have great photography skill, so this photo has a bit of shine in the dark blue background).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Three Red Pears

This is for Rookie Painter May 2011 challenge, three red pears. It's oil on 8x10 canvas board.

This month we are back to painting another fruit I am allergic to - pears (I think they're pears from the picture). (ref photo) I changed the dimension of the original photo just a slight bit so that the three pears would look less perfectly aligned and less equal in size. In this exercise I tried to make the fruits look as real as possible, and kept the red and green contrast but made the red a bit deeper than the photo. My main colors were cadmium yellow, lemon yellow, cadmium orange, Winsor red deep, alizarin, madder, ultramarine violet, burnt umber, permanent green light, viridian and white.