Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hanging Towel with Small Bowl

This is for Rookie Painter December 2011 challenge. It's oil on 10x14 canvas panel.

This hanging towel may look very simple, but there are so many subtleties in its color and values. There are many creases and folds, and inside each crease, the value changes from dark to light. Around the creases, there are different values for the lights, and as it turns into the shadow side, value and color changes. Some edges are soft and some edges are sharp. The change in color into blue at the bottom of the towel also effects the color (warm / coolness) on the towel.

I can actually keep working to refine some more on this painting, but I had to stop as I need to pack for my family's two week vacation, finish writing all the holiday cards, pay the bills etc. So this is as far as I got with this painting.

Thank you to those of you who take the time to read my blog and leave such nice and encouraging comments. Happy holidays to everyone!

Foggy Bay

This is for Virtual Paintout, Eureka CA challenge. It's oil on 12x16 canvas panel.

When I saw this foggy scene at Arcata Bay (ref) in Eureka CA, it reminded me of some of Whistler's nocturne paintings. This scene is not exactly at night, but I wanted to try to capture the sense of fog and the different shades of grey on a foggy day.

I started out this painting with oil paint thinned out with turpentine, so the base color is similar to a water color wash. The foreground peninsular with the house has more color than the rest of the painting. I tried to lighten this greyish painting by adding in touches of yellow to give the hint that people have turned on their lights which were piercing through the greyish fog, similar to Whistler's nocturne paintings. I also tried to give a sense of sun breaking through by having shadows for the house, tree and the shed.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Château d’Azay-le-Rideau

This is for A Day Not Wasted, November 2011 challenge, Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, France. It's oil on 12x16 canvas panel.

This month's challenge is a beautiful Chateau in France. (ref) The reference photo looked beautiful, with wonderful sunlight and color. However, boy was this hard to paint. There were so many details with a Chateau like this. I don't like using rulers to draw lines when I sketch, so everything was done free hand. So my lines aren't exactly perpendicular or straight. But I figure I was more trying to capture the light and color rather than an architecturally correct picture.

The reflection was not easy since the first time I did it, it was too bright. I had to make the reflection greener and darker in value than the corresponding portion of the building above water.

Once I got the color mostly ok, I had to add in some details. I could have spent an arbitrary amount of time getting every detail down, but I have to stop here since I've got two more paintings to finish, lots of holiday cards to write, and to prepare to go off on a two week trip starting this weekend: pre-holiday crunch time!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Eden: Sci-Fi Apples

This was done at Anastasia Art House. It's oil on 24x20" stretched canvas.

Earlier in the fall, we were asked to work on a painting with three elements: fruits, flowers and stars. My first reaction was these three things really did not go together. Many people painted different fruits next to a vase of flowers on Mars, or under some starry night. I wanted to do something different.

When looking through pictures of fruits, I thought the top half of these green apples had some resemblance to the surface of Mars, with different peaks and valleys, and same color as a typical Martian! Then I thought I wanted the painting to be mostly cold in color. So I decided flowers really didn't go with the painting, and was only hinted via a vase behind the apples. In fact, I didn't want the whole vase, only a hint, and was reflective so the vase was totally not intrusive. So the composition was made up of the up-close in-your-face apples and hint of vase, while the background was an earth like planet, and a bunch of stars which echo the water droplets on the apples. Colors included prussian blue, cerulean blue, cinnabar, grass green, permanent green light, cadmium yellow etc.

I was gonna call the painting Sci-Fi Apples, for the lack of a better name. My husband decided the painting should be called Eden, as in eating apple in the Garden of Eden and falling from grace and be earth bound. I thought it was funny he was reading so much into this, as my original intent was that I did not want to paint flowers which did not go with fruits and stars!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sled Dog Winter Scene

This winter scene was done at Anastasia Art House. It's oil on 24x20" stretched canvas.

At the Art House, we had a choice to do a winter scene for the purpose of printing holiday cards. I always liked Monet's Magpie. It's a snowy winter scene with many shades of white. However, I didn't want to simply just copying Monet's work. So I changed the composition a little bit. I took out the Magpie sitting on the fence. Instead, I added sled dogs and some people in the background. The additional scene was based on a photo my friend Caroline took last year when she went dog sledding with her friend in Norway. I made the two runaway sled dogs to be the foreground focus. The sunlit snow was mainly lemon yellow mixed with white, while the snow in shadow was combination of blue grey, violet grey, and green grey. The background trees were warmer and based on violet red. Other colors used included van Dyke brown, ultramarine violet and blue, and yellow orchre.