Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Takajo Sàrl Cafe

This is for Virtual Paintout Nov 2014 Luxembourg challenge. It's oil on 10x12 canvas panel.

While randomly browsing, this cafe scene appeared interesting (Ref), with nice sun and shadow contrast, interesting reflection on glass so both outdoor cafe and a little bit of the cafe inside were viewable. Plus, these few restaurant goers were not looking straight at the Google camera.

I made color intensity quite high to make it more interesting. Due to the width of my canvas, I could not fit the whole Takajo name. My goal was really trying to capture the light and shadow and the outdoor cafe's lively atmosphere.

MUDAM Fountain

This is for Virtual Paintout Nov 2014 Luxembourg. It's oil on F3 canvas panel.

Google street map is viewable inside Mudam Luxembourg-Museum d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean. There were many interesting paintable scenes inside the museum. I chose this water fountain sculpture as a small sculpture study with blue dominated palette.  (Ref)

Friday, October 31, 2014

ATM Line

This is for Virtual Paintout October 2014 County Kerry Ireland challenge, it's oil on 10x14.

When I was browsing through a local town, I thought the ATM line would make an interesting composition so I selected four out of all the people in line (ref). During the painting process, I was actually stuck for a while because I couldn't get the color right as everything seemed a bit grey to me. Today is the last day of challenge, so I have to get myself out of the rut, so I brightened the background wall, and intensify the color for the people, and have to call it a day.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Green Pasture in County Kerry

This is for Virtual Paintout October 2014 challenge, County Kerry, Ireland. It's oil on 10x14 canvas panel.

This scene (ref) is actually quite humorous. The Google Street photos before and after this shoot showed the cows minding their business, in this particular frame, all three cows looked at the camera, as if they're asking "what are you looking at". Given the beautiful open pasture with yellow flowers, I had to paint it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Öckerö Boat House

This is my second submission to Sept 2014 Virtual Paintout Sweden challenge. It's oil on 10x12.

This seems to be a nice Nordic boathouse scene (Ref) it has good lighting. Again palette knife was used for fore ground  rocks.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Göteborgsvägen Quiet Pond

This is for Virtual Paintout September 2014 Sweden challenge. It's oil on 10x12 canvas panel.

This small scene (ref) made a big impression on me because of its beautiful golden sunset color on the rocks against the calm pond and see through to the bottom water. Palette knife was used to created roughness and texture for the rocks.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Kinmen Pond and Sky

This is for Virtual Paintout August 2014 challenge. It's oil on 10x12 canvas panel.

This is the last day of the challenge, but there was one scene I really wanted to paint. (Ref) I wanted to capture the cloud and sky and their reflections, the bright green patches of vegetation, and brownish orange of algae floating on the pond. So I kicked up all the color and contrast to make more dramatic. I did this one relatively quickly, in about three hours.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Bridal Seat in Kinmen

This is for Virtual Paintout August 2014, Kinmen Taiwan challenge. It's oil on 10x12 canvas board.

Kinmen has a lot of interesting scenes with traditional Taiwanese houses. I was browsing inside the Shanhou Folk Cultural village. There were many interesting views with Taiwanese curved roof and traditional houses. In one of the rooms there was this bridal chair with beautiful silk curtains (Ref). I decided to give this a try because I wanted to paint the silk curtains and also the interesting carved panel windows behind it. With the curtains I was trying to capture the reflective sheen of the material. The panel windows actually took me much longer to paint just because it was such a painstaking task, and I also wanted to give the painting a little more depth through the lights shining in from the outside through these windows.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Marvin Szmit White Church by Ocean

This is my second submission for July 2014 Virtual Paintout challenge, it's watercolor on Arches paper.

When I saw this little white church by the ocean (ref), I was a bit torn. I liked the white and blue contrast that is very Greek, however, it's a bit clichė and I saw many paintings on VP with similar subjects already. However I still decided to go ahead because I thought the wall of the white church is perfect for water color, and I wanted to see how intense and saturated of a blue I can get the sky to be with water color. I also used masking ink during the painting process to reserve the white spots in the middle of darker colors, such as the crosses on the door. There was a blemish on the water color paper unfortunately and that had shown through on my sky. Next time I will experiment with other types of water color paper.

Morning View over Sengekontaket Pond

Every summer we go up to Martha's Vineyard. This is a morning view across the Sengekontacket Pond around 6:30, 7 in the morning when we went for our morning walk. I painted this view a couple of years ago with oil. This year since I'm traveling with water color, I decided to give the view another try with water color.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Acropolis Museum Two Horse Riders

This is for Virtual Painout July 2014 Greece challenge. It's water color on 7x10in Arche paper.

Greece is a very interesting place to travel virtually. I was looking around in Athens, and realized that the Acropolis Museum also has Google street view. I visited the museum virtually and decided to try to paint this wall sculpture with two horse riders. (Ref

This summer with all the travels I'm doing, I decided I would bring water color with me, instead of oil. Water color is easier to travel with. I bought some new brushes and paper from Blicks when I was in Boston. This wall sculpture I thought would be well suited for water color, and I also deepened the shadows to make the horses and horsemen pop out even more.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Primosky Kray Leisure reading

This is for Virtual Paintout June 2014 Russia challenge. It's oil on size SM (15.8x22.7 cm) canvas.

I chose this relatively straight forward view of a man sitting on lawn chair reading a book, but with the background much simplified. (Ref)  With this character study I wanted to show strong color combinations, blue, orange-red, yellow. Plus it's almost summer, this will lead nicely into the summer season!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sunshine through the Woods

This painting was done referring to a painting in Mr. Abe Toshiyuki's water color art book. It's water color on 9x12 water color paper.

Mr. Tokshiyuki's water color works all have such zen like quality to them. In the book, he talked about using masking ink to block off areas for the leaves so all the deep colors can be added, and then with the masking ink removed, lighter colors can filled in at the end. I gave this technique a try a few days before his workshop this weekend. Plus, I'm memorizing as many of Japanese vocabularies as I can so that at least hopefully I won't be totally lost at the workshop, which will be held in Japanese. I'm really looking forward to it though.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Lago Buenos Aires Shore

This is my second submission for Virtual Paintout May 2014 Chile challenge. It's water color on  9x12 water color paper.

Recently I came across a book by a Japanese water color artist Abe Toshiyuki whose art works  of nature have a strong sense of light and meditative quality. I saw this book at a art supply store Sekaidou in Tokyo. The book was written mostly in Japanese, with partial English translation. I was learning both water color painting and a new language at the same time!

One of the techniques Mr. Toshiyuki employed was the use of masking fluid. I wanted to give it a try. So I used a scene which is not too far from the first scene I used for this month's challenge. (Ref). I thought water color would be great to paint water, and I used the masking fluid for the highlights of the leaves and lower vegetational. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dusty Road by Lagos Buenos Aires

This is for Virtual Paintout May 2014 Chile challenge. It's oil on 10x12 canvas panel.

This month's challenge contained mostly mountains, farms, and lakes. Roads often times were unpaved, so when vehicles drove by, there was quite a bit of dust. I thought I would have some fun with the dust while contrasting with the mountains and lake. I chose this scene with the pick up truck (Ref), and then kick up the color. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Leah the Safari Guide

This is for A Day Not Wasted April 2014 painting challenge. It's oil on 8x10 canvas panel.

This month's reference photo (ref) is actually quite challenging. Sketching took the longest as the posture, especially the hands, were not exactly the most straight forward. However, I enjoyed the initial sketching process to brush up on my sketching skill, looking at the everything in terms of shapes, and checking proportions and negative spaces to make sure my sketch was not too far off. 

Once the sketching is done, I put on a rough layer of acrylic painting of orchre mixed with black as my ground. I kept the background rough since the girl's clothing had very loud colors, pink, red, vermillion etc. There were way too many details on the girl's cape, so I only dared to paint in some polka dots, and rough orange flowers.

Liverpool Youthful Spirits

This is for Virtual Paintout 2014 April Liverpool challenge. It's oil on 10x14 canvas panel.

While randomly traveling in Liverpool, I saw this young couple who apparently saw the Google map camera, and were chasing after it. I thought this particular frame (ref) best captured the youthful spirits, in particular the girl. The marshland around the Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve is also interesting, along with the perspective element of the bridge.

Once I started painting, I realized there were a bit too many elements to fit into this little painting. I got it to a point where the essence of the scene, the light, perspective and youthful feel were captured, I stopped. It was tempting to make all the lines perfect et al, but it was time to move on to the next painting.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Reading the Paper by Sea

This is my second submission for Virtual Paintout Slovenia Challenge, March 2014. It's oil on F0 canvas panel.

After being stuck on the first painting for days, I decided to go back to smaller character studies. I was traveling virtually around the Adriatic coastline of the country, and came upon this person reading the paper. (ref) The lighting was good, and I thought I would continue with the blue and orange theme, but with less loud of a blue. Foreground rocks were done with a palette knife to give more interest and texture.

Three Boats and Two Ladies

This is for Virtual Paintout Slovenia Challenge, March 2014. It's oil on 10x14 canvas panel.

One of the first places I visited was a place called Bled, and there was a nice beautiful lake there. There were many scenes that were quite beautiful. I decided on this scene (ref) because I thought I would have some fun with the composition with the three boats and the two ladies sun bathing and chatting. The boats were orange in tone, and would be fun to contrast with blue from the lake, with all the colors kicked up a few notches from real life.

After the initial painting, I was stuck for a while because the blue was lacking something. After many days, I decided going to the palette knives and put in some high lights.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Biking Along Valley Trail

This is my second submission to Virtual Paintout's Washington DC challenge. It's oil on 9x12 canvas panel.

For my second submission, I went to less tourist-filled areas, and came upon this cyclist next to a creek. (Ref) There was nice light and shadows there, so I decided to paint a cyclist again, despite the fact he was actually holding up the traffic in Google Maps. 

Started with a purple background color, I used palette knives for the scenaries, except for the cyclist whom I thought would be too small and too difficult to be properly done with knives. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Three Soilders at Korean War Memorial

This is for Virtual Paintout February 2014 challenge, Washington DC. It's oil on 10x10 in canvas panel.

Even though I had lived in the North Eastern part of US for a long time,  I've never ventured into Washington DC asides from transiting at the airport. There're lots of memorials, and the Korean War Memorial caught my eyes. The soilders sculptures had great postures and expressions, plus Google Street Map photos had good lightings. I found this scene (ref) with the three soilders that I thought would make a good painting. I used many of my grey palettes, plus warm white and Naples yellow for highlight.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Smoker at Temple Bar

This is for Lee Brown's A Day Not Wasted painting challenge for January 2014. It's oil on 5.5x7inch canvas panel. 

The original photo (ref) was this nice shot from the Temple Bar District in Dublin. It had very interesting lighting, and the composition was interesting as well. To paint the whole scene would have been quite an undertaking.

I've been home recovering from my pneumonia for almost two weeks, and I thought I would make a small character study out of this. I chose to paint the smoker because he had the most interesting lighting and posture, especially with all the cigarette smoke around his head.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Disembarking Steamship

This is for Virtual Paintout January 2014 Cape Cod. It's oil on F3 canvas panel.

Every summer when we go to Martha's Vineyard, we come to Steamship Authority in Falmouth to take a ferry with our car over to the island. The Google Street Map itself  is a typical scene at the ferry terminal, people and cars getting on and off. It's getting late in the afternoon and lights started to come on.

I decided to have some fun with lighting for this painting. I wanted to give more emphasis on the three big round lights, so I made everything else around them darker in tone, in addition, I added more contrast with light and shadows on the ground. A lot of the work, especially the lower half of the painting, we're done with palette knife. I also kept the details inside the steamship, including the two attendants who were directing traffic off the boat.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Eel Pond Sunset

This was originally for Virtual Paintout January 2014 Cape Cod challenge. It's oil on F3 canvas panel.

Every summer we go to Martha's Vineyard. The ferry we take starts from Falmouth. So I decided to start my virtual tour in Falmouth. Before long, I came upon Eel Pond in Falmouth, not too far from Steamship Authority. (Ref). I decided to use a orange vs blue contrast to depict a sunset theme.

After I submitted the painting, Bill Guffy pointed out the scene was not from Google Street Map. The picture was a 360 degree photo by someone! Gasp! I was fooled into thinking it was a Google Street map since it's a 360, and had a URL address.  So the painting was no accepted. Oh well, nonetheless I had fun doing this painting.