Monday, May 23, 2016

Bird on a Branch

"Bird on a Branch"
6x12 acrylic on canvas
Email me if interested in this painting

This painting was done for the challenge with the Facebook group Photos for Artists - the theme is birds. The photograph used as a reference is from photographer Russ Bridges - he does some wonderful bird photographs & graciously gave permission for this to be painted.

I used the 6x12 slices format, cropping his image to fit the window. I then sketched the little bird (it's a Dunnock or Hedge Sparrow) & the branch. I then decided I would do an acrylic ink & wash technique for this one. I love the look of the black ink lines contrasting with the softness of the washes of color. I also think it's a great way to work with a bird's feathers. The soft background is a nice contrast to the details of the branch & bird I think. I am very happy with how this one came out!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Southwest Harbor

"Southwest Harbor" - Maine
6x12 acrylic on canvas
Available through Daily Paintworks auction - click here to bid

This is a second painting of Maine, but again I missed the location. For some reason I am having trouble being in the correct area of Maine for the VPO this month - perhaps next months location will prove easier. But I am enjoying painting Maine! The original Google map view can be seen here.

I probably should have named this "fun with clouds" because that is what caught my eye, and what I worked on the most. 

I am working on a 3rd painting of Maine - doubt I will send it into the VPO, but I like the image I found and want to add the painting to my gallery. So it's currently on my easel - will share it when it is finished.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Norwood Farms Road

"Norwood Farms Road" - Maine
6x12 acrylic on canvas
Email me if interested in this painting

This painting is for this months VPO which is visiting the southern portion of Maine. The original Google map view can be seen here.

What a photogenic area to explore in Google maps. I love the rugged coastline and the road 1A travels close to the water in many spots. I've already picked out a second spot to paint! 

Also, Google has revisited some areas & photographed them again. But the map will allow you to choose the year/view you wish! The top left corner will indicate with an arrow if there are additional views available, for example - this scene can be viewed in 2007, 2009 & 2011. So there are additional views of the same location that you can paint from. (the newer years are in HD, while the older years may not be as clear).

**** Unfortunately I found out that this image can't be in the VPO as the location is not in the assigned area in Maine. My mistake! I thought I was in the right spot - when you are zoomed in on the map it can be very easy to lose track of where you are. But the painting is still a good one (in my opinion), but I'll be going back to the drawing board, so to speak, for this months VPO!

Artists Note:
This 6x12 ratio has become one of my favorites to paint! I have been calling them my "slices of life" series, and I have been steadily adding to the gallery. These will be the feature in a few art shows this year - and I intend to paint a few larger ones with the same ratio (I have 2 blank 10x20 canvas's just waiting their turn). 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Magnolia Tree Home

"Magnolia Tree Home" - NFS
9x12 acrylic on canvas board

This is a new commissioned home portrait, just finished. This wonderful family home is located in Michigan. The client asked for the home to feature both the house, but also the grounds as well as the Magnolia tree in the yard. Normally the Magnolias are bloomed & gone by the time the rest of the yard does it full summer show, but it was important to the client that the Magnolia was visible.

This is their family home which the mother recently had to sell recently. The daughter is giving the painting to her mother as a gift. She loves the painting! (and I was pretty happy with the outcome also).

Artists Note:
Painting bricks can be quite tedious. Sometimes I give only subtle indications of the bricks, but sometimes the brick is such a major feature of the home (such as on this one) that I need to make them more pronounced. Here's my method (although I am sure there are others)
1) Paint the entire house the color of the grout (the lines that show between the bricks)
2) Using a see-through ruler, draw lightly with pencil the lines for each row of bricks. This will ensure that the bricks on both sides of the doors & windows will line up.
3) In this case, I used a small square brush to paint my bricks. The top of every brick touched a pencil line mark, the bottom of the brick stopped short of the next pencil line. You can work top down, or bottom up - but be consistent with your brick sizes as much as possible. Alternate brick colors to break up the overall wall look.
4) vertical lines of grout between the bricks are staggered from row to row so that no two rows have identically placed vertical grout lines
5) final touchups of all grout lines is then done.

Always take note of any special brick designs done to the house. In this case, the smaller bricks done across the top of the windows. On a different house portrait I did, the bricks did not go to the ground but stopped short a few feet from the ground - however, the final bottom row of bricks were vertical & not horizontal. Missing that small feature would have been noticeable to the client!


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