Thursday, June 30, 2016

Morels WIP 2

A quick update on this project. I chose a palette of DS Quin. Burnt Orange, DS Quin. Sienna, olive green, DS Undersea green, warm sepia, Phthalo blue and Perm yellow. I wanted more saturated color for this morel painting. After the painting was complete I added copper metallic paste here and there for a more exciting effect. I used my finger to apply. This stuff is new in my tool kit and I love it. I used the paste primarily to highlight all the yummy textures. I just finished giving the painting a light coat of Krylon spray varnish and when it's dry I will add the 'feet' to the back of my substrate as I plan to float mount this in my frame.

In this image you can see my collection of metallic pastes.

I tried spring green on for 'size' but quickly nixed that idea. Love the remaining colors.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Morels and Bookmarks

I've got two 11" x 14" shadow boxes that I've wanted to use for paintings so I chose to use morel mushrooms for my subject, at least in one of the boxes. I'm taking a similar approach to a painting I created back in 2011. I've coated a piece of matboard with Liquitex gesso and added bits of leaves and twigs to replicate a forest floor. I also coated some oak leaves I saved from last Fall. Oak leaves are the best leaves I've found for this application because they are sturdy and pliable, even when dried. I will attach those with gel medium. I also tried out a new medium...string gel. I used it to form the mushrooms and give them a 3D appearance. The string gel was surprisingly easy to work with and I can imagine all sorts of projects I could use it for.

I found myself with lots of scrap Yupo and I hate wasting art materials so I made about a dozen bookmarks with the bits and pieces. I think they turned out rather well!

Saturday, June 18, 2016


This is Maggie, a beloved pet who belonged to my friend Mike. I had been telling Mike I'd paint her portrait for him but his only photo of her wasn't the best reference. I finally decided there was enough info in the photo to give it a go and after asking Mike a few questions about her to fill in the blanks here is my result.

I have been admiring Vickie Nelson's animal portraits on Facebook lately so I wanted to apply a similar treatment to the background in Maggie's portrait. Vickie isn't shy when it comes to backgrounds often going so far as to surround her critters in vibrant, colorful abstraction. It shouldn't work but it does. The subject doesn't seem to get lost but becomes a part of the whole composition. Rather than a BG that gets slapped on at the last moment to keep the main subject from looking so lonely on the paper it becomes a stage for that particular pet's favorite toys, a favorite blanket or just a bunch of colorful shapes, patterns and/or textures. Anyhoo, I love the look so I tried it on Maggie. Mike told me she loved to ride in the car so I gave her a '57' Chevy-ish car all her own. I think it suits her.