Friday, September 30, 2016

cheerful model

11x14"watercolour painting on paper

Tuesday's Portrait Session went very well thanks to our very patient and cheerful model Jerry.  Once I brought the piece home and looked at it, I decided to add a bit of orange to the background to balance his shirt. Plus, I added some splatters, of course!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

stage lighting

$30 - 6x8"watercolour painting on paper
Another painting from the fun #sktchy app. The great thing about the app is lots of pics have inventive and original lighting. Lots to learn still!!
: )

Monday, September 26, 2016

in the shade of the summer sun

$30 - 5x7"painting on paper

I did this original watercolour painting from a pic provided by the sktchy app. It's an awesome fun app where people provide pics and you paint them. The app has some fun extras, so check it out if you're looking for inspiration!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Portrait of Frank

Well, this portrait is a bit more of a 'traditional' way of using watercolour since I built up washes. It's not the way that I normally work but I'm very happy with it.
6x9" watercolour painting

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

that far right eye...

Well, I know how hard it is to draw the far right eye on a model when you can just barely see it. Next time I'll be sure to adjust my seat to the right for a profile or the left, so I can really see the eye. However, I got so caught up in the lovely shape of the model's hair that I just started drawing. I'm actually happy with it and although the hair may look unfinished, I chose to leave it, and the shirt, this way and I consider this portrait study finished. : )
11x14" watercolour painting
Well, you'd think I'd learn my lesson and shift a bit... but this time I was caught up in the red shirt. I'm happy with this one too and I believe I got the far right eye in proportion. Still, a very frustrating angle...
This time I got rid of the white on the face, starting with a pink and grey wash, let it dry, then focused on the features. : )
9x12" watercolour painting

Friday, September 16, 2016

Toronto Watercolour Society

Super proud that my bear painting was one of two chosen for this year's Toronto Watercolour Society Art Show Invite! Happening next month. More info to follow.
Also, I just finished a three day workshop with the lovely watercolour artist Rex Beanland, hosted by Toronto Watercolour Society. Learned a lot about mixing watercolour to the consistency of tea, coffee, milk, cream and butter!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Viridian Opera

Well, this one doesn't look anything like the model... but I sure had fun messing around with a green and pink palette. I used Viridian and Opera which make a lovely purple. I added dashes of Cadmium Red just to warm it up a bit.
$90 - 9x12"watercolour on 90lb paper.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Don Valley Art Club Portrait... still at it!

I've now painted our Don Valley Art Club organizer three times. Every portrait of him looks different. I've posted all three if you scroll back and look, (Aug 23rd and 14th... although you might not be able to tell!) He's got a great expressive face and, although I'm happy with all of the paintings, each captures a different aspect of him.
11x14" watercolour painting.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Don Valley Art Club Portrait

At the Don Valley Art Club, a bunch of artists get together and pose for each other for 25 minutes. The session is 3 hours so I normally do 5-6 portraits a session (depending on whether or not it's my turn to pose that day). By the time I get to painting number 4, I've loosened up and get more carefree. That's what happened with this painting. I like it because I was so relaxed while painting it. It's a bit 'sloppier' which, I think, worked out well for this one. : )
11x14"watercolour painting

Monday, September 05, 2016

Don Valley Art Club Portrait

Another 25 minute portrait from Sunday's painting session. It's so difficult to paint the shadow of a woman's face without making it too grey, or dull...
...or in this case, too blue... I took the blue down once I was at home however, with watercolour, I can't get rid of it completely. So I added a bit of blue to her cheek to balance it out. Also, I added a bit of white gouache for the highlights on her glasses. Very happy with how I handled her blue striped shirt though. : )
11x14"watercolour painting

Friday, September 02, 2016

in the studio

I'm loving this long horizontal format lately. : )
While waiting for the model to show up for a life painting session last week, it occurred to me that the studio, with all the interesting various chairs, would make a fantastic subject as well as suit the long thin format. So, during the model's breaks, I painted this one. Click image to enlarge. : )
$160 - 8x16"painting

Sunday, August 28, 2016

through the garden gate

click here to purchase... click image to enlarge!

I spent Saturday at the Toronto Botanical Gardens with fellow artists from the Don Valley Art Club. It's a place I've painted at many times before however, this time, I stumbled across a hidden garden archway. I think I'm finally getting the hang of plein-air painting. It's soooo challenging. 
$160 - 8x16"painting
Here's my set up - 
and here's me!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Portraits, Portraits, Portraits!

Another Sunday at the Don Valley Art Club doing portraits of fellow artists. This group is great! We sit for each other for 25 minute sessions. So, we get a lot done. : )
(Click on pics to see one after the other).
I think this one was most successful. The first photo is how it looked after 25 minutes of painting in the studio. Once at home, I added a bit of ear, some hair top right, a bit of purple to the glasses and a bit more green to the shirt. I would like to 'fix' parts of the face however, without the model, I dare not! I'm happy with the freshness of it.
Here's another - 
Again, the first is after 25 minutes of studio painting with the model. At home, I got rid of the blue blob on the top left of her head! Then I barely touched up the eye, which I never did get right since her hair was covering parts of it, but painting her hair was a blast! : ) Finally, I softened her shirt at the neck. Again, I'd like to do more, but not without the model.
I'm very happy with the resemblance of this one! Although I think I made the mistake of painting it in 'pieces'.
Finally, with this last one, I let myself experiment with the shadow side. Lots of purples and blues. I think a male portrait can take a lot more dark shadow whereas a female portrait needs a lighter touch.
Learned lots!!!!

Monday, August 22, 2016

in the park

 click here to buy

Another sketch from the Toronto Music Garden is now painted. I tried to keep it loose and fresh... and "splattery"! 
$60 (USD)- 5x7"painting with 8x10"mat. Ready to pop into a frame!!
close ups - 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

harbourfront hollyhocks

 click here to buy

Here's one of my drawings from a few posts back, of the Toronto Music Garden, with paint added. I'm very happy with this one. : )
$60 - 5x7"painting with an 8x10"mat.
close ups-

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Today's homework - the ear

With all my drawing experience, there's one thing I've been avoiding. The ear! So far I've gotten away with squiggly lines covered with enough hair as not to draw attention to it. Today I thought, while looking through some old drawing exercises from my first art teacher, Mark Thurman, that it was time to have a better understanding of the ear. I think it was time well spent. : )

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Don Valley Art Club Portrait Session

I spent the day at the Don Valley Art Club, where we artists model for each other for one 25 minute session each. I managed 4 watercolour portraits and I like this one the best. Great exercise! 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

drawing freely!

Recently, I spent some time sketching at the wonderful Toronto Music Gardens. I was inspired by a few wonderful books by the awesome NY artist Veronica Lawlor, about drawing free of judgement, analysis or interpretation. Just take the line for a walk! Google her and check out her work. Her drawings are fascinating.
So, working with a Micron 03 pen, I just drew what I saw as quick as I could.  Here are four more I did.
I really enjoyed this approach, loosening up as I went. Lots of drawings quickly, with no time to think in between. Now, to paint them... : )

Thursday, August 11, 2016

morning light

 click here to buy

Back from vacation and into the studio with this simple still life. I love this little water spritzer that I found at a garage sale. I usually can't find anything at sales, but this original watering device caught my eye. I found a glass one too. The morning light, a clementine and a flower seemed to suit it well. : )
$80 - 8x10"painting
close ups-

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

the evening Bow River

Well, this is my first painting on rough watercolour paper! It's wonderful. I felt the subject just called for it. This painting is the beautiful Bow River and one of it's many splinter rivers that it's strong current creates.
$60 - 5x7"painting with 8x10"mat.
close ups-

Monday, August 08, 2016

road trip

The trip to Banff and Calgary was just fantastic!! I had an amazing time. The only painting I did was this one, heading into Banff. Happily, too busy hiking and biking to get any painting done! Perhaps next time. Now, back to the studio. : )

Saturday, July 23, 2016


I tried some new paper for this one. Cold-Pressed! Very rare for me, since I love hot-pressed watercolour paper. I also bought a few new brushes so playing around with them too. I had a great time painting these two friends. : )
$50 - 5x7"painting with 8x10"mat.
p.s. - just a reminder, all paintings will be shipped when I return, on Aug. 8th. See you in August!