Thursday, July 26, 2007

Road Trip

I have decided to title this one "Road Trip" and consider this the final version. I am pleased in that the eyes are better than any I have done, as well as I didn't age her as is very easy to do when painting portraits of babies. There will be much learned while doing this that I will apply to future portraits, all of which should make them easier to do.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Aubrey Howdy WIP 4

Today I did the third skin wash and added some hair (though she doesn't have much in real life, I needed to show what she does have!) and worked on her eyes. I need to do the entire background and detail her hand a bit more, lift a few highlights here and there and then I might be done. I love her inquisitive brows.

I see a few things I will watch out for in my next portrait, but I also see some growth in my skills after working on this one. Live and learn, but appreciate any growth!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Aubrey Howdy sans Sticker WIP

This is a work in progress of my granddaughter, Aubrey. I will explain the title of this post....the ref photo was taken on a recent car trip when Aubrey's Mom, Christine, gave her some stickers to play with. They stuck one that said "Howdy" on her forehead and took her photo. It made for an adorable photo, but I wanted to paint her expressive little face without the sticker so I ignored it but will call the painting "Howdy".
I am following along with Taylor Bush's excellent DVDs on portrait painting in watercolor. I am also submitting these WIPs to my online critique group, Watercolor Workshop, as I go along and making changes as suggested by those more experienced in watercolor portraiture than I, most notably Doris Glovier, who does wonderful portraits using the Taylor Bush method to best advantage. She gave me a hint on this WIP stage to remove some of the shading I have over Aubrey's right eye and forehead, now that she brought that to my attention I see exactly that it is what is needed. There is much left to be done on this, but I cannot go on without correcting any flaws in the structure shadows since adding skin washes atop incorrect ones will make them impossible to correct later. So, back to the drawing board on this and I will correct that ASAP. I'll add progression photos of this as I go along. Since this is my precoius Aubrey I feel a responsibility to make her look as wonderful in the painting as she does in the photo. Right now this is mainly the underpainting so the eyes will become darker, skin tones will even things out, etc. as I progress. If you are interested in seeing the two stages before this please go to my Flickr site,

Sunday, July 22, 2007


On my computer, it won't show yesterday's newest message with the Roxy painting until I click on the 2007 Archive button. On my husband's computer it does show up so I don't know what is happening, but I will try a test submission and see what that gets me....curious.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Roxy is the desert tortoise pet of Destiny's. Destiny and everyone thought Roxy had died under some shrubbery because she (who knew she was a she?) had not been seen for so many months. She came out of hibernation this week so seems to be okay, hungry, but okay. They sent this photo and it just begged to be painted. This will be coming to a notecard near you soon!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Kennan and Destiny's paintings

As I said last week, my step-grand-girls came over to paint with me, we had such a fun day together! These are two of their paintings. Kennan is a fan of Marilyn Monroe and chose to paint a collage of some things Marilyn, I think she did a great job of a difficult project to do...a portrait. The White Tiger is by Destiny, who sat down and competently did a line drawing and then just jumped in with a brush in one hand and a sponge in the other and did the painting. Cool work, huh?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

No is now mud!

I have cut this painting into stips since Icouldn't live with the mud I created! It is in a far better place! I will stay away from florals for awhile to soothe my soul, then try again. I do have a wonderful reference photo of our granddaughter by a pool to keep me busy so will stay with that one!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Midnight Gardenias WIP

This is a work-in-progress I have submitted for critique/help to the WcW. I see things in the photo that were not evident when I was working on the painting so I will make those changes and see if anyone in the group sees anything else to do with this. It sure helps to have those extra sets of eyes to see things.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Accidental Pots WIP

While enjoying a painting session with my "step-grand girls" yesterday (ages 11 and 15) we started playing with some Yupo. I was mainly just showing them how to drop the color in and let it do its thing. Instead of brushing water on the Yupo to dampen it prior to painting, I just spritzed on a fine mist to cover the paper. I found out that if you just touch the pigment to one of these drops, the paint will "travel" to the others, but leave white spaces in between, much like lacy flowers. How cool! I did this originally in portrait mode and then, just for the fun of it, turned it 45-degrees and discovered some "accidental" pots, looking like they were sitting in front of, and containing, flowers. So, this orientation it will be. I love that lacy look of the flowers, this Yupo is truly weird by wonderful! I will take it to my watercolor group this afternoon and decide if I need to refine any of this, but I sorta like the free-form look of it so may leave it alone. Any thoughts?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

New painting photo storage site

Yahoo Photos has informed me they are not going to support their photo storage site after September, so I chose to have all of my painting photos uploaded to an account with Flickr. I have changed the link to direct you there in my Photo Gallery section to the right of this message. The new link is: There are some housekeeping/organizing tasks to be done there to make my site look better, but I will get to those as I can later. For now, I saved all my archived painting photos from being deleted when Yahoo Photos closes its doors.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Blue Ridge Parkway Panorama

This is a panorama I shot of, and stitched together of about seven photos of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I am hoping it is visible at this size, but it is a huge file to make any larger. This is a beautiful drive but is even more impressive when it isn't cloudy as it was when we were there.

Magnolia Plantation on Yupo

I am saying this is the final version of this painting, but will await word from the WcW online critique group before spraying it with Krylon. I could not have gotten that bridge any more in the center of the painting if I had tried! There are lots of details to think of BEFORE committing pencil to paper for the drawing and I rarely think of EVERY one. I will just have to accept this broken composition "rule" once again and say I planned it to be in the center! Yeah, that's it.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Magnolia Plantation on Yupo WIP 2

I finished the upper right middle ground foliage and added the foreground foliage, along with a few more water reflections. After pondering this for awhile, I will add the footbridge along the back edge of the pond. I'm still liking the Yupo better than before, but it does require some different techniques. I will probably go back to the traditional Arches CP paper soon.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Magnolia Plantation on Yupo WIP

This is another attempt at painting on Yupo "paper", it is 26x22 in size and is still at the work in progress stage. I need to add the red footbridge that goes along the back side of the pond and do quite a bit more foliage detailing to get it right. So far, so good, though. One of the WcW members with an eagle eye for missed details noticed that two branches formed an X over the background vertical stump, so I will change that. It is invaluable to have critiques along the way!

Hopefully, more to follow.