Michigan Bird Series: Female Cardinal

Last spring my roomate took a picture of a female cardinal in the snow (yes, there was snow until April here; I thought I had moved to the land where winter never ends by the end of my first Michigan winter!)

As I mentioned before, I love cardinals, so I decided to paint here. I brightened the colors quite a bit from the original, changing the background, etc.  The most fun was playing with painting the snow on the branches, and getting the feather details and lighting right.

Here she is:

cardinal in the Michigan snow

Cardinal in the Snow, oil 14 X 18 on wrapped canvas

North Michigan River Painting: part 1

I love to paint landscapes. My only regret is that my photos of the finished painting tend to have a lot of glare, so it washed out the color in areas. But, it shows an idea of how they look. This painting is based on a picture my roomate took up in Northern Michigan last fall.

I also love to learn from others, and to share what I have learned. So, I’m sharing my process here. First, I block in the main color areas. I like to use alizarin crimson for my underpainting for large areas of foliage, then when it dries, I paint greens and yellows (yellow ochre, cad yellow medium) on top:

North Michigan river painting roughout (art lesson)


I generally work back to front. In the next, I have added more foliage and colors in the front, Using mixtures of sap green, yellow ochre, ultramarine blue. I added in cobalt and ultramarine shadows, and pulled greens and burnt sienna into the river:

part two of lesson on painting a river landscape

In my next post, I will share the finished painting.

Michigan Birds: Cardinal

I love cardinals: their calls in the spring, their bright red against the snow, and the cheer they bring. Here is the first cardinal painting I have done; I plan to do another one in a week or so.

Cardinal oil painting by Yeshua's Child Artist

Michigan cardinal, oil, 11 X 14 on canvas board

Michigan Lighthouse painting; Step one.

I love lighthouses, and so decided to paint one. This is in the upper penninsula, near Cold Harbor. Below is the first blocking out of the painting, with ultramarine blue and cobalt blues mixed for the sea and sky, along with Titanium white; and alizaron crimson for the sunset highlights; raw umber and ultramarine for the rocks.  

blockout of lighthouse painting

blockout of lighthouse painting