River Study: using a palette knife

Once again, I picked up my palette knife, and tackled creating a painting with one of my favorite subjects: water. Here’s the result:

a study of river water over rocks by Yeshua's Child Art

River Study, oil, 10 X 14

This was a ton of fun, because I used a palette knife on the rocks, and for some of the water ripples.

(For all my bird watching friends, I am working on a picture of mallards, so that will go up in a few days)

Palette for the above study: Rocks were created with yellow ochre, dioxide purple, ultramarine blue, burnt sienna and cad. yellow light in varying degrees; shadows were created with the same, with the addition of olive green and black in the darkest areas. Some areas, transparent red oxide was used as well.  Water was created with pthalo turquoise, cerulean blue, ultramarine blue and titanium white in varying degrees, mixed with olive green for shadows.

Back to the Basics: Still Life

I am spending some time going back to the basics (still life), working on technique more, with still life paintings. Don’t worry, I’ll still be painting birds and landscapes, too, but want to work on my overall mixing, brush strokes, etc. Below, I’ll share how I did it for those who would like to know:

An oil painting study of oranges and grapes on a green cloth

“Oranges and Grapes” study, oil, 16 X 20

1. First,  I set up the still life the way I wanted, using a green fuzzy towel for contrast with the orange colors.

2. I then sketched in the objects and light shadows with ultramarine blue and olive green mixed.

3.   I then painted in the background with a mix of yellow ochre, cad. yellow med., burnt sienna, olive green and black, in varying proportions.

4. I then painted the towel, first the underpainting in ultramarine blue and olive green. I also did the main shadows for the oranges in the same colors.

5. I then painted the towel with a mix of sap green, cad.yellow light, and white in varying proportions (once the underpainting was dry).

6. I then blocked in the mass of grapes (alizarin, dioxide purple, ultramarine blue, and some black), and the oranges (cad. yellow med.,, cad. red med, and cad yellow light in varying mixes).

7. I created shadows with the above colors mixed with ultramarine blue (and black, for the deepest values), and highlights by adding white to the mixes.

8. I then ate the still life in a fruit salad when it was done! My favorite part!

Branding Day

Since before I moved to Michigan, I lived in Texas, I saw a lot of cattle. I even grew up on a cattle farm on the east coast. So, I decided to paint a picture that reflects some of my memories.

"Branding Day" depicts 3 ranchers branding a steer

“Branding Day” oil, 18 X 20 on linen canvas

Just so ya’ll know, my ex was a real cowboy who rode a horse and checked the fence line. I worked on a ranch two years ago, and so saw plenty of cowboys at work. I enjoy doing paintings that “tell a story” from time to time.

Palette: yellow ochre, burnt sienna, sap green, ultramarine blue, titanium white, cad. red light, alizarin crimson.

What Michigan Artists Do in the Winter

Winter is full-blown here in western Michigan. And during this season when it’s harder to get out, many Michigan artists turn their hands to tasks such as:

Watching the snow build up outside. It is gorgeous, in spite of the cold.

Michigan yard covered with snow

front yard covered with snow

It is also fun to catch the woodpeckers eating the suet outside:

woodpecker eating suet during Michigan winter

woodpecker eating suet

Also, us artists who are also bird watchers fix up feeders our friends give us; this one had metal (which can cause the little toes to get frostbite) so I coated the perches with many coats of acrylic and let them dry, to make a plastic perch

bird feeder with perches coated with plastic

plastic coating for the perches

And, of course, enjoying the blue jay display outside in the bush:

Blue jay in a bush during Michigan winter

Blue jay in bush

I am also learning to cross-country ski (hey, all this snow has to be good for fun, too!)

It is also a time to apply to art fairs, which I am currently working at. Problem is, I left my (huge, bulky) booth in Texas when I moved here last year. So, I have to get a new tent, make a display, take a booth photo, and send it off, since most of the summer shows in Michigan want you to apply EARLY (as in during the long, cold winter months). It gives me something to look forward to, as I dream of warm June and July days.

Oh, yes, I’m still painting, too; I’ll share a painting in a few days that I’m working on! In the meantime, stay warm and enjoy the snow, if you’re from up north!

Dog Portrait

A few months ago, I painted a portrait of a friend’s dog. She is a beautiful golden retriever, who sticks her tongue out to the side as a habit. Here’s the portrait, based upon a photo she provided. Because this dog swims constantly in the summer, I put the lake behind her:

Original oil painting of a golden retriever in front of a lake

“Molly” (c) 2014, oil, 16 X 20

I had a lot of fun painting her; she’s a wonderful dog with lots of energy. Palette used for eyes and fur: burnt sienna, yellow ochre, ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow medium, alizarin crimson; for tongue: cad. red med, alizarin crimson, titanium white; nose: fur colors, plus touches of lamp black; lake: ultramarine blue, yellow ochre, titanium white, cobalt blue.

Pink Bouquet

A week ago, a friend sent me a lovely bouquet of flowers, to cheer me up during the…LONG….Michigan winter. I decided to paint it, so here it is:

Picture of a bouquet of pink flowers in a woven basket, painted by YeshuasChildARt studio

“The Pink Bouquet” (c)2015, 11 X 14 oil painting on canvas wrap

The deep background is a mix of ultramarine blue, olive green, burnt sienna, and lamp black, in several glazes.

I  created the basket with mixes of burnt sienna, yellow ochre, ultramarine blue, cad. red med.; the pinks with alizarin crimson, cad. yellow med., cad. red light and titanium white, with deeper portions ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson; greens are sap green, cad yellow light, olive green and ultramarine blue in varying portions. The purple ribbon is dioxide purple with tit. white and ultramarine blue in varying mixes.

Moose: Another Christmas Painting

In my last post, I mentioned that my other good friend wanted a painting of a moose. Why? Because her house is literally FILLED with moose things: moose towels, cups, figurines, coasters, etc., she is just nuts about them. So, when I gave her a gift certificate for a painting, she said, “A moose! That’s what I want!”  Okay, I have never painted a moose before. I have no photos that I have taken of a moose myself, because…I have yet to see one here in the woods where I live. So, I went back to WetCanvas, and found a great reference photo by StalkingtheDawn there, and used it, with a photo I have of the woods here as background.

Here’s how it looks:

Oil painting of a moose in the woods, based upon a reference photo by stalksthedawn on WetCanvas

Painting of a moose, oils, 16 X 20

So,  photo reference is stalkingthedawn on Wet Canvas (for the moose), and my own back yard (photo shown below) for the background. This is the nice part of living in the woods: lots of trees, etc.

photo of woods in Michigan

picture of the woods in my back yard

Okay, after this I will go back to painting from my own photos, or life (I’m actually painting a bouquet of flowers from life, when it’s more done I’ll share it here). Plus, my own bird and barn pics, from my own photos. But it was fun trying to figure out how to paint these beautiful animals.