How to paint a cat portrait: lesson 3

Today I added more detail to the fur and face. There is still more work to do, but its’ starting to look a lot like this beautiful cat. I added highlights with cadmium yellow, yellow ochre; and dark tones into the fur with burnt umber and ultramarine blue mixed, with spots of burnt sienna. I enlarged the ears, since they were larger than I first realized.

Lesson 2: color study

I have decided to put myself through a course of painting in the basics, as a refresher. In this part, I first did a value painting by:

1.Using burnt umber for the darks

2. Rubbing out my light areas;

3. I then went over it all again to darken the darkest areas, and added a touch of white for the lightest areas.

I then painted the local color over it once the under-painting dried. I call it “pumpkin soup” because it is a small pumpkin, a box of bone broth, and garlic salt. I can’t wait until next week, when I get to paint a portrait of an animal!

I did this on a canvas pad, the final is 16″X12″. The underpainting took two hours; the color study took 3 hours to complete.

Back to Basics: Value Study

I have been reading some books on painting, and have decided to put myself through a full course of lessons. On this blog, I will share what I am doing, and learning, because I want to improve (and this type of “back to the beginning” will hopefully have that effect).

The first lesson involves working with a very limited palette (black, white, yellow ochre), and focusing on capturing values in a still life, based on common objects around the house. I took a kitchen cooking pot, a bowl, a brown egg and a spoon. Below is the result:

How to Paint a Barn with Oils: Part 1

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! If I had thought about it, I would have painted a wild turkey for today…a few weeks ago, there were tons running around everywhere. Now, they are all gone, in hiding. Smart birds.

I’ve decided to paint a barn; I plan to keep it fairly “loose”. In painting a landscape, I like to start with the background, or sky, first. After all, the trees will have their branches against it. So…here’s the start:

How to paint a barn, lesson 1, sky blocked in

Michigan Barn, sky getting blocked in

I like ultramarine blue, so I created the sky areas with a mix of this and titanium white, deepening the sky further up in the painting. I then created the clouds, painting wet into wet, with a mix of yellow ochre, dioxide purple, brown and titanium white. I added bits of blue as well, and brushed the clouds in to make them soft and give depth.

In the next lesson, I will be working on the barn and foreground. Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

How to Paint a Bird: Learning to make a video

A friend of mine has a videorecorder, and so the other day, I decided to try and make my first video. Here’s what I have to say about it: the adage “you learn from your mistakes” is certainly true!

I DID learn a lot about what NOT to do, and so the next time I record, I’ll know things such as how to set up the recorder, how far away, lighting, and how to edit better. But it was kind of fun doing it, and making a “speed painting” effect.

Here’s a link to the video. I am painting a titmouse, because I have sold several of these (I will be making canvas prints from now on!).

http://youtu.be/OihqzT_B5gs

Below is the finished painting. Oh, and Happy Labor Day!

oil painting of titmouse by Yeshua's Child Art

Birds of Michigan: Titmouse #2 8 X 10 canvas wrap

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.