Just before Dawn: Ohio Barn

A few weeks ago, I saw this barn in the early morning, and took a photo of it as a reference for a painting. I love the soft light just as the sun is getting to rise, which I tried to capture. This painting is in oils, 18 X 24″.

I prefer to use a limited palette: ultramarine blue; cerulean blue; titanium white; sap green, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow light; burnt umber.

Park and Stream painting

I love water, and so chose to paint some pooled water in the streambed of a park nearby. The most challenging part was the reflections, and also creating a sense of depth.

Reflection of the Sky, oil, 14 X 16″.
I used a limited palette for this painting of Titanium white; sap green; burnt umber, cadmium yellow light, yellow ochre, alizarin, and burnt sienna.

Value Study glass

I am taking an oil painting class, and today we did a value study. I chose to paint some lightbulbs, paper bags and wooden blocks.

The study was painted with raw umber and white only, and is partially completed (only 2 1/2 hours to do this in). The process was as follows:
1. I covered the canvas with an umber wash
2. I then subtracted the whites (rubbed with a cloth to create the lightest areas)
3. I then refined the whites, darks and mid-values with paint mixed

I enjoyed the challenge of painting glass and its reflections

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.

How to Paint a Cat Portrait : Lesson 1

I am currently painting a cat portrait for a friend of mine. In the next few blogs, I will share the process (she had given permission for me to do this).

I painted the canvas (11 X 15″) with burnt umber and raw umber mixed, then began picking out the lights and leaving the darks (above). This was to block in the main values.

Next, I worked on the background a bit. Since the cat has a lot of red in its fur, I decided to go with a green/blue mix (ultramarine blue, sap green, with some titanium white).

I also started adding some of the golden tones for the fur highlights (cadmium yellow), and mid-values (burnt sienna) on the body, and started work on the face with these same colors. The paint is still wet, so there is a lot of shine in this photo, but it shows the beginning stage of this portrait. Next, I will be working on more detail (in a future post).

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: