Saturday, January 17, 2009

Castle painting update - blocking in furthest castle bldg

castle painting detail photoI've uploaded this photo small so you can get an overall feel for it as a whole, you can click on it for a large detailed photo.

I'm going to leave it at this stage until Tuesday when I'm hoping to get all the block walls and chimneys done.  I think doing the balconies and roofs after that will be fun. So far I'm pretty happy with how things are receding. 

I think the tallest building is part of the original castle, the lighter building to your right is a bit newer and the coach house and bridge entrance the newest. The unfinished building to the rear is also part of the original castle, it's so old that the blocks had crumbled and it's been replaced with some sort of plaster on the wall facing to the left. I completely left out another area that was plastered because it totally ruined the flow of the painting. That's called artistic license :)

It took one 4 hour session to block in the ivy and undergrowth on the right and another session that was a little longer to do the back building. The color had to be just right to work for fading,  showing age and distance, and the main issue was getting the right tones, if an area was too dark it would pop forward.

The process will be slow for a little while longer, but I'm hoping that it'll speed up towards the end....we'll see :)


Friday, January 16, 2009

Macro frost!

I froze my butt off getting these frost photos first thing this morning lol! Hope you enjoy them :)

It's been a busy day for me, I finally opened a Flickr account and then joined the new Wearable Art Market group there. I'm pretty excited about that because it's an open group for anyone that creates Wearable Art (as per the wikipedia description posted there) and it will be fun seeing outside WA along with our own. 

Chased down a few dust bunnies today too :D


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Frost Magic!

This morning we woke up to a magical world filled with frosty remnants of a freezing fog. I couldn't wait to grab my camera and catch the magic before the sun stole it away. The first photo is a distance shot of the hills behind us with the moon still showing in the sky. Be sure to zoom on all of these for full effect :) The second is a rare shot of the sun itself, just barely risen above the mountains across town, the fog made a perfect filter! The third and fourth photos are of a candlestick pine (sort of like a pinyon) at the back corner of our yard, it looked pure silver from the house. The fifth shot is of a now freezing (instead of burning) bush :D And the best is last...this is the hedge about six feet from our back door. For sure look at this one zoomed (click on photo) looks like brush strokes in an actual painting! Hope you enjoyed the view as much as we did!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Castle painting update - blocking in castle (excerpt from 1000 Markets blog)

Although I have lots to still work on in the front areas, I'm really, _really_ happy to be finally blocking in the main castle. At this point I'm keeping all details to an absolute minimum. As I go back there will be less and less detail, as it's easier to add more details later when I can judge how they fit into the whole as far as receding goes. The castle reference I'm using is pretty dark and dreary so I'm deciding my color palette as I go and keeping my values lighter. It is a lot harder to lighten things than to darken them, although anything can be changed once the paint is dry. I can also use some glazing techniques in the finish stages, if I keep it light, as each layer of glaze darkens the painting. As I go back I will start adding cooler blues and violets to the earth colors, as the eye sees warm colors as being closer. When I get to the final stages of the background I will actually bring some of the sky over the rooftops to fade them even further into the background. Another trick for achieving distance in a painting is to use tone gradation rather than hard lines for edges. For a painting to look realist a painter needs to mimic the human eye process. We see things clear and sharp when they are close but at a distance things start to melt into each other. There is also an atmospheric effect that comes into play. Some soft edges are still used in the foreground but this is an illusional trick to get your eye to 'slide' over some areas and focus on the sharper images the artist wants as focal areas. I cannot believe it is already the middle of the month and I really need to get some serious amounts of canvas covered in the next 2 weeks. Once I am done using the paintstiks (oil paint in a stick form) then I will move to the tube paints... they can take up to two weeks to dry this time of year, so I need to have as much worked out as possible so I only need to add glazes and highlights.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Lavender Cottage - Wearable Art Market Featured Artist

This week's Wearable Art Market featured artisan is Lavender Cottage . I always have a hard time choosing which pieces to feature, but this time it was quite easy, as the first feature piece is right at the top of my own wishlist :)

You see, I have a thing for dragonflies. No matter where I've lived, be it Alaska or Florida, there are always these quickly darting flashes of living iridescent color to engage my imagination. So when I saw this Enchanted Dragonfly ring, and Cheryl's suggestion that the size would be suitable for a thumb ring, well, it went right on my Amazon wish list (which I intend to show my husband come birthday time)! 

I recently did a necklace based on water movement, so this piece entitled Water's Edge Pendant was also a cinch. I love how the balls just seem to be floating in a tide pool, and the background setting for this photo is just perfect for this piece. 

These are just two of many wonderful designs on Cheryl's site , so be sure to take a peek and add to your wishlist!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

heART supplies (excerpt from 1000 Markets blog)

I was talking with my friend, Lynn of BlueStone of Orcas Island today and she mentioned pulling out her heart supplies. She was speaking of actual hearts for Valentine themes for her jewelry, but I took it as calling her art supplies 'heart supplies' and it really got me thinking.  

I'm not one to get all mushy about Valentine's Day (hey, if I get a card it's a talking hot dog asking me to be theirs lol) but I do believe art is from and of the heart. I think every artisan gets a little heart jolt every time they sit down to go to work and see all their supplies laid out. It does not matter if the supplies are jewels, raw materials or tubes of's all something to get our hearts racing, for we are about to make a gift of love for someone else.

Thanks for that lovely thought, Lynn!  

I'd also like to thank Jacquie of JLynn Creations for the absolutely lovely feature she did on my shop. I adore beach glass and she's got a lovely selection in her 1000 Markets store, so be sure to drop in and check it out!