Giant Still Life progress


Ok guys, I’ve honestly been sleeping in most of my free time.  Trying to kick this cold before my visitors come this weekend.  Luckily these art lessons keep me doing something at least.  Here’s what I managed to do yesterday just so I did “art” every day this week.

photo 2 (96)

I wanted to take a break from little ones and work on a larger piece again.  My first love.  It’s so daunting after working so small for so long.  But I am excited about this still life.  Here’s a reference photo, though I’m working from life:

photo 1 (90)


And here’s a close up of the apples so far:

photo 3 (54)

I’m learning so much myself teaching the 12 year olds about enhancing your composition with ‘saturation’, meaning, your subject will have the most ‘pure color’ whereas the rest of your painting will be more grey. (adding the compliment to the color to ‘grey’ or dull it up).  I’m really going to focus that skill here, making the apples the bright full-of-color objects, and everything else being sort of grey.  A challenge for me as I love bright colors. : )

105 Study Snack


Sorry it’s been a while, haven’t felt really well lately.  Thanks to art lessons with the girls, they got me painting again.  Here’s our secondary color still life.  My 8 year friend said it looked like a study snack, and there’s the perfect title.  They always come up with the best ones. : )

104 Caution: Hot



A friend of mine asked me to paint a few peppers from her garden.  I was told to use gloves when handling these pepper….yikes.  There were 3 originally, but I couldn’t make the third small wrinkly one work.  These peppers were soooo textured, a crazy challenge.  I’ve made the mistake of putting too much detail in peppers before and hated how they turned out.  So for these, I squinted and tried to simplify.  Maybe I’ll stick to smooth peppers in the future. : )

103 Pigged Nosed Pomegranate


Here’s another angle from yesterday’s exercise.  I loved how you could see more of the pomegranates hexagon shape.  The other girls picked up on that too.

I recently bought an instructional video by Carol Marine, hopefully some of the things I learned there will show up in my future paintings.  On one screen she’s painting live, on the other you can see her palette and how she mixes colors.  It’s so helpful!  I needed a step of instruction, I can only teach myself so much sometimes. : )

102 Pomegranate in Ten


I have to stop trying to come up with clever names when I need to post fast.  This one will always remind me of a fun day with the 12 year olds in class.  As I said previously in a post, they were starting to get nit-picky with their paintings and focusing on things wayyyy too much.  So, in order to break them from this a little and help them to capture the ‘essence’ quicker and more accurately, I had them do the 10-minute challenge.  This goes for anyone who wants to challenge themselves to ‘suggest’ more than just ‘reproduce’.  Anyways, there were TERRIFIED in the beginning.

Here’s how it goes:  I had them split their canvas into 4 quadrants and explained we’d be painting the pomegranate 4 different times, each in a different pose and lighting, but only got 10 minutes for each painting.  WHAT! , they exclaimed. : ).  My favorite part; seeing the panic for the first painting as I gave them the 5 minute warning, then seeing their surprise at how much time they had at the 5 minute warning for the last painting.  Mission accomplished!  They did great!  Here’s a snap shot of our set up:


I was so inspired I painted 2 of the pomegranate poses with them.  It IS challenging figuring out how to suggest a pomegranate with only 10 minutes.  This is the first of my two.  I think I got it a little better the second time, as is how practice goes. : )

I also considered naming this painting “Christmas or Fruit?”  Because we all decided our first pomegranates looked an awful lot like Christmas ornaments.

101 Primary Pose


This still life is a bit “staged”, but it was more color theory with the 8 year old.  A lesson in primaries.  She picked the objects (very brave picking that tricky blue glass) and I mixed the colors.  Again with the reds though, they get washed out somehow in photos, but the pitcher and apple turned out pretty cool.  Maybe I should let my husband buy me a better camera ::wink::

Alone Under the Flowers



I’ve been thinking about these sunflowers since painting them yesterday.  I had to do them again!  And bigger!  Throwing the angel in there was intimidating, like, ‘ugh the flowers are going to suck up all my energy and focus…and then I’ll have to study the shades of white at the end!’  Alas, it happened, and I like it.  The photo eliminates some of the awesome brush strokes in the background – phooey.  But you get the idea.

Hopefully they still live till tomorrow, I want to experiment with colors!

My 100th!


That’s right!  4 months, 100 daily paintings….so the math doesn’t add up. Oh well, I’m just excited to hit a first mile marker in this daily painting journey.

I wanted to do a larger piece for these wonderful sunflowers and show more of the details and the curls of the petals and leaves, maybe tomorrow.  I do love how the jar is ‘suggested’, a skill I’ve wanted to grow in since the beginning so how perfect to acquire a hint of it in my 100th painting.

Okay guys, the first one to comment below (on the blog) wins this guy for FREE!  Go!  If you’re not the first, comment anyways, let me know you’re watching.

Here’s a shot of my palette, just for fun:

colors used: ultramarine blue, titanium white, burnt sienna, burnt umber, cad yellow light, cad yellow medium, cad red medium

colors used: ultramarine blue, titanium white, burnt sienna, burnt umber, cad yellow light, cad yellow medium, cad red medium


99 Ruby Grapes


 $20.00 USD

Sneaking this one in before I take off to meet my husband in Denver.   Also, I’m almost at 100!  A small step in the long journey.  Other daily painters are on their thousandths and so on, but hey!  I think that’s still pretty cool.  I’ll think of something special to do.  Maybe a giveaway?  Pay attention everyone : ).

Anyways, I got this new square little jar at the thrift store the other day and wanted to try some top views of glass.  I’m also working on bold and loose, rather than getting too detailed again.  A habit I constantly have to fight, but I think it worked this time.


98 Abandon Ship


Doesn’t it look like this guy just walked the plank or something?  This is from our second part of studying how to enhance compositions with my 12 year olds.  This week: Color.  We set up a still life together with mostly blue, then used it’s compliment (orange) but only a little bit, so as to make them really pop!  The girls did so well!  Also faced some good challenges, I have a surprise in store for them next week!

For now, enjoy the pumpkin for fall. : )

97 Final of the Four


This one was just comical, a good note to end on.  Hopefully she likes them!  I had two back to back art lessons with the kiddos and am mostly encouraged. The 12 year olds struggled with details, maybe we’ll do some 10 minute quick painting drills to break that habit next week.  The 8 year old is doing great!  We’re going on 2 years together doing art and she’s making big progress lately.  Very exciting!

96 A Horse of Course



Of the 4 commissioned this weekend, this is my favorite as far as how it turned out.  I played around with lots of different browns, and I think that’s what did it.  What to do with background on pet portraits is tricky, maybe there’s a rule out there I haven’t heard yet (there are probably many) but I usually just end up “abstractifying” whatever I see in the photo.

95 Ford’s Lobsters



Oh man guys, I’m WAY out of my comfort zone here.  Which is great, but I end up not being super pleased with the final product.  Can I say that?  Maybe just because I’m not used to seeing a copied image with so much detail on such a small space, I dunno, that’s my guess.

Nevertheless, here’s the second of the 4 requested photos to be painted.  It’s a sweet thing, my friend is hoping to lay them on the pillows at the hotel of each of her friends’ rooms so they have a surprise when they get there.  I’m just hoping they can tell what the paintings are of. ::wink::

Here’s to another day of practicing.

94 The Story of 4 Commissions



A friend of mine has put in a request for 4 different little paintings to give away to friends of hers.  Hopefully none of them read this blog….spoiler alert.

Anyways, this is the first of the four.  It was challenging doing a full sized dog on such a small space.  I planned to just to a close up of the face, but my husband said he liked how the dog was sitting.  Alas.  Here you have it.  With pet portraits it’s all in the eyes, I might work with them a little more if I still feel this way tomorrow, something just isn’t right.  Break time.

Upgrade : Tomato Hat



It’s been a lazy rainy day here.  But here is the updated version I promised!  Can you spot all the ‘upgrades’?  Besides the overall coloring because of the overcast light coming into the studio.  I like it better.

( hint: I added more contrast to the tomato, a few more highlights to the vases, and more detail to the fabric.)  The ‘yellower’ look is just because of the different time of day.  Sorry!

Tomato Hat


I couldn’t believe how fast this still life came together!  I knew I wanted to do many glass jars (of course), and I had this perfect tomato from the neighbor’s garden, so I started there.  This one just “fell off my brush” -as Carol would say ::smile::  I know I say this often after every dry spell, but I’m really enjoying being excited about painting again.

I wasn’t going to post this one yet because after looking at it for a while, I’ve decided I want to go back into the pattern of the fabric with a smaller brush and vary the strokes some more.  The actual fabric is such small detail in the pattern that I think if I pick an area and add some more detail it might strengthen the composition.

This one would have been fun to take step-by-step shots of because I painted the tomato first, the the jar underneath it, then the tall skinny jar, then the table cloth, then the teal jar, then the background.  The jars look really funny with all the colors in them but no background around them yet.

You’ll just have to imagine it. : )

I’ll post the price tomorrow.

93 Christmas Fruit


I painted this as part of the lesson with my 8 yr old friend today, and kind of liked it!  We’re working on color theory, and today we painted with complimentary colors.  She picked red and green so I kept that in mind while at the grocery store this week, and this is what we set up.  She said it looked like Christmas…and we have a title. : )

92 Keeping Watch


A step in the right direction!  It feels good to see some happy progress again, I was starting to believe I’ve lost all skill…again.  Why do I fall for it every time?  I’m much more pleased with the colors of the angel in this one, a bit less drastic than yesterdays.  Thank you Lord for the improvement.

Here’s some shots along the way: (I got so into painting the angel though, I wish I would have remembered to snap another step in the beginning : ) )

photo 1 (87) photo 2 (92) photo 3 (52) photo 4 (27)


Keeping Watch

Keeping Watch

91 Angel No.1


Okay guys, I’m tired of falling back into the habit of painting when I feel like it.  I feel like I’m retreating in skill.  Time to commit to daily painting again!

Carol Marine has a few paintings with a similar angel figurine and I’ve been on the lookout at the thrift stores for one too.  I’ll call it, copying the masters.  That’s allowed right?  Anyways, the figure intrigued me because of all the values of white, and how she would simplify the face in a few brush strokes.  I call this one No.1 because I have some high goals of improvement to make.  Rebooting my system if you will.  Here we go!

90 Helps the Medicine Go Down


I finally found a little glass bowl with the ball on top!  I’ve been wanting to paint one of these for a while.  I’m okay with how the sugar bowl turned out, but after finishing the composition just didn’t feel very strong.  The colors were fun.  Maybe I’ll try again.