Hello again. It’s been a while since I posted. After my last few paintings for others, I wanted to create something for our home. We have a large yellow-golden wall in the living room that begs for an equally large colorful painting. I like to change up my decorative pictures depending on the season and I needed a large spring / summertime image to fill the space.
After weeks of scouring my own pictures and the internet, I discovered this one on Flickr taken by a German photographer; a herd of sheep grazing the hillside at dusk. The vibrant colors and quirky composition grabbed me the moment I spotted it. The colors would match beautifully with our interiors. I know they say Art doesn’t have to match, but I guess I haven’t fully bought into that notion.
The number of sheep became overwhelming for me and I wasn’t convinced that I could get away with the angle. The more I stared at the “gaggle,” the more I saw them standing on their heads! I couldn’t leave it like this — it would drive the OCD in me crazy. I pared down the heard to a manageable size; one that I could have more control over.
Less sheep became even fewer sheep. At one point, my son commented that they look like elephants! Yikes! I love elephants, but that was not the goal! On to yet another reiteration of sheep.
Finally, once I had a much more manageable group of “sheep-like” animals; I began detailing the faces. It was surprising to me if you change one little line that indicates bone structure or move the placement of the ears upward, they look like a completely different animal — think female lion. Below shows the finished painting on our wall. The yellow fields match perfectly!
I just completed another class at PCCA entitled, “Landscape Painting.” Our teacher, Anatoliy Shapiro, is a Russian-born professional artist. He is well known for his large mural works. During this class I only completed two pieces: the Dominican Republic pastel piece and this oil painting. I worked from a personal photograph that I had taken in the Animal Kingdom, Disney, Orlando.
When I began painting, I felt that I had bitten off much more than I could chew. With Anatoliy’s guidance I was able to break it down step-by-step and pretty soon it wasn’t as intimidating.
I began by drawing the image on canvas with charcoal, then blocking in all the shadows. Once the darkest darks were in, I put in the rocks, then the background and the nearest foliage last. As a newbie, I had to rework some of the areas more than once or twice…
In the end, I was extremely pleased with the painting. I hope others enjoy it as well!
Our family recently took a trip to the Dominican Republic. It was heaven on earth and I had a really hard time adjusting once we came back to the states. It wasn’t just the shear beauty and warm temperatures, the tropical island breezes and the blue ocean white sands right out our doorstep; it was the entire experience, the culture, the people, and the simple way of life that I really fell in love with! ‘Til we meet again…
My friend Sheila and her husband recently took a trip to Ireland. Upon seeing some of her photos, I was blown away by the utter and sheer beauty of the images. I commented that they would make an incredible painting and offered to do a landscape for my friends.
The photograph was taken near Gormans Clifftop House, a local top-rated B&B on the Dingle peninsula in Kerry, Ireland. I learned from the owner that the pool in the rocks is known as Loch na gCaorach (pond of the sheep). It is believed that sheep were dipped in the lake long ago. It was also a gathering place for the woman where they would gather and wash the coarse flour bags, which would then be adapted for many uses, such as sheets or babies diapers.
For this assignment we each chose a photograph to use for inspiration. Our teacher, Lois Jones, is teaching us how to edit what we see instead of painting the entire photograph. First we use a viewfinder to crop the image, then do quick charcoal sketches. From there, we pick the sketch that speaks to us.
I was drawn to the bright purple flowers and green grass against the pale house. I love the combination of gold, purple, and green so I decided to make the house more of a golden color. I really struggled with the trees; in the picture they were barely visible. I gave them more life by using a pointillism technique. Overall, I was very happy with the end result.
I took a break for about a year and a half to be with my boys. Eventually, I ventured back to art class with Kathy. I missed everyone and I needed to do something for just me again. However, this time would prove more challenging as I now had a 5-year-old and a toddler at home.
Dylan was in preschool and speech therapy and Ethan was into everything! I was having a lot of problems with my arthritis, not to mention the sheer exhaustion of motherhood! I believe I only took one or two semesters this time and had to quit. It was too much! By the time class came around on Friday, all I wanted to do was sleep!
I did complete a few pieces of art; one being this replication of a Van Gogh painting in oil pastels. It was my first experience with Oil Pastels. I liked the waxy feel of the finished product but oil pastels do not blend like soft pastels, so the application process is a little different.
Now that I had two successful pen and ink drawings under my belt, it was time to try something new. I took the plunge into a new medium, pastels, and I’ve never looked back!
For this piece I used a beautiful photograph in a magazine for my inspiration. I began by lightly drawing the image onto a piece of pastel paper and then blocked in the background. Next I added the details of the buildings and the greenery. Lastly I put in the rainbows. I must have reworked them twenty times! It was challenging as I had never used pastels before, but I enjoyed the learning process and could tell that this piece was only the beginning!