Thursday, 30 January 2014

DONE IT!!! Day 29 and 30!!!

Am not sure if it a sigh because I have finished and will be sad not to be doing as much painting over the next few days or a sigh of relief because I have actually finished and don't need to do as much painting over the next few days!! It has been a test that's for sure and I feel quite a sense of achievement having completed all 30 paintings. Last time I didn't manage it so was determined to give it my best shot this time!!

As you will have seen I have done a few studies of my art equipment so this is the final one in that series... some tubes of paint!! Not drawn just painted very loose and fast. Fiddling is very tempting with this sort of thing but often best left alone as soon as you see something happening!!

And the final painting!! A single snowdrop painted with one of my favourite colour combinations.... Schmincke May Green, Cobalt Turquoise and Winsor Violet and no reference, just a fairly free impression of the flower.

Leslie's Blog

Day 28

Spent some time at my art group last night working on getting some skin tones for the portraits which we are doing at my next art group.. people seem to have difficulty but they are generally a mix of red yellow and blue in varying proportions and degrees of warmth and cold and so we will be working on that next time.

I then decided to do this painting which took longer to draw than paint!! I seem to remember doing this once before and not sure I even drew it but the angle of the legs and feet are quite difficult so I thought drawing was the best option. I have added a few finishing touches you can see some of the paint is still wet!!

Leslie's Blog

Image courtesy of Papertree on PMP

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Nearly 25,26,27

Bit of a miscellany today, one finished from yesterday, one a practice for a bigger piece and another piece of equipment.

I have been challenged by a student from a group to do a landscape at my next visit, so  not wanting to be  a kiljoy thought I had better start practising getting some techniques ready for doing foreground, wide expanses of grass etc, so this first painting is a mix of using different technique for applying paint to the paper.. mixing on the brush and dropping water in to let things happen on the paper, so not a proper painting just a play!!

Next is a another practice for a bigger painting of Venice as I have quite a few images from our time there and want to do some possible as a series... I like the zoomed in look of this and may use that sort of composition rather than a full panoramic view... my intent was to capture light and create some interesting mixes in the dome. I like how this one is looking and will use what I've learned for a bigger painting.

Finally another brush.... a large wash brush, almost like a decorator's brush my Dad gave me when he gave up on his ideas of doing more painting... he came with me to a few of the evening classes I attended a few years ago but never had the enthusiasm for it that I did though he is an excellent drawer!!

Leslie's blog

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Day 22, 23 and 24

Hmm.... caught up a touch this morning.. decided to go around my art room painting bits and pieces... no drawing just painting and for the first two just two colours (and a hint of raw sienna in the brushes) burnt sienna and UB. The brushes are not ones I normally use and are just stuck in a pot on my window sill and the small drawers  are where I keep my paints....a drawer for every option of colour and a few spares!! You know me!! Might carry on with this theme for the rest of the challenge as they are quicker than full paintings and am not sure what time I will have this week....

The final one today, is one I started yesterday and am quite pleased with how it has turned out..... when I came back to it today somehow I had a much better of how to continue....the light was fading yesterday and I didn't know where to go with it but today it has sort of told me where to go... don't you just love it when that happens? Each year I try and do a few primrose and snowdrop paintings and this is the first primrose this year... I like it better than my efforts last year... here they are if you're interested. Jean Haines posted a step by step on her blog which I loosely followed but am hoping you can see some improvement as I think I can!! Different palette to the previous ones and I think I prefer the brighter colours

Lemon Yellow
Winsor Voilet
Translucent orange and touch of Cad yellow

Leslie's Blog

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Will I do it? Day 20 and 21!!

Well not sure if I will make the whole 31 days but am not giving up yet!! I may not get chance to paint much next week as we are having a bathroom fitted so who knows what disruption that will cause!! Might get a bit more done tomorrow.

So have been painting 4 pieces this afternoon, one Brusho and 3 florals... two I haven't finished as I need to come back to them and decide what to do next and two are finished... not huge, 15x 11 but full paintings.

This floral was a trial for a beginners workshop I am running in March, am pleased I've done it as I think it may be a touch tricky... the petals are too big and two many colours in them and so I will try and find an image with more but smaller petals....they will be easier to "colour" in I think, I might stick with the red if I can find one as it makes a change from yellow. As you will see this isn't my usual style but because I am gearing it towards beginners I need to use some basic techniques but still paint something which am hoping will give them a good result and I wanted  to try something different to a still life or simple landscape so a bit more work to be done before I decide exactly what we will be doing but getting there!!

The next piece is more Brusho practice... from my own photo taken a few years ago in the Lake district....can see the error of my ways in this but not too unhappy... think I will
 try a different colour scheme as this is similar to the other Brusho cottage I painted.... am off to a workshop with Joanne on the 2nd Feb so slowly but surely hoping to get to grips with unpredictable medium.

Don't forget if you want to learn more about Brusho, you can get Joanne's book and DVD here. There is also a little trailer to give you a taste of what you can expect!!

Leslie's Blog

Sunday, 19 January 2014

More Brusho, a Landscape ( and Day 16,17,18 and 19)

The first post is a landscape I have tried a couple of times before. I ran a mixing greens workshop so although the image wasn't one I would have normally painted I used it for the purposes of the workshop so that the group could have a go at mixing a host of different greens and put into practice the theory we had been working on.....this time however I wanted to try and get a feel for the distance... lots of improvements to be made with landscapes - am aiming for a textured feel but trying to keep it loose.

Think I need to work on the recession a bit more, but am liking the colour mixing.

Now more Brusho!!  In Joanne's book and Dvd there is an exercise on a tree and though I haven't referred to it for the next two I have used the techniques and two different palettes so the first is lemon yellow, Ub, dark brown and leaf green and the second is turquoise, lemon yellow, dark brown and purple.

Final brusho was just an exercise to do a single foxglove flower and try to get a bit more texture.... big guns came out for this with wax and bleach!!

Would lose a few more edges next time and maybe do a full painting with the addition of another colour... just two in this, leaf green and brilliant red. Am liking the textures on this but a bit too small to get some really big areas of texture so onto bigger paper next!!

Leslie's Blog

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Brusho Practice... Day 13,14 and 15

Haven't done much painting this week, well not to post anyway. I did a workshop on Wednesday where we did our winter scene and have to admit the members at Hindley Art and Soul did a really good job so I might be painting but none of them count towards the painting a day!! So still catching up, busy week next week so hoping to get more painting done tomorrow so that I start the week on schedule again!!

Anyway I decided to do a bit of Brusho today...I normally like to do Brusho outside but obviously the weather isn't suitable so rather than do large pieces where I get it all over not only me but the floor, desk and anywhere else in the vicinity, I thought I would have a go on some smaller pieces where I am less likely to make such a mess and it worked!!

Using just wax today as I didn't want to start messing with the bleach I managed these 3 studies, all just practices but I quite like the pear!!

Don't forget if any of you are interested in having a go, here is the link to buy Joanne's wonderful book and DVD

Painting a Day                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Day 12

This has been done from a black and white photo taken by a friend of mine at my art circle. I went along with nothing at all to paint one evening... thought I had some reference material, opened my bags and not a single image!!! Anyway I started this and it has been sitting there staring at me for a couple of months. I have only got the first washes on it so decided to revisit it this morning.

Colours used

May Green
Winsor Red
Winsor Violet
Quin gold
Translucent Orange
Pthalo Turquoise

As you can see I wanted a colourful painting as I seem to have been stuck in some rather sombre colours recently and I have gone over my usual quota of no more than 5 or 6 colours but hey it's Sunday and I'm feeling giddy!!

I have painted this fast and loose and think if I was to paint again would change the composition slightly, but the exercise for me was to slap the paint on in quite a carefree way and see how far I have come from when  I used to do that and am quietly pleased with how it has turned out. I think a lot of my problems stemmed from unfinished sloppy paintings which though loose had no structure but I didn't know what else to do with them!! When I go to see other artists paint, the one thing which strikes me is that they know how to put those very important finishing touches.... maybe the penny is dropping!!!

Hope you like!!

Leslie's Blog

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Day 8,9,10 and 11

Not doing too well, not because I haven't been painting but haven't had chance to post a blog!!

I have managed one big painting which has a bit of a story to it (don't they all!!) and a few small studies.

I am taking some paintings to be scanned for printing... prompted finally by the sale of a favourite painting which has not yet been collected so I have chance to get it scanned. I have known about this particular gallery for some time... a friend of mine, Gill Fox has recommended them and I believe she does some tutoring at the gallery as well as having her paintings for sale there too. The Gallery is Art and Soul in Padiham. Check them out!!

Anyway tomorrow I will be taking a few paintings which I hope will lend themselves to be printed. But one I would like to get printed is currently in an exhibition and as I have done this painting for one or two groups recently I had some unfinished paintings of the subject and decided to finish one off so that I could take it tomorrow. A lot of you will recognise it as it has been a popular painting and I have sold a lot of greetings cards from it

This one is not too dissimilar from the original and am happy for it to go for printing.

The other paintings are small studies of trees and little landscapes mainly as I need to work more on my landscapes this year

Out of interest this is the painting which has galvanised me into action as for only the second time I felt quite sorrowful at its departure!!! I am normally happy to sell a painting but this is a favourite and I would have been very happy to keep it myself. Done in Brusho and for those who are interested here is the link to my review about the Brusho DVD and book and there is also a link for anyone who might want to buy at the end of the blog.

So a bit of a mismatch of paintings today... will try to do better next week!!

Leslie's Blog

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Day 5,6 and 7

Caught up again!!

I decided to do some small exercises today. These are the sort of studies I do in the first workshop I deliver to new groups, I talk about how I mix and choose colour, how I do little colour planets to  help me decide on my palette, then we go on to do some of these simple studies where they can have a go and practice what I am telling them about.

All these are done with no predrawing, I find some people are not happy without a drawing and that is fine, I'm there to encourage them to paint, so whatever they want to do is fine by me. I do think that painting without drawing is the ultimate (and certainly what I aspire to do though I draw if the image is tricky) and I do try and encourage all those who say they can't draw to try and learn how to draw for it's own sake but for it not to stop them painting. That's why I'm happy for people to get the image on the paper in whichever way suits them best and if they don't want to give no drawing a go that is also fine. 

The first image is just a simple pear.... everyone can have a go and as pears come in all colours they don't have to stick with the palette I have chosen, they can choose their own. The exercise is for them to mix paint on the paper and the brush, not in the palette

In the first place this is a less than a minute sketch then allowed to dry. I then went back in to strengthen the shadows around the top and base so not including drying time less than 3 minutes.

We then do a lemon where I show them a bit about how to lose edges and then how we can go in behind the subject (painting negatively) to bring out small areas of definition.

Again a really quick study... maybe about 4 minutes for this one!!

I then might paint one of my brushes, this is more about lost edges than colour mixing.... it is actually one of my mops and as I don't seem to be able to get on painting with them I use them as my subject instead. Just used indigo for this one... going in pale to start with then losing almost all  the edges. The brush can still be seen but my idea is always to almost ruin it at this stage then go back in with some definition. That way I can just define small areas and still get a feel for the brush without painting every single edge.

I can see from this that I have overworked it a touch but I think you get the idea!!

Will post again about the some of the other studies I do in this first workshop.

Leslie's Blog

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Image for my Next Workshop. Day4

Well am not sure I will be able to carry on with full sized paintings for the challenges and think I am going to have to scale down for some but this is another 15x11. Done as an example for my next workshop (I actually have 2 more which I have done in different palettes to try and illustrate how colour can completely change the mood of a painting and how it can be very effective in portraying warm and cool scenes... cool in this case. As I mentioned in a previous blog I also like to give the group choices so that they can make some of the decisions for themselves and not simply do a carbon copy of what I'm doing. I try and give them principles to work from like, for example using limited palettes, but leave the choices to them.

Colours for this were UB, Burnt Umber, Permanent Rose and Burnt Sienna... I wanted to do a really chilly scene this time so although Burnt Sienna can bring warmth to a painting, teamed with the other colours seems to have kept a very icy feel which is what I was looking for.

Did a quick sketch... seems like I have been doing more sketching recently not by choice I can assure you but especially when I am doing something for my group, I don't necessarily paint as loosely as I might like as I have to do something which everyone can have a stab at... so I practice as I'm going to deliver!!

Started the painting by doing a loose sky using all 4 colours just dropping them in and letting them mix. Before that was completely dry (and the shine had gone off the paper) I dropped some more colour into the right hand side to represent some foliage in the bg. Once the sky was dry I worked on the trees to the left and the mucky snow in the foreground, then moving on to the house using a blue and brown mix dropped in wet in wet. Finally I moved on to the trees to the right, creating more distinct trunks and branches. The last workshop we did was on Winter Trees and as the image has both conifer and deciduous trees am hoping that the practice we had last time will help the group when we come to do the trees in this one!!

Leslie's Challenge

Friday, 3 January 2014

The Brief was Colourful!! And Day 2/3

This sheep painting was a commission which has come from an xmas card which was sent this year. I had cards printed and one or two reprinted from last year and I sent it to a friend who wanted me to do it much larger in another colour way. This was the original xmas card
painted 11x7 so too small but not the colours she wanted either. I had an idea of what she might like so had a go and showed her at New Year to see if I was on the right track.. this was only a practice, 15x11 and not finished but I just wanted to get a feel for what she might like. It wasn't far off but she wanted it to be more colourful and so I did some colour planets for her and we agreed on some colours for me to work with. This was the practice piece using indigo, perylene maroon and quin gold

and we decided it needed lifting a bit and so instead of the indigo I used turquoise as the perylene maroon is dark enough to give me deep tones.

I did a quick sketch then used a toothbrush to spray the whole piece with masking fluid. That needed to dry and I then started on the bg adding the 3 colours randomly letting them mix and mingle on the paper. This painting is 22x15 (1/2 imperial) so you need to be watching the whole area for hard edges developing.. that is if you don't want them!! You need to work quickly and confidently adding water to keep the leading edge wet and as I approached the sides I washed away the colour with almost clean water to keep the painting brighter at the bottom.

While this part was drying I painted the sheep doing them all slightly differently and just suggesting eyes/ nose/ mouth etc. I then went back to the bg once dry and built up another layer of colour just as for the first layer. I finally glazed the area with quin gold and splashed a few more colours around the piece and this is the result....thankfully she loved it!!

This is day 2 and 3 of the challenge on Leslie Saeta's blog

Thursday, 2 January 2014

First Painting for 2014

I have once again signed up to the Leslie Seata painting a day for January and hope to complete this time!! I am also hoping to do an odd step by step during this time and for the rest, post as a sort of tutorial. My blog  (just spotted I had written bog... too much information!!) has been quiet for the last couple of months as I have been so busy with xmas, puppy sitting, the exhibition, xmas cards but I am going to try and rectify that for the New Year.

This is the first of my paintings, fairly small, only 7x11 (1/8th imperial) painted from a image by Aiswarya V from Paint my Photo... something about this image inspired me and I have had it waiting for me to paint for quite a while. The lady is looking out of the window of a train completely preoccupied and rather melancholy and it was the mood which I wanted to try and capture so decided not to include the train window. Not an easy image and I'm not sure if I have done it justice but I wanted to create lost and soft edges and found edges and I think that part has been successful. As often happens these days, the palette decided itself (Indigo, Green Gold and Burnt Sienna) though this is where I am not so sure how successful it has been. This is only a study and I may well try it again with a different palette. I have been inspired by the work of Liu Yi and intend to study some of his techniques to try and incorporate into my work. I haven't seen any videos but suspect he works wet in wet.

I did a quick sketch, then I worked as I usually do to start with, adding the paint then diluting on the paper then adding more paint/ water as I went along leaving me with a wash both around and as part of the figure. I only really left the face and arms properly defined at this stage having let the paint flow from the headgear into the bg and around the legs and body and wanting to keep a loose watercolour feel to it. Then it was a case of building up the layers, letting it dry, standing back to see what else was needed (I also sometimes photograph them before they are completed as this often makes it a lot clearer as to what might be needed) and continuing until I felt it was finished. Obviously I don't want to overwork but I find that the tiny tweaks I might make won't really cause overworking as it might only be a case of slightly lifting off here and there or slightly increasing the tonal value but at this stage the changes are minor. 

Here is the final piece taken with my new camera which is firmly becoming attached to my side!!