Showing posts from July, 2013

New Books in the Works


Dahlia Heaven

My friend and neighbor, Kathy Whitfield, grows the most incredible dahlias. These are a tiny selection of some blooming now. Some of her varieties are as big as your head!

Students' First Landscapes

In my oil painting class I start students with a few exercises to get used to the medium. I then launch them into a few paintings of different subjects to give them broad experience at blending, color, composition, and other basic principles. I suggest a landscape as one of these first paintings, and I've included some examples of them here. You can see a wide variety of styles, skill levels, and gestures. Hopefully this encourages people to dive in no matter how "good" they think they are in the beginning. 

Fun Week

Scott left Friday for Ohio to look at the daylily gardens of a couple fellow hybridizers. 

The day before that he caught this Large Mouth Bass.

Annabelle had a belly dance recital Thursday night. That's her in the center.

On Saturday I went canoeing on Five Mile Creek.

And mountain biking at Oak Mountain State Park on Sunday morning.

Portrait Step by Step

Here is the original photo that my student, Jeanne Alexander, worked from to paint a portrait. Jeanne has a specific painting process that works for her.
She creates a color copy of the photo and makes reference marks before starting the drawing on canvas.

By connecting the dots she draws out the figure in pencil. The photo doesn't show it, but she started with a blue ground.
She covered the t-shirt and the background first.
With a varied portrait palette she blocks in the face minus features and hair.
Then a simple coat on the hair.
Eyes and nose.
Mouth and ears.
More detail on hair.
More contrast on all of it. Wonderful.

Kitty Princess All Gussied Up

Here is the painting after adding more contrast and changing some of the colors. Now her head doesn't look more defined than the rest of the piece. It's funny how I could have taken the old version of the painting and made these changes with photoshop. (How do you know I didn't?) 

Mystery Behind the Curtain

Last night I woke from a sound sleep to what I thought was an explosion followed by weird gurgling. It  continued while I woke my husband to go see what was going on. He sleepily got up and checked out the house, but saw nothing. The next day he was in the bathroom and heard the same weird sound coming from the bathtub, behind the shower curtain. He was sure some nasty critter was back there, ready to pounce on him. Instead he found this old can squirting shaving cream up the wall. We left it there to continue it's upward journey, and it kept creeping up, making strange sounds, all day.