Friday, May 27, 2011

"Mosquito Lake" Oil on Canvas: Step-by-Step

Mosquito Lake in Northern California

Step One: covering the canvas-
Ultramarine Blue for a cool tree base and ultramarine blue, cerulean blue, and white for the sky and water

Step Two: adding greens- ultramarine and burnt umber with some yellow ochre and cad yellow added to chromium oxide green for the lighter areas- and using a cool grayish blue mix (ultramarine and cerulean with a little umber and white) for some background trees

Step Three:  adding rocks, lily pads, and shoreline details.  Chromium oxide green with cad yellow for lily pads and light green values on shore, lightened as needed with white.  I added  burnt umber and ultramarine blue to chromium oxide green to darken some of the areas at the base of trees and on shore.

Step Four: Trunks here and there- Cad red, burnt umber, ultramarine blue and some grayish trunks using a lighter, bluer version of the trunk mix.  Also a lot of work on reflected trees in the water- same colors as the originals but broken lines instead of solid trunks for a little movement, and thinner paint.  I also added more value changes to the water- darkest in front and lightening up near the shore. Also more lily pads.

Final Step:  I mostly worked on adding more details in the grass and lightened up some of the lily pads in the foreground and mid ground using ultramarine and cad yellow.  I also made the center trunk narrower and added some more darks around the tree trunks.  The main thing that finished it, was the water line at the shore (ultramarine and cerulean blue with white) to add definition between the actual and the reflected images.

Now, on to some new paintings!  I always seem to have a million painting ideas in my head- the hard part is to choose one at a time. 

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend - taking a few minutes to remember all of our heroes past and present!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day Trip: Monterey!

The spectacular Monterey Coast

Last weekend was the Castroville Artichoke Festival.  We had never been before, so it was a good excuse to drive to the coast!  Only about an hour and a half away and so worth the drive.  The photo above is my husband's choice for HIS painting.  It is actually four photos that I stitched together with a handy program called DoubleTake.  I use the program often when I scan large paintings, but this is the first time I used it to make a panorama photo. here is a slight difference in blue shades in the middle of the sky, but my paint brush knows how to fix that.

The festival wasn't as huge as we were expecting, but they did have some good food. We chose artichoke burritos for lunch and, of course, for dessert- funnel cake. YUM...
I also got to visit a friend I hadn't seen in over 20 years- so a perfect day!

FUNNEL CAKE FOR 2- WW points not counted!

Friday, May 13, 2011

WIP "Mosquito Lake" Oil Painting

oil on canvas 12X16

reference photo

Mosquito Lake is a beautiful lake up in Northern California on the way to Lake Tahoe.  The lake is on Ebbetts Pass in the Sierra Nevadas at about 10,000 ft. elevation (Alpine County). It is one of our favorite day trip destinations.  It seems that every time we go there, the water is perfectly still and makes for perfect photos!  I have been meaning to paint this for months and finally got to it.  I am working on it in my painting class and should be done with it this week.  I have to add some more details and glaze in some more darks at the shoreline, but it is almost finished.  When it is completed, I will post some photos of the start-to-finish progress.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Well, so far, this Mother's Day is a giant success and its not until tomorrow!  My husband surprised me with a new camera.  I have been using the same smaller point and shoot for a few years and it was doing a great job, and it fit in my purse so I could take it anywhere with me.  This new one will definitely NOT fit in my purse or my pocket, but it is AWESOME and I still have the other one for my purse.  I'm sure he's thinking, this will give me better photos to paint from.  I am sure it will- when I get it figured out- there are a million different things it can do if I can learn how to make it do them!  If my photos are better, does that mean I need to paint better paintings?  I think I will take this one step at a time.  I have heard good things about this camera (Nikon D3100) and so far, I love it.  I have been outside in my garden, trying it out on flowers and got side tracked with a few shots of my poodle.  
Happy Mother's Day to all of you wonderful moms and grandmas out there!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

California Poppies Watercolor

I painted this watercolor for my mom.  I think I have to give her credit for my love of California Poppies.  She loves them and we grew up with them growing in the yard outside.  Now, I have them spread around my garden- blooming right now.  Although I have painted many poppy paintings for her- watercolors, acrylics, oils- this is probably my favorite.  This watercolor is 16X20 on 140lb cold press paper.