Sunday, March 23, 2014

“Garlic sur la Viollette”

Garlic sur la Violette

I’m experimenting with a fun, new background color for my fruit and veg still lives from life-orchid! It’s not a color everyone will appreciate in their kitchen; it’s a trifle romantic really. But in addition to painting, I am also an avid cook, and garlic has a very special place in my cuisine and heart! So, I give you Garlic sur la Violette!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

California Dream House

California Dream House

My latest exciting custom painting was this lovely composition leading to the Pacific Ocean. Only the background is lit in sunset light; so the challenge of this work was bringing out the lights and darks as the focal points (the door and succulents) are in shadow. My solution for this challenge was to fill the shadows with imaginative color and pay very close attention to subtle gradations. Exaggerating color temperature changes also helped to add interest. For example, I painted the cast shadows of the planter and mail box cool blues and purples against the warm peach of the plaster walls. Exaggerating the complements orange and blue in the reflections of the door and the bright red of the door frame all helped the focal point to stand out. These elements all contributed to the success of the piece and another satisfied customer!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Pear Blush

Pear Blush

I’m back at it again with the cobalt blue background! This blue paired with lime green is a favorite color combination of mine. Reconciling the cool greens with the warms reds was the big challenge here. I loved getting away with all the bright colors-especially the pinks and oranges in the mid-tones!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

“Sophie’s Sea Shell”

I'm very excited to learn tonight that my painting “Sophie’s Sea Shell” has been juried into this year’s Salon International hosted by Greenhouse Gallery in San Antonio! Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Pearl Barrett

Pearl Barrett

This portrait felt like a landmark in my growth as an artist because the paint went down without a struggle anywhere. In the past, it’s been typical in a more finished work like this one for me to get a little “lost” for a while trying to reconcile my “vision” with a good likeness. But all the color sketches I’ve done lately have really helped me come up with something of a formula that works for me. My favorite part of this painting is her simple mouth and chin. I just love getting away with rosebuds of paint for baby mouths!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

In My Arms

In My Arms

Here’s the latest commissioned work I’ve been privileged to paint! I’m tremendously thankful to see improvement in my work with the frequent practice I’ve been getting fulfilling custom art orders in the last several months. I made the little girl’s eyes my main center of interest with the kiss coming in a close second. I love the glowing qualities in the skin of the woman’s arm and how I took liberties with that edge as well as the back of her neck! I am also very pleased with how well simplifying the woman’s face went for me this time around. I would have liked to have lost the edge of the girl’s cheek in shadow more, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It felt like it would sacrifice her likeness too much. Maybe next time!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

On My Shoulders

On My Shoulders

This is my most recent commissioned color sketch! I’m really starting to figure out a formula that works for me when I get to paint smaller, simpler works like this one. Getting details like eye brows, lash lines, the corners of the eyes, and nostrils correct is extremely important; the individuality of your subject is in these details. And if you paint those details correctly, the basic planes of the face can often be simplified more than you’d previously thought and sometimes also the lips. I usually do my best to soften or omit creases under the eyes and around the nose because painting those too strongly is frequently unflattering. Getting the character of the hair correct is also important, but one can usually manage to do that and be playful with the brush strokes at the same time because there is more room for interpretation. The background should be developed along with the hair, and there is always opportunity to have fun here. And if getting everything else right turned out to be a little tedious; you’ll feel more than ready to have some fun with the background. Fortunately for me, this painting felt like it painted itself, making the whole thing fun from start to finish. That doesn’t always happen, and I never take it for granted when it does!