Friday, March 19, 2010

Prairie Fire Blossoms Acrylic Painting

My latest acrylic painting is 30" x 24" inches. It's my largest painting on canvas and I haven't given it a title yet.

The inspiration is our Prairie Fire Crab Apple Tree. We'll be seeing its glorious color through these windows in about eight weeks. Since I enlarged the design so much, I projected my photograph onto the canvas and sketched some basic outlines with water soluble graphite. I decided that next time I paint this, I'll probably use a hard regular graphite pencil so I don't have to mess around with smudges in the lighter areas. (Helpful hints from more experienced painters is welcome!)

Starting with the background, I blocked in color to establish basic values. This photo is slightly out of focus and it reminds me of when I worked more with traditional transparent watercolors.
Reds and greens seem to be the most challenging colors for me to tackle. The majority of this was done with Liquitex Heavy Body paint that I thinned with matte medium. Golden Quinacridone/Nickel Azo Gold was added to my palette. It's the only "yellow".

I prefer to work with a limited palette. This is a test/reference page I created for this project. I ended up not using the cadmium hues from my trials and chose Alizarin Crimson Hue for my red. The violets were mixes of A. Crimson plus Indanthrene Blue or Prussian Blue Hue or Cobalt Blue. Both titanium white (opaque) and zinc white (translucent) were used depending on the the effect I wanted to create. The variety of blues were chosen to change the temperature of my shadows. No "tube" greens were used other than the very small amount of cobalt turquoise that was blended with Q. Gold.

This is why I love to paint. Look at all this luscious eye candy!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Etsy Treasury: Grape Expectations

What a treat! Tonight I found out that one of my bracelets was chosen for an Etsy Treasury.
(I removed the link because the treasury has expired, but you can still go shopping in my Etsy Store.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Zen Garden Massage Open House

If you're a follower of this blog, you would have seen this same shot in November 2009. I painted this mural for Zen Garden Massage in Ames, IA. Sue Wolf, the owner, is hosting an open house this coming Sunday, March 7th, from 2 - 4.

Zen Garden Massage is located at street level in the tall office/residential building on Lynn Avenue right across the street from the Iowa State University Memorial Union.

If you are in the area, all are welcome! Sue has invited me to be there with some of my paintings. I hope you can come.