Wednesday, 28 January 2015

There is no Rhyme

Nor reason.

 I am still struggling with my muse.  On Monday I played with Anders Zorn's limited palette and did a quick sketch that I was quite pleased with.  Yesterday I excitedly took that same palette to a portrait class and froze up.  It was a horrendous struggle for three hours.  Today I felt a little skittish as I arrived at our sketch group.  Kelly is a wonderful model but I had a terrible start with my pastel pencils. After much erasing and fiddling I managed to turn it around and finished with a sketch that I quite like.

A good start seems to be the kiss of death for me.

Monday, 26 January 2015


This is me playing around.  It is a "selfie" my way.  I registered for Brian Smith's workshop in March and I was intrigued by the Anders Zorn palette that he uses for the workshop.  I started with a neutral grey panel and used only three colours plus white for the painting.  I was using a small mirror and I was only fooling around so I didn't draw at all.  I just started painting shapes and I ended up here about twenty minutes later.  I will definitely play with this palette some more.

It isn't perfect but it sure was fun.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015


Bernie was the model for today's sketch group.  I always enjoy painting him because he has a lot of character in his face and he sits dead still.  This first head and shoulder took me a bit over an hour to complete.  I don't seem to be getting much better at these but I am happy with it because I am getting to this stage much more quickly.

This second three quarter view was done in under an hour.  I was already pretty tired from the first drawing so I am pleased with this one too.  My drawing skills are definitely improving with these sessions.

If I am using pastel pencils am I drawing or painting?

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Where Does the Muse Go

After painting up north I was really revved up and eager to get painting.  At least I thought that I was.  It has been one long struggle ever since we got home.  Nothing has worked and I am too embarrassed to post any of it.

Yesterday I went out with the Monday painters because I was committed but I didn't expect it to go well.  I think that it did go quite well but I got too cold to finish this painting.  The pathway needs work, the snow is too light and I didn't get to the roofs which are much too dark and flat but I was working loose and free which is a great improvement.

Today was week two in a portrait class.  I am having fun with oils and I
think that this is finished after 5 hours of work. Jeff is a great model and Katherine McDonald is a great instructor.  I need to sort out a portrait palette because I am struggling with flesh tones with my landscape pigments.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Paudash Lake again

It was another fantastic day at the lake.  I lazed about all morning and then we spent the afternoon in town.  We got back just in time for me to rush outside and paint before it got dark.

The upside of rushing out at dusk was I got fantastic sunset lighting but the downside was it got very dark very quickly so I had to rush.  Rushing is not easy when it is -10 C and my paints are very thick. The medium that I use to thin my pigments was so thick that I couldn't get it out of my squeeze bottle so it was no help.  The sky was mostly clear except above the horizon and the sun was setting behind me which made the clouds glow wonderful roses and oranges.  I really need to add a tube of quin rose to my bag.  This isn't a great painting overall but considering it was painted in the cold in about forty-five minutes I am really happy with it.  I feel that I am constantly learning and improving so that is good for me.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy New Year

What a great start to the new year.  We are at my parents home on Paudash Lake.  There isn't much snow but it is very cold and the wind is howling.  I have been told that I need a vision and I am trying to sort out just what that might be.  I love painting skies so that is an option and the roiling clouds late this afternoon were about as inspiring as they get.

I wanted to get outside to paint but it was just too wild out there so I set up in the garage.  The clouds were a swirling mass with this warm glow where they were thin and backlit by the sun.  Everything was hazey because of the blowing snow and it was all constantly moving.
I have no internet connection with my laptop so this is done with my iPad which means that I have far less editing control of both the image and the blog post.

I can't wait for tomorrow.