Yesterday I was able to go and paint plein air with some friends from our Spokane Watercolor Club. We went to the James T. Slavin Conservation Area just, off of highway 195, and it was really chilly 24º F, but did warm up to 40º around noon. It was surprising how close to Spokane it is. And, the conservation area covers a lot of ground (600+ acres) with a lot of different natural wonders to see. I was able to paint two sketch images while I stood on a little knoll directly in front of the parking lot.
First a Watercolor Sketch
I painted while looking south standing upon the first knoll near the parking lot for the first plein air image. It had meadow grasses with scattered burgundy bunches of bush, then going off into into where the forest pine and birch tree line appears. I made a rudimentary watercolor sketch of this scene, but stopped there, as my watercolors and water were freezing. But, when the other artist’s arrived, I learned about a trick that stops that from happening. I love painting with other artists, because, you always learn something helpful from each other. If you want to know the secret, you’ll have to come paint with us to learn. 🙂
Second is an Acrylic Sketch
The second image is painted using acrylic paint on a canvas board. Standing at the same location but turned to face west where a pair of pines flanked the left side, with grasslands reaching off into a distant treeline and hill silhouette behind. These colors are a little tricky to get right, but are quite beautiful when it comes out right. Neither of these plein air sketches are any way near finished, but the scenes are embedded in my mind and I am sure I’ll be able to finish them in my studio.
I am not up to strenuous hiking, but thankfully this area is easily accessible with parking close by so it was a totally rejuvenating day. Being able to paint with other painters has revitalized the artist in me. It was surprising how many people walk their dogs there. There is also evidence of a lot of horse hoof prints on the trails. In about a month, that whole field is going to be covered with wildflowers, one of the local ladies told me .
EYE CANDY SURPRISE!
Next month sounds like a great time to schedule another plein air painting trip there. Yep, I’m looking forward to it.
Painting an orange Rufous Hummingbird hovering over a honeysuckle vine. I thought I’d get out the acrylics for a few “favorite things” paintings. Consequently, the subject manner falls back to one of my all time favorites.
We feed these hummers all summer long and enjoy sitting on the deck admiring them. Above, is the finished painting. Following, are the progress shots of the acrylic painting process for me.
Beginning with background darks using mixtures of hookers green, phalo green, burnt sienna, cobalt blue and alizaron crimson in a hap hazard cross stroke pattern. Carefully blocking out the location of my “flying hummer star” on the lower third right corner.
Next, I experiment with leaf shapes and brighter values for the surfaces closest to the main attraction. Similarly, I proceed to brighten specific leaves that serve as a background for the flashy orange honeysuckle blossom being positioned next. I want to see depth to the vine behind.
Hummingbird & Blossom
Now, is when I select where I want to place the up close blossom along with some scattered hints of more in the background. Also, the hummingbird shapes and values are defined. The layout works for my eyes, so I proceed.
What follows is numerous lighting tweaks, along with the details on my winged magician, “Mr. Orange Rufous Hummingbirds“. This bright orange guy is now hovering on the canvas. The finished shot of this acrylic painting is the first one in the post. If you are interested in learning more about hummingbirds, check out the Audubon page here.
ORIGINAL ART For that special person on your list at heavily discounted holiday prices…
Contact me here… or simply go to our website Valerie Woelk original art to see more pictures and descriptive information about today’s special or any other art you may want. There are many paintings available for immediate shipment or pickup.
On The 2nd Day of Christmas…
“Hula Anna” K5206 – $50 (unframed)
18″w x 24″h acrylic on canvas board. Acrylic painting of a young hula performance from artist’s memories of family and friends along with the magic of the dance in the past, …far away.
12 durable, beautiful custom metal garden markers for his wife’s roses and garden that show what is growing visually. They are ready to ship UPS this morning! Finished for a wonderful client in the northeast USA, “Happy birthday to his wife on Sunday!” What a great idea on how to mark what you have planted in the garden
These were tricky to paint because they are tiny 3″ wide by 2″ high. Being used to painting in a much larger size made me have to use teeny tiny, detail brushes to do the entire image. It is always good to broaden our skills with all our painting tools though.
These are great little metal garden markers made of stainless steel, they are kind of slick on their surfaces so, I had to roughen the surface of the metal with a green scrubber pad before I painted. I wanted to make sure the paint would adhere. After finding reference pictures to work from I painted each one with acrylic paints for each of the twelve different rose and flower species. Then it was the lettering of the names on the front and back of each marker. Last step was a sealer over the entire surface. Dry, pack and ship.
The flower Varieties
Abraham Darby-English Rose
Granada Rose – Hybrid Tea
Henry Kelsey-Climbing Rose
Lavender Mist Meadow Rue
Noble Anthony-English Rose
Rosa Mundi-Rosa Gallica
Zephirine Droughin-Climbing Rose
I painted the names on the back surface of the metal garden markers.
This couple must have a fantastic garden, with all of these gorgeous kinds of roses and climbing flowers.
Painting neighborhood address signs done. You can see them sitting here, ready to seal with clear coat, dry and frame …
It doesn’t look like much but it is on good sign board. Sealed in white oil based paint, then black backgrounds sprayed for the arrow bases. The white numbers in the black arrows are made with white sign paint that is sprinkled with glitter while the paint is still wet, so these will shine when car lights flash on them. Probably won’t win any awards but should be easy to see when you are trying to find your way around out here.
Pete is planting the posts today, then we will put black frames on. then the delivery guys will have no reason to talk stink about us anymore 😉
What on earth does an artist do on the weekend, paint neighborhood address signs of course! Here are two signs masked off ready to shoot with black for the arrows.
If you have ever been over to visit our place you would know why these signs are needed. I bet you we are in the UPS and FedEx drivers “stink list” for being hard to find. Oh well! These are directional signs (for the two bends in our private road debatable as a driveway) made of sign board (expensive smooth plywood) and coated with white house paint 2 coats yesterday. Now the (black) arrows are laid out and masked off with masking tape so I can shoot the arrow backgrounds.
Painting neighborhood address signs process. Honest occifer! I did NOT use that spray can of paint! Oh, my fingernails… it is a new way to do my nails I tried using the spray paint to see if I could airbrush them myself. Anybody got bail money?