Dragonfly In Cosmos

Dragonfly in Cosmos
15″w x 11″h watercolor & ink on 140lb Arches cold press.

Just finished a fun watercolor of a dragonfly in cosmos blossoms. We have dragonflies in our garden every year and they are just so fascinating to watch. Their wings seem to glisten as they fly over all the blossoms with their transparent wings. An “eye candy” insect with great colors in their silent flight. They are also quite the benefit to have around, check out the info here. Dragonflies

I do dragonflies frequently because each one I find is always different in colors and shapes and they are usually admiring blooms as I do while I work in the garden.

Orange Rufous Hummingbird

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.

Hummingbird Orange Rufous 4
14″w x 11″h acrylic on stretched canvas. Acrylic rendering of an orange Rufous Hummingbird hovering over an orange honeysuckle vine.

Vine Background

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.

Hummingbird Orange Rufous B0520
14″w x 11″h acrylic on stretched canvas.

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.

Adding Depth

Hummingbird Orange Rufous 2
14″w x 11″h acrylic on stretched canvas. Acrylic rendering of an orange Rufous Hummingbird hovering over an orange honeysuckle vine.

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

Hummingbird Orange Rufous 3
14″w x 11″h acrylic on stretched canvas. Acrylic rendering of an orange Rufous Hummingbird hovering over an orange honeysuckle vine.

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.

Details

Hummingbird Orange Rufous 4
14″w x 11″h acrylic on stretched canvas. Acrylic rendering of an orange Rufous Hummingbird hovering over an orange honeysuckle vine.

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.

Butterflies on the Brain

Butterflies Oil 01
Butterflies Oil 01

I just had to paint some colorful butterflies, they are stuck in the brain. I noticed an unfinished oil painting that I started more than a year ago and just couldn’t quit thinking about it. So, I got out the oils, thinner, and linseed oil. Found some of the tubes beyond expired. But, was able to get a pallet out and go to work. This first image is over a year ago because my “Moose” coffee cup is in it, and, it broke more than a year ago. It is amazing how something can sit for such an extended period time.

Butterflies Oil 02
Butterflies Oil 02

This picture is how the butterflies looked as it sat, waiting for me. If I don’t keep an eye on the drying rack and stacks of paintings, these poor paintings may never get done. Over a year of dust is not okay.

This year I will be doing shows to sell paintings already done. My goal is to finish all the partially painted pieces and use up all the supplies in my studio before I kick the bucket. Cleaning out the studio, recently brought a complete inventory to my attention. I could paint 24 hours a day and still not run out in a year.

Butterflies Oil 03
Butterflies Oil 03

Here is how the butterfly painting looks after a day of work. Finishing the background more fully with the blossoms and leaves better shaded. Taking each butterfly’s position and background coloring I was able to paint them in. So, the layout is pretty much set.  I am happy with the progress. But, it will have to let it dry a while before I can finish it.

Portrait Amalia Fisch in Monochrome

Portrait Amalia Fisch A0320
11″w x 9″h watercolor monochrome (dioxine purple) on 140lb Fabriano wc paper.

Here is my portrait of Amalia Fisch (a fellow artist) done for the January challenge to do a painting in monochrome. What a challenge it is to do work using only one color. The single color chosen for this image was Dioxazine Purple by Blick Artist’s Watercolors. Below is the painting in process after a few light washes had established the figure.

Yesterday was our monthly meeting at Spokane Art supply at 10am. It was great to be able to see my artist friends again. Seeing their work is the highlight of the meeting for me. Being able to share and talk about methods is so valuable. I always learn from these meetings.

Bill Okamura Portrait in Monochrome

9″w x 11″h watercolor monochrome (paynes grey) on 140lb Fabriano wc paper.

Here is a portrait of a fellow artist, Bill Okamura. This month’s Spokane Watercolor Society meeting. The January challenge was to do a painting using only one color.

What was the result? A realization that “monochrome” changes how I approach a painting. Basically, the values become key, and other colors are not there to distract me as I paint. Using value to get depth and shape.

The chosen color used for this image was Payne’s Gray by Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors  economically available at Spokane Art Supply. Below is the painting in process after only a few light washes establish the figure.

portrait Bill Okamura

Our monthly meeting for the Spokane Watercolor Society was at Spokane Art supply at 10am yesterday. Seeing my artist friends and their work is the inspiring to me. Bill did a monochrome painting of an old car that was spectacular! Hope he shares with us.

Being able to share methods and techniques is so valuable to me.

Monochrome Painting Finished

portrait Diane Conkright A0220
portrait Diane Conkright

Monochrome

Here is the first of the monochrome portraits all finished. I am very happy with the look of this and hope it ranks well in the monthly challenge program at the next meeting. It is a veritiable challenge to get depth and shape in using only one color. I believe it was done using Ultramarine blue or cobalt, now I am not sure. Some day soon I have to go ahead and mark my watercolor wells on the pallet. The only sure fire way for me to keep the names straight. Honestly, I just dab into whatever color feels right to use rather than knowing which color should be used scientifically. It is the artist (lack of) logic in full force.

SWS Meeting

Can’t wait to go to the Spokane Watercolor Society meeting scheduled for January 18th (Saturday) at 10am at the Spokane Art Supply Classroom here in Spokane, Washington. Truly, a case of, “birds of a feather” hanging out together. It is so much fun to visit with other artists and compare methods. I haven’t been able to attend any meetings for quite a while. Health issues prevented me from doing much of anything for the past half year. It is great to be feeling better and I am hoping to be able to get out more now.

I’d be glad to have you come as my guest to explore your interest in watercolor painting. You’d probably like to come check out this meeting with me. It really is a great help to be able to hook up with others interested in art, as you are. Email me here if you are so inclined and we will work out the particulars about where to meet, driving or carpool etc.

Today is a happy painting and writing day for this person.

Monochrome Painting

portraite Diane Conkright
9″w x 11″h watercolor monochrome (blue) on 140lb Fabriano wc paper. SWS meeting challenge monochrome (blue) portrait Diane Conkright.

A monochrome painting, the start or beginning for a monochrome “monthly member challenge” of the Spokane Watercolor Society meeting scheduled for January 18th at 10am  at Spokane Art Supply. I love these different monthly challenges because they make me stretch my abilities and try new things. Being able to see and discuss the methods used with other members makes the lessons learned so much better.

Really, this is NOT something I “never” do. I actually love to do a a black and white rendering first for almost every painting done in color. It is the natural was for me to see things for lighting, you know…. where are the  shadows, and where does the light burn it white. Yep.

In fact, I took a Ron Stocke weekend workshop last year at Spokane Art Supply and absolutely loved it. Ron is a talented professional that I totally admire, and he does amazingly beautiful plein air work with a full understanding of architectural design. It was fun learning a different system of painting. Ron’s first step is, sketching, followed by a monochrome layout study to paint from. It was a great feeling to see a professional like him use monochrome studies the same way I start my projects.

Dale Latinen is another professional artist giving a great local weekend workshop through the Spokane Watercolor Society, Check it out here at Dale Latinen Workshop , April 2-5th, 2020. Places are filling up fast.

Art That is Now Gone

Art Now Gone

Here are the paintings and drawings that sold at two recent community craft shows. These art pieces are newly adopted due to the Herculean efforts, of my dear friends who help me. I love it when art pieces find new homes! Not only does it help the pocketbook, it spreads love as it gives credibility to the endless hours spent throughout my artist life perfecting skills. Many, many, many hours.

Pen & Ink with Watercolor

Hummingbird Heaven J3019

Hummingbird Hovers Over A Sunflower J4019
9″h x 12″w watercolor on 80lb drawing paper.

Watercolors

Birch Autumn Passion J4119
10″w x 13″h watercolor on 140lb wc paper.

Birch Autumn Passion J4119 watercolor

Huckleberry Five Study I2619
5″w x 6″h watercolor on 300 lb wc paper

Huckleberry Five Study I2619 watercolor

Riverfront Park Clock Tower From Above D2219
9″w x 12″h watercolor on 140lb wc paper.

Riverfront Park Clock Tower D2219 watercolor

Yellow & Brown Sunflowers J3719
10″w x 14″h watercolor, on 140lb Fabriano paper.

Sunflowers Yellow & Brown J3719 watercolor

Pen & Ink

Hummingbird Heaven J3019
10″w x 14″h pen & ink on 300lb Arches wc paper.
Linx Pen & Ink_B0613
18″w x 24″h pen & ink on sketch paper.

Linx B0613 pen & ink

 

I remember seeing how a persons face transforms as they pick up a piece of my art, with their expression suddenly becoming full of awe and love.

Never doubt, how important art really is.

To me, witnessing this beautiful event is almost a magical experience. It makes the trials and tribulations with learning, practicing, and perfecting skills all throughout my life as an artist, seem totally worthwhile after all.

Larry and Linda Pointer are such wonderful blessings to me and many others. They included my art along with their own crafts, being sold to raise funds for their favorite tax deductible charity at these shows. People enjoying the art, and made comments along with their purchases. Linda saw the pleasure on the faces of the people, as they shopped at their table. Take a look at the charity they are supporting.

“HRC Ministries.”

Please feel free to donate, if you feel drawn to. Slavery – HRC Ministries is setup to assist with escape and rehabilitation of people trapped in Human Trafficking (Sex Slavery).

These pieces of art have been discovered, chosen, and adopted into new homes. I am feeling quite positive about having more space in the studio, which I will just keep filling back up with art if well enough.

If you’d like something similar to any of these let me know, I’d be glad to make one for you on commission.

Art at Chattaroy Church Craft Fair

desktop cosmos blossoms
5 x 8 watercolor cosmos studies

The Chattaroy Church Craft Fair is this Saturday from 9am-4pm. It is easy to find off of Hwy 2, a white single story church catty-corner across from the Chattaroy post office. I have attended this fair before and it was fun, chock full of wonderful hand-crafted items. Larry and Linda Pointer will have snow men that Larry made and there was some talk of Linda’s pine cone creations too. I am unable to attend this year, thank you so much for including my art you two!

desktop huckleberry paintings
huckleberry watercolors

These small community events are wonderful as they inspire me to complete things in the studio. I just finished matting and bagging 9 paintings and one ink drawing that were laying around here. It feels good.

desktop plein air paintings
plein air watercolor on desk

Purple Cosmos Watercolor

Cosmos Photograph 26
Photograph of Cosmos in garden.

The purple Cosmos was a vivid beauty in our garden this year. Inspiring this artist to try out her wings with a new subject. Here is a completed watercolor study of a single purple blossom.

Via “Wikipedia“, Cosmos is defined as the world or universe, regarded as orderly, harmonious… quoted from my print version of the Webster’s Universal College Dictionary in the studio. Yes, I still use printed books to look things up because the old references often cover subjects more fully. In my printed version there is an additional definition #4 that is relevant to what I am sharing today.

4. Any of a genus, Cosmos, of New World composite plants having open clusters of flowers with red or yellow disks and wide rays of white, pink or purple.

BTW, I only have the purple cosmos, anyone want to trade purple seed for white and pink? I have a lot of seed, because I save them after harvest and use them the following year. Let me know if you’d like to barter.

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Cosmos Closeup J3319
5.5″w x 6.5″h watercolor on 300lb Arches, Lavender Cosmos very closeup blossom.

This is a study of the Cosmos flower up close. I do studies before I do any larger paintings. Using an Arches paper scrap that is much smaller than I usually paint on, I practice and see how to paint something new. This is not the first time I have been inspired by this beautiful blossom, check this embroidered Cosmos tablecloth out. It was a fun project that took over a year to finish embroidering by hand.

Beginning with negative painting I put the background in, then warm it up with a wash of Azo Yellow. I then put in the yellow center and add shadows. Followed by, working my way out to the petal edges adding light and shadow.