Friday, February 28, 2014

February 28, 2014

It's hard to believe it is the last day of February, almost Spring.  I picked the winner of the February Give-away and emailed the winner who is Marcia from Richmond.  I hope you are happy with your new painting.  Just look at my gallery at Daily Paintworks and pick any one of the available  6 x 6 paintings.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

February 28, 2014  (Check back tomorrow for the winner of the February Give-Away

There is a very good article in this month's Artist's Magazine about Qiang Huang.  I have been following his work for a long time because I especially love his brushwork and the abstract quality of his work.  There is a great step by step with photos. He also described his materials and techniques.  You can see hundreds of his paintings on Daily Paintworks.  He uses Robert Simmons Signet brushes that I already have and Creative Mark Quality that I immediately ordered.  There not even expensive. In fact they are a bargain and are on sale at Jerry's Artarama.  I used them today and love them, but will have to see how they hold up. 

Here's a photo of the brushes: (note: the handles are short)

I will post it on Daily Paintworks. ( Another poor quality photo, still not sure what I do wrong)
There are some places where there are soft edges that mingle with the background.  I'll probably do this again because I am not satisfied with the edges. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Painting a Day - Fredericksburg, VA

February 26, 2014

Painting a Day in Fredericksburg, Virginia

Please join and tell your artist friends about  "painting a day" on this facebook page. 

Peggy Wickham and I created a group page on Facebook and starting next Wednesday, March 5, 2014 there will be a painting challenge.  

See more at

If you have any questions, my email is

Saturday, February 22, 2014

February 22, 2014

This week I've been studying other blogs and practicing to improve my paintings of children and  composition for all paintings.  I was happy with this one because of the loose brushwork and use of complementary colors.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Painting Children

February 18, 2014 - Learning to Paint Children

(To enter February Give-away of available 6 x 6 painting sign up for my e-mail)

I should have included in my goals for the year that I want to learn more about how to paint children.  I've picked out the workshop I want to take and it is by Nancy Franke in Atlanta.  I've studied her paintings on her website and really like the way she captures a "moment in time" and keeps her brushstrokes very loose.  I'll include a link to her website.

I done a few paintings of children, my grandchildren, and want to do more.  I went through all the steps I know for this one of Maddie baking her first cookies. 

Andrea, if you read this, I need a photo of Hannah (a moment in time).  She will be my next painting. 

Step 1 - Drawings- gestural, contour, then one showing lights and darks

Step 2 - block in the colors
Step 3- study for final painting

Finished painting - 8 x 8

Lillie and Maggie

I need more photos that show "a moment in time". 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Give-Away for the month of February

February 15, 2014


I'm trying out this idea again for a couple of reasons:
1.  My newsletter email list blew up awhile ago when our computer crashed and it's driving me crazy to recreate it. 
2.  I decided to do only online sales at ETSY and DAILY PAINTWORKS
The way it will work
The winner will be picked from those who sign up for my blog and newsletter by using the box in the column at the right of this blog.  You are already signed up if you receive my blogs by email.  The give-away will be a 6 x 6 painting that is available from either DPW or ETSY.  The drawing will be done the last day of the month.  I'll put the names in a hat unless I think of a better way. 
The winner will receive any available 6 x 6 painting from Daily Paintworks or ETSY

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What Subjects to Paint

February 12, 2014

What to Paint?

This is always on my mind. Last week's blog radio show was about that very thing, "What Subject to Paint".  I just finished listening to it and took notes throughout because it is filled with great ideas.  The co-host, Carrie Waller, is a fantastic water color artist.  Leslie Saeta is the host and does this show weekly.  It's worth listening to it. 


I embedded the radio show on the right hand column of this blog.  It turned out so big and I don't know how to fix it, but if you click on it you can listen to the show. 

My own subjects right now are close-up views of Fredericksburg and pie.  I think I might like pie better than donuts.  My husband loves this project because we are on the third pie which is a key lime.  I'm painting that one today so far I've only had a small taste of it. 

I'm always looking for new ideas.  The radio show gave me new ones.  Any ideas on what would be interesting to paint in Fredericksburg.  I'm trying to keep it to close-ups of gardens and gates and.....????

Pie Series - #1

I painted and ate a lot of donuts for this series.  There is a huge pile of donuts shown in my ETSY mini shop on the right side of the page. 

Fredericksburg Close-up Series - #2

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Creative Brush: Back to basics - Drawing ellipses

The Creative Brush: Back to basics - Drawing ellipses: ok! So I think I finally understand how ellipses work. My head was in a muddle when I sent an email to my wetcanvas friend and mentor Maure...

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Choosing what to paint -

I learn a lot from looking at other blogs.  I read this one today and it has such good information about how to choose what excites you about a photograph and what to leave out. 

I found this artist by looking at the judge's picks for last month's contest at Daily Paintworks which is another resource, too.  You don't have to be a member to enter the contests either.  I entered one this month, too. 

Here is the link to a wonderful blog by Brienne Brown.  Thank you for this helpful information

Here's a painting I did recently where I cropped out a lot and was happy with the design it created.  The yellows surround the purples of the turnips.

In this one the Hollyhocks caught my attention. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

February 8, 2014    -     Show at FCCA - Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts

The juror, Karen Stinnett,  at the FCCA show gave a very helpful and meaningful talk before giving the awards and these are things   I want to remember.  This is from memory, but I think I got the important points.  She spoke of the things she kept in mind while deciding on the works she chose for the awards.  I need to remind myself everyday to think about these things.

1.  Think about the principles of design constantly while painting.  Pay attention to variety of line. She said the principles of design  are like the  grammar in writing. 

2. Presentation and framing are a part of the painting.

3.  Keep in mind the concept of what you are trying to say with the painting.  (The juror had a better way of putting this, but this is close).

I need reminding all the time.  This is what I keep near my easel.   My dog ate a corner of it which makes it even more meaningful. 

(Those numbers at the bottom remind me of my notes from the Ian Roberts book on composition)

My painting got honorable mention so that made me happy. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

how to start a painting

February 6, 2014 - 4 stages of a painting - another way to start a painting

This is just one of the ways to start a painting.  I've used this exercise with students to show the stages of a painting.  It could be done loosely with more deliberate brushwork. 

lower left

1.  Start with a wash of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna or anything that gives you a dark gray/black.  Do a very loose drawing.  Wipe out the lights with a paper towel 

upper left

2.  Next paint large shapes of light and dark with color in the values you did in Step 1.

top right

3.  Start refining the shapes of light and dark, add the mid-tones for the reflected light and where light meets dark on the apple.

bottom right

4.  Refine even more, add the highlight, apply paint on background and foreground,  work on edges to include some sharp edges and soft edges.  Include some green in shadow.

The point of this exercise is to do the painting in layers.  It also helps to maintain the darks if they are established first. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Painting Loosely

February 5, 2014

Painting loosely is something I work on in my paintings.  I wish I could remember who said this, but it has stuck with me  - "loose brushwork requires good drawing".    That one statement really made a difference in my approach.   I spent more time on getting the perspective correct and the drawing than I did on the painting.  Well, maybe I am exaggerating, but it took some work to get the drawing right and it is probably not perfect. 

This is a 6 x 6 and I am considering doing a 12 x 12 of this. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Painting Loosely

February 2, 2014

These are all reminders to me about painting loosely.  It is a look that I like and includes thinking about abstract shapes and pieces of color. 

Things that have helped me to paint loosely, keep bold brushwork and bright color:

     Maintain darks in the painting  (Dream Tolle Perry's class helped me with this) because of her use of a dark transparent underpainting. If you use the "search button" top right corner of this page, I summarized her class in an old blog posting. 

     Use deliberate brushwork and lots of paint

     Keep colors clean

(These would all be good topics for future blogs.)

Here is my latest painting where I put a lot of what I learned in Dreama's class to work. 

I try to stick to the process of doing a drawing,  a study (as many as I need to perfect the color and composition) and the final painting. 

Step 1:  Thank you to Nancy Bradley for letting me use this photo.  She is such a good photographer.

Step 2:  Study (6 x 6)

Step 3: Final Painting ( 12 x 12)

The biggest change was in the colors.  Notice the accents of complementary color on the leaves and shutters especially, another technique that Dreama taught us, taking advantage of color theory and just for the pure joy of colors you love.