Monday, August 30, 2010

Rufous and Trumpet Vine - Acrylic painting

"Rufous and Trumpet Vine" is now officially finished! After collecting more reference material of the trumpet vine I chose another small clump of flowers and added it into the lower right hand corner. I painted it slightly softer and less distinct than the larger clump to help it recede a bit into the background giving the composition a little more depth. I also tweaked the background color slightly adding a little more blue and brightening it up a bit behind the hummingbird to make him stand out just a little more. 

The painting is 8" x 10" painted on an Ampersand gesso panel in acrylic. It is available for sale in my Etsy Just click on the link and it will take you right to him. You will also find other nature inspired paintings there sure to please any bird watcher or nature lover. Dog lovers will find something there, too.

I'm not sure what my next painting will be...bird, beast or dog. My thoughts right now are tuned in to getting a portfolio together to submit to the Western Art Association for their Ellensburg show next May of which I'd love to be a part of. But I am sifting through current reference and my walks every day always bring additional inspiration.

As always, thanks for looking and be blessed today by the natural treasures this earth holds!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Work in Progress - Hummingbird and Trumpet Vine

A few weeks back I started a new acrylic painting of a rufous hummingbird perched in a trumpet vine. I really liked the combination of oranges and greens in the flowers and the bird and the way the dappled sunlight illuminated everything and made it glow. I chose to keep the background very vague so that as I add detail it should create a lot of depth to the painting. With the background finished I transferred my drawing and got started. 
In this next stage I have just blocked in the basic colors and shapes. It's very rough, but it gives me an idea of how things will really look and I will make adjustments as I paint. 
Now things are really starting to take shape! I have completed the flowers and leaves building them up gradually. The leaves in the lower right corner were bothering me so at this point I have painted them out. One of the nice things about acrylic is that you can make lots of changes and adjustments as you go because they dry so quickly. In a matter of minutes I could paint new leaves back in if I wanted, but for now I'm leaving them out until I decide what I want to do with that corner. In my reference sketch it looked okay, but somehow it didn't when I started to paint it.
The male Rufous hummingbird is now pretty much complete. I can see there will be a few adjustments on him, but not too many. I love the way the sun catches the metallic iridescence on his gorget and that's what drew me to paint him as he zipped around my yard guarding the feeders. Now the painting is in what I call my "sit and look" stage. I have completed the main components, but I'm still not happy with that lower right corner. It seems to need something....perhaps more flowers or leaves going in a different direction. I will be going through my trumpet vine reference again for additional inspiration and if need be will head out to take more reference photos. What I'm thinking at this point is that it may need one more small clump of flowers. Three spots of orange may make it more balanced.

Guess it's time to head back to the studio and see what other ideas I can come up with. Check back soon and see what happens!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Rocky Bluff Chipmunk in Watercolor

From photos and sketches to finished painting, here again is the little chipmunk from my camping trip. I had so many poses to choose from, but I particularly liked this one of her in the sunlight on an old stump. This painting is done in watercolor and gouache, but I may attempt another in acrylic in a few days. I just got a DVD on some new acrylic painting techniques and since she is so fresh in my mind and just so darn cute I may practice the techniques with another painting. 

"Rocky Bluff Chipmunk" is for sale to the first person asking nice and can be found in my Etsy shop by clicking HERE.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Chipmunk in Camp

This past weekend we took a much needed break and headed to the mountains of Idaho to Rocky Bluff Campground. We had great plans to ride the ATV, pan for gold and just relax. The weather was beautiful and so much cooler than home. And the wildlife was abundant! I didn't have to even leave our campsite to find lots of subject matter for future paintings! 

After a wonderful camp breakfast of eggs, sausage and my husband's dutch oven biscuits, we settled back to just enjoy the scenery and breathe in the fresh mountain air. We were in no hurry to clean up and apparently the aroma of fresh biscuits was more than this little chipmunk could stand because she bravely came right up on the table and went straight for them! Now, my husband doesn't share his biscuits with just anyone and I'm surprised he tolerated this critter, but he even went so far as to give her a piece so I could get some great photos. (Thanks sweetie, you're the greatest!!) Apparently, she thought he was a really nice guy and came back a little while later to help him read the maps and figure out the best places to go gold panning and 4-wheeling....
I took at least 20 photos of her and was even able to do a sketch of her contentedly munching away. It was nice to just sit and draw for no better reason than the fun of it and the fact that I had such a willing model. Of course, models have to be paid and she LOVED the biscuits!!