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Friday, March 30, 2012

Painting Sheep II: Completed

First, I blocked in the general background and foreground shapes and colors.

Once again I found myself fascinated by the lighting as I painted this sheep. Even though it was overcast, the light combined with the humidity created interesting colors which accentuated the beauty and expanse of the countryside. It was a patchwork quilt of colors all mildly different and complimentary to each other. I love the stone fence borders!

Sheep Painting Study II
oil on panel, 10x8"
After brushing in the main colors, I took out my palette knife and had fun adding texture; something to entertain the eye. I'm looking forward to painting a larger version of this.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Painting Sheep II: First Three Stages

These are the beginning stages of the second painting in my sheep series. This little 10 x 8" will be a study for a larger one to follow.

At this first stage I mixed Transparent Earth Red with a paint medium and lightly painted in the shape of the sheep and the hillside. Beforehand, I had prepared the panel by rubbing on (with a soft cloth) a thin wash of Transparent Earth Red and Ultramarine Deep thinned with mineral spirits.

For the sheep's black markings, I mixed equal parts of Ultramarine Deep and Transparent Earth Red and then painted his white markings with Titanium white tinted with Transparent Earth Red.

Next, I painted in the sheep's coat of wool with different shades of Titanium White mixed with Transparent Earth Red and touches of the black (wet into wet paint) so that the colors mixed in together on the panel.

I'm looking forward to today's painting session where I will start adding the colors of the foreground hill as well as the background hillsides. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Painting Sheep I: Completed

Sheep Painting Study I
 oil on panel, 10x8"
This is the way I remember these three sheep, grazing in a North Yorkshire field with the afternoon light shimmering on  their backs.

Once I had brushed the first layer of paint on I went back into the wet paint with a palette knife and had fun applying the final layer with thick strokes of color. I want the viewer to feel like he or she could almost reach out and touch their woolly coats and hear them nibbling on the rich green grass.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Painting Sheep I: 1st Session

One of the lovely aspects about the countryside of Northern England is the hillsides that are dotted with sheep. It is a wonderland of rolling green pastures, stone fences, and grazing, happy sheep. I couldn't get enough of it. I literally sometimes yelled, "Stop the car! I must photograph those sheep!" And there was such a variety of them; I had never thought about all the different types of sheep that exist - all distinctly with their own look. All waiting for me to paint them.

Sheep Painting Study I
oil on panel, 10x8"
Session 1

This is the beginning of my first color study of some sheep that seemed so comfortable with me there, my camera in hand, snapping photos of them as the gorgeous light rested on their backs. When the sun shines in North Yorkshire, everything glows.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Painting A Pheasant: 3rd Session

Ken's Pheasant
oil on panel, 10x8"
3rd Session

This blog has become my painting journal. Each time I post a completed painting it brings me back to the time and place that inspired its creation. This colorful little pheasant will always remind me of my time in England, in the North Yorkshire countryside, when a kind gentleman named Ken, took time out of his busy schedule to show Robert and I his beautiful homeland.

Thank you, Ken!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Painting A Pheasant: Second Session

Ken's Pheasant
oil on panel, 10x8"
2nd Session
Painting wet paint into wet, I laid the main shapes of the colors down and then added in the details. I'll work on the background next and then complete the pheasant with finishing touches.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Painting A Pheasant

Ken's Pheasant
 oil on canvas, 10x8"
1st Session

I would never have imagined that the first painting I would be working on after my return from England is of a pheasant.  But there is a story behind this bird, a story of kindness from a stranger and a new friendship formed.

Ken, our neighbor in North Yorkshire, England, knew that we were visitors to the area with a limited amount of time to spend enjoying the surrounding beauty of his native land. Without hesitation he offered to show us the sights and share the history of the area, sometimes by foot, other times by car.  He became out tour guide extraordinaire. We learned so much from Ken in such a relatively short time.  As the paths along the countryside are varied and sometimes vague, Ken showed us the way. By car he gave us an overview of  Nidderdale; all of it was fascinating.  

Back to the pheasant painting. Ken loves the colorful pheasant that grace the countryside. He even enjoys feeding those that come to his yard each morning. (Robert, on the other hand, had other thoughts about those pheasant. Like Ken, he got so excited when he saw them, but it wasn't because he wanted to feed them.)

Robert was leaving England before me but before he left we decided that an appropriate thank you gift for Ken would be a portrait of a pheasant which became the inspiration for this painting. Early one morning, with camera in hand, Robert paid a visit to Ken's yard. With those reference photos and others that I took while touring the area, our plan was set. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Sculpture From The Nereids Monument

One of the Three Nereids
Nereid Monument, Xanthos, about 390-380 BC
3 1/2"x 5", pen and ink
This is my final ink sketch while visiting the United Kingdom. Robert and I spent a few days seeing the sights of London. While we were in the British Museum, this ancient life-size sculpture, one of three in a set, captured my attention.  The beautiful movement and flow of the drapery was a stunning sight to behold. I spent the next 30 minutes sketching her. She was the perfect model, never moving and so accommodating.