Saturday, February 26, 2011

Painting from a sketch

The Dory
18 x 24
oil on canvas
I usually like to plunge right into a painting hoping it will be a keeper but this was done from a sketch and photo from December and I can say that it was crucial to have the sketch to refer to knowing that the mood and composition will work for me. I do love painting boats and buildings but am starting back to Okanagan landscapes as spring is coming and I'm itching to get back to plein air painting. In the meantime I'm totally obsessed with the bird photography and am up to 70 species on my list. It has opened up a whole world of life I was oblivious to before and in fact walked or ran by each day without knowing it existed. Below is a little Golden-crowned Kinglet that hovers like a hummingbird looking for bugs in the bark, too small for me to have noticed before but living right out my front door.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Oiling Out

Reifel Reserve
8 x 10
oil on canvas board
I've been spending quite a bit of time birding, photographing and cataloging images lately but am also doing some maintenance on some recent paintings.  This involves checking the surfaces for dull areas and bringing back the luster with a little walnut oil.  It is as far as I'm concerned the only way to even out the surface properly and the bonus is that it shows up the brush strokes of paint instead of varnish brush strokes which can be distracting.  The oil when dry creates a tough protective surface but one has to watch for drips and it may require more than one oiling out to get a good finish.  
The painting above is of a Green-winged Teal that I spotted at the Reifel bird Reserve.  I loved the reflections and the limited palette needed to paint this.