Yesterday I finished painting my first hummingbird. I think it is my favorite wildlife painting so far. I was very happy with the background, the brightness against the bird compared to the darker corners, so I didn’t need to go back with any drybrushing afterwards. This painting was very calming and peaceful to paint.
A couple of days ago, I finished the painting of an Evening Grosbeak. But, yesterday morning I was looking at it and something seemed to be missing. I realized that I hadn’t drybrushed a highlighted area around the head area of the bird. In all my other bird paintings, I have been habitually creating a highlighted spot around or very near the main subject matter. So, I remedied the situation, giving the bird a brighter background to make him pop. And here are the before and after pictures of “Evening Grosbeak”:
There appears to be a “brightness” difference between the two photographs, caused by the difference in lighting between the two times I took the photos. The old version looks a bit washed out, so the newer version is actually more accurate.
After spending the past three weeks focusing on painting birds on 11″ x 14″ stretched canvas, this week I changed to a slightly bigger, 16″ x 20″ canvas, which gave me the room I needed to create more subject matter to complement the bird. This time I painted the bird on an overturned wooden basket of red and green apples:
I intend to paint more canvases that are the larger size because I’ll have room to put in parts of trees, maybe a bird house, maybe a fence, etc. without having to shrink down the bird and compromise on detail.
I finished the painting today and also uploaded it to my website: http://www.visualgemsstudio.com and to my ETSY store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/VisualGemsStudio. I wanted to be finished with the marketing part today so that I could start the day tomorrow thinking about the design for my next painting. I feel more creative in the morning, so it’s more pleasant to paint in the morning and deal with computer based chores in the afternoon.
Today I made my first “How To” video on YouTube. My previous videos have been about my process of painting or creating a particular piece of jewelry. This time, for each section of the new bird painting that I am doing, I am videoing the process with instructional information on how to do the painting. My first video is about the background and how to blend in the colors to make the backdrop for the particular bird I am currently painting. For the next videos, I will tape how I paint the tree trunk, the bird beak and eye, and the feathers.
I finally found a tutorial on how to create submenus in html and css. I needed one badly because the number of paintings that I have available for sale has become too long a list for one page, even when they are in a table with three columns per row. But when I finished coding the section, it worked in Firefox but not in Internet Explorer (at least not in version 9). So I searched the web for possible answers and found one: a new meta tag that allows Internet Explorer 9 to render correctly:
meta http-equiv=”X-UA-Compatible” content=”IE=edge,chrome=1″
Who knew that IE 9 didn’t render html code correctly automatically! But, I had an even greater surprise. A problem that I was having getting the html background color to show centered underneath thecolor in IE 9 also suddenly worked! That’s after 4 months of having no luck figuring out what was wrong.
Please visit my site, if you have previously, and see if there is a difference in how the pages look now:
Visual Gems Studio
I’ve heard and discovered several things over the past couple of days. One, is that most artists use black as a background for their paintings when they display their work on their websites. I think it really does make the paintings pop more, so I changed my main painting page (the one that shows my complete list of paintings at the moment) to have a black background for the pictures of the paintings. See below.
I’ve also been hearing that framing is not the norm when it comes to selling art because people want the frames to match their decor, plus it keeps down the cost. Unless I’m showing one of my pieces in a gallery, I think I’ll stop framing and lower the prices.
In the beginning, when I had a few paintings for sale on my website, I coded my website so that it would show a linear list of my paintings. But now, the number of paintings that I have for sale has grown – too much for a linear list. So I have revamped my website so that all the thumbnail images of the paintings are in a multi-row/multi-column table. From there, it’s just one hope to find out all about each painting, including price, large images, descriptions, and videos where available.