Here is my second real “how to” video. This is part one of how to paint a bird. This particular bird is a female Lazuli Bunting. The video is about the same length as your average how to program on PBS. I hope you enjoy it!
This is a video tutorial on how to paint a red cherry. To see the YouTube video, click on the arrow in the frame below,
The section of canvas is first brushed with a thin layer of a slow dri gel, then the cherry is base coated with a thin layer of a bright red. A dark shadow is placed on the right side of the cherry to give it dimensionality. On the left side, a mixture of transparent yellow oxide and white is brushed on to create more dimensionality. Add a bit more white and add a spot highlight to the left. This painting was done using acrylic paints.
I wanted to paint birds and flowers, not necessarily together, but not necessarily apart. Here are 3 paintings of just birds, although there are perches and other objects for them to stand on. But the focal point is the bird. The first, directly to the right is a Scott’s Oriole. Altough the painting includes a hollowed out tree trunk and some grass and daisies, the bird is the focal point.
To the left is a Bewick’s Wren. Again, he also has a place to perch on, but the focal point is the bird, himself. I was very pleased with the painted outcome of the birds themselves, but thought that adding a secondary set of images, flowers, might give more interest to the composition. So, I painted Lucy’s Warbler amongst branches of cherry blossoms. I decided that, although it was different, it was neither more nor less appealing than the other two. So, I tried switching the style into more of a vignette, where several objects shared the limelight; more of a collage approach.
From this idea came the painting of a Canyon Wren backed by blue bell flowers and a butterfly. This definitely gave a different feel to the painting. No longer was it a painting of a bird in his environment; instead it was a collage of a bird, flowers, and butterfly. The same is true of this painting of a generic bird,below, painted as though it was pasted on a flower and a butterfly.
I’m not sure if I have a favorite between the two styles. I will be doing another collage style next. I guess the painting after that will depend on the phase of the moon.
For more information on this paintings, please refer to http://www.visualgemsstudio.com/MyPaintings.shtml and http://www.visualgemsstudio.com/MyPaintings2.shtml.
I found this really neat software app (free) from Golden that lets an artist mix Golden Paints right on the computer screen. Shortly, after, I saw the same app described in another blog called, “The Art Inquirer”. Rather than recreate the wheel, I’m going to try to paste the link to that article from The Art Inquirer here. Click here to see that article.
One of my latest paintings was the beginning of some more unusual backgrounds, such as in the following two paintings:
Both of these paintings began with wet acrylic paint roughly laid on the top and middle of a wet canvas, and then sprayed with water to form drips. The drips are prominent in the Hibiscus painting. I used compressed air to a greater extent on the wet background blue paint of the painting with the bird, rose, and butterfly.
After painting on the abstract backgrounds, I placed different items on the paintings, as if they were collages, in a way, rather than forming some sort of scene.
My internal jury is still out regarding whether I want to continue with this type of background or stick with a more traditional background where the location of the sun has sway over a background of essentially one color going from dark to light in various places, much like the following bird painting. for more images, please see either the Gallery or the paintings on the main page of this website: www.visualgemsstudio.com.
I finished this painting of folk art roses couple of week ago: The original way that I learned to paint these was a nontraditional way using a large amount of acrylic gel rather than using oil paints. In order to paint these flowers, a base coat of colors first is applied, and then, on top of the base coat, a good amount of acrylic gel is placed upon each leaf or flower, one at a time. Then, a good quantity of acrylic paints in two or three colors are applied to the gelled areas. A light colored version of the base color is then stroked through the gelled paint, slightly mixing one color into the next to give the pleasantly colored effect.
The traditional way to do this, of course, is to use oils. This alleviates the need to use gels and the need to race time, as even the gel dries relatively quickly. So, I painted these flowers in oils. Given that I am, in general, an acrylic painter, I am used to using oils for subjects like portraits and sometimes still lifes. But when painting stroke flowers, I usually use acrylics.
The problem I had with the oils was the first layer of oil paint totally overtaking the subsequent strokes of light colors. I had to keep wiping my brush off, reloading with more light paint, and stroking again. From this, I learned that there are peculiarities to using oils just as there are peculiarities to using acrylics. Sometimes acrylics dry too fast; and sometimes oils don’t dry quick enough. Eventually, I got the hang of painting the flowers with oils. But just for comparison sake, I might try them again using acrylics and gels. Then again, I have just started buying Golden Open Acrylics, which have a long open time. This might be a happy medium.
For more information on the sale of this painting, please see:
Folk Roses Painting
I decided to take a trip off the beaten path this week by doing a small 11″ by 14″ canvas painting of some flowers. But not just a painting in my usual style of painting flowers. I decided to paint one-stroke roses. And, for some reason, of which I’m not quite sure, I decided to paint them in water-miscible oil. Typically, I reserve oil paint for subjects like portraits or body poses, or any subject where I find it very important to blend colors together in an unhurried manner. Although the leaves in this painting may come under that general description, there is nothing terribly difficult to painting leaves with acrylic paint.
As for the roses themselves, I suppose I might have been thinking that I could get a nice blend between the base color that I patted into the flowers and the strokes themselves. However, that blending became problematic, as the light highlights of each stroked petal became engulfed by the base color, which had not yet dried. I was able to finish the painting successfully, but probably with four times the effort that I would have taken if I had used acrylic. A double load of dark red tone with light pink, or dark peach tone with an off white, stroked over a dry base color would have made the application of each petal of paint much cleaner. Although the outcome was favorable, the effort involved would have been much less if I had chosen acrylic paints, which I will certainly do if I ever paint stroke roses again.
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.