Listen to the road

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow light

I think this dog should be named Gen. Beauregard Lee.
In honor of Groundhog Day.

The snow light here is wonderful, soft and spirit lifting.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Learning when to stop painting

I think I stopped in time with this guy.  There's a lot to learn about stopping and looking while
putting down the brush.

I went a bit too far on this dog. Still trying to get that expression.

I learned to begin the value study with a larger brush here. Very over done but a good lesson

I feel the practice is having returns.This is much more expressive without the fussy little brush
strokes. I think it's almost done. The snow here wants to stay around with temps only getting
up into the 20s. We're having a heat wave today-into the 40s.

 The white-white snow light is great for painting. My little space is filled with light.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I love this blog.

Reminds me of a dog's viewpoint day to day. Lately I'm obsessed with dogs and how life
fills up with their unconditional presence in the moment. It drags me back from dreaming
about tomorrow or remembering yesterday.

My little guy is high stepping today with a few inches of snow to navigate. Not warming up
anytime soon.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Middle stages-dog paintings

After 3 days away from painting I was able to spend yesterday working
on the middle stages of these.  I'm not trying to make total realistic
paintings. Trying to find ways to paint the dignity, attitude and just
plain goofiness of these guys.

Sometimes leaving out detail helps.

Other times lots of detail added to be covered partially.

Noticing that colors are reflected from the background.

Beginning with a value study puts down some 'bones' so color can
pull together the shapes. I have so much to learn. I'd like to simplify shapes
and textures. For now, I'm just painting and studying.

Having a work station (small area) always set up lets me work a  bit each day.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Underpainting, beginning again

I've prepared lots of small illustration boards with gesso to practice with
oils. Not using expensive materials helps me make mistakes and learn from
them instead of cringing. Yesterday I began a lot of dog under paintings.

Some of these under paintings are encouraging.
Others are less so.

Turning them upside down for value studies was helpful.
Under paintings are not supposed to look perfect, just provide a value study
fore later stages or layers. It was so absorbing that I had to snap out of it when
the tornado warnings and a neighbor called to warn about the huge
storm that blew through here. Now on to the next stages. I found this book,
101 Textures in Oil & Acrylic, last week. Along with Oil Painting and
 The Oil Painting Handbook  it's all I've needed to paint at my level of skill.

Gillian Lee Smith is offering an online painting/drawing course soon. I'm looking
forward to it!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Painting again

For years I've collected dog photos and drawn them in graphite. Now, after about 30 years, I'm
trying to relearn oils and painting dozens of dogs. There's something so out there, soulful and
honest in those eyes. I hope these beginnings improve with more practice!