Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Yonge Street Rain, Toronto

18x18 Oil on Stretched Canvas
I decided to do the monochrome block in again. I used transparent red oxide and then added some ivory black to get the darkest darks. In the final painting, I made the left hand side a little darker in value, as it seemed to fade out of the picture. Adding some darker areas allowed everything to stay together.
We can learn a lot from each other in blogville. Carol Schiff's painting of green grapes made me think a lot more about adding dabs of reflective color. Also, looking at Tammy Hext's work and process with the palette knife has allowed my to be a little braver adding more knife work. I used it in the sky and to add a few dabs of reflections and pure color.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cars and Tracks, Richmond Street, Toronto

11x14 Oil on Stretched Canvas

I recently bought Richard Schmid's book called "Alla Prima, Everything I know about Painting". I haven't taken much time to read it yet, but being disappointed with my tendency to tighten up in my painting method, I thought it was time to try something new. I have been trying some monochrome pictures to work on value. In  his book, I read a method he uses for starting a picture called Monochrome block in.. Starting on a white surface, you draw in the shapes and values using a warm color thinned with turpentine. I chose Transparent Red Iron Oxide (a color I use often).  You do a nearly complete value study. As he puts it, "you can work out all the problems in value, drawing, and edges without worrying about color-then do the finished painting on top of it with opaque paint." He recommends doing the over painting using paint with the consistency as it comes from the tube rather than thinning it. I chose a subject that has strong shapes and values. The small  picture shows some of the value study with some opaque paint added in the cars and some of the road .The top picture shows the finished picture. You do not wait for the value study to dry, but start painting on top while it is wet. I really liked this method, and will certainly do it again.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Value Study, York and Queen Toronto

18x18 Oil on Stretched Canvas
I did this painting using the same color palette as the previous posting. I still find myself looking at details when I'm doing a painting. I want to be able to look at the whole and not the details and colors of the objects in the paintings.Using a limited palette helps me focus on values and edges. I think it takes a lot of "self training" and "looking" to see what is happening in the whole picture. There are times when I am tempted to go back to painting more illustrative and realistic  but I have set a goal for myself, and I need to try to reach it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Red Bell

8x10 Oil on Canvas Sold
You never know what will catch your eye. On this dull rainy day, all the colors seemed muted, even with the reflected sidewalk. Then there was one bright spot of color on the bicycle bell. I decided to paint with a limited palette to portray the lack of color in the scene and used transparent earth brown, black, white and cadmium red.
This scene is from Yonge Street in Toronto.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Suits Head Home, Toronto

8x10 oil on stretched canvas Sold
The black stripes across the granite walkway attracted me to this scene in downtown Toronto. These "suits" added another dimension as they walked through the reflected light finding its way through the tall buildings.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Streetcar #504, Dundas Street, Toronto

16x20 Oil on Stretched Canvas
I liked the reflective blue in this painting, contrasting with the darkness of the buildings. This is Dundas Street in Toronto. Please excuse the poor photo and glare. Time to do some serious research and find out how to take some quality photos!
Note:I retook this photo using a white sheet draped over the painting on the easel, trying to simulate a "light tent". The results were somewhat better. I was hoping to try and  make a light box/tent, but after pricing fabric and framing in either tubing or wood,  I  broke down and ordered a 60" x 60" light tent from ebay. This will be large enough to photograph a 30x40 painting inside.  Dreama Tolle Perry used one of these to photograph the paintings for her book and was pleased with the results.If you are getting ready to submit paintings for gallery representaion, or art shows, it is important to have good photos. I'm looking forward to not having to struggle with glare and hot spots! If you are looking for them on ebay, search for "light tent" or light box. They are available in various sizes.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Waiting Patiently For Timbits SOLD

6x6 Oil on Board
A week or so ago, we had a lovely snow fall. While walking Bailey in the early evening and stopping for our coffee and Timbits (mini doughnuts made from doughnut holes), I took some photos. I captured this wonderful Golden Retriever waited patiently, no need for a leash.(Unlike Bailey)  All the snow is gone now, and we have rain, but we could still get one more winter blast.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rainy Day Shopping, Toronto

10x8 Oil on Canvas
This woman has obviously had a very successful shopping day. Here, she passes Union Station on her way to catch the Go Train.
$125.00 plus shipping. Email for information,

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Guess,Yonge and Dundas, Toronto

30x40 Oil on wrapped canvas
I must say this again. Painting large is difficult for several reasons. There is so much paint to use and mistakes, when they happen, are large. Photographing is almost impossible. But I like to paint large. I am getting ready to submit to some galleries for representation, and I want to have about 10 to 15 paintings that I am really happy with.
This painting is of a nice busy corner in Toronto Ontario. I was attracted to the "Guess" signs and the reflected light in the street. When painting Toronto downtown, there will always be street car tracks somewhere. Here they dissect the picture, but I tried to make them less obvious. I stopped before I started adding too much detail. I like to let it sit around for a couple of days, and then decide if it needs more work.
(I did a little more work, and re photographed the painting, but the photo is still less than perfect. sigh....)