Thursday, May 29, 2008


One of the art groups I belong to is working on a show of paintings taken from recent events in San Jose, California. A pair of falcons have been nesting on the city hall building and there is a web cam set up so everyone can watch the chicks grow. In fact they fledged yesterday. I've been having great fun sketching from the web cam and two weeks ago I had a chance to sketch and photo a captive peregrine. It was a special treat.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lesson13 - Transparent Glass

The problem for this lesson was to paint a transparent glass container with a flower against a white background. There were three steps involved. To make the glass look shiny you must find a few highlights which will be the only pure white paper showing. Everything else, even the 'white background' must be shaded a bit so the highlights appear white. Next, look carefully at what happens to the stem as it hits the surface of the water and as it is seen below water level. And finally, look for abstract darker shapes within the glass, particularly watch what happens near the glass edges. I find this type of painting and careful observation very relaxing.

Barbara painted a very believable transparent glass with a minimum of shapes.

Bev found some wonderful dark shapes along the sides of her container.

Catalina saw the yellow-green of the leaves in the water shapes.

Jean darkened the background enough to make the entire vase look shiny.

Nancy used a variety of light colors to shade her 'white' background.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Weekend Art Show

Welcome back. I have been preparing for an art show for the last few weeks and let the blog slide. Weekend outdoor art shows are so much work but once they're set up it is pleasant to visit with friends and people I haven't seen in years. It was a hot couple of days but I was able to do some sketching and got several ideas for paintings. Below are a couple I plan to develop.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Lesson 12 - Aerial Abstracts

In this lesson we started with aerial photographs to create abstract designs. It was fun to simplify and exaggerate shapes and colors to form interesting compositions and to play with patterns within some of the shapes.

Jan played with angled shapes and curvy lines and used a pen to create patterns.

Marg's photo suggested a radial design with small squares and lines adding detail.

Emily focused in on a top view of two angled buildings contrasting with vertical rows of trees.

Dan used the landforms, clouds and water to create a series of wedges. The city is suggested by a series of lines.