Sunday, August 17, 2014

At the Market - Painting a French Marketbasket

I find inspiration for my paintings from many sources. The inspiration for the painting above came from browsing through a travel magazine encouraging visits to rural areas of France. I loved the look of the market place and decided on selecting one of the elements of the scene.

Many beginning artists attempt to paint an entire scene which is complex with many different perspectives. And, then become frustrated when the painting just "doesn't look right." I encourage my students to pick one part of a scene that draws them and focus on painting just that part. This is much less daunting and easier to achieve. I will often paint elements of a scene individually and then combine them in another painting.

I used masking fluid on parts of the lavender blooms so that the areas behind the blooms could be painted easily. After the masking fluid dried, I worked from the background forward to execute the painting. The following colors were used:

Background - Indigo
Market Basket - Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber, Sepia
Lavender stems - Sap Green, Hooker's Green, Ultramarine
Lavender blooms - Violet, Ultramarine, Alizarin crimson
Blackboard - Ivory Black
Blackboard Frame - Same as basket
Chalk - Chinese White

After the background was painted in a wash of Indigo and allowed to dry, I started work on the basket. Using a wash of yellow ochre, I applied the paint in a wet on wet wash using a large round brush, adding deeper colors before the first wash dried at the edges and in various areas to add character to the basket. See the photo below with a closer view of the basket.

Next, I painted the lavender stems using a wash of the colors listed above in various strengths to give the stems some detail.

The blackboard frame was painted in the same manner as the basket using darker color on the edge to distinguish it from the basket. After the frame dried, I painted the blackboard. However, I did not add the "chalk" until the final step - after the lavender blooms were painted.

After the basket and the frame dried, I used a dry flat brush and Burnt Umber to add the wood grain in several areas.

Painting the lavender blooms, started with a wash of the lightest violet. See the photo above. After each wash dried, deeper washes of violet was applied in various locations. Using a round brush, I added the shape of the blooms.

The final step was to "write on the chalkboard." I used a wash of Chinese White and the tip of a round brush. Allow some of the blackboard to show through to realistically look like chalk.

Review your painting for any final touches! When complete, sign your painting!

Until next blog........

Happy Painting!

Sunday, July 27, 2014


The painting above, "Memories" is a watercolor painting done on Arches 140 lb - 100% rag watercolor paper. I used a muted and limited palette to covey the feeling of drawing from one's memory when viewing the items in the old barn.

First, I sketched the picture and used masking fluid on the following areas that I wanted to remain light or white:

1. Edges of the stairs
2. Cracks between the boards on the wall on the right side that allows sunlight to filter in
3. Old bedframe in the top storage area.
4. Tricycle
5. Highlights on the old pail and gate

Once the masking fluid was dry, I used a wash of the following colors:
- Indigo
- Sepia
- Yellow Ochre

Once the background wash dried, I started laying in details. Since I am left handed I worked from right to left across the page to prevent dragging my hand across my finished work.

As you know from previous blogs, I am an Impressionist painter and prefer the illusion of the items rather than a photographic representation Details are kept to a minimum in this painting with areas of the background blurred allowing the viewer's mind to fill in the details. Notice in the photos below, that bright colors are used in specific places to draw attention to special "memories."

I used varying shades of Sepia, Yellow Ochre, Indigo, and VanDyke Brown to create shadows in the darker areas of the barn with only shadow and shape with no definite object. Notice how the boxes and chest on the upper left are very muted with no definite edges, nor shape. Refer to photo at top to view the finished boxes and chest.

Once you are satisfied with the result of the shading, allow the painting to dry and remove the masking fluid. See photo below. The sun will stream through and provide your highlights.

Check the painting for any details you would like to add. Perhaps a touch of fine detail on the pail or a line or two of detail on the gate and trunk.

I hope you have enjoyed this painting journey into memories in the barn. Until next blog........

Happy Painting!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I've Been Busy!

I thought I had better post to my blog. I am sorry it has been so long between posts, but I have been keeping busy.

In addition to my watercolor painting, I have been working on numerous projects around the house, hiking in the mountains, and preparing for an art show.

I participated in the Farragut, TN Arts Council juried art show held in May. This show was in conjunction with a flower show and was titled: Alchemy - The Magic of Art and Flowers. Needless to say, the painting had to be a floral.

Two of my paintings were juried into the show and one of them was selected to have a floral arrangement showcase the painting.

I submitted my paintings: "For Only" - a day lily that only blooms for a day; and "Welcome" - a home with a picket fence and a flower garden to welcome family and friends inside.

My painting "Welcome" had a wonderful floral arrangement inspired by my painting. The painting (top photo) has a white picket fence with various types of garden flowers surrounding the front entrance. The floral arrangement carried the theme of the white picket fence.

According to the theme of the show, Alchemy is a science that was used n the Middle Ages with the goal of changing ordinary metals into gold.....or a power or process that changes or transforms something in a mysterious or impressive way.

Thus, is art....the power to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary!

I'll be back with another blog and a painting....until then,

Happy Painting!

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Starting 2014 with one more fun piece of pallet art - literally! Then, in my next blog, I will provide step by step instructions for a watercolor painting.

I am enjoying using slats from an old pallet and I wanted to find a way to make another sign and find something to do with old paint brushes! I never have the heart to throw away old paint brushes......they hold fun memories.

Supplies needed for the above sign:

1 piece of pallet
White paint
Black paint
old paint brushes

Using the old pallet slat: I painted it with a wash of white paint and allowed it to dry. I painted block letters spelling A-R-T vertically on the pallet, leaving some extra space at the bottom of the sign for the paint brushes. When dry, using medium sand paper I sanded down the edges and in random spots on the sign....sanding down to expose the unpainted pallet underneath.

Arrange several paint brushes under the lettering and glue into place. When dry - hang! You have a wonderful pallet art sign!

Happy Painting!