Saturday, September 15, 2007

On the road to Havelock - South Island, NZ - Acrylic

My latest venture in acrylic landscape from one of my photos.
I thought it would turn into an interesting project - using three canvas panels. This was a decision based on necessity...

1) I didn't have one of those long skinny canvas blocks -
2) the thought of trying to transport it (if I did have one) was not something that appealed to me
3) I DID have one of those cheap 3-packs so decided to use it creatively for one project

Will be back to write details but enjoy the photos in the meantime...

Sketching with violet always works for me.

Looking more like the Antarctic...

Here I used a watery dilution of Blue Lake to "prime' the white background.
There is still some left - I have it in the fridge in a plastic yoghurt container with a cling wrap film for a lid. No kids in our house so no fear of it being drunk by mistake...

Painting some of the fields and hills with lemon yellow, yellow ochre and cool yellow. I did these in thin layers of yellows so the optical mixing of the blue underneath made green...

Then a bit of burnt umber to define the leafless trees and bushes...

Using a few more layers of blue lake to define the sky - I chose to keep the clouds out of the scene, but think they might have to be added at some stage - too BLUE...
More definition to the hills using ready mixed greens with some ochre and white to highlight the ridges.

Now I'm beginning to think this is turning into a "dull" painting, but learning as I go.
My last trip past this spot gave me another opportunity to view the hills at a different time of day, so I'll be able to 'draw' on that when I get to the next step...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Guest Artist - Tero Nurminen

This is from Finnish artist Tero Nurminen based in Helsinki.
Click the link to see more incredible works by Tero.

When I first saw this painting I was amazed and said, "Now that is real art...".
Especially since I have a "thing" for frogs.

Here is some info from the artist himself...
size: of the painting is 150cm x 240cm.
medium: acrylic on canvas.
name: sweaty afternoon.

Look also my art from the Finnish artists union home pages: and there is page named: verkkomatrikkeli.
Then search by name: Tero Nurminen.
You can also check Saatchi gallery online, and search by my name.
There are my latest works which are very strong paintings in my opinion.
They are painted by flowing acrylic paint on canvas when painting is laying on the floor. Canvas is cotton duck and its own colour is important element in the finished painting.
best regards

Tero Nurminen

Friday, July 20, 2007

What is this? - Acrylic Ink on Watercolour Paper

acrylic ink

This is a recent painting I did for Painting About Com's July Painting Project.
But before I tell you all more about it, I'd love some comment on what you all think it might be...
Just a little bit of research to see what different views people have of this painting...
Hit the "comments" link below this post to let me know.
Thanks very much...

Well, that was the painting... Now for the inspiration of it...
It was taken from this Google Earth image and from browsing Google Earth of this place in the north west of South Africa.

Art Expression

Friday, July 06, 2007

Guest Artist - Joan Knoesen (1)

Joan Knoesen - "On the road to Wanaka"

Joan Knoesen - "On the road to Wanaka" - Oil on canvas panel- 8 by 10 inches
Central Otago, south island, New Zealand

This painting is by South African artist Joan Knoesen and was taken from a photo I sent to her a few years ago.
From an early age I remember being captivated by my grandmother's art - her ability to put paint on a canvas and produce an image that evoked emotion and thought is, I'm sure where my love of art grew from.

Whatch this space for more art from Joan Knoesen...

Art Expression

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Ink Flow

Another ink doodle that I like and since some of my other paintings have been relegated to the definition of 'practice runs' - it is here...

Art Expression

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bright Ink

acrylic ink

wet in wet - acrylic ink

There's something quite therapeutic about swirling pigment around a watery parchment...

No set rules to follow - it evolves naturally and takes on an abstract quality.
I'm amazed how the tiniest drop of coloured ink can expand from deep intensity to bright and even flow of colour. The real excitement for me is when another colour is added and given a slight guiding stroke or three with the tip of my paintbrush - then watching how it all evolves...

Using the three primary colours - this is the result.

I'm having fun with ink and water at the moment - building up to gaining confidence to tackle a large watercolour landscape.

Art Expression

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Here's lookin' at ya...

red eyed tree frog - acrylic on canvas

In the interests of keeping my blog active by posting to it on a regular basis - I thought this pic would be amusing...
It came up on my screensaver the other night and "spoke" to me.

This photo was taken during my developmental series (so it is not part of the photos I have of the finished painting) and was shot up close and at an angle.

Hope to be back soon with the latest painting stages...

Art Expression

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Rusty Talent...

limited colours

It's been a good few months since I spent some time with watercolour paints and my first foray into the medium after this results in this pic. Putting it in a frame thankfully detracts from the 'schoolboy' art of the painting...

I used only a few 'basic' colours to keep things simple and it was a fun little experiment.

Art Expression

Monday, May 21, 2007

"Callie's Fluke" - final - framed

CALLIE'S FLUKE - acrylic on watercolour board - 225mm x 305mm - May 2007.

And here it is, the final painting for Callie - 'rescued' as a potential flop and now as a gift to a friend from cyberspace.
Many thin layers of paint have been glazed over to give the sky an almost photographic clarity.
It is one of those paintings best viewed from a distance to impart the full effect.

To view the process of this painting, please scroll down to the next post...

Art Expression

Monday, April 09, 2007

How to Ruin a Painting - 101

Ok, so the title is a li'l over damatic, but I'm going to show you step by step how to ruin a painting...
All was going well until STEP: #5 onwards...

STEP # 1:
painting of a whale - process

Take a spare watercolour board and draw the picture, sketching with the paint to show definition... Got it?

STEP # 2:

Decide on some bright colours to use and continue building up layers of brightness.
Remember your motto, "Expressing life through colour..."

STEP # 3:

Continue with layers of bright and vivid sunset colours.
This painting now takes shape and is working out rather well...
This would have been a good place to stop and reconsider
the options.

STEP # 4:

Going gangbusters - the whole painting is coming together nicely. Then, this is probably where you should stop and call it quits by doing nothing more on the background... If you've been fortunate enough to get some honest feedback, you probably would have been told to concentrate just on getting the whale defined...

STEP # 5:
This is where it all goes horribly wrong...
Know when to stop! Don't think by adding some more red colour to the sunset sky that it will liven things up more.
And, PLEASE, if you're using vivid transparent colours - don't go randomly using pastel and opaque - (colours that cover up the areas already painted)

STEP #6:

Perhaps this should come under the title " How to rescue a ruined painting"..?
So this is where I am up to on this and totally stuck... I've painted over the lighter colours with mixes of paynes gray, permanent purple madder, quinacridone red violet. Repainted the sea and sky with yellow to diffuse the intense red "hit" of the previous pic but I'm no longer enjoying the process. I'll give it one more go and then decide if what I've done has worked. Otherwise I'll start another whale picture on actual acrylic board instead of watercolour board.
Thanks for your patience Callie - one of these months, you'll have a whale from New Zealand hangin on your wall...

Art Expression

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Red Eyed Tree Frog - 5 -

Red Eyed Tree Frog - 5 - Part 8

"Consummatum est"

I'm not doing anymore on <-- this frog. At some point one has to declare, "IT IS FINISHED!" And in comparison to the other frog paintings already declared consummatum est - this one joins them... All these tree frog paintings you see here are on 100cm by 80cm stretched canvas.

I'm taking a well deserved break from frogs for the time being (even though my focus remains on completing my series...) but I am keen to get back to doing a few more watercolour landscapes.
Watch this space...

Art Expression

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Red Eyed Tree Frog - 5 - Part 7

Well, I've dealt to the rather blue background leaf and this is the result.
Yesterday I bit the bullet and decided it would either work or totally ruin the painting.
Instead I've landed up in no-man's land. It isn't ruined but it certainly isn't fixed.

I used Light Green to paint over the obvious blue areas of the leaf - blending that into the rest of the painting. Then I spent the whole day glazing over the background with diluted layers of Light Green. Waiting for it to dry before applying the next layer and the next - and so on.
Lesson/s learnt?: Viridian Hue is a lovely colour - BUT - only in the right context. I should have been brave enough to mix my own dark green from the start...

So my thoughts at the moment are:
  • that the background has lost some of it's solidness
  • the frog looks like it's hovering on the leaf rather than sitting on it
  • the luminosity of the frog body is lost in the optical mixing of the background
etc, etc, etc

My solution:
to put the painting back in the office and get on with other unfinished paintings until my mind has time to 'come up with the answer' or a friendly comment is left with helpful suggestion/s

Art Expression

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Red Eyed Tree Frog - 5 - Part 5 and 6

Red Eyed Tree Frog - 5 - Part 5 and 6

After my few days off from frogging I decided to get out the Lemon Yellow and Blue Lake to finally start painting the body. I have an unexplained aversion to mixing my own greens, but I do like the way Lemon Yellow and Blue Lake mix.

I squeeze out a blob of yellow and then squeeze about a fifth of that of blue - on the lid of a plastic ice cream container... No airs or graces with me - I don't even own an easle (though it's on my wish list)
Then: it's paint brush into water, (for the frog body, I only used a #12 Haydn) mixing the two together slightly on the plastic lid and transferring what's on the brush to the canvas where it's mixed further by the brush strokes and more water if required. (This frog body was painted differently to the ones in my previous series' - those were mixed directly on the canvas with a much thicker conistency and applied mostly with a dappled effect. This one was painted using flowing strokes. I didn't have to be too concerned about "detail" because the previous underpainting stages had taken care of that.)
Where I need to, I add more blue or yellow directly to the painted canvas (while it's still wet) to define specific areas. Check out the link above about mixing greens.

pre glazed frog
I then used washes/glazes of just Lemon Yellow to bring out the consistency I was after. As you can see, it has made the frog more luminous and vibrant.

glazed frog

Then a little more Orange on the hands and feet and Titanium White to accentuate the highlights brings me to this point.

Now I have to figure out how to deal to the leaf background, so will be back when that's done...

Art Expression

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Red Eyed Tree Frog - 5 -

Red Eyed Tree Frog - 5 - Part 4

red eyed tree frog - acrylic - painting process

So this is how the next espisode continues. I used mixes of Blue Lake and Phthalo Blue to paint in the blue areas you see here. Thin dilutions of Blue Lake were used to accentuate some areas on the frog body too.

Then I used mixes of Orange, Medium Yellow and Brilliant Red to paint in details on the "hands and feet" of the frog. Finishing off with just Brilliant Red to colour in the eyes.

Burnt Sienna was used in the central 'vein' of the leaf to bring it out more and define some of the shadow. I had high hopes of using washes of the same colour to brown up the leaves which I think are looking too blue... Something else required my attention - so this is where I'm up to for now...

Art Expresion

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Red Eyed Tree Frog 5

Red Eyed Tree Frog 5 - Part 3

red eyed tree frog - acrylic - painting process - background

Nothing like a bit of viridian hue to liven up the background...
Again, I used various dilutions of the hue and like the way it has come out so far.

I decided to paint the background now before concentrating on the body of the frog - my reasoning being that when I do the final background, I can paint a definite and smooth line to make the frog stand out from the rest of the painting.

Art Expression

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Red Eyed Tree Frog 5

Red Eyed Tree Frog 5 - Part 2

red eyed tree frog - acrylic - painting process

I used a 'cheap' student acrylic called warm yellow to define some more areas of the frog - again, in various dilutions to help me when I get to 'fill in the gaps' later.
The same yellow was glazed over where the stem and leaves are.

Then I used a quality acrylic of light green to paint in the leaves.
I'm not too happy with the way the background leaf on the top left hand side came out so will be giving that some more definition soon.
And, this is where I'm up to...

Not sure if I should 'complete' the backgound first or fill in the body of the frog - not a major drama since this particular tree frog painting is one that I'm enjoying - it seems to flow a lot better for me than the other 4 I did. Practice does make things easier...
Already, I'm beginning to toy with the idea of doing a monochrome frog painting as my next project...

Art Expression

Monday, February 19, 2007

Red Eyed Tree Frog 5 - Part 1

red eyed tree frog - acrylic - painting process

So begins the fifth tree frog painting that I am doing on 1metre by 80cm canvas.

Having painted horizontal versions so far I thought it time to go "long-ways" but hadn't yet found a picture that I like.
After drawing the frog on a white canvas I first used white fabric paint to outline the highlights.
This pic doesnt show it, but because the fabric paint is thick - it 'stands out' on the canvas. (I've found that if I'm aware of light and shadow from the start - and keep that in mind throughout the painting process then it is a lot easier [for me] to keep the painting grounded.)
Then I decided to add tonal features (using dilutions of violet) to see how it would turn out - and this is the result so far...
A good reference for shadow...

Art Expression

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Art Expression Blog

Feel free to click on the

Blog Archive links (on the side bar panel) to see more art...

alternatively, pres "ctrl + end" and click the link that says Older Posts

Any suggestions or comments will be most appreciated.
Just click on the comments link below this post (or the specific post you would like to comment on) and a message window will open for you to type your contribution.
Art Expression

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Red Eyed Tree Frog - Red Series

My first red eyed tree frog painting (on the right hand side) and my latest frog - on the left.

red eyed tree frogs - acrylic paintings 80x100cm

If you would like to see the developmental stages of these pics, click on the label RED SERIES at the bottom of this post.

I painted over the mitre leaf in the painting on the left and changed the head of the frog from the 'camel humps' of the right to one 'hump' on the left.

So, lets have a vote on which frog painting you prefer - left or right? ...
Funny thing too about photographing my art - it never seems to be a 'true' reflection of the original...

Art Expression

Friday, January 12, 2007

Red Eyed Tree Frog - side by side for comparison

There's only space on my viewing wall for one large painting at a time.
These tree frog paintings had to be placed side by side in the lounge.
I lay down in front of them to give an indication of how "big" they are but that looked a bit 'cheezy' so sent those pics straight to the recycle bin.

I think they are finished and ready for selling. You?...

Now I'm off to do another red background painting and will look at doing another tree frog painting in portait size since the frogs I've painted so far have been landscape orientated.
'til later.....

Art Expression

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Red Eyed Tree Frog - 3 - "Green series"

Red Eyed Tree Frog - acrylic on canvas - green series

Red Eyed Tree Frog 3 - Part 5

And so the red eye tree frog painting develops to this...

I don't think I have been defeated by green.
In fact I'm now beginning to actually think this is the best frog painting I have done so far.

For the face I used a lot of lemon yellow and blue lake. No white at all in that mix.
When the painting dried, I used white for the highlights and fixed up the eyes some more.

My wife thinks there is too much white on the face so I might have to re-green the frog a little...
Anyway, the next pic on here will be the final of this painting and then I start another one with the red leaves.

- If you want to see the sequence of paintings for this, just click on the GREEN SERIES label beneath this post.

Art Expression
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