Friday, August 11, 2017

A Few More Paintings on the Easel - a Cat and A Baby Raven

After doing some watercolor cats, I decided to try my hand at doing a cat in acrylics.

Stay tuned - this one's incomplete and still on the easel.

This one, however, is complete and currently at the State College Framing Company & Gallery being framed. Can hardly wait to pick it up and see how it comes together framed!

This barely fledged Raven was painted with permission from a wonderful photograph by photographer Wendy Davis of British Columbia.

When I was demonstrating recently at the Rhoneymead Aboretum and Sculpture Gardens, several Penn State art students were present and they asked some very good questions. One student asked why I have no backgrounds in my bird and animal portraits. I had to admit, I'd never even considered adding backgrounds...but why?

My focus is on capturing the specific individual before me - I want to capture the essence of the bird, it's unique personality, it's particular stance, it's way of interacting with the world around him/her. For me, a background would be distracting from my may goal. There is nothing more I want to add to my portraits that a background could do. Yes, the specific location of the bird in nature could actually enhance the scene, but I prefer simplicity to enhancement - at least for now.

A thoughtful question, indeed! What do you think - after comparing Wendy's photograph to the finished painting? Your comments will be appreciated.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Progress on Paintings Begun at Rhoneymeade Demo

Raven in Flight - Acrylic - 11"x14" - (c)Pat Dolan 2017
From this beginning:

Below: Raven Landing - 12"x9" - acrylic - Pat Dolan

And number three:
Raven on a Post - 9"w x 12"h - acrylic - Pat Dolan

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Playing Around with Photo Collages Today

These first three photo collages were created on my iPhone/iPad using an app called LIVE COLLAGE. It's a free app, although one can upgrade by paying a small price. I haven't yet upgraded, but I do so love creating the collages! It's especially fun with photos of the great granddaughters!

If you click on one of them, you will have an enlarged image - all the better to see the details!

The photo collage below I did a few years ago using Picasa, which is no longer supported nor can it be used for creating photo collages... Sad to say.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Butterfly Bush Visitors Today

Red Spotted Purple Butterfly

Taking a painting break for a day or two. Taking photos, instead! Enjoy!

Note: he/she has a torn wing, poor thing. But he/she seems to be doing just fine as is!

I believe this one above is a Black Swallowtail - although in this light, it looks more brown than black!

Below: the Hummingbird Moth

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Preparing to Demonstrate in Acrylic Tomorrow!

Tomorrow I'll be painting at the Rhoneymeade Arboretum & Sculpture Gardens between 1:30-3:30pm. This is what my studio looks like as I prepare to do a demo on site away from my own studio!

First up: planning what I'll be painting! I generally work on 3-5 pieces at a time, allowing me to step away from each piece so as to be more objective when I return. Here are the pieces I've prepared today for tomorrow's demo.
Wood Thrush - step one, basic drawing in #3 pencil drawn lightly enough so it won't disturb the painting as it evolves.

Four small pieces to be done on black canvas - three are Ravens and the fourth, a kitten.

Fledgling Sparrow & Flying Raven - drawn on canvas and ready to paint.

Once I have the artwork selected, it's time to select the paint needed to bring the images alive on canvas. Below are all the paints I will NOT be bringing tomorrow!

And the brushes I'm leaving behind...

These are what are essential for my paintings tomorrow!

After giving it some thought, I'd rather not be frozen tomorrow facing all these blank canvas's - terrified to start working on any of them! Therefore, I decided to start working on a few of them, just to get back into the groove of working with acrylic paints after a few weeks of playing with watercolors!

And finally, this is what it looks like when everything is packed up and ready to go. My small easel is in there, along with knee braces in case my knees get too tired standing. I like to paint standing as it allows me the freedom to move around and see the work from different angles. Again, objectivity is essential if one wishes to create a successful piece of art.

Frank has already put the boxes in the car for me. I"m sure I'll have help getting them out. I'm hoping the weather will cooperate so that we won't be too hot, or too damp... who wants to be outside painting or even painting in a barn on a hot, humid day? And who on earth would want to stand around watching someone else painting on a hot humid day!!!

The Weather Channel says we have a 50/50 chance of scattered thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon. We'll just make the best of it and I'm sure it will be fun!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Keep on Keeping on - Watercolors...

Clyde Kitty - 6"x8" watercolor on clay-board panel

Alyssa's Alpaca - 4"x6" watercolor on clay-board panel

Above, two paintings completed this weekend. They require a few coats of varnish to make sure the watercolor does not "move" on the clay board panel. One can accidentally or deliberately wash away watercolor paintings from these clay board panels. Proper finishing is essential!

I cut a few daisies from the garden this weekend and thought I'd try my hand at painting flowers, for a change.

Daisies - 7"x10" watercolor on watercolor paper

Lastly, here's a painting I started many years ago - painting only the shadows from a magazine photo. The magazine photo is long gone, so I'm improvising as I go. Have no idea how this will develop or whether it will end up in the waste pile. But it is a challenge, so it's time to challenge myself.

Still working on her... we will see where this goes in time...

More are on the drawing boards, awaiting color, water, and brush strokes. And my time, of course!