Painting with Acrylics in my Living Room.

Tree Shadows, Mar. 2019, acrylic on panel

I did an acrylic painting! I haven’t worked with acrylic paints since 2017. It was fun. It was also fun to be able to rework areas and add things after the fact. Watercolour kind of just gives you the one chance to get it right.

I did this over two days and was very lucky to get two sunny days in a row that happened to be on my days off work. I am fascinated with how the shadows here are never the same. It depends on the time of day, the weather, the time of year, etc. I had done a watercolour of this same view, but it was painted in the morning so the shadows were stretched out longer across the yard. This one was painted between noon and 3pm.

And now I can can put all this away–the living room is pretty cluttered with my painting stuff set up right in front of the window. It makes me a little crazy.

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Snow and Sun.

Snowy Road, Feb. 19, 2019, wtercolour on paper

Snow on the street in front of my house. All I want to do right now is paint the snow so it’s a good thing we are having a very snowy February. There has also been many beautiful sunny days and sitting to paint them from my windows is very calming. It forces me to slow down and really appreciate it–even the dirty snow on the street.

Shadows and Snow.

Shadows and Snow, Feb. 9, 2019, watercolour on paper

A beautiful sunny winter day today. I painted this exact view in November and did not realize it until I uploaded it to Instagram. This one has much more detail and the placement of plants is more accurate, but at a glance they look the same. The November painting is also much smaller at 7 x 10 inches whereas today’s painting is 11 x 15 inches. It was a bit harder to get the larger shadow areas as clean in the larger painting because the paint dried so quickly. I also noticed that on the November painting I did not even attempt to paint the snow-covered juniper at the bottom. And as my second attempt at painting that juniper, it does look a lot more like a snow-covered juniper this time.

Here is the November painting. A much quicker painting, but still nice.

Shadows, Nov. 7, 2018, watercolour on paper

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Snow Paintings.

Snow in the Backyard, Feb. 6, 2019, watercolour on paper

I had a very good art week. I am finally getting back into the swing of things. This week I did a couple of quick cloud watercolours, a pencil sketch of the crabapple tree, one longer watercolour yesterday, and a very long watercolour today. That’s what I need to be doing every week. Just lots and lots of art. Maybe it is knowing that I must have something to blog about every week–I need those deadlines.

So this one took me four hours today. I started with the back fence and tree, then did all the ground snow and shadows, then added the railings, and lastly went back and added more detail in the background. I added the tree shadow at the end so it was actually an hour or two later than the ground shadows and by then the ground shadows were completely different, but it felt like it all worked, even though it is a bit invented. I think the tree shadow needed to be there. I also spent a long time on the railings–almost a full hour. In the past I have slapped the railings in at the end and not taken enough time to make sure they were straight.

Yesterday’s painting did not go quite as well. I wanted to paint the snow-covered junipers beneath the living room window, but it was a bit of a bumpy mess. Not only was it a confusing mess of bumps, but there were shadows on it too. I think that’s why I wanted to paint it, but I will have to attempt it again another day. The painting also suffered from lack of context–I zoomed in on just the juniper and ground shadows so it isn’t quite clear what you are looking at. Oh well, it did challenge me.

Snow Covered Juniper under the Living Room Window, Feb. 5, 2019, watercolour on paper

Snow and Garden.

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My trusty patio–always a nice view to paint from my living room and always different. And my oregano is uncovered once again. I have now painted this view of my patio in January, February, April, July, and November. And what a beautiful day it was today! I can’t believe this is still January. It feels like spring! By the time I was done this painting most of the snow on the patio had melted. And then to top off the spring-like feeling, the seeds that I ordered for my garden just arrived! Don’t worry though, I don’t start planting seeds in my trays until the end of March–I have learned my lesson with starting too early. But I have been planning. I have all my yard projects for this summer planned out already. Though there’s still plenty of time to change my plans before then. In the meantime I will be documenting the snow on my patio.

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Distracted.

Shadows, Nov. 7, 2018, watercolour on paper

I am way overdue for a blog post. Time goes by so fast. My last post was back in March and now here it is, winter again. I started using Instagram in the summer and I guess I forgot all about blogging. Then I felt like I had to catch up on the missed paintings on my blog which made me procrastinate even more, so I’m just going to skip the missed paintings and start blogging again. I am also thinking I should start doing my Watercolour Wednesdays again to get me back into the swing of things. So this is the view from my living room today of the front patio covered in snow. A sunny winter day and a view I have painted a few times before. I like the wind chime hanging in the tree. It’s always fascinating to me how you can paint the same view over and over, but it always comes out different. Good for a homebody like me.

Painting Shadows With Watercolour Pens.

Yard Shadows 2, Feb. 24, 2018, watercolour pens

I decided to try painting shadows in the snow with the watercolour pens because I have been liking the vibrancy that I can get with the pens. I really should be able to get that level of vibrancy with my regular paints. It makes me think that I actually don’t know how to paint with watercolours. Maybe using the pens will teach me some tricks that I can use with my regular paints.

It was a bit tricky trying to lighten them enough to look like shadows. I ended up doing two paintings because the first one (below) got a bit too dark and crazy. I think I may benefit from slowing down with these pens–since I was working from life and the shadows were changing I think I was trying to paint a bit too quickly. And looking at the paintings now, they are nearly identical to my first front yard painting with watercolours from last week. Maybe I should have just worked from that first front yard watercolour instead of painting from life. Maybe I’ll try that next.

Yard Shadows 1, Feb. 24, 2018, watercolour pens

I also find it interesting that I only used two pens and a brush to do these paintings. Usually when I paint I tend to do a lot of colour mixing so it’s weird for me to just use a straight blue and brown. Though I am really loving how it feels like using sharpies. It is like the perfect marriage between painting and sketching.

Shadows in the Front Yard.

Shadows in the Front Yard, Feb. 22, 2018, watercolour on paper

I am in love with shadows on the snow right now. Sunny winter days are one of the most beautiful things. Painting the view from the living room window is one of my favourite spots to paint from (and so much more comfortable than the kitchen spot). This is of my patio and flowerbeds covered in a few feet of snow and in the shadow of the neighbors’ lilac trees. And that is my lovely oregano in the middle, still looking pretty. I think I have painted the oregano in every season now. Just for comparison, here is the same view from last April.

Shadows on the Patio, Apr. 10, 2017, watercolour on paper

 

The Kitchen Window View.

Out the Kitchen Window, watercolour on paper, Feb. 21, 2018

After I posted about my “off” painting day, I went into my kitchen and saw this view of shadows on the snow in the backyard. I love this view from my kitchen window. In summer it is deck furniture, pots,  and flowers all along the back fence, and in winter it is shadows and snow. I like the symmetry of the deck railings and how they frame the view. It was a spur of the moment decision when we were building the deck to put a second set of steps down right there and I am very glad we did, even though it meant a bit of extra work for my dad.

So then the paints came out and I was madly painting, not with the watercolour pens but with my regular watercolours and brushes, and it felt so good! I love working with the pens, but it does feel like I’m learning a whole new medium. It’s good to get back to doing what I know. I’ve been meaning to paint this view for a while, and I have taken many photos of it, but I am just not as inspired to paint from photos. So on this day I finally did it–I set my paints up and painted the view while sitting on my kitchen counter. And let me tell you, nothing makes me feel so old as unfolding my legs and climbing down off the counter after sitting there painting for an hour. This photo is a bit dark, but here is my uncomfortable painting set up.

Painting in the kitchen.