“Snuggling Sisters” revisited

"Snuggling Sisters" watercolor

"Snuggling Sisters" watercolor in progress

Although there might not seem like much of a difference between the two paintings, the critic within relaxes. I’ve heard famous artists say there is always something different you would do in a painting, but when it is finished, just go on to the next one. So I’ve already started Painting Facebook Photos #9!

Thank you so much for your kind, encouraging comments!

Painting Facebook Photos 8

"Snuggling Sisters" 10.75" x 10.75", watercolor

Who could resist those precious faces and that hair? The mother of these girls told me they are always snuggling and love each other to pieces.

This painting has been going through what I call the “adolescent stage”. In case the term isn’t enough of a visual, I’ll explain. Most paintings have a beginning, a middle and an end, similar to a song or an outline for a book. In the beginning, I use large brushes, lots of water and relatively little paint. In the middle stage subjects take on definition. The last stage is for details with thicker paint using a smaller brush. The adolescent stage is when a painting seems to become uncooperative, stubbornly refusing to end and there is a temptation to torture it into submission. If you have ever heard “A Song That Never Ends” you will know my frustration. I know it is just paper, paint and brushes, but they do take on a personality. #8 needs a time out (maybe this one is in a toddler stage) and we need separate rooms for awhile.  I might erase the pencil lines and be happy with it and sign it or it might need tweaking just a tiny bit here or there…

I was away for several hours, looked at it and saw that there is a harsh line on the blonde girl’s jaw that needs softening because it is making her head look too big. I’ll post again tomorrow with the changes after I photograph it in the daylight. But their mother is eagerly waiting to see it so here you go, Kara!

Kara's Girls

Painting Facebook Photos 7

"Ella, the Biker" 11"x 14" watercolor

When I saw this photo of Ella, I chuckled. The “slow” sign did it. She is probably not old enough to read, but I don’t think she would care if she could. The sign obviously doesn’t apply to her.

Some paintings, like “Friendly Feet”,  I paint in pieces.  I sit at my painting table and apply the paint in a “paint by number” style. I painted each shoe and ankle separate from the other. It gives a crisp, bright feel to the image. With this little biker, I wanted to show lots of movement so I stood up to paint. I wet the paper on both sides to saturate the fibers and stuck it to a piece of  plexi-glass. I used a large brush to apply lots of paint, allowing the watercolor pigment to swim together on the surface of the paper. As the paper dries, I add sharper and darker details by using thicker paint. I used this same method to paint Hagar, the dog.

Now on to #8 in the Painting Facebook Friends series. This one warms my heart.

Painting Facebook Photos 6

"Friendly Feet" 9.5" x 15" watercolor

Kendra, who is a friend on Facebook, is a delightful combination of brilliance and fun. She took this photo and posted it on her wall in black and white. This image is the sixth of ten in my “Painting Facebook Photos” series. Because I know some of these colorful characters who are wearing these shoes, I wanted this painting to have fresh, clean colors. I chose to use only three tubes of watercolor; Pthalo Blue, Red Rose Deep, and Hansa Yellow Light.

I wanted the shoes to sparkle against neutral  pavers so I started with a little color sketch. The terra-cotta pavers in the top sketch are warm and sunny, but I wanted the warmth to come from the shoes and feet, so in the bottom sketch I tried a gray-blue with the clean colors coming from the shoes.  The result was sparkling shoes and clean colors.

An interesting thing to note is while the sun is coming from one direction, creating the main shadows, there is a bright window creating another subtle light source seen mostly on the boots. Am I an artist or a detective?

Painting Facebook Photos 5

"Ladies" 11" x 11" watercolor

I have a friend who travels extensively, purchasing materials for her Rain stores in South Africa, Amsterdam, and New York.  She creates bath and body products that pamper all of your senses.  On top of being amazingly creative, she is generous and kind, employing as many people as she can in a country with high unemployment.

On a trip to Croatia, she took this photo and posted it on Facebook. I had to include it in this “Painting Facebook Photos” series. What are these ladies discussing? I would be so happy to have your help naming this painting. Please post something in the comments or on my Facebook page. This is going to be good!

Ladies

Painting Facebook Photos 4

"Hagar" 9.5" x 9.5" watercolor

I wasn’t going to do a portrait, but I couldn’t resist those eyes. What a colorful little character is this dog, Hagar. I believe my friend, Melissa, and her husband adopted him from the animal shelter. If the story is different, perhaps she will be kind enough to give the full story in the comments.

This is the fourth in a series of ten paintings. For inspiration, I am using photos my Facebook friends have posted on their walls. In the evening, I look at photos of my friends and I smile. I have very nice friends and their photos show their love of life. Six more paintings to go. Oh, there are some delightful images for me to paint and I can’t wait to share them.

Thank you for your kind comments. You have no idea how much it encourages me.

If you would like to see the first three paintings, you’ll find them here:

1) Ballerina Buddies

2) Fall Walk

3) Claudia and Lola

Hagar

Painting Facebook Photos 3

"Claudia and Lola" 8" x 8" oil

This is Claudia, whom I’ve known since she was a little girl.  Here she is with her horse, Lola. Claudia told me that when she was a young girl, she pinned a tail on herself for several months, convinced that she wasn’t a mere human. She lost the tail and is now a vice principal at a nearby school.

This is the third painting in my Painting Facebook Photos series. The first one is “Ballerina Buddies” , the second is “Fall Walk” . I’m having so much fun with these. I hope it shows in the paintings. The next one I’ve chosen is almost finished. It is a friend’s pet; a colorful character named Hagar.

Claudia and Lola