Monday, November 29, 2010

Glass Roses

I had great fun this weekend doing reference photos for one of Ona's future paintings. She is going to use some glass roses in the composition, and Giuseppi Crystal (www.glassroses.com) very kindly provided us with some samples. Each rose is hand made and very beautiful. The combination of shiny curved surfaces, translucent glass and gold accents makes them fascinating (and difficult!) to photograph, so as well as the reference shots for Ona I did a few for myself as well.

I tried a few on a white background, but my favorite is the black, which really lets the roses pop!



James

Saturday, November 20, 2010

New paper test

I've been testing out a new paper for printing watercolor reproductions, Elegance Velvet from Breathing Color.

First there was the test chart for creating a custom color profile...



Then there were a series of test strips to see how the paper behaved with different images. But you never really get the feel for a paper until you start printing full prints, so tonight I did a 16x20 from Ona's "A Child's Delight"



I've angled the paper to the light to emphasize the texture in the paper, under most lighting it's far less obvious. Here's a close-up



So how does the new paper compare to our existing favorite, Somerset Velvet? Color and detail seem very similar. Elegance has slightly more texture, but both are lightly textured on the scale of traditional watercolor papers. The biggest difference is that Elegance is a noticeably heavier weight paper, although this isn't of much significance once the print is matted and framed.

Which is where this one is now, and hanging on the wall for Christmas. I guess that makes it a successful test :)

James.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A little press coverage :)

It was kind of neat to see Ona's entry in the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society's exhibition get a couple of mentions in the press. The first was a general piece from when the show opened, where hers was one of the paintings featured in the photographs

http://www.timesobserver.com/page/content.detail/id/541116/Watercolor-Society--an-incredible-show.html?nav=5003

The second was a follow-up about the people's choice award which mentions Ona's work as one of the runners up in the voting.

http://www.timesobserver.com/page/content.detail/id/541983/People-choose--Journey--at-watercolor-show.html?nav=5011

James.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wings of Freedom

'Wings of Freedom' ...I'm not sure if this is going to be my final title or not. Let me know if you have any other suggestions.

Anyhow, here is the finished painting.

and here are some close ups of the main centres of interest. Firstly hand hand closing the canopy in anticipation of take off




and secondly Wayne's face and the reflection of what lays before him in his sunglasses



Thank you Wayne for all your help as I paint this and for your inspiration words

"I have always been drawn to activities that change the perspective of our world. Not long after my spinal cord injury in 1999, I chose to keep searching. While pursuing my single engine licence, I was introduced to gliding.

From that first flight I knew there would be no other sensation to parallel the freedom of motor-less flight. Navigating as does a silent bird under pillow top clouds and being silently whisked to greater heights was intoxicating. My prey was the thermal. my reward was the dizzying heights that could be achieved and the time to see the vast landscapes that I soared above. I love the challenge that gliding presents along with the ability to leave my problems as many thousands of feet below that my skills and the day will allow."



Ona

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wings to Freedom WIP 3

The painting is coming along slowly. I've now almost finished Wayne's face. It was such fun painting the reflections in his sunglasses.


Here is a close up so you can see the wonderful reflections. Its so cool being able to see in his sunglasses what he was looking at.


his hair and beard were fun to paint too.


Ona

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wings to Freedom WIP 2

Between the many hospital appointments this week I've been working on Wayne's face and arms. Firstly underpinning all the features and then adding in the layers of skin tones. I am happy to report that Wayne now looks healthily suntanned. There's still lots to do though.


I also wanted to take this opportunity to share with you what gliding means to Wayne. He kindly wrote the following and for me it just sums up so beautifully what this painting is all about.

Thank you Wayne

"I have always been drawn to activities that change the perspective of our world. Not long after my spinal cord injury in 1999, I chose to keep searching. While pursuing my single engine licence, I was introduced to gliding.

From that first flight I knew there would be no other sensation to parallel the freedom of motor-less flight. Navigating as does a silent bird under pillow top clouds and being silently whisked to greater heights was intoxicating. My prey was the thermal. My reward was the dizzying heights that could be achieved and the time to see the vast landscapes that I soared above. I love the challenge that gliding presents along with the ability to leave my problems as many thousands of feet below that my skills and the day will allow."


Ona