Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Shattered Love

Those who have suffered heartbreaks know it takes a lot of effort to pick up the shattered pieces.

 "When you break up, your whole identity is shattered. It's like death." Dennis Quaid

This is the idea behind this painting...sad I know but I promise I do have a happier glass rose painting idea as well. I just need to wait till the spring to take my ref photos for that one.

My thanks again to Giuseppi Crystal  for sending me the glass roses.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Shattered Love WIP

 I have been working on the idea for this painting for a couple of weeks now. It was a very good job we had a digital camera for the reference photos for this one because we needed a lot of photos to get the composition I wanted.

I loved the idea of  broken glass rose petals falling to symbolize how shattered  we feel when a relationship breaks up but WOW!!! it's hard to capture the 'moment' on camera. I ended up dropping the glass petals onto a cushioned floor to the count of 1 2 3 drop to help James coordinate pressing the shutter. We missed many many times but perserverance paid off and we managed to get a few good photos for me to use.

I decided to keep the colour palette simple as I had done for the other glass rose painting but this time I have chosen to use pinky reds as they are the traditional colours associated with love. I am working from 3 different photographs as I paint this. Each photo was taken with identical lighting but taking each rose and then the falling petals separately enabled me to then play around with the composition more easily. I am having to change the colours of the roses as I paint them because the roses I have are turqouise and purple. I am currently painting the shattered rose a traditional red. I still have the falling petals to paint but the rest of this rose is almost done.

I plan to make the other rose a much much deeper dusky red, the colour a very deep red rose goes as it is dying. I am sure each viewer will read there own 'story' into this painting. Maybe the deeper rose symbolizes death of a partner, or just merely the death of the relationship.

This painting is relatively small at 21 by 10.5 inches. Its a bit of a shock working small again. Glazing the tiny rose petals is quite fiddly and time consuming so it may take me several days to finish this one.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Yay!! I've finished. All those wispy bits of hair blowing around in the wind sure took a while to paint but I didn't want to lose them. To me, they just add to the overall atmosphere.  

Alexander chose the title for this. Apparently its just what he said when Rebecca pointed the camera at him for the humpteenth time that day. "Meh!!" A sign of resignation but at the same time a protest. Ok little sister, get on with it then. Grin. I am so thankful he did. He has made a great subject to paint and one I expect a lot of teenagers will relate to.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Portrait WIP 4

I made a couple of small adjustments to the face today, most noticable is the lengthening of the eye brows. It helps to accentuate the frowny look. I also finished the t-shirt and have begun the hair. My teeny tiny brushes are working over time now as I paint in the individual hairs. Its actually quite relaxing to do but very time consuming. I think painting the rest of the hair is going to take me quite a few days.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Portrait WIP 3

Its been interesting having Alexander's face looking at me as I painted today. It felt almost as if he was inspecting every stroke of the paintbrush hurrying me along so he could have eye lashes eye brows and facial hair. Nothing like having an audience!  I've also begun working on his clothing but there is still a way to go on the left side.

 I've included a close up of the face section below. I still have some minor adjustments to make but its almost there . His expression is just priceless isnt it! I wonder what he is saying to us now?


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Portrait WIP 2

Its amazing how many colours you can see on skin that is created by shadows and tricks of the light. Have a look when you have a spare moment sometime. Watercolour is just pure magic for capturing these subtleties of shadow colour that just bring a face to life.

I took a photo of the underpinning just  before I began to add the glazes of skin over the top so you could see the range of colours that I used in this one.

 Then I added about 7 very pale glazes to build up the skin tones and at the same time softening the underpinning beneath. He is looking much more healthy now, but much too tidy.

I need to work on accentuating the detailing around the eyes now and then adding in the eyebrows, eye lashes and facial hair. I also need some fine tuning to the highlights but thats for another day.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Portrait WIP 1

I'm still not sure what to call this one. Anyhow, I thought it was high time I posted an update.

I've finished the background. In my reference photo, the background is very distracting and I didn't want this in the painting. I decided therefore on a slightly more 'edgy' plainish background which would help to create the mood of the piece but at the same time allow our focus to be on his face. To achieve this effect I decided to use vertical brushstrokes rather than a smooth or mottled background with the darker tones increasing nearer the bottom of the painting. Symbolically this could be the world weighing down on his shoulders but it could just be out of focus background. I love how a background can set the mood for the painting. Using print outs of the outline I played with different colour combinations and it was amazing how, even with the same style of background, it totally altered the feel or mood if I chose say greys and blues instaead of the purples yellows, greens and browns that I chose.

I am now beginning the underpinning stage of the face itself. There is still a lot to do to mould the shape and form of the face and shadows to increase but its beginning to take shape. I can start to see 'the look' appearing from the blank white paper. It's a big face so it's going to take me a while even to finish the underpinning. The painting is on a full sheet of Arches cold press.

 I'd better get some ears on him soon. He looks a bit like he is wearing white ear muffs at the moment (grin)


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!!! 2011... where does the time go.

I've been working on a couple of ideas for paintings over the last few days. I love the 'creation' phase  when I take a photo or idea and develop it through sketches, words or both until I have the finished painting clearly in my mind.

I am hoping to do another painting using the glass roses but will leave it a couple more days before telling you more about this as I am still thinking through some details.

The other painting I have been working on is one I am basing on a photo that my daughter took of my son during the summer last year. My son is now 15 and is not keen on his photo being taken at all.  I am cropping right in on the photo for my painting because his expression is just priceless and so teenage and I want this to be the focus.

I know this is a painting of my son but if you have adolescent sons or daughters or ever worked with or know teenegers I expect a lot of you have seen an expression like this before. My family think I should call this painting Meh!!! maybe I should (grin).  If you have any other ideas for a title as I paint this I'd love to hear them.