New Painting – Studying Light

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New Light Study – 18″ x 24″ – Acrylic on Canvas

Hey strangers!!! I’m still here – really I am!

I took a little break from painting… I was sorta painted out after completing my series for the Break in Time Cafe install. 😉 In the mean time I played around a lot with illustration (You can see what I’ve been up to in that area on my second Instagram account: @whimsicalillustration.)

However, I knew the urge to paint wouldn’t be gone long and I was right, several weeks ago I began the painting you see here. The old photographer in me knows a lot about light but the painter in me is an amateur. I began this project here with the intent of teaching myself more about painted light. Of course learning on your own is hard… I thought back to my University training and decided my best bet for learning how to paint light better was to study the work of a master. So I admit to you now that this painting is heavily inspired and influenced by the AMAZING work of Canadian painter, Michael O’Toole. He’s brilliant at painting light and I owe the inspiration and most of the concepts to him where this painting is concerned.

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Also wanted to let ya all know that I have recently closed my Facebook account but you can still follow me here and on both of my Instagram accounts as well: @mishmashartist & @whimsicalillustration – I post almost daily on these accounts so it’s good place to keep up with me!

Hope your day is going lovely friends – thanks for stopping in and checking this out!

“Loosen up will ya!” – An Exercise in Being Painterly

I could never figure out what to do with these narrow little canvases – they’ve been hanging around here for a long time. So this morning while waiting for a stretcher frame to be completed and gesso to dry, I pulled them out. I have this strong tendency towards controlled lines and brush strokes (which isn’t a bad thing but versatility is an asset) so I figured a small exercise in loosening up might not hurt…

Even though I can appreciate how this little triptych turned out it’s still hard for me to just leave the brush strokes be… I want to smooth them out, blend them and flatten the paint – ha ha!  (These look much more interesting in real life too – the photos just don’t do the texture justice.)

So how about you? What’s your default style when it comes to painting or drawing?
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A Painted Process – New Piece!


Ruins, acrylic on canvas, 16″ x 36″ (Click on image to enlarge)

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This is the inspirational photo taken by my friend Preston. It was taken in the outer Hebrides (or Western Isles) of Scotland, and this area is on the SW portion of the Isle of Harris. Ceapabhal (keep-a-val) is the name of the mountain in the background.

This new painting was inspired from a photograph taken in Scotland by a friend. I love working from photos – they are definitely my greatest source of inspiration. Mind you, I rarely stick to an exact interpretation of the image, I like to use the photo as a starting point and then interpret the image in my style from there. As you’ll see, this painting actually gave me some grief along the way but in the end I’m really happy with it.


I don’t always do a sketch before I paint but with this piece I felt like I needed it. I use the sketch, along with the photo as a painting map.

I always create a painted sketch on my canvas before I begin – in the past I would use pencil but I much prefer having only paint on my canvas now.



Following my “sketch map” I started with the sky colour and then headed into detailing it.0003_Small

0004_Small I was relatively happy with the individual elements of the sky at this point but as I carried on I lost my way….0005_Small

The clouds and the sky had far too many individual elements – they clashed and I knew that once the detail was added into the land it would all become a little overwhelming…


So I painted back over my sky and then left it to sit for awhile – I needed a little separation from the piece before I could start over. It’s always somewhat disappointing when you have done so much work and you can’t help pining over the wasted paint (ouch…).


I mustered myself to start again in about a week or so and my secound attempt at the sky went much better. Phew! After that it was all uphill! 😀




Ruins, acrylic on canvas, 16″ x 36″ (Click on image to enlarge)

This painting is certainly a departure from my regular mountains and trees but I’m really happy with the colours, the flow, the lines and the billows of clouds. Art always look so much better in real life though – photos never quite do them justice.

I really hope you enjoyed seeing this painting and it’s process – thanks for following friends! 😀