New Little Paintings!

I actually have a larger commission piece on my roster but I’m just waiting for the canvas to arrive. In the meantime though I have some little canvases laying around that are in need of some paint. It was so nice to pick up my brushes again – it’s been awhile…

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Grove – acrylic on canvas – 12″ x 12″ (Click image to enlarge)

I’ve been wanting to do a piece like this for quite sometime even though it is outside of my typical painting style (slightly more geometric) but I love how it turned out and I’m thinking I’d like to do more. ๐Ÿ™‚Grove_02_Small

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Wonderland – acrylic on canvas – 12″ x 12″ (Click image to enlarge)

I titled this one ‘Wonderland’ because I couldn’t help picturing a Cheshire Cat sitting somewhere on one of these branches.

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Cow Island – New Painting

One of the things I like about commission pieces is that they are often ordered for a special event like a birthday or an anniversary. This painting is for a wedding gift. The couple is getting married in Portland, Maine on an island called ‘Cow Island’ (hence the title). Their kind friend has ordered this depiction of the island as their wedding gift – such a memorable idea!

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Above is the image that my client sent me to work with. She requested that the clouds be done in the swirly style you see in some of my other paintings and she mentioned her preference for the aqua blues that I’ve become attached to in some of my recent works.

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Watery sketch to begin – since the composition was quite simple I skipped doing a pencil sketch on paper this time.

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I really like layering my paint. I feel like it has a more finished look in the end.ย  I always start with getting my shapes and colours down in a general fashion and then work my details over top in more layers.

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I work in this fashion throughout, layering the painting and working my way to the foreground. I really enjoyed painting this sky I felt like I could have stayed and painted there forever.

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I also enjoy the last details as well and often spend a lot of time working them out.

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I almost always paint all the way around the sides, top and bottom of the canvas – I like this gallery wrapped look. And I like that it doesn’t need to be framed unless you want to.

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Here’s hoping this couple loves their gift and that they have a beautiful wedding!

Cheerio!

 

 

 

Light Delight

This commission was both a challenge and a delight. I have been longing for more time to study light but the challenge is that acrylic paint dries fast. Hence, there isn’t much time for blending.* This limited blending time can sometimes create less depth and paintings that depict light seem to need depth. In addition to the blending challenge my client requested that the painting be as true to natural forest colours as possible (none of my rainbow brights here) but she still wanted it in my style… that is… not an ultra-realistic depiction. Are you confused yet? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway I thought I’d share the process of working out these challenges with you.Andi_1

My client gave me the photos shown as inspiration and I did a small sketch (on the bottom left) as my starting point. The canvas was quite large almost 4′ x 3′ and so I sketched the main tree frames in brown paint first.

The lines of the sketch seemed a little confusing – especially on such a large scale so I felt like I needed to fill in the foreground trunks first and then work my way back.

The interesting thing about light coming through trees in a forest is that the trees are completely back-lit and that means that the foreground trees are silhouetted (dark). The further you travel back into the painting the lighter the trees become until they disappear completely in the sunshine.

The light obviously casts shadows on the ground and I had to think through where exactly those shadows would fall. Of course I didn’t want an ultra realistic depiction of this but I still wanted it to make sense.

I filled in the background with yellow. Light isn’t yellow when you see it coming through the trees – it is more white – but it does have a yellow halo. I wanted the yellow halo wrapped around the white that I would add in after.

Now putting the light back in…

Adding more detail and working more into the forest floor.

Since the colours in this painting were more toward the natural spectrum I decided to use brush stokes that were less realistic looking – more chunky, less stylized and less smooth. I did this in hopes of creating a piece that had a natural realism but in a modern way.

At the very end the trees felt a little flat so I added more detail and VOILA – I was finished!

Iย must add –ย because of the size this painting it is far more interesting in person. ๐Ÿ™‚

~ Micheline

* For those interested there are slow drying mediums that can be added into acrylics to make them dry slower. I don’t use them much (I like fast drying paint – I’m an impatient artist ;)) but they can be useful when used sparingly. Too much though can cause your paint to never dry!