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. πŸ™‚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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A Forgery

I recently received a commission from my Etsy shop – MISH MASH – to create a replica of a painting I had done before. While I knew I could create something very similar I also knew it wouldn’t be exactly the same. I thought it would be fun to show you these sister paintings and I’ve also included my process of painting the original piece as well.

This is my original piece – ‘Following the Snow Line’. Please click on image to see enlarged version.
This is the sister painting – my recent commission. ‘Following the Snow Line II’ – 1.5′ x 3′. Please click on image to see enlarged version.

I like to start most of my paintings off as a sketch. I don’t usually follow the drawing exactly but it helps to give me a good idea of how to begin – and it warms up my hands a little. πŸ™‚

Often my paintings are inspired by photographs. I’ll keep the photo and the sketch close at hand while painting.

I always begin with a watery paint drawing on my canvas – this creates an outline for me to follow.

Typically I start painting in the background first – this isn’t a hard and fast rule for me just seems to be my default.

I like to put down my first layer of paint as a general outline of movement and colour – after this is down I then proceed to putting a layer of detail on top.

Following the same process as the sky I move forward a layer and put down my outline again. After I am content with the movement and colour of that section I layer over with more detail.

Moving forward again in my piece following the same pattern – layer upon layer – until it is complete.

I really like to use stylized outlining in different colours to pull things together in the end. For example below, the light orange lines on the tree branches or the red outline along the mountain edge. This is not something every artist does it’s just a style preference for me.

Above and below are the two sisters again (click images to enlarge).

~ Micheline

Headed South

The painting below is a commission piece I just completed this past winter. My client gave me a greeting card with a picture on front that she requested I paint in my own style. I struggled with how to represent her idea, I really didn’t want it to come out tacky. In the end it turned out very illustrative, much like something you’d see in a children’s book and she loved it.

I always start with a watery acrylic sketch of the idea.

Then I begin my first layer of “fill” colours – usually (not always) starting with the background and working my way forward.

Although I regularly draw figures in my illustrations, I rarely do them in my paintings and so this is where my struggles began. I didn’t know how to make the girl and the cat fit into my landscape naturally.

As I continued painting my instincts led me to a more illustrative style.

Moving forward in layers adding detail on top of my first layers. And eventually some stylized lining for definition and pop.

My client loved the piece. I am satisfied with it as an illustration but I do feel that I need to work more on figurative painting.

~ Micheline

Down by the Riverside

My kids have hit their teen years and for some reason doing arts and crafts with Mom just isn’t very cool anymore. I can coax them into it once in awhile but it’s a rare occasion. However, this past week I had some little girlies staying at my house and we did TWO full days of crafts! Sewing, crocheting, knitting and painting! Painting was by far their favourite activity and while they painted one canvas after another, I sat beside them and worked on this 12″ x12″ piece pictured here. It’s definitely painted in a much lighter palette than I’m used to but I’m still happy with it.

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The inspiration for this painting came from the numerous memories I have of playing at the rivers and creeks with my kids when they were small. British Columbia is such an amazing place – so blessed to live here!

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Happy day, Β Micheline

Homeland

Thus far, experience has taught me that art commissions are my bread and butter. I don’t say this in a negative way – commissions challenge me. It was much the same when I attended University and obtained my Fine Arts degree – we were pushed to create beyond ourselves and this helped me to grow.

I was excited about this commission here because the photo that my client gave me to work with was so beautiful. Small

The scene pictured here is in Hania, Crete – my client’s homeland. I knew that the challenge in this piece wouldn’t be the mountains or the water but in fact, the buildings. I have painted very little architecture and so I was a nervous. Ah, let’s be honest, I’m always nervous doing commission pieces. πŸ™‚

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Normally I begin with a pencil sketch but I skipped it this time because I felt super confident in the photograph. Instead, I started directly with the painted sketch on my canvas.

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My client mentioned that he would like the mountains to be a prominent feature in the painting and so I began there.

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I paint in layers and sections – putting on my base colour first and then working details over top. Since my canvases are normally quite large I find that this process of dividing and layering helps me feel less overwhelmed.Small_0004

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My dining room serves as my studio. It has lots of space and most importantly – LIGHT!Small_0007

EEP! Heading into the architecture… I did a lot of layers on the buildings before I was content with how they looked. Small_0008

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I laid down my base colours for the sky and the water before adding the details. The canvas was big and I felt intimidated by all of the work to be done in these areas – so I put on the basics and then gave myself a couple days of rest before I tackled them. Small_0011

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I had my hubby take this shot of me painting – I thought that it would give a good impression of how large this canvas really is. Small_0015

Title: ‘Homeland’ – acrylic on canvas – 4′ x 3′. You can click on the finished painting above to see an enlarged version. πŸ™‚

In the end I’m super happy with it but colour always puts me in a happy place.

~ Micheline