Sunday, May 31, 2015

EBay Auction Ending Tonight - One Hundred Dollar Bill - Acrylic Trompe L'Oeil Daily Painting

"One Hundred Dollar Bill," acrylic on panel, 6" x 6".

SOLD

Thanks for looking!

Friday, May 29, 2015

On the Easel - Step by Step Painting a Mini Mona Lisa in Acrylic in a Day - a.k.a. I'm no Da Vinci


"I'm no Da Vinci," acrylic on panel, 6" x 6".

I thought it might be fun to tackle a few "master" artist works from throughout history as my mini trompe l'oeil works, so here is my first - a torn image of the Mona Lisa, attached with masking tape. I printed my model from my computer, pulling it from Wiki Images, which can be a great resource for good resolution, public domain works.

Below are some of the progression images of the painting. I found that using lots of thin glazes really helped me in achieving a better representation of the colors. Although lacking the luminosity of the real Mona Lisa of course, it's not bad for a super-small version and about 7 hours of work. Thanks for looking!

 I again used a limited color palette for this piece, including: titanium white, payne's gray, chromium green, cadmium yellow and burnt sienna.







I tweaked quite a bit between the above photo and the one below. The shape of her hair and face were adjusted very slightly, as I found that it was too wide in the version above. I also applied some very light glazes of various colors mixed with a tinge of white to soften the overall piece.




Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Up on Etsy - My Vintage Viewmaster - Small Acrylic Still Life Painting

"My Vintage Viewmaster," acrylic on panel, 5" x 7"/$69

Available on Etsy here.

I used my late 70s/early 80s Viewmaster as the model for this painting, along with my "Bambi" reel. The painting has six coats of high-gloss polymer varnish on it for a glass-like sheen. Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Up on EBay - One Hundred Dollar Bill Small Trompe L'Oeil Acrylic Painting

"One Hundred Dollar Bill," acrylic on panel, 6" x 6".

EBay auction ends Sunday May 31 at 9:30 p.m. EST. SOLD

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

EBay Auction Ending Tonight - Green Tea Bag Acrylic Trompe L'Oeil Painting

"Green Tea Bag," acrylic on panel, 6" x 6".

EBay auction ends tonight at 9 p.m. EST. SOLD

Thanks for looking! Have a safe and happy holiday tomorrow!

Friday, May 22, 2015

On the Easel - 100 Dollar Bill Trompe L'Oeil Daily Acrylic Painting

"One Hundred," acrylic on panel, 6" x 6".

My husband had a $100 bill in his wallet, and I wanted to paint it before it got away!

I used a new type of panel for this one, which I hand-gessoed and sanded several times. This took more time than using my usual pre-gessoed Ampersand panels, but I do think I was able to get a slightly smoother surface, plus, as you can see in the next photo, it's 3/8" thick and (not shown)notched in the back so you can hang it straight on the wall. I'm all about convenience!



Monday, May 18, 2015

Up for Auction on EBay - Green Tea Bag Trompe L'Oeil Daily Acrylic Painting

"Green Tea Bag," acrylic on panel, 6" x 6".

EBay auction ends Sunday May 24th at 9 p.m. EST. SOLD

Thanks for looking!

Friday, May 15, 2015

On the Easel - Green Tea Acrylic Trompe L'Oeil Daily Painting

"Green Tea Bag," acrylic on panel, 6" x 6".

Yesterday's piece was so tough, I wanted to try something a little more simple and a little less organic. I painted one tea bag a year or so ago when I was working in oil, but this is my first acrylic one. Sometimes the simplest subjects make the most satifying works for me!

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

On the Easel - Step by Step of Chocolate Chip Cookies Trompe L'Oeil Daily Acrylic Painting


 
"Cookie Emergency 1," acrylic on panel, 6" x 6".
 
I won't claim this is the most successful daily painting I've done, but it was one of the toughest. All of the cracks and crevices of a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie definitely provide a challenge for a trompe l'oeil piece.

I also remembered to document my process today, too, which I often forget to do! Enjoy!

Painting realism as daily paintings is a pretty labor-intensive process. Most of them take between 6 and 9 hours to complete, at least for me. To speed up my process, I actually take a quick photo of my subjects, print it in black and white, and trace the outline onto my board. Don't get me wrong - I love a beautiful drawing, but here I'm planning to "draw" most of the work with the paintbrush, so I just want to quickly get the major shapes down in the right place so I can get to work. Hey, if it was good enough for Thomas Eakins, it's good enough for me!
 
I try to use a very limited palette for most of my pieces. This one will only have five - cadmium yellow, burnt sienna, titanium white, payne's gray and burnt umber. I add a bit of retarder to each color to extend the working time, and use a bit of glaze and/or water as I paint. Because acrylic dries so quickly, though, even with the extender, I'll end up using several "palettes" of color, tossing each in the trash when they become too tacky to work with.
 
Just laying in a base color. I work in very thin glazes most of the time, so this is just a jumping off point.
 
 
I forgot to take a photo of something here, but thought I'd explain that when I have a larger flat area of color, especially one that I'll likely need to go over several times or return to later in a piece, I actually mix a larger quantity of the color in a small disposal condiment container with a lid. These are really inexpensive; I buy a pack of 50 (I think) at Target. They are just the right size, will keep my paint pretty fresh, even overnight, if I find I've missed something and need to retouch, and I just toss them when I'm done.

 
Between the above photo and the one below, I actually spent about two or three hours reworking the details of the cookie. This makes the trick of the trompe l'oeil more convincing. My goal is not to get it to look convincing a few feet away, but less than a foot away. I don't always reach the goal I aim for, but I do keep trying, and I learn something with each piece.
 

 
Thanks for looking!
Tuesday, May 12, 2015

On the Easel - Dramatic Chocolate Boston Cream Donuts Daily Acrylic Painting

"Dramatic Boston Creme Donuts," acrylic on panel, 6" x 6".

So, when I do still life, I often work from my own photos, using one of those digital desktop photo frames to hold my photo. This works pretty well; the screen is bright, and it's much better color matching than trying to print the photos out. I do it for a few reasons, including the changing state of the subject (as with ice cream) or the fear that my cats will try to attack or eat my subjects.

But, I do think that my small trompe l'oeil pieces are technically better works most of the time because for those, I always work from life, with the subject directly next to my painting surface on my easel. I see all of the detail, and the lighting is more within my control.

Today, I thought I'd try to do a still life straight from life, and I'm pretty pleased with the result.

Photography - or at least my limited photography abilities - tend to wash out some of the details of a subject. Things become too evenly lit. There is a loss of drama. I think this piece retained the drama pretty well. And although one of my cats did try to eat the donuts several times, I kept my blue spray bottle nearby - a little shake of the water and she's off the table!

Thanks for looking!
Sunday, May 10, 2015

EBay Auction Ending Tonight - My Old Tea Kettle Daily Acrylic Painting

"My Old Tea Kettle," acrylic on panel, 6" x 6".

EBay auction ends tonight, Sunday, at 9 p.m. EST. SOLD

Happy Mother's Day! Thanks for looking!

Friday, May 8, 2015

On the Easel - Monopoly Commission - Go to Jail Still Life

"Go to Jail," acrylic on panel, 8" x 8"/Commission - SOLD

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

EBay Auction Ending Tonight - Milky Way Chocolate Bar Daily Acrylic Painting

"In Case of Chocolate Emergency 8: Revenge of the Milky Way," acrylic on panel, 7" x 5".

EBay auction ends tonight, Thursday, at 9 p.m. EST. SOLD

Thanks for looking!



Sunday, May 3, 2015

Up on eBay - My Old Tea Kettle - Daily Acrylic Painting

"My Old Tea Kettle," acrylic on panel, 6" x 6".

EBay auction ends Sunday May 10th at 9 p.m. EST. SOLD

Thanks for looking!

EBay Auction Ending Tonight - Roll Again - Trivial Pursuit Board Game Daily Acrylic Painting

"Roll Again," acrylic on panel, 6" x 6".

EBay auction ends tonight, Sunday, at 9 p.m. EST. SOLD

Friday, May 1, 2015

On the Easel - Tea Kettle Daily Acrylic Painting - And Using Golden Acrylic Retarder the First Time

"My Old Tea Kettle," acrylic on panel, 6" x 6".

My husband and I got this tea kettle as a wedding gift in 1998. To be honest, I've never used it that much, preferring the quickness of my microwave for a single serving of tea or oatmeal. But, I always have it sitting on the upper left burner of my stove - always. It just "feels" like that's where a tea kettle should be.

I've also adjusted my painting technique a bit again. I switched from oil to acrylic a few months ago for numerous reasons, and I've been working ever since to figure them out. Today, I added Golden Acrylic Retarder to my paint for the first time. Initially, in January, I started painting in plain fluid acrylics and glazing medium alone, to get me to adapt to the quick drying time of the acrylics. In March, I began adding a bit of water, or sometimes painting with straight acrylic and water without medium. This gave me a bit more flexibility but I was careful not to overdo it. I'm glad I did it this way, which was admittedly tough, but now that I have mixed in the retarder I'm seemingly able to get them to do what I want - have the fluidity of oil paint, but only for a few minutes, then the benefit of the quick drying time of the acrylic. If I'd started out trying to do it all, I don't think I would have understood the inheritant capabilities of my acrylics correctly.  

For this piece, I mixed just a drop or two of the retarder into each puddle of color on my palette. I was then able to paint this directly or mixed with just a bit of water. Then I incorporated a bit of glazing medium at the end, just to give a bit more depth to the final colors. It was excellent practice and I was able to blend my colors more smoothly.

Thanks for looking! I'll post this work on eBay on Sunday night.