Pine Forest

wpid-20161213_124427.jpgWe had a lesson on pine trees today. It’s very easy to let your brain take over and create trees that look stylized. That’s what our brains do. But with some careful observation, and some deconstruction, we were able to beat our know-it-all brains and create some really lovely and realistic pine trees touched with snow. Such a lovely and quiet painting.


Mixed Media Week

wpid-20161028_200424.jpg20161101_123325On Friday last week and Tuesday this week we played with mixed media. We incorporated newsprint and magazine images into abstract paintings that were based on rural landscape. It was a lot of fun. You should have seen the messes we made! I believe everyone thought I was insane when I described what we were going to do, but I know I have some mixed media converts now. It really adds another dimension of texture, both visual and physical, when you bring in other sources of color, value, and imagery. Fun fun FUN!

Foggy Fences


Welcome back to Marilyn. She joined us again for this really yummy foggy lane painting. Everyone explored different undertones to play with, and it was fun to see how that affected the end paintings. This painting was a lesson in perspective, for sure! We have one point perspective and atmospheric perspective in the fenceposts and the lane. It was a challenge to get those fields to fall away into the foggy distance. Patience pays off, though. These are some really nice paintings!

Foggy seascapes

wpid-20160826_201543.jpgTonight was supposed to be either a seascape or a landscape, so we combined the two and did a marshscape. That’s a thing, right? Anyway, we had fog and we had underpaintings and we had grasses and we had skies. It was awesome. I love the effect the different colors of underpaintings had on the finished paintings. Welcome to our newest painter, Marilyn, and congratulations on doing a great job on a tough first painting!

Spring Cherry Blossoms



This is an oldie, but a goodie. There have been several incarnations of the cherry blossom painting. I thought it was about time we gave it another try. I know Loraine and Brenda have both done it before. Loraine definitely did a great job on it tonight! Much improved from her last version. This one was in oil, too! Bravo! Denise and Angela also did a really nice job. These trees are hard to paint. They often look unreal. But everyone created nice full shaded trees that felt grounded on that ridge. Even the reflections rock! Yay! Brenda tackled some hollyhocks tonight, since she’s painted the cherry trees. Twice. We talked a lot about simplification and working general to specific. It got rocky there for a minute, but it all started to come together in the end. We looked at some examples of other paintings of hollyhocks to better understand the simplification process. That helps!

Fuzzy Cygnets


We did a version of this as a drawing some time ago. It was in honor of my sweet little swans that I got to watch grow up. This time, we painted them. They all turned out SO wonderfully. It was a struggle to get those values right on the forms, but the struggle paid off. We explored using our brushstrokes to create the feeling of of feathers, the effect of different undertones on the image, and building depth and texture in the foreground grasses. Nicely done.

Cloud Studies


I promised everyone we would work on clouds. I also promised it wouldn’t be easy. We worked on a single fluffy cloud with a simple landscape. We concentrated on getting darks, midtones, and highlights on the cloud and getting some variation in the landscape. It was more work than we thought it would be, but everyone ended up with great looking paintings.

Choose Your Snow Scene Day



So, today I wanted everyone to tackle a snow scene in pencil. I brought in several that focused on dramatic shadows on the snow, and one that focused on the cute and fuzziness of a weasel. I love how they all turned out. The geometric shadow drawings are just striking, the weasels turned out just adorably, and the snowy pine trees have a great depth to the scene. Well done!