Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sunset and beach pics completed

Got these underway on Tuesday, and finished them last night. That umbrella took waaay too long to do, and then once I'd done it I realised that by placing it below the horizon it raised the perspective from near the waterline to well above it, thereby changing the mood of the scene. Oh well :P

BTW, the camera distorted some of the colours in the beach scene, so I'll take another photo soon...

Monday, June 26, 2006




"Autumn Leaf" completed

Tried something a bit different for a change. Water droplets are fiddly, but fun to do :)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

"Sumner Sunrise" and "Winter Wasteland" (weekend pics)

Two fairly different pics this weekend.
Cheers to Weasel for use of his photo as a reference pic for the sunrise :) Sorry about the horrible blotchy photo - I'll try to take a better one tonight.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Thursday's pic

I tried to keep the colours cool and muted in this one, and I played with the light source a little in order to frame a clear focal point. Part of my work on developing stronger compositions.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006





"Light of Day" completed (Wednesday's pic)

Ate waaay too much at the Casino for lunch to farewell my team leader, so had plenty of time to paint since I skipped dinner :P Really like how this one has turned out, although the photo isn't a totally fair representation of how it looks in person. The bottom pic is "corrected" to look more like the real version, but it's wrecked the sky a bit :O

Monday, June 19, 2006

"Muddy Banks" (Monday's pic)

Decided just to make something up for this one, since it was my first go at using a new paper (the store was out of the watercolour paper I usually buy). It had quite a different tooth and feel, and so I wanted to be a bit more carefree while I learned how it held water and paint. I quite like the result - looks quite peaceful :)

Sunday, June 18, 2006




I actually liked the Arakoa pic a lot more than the Wanaka one, even though it went for less. I wonder if it's partly because protrait-orientation picutres receive smaller thumbnails on TradeMe? Or maybe I just have no taste :P

"Last Caress" alternative version

Yes, I know I'm repeating myself, but I wanted to practise the washes that I did for this one, and I also wanted to work on my composition, since I've been frustrated that a couple of paintings have been executed very well but let down by a lack of balance/structure/clear focus.

"Fading" (Saturday's pic)

Didn't get carried away with the saturated colours on this one, wanted something subdued and serene. Worked hard to achieve very clean washes for the sky and water, then worked on the small touches that make them look like water and sky. I was also careful with the clouds to do my best to provide an illusion of depth and scale. I feel like they work very well, at least in person :)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

"Splendour" (Thursday night's pic) complete

I started this last week, but didn't like how it was taking shape, so decided to sit on it a while. I took another look last night and thought how I might complete it, and here's the result. I decided the small outcrop with trees would be an interesting way of conveying the scale of the mountains. I tried to keep the lake simple, with only bands of reflection, but I'm unsure whether it's a bit too bland at the moment. I decided to leave it before messing with it, at least for a start though. Maybe I'l muck around wiht it some more over the weekend, but hopefully not - got to many other thigns I want to paint to keep going back to rework old works...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"Last Caress" (Wednesday's pic)

I quite like how this one turned out - it feels quite luminous and lively in the right light. The shadows look a bit ugly in the photo though - as if they've been applied with felt pen :O The real version looks better than that, honest :-)

"First Light" finished

The watercolours were co-operating a lot more last night, and so I managed to salvage a respectable picture in the end. I like the softness of the water in particular.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"Last light" initial version.

Still have to finish the reflections, sky and foliage on this one, but it's taking shape nicely I think :) BTW, my camera has munted up the palette on this, which it is prone to do occasionally... the photo of the finished product will be accurate though :P

Monday, June 12, 2006

"First light" initial attempt

Not too keen on this picture at all so far. But rather than get frustrated/deflated, I've decided to step back and decide what it needs doing to it to improve it... and I've come up with the following, which I'll give a go tonight:

Try to remove/diminish the big egg-shaped cloud in the right hand side, since it looks out of place (really should have planned my sky better :P)

Reinforce the warm->cool transition in the water to emphasise it receding it into the distance.

Strengthen the shadows from the near bank.

Try to give the trees a bit more depth.

Who knows, maybe the picture will work if all of these go well? I was pleased with how the Akaroa pic was reinvigorated by a few changes...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

"Winter Wonderland" complete

This proved to be a really intricate painting to get right, but I'm really pleased with how accurate my brushwork is becoming. This painting has proved rather timely with the snow here overnight and this morning (snow to sea-level is very rare in Christchurch). After looking at how snow seems to stick to everything, including vertical surfaces, I think I'll do a snow-covered tree next.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

"Winter Wonderland" starts to take shape

Man, this pic is turning out to be quite fiddly! I think it's partly because the purple I'm using is quite staining, and so I have to work quite carefully to avoid hard edges in gradually- formed shadows on tree trunks and the snow-covered bank. Next step is to work on the shadows a little more until I'm happy with the contours of the scene, then work on bringing the trees to life, then finally do the water. It's probably going to have eaten up a few hours by the time it's all done, but it's looking like it will be worth it so far :)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

"Pure Shores" (Tuesday's pic)

I wanted to do this as a contrast to my previous ocean pic, which was dominated by a serene sky, with a small amount of real estate devoted to the dark stormy waters. In this one, I've made the see very calm and cool, and sandwiched it between a thin band of warm beach and warm, vibrant sky. I applied the masking fluid with my palette knife this time rather than ruin another brush :O

Monday, June 05, 2006

"Far from home" weekend pic

Decided to be a bit more care-free with this one, and try to worry less about capturing my subject precisely. Painted the sky first using quite wet paper so that the result would be very loose and blended, with no hard edges. Then I wanted ot contrast that with a stormy sea, so I painted that with flashes of varied colours, moving from cool up close to warm crimson in the distance. I was a bit nervous about using such an abstract representation of the ocean, especially after how happy I was with the sky, but I'm glad I did it now :D I just wish I could have captured the painting better on camera - the granulation has ruined how the sky looks in person a bit :O

"Tranquille Akaroa" finished

This one looked rather flat and lifeless when I first posted it, so I did some more work to the sky (looks really soft and delicate now, which I haven't managed to capture very well on camera), improved the nearer hills including adding pastel trees, and added wave crests to the finished beach. I really like this pic now :) Next step is to figure out how to photograph my paintings better...

"Calm before the storm" finished

Did a bit more work on this over the weekend to try to make it look a bit less flat, and added some varieties of blues and purples to try to give some cool/warm contrasts too. Then I added some light/dark variation to the distant hills, and carved some wave crests near the beach.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Sold my first pics on TradeMe this morning. Didn't really know what to expect, but happy for my first time out...



$2 (LOL, I liked this one best :P):