Archive for the ‘Gouache’ Category

The Meeting of Curious Minds

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

Meeting of Curious Minds-websiteI finally finished this painting – whew!  The tree is one of my favorites:  a Pacific Madrone with a hollow.

And the owl is a Barn Owl.  Have you noticed that I like Barn Owls?  I think they are my favorite owl.  That’s a juvenile ruby-throated humminbird who is checking out the owl.

What I used:  watercolor and gouache.  The gouache was especially helpful in enabling me to create the tree bark and add essential highights to the owl’s wispy facial features.

That green stuff, by the way, is poison oak!  It often climbs up madrone bark.

New Project in Progress

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

owlNever fear!  I am still painting.  I’ve had some setbacks, what with traveling to New Mexico for my sister’s surgery, dealing with some health issues (nothing serious but enough to slow me down), and life in general.

Now I’m getting back on track.  This fellow is a detail of a larger painting I’m currently working on, using watercolor and gouache.  I have a title in mind, but it won’t make sense till you see the entire painting.  I wonder what Mr. Owl is looking at??….

Stay tuned!

Alpha Wolf and His Mate

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

alpha-wolf-his-mateHere’s my latest painting Alpha Wolf and His Mate.  I have a deep love and respect for wolves, so I really like to paint them.  This is Spirit again and his mate.  Spirit died last year, but his mate lives on at Wildlife Images.  I painted with mostly gouache this time.

My painting output has slowed lately as I’m working feverishly to get a bunch of paintings framed for a local gallery that will show some of my art beginning July 1.  And along with framing comes:  getting a second portfolio ready, making title cards and miscellaneous paperwork,  etc.  So I’ve been fitting tasks in on the weekends and evenings and soon I’ll be done.

I want to be clear of these preparations so that I’ll be totally free when my  sister Carrie comes from Albuquerque to visit for a few days.   I’m very excited about her visit.  It’ll probably be her last “vacation” before she has her big surgery in August.

On another front,  I’m happy to report that the fawn that got caught in the fence recently is fine and dandy and kicking its heels.  Whew!

Light, Glorious Light

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Well, I’m back to blogging, now that my new modem is in place. Hooray!

Light has been on my mind. In these waning days of winter, every day that there has been sun it has felt like Christmas to me. I’ve always loved light, reveled in it, and re
quire it. No dark rooms for me! If I don’t have light, I start wilting.

I guess that explains why I emphasize the effects of light in my paintings so much. I love the way light plays with natural objects – how it glows through flower petals, revealing the intricate veining within (detail of Crocus Alive and Squash Blossom Ballet).

I also love how strong light provides contrast and shadows (Lizard at 11:10 and Feather Stone Study below).

With the sharp contrasts, the object being painted stands out and shouts to be noticed. (Hello, Mr. Lizard!)


Currently, I’m working on a project that also shows strong contrasts. I’ll include a photo of the finished painting when I’m done. It’s a bit of a departure
and experimental. First, I’m combining watercolor and gouache. Secondly, I wanted to try Ampersand’s Clayboard. The results are unexpected and kind of weird (in a good way). I’m having fun with it, and that’s the point of doing what you love, after all.

Spirit Wolf

Friday, October 24th, 2008

This wolf’s name is Spirit. I call this painting I recently finished Spirit Wolf at Play, which you can also find on my website. When I visited Wildlife Images awhile ago, he was brought out of his enclosure for us to see, and the fellow immediately proceeded to nose around in the Vinca bed and get entangled in the vines.

I loved seeing this playful side of the wolf. Wolves are so often portrayed as noble and savage, but not everyone sees that they play and are goofy like any other canine.

Sadly, Spirit is no more. Apparently he died after surgery not long ago. He is sorely missed by his keeper, his admirers – and there were many – and of course his female wolf pack that was left behind.

This painting was a departure from the watercolor I normally use. I used primarily artists’ quality gouache. Gouache is most often used by illustrators – it dries fast and lends sharp, clean edges for good quality reproduction. But with the best quality gouache paint (lightfast pure pigments), one can achieve results that are similar to oils. Unfortunately, I cannot use oils – even the watersoluble types – as there are too many chemicals in the oils that cause me headaches. So gouache was the next medium I wanted to try, as I’ve missed the depth one can achieve with oils.
Unlike watercolors that dictate painting from light to dark and reserving the white paper underneath for the lightest areas of the work, gouache can be painted dark to light like oils. I had great fun experimenting and seeing new possibilities.

I will continue to paint with watercolors, but you will see more gouache paintings from time to time.

Turkeys, Deer, and Eyes

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

I took a walk early this morning, just as the sun started climbing – it was going to be quite warm today. Lo and behold! A large flock of wild turkeys on someone’s lawn.

Glad to see that so many young ones made it through the year.

Now, just so long as they stay away from civilization in late November, they’ve got it made…



You may be interested in seeing how the fawns are doing. This is the fem
ale of the twins, and you can see that she’s fast losing her spots from when she was born in June. Her winter coat is beginning to show as the darker, more gray areas. In the winter, the blacktail deer coat is a predominant gray color; whereas, in the spring when they lose the winter coat, it becomes a more reddish color.

As soon as I can, I’ll show a photo of the male fawn – he’s actually already sporting tiny antler buds! Amazing.

And finally, here’s a detail of the project I’m painting now. Can you guess what animal it belongs to? If you guess right, you get a free card of your choice.


Have a good week ahead!