Work in Progress - "Follow The Leader"

I started working on a full sheet painting of carpet roses that grow beside our pond.  Beautiful pink, reds and wine shades. 
Then I had an overwhelming urge just to play.  I set aside the painstaking drawing of roses and found a half sheet of Arches 300lb paper just waiting for inspiration.
Hmmm – whatever can I do?  When ever I get in this frame of mind, I generally go directly to all my pet fish photos.  I played with the composition, this one here – that one there and so on.  Landed on a composition that I liked and loosely drew it out.
Then I got out my little metal cups for mixing large amounts of color – masking compound (again –boy am I a glutton for punishment – this stuff is challenging at best) and started pouring paint.
This process is quite interesting – reminds me of batik with out the wax.  Pour pale yellow – let it dry, apply mask.  Pour darker yellow, let it dry and apply more mask.  Over and over and over.
Now, removing the mask is like a work out.  Need to use a gum eraser and rub and rub and hope for the best. Once I had all the mask removed , I went in and painted the detail work. 
This is by far the quickest I have ever completed a painting of this size.  And you know – I really like it!
And soon - the reveal of the finished painting!

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras - this painting was pure fun to work on - well...for the most part.  I recently purchased some water soluble oils and decided to try them out.  I had forgotten how long oils take to dry - and yes, this is the case with this type as well.  So, I painted for a few hours - waited a few days, paint again wait again, you get the picture. This went on for quite awhile.  Then one day as I was studying the piece - I realized it was close to finished!

And so today I worked on it for about four hours and I think it is finally finished.

In this painting is Hoover, Nemo,Comet, Guilda, Goldie, Marilyn and Dot....our pet goldfish and koi. I continue to be fascinated by the fish and love to paint them. The next painting they are swimming in the pond - a whole different perspective. Oh - and it will not be in water soluble oils - this media is too frustrating to work with.

Feeding Time Yet?

This painting was an experiment with some of the new tools available for watercolors. I admit I am a watercolor purist - and so this was also an exercise in bravery. I purchased a number of clayboard panels while visiting my daughter in Vancouver last year. It has taken me exactly a year to decide to experiment with them. The texture of the clayboard is quite different from paper - at first I was unsure if I liked it or not. After painting for a few minute - i started to get the feel for the material - bottom line. If you have time to play, this is a fun product. I sealed the finished painting with three coats of Krylon spray varnish. I have not decided yet if I am going to apply Golden Polymer Varnish over top or not. I know it will owrk well as I used it on teh Eastern Tiger Swallowtail in my last blog. These goldfish and Koi are family pets - they summer in our pond and winter in a large aquarium in our basement.