Friday, February 12, 2016

Well I made an effort to post to this blogger with photos from my iPad, but it can't be done. Not sure why blogger and apple aren't compatible. I suspect they're both being dicks. Will use Instagram going forward @phillipjonespainting

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Moraine Lake

The motivation for this one comes from a day trip to Canmore with the family. I was holding the baby like a football and walking while Di and the boys finished their hot chocolates. She wouldn't stop crying unless I got her away from her mom. She slept once I started walking, and my walking took me into a gallery. It was fascinating how the price of paintings depend mostly on their size. Di and the boys found us and started looking at the artworks too. Di expressed an interest in a big piece. We are so not in a position to buy a big piece of artwork right now.

When I got back to work in Ontario, I started wondering if I could do a big acrylic. My thing is usually watercolour. But a huge watercolour is beyond my competency. Acrylic materials are dirt cheap at Jysk. So I thought I'd give a little acrylic a try before getting a big canvas.
It's not like acrylic is super easy to get a good result. But there is the chance to paint right over mistakes. That's so not the case with watercolours where every brushstroke is permanent.
I added the grass because I thought it needed something in the foreground. But then I changed my mind after a few days. Also getting the perspective right on the canoe required more attention than it got initially.

I'm reasonably happy with this work as it is below. But something may start to annoy me as the grass did. Maybe it needs to be hung upside down or sideways for a few days too?
So producing a big work like Di wanted isn't totally out of the question. The challenge now is if I work on it in my free time in Ontario, how will I get it home to Calgary. Or if I work on it in Calgary, it would be taking precious time away from the family.

Perhaps putting an oversize piece on the flight home isn't as expensive as I imagine?

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Longest Grass

I started a sketch of my son. On the last painting I said the head was too small to get much detail into. This face is only marginally bigger. Maybe the size of a silver dollar rather than a loonie. None the less, I like the sketch so far because the likeness seems to be there.

One thing I'm trying with this sketch is working from a b&w reference photo. I'm hoping it will help get the tones relatively correct with more ease and not being fooled by changes in colour.
I did a crosshatch with the watercolour pencils to add colour to the background. Then I tried to take that texture out with a wet paintbrush and just have a solid colour background. I didn't bother to scrub all lines out.  I figure when I add the grass in with the pencils after the paper dries, it won't be too noticeable 
After the paper dried I added more lines for hair and grass and emphasized the dark part of the eyes, nose, and mouth. 

I'm pretty happy with the end result. There wasn't as much magic if paint is applied on wet paper with a brush. But I'll stick with this technique for a few more paintings and see if it keeps improving. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Barefoot on Grass

I'm living away from home so I can work now. I anticipate there will be lots more time available to paint. Of course there is my full time job and I'll keep looking for a job back home. But after that there should be lots of time to paint.

I've been really inspired by Ali Cavanaugh's work. It's figurative paintings of her children. Her results are really remarkable. Of course she has a really skilled and well practiced hand. I'm sure it will take me 10,000 hours to reach her level.

I tried a little portrait of my son. I enjoyed working on it especially because it was my son and my family is so far away right now.

It is an 9x12 inch painting. I started with a sketch using Reeves watercolor pencils. Then I brushed it with water. I kept reworking it to try and get the likeness correct. But I think it looks way overworked  and still the likeness is not correct. Double whammy. Part of the issue was the face was only the size of a loonie and I was trying to do too much in such a small space. My brush is not small enough to maneuver in that tiny area.  Just getting the basics and broad strokes of his face might have been enough. At least not looking overworked.

I'll try it again with a bigger space, maybe the size of a tennis ball to paint the face.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Leaf of Gold study

I'm pretty happy with the way this turned out. It's a study of a Walter Phillips watercolour painting. Sometimes I don't know what to paint so I spend more time not doing anything than painting. I'm going to "study" other paintings a lot more. It gives me a chance to practice technique at the very least. Sometimes the study looks nothing like the original, so in those cases the original paintings are more like muses and it's probably fine to collect royalties from my work. This work looks an awfully like the Phillips painting, so I won't put it up.

To make this one, I sketched the mountains, cloud, lake and tree branch with a watercolour pencil crayon. Then I applied resist over the leaves and let it dry. Painted the sky, mountains, and lake and let it dry completely. Painted the branch and waited again. Finally I removed the resist and painted the leaves.

Some issues I have with the work include: the pencil crayon used was dark and it stained pretty good. I wish the outline of the mountains wasn't visible. The various layers of mountain rock is a great feature of the original that is missing here. As are ripples in the lake. Also the silhouette of the foothill trees is pretty rough and somewhat haphazard in my study. I should have found something finer to paint with. 

So I learned a thing or two. Hopefully the issues with my next painting will be mostly new ones.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Expressionist Moose

I started this painting at Swinton's in a class taught by Michelle Grant. She helped me getting the alignment of the moose right.
 I worked on it some more at home the next couple nights. Adding the darks.
The one above is a filtered photo of the painting. I was trying different photo effects on my camera, seeing if any would steer me in a particular direction, since I wasn't set on if it should be high key or low and what the colours would be. 

The photo below is also an effect that influenced my direction. I decided to desaturate the colour of the background by adding grey and hoping the figure would pop more with colour.
Below is the final result. It's still quite colourful. But I'm pleased with it. Moving on at any rate. Tired of fiddling with it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Another moose

Another moose painting. I did this one quite quickly. Maybe two hours, tops. Mostly trying sort of a drip look. But I took some pains with the shape as well. Not so much with the colour. I quite like it. 

I thought the rack on the last moose painting might be somewhat of a fluke. I really liked that part of the painting. But these ones turned out quite nice too. So perhaps it wasn't so much a fluke.

The reason I didn't take so much time was that I intend to start tracking my 10,000 hours painting. These being the first two. So I didn't want to get too detail orientated. Not sure if the logic is quite right there. Probably more because I'm not a detail orientated kind of guy. In painting at any rate, I like to use a big brush. If I spend 10,000 hours, I'm sure I'll come across the colours and style that's mine without fussing too much about it in the first two hours. However pro athletes are always saying they practice hard. So that's a totally opposite philosophy.
18x24" watercolour