Thursday, December 30, 2010

Portrait Attempt

I've been looking at all the wonderful watercolor portraits on flickr and inspired to try one myself. Judging by my sketch it might not be very realistic. The model is much more attractive. Hopefully the finished painting will capture that. I'll take more pictures to show the work in progress.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Art Deco Painting

I don't think this is what most people would consider "art deco." It's much too sloppy with errant brush strokes and paint runs. But the colours make me think of art deco. I love how bold they are.

I don't know why i feel the need to classify or label different paintings? In my last post i wondered if my painting was "abstract expression?" I looked up that label and it said something about being anarchic, which isn't a feeling i had about those paintings. So i was probably wrong calling them abstract expression.

Joy to the World!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Abstract 4

I need to do a little research and see if i really should be calling these "abstract expressionist?" All i know is not much thought is put into design or colors when they're started. I just stop when i like them. I like the yellow square at the bottom of this one. It's a total accident. It wasn't planned. But maybe as the Freud saying goes "there are no accidents." I do think about balance though and try to make sure the eye doesn't get stuck in one place, or if all the action is on one side to balance with something on the other side.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Blue Abstract

I like the way this one turned out. It reminds me of when we rented condos at Fernie and the moon light falls on fresh mountain snow at night. It was pure abstract expression. I just painted the paper blue and then wet my brush and tried to clear some areas of pigment. There are multiple layers of blue and yellow revealed like a canyon carved by a prairie river.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Abstract Expression

I was inspired to paint this after seeing a painting on the show "Mad Men." Wow that show has style!

I like the way this one turned out. It's funny how my works always turn out completely different than the works that spurred me. I chose the wrong colours to begin with so i had to layer over some of the first shapes to change their hue.

I really need to paint more. I've improved my process of creating large files and colour correcting for upload to iStock. From what i earn from only a few files suggests that if i add a few hundred more paintings it could be a full time income. Although it's probably naive to make a reasonable extrapolation from such a small sample. Get busy Jones and find out!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gotta Keep At It

As the infrequent entries in this blog might suggest, I haven't been painting much lately. That's totally counter intuitive given my last entry was all about how well my paintings have been selling on

So here is something done on the weekend. No planning involved. Just started painting and this is what i ended up with. Kinda looks like a nature landscape.

In the recent watercolor magazine I saw an artist who ran a black marker along any hard edges. So i gave that a whirl too, but only around some shapes and below is the result. The change in colour temperature is just how both photos were photoshopped differently. I like the warmer top photo better.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

iStockphoto Stats

A quick analysis of downloads from my iStockphoto portfolio in the last month reveals that:

36% were businesspeople
21% were paintings
15% was food
15% were travel pics
9% were girls
3% were miscellaneous photos.

As a percent of dollars:

29% were businesspeople
45% were paintings
7 % was food
11% was travel
4% were girls
4% was miscellaneous.

Wow! Really should proportion time spent on each similarly.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mixed Media

This is an overlap of the picture i took of Venessa and the work-in-progress painting. Quite like the result.

Friday, June 18, 2010

updated Bohemian Forest Woman

detail of work in progress

Even though i've had lots of great response to the photo of the painting posted two days ago, I wasn't quite satisfied. Jackie always yells "no, leave it alone" when she sees work in progress she likes, but i keep working it. Well we can always make a nice print from the photo of how that painting was.

Firstly i bought some masking fluid. I've never used that before. I applied it over the figure. Then i wetted the rest of the painting and put down plastic wrap with vertical wrinkles. Was hoping the results would look much better. The paper buckled horizontally when wet and the vertical pattern of the wrap didn't impact like i imagined.

So i'm going to try the realistic style again and see if i can paint some trees that make me happy. If not, they'll get massacred again.

These photos of the work in progress show the masking fluid over the figure. So i'm hoping that the figure will look like it did two days ago when i'm finally satisfied with the trees and peel off the mask. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bohemian Forest Woman

This painting is derived from a photoshoot with wicked Venessa. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. I'd rather the trees be thinner and more delicate looking.

I tried to be much more methodical with colours and less splashy with the paint and brush. It's less abstract that way. I can imagine wetting it again and laying plastic wrap with vertical folds might add nice texture. But then Venessa might be diminished. That might be a good thing to work her into the background? Or i could put a mask on her and then put the wrap on the wetted background. I don't know?

I have a nice photo of this stage, so perhaps i shouldn't worry about it and go ahead and push it even more?

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Photo's Impression

I finished this painting last night. It's been a work in process for a few weeks now. It was getting muddier and muddier as each new layer was applied, and further from having any dynamic range. It was looking very dark grey and monotone.

So i thought "what the hell" and washed as much as would come off in the kitchen sink. I was left with a slightly lighter green colour block devoid of any shapes or patterns. Then i roughly sketched a scene from a group of seven painting with watercolour pencils onto the wet paper. I quite like the result.

The photo (above) i took of the painting seems to have a much greater tonal range from the light areas to the dark darks than how the painting looks in real life. And more colorful too. If i sold this painting online, the photo would definitely have to be darkened and desaturated to more closely resemble how i see the real painting. Otherwise i think the photo would be a misrepresentation of the painting. Maybe i just remember it under bad light? I've altered the photo to resemble how i remember the painting (below).

Then there is the issue of how i'd really like it to be. So i went to town in Photoshop and adjusted the tonal curves and saturation quite a bit. The image below is the one i prefer. I might have a large print made from this variation and see how it compares to the original painting. I wonder if Photoshop needs to be how i finish all my work and only sell prints. The original painting perhaps trashed as inferior?
June 16th Update:
Istockphoto rejected the version that i considered "final" (above) for being too dark. So i lightened it up, and resubmitted it (below).

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fractal Abstract

I quite like how this little watercolour painting turned out. It was inspired by the works of Sam Francis. I like his organic or "natural" looking patterns. I also really like the way his colour combinations work. I personally doubt i'll ever get that impact satisfactory.

I haven't painted in quite a while. Almost a month. I'm quite bogged down with the painting for Joanie. I fear that something quite bold must be done or it will look flat. When i photograph it with my cell phone and dappled light is coming through the window, I just love how it looks in the picture. That's what i want! It's intimidating. I may have to randomly pour water on it and give it a swish or something to get that impressionist look. I don't know what i'll do?

But i'm happy i did this little painting in just one night. I must try to paint more little ones, even if i don't feel like tackling Joanie's at the time. I hope it sells tons on istockphoto too. My paintings are doing quite nicely there. Certainly a good reason to keep painting little works.

June 16th Update:
Did i write i was happy with this little painting? Well since that post i disliked it. It spent too much time in plain view around the house and i altered it some more, including flipping it upside down.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Work Still in progress

I worked on Joanie's painting some more. The green background paint was wetted and lifted. I don't like the edge the green painters tape made along the topside of the canopy. The paint bled a wee bit under the tape. Maybe i'm applying the tape incorrectly? Wow, i really like the how this photo looks because the dappled light was shining thru the window onto the painting. I wish i could make the painting look like this under regular circumstances.
Because the other print Joanie has is kinda bluish, I thought i'd try to stick with more of the same palette. So i painted the background blue. The painters tape edge is still present so i'll have to tackle that somehow. I think i'll try to lift the blue in somesort of random manner to emulate the impressionist light i got photographing the previous version.
I should be using a better camera than my cell phone to capture these work in progress photos so i can upload them to my istockphoto account. Kinda silly not to.

Today i'm feeling a bit blue. Shouldn't be. It was a pretty good weekend. Enjoyed taking my parents to Stagewest. And they loved it. Had a challenging run in the morning and stretched my hamstrings good thereafter. So shouldn't ask for more. Just feeling blah.

Felt like this for a couple weeks. Thismorning my photography looks really boring compared to others on Flickr. I thought it was because my new focus on booking shoots was plateauing six weeks into the new year, and that's just how the mind works, focus fades and i'd just have to bust thru it.

But this coffee has given my a new idea, even though this Blackswan book i'm reading says i should lay off the causal explanations for stuff. I've speculated before that lack of sleep makes me blue. So maybe that's all that's necessary. Get some sleep and life is good.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Work in progress, Joanie's Bodhi Tree

I snapped this work in progress with my cell phone this morning. I like the light that was coming through the window. It's an impressionist feeling to me. Inspiring. Makes me want to take it in a whole new direction.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Joanie's Bodhi Tree

The previous Bodhi Tree was initially supposed to be for my friend Joanie. It turns out she wants a painting much bigger than the 19x23ish inches it is. So i'm trying recreate another version that is much bigger. Here are the first two layers. Hopefully it will even be better than the first attempt.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I painted this one YEARS ago. Probably at least 20 back. I recently uploaded it to istock. I'm not sure if they'll accept it, but WTH. It's really dirty and faded. Not really surprising considering its on a spiral book of paper that's been kicking around under my bed. It's probably good i took a picture of it. It will probably be completely faded in another 20.

It's definitely from my minimal paint stage. When i didn't realize paint could be dug up and pushed around the sheet. Back then painting was like using a pen to do the crossword puzzle. Every brushstroke was permanent, i thought.