A Workshop, Plein Air, and a Little Fun With Media

"Bolsa Chica Grebe" 16 x 20 Acrylic on Canvas

Original Photo "Reflected Dreams" by Bunny Clarke

Click here to view original photo:

Click here to view Bunny Clarke's RedBubble Profile:

A year ago, I would have been afraid to tackle a workshop like this: Solo Exhibition's Sojie 12, where artists
translate photographs posted by fellow group members. I've never worked on a collaboration like this before, and wanted to select a piece I had a genuine interest in so I could give it my best.

I took a class in wildlife painting a few years back, and although I loved it, I never focused too much of my art on painting wildlife in the traditional style (i.e. realistic!) I loved the reflections in this painting, and thought it would give me a good challenge: painting wildlife in acrylic, a medium I've been out of touch with for a while. Acrylic doesn't lend itself well to chasing a two year-old around the house, but now that my husband is home, I can get back into it while he does toddler duty.

For this workshop, artists must post at least two work-in-progress photos, so I am including mine here with a brief description of each step:

Step One: rough sketch on canvas with chalk pastel, to block in the composition and map out darks, lights, and a hint of the color scheme

Step Two: Bird still in pastel, with water blocked in using acrylic

Step Three: after getting a little carried away painting the water a lighter color, I had to redo it with the original blues and greens. The bird is also blocked in with the first layer of acrylic.

Step Four: see large image at top of post. This was the "details" phase, where I added in touches of brighter color, more texture on the bird, and highlights in the water.

To view the entire workshop and its progress, click here:

In addition to the workshop, I did a little plein air painting at the harbor in Oceanside, California:

"Harbor Pair" 9 x 12 Chalk Pastel on Paper

It was a Friday night, and there was quite a crowd walking around. I had to smile when some of the parents shushed their children as they walked by me; I was tempted to tell them that I'm used to painting with noisy kids circling me on a regular basis. It was a warm, pleasant evening, and I'm hoping to return for another session soon.

"Le Chat Orange" 12 x 16 Mixed Media on Canson Canva-Paper

And, for something completely different: a mixed media cat on my new pad of Canva-paper. Sketched in with pastel, I followed with a layer of yellow acrylic, red tissue paper, metallic gold acrylic, and chalk pastel as a top layer.


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