Sunday, January 19, 2014

Bluebirds Painting--on its way

bluebird detail
The Bluebirds painting was started 2 years ago….and has been asking for its turn to get more done to it.  Today I decided to tackle that, as a warm up to a new painting I will be starting soon.  I also decided to try out the new water soluble oil paints by Daniel Smith that I brought back from USA in December.

the underpainting, my starting
point today
This composition is of an antique Valentine's Day card.  When I did the initial painting 2 years ago, I created a copy of the card at massively expanded scale, so I would have the detail that is in the original card.  However, I did make a few changes in the painting, like leaving off the text that is on the card.  Somewhere I have the antique card, but can't find it at the moment, so the monochrome blow up image is my model for now.  That plus memory.

creating a record of the
colour palette using
the new paints,
along the bottom of the
monochrome copy of the card
Like some other paintings I recently finished in oils, the painting was initially done in acrylics on canvas.  And I wasn't happy with it, and wanted to finish it in oils.  Trying the new DS water soluble oils put the painting's work into experimental territory, as I wasn't sure how the new paints would perform, and how they would behave differently than each acrylics and oils.  It also meant I needed to do some work to colour mix, as I did not have a big collection of the DS paints (and for oils, I do have a good collection of colours).  I enjoy colour mixing, so having to mix colours was quite OK.  As I do for any project where colour mixing is involved, I create a simple record of the colours I create, and this time I put the paint dabs on my monochrome sheet of the card that inspires this composition.
working on the painting

I worked on the background, and warmed it up, with more duck egg blue hues.  I also worked on the borders of the centre heart, and the smaller hearts.   Then I tackled the birds, which were sketched, but only partly painted in.  I wanted the birds to look cute, with sweet faces, as they have in the antique card image.

I like the Daniel Smith water soluble oils, but they dry on the palette faster than regular oils.  They were also a bit dryer on the brush without water in the mix, hard to explain….but seemed so.  I am also not used to using water to thin them, I may need a bit of practice and experimenting with it.  I might get some water soluble linseed oil medium to try with them (I left it behind, as I wasn't sure I could bring it on commercial aircraft).  The clean up is brilliant, EASY water clean up of brushes and also the palette.  Very nice !  All in all, I am pretty impressed and liked the paints.  to learn more about the Daniel Smith water soluble oils, check out

I think the birds came out very well.  They look good and have cute expressions.  They need just some fine tuning to the shadings and highlights on them, and a bit of fine tuning detail on their little faces and also their feet.  I also need to tidy up the background, maybe put in some pattern on the stripes.  The hearts need the white border tidied.  And the flowers and leaves will be some work too.

My stopping point today.  Its on its way !

Another UFO (unfinished object, (this one a painting) is now on its way to completion.  I'll post it when done !

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