Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"A River Runs Through It", plein air oil painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"A River Runs Through It", plein air oil painting, 9x12"
$595.00 framed, FREE S&H

This is the second painting from my day in Caresland. This one was a real stretch, physically, as I took parts from my far left as well as my far right to make the composition. Creative rearranging at its best. Had to steal the title from one of my favorite movies -it just wouldn't let me go!

Thought I would show you some process shots, so you can get an idea of how I work. I work on masonite, that I have sealed with 2 coats of GAC 100, and then gessoed with orange gesso (what a hoot -it is made by Holbein). The block in of the darks is done with Ultramarine blue and Quin. Gold and turps.

I have blocked in the sky and the distant river bank, as well as adding some darks that I will be needing for my foreground. I like to get everything covered with interesting colour and then go back and decide what, if anything, needs tweaking. Just like I work with watercolours as a matter of fact.

Here I have begun work on the large trees and the shore. I like to leave some of the transparent darks showing to contrast with the more opaque lights. The river and reflections are also blocked in. I like to key in my lightest light early in the painting so I know what my boundaries are. Also I try to control the amount of the orange underpainting that shows through, but I really like little bits peaking out to enliven the painting.

This is the way it looked when I finished on site with it (compare with the first image in this post to see what's different -kind of like Where's Waldo for artists!). After I brought it home I did some tidying up, especially in the water reflections and I did some work on the large river bank in the background to push it back a bit.

This is my setup -I am using my Open Box M pochade box, which I love, and my Best Brella (which you can't really see here, but it is on top of the pole to the right). I drilled holes in a block of wood and glued it to the side extension so I had somewhere to store my dirty brushes. A stack of heavy paper towels are clamped on as well, a turp pot hangs from a clip at the front right, and a garbage bag hangs from my tripod. My colours are pre-squeezed out along three sides of the box (I like to have LOTS of colours to choose from), and the mixing area is in the middle. As this is a 10x13.5" box, I have plenty of room to mess around. When I get home I store the box in the deep freeze, and the paint stays just like new for the next time I go out. Pretty sweet set-up -goes up and down in just 2 minutes.


To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Bow River at Caresland", plein air oil painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Bow River at Caresland", plein air oil painting,12 x 9"
$595.00 framed, FREE S&H

Last week, when it was raining in the mountains, I decided to give my hubby and his friend a lift to canoe the Bow River from Calgary to Caresland. While waiting for them to make it to their destination, I found some very nice painting material, that is if I used my artists' imagination. It is fairly flat prairie around Caresland, but where the Bow River has cut its way east, it has left some interesting valleys. I did another one as well, which I will post tomorrow, along with some stage-by-stage photos.


To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Friday, June 25, 2010

"View From Pigeon Mountain", plein air oil painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"View From Pigeon Mountain", plein air oil painting, 8x10"
$495.00 framed, FREE S&H

After my Canmore workshop, and after painting the painting I posted on June 21st, I decided to drive up the Pigeon Mountain road. When I got to the top , it was a toss up whether to paint Mt. Lougheed behind me or this view, and this view won. However, I promised myself to tackle the tough but beautiful Mt Lougheed another day. I just love the late afternoon light in the mountains on a beautiful sunny day.


To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Return To Middle Lake", plein air oil painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Return To Middle Lake", plein air oil painting, 9 x 12"
$595.00 framed, free S&H

This is the third and final painting from my day in Canmore with Liz and Bobbi. It was about 8pm and the light had gotten REALLY flat, and still the sun refused to shine. I found this little spot at Bow Valley Provincial Park, and I was really taken by the walking path -part of my 'back roads/trails' series I guess. I have debated whether or not to change it to a lovely, partly cloudy evening, but this is the way it was...

This is Liz's painting from Middle Lake -she was standing about 200 yards to my left in a field to get this view. You can see we have a very different palette and approach to plein air work. Variety IS the spice of life! By the way, I am now the proud owner of this little jewel :)


To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Rundle Ridge -Spring", plein air oil painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Rundle Ridge -Spring", plein air oil painting, 8 x 6"
$350.00 framed, FREE S&H

This is the second painting I did on my painting date with Liz and Bobbi in Canmore. The bushes along the river were not in leaf yet, and their bare branches were the most amazing colours, which I tried to capture and intensify in this little painting. I also loved the strong shapes presented by this view. I admit that I did brighten the day back in my studio in this one. Who wants a painting of a cloudy gray day...


To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Monday, June 21, 2010

"East End of Rundle", plein air oil painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"East End of Rundle", plein air oil painting, 8x10"
$495.00 framed, FREE S&H

This is the second painting I painted last Saturday after my Canmore workshop. It was the first beautiful, hot day in Canmore of the summer, and the heat caused the late afternoon haze to take on a pinkish-purple glow. The horizontal structure in the centre front of the painting is a very old log bridge, made up of two 16x16" squared logs tied together. You don't see huge hunks of timber like that around much any more.


To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Friday, June 18, 2010

"Early Spring on The Bow", plein air painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Early Spring on The Bow", plein air painting, 8 x 6"
$350.00 framed, FREE S&H

A couple of weeks ago (before the rain hit- and stayed!) I went out to Canmore to paint with painting buddies Liz Wiltzen and Bobbi Dunlop. The day was overcast and when I brought this painting home, the sky was really dismal, just like the day. The sky did open up a bit later in the day, so I repainted the sky the way it was later, pushing things a bit to make them more interesting.

To purchase this painting or to commission a piece from your own photograph, please email me.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Painting Mileage!

"Opabin's Glory", 8x10", plein air oil painting

I did this plein air painting at Lake O'Hara 3 years ago, and just love it, so I have kept it in my collection. It has become the source material for several other paintings...

I was commissioned to do a large painting from the initial plein air one, so here is "Opabin's Glory" in a 20 x 24 studio oil on canvas. SOLD

"Opabin Imaginings", 12 x 16", acrylic on watercolour paper

The oil study has also provided fodder for some acrylic and watercolour paintings -heck if you have good shapes, you have a good painting! For variety, I did this one in fluid acrylics, using a limited palette of orange, yellow-green and violet, with a warm temperature dominance. I began in a watercolour fashion, and then added translucent and opaque accents.

"Opabin Imaginings ii", 12 x 16", acrylic on watercolour paper

I tried it again for a demo I did at a local art club. This time I changed the colour scheme to blue-green, orange, yellow-green & red-violet, keeping the temperature dominance to the cool side. I love using my own paintings to make new paintings from. While I cannot seem to play with colour to this extent outside, I sure have fun changing things up in the studio.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Fuschias", oil painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Fuchsias", oil painting, 19 x 19"

I painting this painting to cheer me up in all this cold rainy weather we have been having. I kind of made up the background leaves and flowers, but it does the trick -it hangs right beside my computer and it brightens up my day.

I would like to show you larger images of two of my advanced students work, that I think are really exceptional. The above painting of irises is by Rex Beanland. You can see all the work he did in preparation for this painting on his blog. Please read through it, it is a great learning experience. If you click on each of the photos, you can see them larger.

An this is done by Leila Chan. I had Leila as a beginner student several years ago, and due to her great work ethic and commitment to putting on the brush miles, she has really progressed and is really beginning to loosen up and trust the process. This painting is a milestone for her, as she had to make up all the wonderful colours in these white glads. Well done you two!


Monday, June 14, 2010

"Pathway Through The Trees", oil painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Pathway Through The Trees", oil painting, 20 x 10"

I did this painting in the studio, based on my invitation piece for my show, which sold on opening night. I was kind of sad to see it go, but now I have this new big one.

Along the theme of showing off my fabulous students work, these are the final paintings from my advanced watermedia students. I am amazed by the progress that every single one of them made this year. I am part of the Federation of Canadian Artists (FCA) and at the last show jury, 14 of the 55 paintings that were accepted were by previous students of mine. I got three in as well, so I would say we made a pretty good show of things.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

"Leighton Trees ii", plein air oil painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Leighton Trees ii", plein air oil, 9 x 12"
$595.00 framed; FREE S&H

This is the painting that I did at the Leighton Centre's Annual Clothesline Show and Sale -you know -the night that the storms blew in, creating such sights as the girl with the red umbrella from my previous post! Needless to say, the lighting conditions were changing every few minutes, so this painting kind of evolved out what I thought were the best of the spectacle. Hope you like it!
Now I am a proud Mama! I just finished the last of my full year classes for this year, so I thought I would share some of my amazing students work with you. This is the last project from my beginners to experienced beginners class. Pretty impressive eh?


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

More fun stuff from Bob's workshop

"All Fly Away", acrylic, 11.5 x 11.5"
Each day Bob had us begin with warm-up exercises, by having us "paint a verb/adverb" -words such as 'encapsulate' and 'excitement'. We had one minute to respond in black and white, just trying to make some marks on the paper that capture that feeling. These later became under paintings for layered paintings. I believe the word under this is 'to set free' -and the idea held through the next many versions of this painting. I was going after a cantilever composition, which is a new one for me.

"Curtain Call", acrylic, 11.5 x 11.5"
I have no idea what word was under this one, but my goal was to find some loose figures and let them tell a story. The 'flowers' in the orange figures arms was actually a skin I peeled off my mixing area and collaged on the painting. Too much fun!

By the way, this is my 300th post on this blog. Wow, it had been quite a ride. I want to thank all of you who look at this blog on a regular basis for all the support and encouragement you have been to me over the past 25 months, it has really kept me going.

Here's to the next 100 posts!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

More Burridge workshop photos

This is Bob's final (for now) version of his pear that he is holding in yesterday's post. The new neutral background really made the pear pop.

This is the master and I in front of some of Bob's paintings. I took my paint shirt off, which doesn't have quite as much paint on it as Bob's -hubby just retired so I have a whole new raft of painting shirts :)
"The Red Umbrella", acquamedia, 16x16"
This is the painting that I did yesterday. I was inspired by Melissa's red umbrella as she and it were struggling to stay on land at the Leighton Centre's clothesline sale. I was doing a demo under a tent roof and she was coming out to see if we needed anything during the storm that temporarily blew in-sweet girl. I used one of Bob's goof-proof colour schemes for it, which is a new take off on an old theme. Blue was the dominant colour, red the focal point colour, and yellow and violet as the spice colours. You can read more about Bob's ideas and subscribe to his great newsletter on his website.

I will post more of what I did at the workshop tomorrow. Now I need to get a good night's sleep before teaching my last class of the year tomorrow.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Robert Burridge Workshop -FUN!

I have spent yesterday, today and will spend tomorrow (God willing...) at an absolutely hilarious and extremely fantastic workshop with Robert Burridge. This guy is a laugh and a half, as well as being an amazing artist and a very sharing and caring teacher. I am learning TONS, not only about how to be a better artist, but also how to be a better teacher. I love his quote "Your students don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care."
By the way, this painting only had a short life looking like this. I will post the next stage tomorrow if I remember -will it be the final one? Bob says "A painting is never finished -it just stops at interesting places". Well said.

And, this is Bob's demo painting that I am now the proud owner of :) He began this painting by doing a black and white with spot lighting (dark against light followed by dark against light). Next he glazed it with transparent colour and it just glowed. Not to leave well enough alone, and just to see "what would happen if...", which is MY favorite line, he went in with juicy opaque acrylic and it was wow. Then he popped in some opera into the shadow side and it went WOW. Can't wait for tomorrow!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Watercolour demonstration continued

Here I have completed the lower buds and stem from the upper iris. I decided not to go with my original plan for the leaves, but chose instead to keep the 'to the right' balance of the painting and added some leaves to the right side. These were made the same way as the first leaf, just using different colour mixtures. I lifted out the lights on the leaf while the wash was still damp. I like the resulting negative spaces better this way, plus I got to break into the space on the right between the two flowers.

This is a close-up of the completed top flower. In the shadow areas I had fun with warm and cool deep darks, puddling them in with juicy paint. It is nice to paint shadows full of colour. I also added some cast and form shadows on the flower itself.

This is a closeup of the lower flower. I added some light and shadow patterns to the front fall to make it more interesting. The last thing I did to the flowers was to add a very dilute yellow wash to the white of the petals, so you could feel the sunshine on them.

"Iris For Katherine", watercolour, 6 x 16"

This is the final painting, with all the pencil marks erased. I am very pleased that I was able to capture this beauty cleanly and oozing with colour. One of my students even bought it! Such a bonus.

This is the photo that I used as my reference. You can see that I took a lot of liberties with the negative shapes -they were just too equal in the photo to garner much interest. I also like my colour much better!

I hope you enjoyed this demonstration. Next week is my last watercolour class of the year, which is kind of bitter sweet. I will miss the students and their tremendous growth, many of them have become close friends. However, I will be glad to have only my own painting to plan for. I am happy to have done this little painting, as I am really excited about continuing to paint in watercolour.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New Watercolour Demonstration by Sharon Lynn Williams

I began a new demonstration for my morning class today. This is from a photo of some Iris I had -forgot to post the original photo, but will do so tomorrow with the completed painting. This is the sketch I made (I know it is hard to see, but it is important!) My intention with this painting is to leave the background as white paper, which puts a lot of pressure on those white negative spaces, so designing them carefully was of utmost importance. I took great care to have all the negative as well as positive shapes interesting and varied, and planned the spacing very carefully. Notice how the large leaf curls back in to point to the focal flower? That was no mistake or happy accident! I have put an X on the negative areas so I wouldn't get confused while painting.

You will have to bear with these photos -the lighting in the classroom wasn't the best. I began the painting with the large leaf, just to get my flow and establish the bright colours I wanted to exist in the painting. I rubbed out the pencil line before making the leaf by double loading my 1" flat brush (azo yellow on one edge and a mixed green of phalo blue and yellow on the other) and twisting my brush to make the leaf. I was lucky and got a neat end for the leaf. Then I widened the leaf and painted around the end of the lower iris petal, and then I puddled some mixed violet into the shadow side. This is to move the colour of the (yet to be) purple iris into the foliage, ensuring colour unity. Next I prewet the iris fall and tipped in a variety of violets to the edge and let the colour soften towards the white middle. I puddled some yellow-orange into the inside edges while it was wet. I also scraped some veins into the wet wash. Note that I did each of the falls separately so I had the most amount of time to play with the wet washes. If you click on the photos, you will see them larger.

Next I painted the iris petals, again using different mixes of bright (ultra. blue & quin. rose) and dull (phalo blue and scarlet lake) violets in differing values to give variety to the colour. One of the biggest mistakes I see learners make is to paint an entire flower with only l tube of paint -even with varying the values, the colour just isn't dynamic enough to hold the viewers interest. I will later come into this wash to add some cast shadows, but this is as far as I can go with wet paint. My rule of thumb is to do as much with colour and value in the first wet wash as this ensures a luminous result.

I lifted out some lights out of the damp wash on the top flower, which you can see here. That is also easier to do while the wash is just drying. Then I tackled the lower flower, which I have made to nestle around the base of an adjacent bud. I painted it the same way as the first flower, except I didn't scrape veins -I wanted the more detail in my focal flower. I did vary the way I used the colour though, so they would be different. When the first washes were dry, I popped in the cast shadow from that bud, using a rich mix of differing violets. I painted the base of the bud by puddling in mixtures of azo yellow, phalo blue, gamboge and scarlet lake. The top of the bud is in shadow, so I left that part for later, as I want the cast shadow edge to be crisp.

You will have to wait until tomorrow for the rest of this lesson I am afraid -blogger has a limit on the number of photos per post, so I have divided the pics up into two days.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Irises", watercolour painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Irises", watercolour, 22 x 30"

This is the full sheet watercolour that I did from my B&W value sketch presented in the last blog post. It was fun but challenging to work on such a large scale. It was painted with the board at about a 60 degree angle so the colour would move, allowing the pure colours to mix on their own and remain vibrant.I used a 2" flat and a number 20 round to apply the paint. The green shape reminded me of a fence, so I helped that illusion along a little. I initially had made the lower bud too large, so I masked it and lifted to reduce the size. I also added a leaf to break up the lower half of the painting.