Friday, December 29, 2006

Lemon Tea and Chocolates (Take 2)

OK based on a suggestion by a fellow Canadian artist (Asel Syzdykova ), I have added some highlights to parts of the painting. I think it does a lot to complete it. Let me know what you think.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Lost in Nova Scotia

Someone posted this to a group I belong to. I think it is funny!

Two American tourists were driving through Nova Scotia. As they were approaching Shubenacadie (shoe-been-aack-id-dee), they started arguing about the pronunciation of the town's name. They argued back and forth until they stopped for lunch. As they stood at the counter, one tourist asked the waitress: "Before we order, could you please settle an argument for us? Would you please pronounce where we are... Ver-r-ry slo-o-owly?"

The waitress leaned over the counter and said, "Tiiimmmmm Hoorrrrttoooonnns"!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

SketchCrawl December 9, 2006

December 9, 2006. My first SketchCrawl is behind me. It was not a successful one. The day started with me stepping out to a temperature of -11 with the windchill. Not exactly outdoor weather. As soon as I got in my car, I thought back to an article I had been meaning to read about an artist who paints in Antarctica. Boy I sure could have used a few hints today on how to do it.

Anyway, after stopping at Tim Horton for a large-double-cream I decided to go to an urban scene in Streetsville and paint their. It took me no longer than 4 minutes outside the car to realize that it was not going to happen. The cold wind was blowing and not only my fingertips, but my paints as well were freezing. I decided to retreat to the relative warmth of the car. There I realized another miscalculation. Urban scenes from a car all look alike. An oblique building in sharp perspective and cars parked in front. Not exactly what I had in mind. Off to Port Credit. A place I have always gone to in the summer for strolls and sketching. Alas, from the car, you couldn't see much that was inspiring.

This was getting discouraging. I was not interested today in painting indoor scenes and that negated the idea of ducking into a coffee-shop and doing my sketching there. In retrospect, I should have. Anyway. Up to the north of the 401, and into farm country I went. I was determined to do something today that I could be proud of. I finally managed to park the car in the drive way of an orchard and to paint just three quick sketches. None of these are to write home about. Nothing good comes after 2 hours of frustrated running around. The paint was still crystallizing in the cold metal pallet, my fingers were still freezing (I had to open the car window to really see the colors outside, but oh well. Sketchcrawl in midwinter Canada? Naaaa, not again.
So anyway here are my failed attempts:

This is perhaps my best attempt today. It was my last and I had warmed up a bit. Funny how painting is like jogging. You really need to warm up before you can do a good run.

Ya, I agree. I have done better work on moving buses no less. *sigh*. Wait the rest are even worse!


I was trying my water-brushes with this one. I might as well have been painting underwater. Hehe. The water was cold and heavy and I had to squeeze the brush for it to flow. When I squeezed, well. the water flowed alright!

Ok last one. This was the first one I did at the Orchard from the top of the driveway. Not good. Seriously I shouldn't be posting these. They do nothing good for my reputation as an artist, but I was part of something today and I was happy to do it.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Oranges using Signature Watercolor Pencils

Watercolor pencils are not a medium that has caught on too much among serious artists. Perhaps that is because most of the pencils out there are not artist quality. The pigments are not clearly indicated and their lightfastness is questionable at the very least.

Derwent has a line of pencils that are lightfast and artist quality. They are called Signature. They come in Watercolor and regular pencils. I used those to make this little painting of oranges in a plate.

If you enjoy quality pencils or are an artist wanting to try out good quality watercolor pencils, I urge you to hurry and get some of these Signature pencils. Why hurry? No I am not doing a hard sell for Derwent. The fact is if you live in North America, you will notice that every art store has them on clearance or sale. Why? Because the distributor in North America has decided to discontinue providing them to us.

So get them while you can. I will be writing a full feature about the Derwent watercolor pencil line soon with a focus on these Signature watercolor pencils. Maybe if we all lobby hard, the distributors will relent.

For those of you living abroad and are thinking: "Oh well, North America is not us." Think again. If North America discontinues the line, there is very little chance that the line will thrive elsewhere and still be profitable for the company.

Stay tuned for the article coming soon.