Tag Archives: oil painting

Pet portrait work in progress

Meet Hopper.

Photo of Hopper

I mentioned him in my last post and he’s still hanging around.  (He just started showing up around our house around the end of January.)  He just makes my heart melt.  I go out every night and feed him by hand while talking to him.  Slowly building up the trust with him and hoping one day I’ll get to hold him.  I took this picture recently and it’s one of my favorites of him.  I felt inspired and decided to do a portrait of Hopper using this photo as inspiration.

Initial sketch of Hopper

So I grabbed my sketch pad and pencil, then got to drawing.  First step was to create a sketch using the photo.  I’ve done a couple of simple quick sketches of him, but this portrait will be a more realistic version done in oils.

Underpainting of pet portrait

Next I transferred the sketch to the 16×20 canvas I’ll be using for this painting.  Then I grabbed some burnt umber oil paint and painted over it.

Initial blocks of color

After letting the underpainting dry, I then mixed up some paint and added the initial blocks of color to the painting.  Because this is a more realistic painting, I am using oil paints.

Progress so far

Then yesterday I got down to work.  I painted in the background and the branch on the upper left of the canvas.  Next up is to make any changes I feel are needed to both of those, then I get to start on the rabbit himself.  This painting has been quite wonderful to work on.  I felt a little lost with the background at first, but I’m pretty happy with it now.

I won’t actually be putting this painting up for sale.  I’m being selfish and keeping the original painting for myself.  I really want a special piece of art honoring this adorable little critter.  🙂  However, I do hope to add prints to my shop and will be using the image for my Zazzle shop, as well.

I’m hoping to finish this painting by the time I go on vacation, which is April 14th.  I’ll be sure to post updated pictures as soon as I can!

Leave a comment

Filed under art

Thinking of you…

That is the title of my new oil painting that is almost complete.  A bunch of artist from ArtFire are starting up a blog where we choose a monthly theme and create a piece of 2D art according to that theme.  This is our first month, so we went with Valentine’s Day.  It’s been cool to see how everyone interprets it and what they’ve created.  Here’s my (almost) finished painting:

 

Thinking of You

I still have a few tweaks to make and then the sides to paint.  After she dries a bit, then she’ll be listed in my ArtFire shop.  She was quite fun to work on.

I’m also hard at work on a new collection of paintings for my shop!  I have three completed so far and I’m planning to finish up at least five more before I introduce them.  I’m getting a new delivery of 5 inch round canvases tomorrow and those will make up half of the initial paintings, while the rest have been done on 5×4 inch canvas paintings.  My little inner child has been enjoying these mini paintings and I really hope that you’ll like them, too.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can finish up the other five this week and introduce them the week after.

Wishing you all a very creative and blessed week and I look forward to sharing the latest news with you soon!

Leave a comment

Filed under art

Checking in with an update…

Hello everyone!  I hope that your new year is off to a good start.  I’ve got several projects in the works right now and there is excitement about each of them.  Plus the ideas are bombarding me constantly.  I’m making plans, writing notes and taking steps towards turning these ideas into actual pieces of art!

Early last year I came up with a sketch of a woman with flowing hair and a bird perched on her hand.  I loved the sketch and immediately started to paint it.  Right from the start, things went wrong.  Horribly wrong.  I ended up putting the painting aside after keeping it out for a month.  I just kept staring at it and every time I saw it, I felt worse.

Last month, something sparked in my brain and I came up with an idea that used that very sketch.  I made a few changes, added a background and a foreground, and voila!  I love this sketch even more.  I’ve transferred the sketch over to an 18×24 gessobord and the painting has begun.

woman with bird in rainforest

Here is a look at the sketch for the painting.  The first layer of the background has been applied and my next step is to fill in the foreground and the woman and bird.  I used photos from my recent trip to Hawaii as reference material for the jungle.  I visited the Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Gardens in Hilo and was blown away by it.  The beauty and diversity of plants and trees was overwhelming.  The path through the gardens ends at a spectacular view of the ocean and I was in tears.  I snapped hundreds of pictures and am so happy I did, as I can use them to inspire new artwork in the future.  I’ll be talking more about this (among other things) in the first newsletter for Quirky Dame Designs that will be sent out later this month.  If you are interested in receiving it, you can sign up at http://eepurl.com/o4tP.

Another project is the next series of 30 Art-o-mat blocks!  They’ve already sold over half of the first batch and are running low, so I’m continuing work on the remaining 30 that I have left.

art-o-mat preview

A preview of four blocks that are completed so far.  I have a total of seven done.  Once I finish them all, I’ll be ordering 80 more blocks and the work will continue!  I’m thoroughly enjoying my experience with this project and am so happy to continue participating.  I also found out that my blocks have been available in Winston-Salem, NC at the Reynolda House Museum of American Art.  Not sure if they are still available there, as I know that some have sold.

I’ll be back again soon with more news from Quirky Dame Designs.  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog!

2 Comments

Filed under art

Mutual Admiration – An Original Oil Painting by Julie Behm

Initial sketch for Mutual Admiration A few years back, my best friend and I started a tradition.  For our Christmas gift (or at least part of it) we would create something for each other.  I’ve given paintings each year and in return I’ve gotten a wonderful hand-painted plaster mask, a painting and this year, a wonderful piece of art done with watercolor pencils, plus a gorgeous handmade necklace and earring set.  I’ve been very spoiled!

This year, I was pondering what to do.  I started out with the idea to paint a realistic nude and the initial sketch came out gorgeous.  Somehow, things went downhill between finishing the sketch and transferring it to the gessobord.  I didn’t like the composition and I found I wasn’t very excited about it and realized that I needed to rethink things.  I do enjoy the challenge of painting realistically, but honestly, I don’t want to do that every time.  And this time I wanted to do something different – something fun and colorful but not too realistic.  By the end of the day, I had a new sketch of a woman and her cat completed.  And I found myself getting excited about painting this one.  It just felt right.  By this time, it was already into December, but I knew that I wanted to do this one in oils.

So, I got to work.  The skin tones came together fairly easily.    Painting in oils was the right choice.  I’m so much more at ease with the oils, especially when it comes to painting people.  Working on this painting helped solidify my decision to focus more on oils this upcoming year and less on acrylics.  Some things, such as my owl and the Art-o-mat blocks will still be done in acrylics.  But the rest will mostly be done in oils.  And I’m really excited about that!

Mutual Admiration To the left, you can see the finished painting.  I’m pretty happy with it and feel that I made the right decision to scrap the original idea for now.  Best of all, it was done before Christmas and in time to exchange today, though just barely!  Thanks to thesunnysidebiz on ArtFire, it has a name, which is Mutual Admiration.  (I’m simply horrible at naming paintings and when I mentioned it needed one on the forums on ArtFire, she put forth her idea.  I’m very grateful!)   It was done on a 9×12 stretched canvas.

My next project is another owl, a special custom painting for my darling aunt.  This owl will be a red hat owl and it promises to be a fun project.  After that, another oil painting and I’m narrowing down the possibilities out of several promising sketches. I hope to spend New Year’s Eve doing what I love best… painting!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and may the New Year be filled with many blessings!

5 Comments

Filed under art

My Artsy Weekend

I’ve been enjoying the long weekend and being very productive.  It’s been a nice change from the previous weeks and the weird mood I’ve been in regarding my art.  I haven’t been very productive at all and it’s been bugging me.  But I finally dove in this weekend and ended up working on several things.  What’s really nice is that it was a mixture of realistic and non-realistic.  I like a little of both.

Cat PortraitFirst, I’ve been putting the final touches on the pet portrait.  I was going back and forth between painting the sides brown or gray.  I consulted a few friends and finally decided on gray.  I’m rather happy with the results.  It was a bit nerve wracking painting them, but I took it slow and easy and I didn’t get any gray on the front of the painting.  Success!  It’s now hanging and drying, waiting for the retouch varnish.  I’m trying to decide on a name.  That is my least favorite part of painting.  🙂

Summer PoppiesAfter working all that time on such a realistic painting, I wanted to just play around and have some fun with something less realistic.  I had taken a photo of a poppy earlier this summer (which you can find in an earlier blog entry) and that poppy has been sticking with me.  I finally decided to do something with it.  So I watered down some acrylics and put them in some small spray bottles then grabbed a series of three canvases I had bought on impulse the other week, then sprayed them with the paint.  Then after it had dried, I sketched some poppies and started painting them.  They were quite fun to do.

Coffee and a SketchSaturday I had some running around to do, but I wanted to have a little fun, too.  I was in great need of some coffee, so before I left the house, I grabbed my sketchbook and pencil.  I decided to stop by Barnes and Noble and sketch for a spell in the cafe.  I’m a little addicted to the Starbucks Frappucinos and they have that delicious M&M blondie blast treat.  Mmmm!

I have a photo of my best friend that I’ve wanted to do something with for a while now.  Just on a whim, I grabbed that, too.  So, after getting my sugary treats, I sat down and did a few sketches for the Art-o-mat blocks (which are on their way!) and then whipped out the photo and got started.

Progress so farI worked on it for quite a while, at least until a couple sat down next to me that I thought would end up breaking out in some violent spat.  That got a little uncomfortable.  I’ve continued to develop the drawing and will be updating this blog as progress continues.  I’m hoping to get an even closer resemblance by the time I’m done.  I need and want to challenge myself more often by attempting this.  I love to do the quirky, fun sketches, but it’s just as important that I do realistic, as well.

Saturday night I sat down to get caught up on some TV and I grabbed a small 5×5 canvas that I had painted previously.  It had this hideous pink background that I couldn’t stand, so I thought I’d just slap some paint on and see what came of it.

Hawaiian SkyThe summer we’ve been having here in Alaska can be described with one word: rainy.  It’s been driving me crazy and I keep dreaming of the vacations I have planned for November and February.  I’ll be going to my future home of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.  One of the things I love seeing in Hawaii is those gorgeous palm trees against the brilliant blue sky.  That’s what I ended up painting on that little canvas.  I can hardly wait to see the real thing in two months, but until then (or until this piece sells) I’ll enjoy seeing it on the canvas.  🙂

While working on the sketches for the Art-o-mat blocks, I’ve stumbled across some girls that I call The Quirky Girls.  They’re a little kooky or nerdy, but I love that in a person.  These girls have been great fun to create.

Quirky Girl FrankieI had an 11×14 hardboard and another 5×5 canvas lying around, so I have used both of them to bring two of the Quirky Girls – Quincy and Frankie – to life.  To the left, you’ll see Frankie.  She was done on the 5×5 canvas and, like the palm tree and summer poppies, is available in my ArtFire shop.  I’m still working on Quincy, but she’ll be making your acquaintance soon.  It’s been good to do these pieces and it’s helped me to work out a few things for when the blocks get here this week.

So that’s the update for now. I tend to do longer updates for this blog every week or two, rather than shorter updates a few times a week.  However, if you follow me on Twitter or on Facebook, I do show pictures of works in progress and update people on various projects.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and I’ll be sure to post my progress on the above projects soon!

(P.S. If you are receiving this for the second time, I apologize.  There were issues with the photos the first time I posted it, so I had to trash it and start again.)

Leave a comment

Filed under art

Pet portrait finished!

Pet Portrait of PennyFinished the pet portrait tonight!  For now, I will put it away for a week or possibly two, then take another look.  If there are any minor touch-ups that are needed, I’ll make them then.  Plus I will be emailing a photo to Linda, the artist who taught the pet portrait class I took in June.  If she has any suggestions, I’ll be addressing those as well.

This portrait took longer than I expected, mainly because I hit a bad patch with it.  There was something not quite right and it took me a while to figure it out.  I spent way too much time avoiding painting so that I wouldn’t have to work on it.  Not the best way to handle it!  But yesterday I had a breakthrough and the changes I made just seem to turn the painting (and my attitude) around.  It was such a relief to finally be happy with where the painting was heading and to actually want to paint again!  🙂  Now the only other major decision I have is whether to paint the two-inch sides a dark brown or a dark gray.  Decisions, decisions…

2 Comments

Filed under art

So many projects, so little time…

So I’ve been spending my time working on a few different things.  Thought I’d take a moment to post a little update on each one…

Cat portrait updateFirst, the cat portrait.  I’ve made slow progress on this.  I’m posting a picture of mainly the cat, as that is what I’ve focused on.  I’m thrilled to say that I’m almost done filling in her fur.  She’s got pupils, so she’s looking a little less creepy.  🙂  I was over at my friend’s house this weekend and spent a little time with Penny.  I took a closer look and realized that her eyes are actually much greener than the picture I’ve worked from.  So I will be correcting that as I complete work on her.  Once I’m done with her, I need to turn my attention to the bird and the feeder.  My goal is to finish this by the middle of the month, so that she’ll have a little over a month to dry before the auction.

Mermaid paintingI started this piece as a way to get used to painting in oils again after an eight month break from them.  Plus I have a bigger mermaid painting forming in my mind and this was a good way to work some things out.  About all I have left to do on this painting is to add some detail to her tail and touch up a spot or two on the water.  Then I’ll be listing her in my ArtFire shop.

Art-o-mat SketchesI’ve also been sketching away, coming up with some fun new ideas for the Art-o-mat paintings.  I’m having such a good time indulging myself with all sorts of fun ideas.  I’m looking forward to getting the wood blocks so I can finally get it going.  🙂  Some (especially ones that don’t make the cut for the Art-o-mat pieces) I’m even contemplating expanding and painting in a bigger format. Many thanks to my best friend Alicia who came up with many ideas for titles during our lunch this weekend.  I’m awful with titles and she’s such a fantastic writer.  I’m so blessed to have her input!

Art by auntie and her nieceAnother fun thing about these tiny sketches?  Seeing the delightful drawings that my six-year-old niece comes up with when she sits down to copy them!  She’s been adding her own art to the pages and I love seeing her put her own twist on things.  Here she’s decided to copy one of my pictures, but to do it with a real bunny instead.  Love it!

So that’s the latest on things.  My main objective over the next week or two  is to get the cat done and set aside to dry and then to get the mermaid done and listed.  That way I’ll be free and clear when the blocks arrive.  Plus I have many other unfinished paintings to create and a Christmas project to continue doing.  Just wishing there was more time in the day to do all of it!

6 Comments

Filed under art