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Thursday, 28 March 2013

Another statue and back to drawing


© Sharon Whitley the Rambling Artist


I've enjoyed the challenge of painting statues (link here) so had a go at another, this one from a wonderful photo by Caymanmamma.  I used salt again to give texture to the stonework as I added pigment wet into wet and tried to counterbalance the lights and darks to make the subject stand out from it's background.  I've also had the graphite pencils out again for the first time in a while and did a quick character study - this is one of the subjects in this month's Drawing Challenge on I Draw and Paint.


© Sharon Whitley the Rambling Artist

 I do love drawing faces full of character like this.  I did this one as a bit of a practice before starting on a portrait I've been wanting to do ever since I saw a fabulous photograph of a Sherpa lady at a lecture by Kenton Cool last month.  I contacted Kenton and he very kindly emailed me the photograph - I really need to practice my graphite work before I start though as I really want to try and do justice to the wonderful photograph.   

I've also finally opened the pots of brusho I bought a few months back and had a play but not sure if I'll be posting yet!  Still a work in progress - it sure is vibrant stuff!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Another rescue attempt

As my last rescue attempt with an old painting of a stag  (link here) was quite successful I thought I'd try another with a painting of two lambs I did two years ago.  The original painting was lacking in tonal values and the background wash was very patchy so I took out the background with my wonderful magic eraser (great for lifting backgrounds) and went in with stronger pigment and used white goauache in places on their cute little faces. I'm happier with this painting now and it was fun to do!


© Sharon Whitley
Spring Lambs


I've also been painting statues!  Not one of my usual subjects I know but an online artist friend runs a watercolour challenge each month on I Draw and Paint. I used to enter the challenge each month without fail when I first started painting and I learned so much just by trying subjects I wouldn't usually try and from seeing how others tackled the same subject.  I haven't been doing these challenges as much recently but I still enjoy doing them and feel I learn a lot from them.  I'm sure many of you will recognise the first statue.......


© Sharon Whitley
Liver Bird

My favourite sight in Liverpool!  I remember looking up at these in awe when I was a child.  The second statue is from a beautiful photo by Suzanne Wallick on Paint my Photo.  I was quite pleased with this but wish I'd painted it bigger as it's only quite small, but I suppose I can always do another bigger version.


© Sharon Whitley
Watching over you

Still lots of snow about but managed to get my car out of the road yesterday afternoon so I'm free to do what I want!  Hoping to get a good winter walk in on Thursday - forecast has given 80% cloud free summits woooo hoooo fingers crossed!    Hope you're all having a happy time out there whether that be painting, birding, walking, anything!    
love Sharon

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Little Ballerinas




These little ballerinas were painted for the loose watercolour challenge on PMP which is run by the lovely Judith Farnworth.  Judith had been a great support to me since I started painting and I've learned a lot from her over the last couple of years.  For this particular challenge I painted the first, more detailed version first followed by the more impressionistic, looser version - although the background I kept loose in both versions -  but which do you prefer?

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Welcome to Spring!


© Sharon Whitley
Spring Lambs

I'm not sure how the Spring lambs are coping with the deluge of snow in North Wales - feel so sorry for them, I've never seen snow like this here! I painted this to remind me that it is actually Spring and not mid Winter!  I've also had a go at another portrait, this is Jean-Marie, the brother in law of an online art friend and done as part of the PMP monthly challenge

© Sharon Whitley
Jean-Marie

Here's Sian trying to walk in the snow in the garden this morning........in her onesie!


Monday, 18 March 2013

More Portraits

I've had a bit of a portrait painting frenzy this weekend....



These are all from photos by Li Newton who lives on San Salvador island in the Bahamas and are of some of the inhabitants there.  I'm one of the judges for a monthly challenge on PaintmyPhoto and the challenge this month is portraits - we've had an overwhelming response and I'm so glad it's given me the push I needed to have a go myself - portraits have always scared me!  Take a look at the site if you haven't already HERE. It's free to join and very friendly and supportive - there are thousands of great photo references to paint from.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

The distinguished Mr Forbes

© Sharon Whitley

I help to judge a monthly challenge on a site called Paint my Photo (link to site in right hand bar) - the challenge this month is to paint a portrait from a selection of the wonderful photos posted to the site.  I was drawn to a photo of a gentleman called Mr Forbes who lives on the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas.  The original photo is by Li Newton - I enjoyed this so much I think I'll be trying more watercolour portraits ! I used a very limited palette of Ultramarine Blue and burnt umber with a touch of burnt sienna in places.

Oh and before I go WELL DONE WALES WOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Puffin Landing

Looking forward to the puffins arriving here for breeding soon, a trip to Skomer Island in store I think!


Puffin landing

© Sharon Whitley

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Monthly challenge works

As promised I'm posting the paintings that have been done so far for the monthly challenge I share here and on my facebook page.   There are two photos to choose from, a Carneddau pony and a foxglove, both from photos by Gary Jones. The photos can be found on my last post if you're interested in taking part.  Here are the paintings I've received so far...and they're all fab!





a fabulous loose impression from Karl Fletcher
if you're on facebook check out his new Watercolour Journal



a gorgeous coloured pencil piece by Sheila Fielder

brilliant acrylic painting by Kevin Pinch of Pinchie Art


This beautiful painting of the foxgloves by Lorraine Brown
she also has a facebook page

and finally my first try at the Carneddau pony, I say first try because I'd like to do it again as I had quite a bit of trouble with this one, taking out the background, messing with the washes on the pony and having to fix it so it all ended up a bit of a faff, but posting it anyway to show I've had a go!  I'll be trying the foxgloves soon (may pinch a couple of ideas from Lorraine - but don't tell her lol!)

Carneddau Pony
© Sharon Whitley

Any arty bloggers who'd like to have a go, let me know and I'll post it here with a link to your blog/website!
Ta ta for now
Sharon

Friday, 8 March 2013

Border Collie and the March Challenge

© Sharon Whitley

I was asked to paint this border collie for a friend of my dad's - I usually tend to paint just a head and shoulders but he specifically asked for the whole body, that typical border collie stance!  I wonder why some have different coloured eyes like that?  



This month I've posted two choices for my monthly challenge on facebook, one of a Carneddau pony and one of a foxglove, both photos taken by Gary Jones.  So as always the challenge is open to blogger friends too. If you fancy having a go at either or both of the images below, then I'll be sure to post it here on my blog and on my facebook page with a link to your blog.  It's just for fun, any medium any style.  I'll be having a go too of course!




Last month two blogging friends painted beautiful versions of the greylags which was February's challenge.  Here are there paintings with links to their brilliant blogs - pop over for a look!




and facebook friend Sue Caton painted this lovely version, changing the composition to make the geese face each other. If you're on facebook pop over to her page, I love her use of colour in her artwork and she'd love to see you there


I've had a few facebook friends paint the Carneddau pony but I'll post those again as I'm sure you've had enough of me by now!  Til next time bloggers, have a wonderful day!

Sharon x

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Whooper Swan

Whooper 
© Sharon Whitley

I just had to have a go at painting this Whooper from Gary's beautiful photograph which he took at WWT Martin Mere on Sunday. They're not posted to his blog yet but will be very soon I'm sure!




Tuesday, 5 March 2013

A tribute to Stella

Stella
© Sharon Whitley

This is Stella, a beautiful Alsation that I was asked to paint over the weekend for an American family.  She tragically died of cancer a couple of weeks ago and the family are heartbroken. I'm always a bit nervous about doing commissions, especially when it is purely from a photo and you've never actually met the animal in question, but in this case, knowing how important the painting was to them, as a treasured memory of a much loved pet, I felt even more nervous than usual!   So you can imagine my relief and joy when I heard that they love the painting,  there were tears when they saw it (I think that's a good sign in this case!), and I've been told that I've made the family very happy.  What a wonderful feeling that gave me knowing that I've brought a bit of happiness to a family over on the other side of the world at such a sad time for them.  The painting is now securely wrapped and on it's way to it's new home in the States where I hope it will serve as a lasting memory of a much loved pet.

I know only too well how it feels to lose a pet, we lost Tay, our black labrador a few years ago at the age of 12.  I've now got Holly who loves to be out walking for the day and is water mad!! Here she is earlier today swimming in one of the mountain lakes in the Moelwyns in Snowdonia. It was a wonderful day out in the mountains, the sun was out, the sky was blue(ish), more photos will soon be on Two Pairs of Boots



On the summit of Moelwyn Mawr in Snowdonia



Sunday, 3 March 2013

Barn Owls and meeting Mr Cool!


Barn Owl from a photo by Angeline Rijkeboer
© Sharon Whitley

Barn Owl from a photo by Barry Haines
© Sharon Whitley

February's loose watercolour painting challenge hosted by Judith Farnworth over on Paint my Photo was a Barn owl and as I love barn owls I just had to have a go - for the first one I used a wonderful photo from PMP by Angeline Rijkeboer - I wasn't over keen although the real thing looks a little better than the photo.  I then tried a looser version which took a fraction of the time, and I think I prefer it, more spontaneous and I enjoyed painting it more than the first which is probably why I like it more!

So what else have I been up to?
If you don't recognise the gentleman below it's Kenton Cool!  Gary and I went to see him speak on Friday night.  He climbed Everest last year for the tenth time  - sponsored by Samsung to take an Olympic Gold Medal to the top of the world - what a guy!  He was lovely to talk to too!


and on Saturday Gary, Holly and I climbed our own little 'Everest' - and what weather we had - just look at that blue sky over the majestic Mount Snowdon. Love it there,  Gary's much better photos of the day will soon be on Two Pairs of Boots.  Holly had a wonderful time swimming in the lakes on the way up - and down!


Hope you're all having a fab weekend
Sharon