Friday, October 8, 2010

New Work In Progress

watercolor work in progress 15 x 20

This is a portrait I'm painting of the local leader of my church. He is one of the best men I know, always inspires me to try a little harder, and a good friend. This stage is the beginning layers of washes that will form the foundation of the rest of the painting. Achieving a likeness is what I'm most concerned about right now.

I'm feeling a little harried lately. My blog schedule has been hit or miss, and I'm just generally feeling like I need to recharge. So, I figured I would try to lighten things up today and post three random facts happening in  my life right now. These may or may not be related to art, just so you know. :)

  1. The other day I decided I would try to paint a still life. This involved me setting up some apples on my dining room table where the light was pouring in from outside. I left my apples sitting there for a while and went to do some laundry, when I came back my two year old was sitting at the table taking a bite out of each apple. "Mmm," he said. *munch, munch, munch* "apple. . . good." This led me to the conclusion that I should probably not leave potential art references and my two year old unattended. Who knew that apples would hold such appeal? I mean sure, if it had been cookies. . . but apples?
  2. I won a gift certificate to an art supply store in a recent art competition and I am seriously considering spending it on oil painting supplies. I have never, ever painted with oils and am suddenly feeling inspired to give it a try. What do you think? Should I go for it?
  3. This week me and my two older boys have hung fake cobwebs, skeletons, spiders, ghosts and pumpkins all over our house to make it really 'haunted' looking. My eight year old keeps asking me when I'm going to let him buy fake blood, or other 'real, scary' decorations (like tombstones, zombies, or flesh eating rats). I can not convince him that it ain't gonna happen. Like ever. I know, I'm so mean right? ;)
So. . . what's new with you guys? :)


  1. I think the apples with the bites taken out of them would make an even better still life. You could call it, "Not Cookies". ;)

  2. You are a very talented writer. I always enjoy reading your posts so much.

    You should give oils a try. You have the patience and perseverance. I am sure you'll do wonders.

    And yes you should be a caring mother. But not a submissive mother. So you are not mean. :)

  3. Go for it. I paint almost exclusively in oils and love the feel and glaze. beautiful portrait...


    Art by Karena

  4. I think you should give the oils a try. How will you ever know whether you like it if you don't?

    Funny how bigger little boys like all that really scary stuff.

    Little girls on the other hand want to be princesses and look pretty!

  5. I loved reading this post Crystal! Firstly, it's my husband who is usually the culprit when it comes to disturbing still life's! I once spent AGES arranging some vegetables in a basket with the intention of drawing them the next day, which was a Sunday - I returned from picking Charlie up from a sleep over to the lovely smell of a roast dinner - Yum! I soon realised that the lovely smell was not only chicken but 'boiled still life'! I could only laugh - You have to see the amusing side!
    Regarding the Oils - Definitely, go for it! I am doing an Acrylic painting at the moment. I think it is important to try fresh things from time to time. It's too easy to stick within our comfort zone but sometimes it can stunt our growth, right? That's why I keep on with watercolours because it's the medium I find the hardest. If I don't keep at it, I won't get better at it!
    If you do it, I can't WAIT to see the result!
    It's cute that your whole house is decorated with Halloween bits and bobs. All of the 'trick or treat' sweets and pumpkins hav just hit our supermarkets now :0) It gets so much harder to say no as they get older!

  6. Hey Crystal, love the start of your new painting. Good thing about apples is you can turn them around (smile). Smart child going for the apples. Congratulations on winning the gift certificate. You should try the oils. I think you have the patience for them, unlike myself. My recent desire to improve in watercolors has helped me become a bit more patient but not nearly patient enough for oils yet. I have plenty in a bin but that's where they are going to stay for awhile.
    I'm sure you are a wonderful Mother. Don't feel bad about not giving them blood and guts for Halloween, it won't really matter in the long run. There is enough of that stuff in the public domain so they you can keep it out of your home. They will grow to treasure the safe and sane world you've created for them there as they get older. Wishing you and yours a wonderful evening.

  7. This is another wonderful start Crystal. I think you should give oils a try, speaking as an oil artist of course. You are so amazing with watercolors, oils are so different and much more forgiving. Keep us posted if you try and what you think of them. I would be glad to help with the oils in any way I can.

  8. thanks for sharing. The apples is cute!
    As for oils, sure but don't have big expectations the first few. I'm finding it very challenging, but fun and interesting too.

  9. Your WIP is looking fabulous! Can't wait to see how it comes out! I'm sure it will be amazing as usual! Very funny about the apples. I've had that happen once or twice. You should try oils, I have some water soluble oils, I would recommend that, especially with little guys running around. I bet your house looks spooky, we haven't gotten our decorations up yet, we've been on the road and we're heading out again. Good luck with your painting:)

  10. I got quite a "giggle" with your apple story. Now are you going to paint the apples with the bites in them?

    Enjoy your posts and your marvelous paintings. I think you will find oils challenging but a wonderful challenge.

  11. Looking at your WIP and watercolour work in general, I can see you have lots of patience Crystal. I can rarely leave a portrait at that stage, must finish mine in one go or risk getting bored!

    MT took the words from my mind about the bitten apples - painting them with bites in would make an amusing composition.

    As for painting with oils, be prepared to stumble. I thought that I would start with acrylics for a change. Not knowing anything about the medium, my very first attempt was pathetic and made question my ability as an artist. After that first one though, things improved as I got a feel for it.

  12. I admire your art work and love to follow your work in progress!
    It's amazing what you do with watercolours,
    Have a wonderful Sunday,

  13. Love your WIP....I'm looking forward to the finished product. You have inspired me to paint with the oils I bought months ago but still afraid to use them. I work with pastels only but would love to attempt another medium.

  14. Hi Crystal,
    Your blog is so busy, and I have enjoyed it a great deal. I think you should try oils, I did but I didn't take it very far. Oil was difficult to manage and the clean up is a bit more involved.
    I have a nice pile of oil paints if you would like, I can send you enough oils to get started to see if you really like them. If so you can use your gift certificate after trying them and mail them back to me. Oils are expensive you know.

  15. The painting seems to be coming along very well. The church leader(and everyone else who sees the portrait) is sure to be impressed!
    I really think you should try your hand at oils. Someone who is so skilled with watercolours surely wont find it difficult at all. And thank you so much for the nice comments. I will soon post images of the exhibition too.
    Best wishes.

  16. You do beautiful work. This piece is off to a great start. I'm always shy about posting my WIP's. They are never as clean and lovely as this!

  17. As always, Crystal another wonderful painting on the easle.
    Go for the oils. It should be fun for you [and frustrating] but that is how we grow.
    Sounds like a young boy with gory for halloween. I agree with you though. Doesn't need to happen. LOL

  18. Love seeing the WIP --gives me an idea of how patiently you build your paintings!!! Cute stories about the apple and the one about soaring eagles and why artists do what we do :)


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment they really do mean so much to me! Because not all bloggers have their email enabled so I can reply directly through email I will try to reply here in the comments. If I don't please forgive me, life must have been hectic that day! :)) Huzzah!!

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