Saturday, 31 July 2010

Art Studio

So, what was MissyChief supervising in yesterday's post?

The building of my new summerhouse!

No more packing and unpacking on the dining table - yippee!

Hopefully I will enjoy creating some art and viewing the garden in some gorgeous weather this summer.

Do you have a dedicated space for yourself?

Friday, 30 July 2010


Missy has a second name -and that is MissyChief.

Her second name came about a few months after we adopted her, because there grew in her eyes a certain twinkle - a mischief that delighted our hearts to see.

Now she is also the Chief, because whenever we are doing any work around the house, she has to check to see what we're doing.

Its really very funny, its as if she is indeed a supervisor!

And once she's checked it out, she can relax!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Quo Vadis

Here he is, the finished painting:

Quo Vadis

and as I said yesterday, he will be a present to my husband..
because today is our 21st wedding anniversary - and because Paul loves lions!

Why Quo Vadis?

This goes back to my great love of books - the Lion would be Aslan, from The Chronicles of Narnia. As C.S. Lewis himself said, Aslan was what Christ may have been in an imaginary world.

Quo Vadis - the novel, by Sienkiewicz. It tell of the love of a Roman for a Christian and his subsequent conversion - set in the time of Nero as Emporer.

Quo Vadis, The Bible John 13:36 .. Where are you going?

So the three together are how I arrived at this title..

As ever, this painting will be added to my permanent gallery site
Pat Elliott Paintings

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Lion IV

Working on the lion now, he had a first coat of a very pale yellow and now the parts of his coat which are not in the sun get deepened.
He's beginning to take shape.

and now I have a confession.. there are no more stages to show - I got so involved in painting him that I forgot to take more "stage" pictures.
That's because I wanted to get him just so, because he will be a present to my husband, who loves lions. There's not a lion I paint that leaves this house!
Tomorrow you will see the finished painting.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Lion III

In this stage, I have painted some shadows on the rocks below the ledge.
This is to help give a feeling that the rocks are 3-D and do go backwards into the painting.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Lion II

In this stage of the lion painting, I have painted the ledge upon which he was sleeping a sandy colour and also put in some shadows behind him - and a few on the rocks, some for shadow and one for a cave I intend to put in.

The original photo did not have the lion on a ledge, or have a cave behind him.. but I am not trying to reproduce the photo, I am trying to produce a painting. So I add some inventions of my own, to give the painting more of an atmosphere.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Lion Painting

In the forum I belong to - Painting Friends - Cindi posted a photo we could all use as a basis for a painting.

The photo was taken in the Wildlife Animal Park in San Diego.

This series will follow how I made the painting, step by step.

I hope you enjoy it.

First off, a drawing, complete with masking (the blue line) to stop any paint running onto the lion when I paint the rocks in a loose and runny fashion.

Then I paint the under wash for the rocks, using various colours to capture the feeling of the coloured rock.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Colours, cameras and computers.

Anyone of a nervous disposition should come back tomorrow - today I am having a rant :lol:

Photographs.. I love them.

Cameras.. they capture the moment, for which I am grateful... but why oh why Fuji when I upgraded the camera did you downgrade the editing program? I wanted to be able to crop and manually adjust - and you took that away. I am very disappointed in you. The next camera may well not be a Fuji. So there!

Enter Windows Live photo gallery.. wonderful programme that I can crop and edit and manually adjust so that I get something pretty much resembling my art. I can email pics and even change from the mega sizes to smaller ones in the click of a button.

All is well in my world.

For a year.

Then something goes wrong and I can no longer save any adjustments that I make to a photo. I scour the help pages, I read the Microsoft forums. Its a free programme, they don't care to fix it in any big rush.
Shame on you, I'm going elsewhere and I'm swapping to Firefox. So there!

Enter the Dragon.. whoops, wrong post.. Enter Roxio Photo Suite, enter Picasa.. and now I am learning TWO whole new photo editing suites, just to be able to reproduce something resembling my art.

Oh Roxio, I love the amount of elements I can change using you - I hate the fact each change has its own page! Bye, bye, Roxi...

Picasa, Picasa, so beautiful.. until I upload the pics somewhere else - then the photo which looked so beautiful comes out dull.. bye, bye, Picasa.

I'm off to buy Adobe Photoshop Elements.. perhaps with photo editing, you do really get what you pay for!

Colours.. who'd have 'em?

Friday, 23 July 2010

Sweet Mollie

Sometimes I paint a picture and I don't stop from beginning to end.
Especially if I am learning a new technique, as I was with this painting.

I was trying to put the sunflower technique of drop and mop to good use, in this painting of a zinnia.

So no step by step to tantalise or inform you, just the finished painting:

Sweet Mollie

This painting will be added to my permanent gallery site
Pat Elliott Paintings

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Sunflower experiments

Mollie from the Painting Friends forum I belong to described to us a technique of dropping dots of colour and mopping water to create loose, vibrant sunflowers.

So I thought I would experiment to see if I could pick it up - and it was only on the fourth attempt that I felt it was loose enough to be really vibrant.

Once you've seen all four, please do tell me what you think... and which is your favourite!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Book Review

And the book I'd like to tell you about is:

Wendy Tait's Ready to Paint Watercolour Flowers.

The book provides tracings for each demonstration which you copy.
Then you follow the very clear instructions on what colours to mix and the techniques used to apply the paint so as to achieve a very good result.If you read and follow carefully, you get a very good painting.

This is one I painted from the book's demos.

Now, what I like best of all, was the fact that although there were 9 tracings, there are only instructions for 5.

This means you have to apply what you've learned in the demos you've done to create something beautiful without being spoon fed.

this is what I managed to do from a line drawing with no demo:

and this is one I created on my own, from the clematis which grows up the obelisk in my garden:

I really like this book. The tracings mean if you are short of inspiration for whatever reason, here is something you can draw and go...
and the clear instructions mean you can reproduce Wendy's painting in the first instance - and you should have learned enough by the end of it to produce a good work from just the line drawing.
Its only a short hop then to making your own line drawings - and totally original paintings.

Very highly recommended.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

My Latest Five Dog Paintings

I thought you might like to see my latest five dog paintings all in one post.. so here they are.

Click their name to see the original post and comments..

Do you have a favourite?

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Summer ShowStoppers 5

Here come the flowers!

Glorious fuchsias - which brighten up so many summer baskets.
There are two varieties painted here, the single bloom and the showy double.

I adore them all.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Summer ShowStoppers 4

Here you can see I have darkened some of the leaves a little more!

Now you really get a feeling of leaf.
As a painter, I get the anticipation of how lovely the fuchsias will look.

Can you see how painting the leaves a little darker really makes the background look like it has some distance to it?

I still find that remarkable, because the paper is flat, yet I feel drawn in..

Friday, 16 July 2010

Summer ShowStoppers 3

Now I make a mix of a mid green, using ultramarine and cadmium yellow.
With this I deepen and define the background more, to help make the flowers stand out.

I love this stage, you can really get a feel of how your painting will turn out.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Summer ShowStoppers 2

The first stage is to wet the paper.
After that I dropped in two separate mixes, one of alizarin crimson and one of transparent yellow.
This in my mind fixes the background and the flowers as two separate entities.

The hardest part of doing this stage is to walk away and leave the painting alone, whilst the whole thing dries.
If you don't do that, you run the risk of ruining your work.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Summer ShowStoppers - a work in progress

In an earlier post, I mentioned how I like to try something new over the summer break.

This year I wanted to concentrate on my floral paintings.

Whilst I eagerly await the arrival of North Light's Big book of painting watercolor flowers from the US, I decided to pick up a book by Wendy Tait and practice one of the demos.

Here is the drawing of what will become some showstopping summer fuchsias.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Country Girl

When we first adopted Missy we were living in the suburban sprawl that is London. We had an Essex postcode but a London phone number.. and truthfully, it was more London than not - though we had some very large green spaces nearby.

We were told Missy was really more suited to a semi rural location, but the green spaces swung it for us.

However, since we've moved further out, Missy has become a country girl for sure.

Now when she wants to sleep on a nice day, the lure of the great outdoors tugs at her.
Its lovely to see a dog who was in rescue kennels for two years enjoying the great outdoors.

My Country Girl...

Monday, 12 July 2010

Still Standing

Here's the finished painting of Ben, called :

Still Standing

This painting will be added to my permanent gallery site
Pat Elliott Paintings

The title was inspired by Sir Elton John's song "I'm Still Standing" because the words of the song mean so much when viewed from Ben's perspective of being paralysed and then recovering.

In Lynne's own words:

Love it and LOVE the title - Elton John's still standing says it all too.
" Still standing better than I ever did, looking like a true survivor feeling like a little kid" it just sums it up perfectly as he was like a little kid with all that sea and sand. Yayyyyyyyyyy

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Ben - part three

The sky is now painted in - the next step will be painting Ben - which will all be done in one go and not in stages.

This is because he's not a portrait close up, so I shan't be stopping between the small washes.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Ben - part two

Ben is now a happy healthy dog and he thoroughly enjoys his holidays where he can play in the sea and the sand.

The painting is progressing with the beach painted and some water too .

Friday, 9 July 2010

Ben's Story

Ben is a beautiful Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross, owned by Lynne and Stuart.
They adore him - and when Ben sustained a sudden onset spinal injury, which left his back legs paralysed - they pulled out all the stops to get him better.

To read all about Ben, canine spinal injury, hydrotherapy and physiotherapy -then click here

Keep following the blog as I post the stage by stage to the painting of Ben.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Jack Russells .. the facts

Jack Russells are full of energy and always on the go..... FACT.

When jacks take a break, they like comfort and luxury... FACT

Hubby's birthday present was a digital slr... so he took these pics and I swiftly pinched them for my blog.
Hope you enjoyed them.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Summer Break.. or not?

The art group I go to every week is now on summer break.
Which means we won't meet again until September.

Some people in that break won't paint at all and some like me will.
I like to find one book and practice a few pieces from it.
This year my book is printed by North Light and is winging its way to me across the pond.

Whilst I am waiting for it to arrive, I decided to try painting without doing any drawing - and what's more to do it outside from life and only take 20 minutes per piece.I'm hoping this will teach me to be more selective in my brushstrokes and less intimidated of painting en plein aire.

The first piece I painted was in my garden - an ornamental blue pumpkin.

My question for you is - do you take a summer break from your art?
Do you feel better or worse by being away from your craft?
Or do you take time to try to improve one particular aspect of your work?

Whilst you're thinking, here's the pumpkin.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010


My latest painting:


Thanks to Lynne for the use of her photo, which was taken in a wildlife park in the UK.

Because of this Siberian Tiger's surroundings, I named the painting "Toska" - which means a yearning, a melancholy, a homesickness. (My O level Russian, taken some 25 years ago!)

I hope I've caught that feeling in the painting.

(In the wildlife park, he wasn't on a stone altar, he was on a raised wooden platform.
A stone altar suited my painting purpose better.)

More recently, some five years back - I embarked upon a two year City and Guilds course "Creative Watercolour Techniques"
I have used quite a few techniques in this painting, from cling film, to pouring, to blowing paint through a straw!

I enjoyed painting Toska - I hope you've enjoyed looking at him.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Reach for the Sky

Here's my finished clematis painting..

and because its growing steadily upwards, I decided to call it :

Reach for the Sky

this painting will be added to my permanent gallery site
Pat Elliott Paintings

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Clematis - the next stage

Here's the next stage in my clematis.

I've removed the masking and painted the first washes on the flowers.
There are some more details to paint on the flowers, more dark greens to go into the foliage and the foreground leaves and the rusty structure to paint.
Then she'll be done :)

Saturday, 3 July 2010


Out in my garden, I have some different varieties of clematis growing.
This particular one I thought would make a nice painting.

Here's the pencil drawing

then I got carried away painting and didn't photograph as much as I should for a work in progress, so you can see its quite far along.
When you are winning with greens - you don't stop!

If I was going to paint the obelisk black as it is in real life, I wouldn't have masked it. ( the masking is blue)
But I have in my mind to make it a rusty metal structure, to add a little more interest.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Wimbledon - Champion!

Someone remarked to me that whilst I was watching Wimbledon tennis tournament I should paint a crowd scene.

And I thought about it, but thought, its too normal to paint a player or the crowd.. so then, what is synonymous with Wimbledon?

Strawberries and cream!

Then if I was there, eating them - and my man won, they'd be flying through the air as I leapt from my seat to cheer!

So from my wild imagination, that's how this painting came to be.
I had great fun painting this one - it really makes me smile.
Hope it does the same for you :)


this painting will be added to my permanent gallery site

Thursday, 1 July 2010


The doorbell rang and there stood the FedEx man, with a tall box.

Inside, a beautiful plant and a box of chocs - a thank you gift from Jackie, a good friend.

It was a complete surprise - and brought a smile to my face.
Not only that - this gift will keep on giving, because I can already see a couple of paintings in it !

Cheers Jackie!
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