Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Windblown Rooster - Final

© Ellen Blonder
I've added details to the plants and thrown some leaves to the wind. Finished.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Windblown Rooster 4

© Ellen Blonder
The chest and wing feathers are filled in now. Time to get back to the plants.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Windblown Rooster 3

© Ellen Blonder
© Ellen Blonder
Over the last week, I've been adding color to the plants, then filling in the rooster's tail.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Windblown Rooster 2

© Ellen Blonder
I wanted to build up from the background first, but I always seem to want to paint the rooster's face early on. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Windblown Rooster 1

© Ellen Blonder
While I was waiting in a parking lot in Lihue, this rooster wandered by my car window. The wind picked up and fluffed out his neck feathers. I've been wanting to paint him ever since. Here's the sketch on a 16 x 20 canvas board.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Cycad Painting - Final

© Ellen Blonder
I think this is done. I added some red leaves behind the bromeliad, darkened, then lightened the sky a bit, spending hours touching it up behind the cycad and refining the cycad leaves afterward. I've also darkened the underside and beard of the goat, added contrast in the horns and fixed its face so those weird far-apart eyes read better. 

In retrospect, this was a crazy way to paint, without even a foggy idea of where I was headed, finishing out the key elements and then having to paint around them. What's funny is that in the end, it doesn't look so different from my other paintings that are more planned ahead. I don't know how others manage to have a layout all planned out ahead. I needed time out to let this sit between painting sessions so I could figure out what else it required.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Cycad Painting 8


© Ellen Blonder
This is both the fun and tedious part, adding details with the finest brushes. There are now additional goats in the background, and patterns on the bromeliad leaves. I've also added strappy leaves behind and under the bromeliad and blades of grass in the foreground. The goat still feels a bit pasted in, though. While he looked very dark against the beige background when I first painted him, he now looks too flatly white against the dark path.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Cycad Painting 7

© Ellen Blonder
Here's the bromeliad shaping up. 
© Ellen Blonder

And here it is with the colorful flower bracts. It needed something on the right for balance, so I've added some fan palm leaves.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Cycad Painting 6

© Ellen Blonder
I've got to add some color. I can't let this just be a goat by himself in green grass. There's a bromeliad I've been wanting to paint, and I now have it sketched into the lower left corner. I'll decide what else to add after I work on that.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Cycad Painting 5

© Ellen Blonder
This is a backward way to paint, using a size 0 brush to add background behind the finished cycad fronds and around the goat's fur. It feels like it's going to take forever, but at least I can feel space in the picture now. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Cycad Painting 4

© Ellen Blonder
I should know my own tendencies better than I do. As soon as I washed in some background, the painting feels anchored. I'm still not sure where this is headed, but giving the elements some solid ground suddenly makes this feel better.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cycad Painting 3

©Ellen Blonder
I've been letting this marinate, not sure how to proceed, but the cycad looked lost alone on the canvas. I decided to add a goat, based on my photo of this character I saw near Kilauea, Kauai. He was not wild, but in a grassy area behind a fence. Did he know how magnificent he looked, so different from the other goats in the same pasture? The way he posed, I suspect he did.

Of course, I still don't know where this painting is headed. Do I add an egret above? Add some torn sketchbook pages to make a collage?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cycad Painting 2

© Ellen Blonder

Cycads intrigue me, with their primitiveness, as if a dinosaur could appear behind it at any moment. My reference for this was a handsome specimen from the Mcbride Garden in Kauai.

I didn't photograph this in progress, but here's the pretty finished painting of it against the prepared background. I have an idea to surround it with other bits of Hawaiian flora and fauna, so it looks like a big page torn out of a sketchbook, without more of a background than this.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Cycad Painting - Beginning

 I inherited this 40 x 50-inch canvas from my mother-in-law, and while the painting was in bad shape, it was on heavy linen, mounted on a sturdy frame, something worth saving. When the paint began peeling off, I thought I'd try stripping it.


Much of the paint peeled off in strips, but the rest had to be scraped with a palette knife.
The rest of the paint was stuck fast, so I could only cover it with gesso. I thought I could make the underlying texture work for me, although I had no idea what I was going to paint.

Cycad Painting - Beginning

 I inherited this 40 x 50-inch canvas from my mother-in-law, and while the painting was in bad shape, it was on heavy linen, mounted on a sturdy frame. When the paint began peeling off, I thought I'd try stripping it.
Much of the paint peeled off in strips, but the rest had to be scraped with a palette knife.
The rest of the paint was stuck fast, so I could only cover it with gesso. I thought I could make the underlying texture work for me, although I had no idea what I was going to paint.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Dark Rooster - Final

© Ellen Blonder
I've added grass details to the middle ground and details to the background. I knew this painting would take a while, and I'm happy to finally be done.