Sunday, January 31, 2010

Kauai Painting-Day 11

© Ellen Blonder
I couldn't sleep last night, thinking about how tight this painting was becoming. At 4 AM, I started chalking in overlapping foliage to the right and in the foreground.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Kauai Painting-Day 10

© Ellen Blonder
Now it's getting fun, adding details: shredded traveler tree leaves, small palm on left, vine crawling up the big palm, rough mountain details. There's still a lot to fill in.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Kauai Painting-Day 9

© Ellen Blonder
The traveler tree in the left background was interfering with the palm leaves, so I repainted them roughly, lower on the branches. I finished the trunk of the palm, and I'm starting to chalk in details for some of the other foliage. There's still a long way to go, but I feel like this is finally starting to take shape.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Kauai Painting-Day 8

© Ellen Blonder
Took a little time off to show a friend the island for the first time. It helped me see the beautiful flora here with a fresher eye.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Remembering Annabel

© Ellen Blonder
Remembering Annabel Low today, my aunt and co-writer. She would have been 60 today. On our book cover, that's her on the left and me on the right. I miss you, dear one.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kauai Painting-Days 6 and 7

© Ellen Blonder
I've painted a traveler tree in the background and roughed in the bromeliad in the foreground, larger than before. Lots of issues to work out with the various greens.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Kauai Painting-Day 5

©Ellen Blonder
I'm roughing in the shape of the different areas of the painting. It looks way more open than I intend, but I'm trying to break my habit of painting in foreground stuff before working out backgrounds, and then having to paint in between details.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Kauai Painting-Day 4

© Ellen Blonder
Now that the palm leaves have a bit of light and shadow, I can calm down and move on to laying out other parts of the painting. I put a quick wash over the lower half of the painting just to get rid of the stark white, which was throwing me off. It still looks like the tree is poking out of clouds. I'm looking forward to anchoring it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Kauai Painting-Days 2 and 3

© Ellen Blonder
This is getting off to a rocky start. After lightening the sky, I realized the main palm was too small. Now that I've enlarged it and roughed in the fronds, the traveler tree looks awkward and will probably go. And I'm still unsure if the palm is big enough. Somehow, it all looked easy to figure out on the thumbnail sketch, but once again, I'm humbled by how different--and difficult--it is working large.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kauai Painting-Day 1

© Ellen Blonder
After sketching and ruminating, I started putting paint on the 36 x 48-inch canvas. It looks terrible, of course, and will for some time. I'm eager to cover up all that white, however roughly, before I go back in and start refining. I've also forgotten how physically tiring it is to work so big.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sketches for Kauai Painting-Day 3

© Ellen Blonder
I photographed Daphne, the cockatoo who's sort of a mascot at the Kong Lung center in Kilauea. She was actually chewing on a chain in the pose on the right. I may want to put her somewhere in the painting. Her white plumage would make a nice focal point against dark foliage and colorful flowers. Daphne played catch with me on a previous visit, but this time she was mostly intent on preening herself.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sketches for Kauai Painting-Day 2

© Ellen Blonder
The big painting begs for big leaves, so I may put in a traveler tree--or at least part of one. These leaves are right outside the back bedroom windows.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sketches for Kauai Painting-Day 1

© Ellen Blonder
These leaves were part of a Sunshine Market bouquet here on Kauai. I've started sketching elements that might be incorporated in a big canvas I just bought.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


© Ellen Blonder
Finished the orchid study today. Also spotted my first Humpback Whale for the season when I looked up from the drawing table.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Older Kauai Painting

© Ellen Blonder
Five years ago, I created this large painting for our dining area in Kauai. I never work this big (about 40 x 50 inches), and seldom this loose, so painting it was both fun and terrifying at the same time. Well, I just bought a 36 x 40-inch canvas for the opposite wall. Time to have more fun and be terrified all over again.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

White Orchids-Day 1

© Ellen Blonder
When I went to set up my drawing things in Kauai, I found a pencil sketch I had started in my watercolor pad a year ago. I wish I had taken notes on the color, but I seem to remember it was white, so that's how I painted it today.

Monday, January 4, 2010


© Ellen Blonder
I think I'm done. I don't want to overwork the pinks and lose their softness against the creamy edges of the bracts.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Poinsettia-Day 7

© Ellen Blonder
I'm starting to lay in more color on the bracts, and I've added details to the tiny central flowers. And for the new year, I hope to be posting more regularly again. Happy New Year, everyone!