Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another Rooster-Day 5

© Ellen Blonder
Slow progress on the feathers, especially on the neck. A little more detail on the spider lily in the front right corner.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Another Rooster-Day 4 Detail

© Ellen Blonder
I like how the clock vine (Thunbergia mysorensis) flowers have similar colors to the rooster's head. This plant, native to Mysore, India, was growing at Kauai's Hindu Monastery.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Another Rooster-Day 3

© Ellen Blonder
I have a rough idea of the foliage I want around the rooster, but after laying in rough color, details seem to always start with the main subject's head.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Another Rooster-Day 2

© Ellen Blonder
I underpainted the rooster, and started sketching in the foliage.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Another Rooster-Day 1

© Ellen Blonder
I've been wanting to paint another rooster since finishing the one exactly a year ago. This is a detail of the first day's sketch on a 16 x 16-inch board. My reference is a magnificent creature with an unusual ivory-feathered neck and real rooster attitude, strutting through a parking lot in Kauai.

Monday, June 21, 2010


© Ellen Blonder
This is a five-minute sketch of my friend Steve Coleman, a member of my drawing group. Steve's a fabulous artist, doing stage set designs and miniatures that defy categorizing. We kept to sketches ranging from 30 seconds to five minutes today. Funny how the same five minutes can feel so long for the model while the sketchers race to get details down in such a short time.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Going Veggie

Foodie break. This is my latest favorite salad, with baby lettuces, oranges, red quinoa, and chopped toasted almonds. Today, I added tofu, but sometimes I'll throw in beets or green beans or even fresh apricots, now that they're in season. The dressing, adapted from Tal Ronnen's beautiful The Conscious Cook, contains miso, agave nectar and honey mustard. The quinoa and tofu provide plenty of protein, but mostly I like that this makes going vegetarian fun.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bull Terriers Sketch

© Ellen Blonder
I guess I have dogs on the brain lately. These are a pair of bull terriers that I saw behind a fence on Kauai. When I stopped to photograph them, they both went into an instant frenzy, barking and tearing along the fence. The one in the foreground paused long enough for a good reference shot, but the other one never stopped moving. His legs are a blur, a challenge when I get to painting.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


© Ellen Blonder
I'm just about done with Charlie images, but I did have this one sketch in my sketchbook that I wanted to try to convert into a silhouette.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Charlie Painting-Final

© Ellen Blonder
Now that I've added detail to the leaves under the bamboo and darkened some of Charlie's fur, this finally feels finished.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Charlie Painting-Day 13

© Ellen Blonder
I think this is over ninety percent finished now. I'm getting down to details like brightening blades of grass. Today, I also toned down the leaves in the left foreground and finished the spiky plant on the left.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Charlie Painting-Day 12

© Ellen Blonder
Detail of the upper left corner of the painting, working out details in the leaves.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Charlie Painting-Day 11

© Ellen Blonder
Now that the coleus is pretty much done, I'm starting on the bamboo in the upper left corner. Every color changes how every other color looks, so I'll definitely do some final tweaking all over. The leaves in the lower left corner look way too raw now.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Charlie Painting-Day 10

© Ellen Blonder
The plant at the far right wasn't working, so I painted it out last night. I'm going to replace it with a dark coleus that should recede behind the brighter ones in front of it. Grr--two steps forward, one backward.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Charlie Painting-Day 9

© Ellen Blonder
Working out details on the leaves in between time working in my real garden. Hm, both create order out of disorder.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Charlie Painting-Day 8

© Ellen Blonder
Detail of coleus plant, half finished in the foreground.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Charlie Painting-Day 7

© Ellen Blonder
Still underpainting foliage today.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Charlie Painting-Day 6

© Ellen Blonder
The first layers of paint for the foliage always look a bit raw.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Charlie Painting-Day 5 Detail

© Ellen Blonder
Here's a slight close-up showing the grass around Charlie.