Like Button

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Doing What I Do - Landscape Painting

Haven't Done This In A While

17 years ago, I started out painting landscapes.

Since then, I've painted lots of other things,
like flowers!
I've gone crazy painting flowers.
I've painted old trucks and tractors.
I've painted baseballs, basketball, footballs, soccer balls
I've worked on figure painting
I've painted still lifts
I've painted indoors and out.
I've painted realistically and abstractly.

but I often come back to my starting point.
Painting Landscapes.

I started out with a 16" x 20" canvas I toned using burnt Sienna and some white and a little ultramarine blue in spots.  
I used a mixture of burnt umber and ultramarine blue
to sketch in the darkest parts of my painting.  
It gives me a place to start and helps keep me on track.
It also reminds me where the darkest parts of the painting will be.

I added sky starting with a mix of Ultramarine blue, dioxazine purple and turquoise deep with some titanium white.
You can see it starts darker at the top and gets lighter as it comes to the horizon line.
That creates depth.
I also took some of the same color as the sky for the water.

Started adding clouds here.

 Working on the clouds getting them more 3D looking.

I'm adding in most distant trees and varying layers of rocks.

I'm working from a photo my son James took in Utah.
So I have my iPad on a stand and this is how I work.

I've added some pine trees and I'm working on a lot of tree trunks that might be dead or might become pine trees.

I'm working on the trees and rocks here.
There are always a minimum of three values on the rocks and then sometimes you pull in a few other colors to bring them to life.
 Starting to add more water in deeper tones to add depth later.
I've also refined the rocks.
Notice how the ones in the foreground are warmer and brighter than the ones further back. 
 That also aids in the depth of the painting.

Starting to get movement in the water.

I'm really trying to get the water churning.  
There's lots of shades of white with touches of green, turquoise, and yellow added for more depth.

Here's a closeup of rocks on the left of the painting.

Here's a closeup of the rocks and water on the right side.

I made this short video near the end of the painting as I was adding more debris to the background and bringing out more trunks of the trees.

This was a really fun painting to do
and I hope you enjoyed the process photos.

Here it is.
Done and done,
and signed.

16" x 20" acrylic on stretched canvas - unframed


Thanks for stopping by today and 
I hope you enjoyed seeing this process.

If you haven't signed up to receive my blog in your inbox,
you should.
Scroll back up to the top right and put your email in the box that says "Subscribe to my blog"
I give away a painting every month and I'd like you to win one.
Once you enter your email,
you will receive an email that asks you to click a confirmation link.
Please do that and then drag that email out of your promo folder and into your priority folder and then say yes to the question, do you want to do this for all future emails.
If you don't do the last part,
you won't receive my blog in your email
(here's the sad part)
you won't get in the monthly drawing to win a painting.
Just sayin. . .

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Encouragement - Motivation Monday


(ok so it's not really Monday, but we won't split hairs.)

Encouragement is my word of the week!

For my online students I have a private Facebook page where they can post photos of their work, ask questions, and encourage each other.
My students are basically all beginning painters,
so their fear level of "not doing good enough" is pretty high.

That's where encouragement comes in.

There are enough critics in the world,
especially recently,
and I really think we could use with more encouragement.

your friends,
your family,
your classmates,
your co-workers,
your employees,
your spouse,
your children,

Enough with the negativity,
the I can't's
the I'm no goods,
 the they are betters,
the I'll never get this',
the I'm pathetics,

and bring on the:
I did so much better on this than the last time,
I like this part of my painting,
I'm excited I learned how to . . .
I've finally gotten that and it makes me feel great. . .
I understand how this works. . .
I am beginning to see things differently. . .
I learned this, so I know I can learn that. . .

There are enough people in the world to bring us down,
don't you add to that by bringing your own self down.

Great art doesn't just exude out of some people 
and not others. 

Artists that we love today, like Van Gogh were not successful in their day, and yet, they kept painting.
Monet struggled financially for years and yet,
he kept painting.

Photo of Monet painting Water Lilies.
Photographed from a book 
Monet  A Retrospective
(That's not exactly how I pictured him)

Let's encourage each other and ourselves
in a world that is nearly taken over with negativity
and watch as our own art improves as will our state of mind.

It's amazing, but one encouraging comment on Instagram or Facebook or a blog can carry someone through for months.
Years ago, Jim and I took our 4 children out to eat.  They were between the ages of 3 months and 7 years.
(I know, what were we thinking???)
I felt like it was a crazy chaotic meal,
and as an older couple got up to leave  
they headed in the direction of our table.
They stopped at our table and said,
"You have the best behaved children I think we've ever seen,"

That one sentence of encouragement brings tears to my eyes just writing about it now.
The 7 year old is now 43 and that sweet sentence
kept me going for years.
When I felt like I was the biggest failure as a mom,
I'd think back to that day and take a big breath
and go on being a mom.

is something we all need.

You're doing a great job and I hope you know it!

Thank you so much for following my blog.
I so appreciate it!

Continue working hard at whatever it is you love.

Thanks for stopping by today and have a great day!

Hey, I try to give away a painting every month,
but some months are harder than others.

If you receive my blog in your inbox,
you're golden.
You are in the running for the painting
 I give away every month.

If you don't, well we can fix that.
Go to the top right hand side of this blog
and put your email in the box that says
wait for it
Subscribe to My Blog.

Now here's the really important part!!!
You will receive an email with a link to click to confirm you did actually sign up.
You must click that link to confirm,
and then, and only then,
will you start receiving my blog in your inbox
and then, and only then
will you be eligible to win my monthly painting giveaway!

Now you know, 
so go get signed up,
and click the link in the email you'll receive.

I want to give you a painting.

Every month I send out an email with 
No Joke!  YOU Won! 
in the subject line.
Then you have 24 hours to get back to me with your address,
so I can send you the painting.
Nope, I'm not going to come and camp out on your door step.
I just want to send you a free painting.
I promise.

I send out the email to the 1st winner,
and if I don't hear back within 24 hours, 
I move on to the 2nd email address.
If that person doesn't respond,
(which you might not believe it, but it happens)
Then no one wins a painting that month.

(insert sad face here)

Now you know!

Have a great one.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Painting From Life

What Is Painting From Life

Painting from life is a term artists use when they are painting something they are actually seeing.
They've set up a still life,
a vase of flowers,
painting plein air or on location.
You're looking at something and you're painting it.

I like to practice and I want to show you the difference between painting from life and painting from my memory or imagination.

I started this project painting from memory or from my imagination.
As you will see, neither of them must be very good.
I'm practicing on the slick side of freezer paper.
Why you ask?

Well, it's cheap and it's slick.
I can buy a whole roll of freezer paper for under $7 
it's slick so I don't have to fight the tooth of a canvas.
I just have to figure out how to move my brush to manipulate the paint.  Once I have it on there, I can almost always transfer that knowledge to paper or canvas or wood.

Then my sweet husband picked these flowers for me from our yard.

Sunflowers and zinnias.

The most important thing about painting to me, is learning how to see.  If you can't see the highlights and shadows, the shapes, the negative space, it will be very difficult to learn to paint it.
This short video walks you through a few of the things to look for when painting from life.

Now that I've inspected these flowers,
and looked them over and made some mental notes about what I'm seeing I'm ready to paint them.

This even shorter video shows you both sets of work and how different the final results actually were.

Even I didn't realize the difference until I saw them on this great big sheet of freezer paper, clamped to my work table.
I will probably make some sort of reference book with these flowers, so I can look at it and remember why there were problems and how I fixed them.

It's not just the color differences, but I can see the difference in the quality of the work where I was actually looking at what I was painting as opposed to just remembering it.
The details and the nuances aren't in the memory flowers, 
but they are in the ones painted from life.

If I paint them enough I will get much better at painting from memory, but it will take time and I will need to do a lot of practicing and studying before that happens.
It's like having muscle memory.
I can't tell you where on the keyboard most of the keys are, but my fingers know where they are and that's all that matters.

I hope you will give painting from life a go,
and it won't matter what the subject is.
It could be a chair,
a toy,
a car,
a table,
or sunflowers and zinnias,
or any flower in your yard.

Just get out those brushes and give it a whirl.

Are ya whirling yet?

What would you like to paint from life?
Leave a note in the comments.

Click HERE to go to my online art course and classes.
I have a FREE daisy painting class on there.
Scroll all the way to the bottom,
(after you look at my super fun full blown art course)
and you'll see a box that says 
FREE Daisy Painting Class.
Click on that box and it will ask for your email address.
No credit card or anything like that.
Just an email address and you'll have pretty close to instant access to the FREE class.

You'll see I also have a paid class for learning to paint iris, 
and off course my full blown art course where you'll start at the very beginning learning about color,
learn about brushes,
brush strokes,
and all sorts of goodies you'll be using forever,
and I'll take you through step by step
as we paint two paintings together.
Nope, I'm not leaving anything out,
there won't be any time lapse video lessons,
you'll learn step by step.

This course is perfect for home school families who would like to add art to their curriculum, but aren't artists.
Just saying.
Give it a look.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Feeding Your Body, Mind and Spirit - Motivation Monday

Why Is Feeding Your Body, Mind and Spirit

Many of you may know Jim and I live on a small farm where we raise fruits, berries and veggies.
We raise most of our meat as well.
We also raise chickens so we have fresh eggs.

To me feeding the body comes first in this question because if the body does not receive good nourishment,
the mind and the spirit will suffer as well.

I'm not a vegetarian or vegan
or anything remotely similar.
But I totally believe we should feed our bodies with a balance of the 4 food groups.
I think that's crucial!

If you can't grow your own food or buy at a farmer's market,
shopping on the outside ring of the grocery store should be your next best solution. 

Stay away from processed food like the plague.

The body, the mind and the spirit 
need good nutrition to operate at their best.

I'm not saying you can't have a cookie,
hot dogs,
or any other processed food,
eating more whole foods,
real food
gives us the fuel we need.

 raspberry shortcake

Hey I'm no Doc,
but I know how I feel if I eat better.
If I cook more, I eat better, 
and I feel better.

If you're trying to improve your health,
consider eating one meal a day, or
one day per week
eating only whole real food.
Don't cook it to death,
and don't add a ton of stuff to it.
A salad, a baked potato and a steak,
really is a good balance.
Make that a small steak and don't load up that potato with a ton of stuff.
Drink water,
and if you need some flavor to your water,
add lemon, limes, strawberries, raspberries, etc.

you've got to move it move it.
Find ways to move more.
I spent 5 years on oxygen and 2 years in a wheel chair,
so I know how hard it is to get some exercise
 when you're sick.
But - regardless of how bad you feel,
or how sick you are,
moving more will make you feel better.

It also helps you sleep better.
And if you pair eating better with moving more,
you will:
sleep better,
feel better,
and maybe lose weight.
Which really makes me feel better.  hehe
Nobody's asking you to become Atlas,
or a boxer or body builder,
but walk today more than you did yesterday.
If more is out on the front porch to sit in some fresh air,
then that's where you start.

While you're sitting there,
look, really look at everything around you. 
You will begin to feed your mind.

Read a book.
Listen to music.
Read poetry.
Write poetry.
wait for it . . .

Learn to breathe deeply.
Learn to appreciate things and have gratitude.
Learn something new.
Pick up a new hobby,
or return to an old one.
Do puzzles.
Create something.
There are so many ways to feed your mind.
How do YOU feed your mind?
feed your spirit.

put your head phones on and sit or lay down and click HERE to listen to a 30 minute guided meditation on relaxation.
Read uplifting books,
Read scripture,
Listen to great music,
make your own play list of uplifting music on Pandora or some other music app.
Ponder things,
Keep a journal,
Write letters,
Set goals and work on them,
Celebrate your successes, regardless of what they are.
You need a reason to celebrate?
Look for the good in yourself and others.
Don't dwell on the negative.
Find those things that lift your spirits, 
and go to them when needed.
A scented candle,
An essential oil diffuser,
Breathing deeply,

Whatever lifts your spirit,
Do it!

Make a conscience effort to eat better,
use your body and your mind more,
and feed your spirit.

These are things you deserve.
Not another purse or pair of shoes,
but spending the time to find peace and balance in your life.
It is there and it can be found,
only not in another piece of jewelry 
or furniture.

But in yourself.
Yes, it takes effort,
it takes time,
but it is so worth it.

When I am not feeling well or angry or frustrated,
these are the things I know I need to change in my life.
Feed my body,
Feed my mind,
Feed my spirit.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by. 

Obligatory piece of art,
cause hey, it's an art blog!
Oh before I forget,
Winner, winner, Chicken Dinner.
I had several winners for free paintings since I was a slacker this summer.
I sent out 3 email notifications to people they won a painting,
and they got back to me,
and now they are the proud owners of original art.
If you'd like to get some of that,
scroll back up to the top right and sign up to receive my blog
 in your inbox,
then you will receive a confirmation email asking you if you did indeed know you just signed up for crazy Sharon's art blog.
Click the link in that email.
If ya don't,
well, you're not really signed up to receive my blog in your inbox.
So you can't really win a painting,
and I give one away every single month.
My blogaversary is coming up next month
and I've been known to give away some pretty awesome stuff then.
Get crackin buds.  


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Now That The Kids Are Going Back To School, It's Time For You. . .

Now It's Time For You!

You've taken care of everyone all summer,
You've taken them on vacation,
to the library,
to the park,
to the amusement park,
to the fair.

You've fixed lots of meals,
done tons of laundry,
cleaned house and the car,
worked in the yard and garden.

Now it's time for you to do something 
you've always wanted to do.

Learn how to draw!

I have put together a short, 4 week, 2 hours at a time class for a total of 8 hours of instruction teaching basic concepts of drawing, how to use your tools and how to achieve various looks in drawing.

I have day time classes and night time classes.

You will start at the beginning with creating form and work your way up to doing a landscape and then a vase of flowers.  Blog the way you will learn how to create perspective, draw clouds, trees, rocks, fence rows, grass, hillsides, vases, iris, zinnias, daisies, and Queen Anne's lace.

Class size is limited to 8 
so you won't get lost or overwhelmed.

I'll be teaching in my studio, on Bucks Run Rd.,
in Ghent, KY where distractions are few,
and fun is in everything we do.

And all for $80.

I'm attaching a syllabus so you'll know exactly what you'll be doing when and what is expected.

I'm even adding a PayPal button so you can sign up and pay all at once.

I just can't make it any easier than that folks.

Pick your time

Beginning Drawing Class Syllabus

This syllabus is the same for morning or evening classes.  Morning classes are held on Tuesday morning 10-noon, and evening classes are held on Thursday 6-8 p.m.  There will be 4 classes, 2 hours each for a total of 8 hours of instruction for $80.  Students are responsible for their own supplies.  (List included).

Classes begin August 22 for morning class and August 24 for evening class.  Class fees must be paid in advance and class size is limited to 8.  The evening class on August 31 may be pushed back one week because of the Labor Day holiday.

Supply List:
Sketch pad, should be marked sketch pad, not less than 14” x 11”., bigger is better in this case.   Should have minimum of 40 pages.

Set of graphite pencils, minimum 8 pencil set, graduated hardness, from at least B-6 to H-6.  

Pencil Sharpener - though often the pencils do not fit the sharpeners.  I use an exact knife to sharpen my pencils.

Kneaded eraser - 

Often you can find a set with a good mix of pencils, a sharpener and an eraser for under $15.

Pkg of blending stumps approx $2.99.

Week 1 - We will be getting acquainted with our materials as we learn about creating form using shading, making a gray scale, scumbling, cross hatching, using blending stumps to blend.  We’ll also be drawing a number of simple subjects such, as fruit, cups, mugs, vases, etc.

Week 2 - We will be learning about perspective and planes as we perspect buildings, fence rows, paths, roads, rivers, etc.  We’ll also be looking at and working on the perspective of a still life and a landscape drawing.  Perspective is important to understand in order to make your drawing or painting not look wonky.  

Week 3 - We will be learning how to draw the various parts of a landscape, such as; clouds, bldg, fence, road, path, river, trees, weeds, hills and rocks.  Hopefully we’ll actually get started on the landscape itself in the 2nd hour, but you will have drawn all the parts, so you can work on this at home.

Week 4 - We will be drawing a vase of flowers from life.  We will use many of the lessons we have learned, such as creating form and shading and perspective.  We will learn how to draw several flowers such as; iris, zinnias, daisies and Queen Anne’s lace.  

Classes basically begin with student watching what is being taught and then going back to their seats and doing what they learned.  That pattern is repeated with each new concept.  

This course of 4 classes will give you a lot of basic information and practical experience and a jumping off place for you to practice at home what you have learned.  

If you’ve always wanted to learn to draw but haven’t had much success by yourself or with books, this class is definitely for you.  

I probably won’t assign homework, but it would be to your advantage to continue to work at home, especially on the things you’re struggling with.

About Me

My photo
Ghent, Kentucky, United States
I'm a nature artist and I love to paint old barns, rivers and lakes, trees and fence rows and flowers. I work almost daily. You can purchase paintings by contacting me at and there is also a tab across the top of my blog for available paintings and one for small paintings with buy now buttons. You can also purchase through my Etsy shop using the name of Fine Nature Art. . Thank you so much for stopping by.