Saturday, December 26, 2015

Two Things To Share


Sensitive 
watercolor 
7.9x7.9 inches 
Matted 12x12 inches 

This photograph doesn't show the subtle shading I got in real life. You will just have  to trust me on this. I walked over this rose with my eyes value spot by value spot. I know it fold by fold like a map. I lost my way only once but I won't say where. 

After that the only way to unwind is with a pet friend. I call this one Direct Stare for obvious reasons. 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Day Rose


Christmas Day Rose 
watercolor 
7.9x7.9 inches 
matted 12x12 inches 

Yesterday I was too heavy handed in my treatment of the rose. The petals must be stroked like the skin on a child's cheek and handled with the care of a loved ones feelings. Today I managed to do that and still get my desired value range.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2 Yellow Roses


2 yellow Roses 
2 Yellow Roses caught my attention today. I would say these are fueled by slices of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I think there is caffeine in there or maybe it is the sugar. I feel like I have been shot from a cannon! 
Yesterday was my Birthday and I want to say thank you to everyone who made me feel special and like I "mattered". 
 
 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Peace


This old silver flecked ornament and I are ready to say "peace".
One more gold one to go and then it is back to regular subjects that don't shine and do have eyes and tails.
      I also have a photo to share from El's Manning. She has been so generous in sharing resources with me . I had to share with her.


Sharing and connecting is power.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Jo and Scooter


Jo and Scooter 

Sometimes a story moves you to action. This is Jo and Scooter ( Jo is not me). Scooter is 13 plus years and clearly having his last days . I was asked to paint him. I felt a huge urgency to do so. I wanted to do  my best work for him and the family that loves him so much. 
I was given many photographs to work from. This is not the one I chose. But this one moved me because of the relationship between human and pet. I wanted to see if I could capture that "Kizmet". I stand by this one . I think I accomplished my goal.

Human and pet friends ...there is no beginning or end ...it is all about love.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Blue Ornament for 2015


Blue Ornament for 2015
&.9x7.9 
matted 12x12 inches watercolor 

The Jo Mackenzie Watercolor painting of the day is a blue ornament for the year 2015. I see from this that I have learned how to "lean in " and find my darkest elements and how to use neutrals to make surrounding colors pop. That is good progress for this year.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Ornament for 2015


Ornament for 2015 

Today the the Jo Mackenzie watercolor subject of the day is an ornament for the year 2015. Each year I like to paint something again to see how much I have grown or learned from one year to another. It is a diary entry of sorts. 


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Quick Christmas Challenge


Quick Christmas Challenge 
watercolor 
7x10 inches 

Today the Daily Paintworks challenge is called the Quick Christmas challenge. Anyone can enter. I decided to use the photograph they provided and make a quick stab at instant Christmas decorating. 


I did make Christmas cookies yesterday. Butter and sugar cookies that made the house smell great. 
My first batch didn't work. But my second did. Kind of the way things go in this studio too. I seldom get it right on my first try .

Friday, December 11, 2015

Build it don't paint it.


Yellow Rose 4 
7.9x7.9 
matted 12x12 inches 

I have made a yellow rose discovery. You don't actually paint these things you build them in layers . Slowly as value shapes reveal themselves. I got lost a few times and will try a few more but I think I get the yellow violet thing now. Progress has been made.

This painting can be found HERE for now. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Another Rose Challenge


Another Rose Challenge 
watercolor 7.9x7.9 
Matted 12x12 inches 

Some paintings just fall into place this one did not! It is my submission to the Daily Paintworks Challenge hosted by wonderful painter @Kaethe Bealer. Yellow is the hardest value for me to determine so when I saw the return of the rose challenge in yellow form my blood ran cold. ( yes. I take this all very personally).
My first attempt was a real clunker ..over painted and dead on arrival. I thought about strategy all night and decided that yellow needed to be grayed with violet. Whites needed to be preserved finding neutrals that were gray but still in the yellow family had to be found.
So here it is a two day effort. It is honestly the best I can do at this point. I stand by this rose.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Jack in Three Steps


Jack 
watercolor 
7.9x7.9 
matted 12x12 inches 
This painting can be found HERE
 
The photograph of Jack had his left side almost entirely in dark shadow . I needed to create his left side from what I have learned from painting hundreds of dogs.  The other challenge was to work from my lightest washes into my darkest ones. If you follow this blog you know that is not the way I usually work. But this painting required it.
Below are the earlier steps 






Friday, December 4, 2015

Nemo


Nemo 
watercolor 
7.9x7.9 inches 
Matted 12x12 inches 

Yesterday I asked for photographs of pet friends to work from. I was overwhelmed with the response and now have tons of pictures to work from. I started with Nemo the collie but I also have turtles, chickens and many other dog and cat breeds to sift through. 
Thank you to Caitlin for sharing her puppy Nemo with me to start things off. 
Here is the first step below 





Step one was to block in the darkest value shapes.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

A Happy Sack


A Happy Sack 
Watercolor 
10x7 inches 
 Painting is clearly something that has to be done in this house. Sometimes finding something to paint is not even a question. Everything is "paint worthy". 





The real point is this


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

November Free Painting Giveaway Winner



The winner of this months free painting is Karen Riggin. Congratulations! This is her daughter and one of the fabulous Shelties they rescue and train. 

Today the human friend of the day is called the Sun Queen 


This painting can be found HERE

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Four Step Watercolor


Step 1 ...Go the Morgue File and find a picture that is free . Then plug in the darkest of the dark pattern shapes. If it "reads dog" at this stage you are off to a good start. 


Step two..find the lightest white shapes and paint them in according to value shape patterns. This is going into your highest "key" of color hues now. Just concentrate on connecting shapes . Don't over think. 





Step Three...work on the supporting background. Find those value shapes and when you have the darkest  ones established we will move on to mid-tones. 




Step Four ...put in the middle value shapes. Nothing in this step can be as dark or as light as what ever colors you have already used. This requires making test dabs before applying paint. 

So let's review..this painting started with the darkest darks...then went to the lightest lights and then finally to mid-tones. Not my usual way to work but preserving the whites of the paper required it in the case. 

I call this painting Asleep at the Easel ...

And now a plug for my book about how to paint using this strategy 

My Book

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Day Rose


Thanksgiving Day Rose 
watercolor 
7x10 inches 

Today I am thankful for many things. I feel blessed to have art in my life daily and the internet friends I have made sustain me beyond any efforts I could summon on my own. This is a rose from my heart  to you for being there and holding my hand and "head" as the journey continues.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Art Exhibit


The Art Exhibit 
watercolor 
7.9x7.9 inches 
Matted 12x12 inches. 
We have all been this person at one time or another. I am under the influence of Peggi Kroll Roberts here. She has a way of massing values and finding essential forms that is almost graphic in quality.
This painting  can be found here

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Girl


The Girl 
watercolor 
7.9x7.9 inches 
matted 12x12 inches
 
Reds and greens , structural forms and value shapes. 
The essentials of what painting is. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Four Step Hound


A Four Step Hound 

This hound from the Morgue File decided to be a "four stepper". Here are the steps for building this type of painting based on value shapes and patterns. 



Step One. ...Establish the darkest value shapes. Connect them creating an overall pattern that "reads" dog. If this can't be achieved stop here and choose another image to work from. This is the foundation of the building and if it is not strong the painting will fail. 





Step Two...begin to apply mid-tones. No color used here can be as dark or darker than what was established in step one. Make test dabs before applying paint. This is a slower process but essential. 




Step Three....add final washes  and leave some of the white paper as your lightest value. 

If you want to see more of how to paint this way click here My Book

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Work


I am working on both human and pet friends. 






This was a good start for the week. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Twin Roses Print


Twin Roses 
Watercolor print 
I am now offering many of my most popular paintings in print form. The prints are high quality and come in a variety of sizes. They can be purchased framed or unframed. They can also be printed on canvas and metal. 

There are other gift possibilities as well, pillows, tote bags and more. 
Here is a link to my website and the vendor Fine Art America. Prints

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Prints On Demand


It took me some time to get on the prints on demand wagon. I am happy to say I am all on board now. I will be adding more images soon. I have six to start with and an amazing array of products that can be made on demand from those paintings. Here is a link for you to take a look. Prints and products on demand

Monday, November 9, 2015

A Thing to Ponder


Things to Ponder 


I wanted to see if  the process of painting is  different if you know the subject or not. It is not a surprise to find out the answer is yes. 
I want to explore that further . For now I will ponder it and consider how to use the implications. 
When I know more I will share those discoveries. For now I will generalize and say I have observed knowing the person makes the process more difficult for me. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Saturdays Child


Saturdayschild 
watercolor 
7.9x7.9 
matted 12x12 inches 
This painting can be found HERE
 
This has been a week of painting people. I am enjoying this and hope to do more . I am looking for photographs to work from. If you have one you would like to see me try send it to me HERE

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Olivia


Olivia 
7.9x7.9 inches matted 12x12 inches 
This painting can be found here 
 
Here are the steps for building this painting in three steps 
 
Step one. 


Step 2
 

 


 
Step 3

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Faces


I call this one Scrunch! 

Now on to another three stepper! 


Step one.....establish the overall pattern of mid tones. Connect those shapes and move on to step two.
 

 


Step two..start moving towards the darkest patterns of value shapes. Fine warm tones for the skin and cooler ones for clearly defined shadow areas. 
 
 


Step three...make final adjustments. Hit some areas with darker values to make the painting have a stronger value range than the photograph had. It needs to pop or else it will just be another "meh" of a watercolor. It can all fail at this point but that is why there are second chances.