Thursday, 26 May 2016

Studio update in the rain.

It is a very rainy and grey day today. I have the lamps on a hot cup of tea beside me. It is rather cosy. I also have a really good audiobook playing, so I have something nice to listen to while my hands are busy painting.

There has been some trouble with the VPN the last 2 days, and that threw my online schedule out of the window... Since the days and weeks are flying by so fast I decided to make a schedule for myself regarding all the art platforms I am trying to keep up online. So I decided last week that Tuesday is blogging day, Wednesday is updating my website day, Saturday is uploading video day and everyday is 'one photo to Facebook art-page' day. But I can only keep to this schedule if I can actually access the sites... Oh well, they are more like guidelines anyway to keep me somewhat on time, but also to keep me from spending too many hours behind the computer.

Enough babbling and on to the updates. I have a lot of new things going on in the studio that I am excited to share with you. I have been working on a lot of backgrounds for a long time now, and then when the time comes to start painting the birds a lot happens in a short time. Or so it feels.

Fog and rain outside my window.

Paintings in progress.

Nr. 3 of 6 18x13cm small painting getting ready for a bird.

Nr. 4 of 6.

The blue corner...  The big squares will be Herons, the small square a sea gull of some sort and the two other will be flying swans.

Two male Common Blackbirds in progress. They will get one more layer of acrylic before I finish them in oil. 

The kingfishers has got their first layer of oil, so they should need only one more before I call them done! I am really digging the colours in these two. My first time using black!

This is a background that I have had ready for many months now, but not until yesterday did I finally decide what to paint on it. So this one and it's companion below, became Waxwings!

They are both 20x20cm canvases, and the background is acrylic and collage. The first blocking in of acrylic is done, so now they are waiting for a layer of oil!

And then 2 finished paintings:

Blue tit. Acrylic, oil and collage on a 18x13cm canvas board. Bird reference with kind permission from Russ Bridges. I need to come up with a title for this one. Nr.2 of 6 in this series.

Robin. Acrylic, oil and collage on canvas. 30x20cm. Bird reference with kind permission from Jo Goudy.

And last: If you want to hear me talk about these paintings just watch the video below!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Paintings in progress.

The temperature is quite perfect right now. Outside, that is. I could sit on the balcony all day long reading and surfing the internet and just enjoy the weather. I do not of course, otherwise I would never get anything done in my studio... The summer is not far away, and that means that I have a lot to get done before going home to Finland in July. I have an exhibition coming up in August, and I have a lot to get ready for that before leaving my studio here in Shanghai for a month or two. I am looking forward to going home though. The Finnish summer is, in my very subjective opinion, simply the best! =D 

So, this weeks studio update:

This is my most recent page from my big art journal. I wanted to try out a new idea I had for a painting, and I think it turned out quite nice. At least I liked this idea so much that I immediate started on two paintings. I knew I wanted to paint two kingfishers, but I wasn't sure about how to approach the background. I did know however that I wanted to try out some backgrounds with some more contrast in them. After experimenting on the previously two backgrounds for my Heron paintings with black, I thought I should follow the same line and try it out for the kingfishers as well. My first thought was to keep the backgrounds in black and white, but then a little bit of colour made its way in. (Kingfisher reference pictures with kind permission from Peter Skillen)

Here are are the two paintings in progress. The painting to the left will get the Kingfisher from my journal on it. I am really enjoying these colours, and I think that the kingfisher looks like a jewel against the black in the background.

The intended Nuthatch paintings from last post have both got the birds on them. Here I decided to add a little more paper to the tree bark, so I will have to paint that next after it has completely dried. The base coat of acrylic is ready on the Nuthatch itself, so now it only needs it final layer in oil. I'm not sure the background is ready yet, lets see after I finished the tree.

The second Nuthatch. The Chinese stamps I used here were given to me from my precious friend Rain, and I chose the words Beauty, Love and Harmony for this painting. Otherwise it is the same story with this one as the one before: I have the base layer of acrylic all done and will continue with oil on the bird.

Barn owl. I darkened the background quite considerately on this one, and now I need to sit down with it and finish those feathers.

First I was toying with the idea of adding leaves or flowers to the chickadee, but I decided to add some brighter colour to the background instead. I really wish to keep these small paintings as simple as possible. Only a few more details are required on the chickadee, and the same with the small blue tit. Then I have to start on the 4 remaining small painting in this series.

And I will leave you with this weeks video. It is the making of the kingfisher art journal page from the beginning of this post. I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Another Grebe and new backgrounds in the making.

Yesterday I finished my second Great Crested Grebe. They are a great subject to paint, I love the colours in their head feathers. The background is almost identical to my first Grebe, so they should look nice together. I think I want to paint more of these water birds. They belong to my summers out in the Finnish archipelago.

Great Crested Grebe. Acrylic, oil and collage on a 30x20cm canvas. Photo reference with kind permission from Andy Dodds. 

I have started on 2 bigger square canvases, and the goal is to paint some Herons. I do not know how I will get them home with me yet, but that will sort itself out in time. For the moment I am just playing with colours, and hopefully in a few days time I am ready to start with the birds. No collage this time,  just paint.

Closeup of the colours. I think this is the first time that I have ever used black in one of my paintings. I wanted some contrast, but not necessarily depth. Black is a very 'dull' colour, so I decided to try it out and experiment with it a little. The great thing with paint is that I can always cover it with another colour if I do not like it. But so far I think I do like it.

The background for heron nr 2. This one has already changed quite a bit from my original plan. That is how it develops sometimes...

Adding the last details to the Chickadee. I am still considering adding some flowers or leaves to get some colour, but I can not decide on what I want...

These two 25x25cm canvases has been fun to do. There are some really yummy textures going on. It will be a pair of Nuthatches sitting on the tree bark. I only need to add a little more colour to the trees and some accent's of blue in the background.

Finally I have my latest video to share with you! A page in my art journal, planning the heron paintings I showed you above. There you can see how simple I had actually planned the paintings to be, but for some reason it did not look as good on a big canvas, so thats how the experimentations started... =D I hope you will like it!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Crested Grebe and other things.

Happy May and happy outdoor season! The weather is so pleasant outside now in the mornings, so I eat my breakfast and do my 'internetting' on the balcony.

I thought it was time again for an update from the studio:

I finished the Great crested grebe. I do not have a title for it yet though. The background is acrylic and some collage elements, and the Grebe is painted in oil. I am very happy with how this one turned out. Photo reference with kind permission from Russ Bridges from the group 'Photos for artists' on Facebook. 

This is a background that I have shown earlier, but it has gone through some changes. My original plan was to paint a crow of some sort, but I changed my mind and now I have started to paint a Barn Owl on it. =D 

This small chickadee is waiting for its final layer of oil, and it is also the first in a series of 6 mini paintings. I filmed the process of it this far, so you can watch it below!

I also made a short video of an artjournal page that I do not think that I have shared with you yet:

Now it is back to the studio for me to paint some more!