View Full Version : The Goalpost: May, 2015

04-30-2015, 09:03 PM
Happy May Day, Beltaine, whatever you care to call it! Welcome to the nice month, spring is here (or fall for y'all Down Under) and going strong, plenty to think about painting!

Welcome to the Goal Post. Goal setting is a very good tool to help people get organized. If you write or post your thoughts, you are more committed and have a better chance of reaching those goals.

Your goals can be short term or long term. They can be daily, weekly, monthly or annual goals. Goals are personal, so everybody's goals will be different. They are your goals, so you can do what ever you want.

Come join the regular gang and get encouragement to help you reach your goals. We have a very friendly group and we are always looking for new people to join us!

05-01-2015, 08:49 AM
Hello Robert and welcome May!. Yeah spring has sprung but still a bit cool for working outdoors. Have possibly 3 goals this month.
1. Finish the pastel box even though we are on holidays for 2.5 weeks.
2. Chart the Unison pastels for which the box was made, record the colours from the labels in a sketch book.
3. Complete the tree miniature on a miniature canvas.
Oh yes, we have elections on Friday as well :angel:.

05-02-2015, 02:39 PM
Hi Jim...Wishing you luck on finishing the pastel box! Yes we have elections, also...small-town gov't...

My hubby came home Wed., so I've not gotten much done since then.. He is 'better'...but not really Better, But we're dealing with it...

i expect to do at least one Spotlight, and a couple of my own this month. I really feel inspired to try to work on 'getting back', although I was frustrated with April's works...

wishing everyone a Happy May!

05-02-2015, 07:08 PM
Purr! Great goals, both of you! Jim, love the pastel box and you're so nearly done I think you'll get all three this month. Fingers crossed. Judi, good luck on hubby's health improving and your goals look good. I like that "getting back" idea and think I'm going to apply it.

1. Draw or paint at least weekly in May, working towards daily again as can.
2. Try to get going on the editing for Sabertooth, now Elder's Pride.
3. Do at least one Spotlight... (Did it! heh listing after it's done, wotta cheat!)
4. Upload big versions of the Spotlight additional photos to RIL

Mediums can be anything on impulse, though glad I started with pastels!

05-02-2015, 07:40 PM
Robert- Thanks for starting us off. You have a great variety of goals and a good head start by completing one already.:thumbsup: Good luck with your health and finding time to paint and edit.

Jim- You are in the homestretch on the pastel box. The finish line is so close. Good luck on it and your other goals!

Judi- Glad to hear your husband is back home. I hope everything works out well for you. Good luck on your goals. Frustration is something we all feel, Judi. It is normal and happens to all of us. Just keep at it and have fun!

Well, we just got back from out little trip and I will be back at it tomorrow. I visited my favorite art store while we were down there and I bought some open acrylic paint. The manager set me up in here studio/classroom with some paint to try the paint out before buying. She gave me a piece of canvas, let me wear her apron and turned on some music and left me alone to paint. Of course I painted a pear.;) She loved all the colors I put in the pear. She wanted it, so I gave it to her.:) I bought a few tubes to play around with when I want a break from watercolors.

My goals for May are:

1) Work on the Watercolor Tutor course 3 hours a day, 5 days a week.
2) Paint 2 watercolor paintings (not for the course).
3) Paint 2 open acrylic paintings.
4) Tidy up my studio.

That will keep me busy and on track. I am itchy to get going.


05-02-2015, 08:00 PM
Good plan, Doug! I have those interactive acrylics and still have to try them, fortunately that means they probably haven't gone bad. They're pretty cool being able to reactivate!

05-02-2015, 08:10 PM
Hi Doug....So glad to see you back. Have fun with your new playthings....what fun, to be able to try out the paints right there in the shop!

Rob...I saw your daffodils in the Spotlight....really nice! (I plan to start with the tulips...a favorite of mine,,,) Good luck on the weekly-to-daily painting!

05-03-2015, 01:24 PM
Thanks for the encouragement Doug. It is good to hear from you and equally to hear that you are back at the easel with watecolours as well as some acrylics to try. There are a number of tutorials on youtube as well as demo's to lead you in that medium.

Hi there Robert, so you stole a March on us by completing a goal first :lol:. Ah well you'll get something done this month then :lol:. I also saw the daff's on the other page and they looked good to me. What a cheerful colour they are.

Hello Judi, let us hope you get some time to get back to it. It is difficult when there is so much to do. Just do what is necessary and leave the rest....... it's what we all have to do now and then. I hope you get some art in as it's very cathartic (big word for a Sunday evening).

There is some prep to going away. SWMBO is meeting up with old friends so I'll take the camera and my outdoor sketching bag. Also as there is a large sweeping beach just outside where we are staying my metal detector can be put to good use (if SWMBO takes her Ipad I'll be able to monitor things :thumbsup:).


05-03-2015, 08:29 PM
I am in the midst of a terrible block. I participated in a plein air event two weekends ago that was a blockbuster for me. I did my best work ever and sold five of the six paintings I did. Unfortunately I am still having terrible difficulties. Everything I do is just an ugly mess. I did some watercolor and pen sketches and they looked great. I tried pastel again today and walked away disgusted. I think I will cut up some small 4 x 4 pieces of Canson and just do some quick studies. My goal is to try to figure out what to do to get back to where I was before the event.

05-04-2015, 01:23 AM
Hello all! :wave:

I have been so busy lately I haven't been able to catch up but I have missed you guys!

Ok so I have a HUUUUUUUGE list of goals this monthish. I was contacted by a tv show and they want me to appear so;

1. Finish commissions. I have several!
2. Promote, promote, promote! While most of the cost of the show is paid by the producers, they ask the artist pays a certain amount towards travel. So I have to raise quite a bit of money but it will be totally worth it!
3. Finish my own painting of a Ligerwolve for promotion and I am getting one of those sticker type things for my car using part of that.
4. My list of pieces for the next couple of months is; lion cub, jaguar yawning, jaguar sitting, leopard, Finnish Lapphund, horse and a tiger.

I am not sure how quickly I will get through it all but going to do my best to fit it into two months :)

Oh and because they are coming to my "studio" which is my lounge room I need to do some major fixing up!

I can see everyone has some wonderful goals (and some better weather) so I look forward to seeing your updates! :clap:

05-04-2015, 04:06 AM
Hi there CreativeVintage, I think this is the first time we've met. Sorry to hear about the block and can offer no answers but many here may be able to help. Perhaps the quick studies will help.

Hello to Janet, congratulations must be due by the sounds of it. Well done you! It sounds as if you have a very busy month ahead, I hope you are able to accomplish the necessary. The very best of luck to you.

Yes the weather here today (so far) is warm and still and I hear the birds chirping out side :thumbsup: through an open window.


05-04-2015, 04:32 AM
Thank you Jim :) I have heard before that winter is very quiet (nature wise) over there. Is that true?

Its never quiet here, the birds carry on all year round! :lol:

CreativeVintage - Quick studies sound like a good idea. I always find when I am struggle to draw/paint that I need to surround myself with inspiration. I put down the tools and go do what gets me inspired. By the time I come back to it I am ready to paint up a storm!

05-04-2015, 06:41 AM
I have heard before that winter is very quiet (nature wise) over there. Is that true? Yes it's quiet. The only noise we get is the occasional skateboarder :lol:

Its never quiet here, the birds carry on all year round! :lol:
I had to look up your profile to see where ACT was..... and of course I didn't recognise the flag either :angel: Oh whoa is me :o.
I think I'd better head back to school :D.

05-04-2015, 07:47 AM
:lol: Im in the capital of Australia :wave: It does get cold here but not as cold :lol: So the wildlife just carries on much the same.

05-04-2015, 12:02 PM
Oooh, that is an awesome set of goals! Five out of seven projects involve large wild cats! Purring loudly at you and looking forward to your cats! My big cat is folded neatly on the bed and softly snoring. You're going to be busy! Purr at you, onward!

I wondered about A.C.T. for a while too and the flag gave it away that it was somewhere Down Under. Very cool that you're in the capital.

Have you ever tried to do reconstructions of extinct creatures like the marsupial lion or marsupial sabertooth cat? I've leaned toward that sort of thing all my life and started doing extinct cats well the year I wrote Elder's Pride. Which I should get on editing, really.

05-04-2015, 12:04 PM
Yes the cities are warmer than the surrounding countryside. It's taxing my memory though - it was 50+ years ago now.......

I braved the cooler weather and did some more on the pastel box. I cannot finish it because I can't find the swing hinges for the remaining pressure plate.
Ok with the re-glued second side.


With the both sides just offered together.


With the slots sanded out for the swing hinges and piano hinge screwed together.


Oh yes I fitted the handle, the swing hinges were not with the handle, and as it's a public holiday today, it will have to wait 'til tomorrow.
Perhaps I can cut and glue the foam for the second half.

PS I'll put a photo of the closed box in as well.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-May-2015/69634-two_sides_together.jpg

05-04-2015, 12:34 PM
Big cats are a favourite of mine too :D I have added my latest piece to my post for you Robert :) Hope you like it. The water was really tricky!

Its a small city but its nice and quiet, plenty of wildlife. :thumbsup:

I have indeed Robert :) I am working on a piece in my spare time of a invented big cat. I would like to do some more if I get time but its taken me ages to find some spare time to do this one :lol: I will post it up for you when I'm done.

Wow Jim that box is looking great! You are almost there!

05-04-2015, 07:39 PM
Arrived back in coastal Delaware yesterday about 1:00 pm. Had car unpacked by 3:00. To grocery for milk eggs bread etc. Today to nursey for herbs veggie and tomato plants. Had raised beds prepared and everthing planted by noon. So... now I can attack my monthly art goals whilexwatching my garden grow. Goal
- do at least three spotlight challenges
- participate in at least one plein aire group Wednesday weekly outing
- paint geraniums in brick planter from photo I took in Florida
-do at least one acrylic study
- do at leastxone oil painting
- figure out what to do with all the finished canvases I have painted!

Goodxluck to all in meeting your goals

05-04-2015, 08:31 PM
Thanks Janet. I'm only held up because of the shops closed today. When I say shops I mean the hardware store or as we used to call them the ironmongers :D. It's more likely to be the DIY place nowadays. The supermarkets are probably open.

You have set yourself some healthy goals there Norma. It sounds as if you are a 'go getter' having got the garden planting organized in that small amount of time. Also setting those art goals this month - I wish you luck with them :wave:.

05-05-2015, 09:12 AM
Oh wow! Jim, it's beautiful! So close! Yeah, held up because the shops are closed is not your fault! Wow! Tis a fantastic pastel box and you've done a great job on it. Can't wait to see it with the foam and last swing hinges, then filled with bright pastels, then see what you paint with it. That's an awesome thing to be able to create yours from scratch.

That and the special thrill of finally getting somewhere on a much delayed project!

Janet, thank you for posting that beautiful leopard! I love that. Purring loud and happy at you! That's so cool you're working out an invented big cat. A friend of mine gave me Big Cats and their Fossil Relatives, so I have been happily rereading it and studying all the fabulous Mauricio Anton illustrations of all the great cats - one gorgeous painting of the living ones and loads of paintings of everything from Hoplophoneus to Homotherium to Smilodon. Even more, hundreds of cool little pen drawings of every cat there is or was. He's got another book out of his own on cats that I mean to get too.

The same dear friend who bought me that book sent me a bunch of books and a set of 36 Holbein half sticks, so I've now got another goal - use the new Holbeins and review them!

Norma, purr! Great goals and glad to see your trip went smooth. Plein ar is such a joy. I should phone in to get picked up late tomorrow so I could have a go at plein air in the garden, bring a pastel pad and those Holbeins. So cool you can do oils as well.

05-05-2015, 10:30 AM
SHEESH! I wrote a post yesterday, but lost it somehow. Anyway, wanted to say Looking Good Jim...Hope you get it finished today...

Norma...I did my planting yesterday and the day before. I also have raised beds, but am keeping some in containers. Do you 'plant by the moon'? I have, for years, and it seems to work well...

You've been busy, Janet....!
I've had a busy non-art week...hoping to get back to painting soon....

05-05-2015, 10:54 AM


Thanks Robert. I have got it finshed today but the hardare store had roadworks out side. Traffic was one way at a time. Difficulty getting in and out.....

You have been busy as well JudiB. Planting your raised beds and containers. I have been meaning to start planting our own veg as what we get from the s'market seems more and more what we don't want to consume.

PS One of the predrilled holes was too deep so I had to make another :lol:.
PPS It has put the images at the top of the post? Computers, who'd have them?

05-05-2015, 12:23 PM
Robert I have been doing a lot of reading about prehistoric cats lately. Is fascinating. I am particularly interested in the Panthera Atrox at the moment.

That sounds like a very cool book and what a lovely friend!

Very busy JudiB :lol: Sounds like you have been hard at work too. :thumbsup: Gardening is so therapeutic but I am not very good at it :lol:

Jim that is a great looking box. It would be so rewarding every time you paint to know that you made that from scratch.

05-05-2015, 11:37 PM
Judi, congratulations on your planting! Sounds fun! My home care guy is doing the same, putting flowers in his yard.

Jim! Congratulations!!! You did it! Beautiful pastel box! That is so cool. Glad you got through the roadworks!

Now fill it up with glorious colors! Enjoy!

Janet, I can't get over your leopard's tongue and the water, I can hear the splashing and that look in its eye is wonderful. Gorgeous unusual pose, sparkling with light and life.

Panthera Atrox is beautiful. They all are. I am getting a thrill out of that book all over again. And tomorrow I'll test out the new pastels in the garden, going to bring sanded paper!

05-06-2015, 12:48 AM
The reference photo was by Paul Sherman and is beautiful. Perfectly timed! I enjoyed painting it a lot.

Drawing in the garden sounds lovely, enjoy!

05-06-2015, 08:15 AM
Oooh yeah, I've been looking at Paint My Photo after you gave me the link and he does really good ones. Won again in April twice. I'm somehow not surprised he managed to get that gorgeous face!

05-06-2015, 08:30 AM
Jim! Congratulations!!! You did it! Beautiful pastel box! That is so cool. Glad you got through the roadworks!

Now fill it up with glorious colors! Enjoy!
That is the next query, as I break (my as new, lovely, gorgeous, colourful Unison pastel sticks :eek::eek::eek:) and fill the box how does one chart them? Along the lines of value or colour?

Janet said
“Jim that is a great looking box. It would be so rewarding every time you paint to know that you made that from scratch.”

It would certainly make me think of how long it has been in the making :lol::angel::rolleyes::clear:. Perhaps now I'll finish the piccie I started of a lovely scene on my returning trip from Blancathra.
I'd better do the mini of a tree first though.

05-06-2015, 03:54 PM
Hi there Janet, and yes the sound of it slurping up the water is so easy to imagine whilst looking at it. I'd like to see the fantasy one when you have done it.

I have just had a go at the miniature of a tree which has gone up in that forum, but to save you all a trip I'll put it here. I am going to try to follow the book by Daniel Nelson called 'Little Ways To Learn Acrylics'. I got it last month. Sort of kill two birds with one stone - not that I am into killing anything but weeds.

PS 23 year old System 3 acrylics (3 warm and cool primaries + black and white) on a gallery wrapped canvas 6"x6" cropped to 5"X5".


05-06-2015, 09:54 PM
Hello to everyone. Of course, as usual, my goal is to paint. But, this is the time of year when garden obligations, grandson's baseball games, bike rides and everything else competes with painting time. I would have it no other way :)
Jim, the box is wonderful! What a great job. Love your acrylic tree, too.
Janet, what a beautiful painting!
Judi and Norma, sounds like you've been busy playing in the dirt, too.
Robert, as always, you seem to have it under control and always make time for art.

05-07-2015, 01:55 AM
Purr thanks, Peg! Yeah, I did find time to paint... just not in pastels even though I brought them with. Did a tiny little pen-watercolor tree from a Netflix documentary because I liked it this morning, then waiting for the van penciled the scene outside my building. Inked it on the Small Bus, scribbly parts while it was moving and smoother lines at stops. Watercolored it in the garden after my shot because I discovered yet again why I don't do plein air pastels there.

There isn't a good place for me to sit facing the flowers I want to paint without blocking the rollable walkways. There's always at least one other person with mobility aids coming through in either direction. The sidewalks won't let two walkers, power scooters or motorized or plain wheelchairs pass. Only the central big walkway too far from anything but two rosebushes allows traffic to go around me. So I wind up getting lots of photos to paint later.

Sometime I'll just paint from a photo on my Kindle while relaxing on the grass, just pull the rollator off the walkway and work from a photo I just got. Sort of defeats the purpose except for one thing - I could still look back at the real one for color and correct for distortions.

Jim, yeah! Love it! Hmm... I would chart by both hue and value the same way as I lay them out. Maybe give a page to each hue and go top-down with value in multiple rows? ROYGBV or even 12 sheets for Warm and Cool ROYGBV would be a spacious chart but easy to add to if you add more pieces later - especially if you leave an extra column to the right of them all to add more later.

It's an interesting thought. Guess it also depends what you're charting on too and how you're going to store the charts. More pages would be better than crowding though, because life will give you the opportunity for more pastels much faster than you'll use them up!

Cool little square painting! Very geometric and almost abstract, with that slanted hillside and nearly rounded foliage, nice textures, very simple and dramatic. Fun color combination, very natural and cheery. Nice sky gradient. Like the small sky holes in the foliage, very effective way to do foliage and sky holes in acrylics!

I still want to test my new Holbein pastels on sanded paper, so marked up a 5" x 7" piece of white Pastel Premier Extra Fine Grit to do something with on them. Not sure what yet, may review all the spring Spotlight photos!

05-07-2015, 10:14 AM
Jim that's a gorgeous little tree :) I did a range of miniature pastels not that long ago, its quite tricky!

Thank you and I promise to post the new cat when I'm done. Its my Ligerwolve :D

Getdusty - Thank you. Such a busy time of year!

I love the idea of painting outside but I don't get the chance these days. I used to be a regular feature sitting at the zoo. Maybe when the kids are older because it sure sounds lovely.

05-07-2015, 10:57 AM
Hiya Peg, Thanks for your encouraging comments. Yes it is a busy time of the year and we are off on holls soon. That is why I got stuck in so early :lol:. Next job is to chart them and fill the box :D. Oh dear....I'll have to break them first :eek::eek::eek::eek::D.

Thank you for your info Robert, going with value and hue seems right as it will follow on from the arrangement in the pastel box. I am checking that other peeps are of the same/similar mind.
I do like to see your paintings because they are so painterly. Mine always look so flat (no-matter what medium). I hope you get to test the new pastels although I may not see them until I get back – unless SWMBO takes the ipad.

Thanks Janet for the comments. Where did you put up your miniatures? Assuming you did put them online? I'll look forward to seeing your Ligerwolve :D.

05-07-2015, 12:17 PM
I don't think I have put them online yet, I will have a look in the morning. I often forget to post up a lot of the paintings I do! I am already painting the next one :lol:

05-08-2015, 09:41 AM
Oh wow, I'd love to have that problem, Janet! I post everything I do, even the two minute gestures, to keep myself going. Purring at you. Purring at you both. I'm awake this morning and though I didn't paint yesterday, I've got everything in reach and might manage it today.

05-10-2015, 06:03 AM
If you find them Janet, I would like to see them.

Robert I found your tutorial on doing an oil pastel tree. I'd like to have a go at that and then try it in different mediums. Would that be ok.

We got here (Swansea, South Wales) yesterday ok. After a week we will make for Cornwall. I tried to get on last night but this ipad would not goto this site.

Best of luck all.

05-10-2015, 09:26 AM
:lol: Robert. I think its because I am forever chasing the young ones around. Kids keep you so busy and on your toes! The youngest goes off to school soon so maybe I will have a bit more time to organise my brain :cool:

Jim I couldn't find my really tiny ones (painted on wooden coasters) but I did find some from a series I did. Its kind of cheating though because while they are about 5 x 5 inches, they are all just one eye off different animals. So the eye is a normal size :lol: Not really miniature! Here is one of them.

05-10-2015, 10:33 AM
Alas I am struggling to meet my goals. I am in a rut. Can't seem to get inspired. Tried a small acrylic study and it is abysmal. Almost as muddy as the watercolors I tried to do. I am putting it aside and will attempt to resurrect it later. I got my pastels organized, having left my "organized" set in Florida. I also on a whim ordered a set of 60 Rembrandts to augment my "beginner" set I got a Michaels two years ago. I also have the remaining halves of my Richeson darkest darks and my 20 Senneliers, so my array of colors is pretty adequate. It is the applier that is less than adequate.

Good news. My garden is coming along. Already have arugula poking through. I planted some fennel this year. Have never tried growing it, but it has lovely foliage.

JudiB. No I don't plant by the moon. I am too impatient to wait!

05-10-2015, 06:43 PM
Jim I couldn't find my really tiny ones (painted on wooden coasters) but I did find some from a series I did. Its kind of cheating though because while they are about 5 x 5 inches, they are all just one eye off different animals. So the eye is a normal size :lol: Not really miniature! Here is one of them.

That is fine janet. I agree it is not a miniature but it does show the marks to do the hairs and eye. That is what peeps like me need. I assume this was mainly a pastel pencil. It does look good.

05-10-2015, 07:09 PM
Jim, that'll be great! i'd love to see that in any medium, I designed it to be easy and not need a large palette while demonstrating a couple of good principles. It'll be fun seeing it again in someone else's hands especially in different mediums! As for last night, that wasn't your iPad. The site was down. I couldn't get on either, no one could. They did site maintenance on Friday-Saturday and post-maintenance glitches have been coming up.

Oooh Janet, what a beautiful eye! Cool miniature. I can see those as fantastic coasters, what a great concept.

Norma, congratulations on your organizing and your newest pastels. If you got the 60 Rembrandt half sticks that box has a great assortment and stands alone but for a very dark violet, which you probably have in your Richeson darks. With those Senneliers for finishing marks that's awesome, you're set!

One way to avoid muddy watercolors is to use a triad palette, just three pigments. Limit the number of colors and choose one-pigment colors. Winsor & Newton recommends Winsor Lemon or Lemon Yellow, Permanent Rose and French Ultramarine as a primary triad. I tried that and you get pure clean secondaries - a vivid orange, violet and green - or any nuances of muted color you want. The mix puddle can just be tilted with more of one or two of the colors any direction you want and everything in the painting will cohere. It comes out awesome. Gray is a little tricky but can be done, black is a strong gray with extra layers if needed.

Congratulations on your gardening! What's arugula? Is that a flower or one of those inedible green things that get passed off as food in restaurants before you get your meal? is it pretty? Fennel does have pretty foliage, it smells like licorice and kind of tastes like it too, my grandmother grew that.

Planting by the moon makes sense in some climates more than others, I think. It's also got to have drifted a bit over the centuries. Probably good but it'd really depend on latitude and a whole lot of things like moisture and what's being planted. At least that's my thought.

Janet, agree with Jim your eye is a perfect example of following hair flow around a natural eye and capturing reflections on its glossy surface and dark eyelids around and tear duct, it is fantastic! Ari actually has pale skin around his eyes, which is striking in his little black face.

05-10-2015, 11:01 PM
Yay, today I painted. Finished my little flowering trees landscape and like t. Not as powerful as the colourist stuff but not bad at all. Loosely influenced by Karen Margulis and Johannes Vloothuis.

05-11-2015, 12:05 PM
Rob: Arugula is a type of green that has a bit of a peppery taste. Can be used fresh in salads or it can be sauteed like spinach. It is a great addition to a tossed salad of what are usually bland tasting greens.

I have totally given up on watercolor. I don't have the patience for it. Have about given up on oils and acrylic also. I just can't get any colors to "pop" as I can with pastels. I'm happy with the array of pastels I have now. The geraniums in the brick planter that I posted yesterday to the Spotlight were fun... and for the first I did a pastel underpainting with alcohol. I really think that helped me get the brilliant reds and bricks to standout.

05-11-2015, 04:19 PM
Norma, I love that painting. It captured the cheerful spirit of geranium boxes. I've always loved them and geraniums were the only house plant I managed to keep along with my Ari, because he eats house plants but geranium odor put him off nibbling on them!

Thanks for the warning about arugula. Things with peppery taste set off my capsicum allergy and there was some green thing that set it off that I didn't know what it was - now I know. Food's dangerous sometimes for me, but salad things usually just give me indigestion, not the allergy effect.

05-12-2015, 11:44 AM
Still cant locate my little miniatures :( Thought I knew where they were but I must have moved them.

Jim yes its mostly pastel pencils but you always need to undercoat with velour as the colour of the paper can fade and you don't want that showing through, so I just use cubes for that. Plus I use cubes to make certain patches of white, whiter and black, blacker. I am hoping to create some youtube clips. You know where they speed it up? I just haven't been organised enough. Then I will be able to show you :lol:

The lion cub is going well, My Ligerwolve is half done, I am really hoping to finish the little trinket box commission this weekend, I have almost finished the 3 tattoo design commissions and the rest is sketched up and ready to go :) So the month is going well so far.

05-12-2015, 05:00 PM
Hi Janet. When you find the miniatures is ok by me. I know what it is like to lose painting/images amongst the files on a computer and it's perpheals. Thanks for the info on velour, that was something I was missing.

Thanks Robert for the ok on the tree. Will try those when I get back home.

Sorry Norma to learn that you have homed in on pastels and given up the other mediums. I find that one medium wont scratch the itch I have. Albeit I am pretty useless on them LOL.

Well I've hogged the ipad long enough. Best of luck everyone.
Keep going.

05-13-2015, 04:30 AM
Hi, all! I'm still fairly new to wet canvas and this is my first post to this thread. This May, my goals are:

1: Photos! I have a few from vacation, but want to collect more references from around home.
2: At least one activity daily towards improving my art. Sketch, paint, or at least, if it's a down day for me, watch a couple art videos daily.
3: Have at least one painting framed.
4: Start an art journal to record ideas. I keep a few thought in my sketchbook, but they're not at all organized. Wouldn't hurt to start the journal in a sketchbook form so I could sketch out the idea and then journal the idea for the sketch, for what fascinates me about the idea.

Well, that should keep me out of trouble for a little bit!

05-13-2015, 08:33 AM
Grannybee, those are awesome goals! Welcome to the dusty side of the force! Art journals are great for ideas and sketches. Some people put a lot of text in them as well as drawings, sounds like a plan!

Your idea of daily art is a good explication of my daily art. I'll put it "art or artish" and count watching videos or attending online classes. I backslid a couple months ago but am regaining my balance, maybe next month will get back to daily art or related. I count something as small as a two minute gesture sketch of my cat.

05-13-2015, 02:06 PM

Met one more goal today! I got the painting of the marsh done... or almost done. It's at the "sitting on the hearth" phase so I can decide what I want to change. I think the sky is a little too light, actually. Will try to post a photo. I think I've found the area on the new camera where I can set the size of the photo. Also, I'll forward a copy of the framed painting from Eufaula. Only thing that's pestering me about that one is the reflection. From a distance, it's not that bad, but it looks too detailed when I take a closer look at it. Will take a photo when the battery recharges. Really liking the marsh painting, though!!! I think the best thing I can do for my painting skills at this point is to go take a nap! Will have to see if I can find the photo of the old railroad bridge to work on next. It really took me awhile the first time, just to draw it out properly. Very different skills to do architectural drawings! Well, Elmo and Maggie are curled up together taking their nap (to those of you who don't know us, Elmo is my kitty and Maggie Mae is my elderly beagle) so I guess it's time for me to do the same! Thanks so much for the encouragement, Rob! You rock!

05-14-2015, 02:14 AM
Aww purr! Give Elmo some scritches and cuddles from me! Go you on all that painting! I opened some references and studied them, but today was chilly, never got past sixty degrees and my back flared up bad. Could be something to do with the chair I sit in too, got some partial relief for my hips padding it with folded towels but when they squish it's not much help.

I'm beginning to wonder if I need memory foam for my chair along with my pastels boxes, if I can get something like a three or four inch thick piece to cut a chair pad from. Anything else seems to flatten irretrievably over time.

When darkening a sky, start from the zenith (top of page, highest visible part of the sky) and work down, sometimes the horizon can stay that light and just have a more visible gradient. Gradient skies are the most beautiful and natural, exaggerating that doesn't hurt.

I think I might do my purple irises next, got a piece of cream Mi-Tientes Touch clipped to the board. It got some specks and stains on it so I want to use it up on a cool simple painting 8 x 10".

05-15-2015, 04:32 AM
Hello to grannybee. Nice to meet you .
I am using SWMBO's ipad whilst on holls in South Wales. I am quite new at this machine so forgive the brevity of any replies. It is pleasing to hear that someone is managing to reach their goals.

it has been so windy that my sketchbook was blown apart.
They are the W&N and at only a couple of pounds sterling are cheap enough to give away to grandsons. I wll have to find something more robust of the same (or similar) size to go in my outdoor sketching bag. I have found something temporary to cover this on holls but will look online when i get home.

05-15-2015, 09:41 AM
Jim, glad you've got a way to get online during your holiday! That is so cool.

I have a lap cat who's purring at you.

Oh that's frustrating about the Winsor & Newton sketchbooks. Tape bound pads fall apart like that. I have that trouble sometimes with Mi-Tientes pads or Pastelmat pads because I pull colors out of the middle or the back, that makes it worse. But any wire bound sketchbook won't go flying, nor a hardbound one. I got some beautiful Stillman & Birn journals but also have some cheap non archival sketchbooks that I'll use for just charcoal or pencil, whatever, maybe student pastels in.

A good art journal that's wirebound or hardback is probably a better solution for outdoors. I like wirebound best for laying flat, though. S&B ones have a special binding designed to stand up to being flattened but any brand of wire bound ones will work.

05-15-2015, 10:23 PM
Sketched my Ari cat today with Graphitints and Tombow brush pens, also did a preliminary sketch of my irises photo getting ready to paint that in pastels. If I underpaint with markers I'll use the dioxazine violet Winsor Newton one though. The pen sketches are on non archival sketch paper.

05-18-2015, 01:11 AM
Got going again with pastels and started the Irises. Just blocked them in. I might simplify that background, brush it out or make it vague.

05-18-2015, 10:55 PM
Cat sketches again, a 9 x 12" page of them. Wasn't feeling up to pasteling but did get back to cat sketching.

05-20-2015, 05:35 PM
I am stumbling along toward my May goals. I have submitted to the Spotlight, completed one acrylic (am pretty sure this is going to be about the last one I do) and participated in my first Plein Air Painters of the Mid Atlantic (PAPMA) session at an Adkins Arboretum in Ridgley Maryland. I am attaching the approx. 5 x 7 on pastelmat. Used a variety of pastels, starting with a scrub in of masses with Pans. All C&C gratefully accepted.


05-20-2015, 11:10 PM
Jim- :clap: :clap: :clap: The box looks great! Congratulations on finishing it.:thumbsup:

Well. I did it again. I started the month off doing so well with my goals. Then the yard work and home repairs started. With the help of my youngest daughter, the yard looks great and with the help of a plumber, the hot water tank is replaced and the air conditioner is purring nicely. My wife and I celebrated our 34th anniversary on the 16th and our oldest daughter's birthday was the next day. All these excuses. Now it is time to start painting again. I put in a few hours on the course today, so that is a start. I will be working on it again tomorrow and throughout the rest of the week.

Here is the hibiscus I did early this month. It is from the watercolor course. I figured I better prove that I am actually painting. :angel:


I promise to stay in touch more.


05-20-2015, 11:33 PM
Jim, the box is great!
DOUG, I love the hibiscus. I have a hardy hibiscus in my garden and the flowers are plate sized and a wonderful pink (just like your painting!)
Robert, glad you are up to sketching
Norma, wonderful job.
Sorry, I can't remember what everyone else is doing, but it sounds like it is going well.

05-21-2015, 10:33 AM
Hi Gang!...It's been a while since I've posted, but I'm glad to see so much getting down . Jim, your box looks great! And I like your little tree!

Norma...nicely done....

Rob...you're doing great also...(and I love your start on the Spotlight!)

Doug...So good to see you back, and that you have been painting! Your hibiscus is lovely! Watercolor suits you well...

I have done nothing...too much busy stuff around here appointments,etc...and I leave for 10 days in Montreal in a couple of weeks.

so the month has been a bust for me....but i'll catch up sometime...

05-22-2015, 11:40 PM
Norma- That is great that you are participating in a plein air group. There is something about being around like minded people that energizes you. You did a fine job on your little painting. If the path is flat then the lines going across the path should be horizontal, parallel to the edge of the paper. The way you have it now indicates that the path is sloped from one side to the other. If it is like that in real life then don't pay any attention to what I just said.:) Keep at it. Keep the dust flying!

Peg- Thanks! I gave my wife an indoor hibiscus plant last week. Maybe, just maybe I needed a live model.:rolleyes:

Judi- I hope the Montreal trip is a vacation. I have never been to "la belle province" but I think it would be very interesting and weird at the same time. No French spoken out here in the western part of the country. English is tough enough.:clear:

Maybe when you get back you will find some time to paint. I really hope you can find some time for yourself. Thanks for the kind words on the watercolor painting. I am having fun again.

I finished my first attempt at a waterfall scene for the course, but I wasn't happy with some of it, so I started another today. My instructor said I was so close, but he knows that isn't good enough for me. I like how he pushes me along gently. No pressure, just critiques that are helpful. I will be painting the weekend away!

I hope everybody get to do something creative this weekend. Have fun!


05-23-2015, 03:56 PM
Norma, that is great! I love the sudden plunge and turn in the path and recession of the trees. Very very cool plein air!

Doug, lovely hibiscus! Beautiful!

Purr came back to sketching today, did a pile of fruit pastel sketch and then a test of some hard pastels on sketch paper. Much better than nothing!

05-23-2015, 06:35 PM
Then another sketch from Johannes class, nowhere near as good as his painting but I'm sketching!

05-24-2015, 12:14 PM
That's the idea. Robert! It doesn't matter how good or how big it is, you are still being creative.

I finished the second attempt at the waterfall scene yesterday and Chris said it was an improvement on the first, so it is time to move onto the next unit. I think I was at the watercolor table for about five hours yesterday. I think that might be a record for me.:D My back was aching last night from over doing things, but it seems okay this morning, so I should be back painting today. I watched the video for the next assignment last night. It was about two and a half hours long!:eek: It was a still life painting using the glazing method. Not my cup of tea, but a handy tool to have in the toolbox.

Have a creative day!


05-24-2015, 01:42 PM
Doug, thank you!

That little sketch on the color chart turned nto a preliminary to a good painting. A lot of people on the thread liked it. I'll post it to the Spotlight since it's on theme, even though I can't really crop the color tests off it.

Eh, maybe if I erase them...

I'm also charting my new Great Americans today and I think I may have solved the Iris problem - though it will take a little erasing. I've got the right greens for it now and they're softer than Holbeins.

Oh, can't resist posting this. Someone's bound to enjoy photos of new pastels! But you see what I mean about gorgeous new greens! Even the top of the yellows row is a very pale lime green - a green cast yellow that goes one step past Lemon toward Lime!


Photo isn't perfect on colors but pretty good. I think the one on Dakota might be better. But this one's in my hands making me happy. They include a printed color chart so I can replace these half sticks with halves of full sticks if they're used up. I love the texture. Softer than Rembrandt and firmer less crumbly than Sennelier, about midway between them.

I might get the other half sticks set sometime to have 120 of these and love their colors - it's subtle but because they use mars pigments, variations on iron oxide in so many hues and most of them are mixed pigments, none of these except black exactly match any other pastels I have. What I thought was a redundant extravagance turned out to extend my range in some beautiful ways.

They're a good complement to my Terry Ludwigs. Definitely enjoying these and may want more. The printed chart of the full range came in the box and is so tempting. Now I know why they have so many 78 color named artist palettes, there are so many specific "warm red in a value range" colors or "cool green in a value range" colors.

05-24-2015, 04:59 PM
Enjoy those little beauties, Robert! I have a couple of sets of G/A's and I love them. I feel like they have a "creamy" texture. The whole violet range are fantastic. You are correct about the greens. I seem to use them and TW's after the block in stage for foliage.

Have fun!


05-24-2015, 08:28 PM
That's the shape! Those big block shape pastels are so good for painterly foliage textures. They encourage bold strokes, even using the ends gives a painterly stroke if the side is too large for the area. I work small so I do a lot with the ends of Ludwigs. GA are the same way now.

Heh if I get rich on it, GA may upstage the Giant Sennelier Set... almost as many colors, 507!

05-25-2015, 01:27 PM
Am plodding along toward my monthly goals. Spent yesterday and today on a 16x20 oil painting of azalea blossoms, so I will reach my one acrylic and one oil goal. Attending another plein air event at a local beach on Wednesday.

I enjoyed working in oil again. I do love the creamy flow of the paint. I became frustrated the last couple of oil painting attempts with working wet into wet and getting mud. I am going to keep working on my brush strokes. I saw a Karen Margulis blog on pastel marks and she suggests doing several simple subjects using different marks for each. Think I'll try that. I tend to immediately jump in with some blending. Maybe I can discipline myself to work just on making beautiful expressive marks.

Happy Memorial Day all.

05-25-2015, 11:05 PM
Well, painted today if not in pastels. Did an Ari portrait in gouache.

05-27-2015, 09:04 AM
Hi all :wave:

Wow looks like, as usual everyone is busy. :thumbsup:

Ooooo look at that new box of pastels Robert. :heart:

I am still painting away hard. Nearly there. I will probably post a photo up of my Ligerwolve soon Robert :)

Just got asked to feature in a magazine so there is a bunch more goals to add! Painting as fast as I can!

05-27-2015, 04:02 PM
Getting closer to my goals. Attended plein air session with Plein Air Painters of MidAtlantic today and completed two 7x9 paintings on pastelmat at South Bowers Beach Delaware. Will post them in the gallery. Will finish the oil paintings of dogwood blossoms (not azaleas as I previously wrote duh) by this weekend. So better finish than the start of the month.

05-28-2015, 01:25 PM
Here you go Robert :) My Ligerwolve.

I will come back to it in a couple of weeks and tweak it a bit but its generally done.

05-28-2015, 08:35 PM
ligerwolve: WOW! A striking painting. Looks ready to leap off the page!

05-28-2015, 08:46 PM
Thank you :) I used to draw these guys constantly but I have not had the time lately so I really enjoyed painting this one.

05-28-2015, 08:59 PM
I did accomplish one of my goals and that was to finish an oil painting. Not happy with it so I will keep it in the spare room and look at it occasionally. :rolleyes:

June will be pastels. I happened upon a 120 pc Winsor and Newton set in wooden box on eBay. Yes, it was expensive. Yes, I mulled it for many days. Talked with my husband. He said if I wanted it, then get it. I thought about it some more. I could afford, but could I justify it. Well, I don't drink, don't smoke, don't gamble (neither does hubby). No fancy nights out. So, yes, I felt I could justify.

I've had a lot of fun just getting them arranged in the foam slots! I'm working through the book Painting with Pastels by Peter Coombs. Looking forward to a productive summer.

05-29-2015, 01:21 AM
Oooh Ligerwolve! What a beautiful ligerwolve! Gorgeous textures and massive wonderful form! Love those strange markings. So awesome! Someday I mean to paint a Siamese tiger, Ari's markings on a big Siberian tiger. Thank you for sharing the ligerwolve!

PURR yay for your goals, Norma!

Barbara, I have Winsor & Newtons in a wood box too and they are so worth it! You'll enjoy them so much. Thanks for showing both layers! I broke mine and used the slotted foam to put all the colors in both of the trays, so my big set's easier to use now.

05-29-2015, 04:01 PM
Robert: I can now go through the Coomb's part of the book Pastel Painting Step-by-step and not worry about having the right values or hues since he demonstrated for Winsor and Newton and used their pastels. Having them, though, also gives me the opportunity to see values, not just the colors. I got a strange sense of satisfaction after the first layer was sorted, seeing all the colors lined up by value. It's been so crazy at work I haven't been able to do the second layer or do a simple sketch. I want to do that tonight.

05-30-2015, 06:31 AM
Oh gosh, it is the 30th of the month and only a day left to do the goals and if it does not follow the forecast (rain) then I will be attending archery tomorrow. What is not done will have to be finished next month :D.

Thanks to Judy, Peg, Doug, Robert and Norma for the comments on my pastel box. It was a long time in the making. I hope to fill it next month.

Extra surgery visits have taken up some of my disposable hobby time.

3 goals this month.
1. Finish the pastel box. Tick :) (Hooray!!!)
2. Chart the Unison pastels for which the box was made, record the colours from the labels in a sketch book. :( Nope (next month, get a new wire bound sketchbook first?)
3. Complete the tree miniature on a miniature canvas. Tick :)
we have elections on Friday as well :angel:. Tick :) (voted)
jim I have modified my original goal post-I am feeling lazy today.

Nice to see you post and a Hibiscus painting Doug :thumbsup:. It is good that the girls help Dad with the chores.
Janet that is a tremendous wolf.
Robert, you have done well this month. Quite prolific in the spotlight with all the flowers. Thanks for the ok on your tree as it would be a good example to try out the various mediums in miniature.
I hope I have remembered all. I have been trying to play catch-up since coming back from the holiday trip but there are always some peeps left out :o.

05-30-2015, 08:21 AM
Well, I got half my goals - managing art weekly has got me closer to my old daily art goal. Didn't work on the book or upload any more photos but did the Spotlight twice and more than once a week art. Might try for daily next month. I'm closer to it.

Did two little pen sketches, one yesterday and one the day before, but haven't posted them. Wanted to fill the page.

05-30-2015, 04:38 PM
You did well Robert, as did everyone else by the sounds of it. I think just stating what you hope to achieve helps you to form a way of doing it up front. It certainly helps me. Some times just halfway is better than not at all which may well be the other scenario.

05-30-2015, 06:42 PM
Oh it does! I think I'll try for daily art next month. I should be able to do cat gestures again and I have way too many sketchbooks not to fill them with lazy little 2 minute cat gestures.

Today I posted yesterday's sketch and the one before, after filling the page with two more and watercoloring all four. The page came out well, it's a good pen and watercolor page. I'm happy with it.

05-31-2015, 08:35 PM
Janet- Beautiful painting! I don't think I have enough patience to do something like that. I agree that he looks like he is ready to jump off the page.

Jim- Good going on getting the pastel box finished. That was a big accomplishment.

Robert- You did what you could physically do, so you did a great job on your goals.

Barbara- Have fun with those W & N pastels. Great find! It sounds like you have your goal for next month already with the pastel work book. Congratulations on getting an oil painting done.

Norma- Way to keep up with the plein air outings and paintings! Way to go!

My goals for May are:

1) Work on the Watercolor Tutor course 3 hours a day, 5 days a week.
2) Paint 2 watercolor paintings (not for the course).
3) Paint 2 open acrylic paintings.
4) Tidy up my studio.

After a slow start with the yard work getting in the way, it turned out to be an okay month. I moved along on the course (just handed in the latest painting and the instructor said it was fine and to move onto the next lesson) and put in the hours and days of my goal. I didn't get any other watercolor paintings done, but I did do a small acrylic painting. The studio is still a mess, but that's okay, I will clean it next month.:lol: