View Full Version : Master of the Month #17 May 2005 (J W Waterhouse)

05-01-2005, 02:47 AM
Welcome to the May Master of the Month! The paintings selected for copying this month are Destiny and A Mermaid by John William Waterhouse.

painting date: 1900
medium: Oil on canvas
size: 68.5 x 55 cm
location: Towneley Hall Art Gallery, Burnley, England


http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=9643 (Click here for high resolution version)

In 1899 the Boer War had begun in South Africa, and in the spring of 1900 350 artists donated works to the Artists' War Fund in support of the British troops. After being exhibited in the London Guildhall, the pictures were auctioned by Christie's, who waived the £12,000 profit in favor of the Fund. Destiny was painted by Waterhouse especially for the cause, as shown by his own inscription 'Artists' War Fund' above his signature, and was selected by The Studio as one of the most noteworthy in the exhibition. The girl drinking a libation to the departing heroes was a favourite model for the rest of his career; statuesque in her beauty, she casts a sympathetic gaze towards the ships already under sail. Waterhouse's setting is typical of his origins - Italianate and geometrical: the circles of the mirror and its stand are repeated in the arches of the tiled loggia and the front of the lectern.

A Mermaid
painting date: 1900
medium: Oil on canvas
size: 98 x 67 cm
location: Royal Academy of Arts, London, England


http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=773 (Click here for high resolution version)

This painting was Waterhouse's diploma work for the Royal Academy. [B]A Mermaid[B] (masculine Merman) was a fabled marine creature with the head and upper body of a human being and the tail of a fish. Similar divine or semidivine beings appear in ancient mythologies (e.g., the Chaldean sea god Ea, or Oannes). In European folklore, mermaids (sometimes called sirens) and mermen were natural beings who, like fairies, had magical and prophetic powers. They loved music and often sang. Though very long-lived, they were mortal and had no souls. Many folktales record marriages between mermaids (who might assume human form) and men. In most, the man steals the mermaid's cap or belt, her comb or mirror. While the objects are hidden she lives with him; if she finds them she returns at once to the sea. In some variants the marriage lasts while certain agreed-upon conditions are fulfilled, and it ends when the conditions are broken. Though sometimes kindly, mermaids and mermen were usually dangerous to man. Their gifts brought misfortune, and, if offended, the beings caused floods or other disasters. To see one on a voyage was an omen of shipwreck. They sometimes lured mortals to death by drowning, as did the Lorelei of the Rhine, or enticed young people to live with them underwater, as did the mermaid whose image is carved on a bench in the church of Zennor, Cornwall, Eng.
Source: Encyclopædia Britannica

Biography of John William Waterhouse

Born: Rome, 1849
Died: London, 1917

Painter of classical, historical, and literary subjects. John William Waterhouse was born in 1849 in Rome, where his father worked as a painter. He was referred to as "Nino" throughout his life. In the 1850s the family returned to England. Before entering the Royal Academy schools in 1870, Waterhouse assisted his father in his studio. His early works were of classical themes in the spirit of Alma-Tadema and Frederic Leighton, and were exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Society of British Artists and the Dudley Gallery. In the late 1870s and the 1880s, Waterhouse made several trips to Italy, where he painted genre scenes.

After his marriage in 1883 to Esther Kenworthy, he took up residence at the Primrose Hill Studios. He was elected to the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour in 1883 and resigned in 1889. In 1884, his Royal Academy submission 'Consulting the Oracle' brought him favourable reviews; it was purchased by Sir Henry Tate, who also purchased 'The Lady of Shalott' from the 1888 Academy exhibition. The latter painting reveals Waterhouse's growing interest in themes associated with the Pre-Raphaelites, particularly tragic or powerful femmes fatales, as well as plein-air painting. In 1885 he was elected an associate of the Royal Academy and a full member in 1895.

In the mid-1880s Waterhouse began exhibiting with the Grosvenor Gallery and its successor, the New Gallery, as well as provincial exhibitions in Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. Paintings of this period, such as 'Mariamne' (1889), were exhibited widely in England and abroad as part of the international symbolist movement. In the 1890s Waterhouse began to exhibit portraits. In 1901 he moved to St John's Wood and joined the St John's Wood Arts Club, a social organization that included Lawrence Alma-Tadema and George Clausen. He also served on the advisory council of the Saint John's Wood Art School.

Waterhouse continued to paint until his death in 1917. His grave can be found at Kensal Green Cemetery in London.

For previous discussions about Waterhouse methods and palette http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=215193
Please join us and paint one of these two beautiful Waterhouse paintings! Well, and if you can't decide which one to do....do both!

05-01-2005, 03:53 AM
Wonderful article Celeste. :clap: :clap: :clap: I'm definitely in on this one. I hope to do both - yes, high hopes ! But I will start with Destiny. I will prepare my board this morning, and get started this afternoon. Tomorrow is a holiday here, so I should make some progress. (I shouldn't be saying this. Every time I commit to anything, I end up getting side-tracked :mad: ) I am going with a really well-coated board - as many coats of gesso as I can - till I run out of patience !

I need to read more about his technique too, so will scrutinise the other thread first. :) This one is going to be great fun !!!

05-01-2005, 08:26 AM

Your write-up on Waterhouse is excellent! It is really nice to have the additional background to these paintings! :clap: :clap: :clap:

I am still playing "eeny, meeny, miny, moe" on this one! Deciding which one to do is a tough decision! I think that I will be doing "Destiny"!

Barb Solomon :cat:

irish artist
05-01-2005, 08:33 AM
Waterhouse's life seems to have gotten off with a big start since his father was also a painter. Wyeth had the same advantage, he was born to a painting family since his father, N.C. Wyeth was famous in his time also. Wyeth was removed for school and home-schooled in both academics and art.

I was going to ask about technique and I noticed that you had a link about it and when I followed the link it was something called a 'DAD', meaning 'Do A Duplicate', which is a thread of people who decided to paint any Waterhouse they wanted and talking about it and what they used but nowhere did I find enough information about the actual artist's technique. Perhaps I just missed it in one of the numerous pages...... :confused:

05-01-2005, 09:21 AM
Great write up Celestia!
They are both beautiful pieces!I'm afraid I won't be able to join in this month, too much on my plate already, but I will be following everone's progress.
Good Luck Everybody! Have a Great Time Painting :D


05-01-2005, 11:04 AM
Waterhouse's life seems to have gotten off with a big start since his father was also a painter. Wyeth had the same advantage, he was born to a painting family since his father, N.C. Wyeth was famous in his time also. Wyeth was removed for school and home-schooled in both academics and art.

I was going to ask about technique and I noticed that you had a link about it and when I followed the link it was something called a 'DAD', meaning 'Do A Duplicate', which is a thread of people who decided to paint any Waterhouse they wanted and talking about it and what they used but nowhere did I find enough information about the actual artist's technique. Perhaps I just missed it in one of the numerous pages...... :confused:
lol --sorry for the wild goose chase, irish--I could have SWORN there was discussion in that thread about Waterhouse technique! I am afraid I haven't actually got bonafide information pertaining to his methods. I will look further and return information to this thread if I find something.
Squib! I understand about wondering if you are "jinxing" yourself by stating that you WILL paint a particular piece--lol! It has happened to me several times too--ah...but come on--look at Destiny and Mermaid!! They ARE calling like sirens. lol
Barb, thanks for the kudos--YOU are such a tough act to follow because you are so thorough with the classic subjects--I was very squeamish to have to follow the likes of you in the MOM threads --lol! thanks for your approval!
I will be looking forward to seeing your work!
jo_b jodi--sorry you won't be hanging with us this month but hope you'll still pop in from time to time nevertheless!
For myself I think I am leaning toward Destiny--all Waterhouse paintings are exquisite--but ool la la--that red! Hope I have enough tubes. lol. :)

Carey Griffel
05-01-2005, 12:19 PM
Another month! There ought to be some good participation in this one!

Regarding the other thread...I started that one up as, at the time, several of us here were doing Waterhouse copies....and I've been glad to see that others have participated, as well! (The thread is "open" for continued participation!) That thread is a good resource for those who are going to participate in this month's MOM. It is, however, a lengthy thread and you'll need to do quite a bit of reading in it, but there IS a *great deal* of discussion on techniques/etc. Not saying it's all "correct" info, but it is there nonetheless. :p I'd post my own thoughts on Waterhouse's techniques here (again, not saying I'm necessarily correct on it!), but it's all in the other thread and I'd just be repeating myself. It's always hard trying to divine how another artist worked, ufortunately!

IrishArtist, perhaps you meant to find definitive information on how Waterhouse painted? I've been looking looooong and haaaard for months and months to find some definitive online info and I'm afraid that I can't find anything that would classify as a "this is how Waterhouse did this" kind of thing. Hands down the best resource available (unless someone else has managed to find something else!!) is Peter Trippi's book, but of course I don't think we're all going to rush out and buy that. :p (Though they did just come out with a softcover edition!) I'm afraid that all we have to work with are individual artists's interpretations of how we think Waterhouse painted. But I do think that there's a lot of good info in that thread and it's probably the best we're gonna get, unfortunately, as far as that goes.

But...good luck everyone! I'll be looking forward to seeing everyone contribute here, it's always a learning experience for me. :)


P.S. Hey, don't mean to sound like a miss-know-it-all if I come across like that. :p Just trying to give my thoughts as I've been looking into this myself quite a bit! If my thoughts help someone else, great, if you think I'm full of bull doody, well, that's okay, too! :p ;)

05-01-2005, 12:27 PM
Our resident Waterhouse Maven Carey is here! Thanks for stopping in! I know you can throw in some pointers girlfriend!

I am adding the following information pertaining to the Venetian Method that Waterhouse employed. At the end is an educated guess pertaining to palette. The operative word is GUESS. lol.


In the Venetian Technique, color is often applied over the underpainting initially as transparent glazes, which are then worked into, while wet, with opaque pigments. The paint is worked together wet into wet until the desired effect is achieved, or until the paint becomes slightly tacky, at which time it is allowed to dry thoroughly. This process may be repeated as many times as necessary.

At some point, someone, perhaps Titian, discovered that a light, opaque tone, rendered semitransparent by the addition of a bit more oil and/or simply by scrubbing it on thinly with a stiff brush, applied over a darker area produced an effect that could be put to good use. This is what we now call a scumble. It was found that a scumble over a flesh tone would produce the same effect as powder on a woman's face; that is, it made its texture appear softer. This is a useful device when painting women and young people of both sexes. It is also useful for indicating atmospheric density over distance, or atmospheric perspective. See Chapter Five, Principles of Visual Reality. Both glazing and scumbling create optical illusions. As such they effectively expand the capabilities of the limited palette of the early painters in oil. It was imperative that they get the most out of the materials they had.

Glazing is the application of a darker transparent paint over a lighter area. The optical illusion created by the light rays’ having passed through a transparent darker layer, bouncing off the lighter surface underneath, then traveling back through the transparent layer to the viewer’s eyes, is unique to glazing, and cannot be obtained in any other manner. A warm glow is created, and the color thus produced appears warmer and more saturated (higher in chroma) than the same pigment applied more thickly and opaquely. The effect, in the darker passages, is that of a shadow seen up close, with no atmosphere between the viewer’s eyes and itself. The rich, golden glow in Rembrandt's dark browns is produced in this way. Rembrandt was influenced by Titian, and is reported to have at one time owned at least one of his paintings. Glazed darks appear darker than opaque darks, because the light rays are allowed to penetrate more deeply into the paint layer, and are thus subjected to a great deal of filtration before reflecting back out to the viewer’s eyes. This effectively expands the value range possible with paints, which are handicapped on the light end of the spectrum by the fact that white paint is not as light as light in Nature. The Old Masters compensated by carrying their darks as far as they could, to create as wide a range of values as possible. This can only be accommodated through the use of transparent paints on the dark extreme. Furthermore, as light contains color, the artist must make the highlights darker than white in order to include color in them. This further limits the value range, and makes necessary the darkening of all tones by a corresponding amount in order to maintain the proper contrast and relationships between each category of light or shadow. Transparent darks allow the expansion of the dark end of the range.

Scumbling is the opposite of glazing. A scumble uses a lighter opaque paint, spread thinly enough so as to become translucent, over a darker passage. The optical effect thus produced is bluer than the paint applied, as the underlying layer is not completely obscured, and exerts its influence on the overall sensation, as has been previously described. It is very effective in softening surface textures, as soft cloth, such as velvet or cotton, or youthful complexions, the surface of a peach, etc., and, as mentioned, for indicating atmospheric haze over distant land planes and in the sky near the horizon. Overcast skies may be scumbled all over, as in Bouguereau’s “The Broken Pitcher.”

There are still more advanced and sophisticated developments of the Venetian Technique. The "semiglaze", which can be either transparent or semiopaque, or anywhere in between, is a very thin application of color to an area of the same value as the paint being applied. Its purpose is to modify the color of a given area after that area is dry, as in the addition of a tiny bit of vermilion to a cheek or nose, and/or to allow subsequent wet into wet painting over an area in which the paint has dried. It tends to soften unintended too-harsh transitions of tone from the previous sitting, if used properly, and thereby adds a higher degree of refinement to the image. It is applied thinly, by scrubbing it on with a stiff brush, after the addition of a small amount of oil or a painting medium to lubricate the dry surface of the area to be repainted. Titian is reported to have sometimes applied glazes and semiglazes with his fingers, or perhaps he was wiping the excess away after having put too much on with a brush. Stippling with a flat tipped brush is a good technique for applying glazes, scumbles, and semiglazes, though other means work very well in skilled hands. As a further development of the Venetian Technique, the underpainting, or certain parts of it, may be executed in opaque color, rather than totally in neutral greys. One popular variation was Venetian Red and Flake White. The underpainting palette should be limited to lean paints (paints with low oil absorption) which are opaque and/or very high in tinting strength. High tinting strength fat paints (paints with high oil absorption) may be used if mixed in very small quantities with very lean paints like Flake White. The objective is to keep the underpainting leaner than the layers applied over it. When dry, the color may then be subsequently modified with glazes, scumbles, and semiglazes, or painted over with opaque color. These steps may be repeated as many times as necessary. The highlights are placed last, applied wet into wet with a fully loaded brush. Impasto is often employed in the highlights, to produce the most opaque passages possible, and to ensure that they remain opaque. Oil paints become more transparent with age. Therefore, in order for the highlights to retain their opacity over the centuries, they must be applied heavily. The illusion thus created is that of direct light falling on a solid surface, ricocheting from that surface to our eyes. It is not actually an illusion, as that is exactly what is happening. Juxtaposed with the transparent shadows, the illusion of depth is thus enhanced.

The underpainting, sometimes referred to as a grisaille if done in greys, should have its darkest passages painted somewhat lighter than the desired final effect, or the superimposed colors will lose much of their brightness and depth . Except for certain special effects, as in the technique of Rembrandt, the texture of the underpainting should be as smooth as possible. Any brushstrokes not smoothed out before the underpainting is dry, or scraped down before painting over, will produce a problem area in the next stage. Artists who prefer visible brushstrokes should decide where to place them in the final stages of the painting, as accents.

The Venetian Technique allows the widest range of possibilities of any oil painting method yet developed. Its systematic use of opaque passages, glazes, scumbles and semiglazes stretches the capabilities of oil paint to the absolute limits, and allows the artist the greatest latitude for adjusting the picture at any stage. The employment of the optical illusions created by glazing and scumbling, combined with the control of edges (selective focus), enables the oil painter who has mastered it to indicate three dimensional reality more convincingly than is possible with any other technique.

It should be stressed that the wonderful results achieved by the Old Masters and other great painters were attributable, in great measure, to the preparations undertaken prior to their beginning work on the final canvas or panel. The concept for the painting had first to be worked out in smaller drawings, sketches and studies done on separate surfaces, to solve all the problems to the artist's satisfaction beforehand. This accounts for the impression most often conveyed by their paintings, of having been executed without the necessity of corrections. In truth, there were many corrections, but the major ones, at least, were most often solved in the study stage before the painting itself was touched. For very large paintings, the usual practice was for the Master to paint the painting first on a smaller scale to work out its composition, and then turn it over to his apprentices to be transferred to the large canvas by means of a grid. Refer to the sidebar for a more detailed description of the grid method of enlarging a design. In some cases, the smaller painting was done without color, to be used by the apprentices as a guide in applying the underpainting to the large canvas, which process the Master would oversee, and usually correct and complete after the students and/or apprentices had done most of the work. Often many supplemental studies were drawn and painted by the Master, either to aid the assistants in painting the large picture, or to solve some of the problems for himself, in the development of the concept for the painting. This practice is as much a factor in the excellent quality of the works these great painters produced as were the actual painting techniques they used so well.

A guess of colors employed in Destiny and A Mermaid:

Naples Yellow (lead antimonate)
Chrome Yellow, dark
Cobalt Blue
White Lead
Light Vermilion
Chinese Vermilion
Mars Brown (iron oxide); this available from Lefranc & Bourgeois Van Dyck Brown
Burnt Sienna
Ivory Black
Genuine Rose Madder, dark

whew! Well, for myself I am going to try the grey grisaille underpainting which will be a first for me! I am looking forward to spending some time with one painting instead of "dashing" through in a hurry. If anyone has further ideas about the color palette please tell us! :)

Carey Griffel
05-01-2005, 12:33 PM
Our resident Waterhouse Maven Carey is here! Thanks for stopping in! I know you can throw in some pointers girlfriend!

Haha, uh oh, don't go encouraging my miss-know-it-all attitude! :p :wink2:

Thanks for that added info, Celestia!


05-01-2005, 02:24 PM
Wow...Celestia! Super job with the write up with all that information!! Thanks!
I'd love to participate this month so I'll just jump on the thread here & hope I get busy. Have not been painting in a long while......and I miss it!! :D

05-01-2005, 03:29 PM
Wow...Celestia! Super job with the write up with all that information!! Thanks!
I'd love to participate this month so I'll just jump on the thread here & hope I get busy. Have not been painting in a long while......and I miss it!! :D
Welcome artbabe--it is always a pleasure to have you in a thread!! especially here with our two "other" art-babes, Destiny and Mermaid! lol :)

05-01-2005, 04:36 PM
Hi All,

Celeste - thanks for the additional information. There is a lot to digest !
Carey - are you doing this one ??
Jodi - you can cheer us on.
Irish - ready when you are !
Cathleen - it will be great if you can join in.

Well, I started and it feels good ! I am going actual size here. It is such a nice size too. I hate painting on a small canvas so this is perfect. The drawing took a couple of hours. I drew it in pencil, and then went over the drawing in a turpsy burnt sienna. Celeste, that palette looks good, so I may just go with it. I am thinking of doing an underpainting of raw umber & burnt sienna. I'll think about it overnight, and decide by the morning.

Drawing of Destiny
55 x 68.5cm


irish artist
05-01-2005, 05:04 PM
Thanks Celestia!! :) I had read in the DAD that Waterhouse used thin layers without an undercoat but I'll follow your research and see how well it works to duplicate Waterhouse since it is the technique favered by my art class instructor and I should be practicing it anyway to get good grades in class.

After a quick sketch-in and the first coat begun for Waterhouse's Mermaid:

05-01-2005, 08:42 PM
Lorrainne - Your off to a good start! It’s a lovely drawing. It is a lovely painting at this “line art” stage!

Irish Artist - You’ve got a nice blocked-in grissaille!

Jodi - Thanks for dropping in! It’s too bad that you won’t be able to paint! Thanks for the encouragement!

look at Destiny and Mermaid!! They ARE calling like sirens. lol
LOL!!! Celeste, you are too funny!

I can totally understand your feelings! Too be honest, I have had the hardest time finding information about HOW the 19th painters painted! It is hard to find out about their paint choices and it’s hard to find out about their favorite techniques. Some of them were really advanced, in terms of craft, so it is can be a complicated thing.

Celeste - To sum up, what you are saying and be certain that I have you right - Waterhouse would have used the Venetian technique. Then, I should be able to use a similar approach to the one used by Titian except that I use the colors that you are suggesting.

He’s a late enough painter that he would have had a broad range of colors and may have used bought tube oil paints.

Principles of Visual Reality - Which book is this?

Celeste - Your descriptions of techinique are excellent!

And these methods are so useful for a painter to learn!

Irish Artist, Carey, Katleen, Lorraine - Wow!!! It's nice to see so many people have joined in! Good luck with it!

Barb Solomon


05-01-2005, 08:50 PM
squib ---wonderful accurate line drawing!! spot on!! I love everything about it!
do you know what your canvas measures in inches?
irish artist nice block in for mermaid! you two are doing well starting right on May 1!
Barb--I know it has been written that Waterhouse used both Venetian technique together with direct painting--I am anxious to see if I can get anywhere near that luminous red in the dress!

05-02-2005, 04:39 AM
do you know what your canvas measures in inches?

It is 26 7/8 x 21 5/8 inches. :) With those fractions, it was easier to measure and cut the board in centimetres. Back later - I'm off to have breakfast.

05-02-2005, 10:34 AM
I am adding the following information pertaining to the Venetian Method that Waterhouse employed. At the end is an educated guess pertaining to palette. The operative word is GUESS. lol.


In the Venetian Technique, color is often applied over the underpainting initially as transparent glazes, which are then worked into, while wet, with opaque pigments. The paint is worked together wet into wet until the desired effect is achieved, or until the paint becomes slightly tacky, at which time it is allowed to dry thoroughly. This process may be repeated as many times as necessary....

Hi Celestia,

Just a note that the above info that you posted was taken from a book called "The Oil Painters Bible" by Virgil Elliott. More excerpts from this forthcoming book can be found here (http://www.geocities.com/~jlhagan/advanced/chapter6.htm). I came across that info in my many searches on Waterhouse. This info in no way implies that this is the technique used by Waterhouse. There are no detailed accounts as to how he approached his works. In Trippi's book it mentions that he painted in many layers, sometimes as many as ten can be seen but obviously didn't follow the fat-over-lean rule as can be seen by the cracks in many of his paintings. So I'm now beginning to feel that he used the Direct Painting method but did so in many layers. He would often paint one layer as if it were the final and then paint over it.

Anyway, just wanted to give credit as to where this info came from. :D

I'm half tempted to join you all but after doing three Waterhouse's and being so caught up in plein air... hmmm, maybe I should do Destiny. :D


05-02-2005, 11:28 AM
Wow! :eek:
Look at how fast you guys are jumping into this months MOM. Waterhouse must be pretty popular around here. Great work everybody. :clap:


05-02-2005, 12:49 PM
Hi All,

Well, I had a great day painting today. The family left me too it - wonderful !

I started off with the intention of doing an underpainting in burnt umber/burnt sienna, and actually got well into it. I then decided to lay down colour in some areas - the sky & sea. So I'm doing a mix-up of techniques here - ah well. The more I study this painting, the more I am beginning to like it.

My palette so far has been

Burnt Umber
Burnt Sienna
Cobalt Blue
Yellow Ochre
Flake White
Titanium White

I have only used turps so far, but plan to add medium for later layers.

I have a programme on my computer that really gets close up to images, so I had a good look at the high-res image of Destiny. There is a lot of scumbling going on over what looks like a burnt umber underlayer. Actually, it looks as though he primed the board with yellow ochre, then painted the BU underlayer. I could be wrong though. The table-top on the right is scumbled over, also the tops of the walls (that the column are built on). If you can get a close look, do. Its looks like a very interesting mix of techniques to my untrained eye. Please jump in here and correct me if you think I'm wrong.

I have stopped for an hour break - I'm going squint. Also have a headache - I think it's the turps.

Ignore the dark blue area in the sea at the top of the mirror. It's a shadow from my reference photo which is stuck at the top of my easel.


Back later.

05-02-2005, 02:49 PM
Hello MOMS! Well..after many months of "lurking" on Wet Canvas (and loving it) I am finally posting...gulp. I confess I began my Mermaid painting up to completing the grissaille underpainting attached, when I began said lurking, but decided to stop when I discovered it would a MOM topic! It was torture not to keep going on my own. My canvas is 48" x 36" and I have more room in the foreground than the original because I wanted to add my own touches - ie: seashells - not that I am trying to improve on the Master - just a quirky idea I had at the time of starting. Of course I can always decide to remain true to the original and crop/downsize the canvas later. I don't have access to many of the colors mentioned so may have to improvise (ie: Chrome Yellow, dark, Light Vermillion, Chinese Vermillion, Genuine Rose Madder, dark and Bitumen) Bitumen?! A new word and color for me.

05-02-2005, 03:46 PM
Hi BJG :wave: - welcome to Oils, and you're diving right in at the deep end. Great ! (Another cat lover ? - I checked out your profile photo :D ). It's great to have you here, and wonderful that you are joining us for this MOM. Yes, I lurked for months before I finally posted. I now wish I'd done it sooner.

Your grisaille looks marvellous. You obviously know what you're doing. That's a BIG canvas. I notice the original is about 39 x 27inches, so you are going quite a bit bigger. That will make a great impact ! As far as the palette, I think improvising should work out fine. It doesn't have to be an exact copy. You may have noticed in previous MOM's that many artists have done their own thing, and that's great. It's all a learning process.

I worked another hour on mine but had to stop. (Too much to do to prepare for the week ahead :mad: ). It was a holiday here today - so a 4 day week for me - yippeee ! I'll take a photo before I start tomorrow.

05-02-2005, 05:10 PM
Okay, I decided to jump in on this one and decided to do Destiny. I figure I might as well do something that will keep me outta trouble during the week because I can't venture away from home (work) and paint in the great outdoors.

Great starts here! Will be fun watching everyone progress!

I had a 16x20 canvas lying around so decided to go with that. Did my basic sketch today and hope to get to paint tomorrow. Think I'll go with more of a direct painting approach. I'm not ready to get into another detailed underpainting like I did with Ophelia. :D



05-02-2005, 05:24 PM
Hi Rhi :wave: - so glad you are joining us ! You're an *old hand* at Waterhouse, but you can't paint too many Waterhouses, can you ? :) I wanted to join you all in the other thread, but never got around to it - that's why I decided I definitely HAD to do this MOM.

Your drawing looks great. Yes, your Ophelia underpainting was really detailed, but it was beautiful ! I can understand you not wanting to go that long route again. I was going to make my underpainting a lot more detailed, but couldn't resist getting the colour in.

When I started this one, i thought it was a complicated painting to copy, but now realize that it's not bad at all. I'm not looking forward to the face though :(

irish artist
05-02-2005, 06:09 PM
Welcome BJG, and I'm glad you are doing the Mermaid along with me, sounds like the others want to do Destiny.

05-02-2005, 06:45 PM
ah RHI--Our Waterhouse expert! so good to see you here! I loved your Ophelia so much (and that other one you did also--was it The Tempest??) -- You have a fantastic start--I am tempted to want to paint it directly also. I will be interested in what you think when you are well underway about the differences between your Ophelia effort and this one!
BJG--welcome aboard! I am glad you are doing the Mermaid too--otherwise we might get overrun with Destinies (lol)--If you look back at the MOM retrospective thread you will see several people have added their own "touch" to the Master.

05-02-2005, 06:45 PM
Hi Rhi :wave: - so glad you are joining us ! You're an *old hand* at Waterhouse, but you can't paint too many Waterhouses, can you ? :) I wanted to join you all in the other thread, but never got around to it - that's why I decided I definitely HAD to do this MOM.

Your drawing looks great. Yes, your Ophelia underpainting was really detailed, but it was beautiful ! I can understand you not wanting to go that long route again. I was going to make my underpainting a lot more detailed, but couldn't resist getting the colour in.

When I started this one, i thought it was a complicated painting to copy, but now realize that it's not bad at all. I'm not looking forward to the face though :(

Hi Lorraine! :wave:

I just couldn't resist with Waterhouse being one of my favs. And yes, this will make number four for me but I still have so many of his I eventually want to copy. Besides, I need something to do when I can't get out and paint plein air. :D

I'm thinking the same way as you are as this isn't as difficult a painting as it looks. I'm going to use the photo in Peter Trippi's book as reference when I get down to details but other than that I'm just gonna wing it. :p :)

Would sure be nice if Carey joins in on this. Would seem like old times back when I was doing Windflowers and she was doing Boreas. <Note to Carey: hint hint> :evil: :D :angel:


05-02-2005, 06:51 PM
ah RHI--Our Waterhouse expert! so good to see you here! I loved your Ophelia so much (and that other one you did also--was it The Tempest??) -- You have a fantastic start--I am tempted to want to paint it directly also. I will be interested in what you think when you are well underway about the differences between your Ophelia effort and this one!

Hey Celestia,

We must've been cross posting as I no sooner posted my last post and saw yours. :D

How could I resist! I can't get out and paint plein air everyday so what better way to keep the artistic juices flowing. :D

It'll definitely be interesting for me seeing the difference in this approach versus the way I did Ophelia. I'm just gonna have at it and work in layers as need be. I think too those One-A-Days and painting plein air might help as well. I've learned a lot about mediums since doing Ophelia so we'll see. ;)


05-02-2005, 10:54 PM
Lorraine - What program are you using to get close-ups? That could come in handy!

You are really off to a great start! As far as I can see, you are on the right track!

Celestia - If he used any kind of glaze at all I bet that it would be on the dress. I would also be very observant as to what color he uses in the highlights and what color he used in the shadows (and in between). As my old prof said “Just copy the lights and darks”!

The gold trim in the background is the same sort of thing.

Rhiannon - Thanks for the additional tips on Waterhouse’s painting methods! Could you give me the name of the Trippi book! Thanks much!

It’s nice to know that you decided to give “Destiny” a try!

You are off to a good start! Your drawing is beautiful!

BJG - Thanks for joining in! It’s really nice to meet you and see your painting!

You are really off to a good start! She is absolutely beautiful!

Many of the colors that you have mentioned have been replaced by newer colors. Bitumen is a brown similar to burnt umber. I have a Van Dyke brown that I think has some bitumen in it! Many people prefer a Quincridrone (I can spell that!) for a substitute. The Vermillion would be replaced by Cadmium Reds. While I suspect that Chrome Yellow would be replaced by a Cadmium Yellow, I’m not sure which one!

Irish Artist - I can’t wait to see your Mermaid! I really felt torn about which painting to do!

Barb Solomon :cat:

05-02-2005, 11:11 PM
Rhiannon - Thanks for the additional tips on Waterhouse’s painting methods! Could you give me the name of the Trippi book! Thanks much!

It’s nice to know that you decided to give “Destiny” a try!

You are off to a good start! Your drawing is beautiful!

Hi Barb!

The name of Trippi's book is J. W. Waterhouse by Peter Trippi and can be purchased at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/071484232X/102-8564750-7911318?v=glance) for about $32.00. Excellent book and well worth the money.

My initial sketch of Destiny is just that. I can see a lot of tweeks that need to be made but will do that when I get going on the actual painting. Kinda difficult to really nail things down at this early of a stage.


05-03-2005, 12:04 PM
I decided that I would jump in and join this month's MOM, and do "The Mermaid". I just started it today, and this is what I have so far after about 30 mins. of blocking in some color. It is on a 20x24 wood panel.

05-03-2005, 01:25 PM
Thank you all for the warm welcome. Irish Artist and Krystal Drohan - I am SO GLAD you will be painting A Mermaid too. Much more fun and informative than working alone. This is the first time I have ever tried the Venetian Technique. I have always worked using the Impressionist's alla prima/en plein air technique. It is so different to begin with a grisaille underpainting and layer with thin transparent glazes. But it is good to learn new skills and I think it may teach me some patience and discipline! bjs0704 - Thanks for the replacement colour suggestions. I was beginning to think I would be smearing asphalt on my painting (apparently that's what bitumen is)! Celestia - Glad to hear our "own touches" are welcome. Thought I could use some of the hundreds of sea shells I've dragged home over the years (in my search for mermaids). Squib - You are right about me being "another cat lover." That tabby in my Profile, is Tigger who sadly passed over recently. I thought he would be amused in cat heaven that he made it to a Wet Canvas in cyberspace after faithfully supervising my wet canvasses for 16 years. I think you are also right about the mixed techniques Waterhouse may have used. I was playng around after the first colour layer was layed down (see attached) and found a bit of scumbling of some bits in the cave and waves got close to the Master.

05-03-2005, 01:43 PM

This is really look good. How are you liking using the Venetian method? I used that method when I did Ophelia a few months back but did a Bistre underpainting. It sure was an interesting process.

Also, so sorry to hear about Tigger passing. Geez, do I know how that feels. I lost a male Abyssinian, Jesse, back in '96. He was 15 and one day just suddenly went into convulsions and died in my arms. Then I had to put little Rocky to sleep back in 2001. Just think of all the friends Tigger's playing with at Rainbow Bridge. :) I've got six cats indoors now ranging in ages from 3 to 9 and I don't even wanna think about having to go through that with them.


05-03-2005, 02:49 PM
Hi All, :wave:

I got about another hour of work in today - but haven't taken a photo - sorry.

Krystal and Betty - what great starts you two have. This is going to be a good month with so many folk participating. :) Betty - how long have you been painting ?

I'll be back later to comment more. Duty calls :music: :music: :)

05-03-2005, 04:23 PM
Back :) . Duty over :D

Here's my update. At the moment all I am doing is getting the board covered. I'm experimenting a bit with the colour of the dress - it will all be painted over eventually. I tried to paint in the last hour, but gave up. I'm too tired - but not too tired to sit at my computer. :evil: It requires quite a lot more concentration to paint ! Only using turps so far until I get all the basic colour in, then I will start using a medium.


Edit : The dress is NOT that red IRL - digital photography - grrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!

05-03-2005, 05:20 PM
Well today has been a good one. This is what I have so far.

irish artist
05-03-2005, 05:32 PM
Thank you all for the warm welcome. Irish Artist and Krystal Drohan - I am SO GLAD you will be painting A Mermaid too. Much more fun and informative than working alone. This is the first time I have ever tried the Venetian Technique.

Welcome Krystal!! and you have made such a good start on the 'Mermaid'!! Love your colors.

Betty, yes, it is better working with others, you will see that no one copy will really look quite like the Master, we are all individuals and our paintings will reflect that fact. If you are trying the Venetian Tech. for the first time, bear in mind that you should take the underpainting as far as possible before glazing the colors over the underpainting. The colors should be painted in layers with the underpainting influencing the outcome, even though at the end very little of the underpainting will actually show. I've heard some of my classmates saying "what! Won't the gray underpainting make muddy colors if it shows through!" Not so, hard to believe but I've done it myself and the results are amazing.

05-03-2005, 05:43 PM
Lorraine, you are really moving along quickly with this one! How do you work so fast girl? :D This is really coming along great! :clap: Love the shade of red your using for her dress. What flavor is that? I think the red Waterhouse used was more muted though... kinda like yours better. :wink2:

Krystal, Lookin' good! You're making good progress on Mermaids. :clap:

Man, how do you guys paint so fast. :p :D I began blocking in my underpainting today but didn't get very far and I worked on it for at least 2 hours off and on. I'll hopefully be able to post an update tomorrow. Feels good to be doing another Waterhouse. :p


05-03-2005, 06:33 PM
Edit : The dress is NOT that red IRL - digital photography - grrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!....Betty - how long have you been painting ?

Your start is great too,Lorraine. I wouldn't worry too much about the red at this stage, camera or not. I was pretty shocked when I saw how vivid the colors were in my first coloured layer which I posted today I took comfort in something mentioned in Carey Griffel's DADs thread on Waterhouse: " I was fascinated to see a picture of a microscopic flake from one of his paintings. It quite clearly had at least ten layers of paint, not terribly thin, but not terribly thick, either. Also, each layer was quite clearly a different color. Some were fairly close in value/hue, but other layers were different colors entirely!"

I have been painting on weekends for about the last three years, not counting a childhood spent painting and drawing and a bunch of paintings produced in my twenties (self taught). Alas, it was of of the roads not taken but six months ago I decided its never too late to explore such roads and I took early retirement. Ever since, I can't stop :) and dancing and singing :music: and, of course, painting!

RhiannonJ: Thank you so much for your encouraging words on my start and your understanding words of sympathy. Hope Tigger has met up with Jesse and Rocky by now. :cat: I am falling in love with the Venetian methods. It feels like magic. It also seems a more forgiving way of painting. The only thing is you have to wait for the paint to dry between layers. Everything I learned about this technique I learned from lurking on Wet Canvas - thanks to yourself and many of the other painters who generously contribute information and inspiration to the oil painting threads. :clap:


05-03-2005, 10:22 PM
Betty - Your painting is looking lovely! The color is looking really good!

Good luck with the Venetian Technique. I am still new to this style of painting so I am interested in hearing what you think about this techinique!

Lorraine - Her dress is fantastic!!!! What kind of reds are you using!

Your color overall is fantastic! This is going to be a lovely painting!

Krystal - Your bright colors are wonderful!

I am still working on the drawing! It will be nice to catch up with you!

Barb Solomon :cat:

05-04-2005, 11:28 AM
Krsytal--your Mermaid is looking good! I am so glad you have joined us! anticipating your next installment--it is going great thus far!

Rhi--Your prelim sketch is great--I like how you don't fuss over things here --looks like just the right amount of "information" to get a good start! I am watching for your next stage!

BJG--so sorry about your kitty--(yours too Rhi!) I lost my Ginger last year in an accident and it still breaks my heart. I know they are all playing and happy and young at the bridge! :cat: Your Mermaid is looking positively splendid! You have to be pleased!!

Squib--Love that dress!! wooo woooo--you've got all the lushness going on there and you did it directly! really impressive!! I love all the beautiful graceful curves and geometry of this painting!

I am sure it will be the weekend before I can post anything! meanwhile it is GREAT to see the progress you are all making!
:clap: :wave:

Carey Griffel
05-04-2005, 11:33 AM
Don't you people know that you have til the end of the month to finish these?? Stop going so fast! ;) :p

Seriously, though, it's great seeing all of you getting into it!

Betty--really like the colors you've already got! Glad you could join in! :)

Lorraine...what can I say? I'm so impressed with yours already! It's beautiful!

Rhi--looks like you've got a good foundation sketch, looking forward to updates!

Krystal...nice start!

Alas, I can't manage to get past my current projects yet, but...the month is still young! :)

I'm really looking forward to more updates from you all...and anyone else who joins! These threads are always so fun.


05-04-2005, 12:17 PM
Hi guys,
Thanks everyone for the great feedback thus far. I have wanted to participate for awhile, I just could never make it in on time. LOL Thanks for the warm welcome celestia. This is the progress I have made so far today. Maybe if I finish this one in time I will try my hand at "Destiny". It seems everyone has got a great start already.

05-04-2005, 04:19 PM
Celeste , thanks for all the great info particularly the Venetian Technique, I found it very educational. Havent been on since March, missed April, and not sure I will do this one, but I am sure I will be inspired as I see what everybody does.
Richard 2

irish artist
05-04-2005, 04:25 PM
Krystal, it's amazing! You're practically done!! and a good work too!!

I'm still working on the under painting and will post what I done so far, bear in mind that I've a ways to go yet........ :(

Carey Griffel
05-04-2005, 05:16 PM
I don't know if this happens to anyone else, but sometimes I don't like one of the particular selections. And then I watch some of you paint it. And then, lo and behold, I am amazed at how much I do, in fact, like it!

That's happening this month with the mermaid. Didn't really care for it when I first saw it; I guess I didn't really *look* at it. But you guys are just doing such a good job that I'm starting to really like that picture! :p

I think that says something about you guys. ;)

Good job!


05-04-2005, 05:40 PM
Hi All,

Have not been able to paint at all today - frustrating - and it's too late to start now !

Wow, everyone's work is looking so good. Those mermaids are really coming on.

How do you work so fast girl? :D - Rhi

BIG brushes Rhi, big brushes !! The red is a mix of Carmine and Rose Madder. It will be more muted eventually - it might even be a different colour altogether :D by the time I'm finished.

Betty - you paint like a pro !! No, it's never too late to explore ALL the roads we want. There is still so much I want to do with my life, and the clock is ticking. Need to get more ME time.

Barb - where's your drawing ?? :)

Celeste - look forward to seeing your progress.

Yes, Carey, the month is still VERY young. You have plenty of time to join us later on. And yes - when I looked at the choices for this month, I thought Destiny was far too complicated, and I wasn't particularly keen on the piece anyway. I chose it because I felt it was the lesser of the two evils. :D But since I started painting it, I have discovered that I LOVE it - and it's NOT a complicated painting at all. The more I look at this painting - the more appreciation I have for the artist.

Krystal - yours is looking gorgeous.

Hi Richard :wave:

Irish - looking very good.

Back tomorrow. :)

05-04-2005, 10:07 PM
Carey - I hope that you can get your other work done! It would be really nice to see a “Waterhouse” from you! Good luck with everything!

It is funny how some paintings can grow on you! :)

Kystal - The colors are looking so rich and lovely! I love your ocean! :clap:

Richard- Thanks for stopping in and cheering us on!:cool:

IrishArtist- Your going great! I love the lighting in your painting!:clap:

Lorraine - I’m still working on it! :D

Barb Solomon :cat:

05-04-2005, 11:35 PM
Squib -- Gosh Lorraine, what a wonderful compliment! I am so pumped now that I could almost paint all night. But I won't, because I am already reeling from the turps today! I lurked for so long on Wet Canvas because I didn't have a whole lot of confidence in my abilities, and you and others on this thread kept raising the bar (and rightly so)! Maybe that's why I chose A Mermaid as my debut - I felt a bit like a fish out of water myself! :D So, thank you all again for the warm welcome AND the feedback. I am having so much fun reading your comments and seeing your progress too, while painting and learning myself - even more so than when I was a lurker. Irish and Krystal - your mermaids are so amazing and each of us have brought so much of ourselves to the Master! Wow! Zowie! I am still hoping there are others out there who will join us. The more the merrier. And, if there are other MOM lurkers out there - jump on in - the waters FINE! You won't drown even if you jump in at the deep end :wave: There will be lots of friends to keep an eye on you.

It may be a few days before I post another WIP. I am finding these thin layers of glaze don't show much progress to the digital camera but each morning when I get up and look at my gal, I can see subtle differences. But boy, am I learning patience. I almost need someone to come in after four hours or so and take the brush out of my hand! I just want to keep painting and painting. Forget letting the darned thing dry for a day :evil:

Cheers, Betty

05-06-2005, 03:07 AM
wow. this is my first peek at the May MOM, and you are all shining bright already. great to see some new talent aboard.
Betty & Krystal :wave: Nice to meet you. :)
you are doing wonderful. Lorraine & Irish also :clap: :clap:

05-06-2005, 07:24 PM
Wonderful start everyone....... :clap: :clap: ....I love Waterhouse and I'm really enjoying this thread....what a treat...... :D :D
cheers kim

05-07-2005, 10:14 AM
Hi All :wave: ,

Well, what a frustrating week this has been - not much oil painting done, I'm afraid. I did a couple of Acrylic Still Lifes though.

How are you all doing ?? It's weekend, so maybe we'll see some updates in this thread. Come on - keep painting ! We're learning with every single brushstroke.

Betty - I know what you mean about not wanting to stop. I could paint all night - but then my family would die of starvation - or would they ???? :evil:

Hi Trisha & Kim, thanks for popping in. You could always join us you know !!!

Barb - are you still so busy ? Hope you manage to get some painting in this weekend. :)

My latest update - subtle changes, nothing dramatic. I have started on the second layer of the furniture; have knocked the floor back a bit; worked on her dress. Still need to redo the sky & sea, in fact, everything reflected in the mirror will have another couple of layers. I'm leaving the flesh till later. I need to do a study to get the flesh palette right. This one may take longer then I planned - but that's OK. I'm not going anywhere. I've stopped for today - I need to prepare somthing really nice for supper.

Looking forward to seeing all your updates.


05-07-2005, 11:54 AM
Hi all! :wave: Well I have started to slow down a bit with it now. I need to start putting in all the little details. I have finished the crashing waves and almost finished her tail. I still have a ways to go, before she is finished, but what a good start huh ;) LOL ! I am posting a close up as well. Looking forward to everyone elses updates.
Lorraine- :wave: Yours is coming along beautifully. I thought it looked the more difficult of the 2, but you have made it look easy. If I finish the mermaid in time I just may try "Destiny". :D

05-07-2005, 12:25 PM
good day MOM-er's! I wish I had something to post today--but I don't! I AM hoping to get a good start and I don't want to rush it! Meanwhile, however I am enjoying the entries!
Krystal--I like what you have done!! that tail looks so exceptional! The entire thing is coming together really nicely--GREAT WORK!
Betty BJ...how have you liked working "venetian"? I am torn between venetian and direct--Your painting is looking SUPERB!
Irish--love the blue/gray water-y look in your entire painting--I am tuned in for the next installment!
Carey--you are right it is early in the month (that is what I am counting on too! lol) I agree with you that our participants are making me *appreciate* Mermaid.
Richard2--thanks for commenting--! Hope that you will join us, it is good to have you here!
Lorraine--your Destiny is looking fantastic!! The more I look at that painting the more I love all the shapes--you have nailed those shapes and your fabric is gorgeous!!
Keep up the GREAT work!!--I hope to have something of my own to post soon! any lurkers out there? jump in!

05-07-2005, 01:12 PM
Hi everybody :wave:

Great things going on here :clap: - still not sure if I'm going to get to join in on this, during the month (and I've still got my "Hylas and the Nymphs" waiting patiently for me to get back to it :o )

It's probably borderline, but I've stuck a "butt" icon on the thread in case anyone gets offended by the Mermaid's 36-24- & £2/lb ! :D


05-07-2005, 02:04 PM
........... & £2/lb ! :D


LOL - Where do you shop ??? I get my mermaid tails a lot cheaper than that !!! :)

05-07-2005, 02:21 PM
Dave- You are just too funny! :D LOL

Lorraine- She is looking spectacular! That fabric is superb :clap: Your WIP is looking Spot On Girl. But then I don't think that I have seen any thing of your's that isn't great.

Krystal- Wow you have really nailed the texture and shiny coloring of her tail. (boy that sound kinda wierd)

Everyone is really doing so well with these two pieces. You should all be very proud of yourselves. :clap: :clap: :clap:

I am enjoying the opportunity to just sit back (metaphorically speaking) and watch all the WIP's unfold!


05-07-2005, 03:06 PM
dcorc ~~ but A Mermaid has no butt :angel: and my hubby is already complaining about the good bit being hidden by her arm. Maybe now that she is X-Rated he will take more of a prurient interest in my painting.
Lorraine ~~ where do YOU shop? I want that red dress! And the sash. Luscious colours :clap:
Krystal ~~ "what a good start huh" You got that right - and it looks like you are speeding smoothly and confidently along through the middle too :clap:
I have started working on my X-Rated lady's fleshy bits but gotta admit I have fallen off the Venetian wagon. I found myself painting rather thickly and wet on wet when I got to her skin. I used WN Transparent Yellow, Cobalt Blue, Permanent Rose and Soft Mixing White. I did a lot of mixing and smoothing with my bare naked fingers (but I was dressed :angel: ) until I realized the Soft Mixing White had a lead warning label on the back. Whoops :eek: So on went the rubber gloves - which I hate :evil:
She is going to take several days to dry so this weekend I am going to start on my seashell foreground - or see if I want to add my own touches to the master. I'm flying blind on this bit so may change my mind if it turns out awful.

05-07-2005, 04:39 PM
Hey Everybody is doing so great on this MOM. Many beautiful works already on the way.

Watching with much interesting all of you!! :D :wave:

05-08-2005, 01:55 PM
I finally got far enough to show you my “Destiny”. I will catch up with you in a bit but I wanted to let you see her! So far, I seem to be having a slightly inelegant start, but I don’t sense that there are any serious problems.

I am a little concerned about the length of the girl’s arms from elbow to shoulder (and elbow to wrist. I also am wondering about the hand that is on the side away from the viewer.

I also got into a bit of a rush and tried to remove the charcoal too soon from my line drawing. It smeared the outline a bit. Again I don’t think that this will be that serious a problem.

Let me know now if you see anything that I really need to fix!

My next step is to make a burnt umber (and/or burnt sienna) underpainting.

Barb Solomon :cat:

05-08-2005, 05:20 PM
Betty - Keep up the good work! Your mermaid is looking pretty fabulous!

Lorraine - Your Waterhouse is looking great! The girl’s dress is looking fantastic!

Krystal - Your colors are fantastic! Your mermaid is wonderful!

celestia - Thanks for stopping by to cheer us on! I am really looking forward to seeing your painting!

Wouldn’t it be great if more folks stopped by to give this a try!

Dave - Good luck with your painting! Thanks for dropping in!

Hey, Jodi! It’s good to see you!

Barb Solomon :cat:

irish artist
05-08-2005, 07:15 PM
Barb, About the drawing, I'd say the face is a little on the small side and you want to have it cocked as if she's about to drink?? Glad you started your 'Destiny' :)

05-08-2005, 07:48 PM
Irish Artist - Thanks, I check the head, face and hands again! :cool:

Barb Solomon :cat:

05-10-2005, 04:45 AM
I´m new to oil painting and this is my first master of the month.

05-10-2005, 09:45 AM
Hi everyone! :wave: I am still moving along. I just worked some more on my mermaids face yesterday. Everyone's work is coming along so nicely I find myself being a bit impatient ,waiting to see all the progress updates. :p LOL

PennyLane- I am in the same boat as you are. I am new to oils as well ,and this is also my first Master of the Month. ;) Your "Destiny" looks great so far. I can't wait to see the progress.
IrishArtist-Your mermaid is looking fabulous! I love the soft colors.
Barb- Glad to finally see yours. LOL It looks great so far.
Jodi- Thanks for the comments on my mermaids tail. :) I myself, am quite pleased at how it turned out.
Celestia-Thanks for the wonderful comments!When can we see yours? LOL I am dying here to see everyone's start. :D
Well, I guess I am off to work some more on mine. Will post a new pic when enough has changed to actually be noticable.LOL :wave:

Carey Griffel
05-10-2005, 10:23 AM
Hey everyone...still been enjoying watching you all!! :)

Lorraine--yours is really, really looking great! I love the colors you have and that fabric, woo!

Krystal...your mermaid is very pretty. ;) I agree that you have the reflective tail really great!

Betty--I just love reading your comments. :D I am really enjoying watching your progess!

Barb...you've got a great start to yours!

Penny--wow, I love that three-dimentionalness you already have...the look on her face is superb!

Everyone, seriously, you guys are doing sooooooo good this month, I am incredibly impressed with you all! You look like you're having so much fun!!!


05-10-2005, 03:18 PM
Hi All,

I haven't done a lot more on mine, but did start on her face, and I think I messed up - so may be scraping it off later !!! :mad: :mad:

You are all doing so well :clap: :clap: :clap:

Krystal and Betty - your mermaids look beautiful. I really think I will do that one as well. Dreading painting the sea though. I used to paint lakes, rivers etc. but haven't painted any water in about 3 years now. Not too sure if I can still do it :confused:

Hi Irish - how's yours coming along ??

Dave - hope you can join in. :)

Hi Rose & Jodi :wave:

Barb, you got your drawing done. :) I think Irish is right about the size of the face - maybe a little bigger ???

Hi Ragga - :wave: and welcome. It's so nice to have you joining us. For someone who is new to oil painting, you are doing a wonderful job.

Hi Carey :wave:

Back later - keep painting. :)

05-10-2005, 08:58 PM
Penny Lane - Welcome to Wet Canvas and our Masters of the Month thread! It is really nice to meet you! You are off to a fantastic start! This is going to be a wonderful painting! :wave:

I would have never guessed that you were new to oils! Did you paint in another medium before? Your colors are lovely! :clap: :clap:

Krystal - Thanks so much! I am looking forward to seeing your mermaid!

Carey - Thanks for the good word!

Lorraine - I’m sorry to hear of your set back!

Thanks for the advice, I’m going to check my proportions again!

Barb Solomon :cat:

05-11-2005, 04:34 AM
Good going everyone. It is fun to watch you work your magic.

PennyLane, - that is a marvellous face you have there.

Carey, I know what you mean. Now i wish i had time to join in. Alas, - a workshop looms & have other plans for some still life's. If i did all the MOMs i would have no time for anything else. :eek:

Never-the-less, i like to watch. :D

irish artist
05-11-2005, 05:36 AM
Hi Irish - how's yours coming along ??

Back later - keep painting. :)

It's coming along slow but sure. I'm correcting small defects and keeping an eye out for others. I'm going pretty large-30x 60-an old canvas, and the pure size is making lots of work. I had to look around the Web for a better sample of the 'Mermaid', get some new printer ink, new printer paper and finally up loaded and printed a better reference to paint by. I will probably post an update this coming weekend.

I read somewhere, in an article about improving your career, that painting two hours per day was recommended and I try to do that plus extra on weekends. Masters of the Month is great practice.

05-11-2005, 09:42 AM
Wow!! Everyone's really moving along nicely! Sorry I haven't been around and haven't posted an update. I received my new PC last Wednesday and it took about three days to get it set up and configured and I've been swamped with work! I haven't picked up a brush in about a week. :( Good news is this new PC kicks some [email protected]@!! :p :D

Things are starting to settle down a tad so hope to be back at it maybe today or tomorrow. Weekend is out though because I'll be attending a workshop.. no, not painting. :D


05-11-2005, 05:14 PM
Hi again MOMers! :wave:

I got to paint for a bit today and just thought I'd post an update. I hope to finish the block in by Friday. She's coming along pretty good. Can't wait to get to the actual painting. :D



05-11-2005, 11:44 PM
Biki - It’s good to see you!

Irish Artist - It is good to here that things are going along well!

Two hours a day makes sense. It is a minimum, of course! Most professional artist will work more thatn that. But I can see someone, making it a point to paint 2 hours a day. It’s like the writer who tries to write 2 pages a day.

Rhi - I’m glad that you get a chance to join us! The colors in your painting are gorgeous! It is really looking good! Keep up the good work!

Barb Solomon :cat:

05-12-2005, 04:04 AM
Oh- O, spaghetti O

here comes Rhi, the Waterhouse "mistress" to knock you all off your horses.

go girlfriend - show them how it is done. :D

you know it really IS fun to watch. I don't have a darn thing to prove. :p

:D :D

i suppose i will contribute something by telling you all about my workshop coming up this Saturdee. I will post in the OILS forum if there is anything of interest to share.


05-12-2005, 11:15 AM
Hi guys :wave:
Wow! everyone is doing soooo well!
Everything is going ok with my mermaid, I'm not too happy right now with her face. I still need to do a little work on it. I am focusing right now on getting the foreground done.
And...I have decided that what the heck and started "Destiny" as well. LOL! :D . I just started it yesterday . Just trying to lay in some colors right now. The month is still young, it will definatly be a challenge to see if I can finish them both! Well good luck everyone with your progress! I can't wait untill the end to see how everyone's paintings turn out.

05-12-2005, 01:36 PM
Oh- O, spaghetti O

here comes Rhi, the Waterhouse "mistress" to knock you all off your horses.

go girlfriend - show them how it is done. :D

you know it really IS fun to watch. I don't have a darn thing to prove. :p

:D :D

i suppose i will contribute something by telling you all about my workshop coming up this Saturdee. I will post in the OILS forum if there is anything of interest to share.


Biki, LOL!! You are too much!! I'll do my best, girl. Haven't had much time to work on her lately and probably won't until next week. Maybe I'll sneak in a bit of time today and tomorrow though :p

Hey, lemme know how the workshop goes. I'm attending a workshop this weekend myself but it doesn't have anything to do with painting... more to do with that School I told ya about. ;) :D


05-12-2005, 03:29 PM
Wow - all of the Destiny's and Mermaid's are looking good :clap: I am back on the Venetian wagon (or should that be the Venetian gondola :D ) so it is slow going with the glazing plus it took me forever to decide whether to mess with the Master and add my shells. I decided, to just put in one - a conch - mostly because the idea and the beginning of this painting started in The Bahamas, where I just moved back from - I think that is why the colors are looking decidedly Caribbean ;) though it is very early yet in the painting so who knows what the colors will be by the tenth layer of glaze!

Carey Griffel
05-12-2005, 04:17 PM
Betty--it's just getting better and better!

Krystal...holy smokes! You are going strong this month, aren't you? :D Looks great! ...And what an interesting room you seem to have! Can we see a larger picture of that? :)

Rhi--yay! I love what's going on already!

Hope I didn't miss anyone's updates.


05-12-2005, 04:38 PM
LOL! Thanks Carey. The room that you see behind the painting is my office/art room. It was such a bland room to begin with. I have 3 kids so I wanted to create a space all my own. It is supposed to kinda look like an old crumbling ruin. Here are some pics. Hope this gives you an idea of how my room looks. :) :wave:

05-13-2005, 11:06 AM
Biki - I am looking forward to hearing all about your workshop! I hope that you enjoy it and learn a lot! I can’t wait to see what you paint as a result!

Krystal - Your mermaid is looking beautiful! Your colors are wonderfully rich looking. I can see what you mean about the features. You are off to a great start on “Destiny”! Good luck with everything!

Your murals in your room are absolutely wonderfull! What a great idea! It is beautifully painted too!

Betty - I am going to try the Venetian method too! It does make the colors and texture look nice. The variation of colors in different places in your painting is really wonderful! It is really looking great!

Carey - It’s good to see you!

Well, I have a bit more of my underpainting! Eventually, I will add glazes using the Venetian technique that Tina described. I am still working on fixing the face and hands.

Carey Griffel
05-13-2005, 04:56 PM
Wow, Krystal, that is just so darn cool! Your room is beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I really love that "stained glass" angel and the castle views. Oooo!

Lookin' good, Barb!


05-15-2005, 04:06 AM
Wonderful work everyone. :clap: :clap: :clap: Mine seems to be going slowly (could be because I just don't have enough time !!!). I hope to post an update later this evening. We are out for the day - my husband is in a boat race on the Thames. I'll take some photos.

Krystal, what a beautiful room !!!

05-15-2005, 09:36 AM
Amazing work!!

I just discovered this MOM group -- I am trying to copy "The Water Seller", which is ancient history for you!

I hope I can attempt to paint these -- I knew almost nothing about Waterhouse before I read here.

This just seems incredibly ambitious -- the composition on "Destiny" and the skin/scales of th Mermaid I think would be very difficult. I am full of admiration for you all.

Question for Lorraine: how do you achieve such a brilliantly accurate drawing? I think I would fiddle with the drawing so long that I'd never get to the painting stage.

Great job, everyone.

05-15-2005, 11:45 PM
Thanks Carey!

Lorraine - I know about things getting busy! That’s been happening to me a lot lately. I hope that you get a chance to post soon - I’m looking forward to seeing your painting! :)

Welcome, Mary! It’s really nice to meet you! Actually, I keep meaning to finish my Waterseller up! :wave:

I hope that you give the MOM’s a chance. It’s a great way to learn more about painting! If you are doing one of the old MOM's, I would just periodically post your progress. You will probably find quite a few stopping in to see your work!

I have been busy this weekend painting! I’m still working on the underpainting. Right now, I am concentrating on the background!

Barb Solomon :cat:

05-16-2005, 12:46 AM
Rhi, Crystal, Betty and Barb nice paintings coming out.

Crystal you are so brave!! Both of them??? What a corage.

Well done to all of you. :clap: :clap: :wave: :D

05-16-2005, 02:44 AM
Thank you for the lovely welcome. I am sitting here in admiration of your underpainting. Looks like you've got everything in place. One intriguing thing about this painting that isn't obvious at first is that there is a second face behind the woman holding the bowl. You can't really see it on the small reproductions -- but there it is in your rendering!

I would post progress on my "Watersellers" copy, but I'm not too good at the Image Posting thing yet. (also don't know how to put a picture next to my name). I know there's lots of information on wetcanvas, but the site is so ...vast! I get lost in reading just one area, next thing you know it's 3 hours later.

Why did I bother getting a BA in Art History, there's so much more on Wetcanvas.

Well, this is very exciting to watch all you gifted people paint. I have bookmarked this page.


irish artist
05-16-2005, 05:36 AM
Mary, I'm a school student also and can testify that Wetcanvas! can help alot towards understanding art and its history. There are many actual working artists here who will give tips, demos, ect.

About the drawing on canvas, you should begin in your sketch book, sketching out the idea until you are happy with it and then use a projector of grid system to tranfer it to your canvas. In the sketchbook, you can erase and re-draw to your hearts content. Trying that on the canvas would make a mess. More confident, experienced artists use a liner brush and thin paint and draw the idea with that, wiping out mistakes.

irish artist
05-16-2005, 05:41 PM
Posting an up-date on the 'Mermaid'

05-16-2005, 06:40 PM
Lookin' good Barb and Irish! Here's where I left off last Thursday. Haven't worked on it since and may not for a few more days or so. I attended a workshop on "Creating Your Reality" this weekend and right now my brain is full of physics and all I can see are the neurons in my brain firing and flashing! :D :p Seriously though, if everyone had this knowledge the world would definitely be a better place. ;)



05-17-2005, 12:03 AM
Thanks, Rose!

Mary - I love that reflection too! It is one of those details that really adds to this painting!

I’ll be happy to help if you have any questions about posting. (Making avatars can be fun too!)

I love this sort of historical painting. I studied “studio art”, first as a pastelist and now as an oil painter. I do find that I really learn quite a bit from wet canvas.

Irish Artist - I love how your Mermaid is looking! I love your choice of color -it’s so rich and intense!:clap: :clap: :clap:

Rhi - You going along great! The red in the dress is incredible!
:clap: :clap::clap:

Barb Solomon :cat:

05-17-2005, 10:05 AM
Thanks so much for your offer of help, Barb. I might take you up on it.

Funny -- until Rhi mentioned the "mirror", I wasn't even aware that the sea scene and the second face are actually reflections in the mirror. Doh!

I think I have to splurge on that Trippi book that everyone talked about. Wow, our man Waterhouse was sure a prolific artist.

Irish, dear, I bet I'm old enough to be your mother! I went through school ... oh, a bunch of years ago. Am trying to learn painting at my advanced age -- when I went through school no one was teaching representational painting. So thank your lucky stars you have an early start with school and this site. What a Godsend. Your painting is looking great.

In fact all the paintings here are looking great! I am enjoying this so much.

Mary :cat:

05-17-2005, 03:49 PM
Rhi - That sounds like it was a great workshop!

Mary - The mirror does make the image confusing!

Thanks everyone for the encouragement with my “Destiny”. I am going to work on it a bit tonight!

Barb Solomon :cat:

05-18-2005, 03:42 AM
Hey Barb?

This is Off Topic --
but my daughter and I are having a debate about that hat you are wearing in the picture next to your name.

Please tell us -- what is it? And settle a bet... :)


05-18-2005, 09:14 AM
Hi everyone! :wave:
Well here are the updates on my "Destiny" and "The Mermaid". I haven't had much time to do a whole lot over the weekend. My three year old tripped on a lounge chair , collapsing it and cut off the end of her finger. We got to ride in an ambulance to the hospital where they sewed it back on. Time was of the essence, but I believe we saved it and it is going to be fine now. :) I got to do a little work on them both yesterday. I did some more touch ups on my mermaids face. I am not too incredibly happy with it but I am happy enough not to mess with it anymore LOL! I managed to get a good bit done on "Destiny". I pretty much have all the colors in , just a matter of building up everything now, and adding all the details. :) Hopefully I will have them both finished soon. :p

05-18-2005, 05:35 PM
Mary - I’m sorry that it took so long for me to get back to you, but the photo that I used for my avatar was taken of me when I was at Disney World. I am wearing “Daisy Duck” hat!

Who won?

Krystal - Oh my goodness! I hope that everything works out ok for your child!

Destiny is really looking good! Your color is fantastic!

The Mermaid’s tale is fantastic! Check the depth of her head. It may be me, but something may be off. Overall, you are doing a fantastic job on the Mermaid! Your colors are wonderful!

Barb Solomon :cat:

05-18-2005, 11:30 PM
Hi MOMs! I am enjoying this SO much - learning to be patient and working verrrrry sloooowly (I think I may always use the Venetian Technique in future - with a wee bit of Impressionism thrown in when I get tired of watching paint dry and can't stop ) :rolleyes: AND I am really enjoying watching my fellow fisherwomen reveal their Mermaids each week - we are all SO different in our approach, colors, styles, and viewpoints - it is sooooo interesting and it is giving me confidence that one CAN do one's own 'ting. :music: Trust me, I needed this! Perhaps Betty has finally got her groove?! :cool: I am also learning equally from the Verrrrry LOVELY Destiny's that are being unveiled. :clap: Well done everybody. Such talent and energy. I just finished most of my figure (attached) and will now work on the forground and background and detail work (AFTER the paint dries, of course :angel: ) Someone said on this thread, or another WetCanvas forum, that they can't work on two paintings at the same time - that is definitely me - I live, breath and eat this Mermaid - loving her and hating her at all hours of the day and night. Can't manage to work on any other art at the same time. I admire thoise that can juggle 2 or 3 others. Just as well - it is Victoria Day - a long weekend in Canada coming up - need to get a breather from the turps before I start to grow a tail! :cat:
Warm regards, Betty

05-18-2005, 11:45 PM
Great job, Betty!!!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Barb Solomon :cat:

05-19-2005, 04:46 AM
Barb --

:cool: Ha ha, that's great. Well, my daughter won the bet! I said it was a horse-riding livery hat, and I called my daughter in to show her (she rides English-style). My daughter, K., typical 13-yr-old said, "Noooo Mom, that's Daisy Duck." So she wins! But in any case, you look really cute in it!

Betty, I am so admiring your rich, vibrant color!! Wow, I prefer your color choices to H20House's original. His "Mermaid" on my monitor looks very muted, and I am having trouble toning it down enough in my painting. My colors look too cheerful and bright. Betty, what's your secret to keeping the vibrancy while lowering the color intensity?

I need to go back and find the write-up on the Venetian Technique. Is that the secret, Betty, and can you tell me what colors you are using in what sequence? Only if you have time...

My "Mermaid" has too long a body (she has an Ingres back, but don't hold that against her :p ). I have to figure out how to photo it and post it, so you all can help me fix her!

Great work, all,

05-19-2005, 10:46 AM

Betty, I am so admiring your rich, vibrant color!! Wow, I prefer your color choices to H20House's original. His "Mermaid" on my monitor looks very muted, and I am having trouble toning it down enough in my painting. My colors look too cheerful and bright. Betty, what's your secret to keeping the vibrancy while lowering the color intensity?

I need to go back and find the write-up on the Venetian Technique. Is that the secret, Betty, and can you tell me what colors you are using in what sequence? Only if you have time...


Mary - Your H2OHouse nickname is great. Thank you for the lovely comment (and you too, Barb!) My camera probably lowers my color intensity lower than it really is though my hubby and friends who have seen the painting in person all have commented that they like my colors better than "the original" too. I hated all the versions I found on the Web (some were quite orange, others quite blue - all pretty gloomy) They are probably more muted than the real painting. Wish I could fly over to England and check out H2OHouse's in person. I have put on so many different colors (as the spirit moves me) that I can't begin to remember which ones and in what order, but if I have any secret it is LOTS of medium, very LITTLE paint at each sitting, and copious use of paper towels and fingers (in rubber gloves) to wipe and smooth - I hardly have used my brushes! I am pretty new to painting and this is my first try at underpainting and glazing so I am not really sure what I am doing - just that I am having fun (most of the time)and learning lots (by experimenting). I hope you can post your H20House sooon
:wave: Betty

05-19-2005, 11:19 AM
Mary - Hehe! Well, at least, I can understand how you might not have thought of my hat being a “Daisy Duck” hat! :D :D

Thanks so much! I was having a blast the day that photo was taken!

Good luck with your mermaid!

Barb Solomon :cat:

05-19-2005, 03:44 PM
How are the MOMs going???

Some beautiful way and use of colors so far. Well done everyone!!!

:D :clap: :wave:

05-19-2005, 05:20 PM
Hi All,

Goodness, you lot are going ahead in leaps and bounds !!!!

Question for Lorraine: how do you achieve such a brilliantly accurate drawing? I think I would fiddle with the drawing so long that I'd never get to the painting stage. - Mary

Mary, I am OK at drawing, and often draw freehand, but for this one I used a grid. Otherwise I would have been drawing for hours !!!

You are all doing so well. I have done nothing on mine for well over a week now. I hope this is not going to be another unfinished MOM !! :o :o I plan to work on her on Saturday if nothing gets in the way. I need to get a move on though, as I really want to do a Monet next month. :)

05-20-2005, 10:21 PM
Hi, I am new here, and so stoked to have found wetcanvas. I am really interested in taking part in the MOM for May...love the paintings!
I haven't used oils before so this is going to be a real challenge for me...I was using acrylics and found that it is time to expand my horizons....
I have a question though...the oil paints I have were given to me by a dear friend, and they were her grandfathers ...Do they spoil over time?? Some of them are really thick and I figured I could thin them out with terps...
Looking forward to any advice and meeting people too! :)


Carey Griffel
05-20-2005, 10:45 PM
Hi, Melinda! How nice that you've found us. :) We'll be glad to see your Waterhouse attempt!! As for using old oil paints...they ought to be just fine! You might find a bit of hardening, but as long as they've been sealed in their tubes, they ought to be reasonably okay as oil paint "dries" by oxidation (chemical reaction with oxygen). The oil forum is a friendly bunch and if you can't find the answers to your questions from searching, you'll find a lot of advice and recommendation by asking. There's so much info here it's mind boggling!

Betty--I love seeing your updates!

Krystal...looks like you've made some excellent progress. I was, however, dismayed to hear about your little girl! :eek: ...So glad that you made it to the hospital in time!


05-20-2005, 11:07 PM
Hi Melinida :clap: I too was so happy, and also, stoked, to discover WetCanvas (as another newbie and self taught oil painter). It was by chance, through a GOOGLE search. I still had/have lots of tiny tubes of oil paint from when I was 9 nine years old (don't ask!) and guess what - I used them for my Mermaid underpainting for this month's MOM, and also some rough oil sketches for paintings I worked on in the year before that. That is what is so lovely about oils - they are like that Energizer bunny - they just keep going and going and going with a little help from turps...it also helps that I am GREEN (translation: recylcling/cheap) so I just about use every ounce of paint on my "palette" before I call it a wrap for the night. Welcome again, and I am looking forward to seeing your MOM - it has seemed a bit slow this month with participation, but maybe it is just me becauseI am so excited to be participating for the first time, after many months as a "lurker, " that I can hardly wait to see who, and what, has been posted each day.
p.s. I also have tons of tubes of acrylic from my early days, but can't even imagine going back to them! I wonder is the Sally Anne/Goodwill would like them :angel:

05-20-2005, 11:58 PM
Betty - That may have been me! I prefer doing one painting at a time! It is easier to concentrate!

Your mermaid is looking great! Your colors are so rich looking!
:clap: :clap: :clap:

Mary - That was a neat beat between you and your daughter! (I can see how you might not have thought of a Daisy Duck hat!)

Keep up the good work on your mermaid!

Rose - Thanks for the encouragement!

Lorraine - Good luck with the Waterhouse! You’ll do it!!!

Melinda - Welcome to WetCanvas! :wave: :wave: :wave:

Most of your oil paints should be good! I have had a couple of tubes go bad over the years, but it is pretty rare! If it isn’t acting right, you will know that the tube is bad. Drying out is one common problem with using old paint.

I hope that you can give our “Master of the Month” series a try! :cool:

Barb Solomon :cat:

05-21-2005, 10:33 AM
Back again...!
Well, I've done the sketch of Destiny...I had to graph it in ( have to practice drawing lol)...which took me hours!
Nice to meet you's Carry , Betty and Barb...Thanks for your input/advice...Im getting psyched now, going to jump right in and give it a go...!!!
Love the MOM's that are completed...Man am i up for a challenge!
Ill keep you posted as to my progress.....



Carey Griffel
05-21-2005, 01:40 PM
Ahh! Here I am!

Am I late? ;)


16x20, hardboard


05-21-2005, 04:22 PM
Melinda - I’m looking forward to seeing you work! I’m glad that you are going to join us! :cool: :cool:

Carey - Your initial sketch is lovely! Your Destiny Girl is lovely! I love your color! Your off to a great start! :clap: :clap:

Barb Solomon :cat:

05-21-2005, 04:32 PM
Hi Carey,
Sorry i mispelled your name before..oops!
Wow, your Destiny is looking great!!!
As for me, well, i am playing around with the colour ...
Im not sure if i am doing it right..I decided to go brighter?
eventually i will try and glaze heaps of layers on top....
like i said, i am not sure if i am doing it the correct way;;
( colour wise.) We'll see!
Anyway here is what i have done so far...
Any comments/advice is GREATLY appreciated! ;)


05-21-2005, 04:33 PM
There ya go Barb,,,what do you think of it so far???


05-21-2005, 04:41 PM
Melinda - Your off to a great start - the basic drawing and everything look fantastic! It will be interesting to see how your color experiment works out!
:clap: :clap:

Barb Solomon :cat:

05-21-2005, 04:53 PM
..wow, thanks for the compliment Barb!!! Well ...fingers crossed.....Im off to go paint some more... :p


irish artist
05-22-2005, 03:11 PM
Hi Carey!!! Welcome to the Waterhouse Master!!

Welcome Melinda!!

I hard at work on the 'Mermaid' and will post later today. The 'Mermaid' skin color is getting to be the real challenge, any tips..........Mermaid painters........... :confused:

05-22-2005, 08:59 PM
The 'Mermaid' skin color is getting to be the real challenge, any tips..........Mermaid painters........... :confused:
Hi Irish (p.s. I am also Irish - my roots in the 'ol sod are County Tyrone :wave: Whoa, you got that right - I am also real challenged by our Mermaid's skin. It is a holiday weekend here but raining (traditional on Victoria Day) so I just keep slopping over another verrrry thin wash over the whole figure in various thin concoctions. (Trust me, it take nerves of steel) Because I used such strong, so-called, vibrant colours in the first layers, they fortunately just keep bleeding through, but slowly, in a lower tone/value/hue (I don't know what I am talking about - can you tell ?) Sometimes I almost want to glaze the whole painting with a grey wash at this point and start over because I feel my painting looks too "Moderne" - kind of Paris Hilton Does A Cave. Sometimes I wish painting were like working on a computer and you could just press "don't save" and go back to what you had before! Notice that I am not posting an update .jpeg right now. I am going to wait a few more layers. I am too depressed (just kidding :cat: ) Anyways, glad I have some other Mermaids out there who feel my pain. This is one difficult Master - wish we could channel H2OHouse and ask him "What were you using...or smoking...to get such magical colors?!"

05-22-2005, 09:50 PM
Betty - I hope that you can hang in there with the Waterhouse! It may not seem as bright as you think that it does when people see it. :)

Barb Solomon:cat:

irish artist
05-23-2005, 05:38 AM
Thanks Betty, I'll try that--thin glazes and nerves of steel. (what a painting formula :rolleyes: )

irish artist
05-27-2005, 07:07 PM
Last weekend's work (posting late due to site downtime)

05-27-2005, 10:24 PM
Excellent Irish Artist! :clap: Glad you are hanging in there with me. I am posting what I have managed so far as an online fish out of water during the server's downtime :eek: :( I REALLY missed the feedback and the opportunity to see everybody's progress.) I really tried to maintain my nerves of steel but right now I am feeling under pressure to finish by month's end (left side of my brain will NOT be controlled :o ) and I now realize that this whole Venetian painting technique - thin layers, wait till it dries etc. is not condusive to monthlies. In fact Minnie (I have taken to thinking of her, in my darkest hours, as Minnie The Moocher) is looking very spotty (she is even possibly suffering from her monthly) because I have not had the luxury of waiting three or four days before the next glaze, every time, and the paint is gumming up and caking up and streaking ...LOL....I do intend to add some detail work on the background and one more glaze on Minnie (or two)...but I figured , just in case the server is spammed once again, before month's end, I should send an update...just in case it is my last one.

05-27-2005, 10:40 PM
Hi Betty - while we do the MOMs as one a month, we recognise that many of the paintings may take much longer than that to complete - so don't feel you've got to rush it to get it finished within the month! :)


05-28-2005, 12:06 AM
Irish - Your Mermaid is looking great! She looks fantastic! And I love those rocks in the background!:clap: :clap: :clap:

Betty - Your Mermaid is gorgeous! The color and textures is so rich and wonderful! The texture on your rocks in the backgound is absolutely fabulous!:clap: :clap: :clap:

I wouldn't get too worried about the month ending! I am sure that a few people will be working on it after the month is over!

Barb Solomon :cat:

05-28-2005, 07:01 AM
The server's downtime is my fault. I tried to post a picture of my Mermaid, but since the file size was so big I killed wetcanvas. Hahahahaha, that's really what I thought, which just tells you how little knowledge I have of the 'puter. I have to find a way to reduce the file size that won't take me all day (or all weekend).

I find the trick to softening is not glazing the paint layers --- but scumbling.

I sure wish I had that Trippi book now, or I could put my nose right up to the painting to see!

Great work, all!


irish artist
05-28-2005, 08:44 AM
Mair, I use Microsoft Picture It! program that came with my computer. Just open the Pictures file, highlight the one you want to change, open with Picture It!. Click on 'Formatt' to change the size.

While scumbling paint on a pre-painted area works for alot of situations, the skin color of the 'Mermaid' seems to be a real problem. There is so much skin and no real heavy shadow to help with the modeling. I want to shine a spotlight on her :eek: ---all the shading seems to be very subtle, indicating the muscles, the skeltal framework.

05-28-2005, 03:06 PM
Well, I had my son do this for me, and he says my Mermaid is too fat, so while I was on the phone he created the 3rd version. :D

Okay, the second Mermaid is after several layers of scumbling gradually lighter flesh tones with very de-oiled paint. The face is bad! Tweaked it here and there and now it looks like she's got amoebic dysentery or something.

Not finished! Not sure it will be finished! Getting bored with it, to tell you the truth.


05-28-2005, 09:15 PM
Keep up the good work, Mary! My "Destiny" is still waiting for me on my easel!

Barb Solomon :cat:

irish artist
05-29-2005, 08:52 AM
Mary, the 'Mermaid' is pure painting skill--trying to render the flesh, modeling the underlaying muscles, bones. There's nothing to excite the 'flashy' painter, no flowers, no sunsets. Even the sea has an 'over-cast' day look to it.

Love the humor in the diet stuff :D

I like the sketchy look of the 'Mermaid' your son rendered for you. Hang in there and finish the painting, you'll be glad you did. :clap:

05-30-2005, 06:51 AM
Don´t have to mutch time to do this :S But I´m still trying to finish, these are the most recent photos, I have painted a bit more though but these will have to do for now :)

irish artist
05-30-2005, 08:16 PM
Hey, way to go there, penny!! It doesn't seem as though there will be many persons finishing, just keep going and finish when you can. I think spring fever has caught up all the painters. Whoa...we all started off at top speed......and stalled on the way to the finish. Waterhouse has been a hard painter to copy.

05-30-2005, 10:56 PM
Except for a few tiny details - like the pearls, which I will eventually add, when I have recovered from this MOM- I have finished A Mermaid! :angel: It sure was a challenge but I learned a lot about the Venetian Technique of glazing and I really admire Waterhouse's work even more than I did at the start of the month. I look forward to seeing all of the other Mermaids and those Destiny's. But now it is time for a tall G & T :evil:
Cheers, Betty

05-31-2005, 02:16 AM
Here is the latest of my effort for Destiny...Lyquin has left it with a sort of gloss , which i didnt realise until i took photos....oops..Guess i'll have to go over it ???Is that the right thing to do?..I am also having trouble with her hands-cant figure out what it is i am doing wrong.... and hair as well , and I dont know who she looks like, but not like Waterhouses Destiny!...oops...:) Anyway, Advice and critiqing is much appreciated, cause i am learning and new to all this painting stuff.
Thanks again,

irish artist
05-31-2005, 06:41 AM
Melinda, its my understanding that you can use Luquin as a medium-is that what you did? If so you can paint over it with other colors mixed with the Luquin. If you were glazing with Luquin then you have shine just where you were glazing. To correct the problem, let the painting dry and coat the whole painting with Luquin. You can paint on top of that if you wish as long as you mix the paints with Luquin as a medium. Am I right???? Anyone????

05-31-2005, 11:09 AM
Hi Irish, yes i used it as a medium.....thats makes sense now..i will just go over the whole lot when im done...(wonder if there are different types of liqineg..gloss /matte finish?) LOL....OMG all so much to learn!!!
Been going thru all the posts and all the Moms look really great!..I definately have a new appreciation for painters and artist.. I notice something wrong with my painting everytime i walk past it, and it drives me nuts...the focus/lines seems too sharp (looks softer in the original?)and the shadows/lightness and darkness is it way bright . If i did a lyquin glaze of a dark brown? all over, would this help??? The Masters make it look so easy!! Dont know what to do....

irish artist
05-31-2005, 06:58 PM
Melinda, after you coat the painting with Luquin, let it dry. This will also 'seal' your painting and you can experiment with it because Luiquin protects the underlying paint work. Say, you wish to try a brown glaze. So you have your painting coated with Luiquin, dried, so you mix Burnt Umber with Luiquin and glaze it on. Ugh! You hate it..just wipe it off..no damage to the work under the Luiquin. When using it as medium, be careful not to use too much, makes the paint slippery.

irish artist
05-31-2005, 07:01 PM
My receipe for using Luiquin as medium: 1/3 Luiquin,1/3 linseed oil, 1/3 turps

try it. :]

05-31-2005, 09:43 PM
So you have your painting coated with Luiquin, dried, so you mix Burnt Umber with Luiquin and glaze it on. Ugh! You hate it..just wipe it off..no damage to the work under the Luiquin. When using it as medium, be careful not to use too much, makes the paint slippery

Hi and thanks Irish,
Ill give it a go ,but I dont have linseed oil ...(does this make the drying time longer?) so will keep plodding along without it for now...
I think i have been using way too much lyqin when using it as a medium,that and mineral spirits..(have been going back and forth And not keeping track of what im doing). I have to get a better feel of oils, cause i am so use the feel acrylics, i think thats where im going wrong .Minds scrambled here...But I like the fast drying effect..ugh...
I must reduce the mix!!!
Thanks again..I appreciate your help

05-31-2005, 10:00 PM
I just looked through all your art in your profile...absolutely beautiful work... If you have any tips for me, please don't hesitate!!
Also was thinking about joining projects...can you still join old ones???

irish artist
06-01-2005, 06:33 AM
Masters of the Month is my favorite. Check the Art Project system for other projects and pick what you would like to join. Click on the prefered project and read the rules. Some are open but others are limited. I also like Paint for a year,Monthly #2, you can use any medium there. For a quickie project, try the WDE Event--weekends only. Thanks for the compliments.

06-01-2005, 12:12 PM
Thanks Irish Artist.

Well, i am done with this painting..havent changed it much..getting frustrated with it.
did a bit of the brown glazing and hopefully it makes it look better.

irish artist
06-02-2005, 06:34 AM
Meli, it looks fine, and you learned something about the way Waterhouse paints and can use the technique on your own paintings.....for a further challenge....on to June's Master..............

06-02-2005, 09:10 AM
oh yes...I wonder what June brings us??? Should be interesting no doubt..
Thanks for your support Irish , I appreciate it... :)

06-02-2005, 03:10 PM
Hi guys! :wave: Sorry I haven't posted anything any sooner. I have been sooo busy latley that I haven't had any time to post sooner. I haven't quite finished my Destiny but I think that I am with my mermaid. I painted these on wood panels and I don't think I liked it too much. Think I'll stick to canvas.LOL Anyways here are my progress pics.

By the way Barb . thanks for pointing out the depth thing on my mermaids head. LOL She had a little "Pam" hair going there for a minute . LOL

Thanks to you all for your comments and concerns on my baby's finger. Good news to report on that , stitches came out last week and all has healed beautifully :clap:

06-02-2005, 03:30 PM
I've been watching all your work quietly & in awe of what you have accomplished!! Great work!
For any of you interested, the June MOM has been put up for Monet at


irish artist
06-05-2005, 04:52 PM
Still struggling........I expect to do more work on the rocks and the water before calling it quits........

06-06-2005, 12:10 AM
:clap: :clap: :clap: Marya, Krystal Drohan and Irish Artist!
Methinks only we Mermaids may truly appreciate what we have accomplished this MOMS...swimming upsteam or, as squibs/Lorraine said to me, at the beginning of this MOMS, "jumping in at the deep end pool." Well done - we are Mermaid Survivors (too bad we don't get a $million)! :angel:
p.s. I haven't done my detail work yet - I think we may all feel like taking a rest and working on something else after this month of challenge - but I must say this...my "SHE" keeps looking better and better as I distance myself from her (but keep looking looking looking)...so maybe it is a good idea to walk (or swim) away from such a challenge for a bit, and come back later...plus it will give that last glaze a chance to REALLY dry :evil:

irish artist
06-06-2005, 06:37 AM
Betty, You 'Survivor' fanatic!! I have several 'Masters' in my studio that need further work before I'm satisfied and I don't like to have unfinished work about the studio, gives customers a bad impression. While it does help to back off and give the painting a glance now and then, you want to develope a habit of finishing the art. It called discipline, some of my best art has been created by simply sticking to it, if only one hour a day, until I can see no further room for improvement.

Money wise, I've had a run in with some of my artist peers who believe that no artist is successful unless there is stacks of work piled up for the art fairs and whole weekends devouted to that pursuit. Where in the world did the idea begin?? Weekend worship of the money god.

06-06-2005, 06:01 PM
Hi All - yes, you can shoot me - I'm a deserter !!! LOL. Sorry about that folks, but I just haven't had a lot of time to work on Destiny. You have all done really amazing work here. Well done. The paintings look fabulous. Can't wait to see them all together in the gallery for 2005. I will be getting back to Destiny when I can. It just seems to be one of those paintings that I keep putting off - who knows why !! Keep up the good work. Back later.

06-13-2005, 06:12 PM
Hi Folks (if anyone IS still reading the May MOM correspondence.) For the record, here is my "final" Mermaid. (You will notice I snuck in a few Bahamian seashells after all :p ) Ciao, Betty

irish artist
06-13-2005, 06:16 PM
Excellent Job!! and you finished!! Kudos Kid!!

06-22-2005, 12:12 PM
I’m still working on this one! I am still doing the underpainting.

The ships and the globe have turned out to be a bit tricky!

Barb Solomon :cat:

06-22-2005, 06:24 PM
Penny Lane - Wecome to our MOM thread! You’ve done a wonderful job with her expression!

Betty - Gorgeous work! Your colors are wonderful! And I have to admire that you finished it ontime!

Melinda - You can keep using Liquin as a medium, but once you use Liquin, the later layers have to also have be with Liquin! I don’t know of any way of avoiding the gloss that it has.

I love doing the WDE’s when I can!

You did a fabulous job on your “Destiny”! I love the rich colors in your painting! They really are incredible! I am still working on my version! The detail in it is tough!

Krystal - It’s great to see how well you have done with both of your Waterhouses! You really did well with the rich color!

Irish - Great job on the rock! In fact, you’ve done really well with all of the textures. I love the hint of sunlight too! You’ve done well with her skin and fish scales!

It is good to see everyone’s work! I hope that if any of the rest of you have a Waterhouse around you will post it!

I had a bit to do with the end of the school year! But I have been working very dilagently on “ Destiny” and I have not deserted!

Barb Solomon :cat:

06-22-2005, 09:47 PM
What is the deadline for this project?

06-22-2005, 11:27 PM
Cein - Hi, It's nice to meet you! Welcome to our Master of the Month thread here in the Oil Forum. I see that you are new to Wet Canvas!:wave:

Actually, there isn't a deadline!

Each month, we start a thread where we try to copy a painting by a master. Most folks try to finish within the month, but if you don't the thread isn't closed!

This month is Monet and most of the folks are working on that. I hadn't finished so I keep on working. So if you like these paintings, go ahead and give it a try! I will certainly keep checking to see how everybody is doing. If you want to join the others, their current is here!


Barb Solomon :cat:

07-29-2005, 02:14 PM
t’s time to color my “Destiny”!

Hi Everybody! I’ve been working on this one forever and a day! I’m still working away on this.

But I think that I have finally gotten to a point where, I can finally add color! So when this last coat dries, I will start adding the glazes!
:clap: :clap: :clap:

Since it is easier to correct things now, than later after I add color, I would love to hear any comment.

Barb Solomon :cat:


irish artist
07-31-2005, 07:02 AM
What a surprise........I'm not the only one still on Waterhouse!!! I gave up moving on to Monet because I wanted to spend time on my other 'starts' and have only just now completed Waterhouse and will post later today.

I think you're 'good to go' on this underpainting, everything looks fine-color away!

07-31-2005, 10:07 AM
Diann - I can’t wait! I’m looking forward to seeing your Waterhouse!
:cool: :cool: :cool:

I’ve been holding back on doing any more MOM’s until I clear out the ones that I have started. I’ve already added a little bit of color to Destiny.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Barb Solomon :cat:

irish artist
07-31-2005, 11:38 AM
Be careful not to move in too fast, the underpainting has to be dry. I put a coat of Liquin over the underpainting to protect all that work before moving on to color-give it a try. Oh, the Liquin also has to be dry before the color.

irish artist
07-31-2005, 03:24 PM
:music: Clo-oser to-o-o the Mas-ter I would ev-er be-e-e :music: http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Jul-2005/33516-Mermaid_Done_001.jpg

07-31-2005, 06:53 PM
Diann - It turned out gorgeous! You’ve done such a fantastic job with the face! You’ve also done well with all of the various textures such as the rocks, her scales, and the sea! The color is so rich! Good job! It’s great that you hung in there!:clap: :clap: :clap:

Thanks for the reminder about allowing drying time! Having the paint peel up at this stage would be a heart breaker! Fortunately, I am glazing on sections that have been dry for a while now! I’m adding color to her dress and the wooden cabinet with a book on it!

Barb Solomon :cat: :clap:

GreenWave Solutions
08-19-2008, 05:48 PM
Super article Celeste!

I have been a Waterhouse fan since college. Your article has a lot of great info about him.