View Full Version : MASHED - An ode to the Korean War

10-24-2007, 12:24 PM
Finally, after messing about (with dismal results) on a watercolor canvas, I've started over on a full sheet of 140# W&N paper...um...hot press, methinks, with a small assortment of W&N paints:

Yellow Ochre blended with Sepia serves as the main body shade
The rest is painted with blends and washes of:

Burnt Sienna
Olive Green
Payne's grey

Four hours into it, and here's a closeup photo of where I am. More tomorrow.


Reference photo is posted on my blog. Comments are heartily welcome. :D

10-24-2007, 12:43 PM
Great start. I am looking for the finished project. Jan

10-24-2007, 01:05 PM
I've pulled up a chair to watch!:thumbsup:


Peggy SCx
10-24-2007, 01:17 PM
I like the subject and title. It'll be fun to watch it develop.

Laura D
10-24-2007, 03:26 PM
Lookin' good! I'm in the audience too, looking forward to tomorrow.

Doug Gulley
10-24-2007, 08:42 PM
Looking very good nice start waiting until tomorrow.


Watercolour lover
10-24-2007, 09:59 PM
As one rust-lover to another - great stuff! This looks like a labour of love. Watching with anticipation.



10-25-2007, 08:22 AM
Great picture. Cannot wait to see the finnished picture.

10-25-2007, 11:19 AM

G'morning. I'll be working on this again this afternoon. Comments welcome, of course.

FYI, I've been toying with the idea of fading the truck toward the rear, rather like the truck was fading back in time. Any thoughts on that? In the meantime, I'll continue adjusting values, adding tires and grass. Thanks for looking!


10-25-2007, 12:04 PM
Helene, this is amazing! Your details are great and what wonderful darks! Am sitting on the edge of my chair waiting for the finish. You patient woman, you!! ;)

10-25-2007, 12:22 PM
Just one word. AWESOME!!:clap:


10-25-2007, 12:57 PM
Fantastic detail, love the treatment of the front windshield.


Laura D
10-25-2007, 04:48 PM
I'm with Carl. Took the word right out of my mouth.

10-25-2007, 05:38 PM
This is simple great

10-25-2007, 05:42 PM
Thanks all! I'm really grateful for each and every comment.

As you can see, I'm working on the tires now, and the odd rust drool.:p Will post proper update in the morning.


Watercolour lover
10-25-2007, 06:49 PM
I think the idea of the rear fading as in the past is great. Give it a try? You can always paint in more detail later. I had no idea this was such a huge painting. Wonderful!



10-25-2007, 09:17 PM
I love this just the way it is now...has the feeling of ghosts to it. thanx 4 sharing your amazing talent with us. it pleaseth thine eyes

10-26-2007, 03:02 AM
Pulling up a chair. Watching you do these vehicles is like watching Heidi from Australia do her botanicals....an incredible unfolding....

10-26-2007, 12:24 PM
Geez, Maryann, thanks! I hope this post doesn't disappoint you.
Yup, John, this warhorse is a nice large piece. Got to admit I love painting rust! It's so darned...well, beautiful (well, it is, in it's own way. Right?)
Birdhs, thanks for your kind words. Glad you like it.
Oops, I can't hit the backspace key without losing this post. Hope I haven't forgotten anyone. Honestly appreciate all crits and words of encouragement.


Now, I took this with a flash and then ran it through Photoshop. It's pretty well on a par with the original. Will focus on finishing the wheels (hub thingies..hehe) ; tires are pretty well done.

Here's a closeup of a bit of detail. It's so hard to see in small photos. Larger piccies can be viewed on my blog, if you're reaaaally wanting to check out the rust. :lol:


Comments heartily welcome.

10-26-2007, 12:51 PM
Rust is good! You nailed this one, its perfect.:clap:


10-27-2007, 09:08 AM
Thanks, Carl. Rust...nailed...did you just make a funny? :lol:
I'm still working on the grass. I've painted the shadows and dirt under the truck, and it really anchors the truck into a scene, rather than floating on a page. I imagine the completed truck will look something like that tiny jeep under my signature. Should work, in other words. Well...at least I hope so. Nothing's cast in stone, an' all.

Will post another update after the sun rises over the yard arm.

10-27-2007, 12:13 PM
Only another two hours additional time spent on this rusting beauty. Finer detail and a little more anchoring the aging war horse to the ground that holds it...like a struggling mastodon sinking ever deeper into a tar pit.


To avoid wasting space here, I've posted a larger image plus a juicy closeup of the front tire and surrounding ground on my blog. Comments welcome, natch!

Watercolour lover
10-27-2007, 02:03 PM

Careful now - your dark grass is in danger of overwhelming this piece. Perhaps it's the sudden contrast with the white paper, but if you intend to vignette (I never could spell that word) this piece, you could lift out some of that dark and fade it off? Just asking....actually I'm mad with envy and wish I had such a wonderful subject to paint!



10-27-2007, 02:36 PM
Very good point, John. For your reference, here's the photo that I took of the old girl. The sun was directly above her, as you can see, hence the sunbleached bonnet and the nicely contained, dark shadow under her belly.


Should have a bit of light and cheery colored grass painted in sometime tomorrow, then we'll see what best needs to be lifted. Feel free to toss in your two cents at the point, cause your advice is really helpful and very spot-on.

Watercolour lover
10-27-2007, 05:59 PM

I don't know if you're working from a glossy print or straight from your computer monitor, but I suspect a print? The contrast is just too much for most print paper and I often hold the print up to a strong light to see what might be missing. This may not work with a print from a digital camera, but you've obviously made the right decision to lesson that dramatic and very contrasty overhead sun.

My point was to make the grass more in keeping with the lighter shadows you've decided on with the underbelly. Mind you, you could still make that underbelly quite a bit darker, cast a dark shadow as in the photograph, but quickly go into a lighter, sun-lit grass. I'm sure you'll pull off another stunningly good "rusty" picture. BTW - loved your site. Great stuff.


Laura D
10-27-2007, 11:16 PM
Helene, you 've made wonderful progress on this! The tires, I can almost smell the rubber. Are you planning on darkening the inside of the right front tire?

I agree with John. I think the grass could be toned down some, and I'd like to see the color values in the grass way below the value of the reds... you want that cross and the rust to remain central so the title makes sense!

Can't wait to see where you go with this.

lyn lynch
10-28-2007, 11:27 AM
Enjoing this, Helene. Also enjoying the commentary from others. Fading off is a good thing. Will you post your blog addy here, because I can't see it in your sig line.

10-28-2007, 01:30 PM
Ah John, Laura, I'm running out of daylight hours and the garden flowers still need tending. I'm going to try to complete this today, but most likely it will be tomorrow. To be honest, I don't want to leap in and make mistakes. I've got to think this one through a bit before the brush hits the paint pot.

Hi Fookie, thanks so much for checking in! I'm glad you're enjoying the posts and commentary. I'll check to see if my blog link is working, but here you are, just in case the other link's bad: My blog (http://www.helenesart.blogspot.com/)


Watercolour lover
10-28-2007, 03:55 PM

Great idea - when in doubt, go gardening! No rush. We're all looking forweard to a great finish.


Laura D
10-28-2007, 04:12 PM
I sure do know the value of getting other things done in the meantime! Fresh eyes and all that.

10-29-2007, 12:12 PM
John, Laura, thanks so much for hanging in there. Large works in progress can span several days, as this one has, and it's a task to come back and post your comments in tandam with my updates, so thanks to you, and to the others who've offered kind advice.

The sun is fleeting today, and the photo suffers from peculiar tints. What I would like you to consider is the ground cover, which is somewhat in keeping with the Huey and Willy's jeep that I've painted. I will painted the last touches of rust and deepening of a few metal areas, and perhaps a blade or two of grass, and then I think I'm done.

What do you think?


Laura D
10-29-2007, 05:41 PM
Really great work. Shoot sometimes my stuff takes weeks! A couple of days is really fast to me.

I still think a wash of burnt umber over the grass would tie it all together. The bright green competes with the tone of the center of interest. I'd still go darker with the shadows in the wheel well and the inside of that left tire. Maybe alter the color of the shadows away from the color of the tires a bit?

10-29-2007, 05:55 PM
Laura, thanks for dropping by!:D

Hm...burnt umber sounds good for the dirt patch to the truck's left, with a touch of burnt sienna dabbed in here and there, perhaps. I've got a few touches to the rust around the windshield and roofline that I was going to add tomorrow (burnt sienna and sepia in varying washes). And yes, both wheel wells need darkening with...more Payne's Grey, I'd guess, to distract the eye from the Viridian washes that I've used on the wheels.

Laura D
10-30-2007, 06:05 PM
YOu know what they say about great minds! Awaiting your next update.

Watercolour lover
10-30-2007, 09:37 PM
Lovely finish.


10-31-2007, 05:41 PM
John, thanks for your encouragement. BTW, I love your pink truck. Has the same flavour as this old girl. I hate to see such hard working beasts set out to pasture and forgotten. A dab of paint, and we immortalise them...at least, somewhat.

Thanks, Laura. Here's the final update. I've also posted it in the gallery now that it's done.

Comments appreciated and very much welcomed!


All the best, Helene

Laura D
10-31-2007, 07:14 PM
:clap: :clap: :thumbsup: Wonderful finish!! It's just perfect. :thumbsup:

10-31-2007, 11:45 PM
Wow! Wonderful painting.
I also love your use of the word 'drool' to refer to the rust. How descriptive.

11-01-2007, 06:59 AM
Laura, thanks for hanging in there. I sincerely appreciate your encouragement!
Doris, ah yes, it all hinges on the rust. Glad you like it!

11-01-2007, 07:43 AM

I am starring with open mouth at your painting. It is so fantastic!

Thanks for showing the whole creation step by step.


Laura D
11-01-2007, 12:50 PM
You're welcome! Just paying it forward.

11-02-2007, 06:52 AM
Thanks, Kimba. Glad you like it.
Oh yes, Laura, I will be watching for your paintings and offering my thoughts. Thanks again! :D

11-03-2007, 07:23 PM
Great painting! You've really captured the fatigue in the truck body and that front fender! I like the way the front of the truck is more clearly defined than the rear. Very well done! :thumbsup: I've never painted a vehicle before, never even thought of it, but this piques my interest. Thank you.