Monday, May 18, 2015

River in Summer Landscape Painting, Colorful Original Art

"Santiam River - Summer"
5 x 7" oil
Today's small colorful oil painting came from my memories of this icy cold river in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. Even though it can be hot summer temperatures which dulls the colors, I decided to paint stronger colors especially cool blues. Can you feel how cold that water is?
I've been inspired to paint several river scenes lately. Seascapes are also catching my eye.
Small daily paintings gives me lots of opportunities to explore my many interests. I also play with different paint colors sometimes, but I use a limited palette as much as possible.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Color Palette Development for Colorful Original Paintings of Dutch Iris Flower Garden

Early morning one day last week, cup of coffee in hand, I check my small cottage style garden for seedlings bursting forth, maybe the first red strawberry hidden under its leaves, any weeds that need to be pulled sooner than later. I don't get far out the slider door when my eye is drawn to the Dutch iris flowers. The spots of lavenders and yellows seem like an undefined pattern of colors. They need to be painted, I tell myself! 

With my iPhone I quickly shoot several reference photos of the flowers from different angles thinking about possible compositions for paintings. I realize I need to do some careful drawings or sketches to refresh my memory of the structure of these irises. That I do later using watercolor pencils in my current sketch book. 

Often I paint color swatches in oils on an acrylic paper en plein air to refine my colors. The above photo shows recent color tests for other Dutch irises in the first photo. Those flowers I noticed change their colors over time so the range of colors spread from blues to red purples.

Then I sketch tiny compositions from the photos as I ponder which fits my theme the best. It might be a single flower in a vertical format or a horizontal washy watercolor of colors to suggest an abstract flower garden. Remember what caught my attention about these irises? That overall pattern of color spots. 

Here's a photo of a print from one of my iris paintings that shows a similar color spot motif.

"Schreiner's Irises"

Monday, May 4, 2015

Rocky Beach Watercolor on Gessoed Mat Board Original Seascape Painting

"Rocky Beach"
5 x 7" watercolor

Today's daily painting is another watercolor on specially prepared gesso panel. A rocky beach that I've painted more than once in watercolor and also in acrylic provides a perfect seascape subject with water, rocks, sand, headlands, and trees.
I've found that traditional watercolor on these watercolor gessoed panels poses a real challenge. The panels don't come close to regular watercolor paper so the absorbance of the water is very different. I feel I can't control the water as I've learned to do on the paper.
Another challenge with this technique is the type of brushes. My fine sable brushes are a "no-no" because the surface is too rough for them. So I have to use synthetic brushes in order to apply more paint. 
If I'm frustrated with the need for more paint on the brushes,  why not paint opaquely as I did this same beach in acrylics? Compare this "Rocky Beach" with "Overcast Beach" 
One definite advantageous to these panels is that I can lift the paint from the surface very easily. But, I don't want to get into the habit of fiddling around with watercolors. I like clear washes or definite paint strokes in my watercolor paintings.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Small Seascape Watercolor Painting on Gessoed Mat Board

"Morning Tide Going Out"
5 x 7" watercolor

Today's small colorful painting continues the series I started using watercolors on specially prepared mat board. For more information please see my earlier blog post.

"Morning Tide Going Out", colorful original watercolor painting, is an impressionistic view of the beach tide as it is turning in the morning light. The painting is watercolor on specially gessoed mat board to give a texture different from paper. The painting is sealed on the surface so it can be framed without glass as traditional watercolors need for protection.  

This is another painting from my series of seascapes using this technique with watercolors. I have found that my sable watercolor brushes do not work well on this textured surface. The substrate is very desirable because it is easily handled and makes shipping easier than watercolor paper.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Playing With Blue Colors in Daisy Flowers Small Colorful Painting

"Fresh As A Daisy"
5 x 7" oil painting

The blue colors in these daisy like flowers inspired me to play with colors from cerulean blue to lavender blue. The bright blue colors are harbingers of spring in my garden with tulips in various colors following them.

Playing with the blue colors gave this impressionistic small painting and prevented me from getting into sharp focus realism of painting precise petals on the flowers. Dutch irises now in bloom in my yard challenge me to explore their blues, blue purples, and red purples. 

I used my usual limited palette of double primary colors (warm and cool) with only the addition of cerulean blue. 

Check my online shops for other daily paintings, especially rural landscapes and seascapes.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Layers of Mountains, Colorful Original Oil Painting, Small Daily Art

Layers Mountain Oil Painting by K Joann Russell

5 x 7" oil on canvas panel

The color shapes I see when viewing the mountains of southern Oregon remind me of quilting and some of my watercolor paintings. High in the wilderness areas the views are breathtaking. The logged out areas, the forest fire burns, the meadows, the dense woods have their own colors and textures. 
"Layers", a small colorful original oil painting, shows an impressionistic view of mountain ranges. I found the word "layers" so full of multiple meanings. Reminders for me of the quilts I've made. Reminders of my style of watercolor painting in which I use color shapes.

"Layers" is an oil landscape painting on canvas panel ready to place in a standard size  5 x 7" frame. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Original Painting Can Inspire Room Decor

Are you wondering where to start in your redecorating? Too many paint chips and ideas clouding your decisions? Are you telling yourself you're not up to the task? Would you like a simple solution to get you going on the project?

Consider starting with an original painting to design your room decor. Notice how a painting is used in decorating a room in this article from  Room of the Day: A Painting Sets the Tone
Now try a simple plan for your room.
  •  Look at the colors and amounts of each color used in a favorite painting of yours. 
  • Then choose similar proportions of the colors in your room elements such as wall coverings, paint, fabrics, flooring. 
  • Be sure the color amounts are not all the same.
  • Use the accent colors in pillows and accessories.
Play with colors and proportions using paint chips to try out your ideas.

You don't have a favorite painting? Search for one on line and use its colors for your inspiration.  Have fun and let me know if this helped you.



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