This painting is now available as signed open edition print. Print size is 12×16 on 13×19 watercolor paper. Printed with archival inks. Introductory price is $ 100 + tax for a limited time. Print can be ordered and picked up or will be shipped anywhere in US for additional $ 10. The original watercolor painting (21×29) is currently available.
This is late season portrait of the North Carolina winter. Ground covered with leaves and bare trees. I painted this at one my favorite spots at the Durant Nature Park. I will be doing more plein air painting in oils this year. My interest, as always, is in creating traditional art. I am not interested in broken color effects or masterful brushwork or brilliantly transparent passages. I do not use paint thinners, mediums or any other secret ingredients when I paint in oils. So, my goal is to cover the painting surface with paint layer without worrying about special effects. If the painting turns out to be good, it is simply by-product of focused observation followed by simple execution.
I used Charvin paints for this painting. It is painted on Winsor & Newton canvas panel. I had applied oil painting ground on this panel few months ago. This year is going to be busy for plein air painting. So, I will be certainly exploring more painting surfaces.
I have been exploring new paints, and papers. For the University UMC painting, I used new (to me) QoR paints. I need to paint more before I decide on using this range long term (I normally use Holbein and Winsor & Newton).
I painted the “Carolina Inn Evening” on Ampersand Aquabord. This is a unique surface! The paint handling was quite different from watercolor papers which I normally use. I have several reasons to explore this surface:
(1) Plein Air: I normally paint on un-stretched watercolor paper en plein air. This works fine for smaller sizes. However, at sizes bigger than quarter sheet, the paper does cockle. Most of the times, this is not an issue. However, it does make painting difficult under humid conditions. This should not be a problem for Aquabord.
(2) Framing: I frame all of my work. This does get expensive and time consuming. Framing becomes bigger challenge for plein air contests and wet-paint sales. Aquabord can be framed like Oil paintings- without the mat and glass.
(3) Contests: traditional watercolor paintings, by nature, are subtle. This subtlety is lost many times on folks judging plein air and other art contests. I often see badly painted oil paintings being awarded top prizes- just for being painted with oils! Not enough attention is paid to framed (or un-frmaed) works on paper. I do not wish to change my painting style just for the sake of art contests! I work in traditional manner, and do want my paintings to have a fair chance in contests. So, I am open to try surface other than the paper.
Of course, this was my first painting on Aquabord. So, I have a long way to go before I make my final decision about its long-term use. Here are my brief observations:
(1) Warping: the board did warp very slightly initially. Leaving it flat for couple of days seems to have fixed it. I guess I can also use 1.5″ or 2″ deep panels. Of douse, this also depends on how I want to frame my work.
(2) Framing: The big one! I am following instructions on the Amersand website. I have applied Krylon UV Archival Satin varnish. I am yet to apply Golden Polymer UVLS Satin varnish. Not sure how this process will work for plein air contests and wet-paint sales. I may contact Ampersand to get their tips.
(3) Storage: I store my watercolors flat (with or without mat). Paintings on Aqabord will require more storage space and better handling.
(4) Paint handling: I like to draw (sometimes in detail) before I start painting. The drawing was not easy on this surface. I used softer lead (4B)- most of the drawing came off during initial wash. I did not fix the drawing since I was unsure about the paint handling after applying the spray. Paint handling was very different from my favorite papers. I was not sure what the washes were doing! I had to apply the washes very carefully as underlying layers seem to come off. Lifting the paint was easy, when I needed to. The board seemed to stay wetter longer. However, I like how the finished painting looks. Initial varnish seems to have saturated the colors even more.
So, I will be certainly painting more on the Aquabord. I will be trying Gouache, and Drybrush techniques over next few days. And I also plan to use it en plein air.
I am also exploring another Ampersand product- Claybord. I am working on my first Egg Tempera painting on Claybord. More on that later….
More paintings of beautiful North Carolina fall! I love the colors of North Carolina Fall. Last year, I did many plein air paintings during the fall. Plein air pieces are normally quarter to half sheet in size. I wanted to capture autumn’s glory on larger scale. So I painted below pieces in my studio. All the paintings were painted on full sheet of Arches Cold Press 140 lb paper. Due to the scale of the paintings and the amount of water I used, I had to stretch the paper. I have tried different ways of stretching the paper. The only stretching technique that has worked for me is Nita Engle’s technique. Nita has shared this technique in her book. This technique keeps the paper flat during the painting process. Arches Cold Press paper, once stretched, is a joy to use. It takes the washes and lifting well.
I have been trying new paints, and papers. And although I have achieved good results on variety of surfaces, I have liked Saunders and Arches papers the best. For drawings, I have recently started using Stonehenge paper and love it. One of the new surface I have tried this year is Ampersand Aquabord, This is certainly a unique surface which I will be writing about later.
The 2015 has started well! Many exciting paintings coming this year! I will be off to many new plein air adventures and will be doing new stuff in the studio. While I draw a lot, this year I have been doing many tonal drawings: both studies and finished pieces. I look forward to sharing those.
I will be painting live at the beautiful Berry Hill Resort in May. This will be my second live wedding painting commission there- both commissions being for the Anderson family!
I wanted to thank Sarah Beth Thie of the We Tie The Knots for including my live wedding painting on her blog. You can read her blog post here:
These are some of my favorite paintings of Raleigh. The larger paintings were done in the studio and others were either completely done en plain air or started plein air and finished in the studio. North Carolina autumn is simply magical. Crisp cool air and beautiful colors everywhere. And while autumn landscapes are perfect subjects at that time of the year, I also love painting cityscapes and streetscapes. Studio paintings were done from the references and the only challenge was may be the scale of the paintings. But, I was fascinated by the light outdoors and the experience of painting in freezing cold. As with my autumn landscapes, I used minimal painting supplies. Being prepared to deal with the weather was the key. After I had started painting “View from Blount Street”, it started to rain. So, I finished it sitting in my truck! One of the reasons I love watercolor medium. It allows me to adapt to changing conditions outdoors. While painting Christ Church, it rained on me and my painting and the final painting has rain drops mixed in! Each plein air painting brings back many memories of the experiences I had while being out there. The winter has slowed down my plein air adventures. But, I hope to be out soon to capture the winter light. Meanwhile, I am working in my studio and have done several large studio paintings that I will be posting soon…
This oil portrait commission was a Christmas gift for Julia’s grandparents. I was commissioned by Julia’s Dad- Andrew. Based on our consultation meeting, we had decided to do a photo session. We had also decided on the size and medium. Andrew loved one particular image, so, we decided to use that one as a reference. I used stretched linen. When I paint in oils, I do not use thinners or painting mediums. So, I have to work with drying rate of the paint layers. I also rely more on the brushstrokes as I am not using thinned paint. I was able to complete the commission right in time. Andrew approved the final painting and he shared that Julia’s grandmother was in tears when she saw it! That is my ultimate reward. I accept portrait commissions in both watercolors and oils. And if you are looking for Wedding painting commission information, you can contact me via this website or checkout my new website: www.liveweddingpaintings.com
I painted this for a Southern Bride & Groom style shoot. The theme of the shoot was New Orleans Wedding inspiration. I have been an SB&G vendor for awhile: just lovely people to work with. I highly recommend them. You can check out more information of this shoot on their blog. I had started this painting on location and then finished in my studio. The Hudson Manor is a beautiful venue. I wanted to paint something different from what I normally paint at the weddings. So, I had the couple pose in front of this scenic view with the chapel.
Here is the team of talented vendors for this shoot:
I accept commissions to paint live at weddings. I also accept studio commissions that are done from the photos (with photographer’s permission). You can contact me via this website and also check out my new website: www.liveweddingpaintings.com
I painted this as part of a style shoot at the Bradford. Many thanks to Brent Deitrich of Live View Studios for reaching out to me for participating in the French Provincial Watercolor Wedding style shoot. The Bradford is a lovely venue in New Hill NC. One of the many benefits of style shoot is meeting amazing wedding vendors. When you are working at live events, you do not always get the opportunity to meet fellow vendors. Here is the vendor team of this style shoot:
I wanted to do something different to add to the uniqueness of live painting. When I arrived at the venue, our beautiful model Danielle’s photo session was in the progress. I liked how she was posing, so decided to paint her. She was kind enough to hold the pose for me while I painted quickly. Brent captured me painting- thanks to him and his lovely wife Anna for sharing the images. This was an event painting, but, it fairly captures Danielle’s likeness. You can contact me for your live wedding painting or studio commission. You can also check out my new website www.liveweddingpaintings.com for more information.