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girl

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Visiting Sky City

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Visiting Sky City, Original Painting by Jenny Armitage

Visiting Sky City (watercolor 12 x 19) $500

Acoma City, a pueblo in New Mexico.

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This Hips Don’t Lie

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The Hips Don't Lie, Orignial Painting of Flaminco Dancer by Jenny Armitage

The Hips Don't Lie (watercolor) $400

Flaminco dancer in Seville.

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Putting Up Her Hair

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Putting Her Hair Up, Collage Painting, by Jenny Armitage

Putting Her Hair Up (16x20 Collage) $400


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With Feeling

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With Feeling, Painting of a Violinist by Jenny Armitage

With Feeling (watercolor 16 x 23) $600

I don’t normally use the photographs of others as the basis for my paintings, but I saw a picture of this lovely young woman so wrapped up in her music and it moved me. I just had to paint her. Fortunately for me, the photographer August Miller was willing to let me use his amazing photo in return for a donation to a The Rape Recovery Center. That I was happy to do, and here is the painting.


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Beach Birdie

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Beach Birdie (watercolor 5 x 7) SOLD

We call my youngest daughter “Bird” and “Birdie” and even “Birdles” because she looked a little like a bird when she was a baby.  It’s been a long time since I thought she looked much like a bird.   But crouching down on the shoreline, she made me think of long leggity shore birds.

The palette is simple, cobalt blue, phtalo blue, qinacridone deep red rose, and burnt sienna. I used liquid mask extensively to make preserve the white paper.

See more little girl paintings at Fine Art America: girl paintings.

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After the Slumber Party

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After the Slumber Party (8 x 10) sold

After the Slumber Party (8 x 10) sold

This Friday, my daughters went to a slumber party.  Predictably they stayed up until one.   They got up at eight.   When I picked my girls and a friend of theirs up at noon, they had just finished breakfast and were wide awake and chattering.   We stopped to drop our guest’s things at her house and then took all three girls to library. Chatter, chatter, chatter.    A very late lunch at the Road House followed.   Chatter, chatter, chatter.

It was it was 2:30 by then.   The chatter continued through lunch.  But Road House lunches are heavy and plentiful.  Stomachs full, the girls were suddenly overwhelmingly tired.  My youngest leaned against her friend and both girls would have fallen asleep right there had we let them.   I snapped a picture.

Reference Photo

Reference Photo

Today I painted it. I did my best to correct the ugly green blue light of the restaurant. I made red-purple shadows of blue green ones, and removed the excess pink from their faces.

The palette is cadmium red, cadmium yellow and cobalt blue. Which the exception of some yellow ochre along the jaw lines, those were the pigments I used on the faces. I defined the eyes, nostrils and shadows in cobalt first. Then I painted the faces working mostly wet into wet.

The girls’ hair is various combinations of burnt sienna, cobalt blue, and yellow ochre. I used these three for the brows and lashes too. I added a little phthalo blue to the jacket and the wall.

purchase a print at Fine Art America.com.

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Cass Up Close

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Cass Up Close (8 x 7) $75.00

Cass Up Close (8 x 7) $75.00

This pretty young lady is a friend of my daughters.  I took the photo almost to years ago for drawing practice.   Browsing through my photo files yesterday, I decided to crop it close and paint it.  After painting landscapes and not much else at shows, I really wanted to do a portrait again.

The palate was simple, cadmium red, and cadmium yellow, burnt sienna, and cobalt blue.   I added some burnt umber for her hair and lashes.

Or purchase a print from Fine Art America.com.


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Twixt Wind and Water II

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Twixt Wind and Water II (12 x 16) $225

Twixt Wind and Water II (12 x 16) $225

Twixt Wind and Water

Twixt Wind and Water

We spent last weekend on the beach.  I took enough photographs to have seacape material for some time to come.  While I was there I reworked Twixt Wind and Water.  Here is the result.  As you can see, I gave the painting considerably more sea-room to the left, so that she has something more to look into.

I began her hair with an under-painting of colbalt blue.  Then I used layers of yellow ochre, burnt sienna, and cobalt blue to complete it.  Quidacrone deep red rose provides the accent color in the hair band.

Her jacket is cobalt blue and prussian blue mixed on the palate.

The sea began as phthalo blue and burnt sienna with reserved whites.  Then I changed my mind about much of the wave action and began experimenting with white gouache.  To cover strong colors, gouache must be laid on fairly heavily.  And even though I don’t use ultra white paper, gouache white is still bluer that the paper.  Also, as I discovered gouache will washback into transparent watercolor and vice versa.  Work a little gouache onto the paper and nothing painted there will ever be entirely transparent again.

The effect is interesting, but I think next time I’ll stick to transparent watercolors, unyielding to change though they may be. I like the translucency better.


Or purchase a print from Fine Art America.com

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A Little Wind and Water

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A Little Wind and Water (5 x 7) SOLD

A Little Wind and Water (5 x 7) SOLD

Twixt Wind and Water

Twixt Wind and Water

Yet another little painting I did at the fair. This one is a smaller version of one of my favorite paintings, Twixt Wind and Water. The only thing I didn’t like about the original was the vertical format. I thought the painting would look better with more sea and waves to her left. So I played around with that idea in this smaller version. I do like the extension of the the sea, but I think I made a mistake in showing too much of her right side. If I do a full sized painting of this one again, I will keep the extended horizon but still crop-out most of her right shoulder.

Reference Photo

Reference Photo

As you can see, both paintings show a complete change in compositional thinking from when I took the reference photo. Taking the photo, my thoughts were all about the shape of her figure and the rock. But when I looked at the photo up close, I fell in love with the hair spilling out of her braid. That required some rethinking. Looking at the photo again, I’m tempted to include more of her body to increase the feeling of movement.

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Greeting Cards

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Georgia in the Morning

Georgia in the Morning

I am now offering many of my paintings as greeting cards through Fine Art America. The cards are 5 x 7 inches and can be printed blank or with a custom message inside. A single card costs $5.45. In packs of ten they are $2.95 each or $29.50 per pack. In packs of 25 they are $2.25 each or $56.25 per pack.

Art Prints

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Morning Changeling

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Morning Changeling (8 x 11) $125

Morning Changeling (8 x 11) $125

This is my eldest daughter in the dark end of the family room with the morning sun lighting up half her face. I ended up printing my reference photo three times in various stages of overexposure to get the feeling I wanted for the sketch. I used all three prints when painting.

I’m still working on painting loose and free. I worked quickly wet into wet, taking care to make the sunlight’s edges the only hard edges in the painting.

The palette was simple: quinacridone gold, quinacridone deep red rose (which I only used for accents in her skin) burnt sienna, and phthalo blue. I emphasized the yellows and oranges to keep the feeling of sunlight.

This painting is currently hanging at Art in the Valley in Corvallis, Oregon but you may still purchase it on-line on inquiry. A limited edition print is available through my Etsy shop.

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Floating on the Lawn

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Floating on the Lawn (11 x 15) $125

Floating on the Lawn (11 x 15) $125

This is one of my daughters’ friends luxuriating in the lawn. Sinking into soft grass and staring up at the sky is one of the best feelings there is.

I had fun with this one.

The biggest problem I had was forcing myself to make the grass dark enough. Consequently it went down in many layers beginning with cadmium yellow and cobalt blue and progressing through ultramarine blue and ocher yellow. I washed dioxazine purple over it to dull the color and dropped French ultramarine into the shadows. In the end the background took longer than the figure. [In fact I uploaded another version of this painting thinking I was done. After looking at it a while I strengthened the shadows and reposted it. ]

before the darker shadow.

before the darker shadow.

The girl herself was purple pink in the light and I exaggerated that effect. I used rose madder quinacridone and cadmium yellow for her skin and dioxazine purple for the shadows in her face.

Much of the pink in her face was reflected light from her shirt. I used quinacridone magenta, more rose madder quinacridone and dioxozine purple for the shadows in her shirt. Then I washed her shirt with Winsor and Newton’s Opera—yet another quinacridone.

In keeping with the pink and purple theme I used dioxazine purple to under-paint the shadows in her hair before washing it with yellow ocher and burnt umber. I love under-painting for hair. It produces the most natural looking shadows.

purple underpainting

purple underpainting

over-washed hair

over-washed hair


Or purchase a print at Fine Art America.com.

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Pondering

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Pondering (11 x 12)  SOLD

Pondering (11 x 12) SOLD

This is my eldest daughter again, curled up in an armchair pondering her options. It is an isn’t and portrait since I painted her as the young woman she will be in a few years and not as the pre-teen girl she is.

Georgia is hard to paint, because her features are perfectly regular. Her lips are unbelievably red, her eye lashes unbelievably dark, and her eye brows very dark for a blond. Painting her is a matter of toning her down enough to make her real.

I solved this problem by painting her almost entirely in earth tones. Ochre yellow, burnt siena, cobalt blue, and burn umber predominate. The sunlit side of her face was washed with cadmium yellow and red rose madder quinacrone. I used some alizarine crimson on the shadowed side of her face, but mostly yellow ochre and burnt sienna. Her shirt is burnt sienna and yellow ochre. I mixed these with raw umber for her browns and lashes. The background is layered washes of burnt sienna, cobalt blue, yellow ochre, and rose madder. Her hair is yellow ochre, cobalt blue and burnt sienna.

This painting has sold, but you may purchase a print at Fine Art America.com.

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Windswept

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Windswept (8 x 10) $100

Windswept (8 x 10) $100

This is Paula with the wind spilling her hair from it’s braid.

I took the creative approach to color with this one. But I think I caught the feeling of her cold wind-burned face. I like the feeling of movement in her face too.

The main colors are dioxzine purple, alizarin crimson, and yellow ochre. I used these colors for her skin after laying down a wash of deep red rose and cadmium yellow. I washed her eye sockets with cerulean blue. Her hair is entirely yellow ochre and dioxzine purple (the two make a lovely cool browns and beiges). Her eyes are cobalt blue and yellow ochre. Her shirt is cobalt blue and her jacket cobalt blue and dioxzine purple. The sky is cobalt blue and ultramarine blue.

I found this painting a relief to paint after the last two. Almost life size portraits are fun. Distant figures are fun too. But I have difficulty getting a two or three inch face right–it’s putting in the right amount of detail that gives me fits–that and that an eight of an inch mistake changes the face enormously.


Or Purchase at print from Fine Art America.com.

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Sneakers I: More Pouring

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Sneakers I (11 x 17) $125

Sneakers I (11 x 17) $100

This is my youngest daughter in a characteristic pose. I love the way she has clasped her hands in tight but spread her legs out with her feet pidgin toed.

I poured all of this painting except for her hands and feet and an under painting of the carpet. I painted her hands and feet first, and then masked them to protect them from the pour. I left the under-painting of the carpet pattern unmasked.

face and hand

face and hand

carpet underpainting

carpet underpainting

I masked and poured three times. When the mask came off: I adjusted the values, added shadows and shoe details; and touched up her face.

first pour

first pour

second pour

second pour

mask removed

mask off

I used Winsor red, alizarin crimson, and cadmium yellow for her face and hands. I used hansa yellow medium, burnt sienna and phthalo blue for the first pour. I substituted raw sienna for hansa yellow in the second and third pours. I direct painted with the pouring palette.

What would I do differently? Well I like this painting a lot as is. I would mask the hands and face before painting them and paint them after the pour next time. I think I would also leave the sunshine streaks across the carpet out.

I like the painting enough that I’m going to do it again without pouring.


Or purchase a reproduction of this painting at Fine Art America.com.

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The First Quilt

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The First Quilt (11 x 14) $125

The First Quilt (11 x 14) $125

This is my daughter busily piecing her first quilt–so busy she let me walk around a taking photographs without bothering to complain. I liked the light coming in from window seat hidden off to our right and the look of intense concentration on her face.

I began this painting at the gallery yesterday, but I came home unhappy with where it was going. The basic shapes were right, but the fabric had stolen the center of interest.

Since the fabric moves the eye in into the picture from the left and her face hands and arms form a circular path, recomposing the picture was mostly a matter of toning down and removing everything else. I simplified the quilt fabric, which was brighter and patterned and removed an embroidered medallion from her shirt. I also removed the book shelves from behind her. I toned down the bright white of the sewing machine which had threatened to steal attention from her face and hands.

When I was finished, too much of the painting appeared to be of medium value; so I darkened up her hair to provide contrast for her face. That made all the difference.

Pigment Notes: I used cadmium yellow, alizarin crimson, and burnt sienna for her face and hands. An under-painting of phthalo blue defines the darks in her hair. I washed burn sienna over it. The table is also phthalo blue and burnt sienna. Her shirt is burn sienna and cobalt blue plus a little alizarin crimson. The lilac quilt squares are the same combination, but with more alizarin crimson. I used phthalo blue, burnt sienna and touch of cadmium yellow for the green squares. French ultramarine washes define the sewing machine. I used French ultramarine and burnt sienna for her jeans. The walls are burn sienna with a touch of phthalo blue.

This painting is currently on display at Art in the Valley, Corvallis, Oregon but may still be purchased by mail on inquiry.
Or purchase a reproduction here.

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