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shadow

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A Girl’s Best Friend

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A Girls Best Friend, Bicycle Painting by Jenny Armitage

A Girl's Best Friend (13 x 17" watercolor) $400

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Pure Nostalgia

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Pure Nostalgia, Original Bicycle Painting by Jenny Armitage

Pure Nostalgia (watercolor 15 x 27) $550

I’ve been busy putting together paintings for my Art in the Valley show, Bicycles.  I had been eying the bikes in front of South Salem Cycleworks for some time. The show just gave me an excuse to stop and photograph them in the early morning sun.  I arrived early as they were just putting the bikes outside. The young man setting up the bikes couldn’t have been more helpful, setting out out this bike just so I could photograph it.

With it’s lovely curves and built in light, this bike really is pure nostalgia.   I wanted the painting to have the same 1950s vintage feel as the bicycle.


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Between Amusements

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At the Fair, Watercolor Painting by Jenny Armitage

Between Amusements (17 x 21 watercolor) $700

For the last four years I’ve been taking pictures of the Oregon State Fair confident that with all those people and colors there must be a good painting in there somewhere.   Four years of pictures with images taken from four different photos and I finally have one.


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Taking Ten With My Shadow

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Taking Ten With My Shadow (8 x 10) $125.00

Taking Ten With My Shadow (8 x 10) $125.00

Ordinarily I paint from life or more commonly from my own photographs.  But the photo I based these this painting on was taken by charlena of RedBubble.  The art groups on RedBubble regularly hold competitions.  One of my favorite groups, Just Watercolors, often holds competitions in which each artist paints the same photo.  Up until now, none of the photos appealed to me particularly, but this one did.

Just Kickin Back by Charlena

Just Kickin Back by Charlena

Charlena’s picture is moody and emphases the intimate nature of the space and lighting. I didn’t see any way to do that better with paint than she had already done it with the camera.    But I really liked the shadow looming up behind the resting musician, so I changed the format from horizontal to vertical and cut out most of the dark wall to emphasize the man and his shadow.

After Masking

After Masking

My version of this scene is an almost entirely poured painting.  After transferring my sketch to the paper, I masked the musician, his shadow and everything else dark in the sketch.  The trick to applying liquid mask is to use synthetic brushes and to soap the brushes before and in between dips  into the mask.

The Yellow Pour

The Yellow Pour

When the mask was dry I poured the lights.  After wetting the paper (a necessary first step to get the paint to stick) I poured a tea like mix of hansa yellow light over the paper.  I waited for the hansa to dry before pouring first new gamgee, then deep red rose.  Once again I wet the paper.  I poured the area around his feet first.  Then I poured upwards from his head to preserve the bright yellow halo effect around his face and hat.

The Second Pour

The Second Pour

First Mask Removed

First Mask Removed

When the lights were completely dry, I removed the mask.  I took a moment to renew the pencil lines the mask had lifted. Then I masked all of the areas I has just poured leaving only the darks.  I left the mask to dry.  Then, after wetting the page, I poured light mixtures of cobalt blue, phthalo blue, magenta and deep red rose.  I tried to keep the darker and colder phthalo blue primarily to the shadow and the dark wall leaving the cobalt for the figure in the middle.

After the paint dried, I masked some small highlights in the musician’s face, hat, trousers and shoes.  When the mask dried, I wet the paper and poured the same colors in the same places only darker.

When the final mask was removed I felt the picture was too bright.  So I added little gray shadow under the chair to set off the vivid colors.  Colbalt blue over the orangy pink floor produced a lively gray.


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