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women

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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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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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Women in the Surf

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Women at Lincoln City Beach by watercolorist Jenny Armitage

Women in the Surf (watercolor 11 x 15) $175.00

This is a little painting I started just before we left on vacation and finished while we were en-route.   Kinda fun putting the finishing touches on a beach painting while staying at a motel in West Yellowstone, Idaho.  How much more land locked could I have been?

As with many of my beach paintings, I was trying to catch the immediacy of confronting the wall of water.  It is an all consuming moment.  In this case that all consuming moment was in the late afternoon, facing a back-lit ocean.  People were almost silhouetted against it and the spray shown white.


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Summer Shoppers

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Summer Shoppers

Summer Shoppers (11 x 12) $150.00

This could be anywhere.  What I liked about my photo was the sunshine and the interaction between the young women.

Poured Version

Poured Version

I intended to pour a very atmospheric painting, and I did pour one reserving only the womens skin for direct painting.  But I was unhappy with the reflections in the windows and the draping of the sundress.  I really liked the bright pinks, oranges and yellows I got through pouring though.  So at the gallery yesterday, I repainted the image using not only my photo, but also the poured painting as a guide.

For most of the painting I used hansa yellow light, new gamboge, quinacridone deep red rose, and phthalo blue.  Using two yellow helped keep things bright.  I added burnt sienna to the hair and the leather bag.

I tried to keep most of the poured feeling by mixing the paints freely on the paper.  I added the windows and other darks in many layers of transparent color.

I’m happy with the results, but were I to do this over, I would pour the windows, sidewalk, and shadows and perhaps the dark bag and pants.  Then I would paint the women directly.


Or purchase a print at Fine Art America.com. See more of my people paintings here: people art

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Three Waiters

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Three Waiters (9 x 7) $125

Three Waiters (9 x 7) $125

Since becoming a painter of people, I’ve developed some sneaky ways of photographing strangers in public. One of them is to sit in a restaurant or on a park bench and pretend to be reviewing my pictures when I am actually taking pictures instead.  I took the photos I used for this painting in just that way.

I just had to take the photos because of  the way kitchen lights in the otherwise dark pub threw these waiters into relief.  They looked like they were on stage, yet the scene was intimate.  It reminded me of an Edward Hooper painting.  But I’m no Hooper, and I intended something much warmer than the world he painted.

It wasn’t easy. I tried a version of this painting almost a year ago and was unsatisfied with it.  As usual, the main problem was composition.  I included too much of the scene and destroyed much of both the intimacy and the light contrast I was trying to present.

Last Year's Waiters Painting

The First Waiters Painting

I like this new smaller version much better than last year’s version.

Once again I used a limited palate: phthalo blue, cobalt blue, burnt sienna, and raw sienna.  Because I was painting with limited supplies in Colorado, I only had one yellow.  If I had been painting at home I would have substituted a brighter yellow for the raw sienna.


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Pub Talk II: Half Poured and Half Painted

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Pub Talk II (9 x 13) $200

Pub Talk II (9 x 13) $200

In this version of Pub Talk I tightened up the composition a little by moving everyone closer together and tying the couples at the far table together with the painting on the back wall. I reduced the number of archways to simplify the pouring process.

I began the picture by painting the people tables and the picture at the far end of the room. This was really the whole lower half of the painting. I used cerulean blue for the older men’s hair and the shadows in the faces. Cerulean blue was much more satisfactory for this purpose than phthalo blue was in Pub Talk I. I dropped cerulean blue and phthalo blue into damp burnt sienna for the darker hair.

For the rest of the direct painting I used the same colors as before. I used layered washes of raw and burnt sienna for the skin again. The clothes are all various combinations of phthalo blue, burnt sienna and raw sienna. The tables are burnt sienna washed over cobalt blue.

direct paint

direct paint

Then I masked the lower half on the picture and poured.

It’s important when pouring to decide what colors need to predominate where and which direction to tip the board after the pour. I tried to place the yellows and reds along the left hand (sunlit) side of the arches. I placed the blues to the outside. I tipped up rather than at a diagonal because I wanted a peaceful cozy feeling.

I used raw sienna, burnt sienna, and phtalo blue for the first two pours. On the third pour I substituted dioxazine purple for the phthalo blue. On the final pour I used burn sienna, cobalt blue and dioxazine purple.

After the Third Pour

After the Third Pour

Removing the mask lifted a fair amount of raw and burn sienna as well was cerulean blue. I rewashed the peoples skin with these two colors. Then I darkened the ceiling fixtures and the archway walls.

Mask Off

Mask Off

Finished. And I do prefer it to the direct paint only version, although I think that may be in part because I got better at the people with each version.


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