Painted Canvas - The Website

Make sure to also visit Painted Canvas - the website - to view a collection of all my works, with info about availability. You will also find FREE downloads and interesting links to follow. Enjoy!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Paintings of France - latest creation

I am so proud of my latest painting, I just needed to show you. I started it last week in our painting class and I finished it yesterday afternoon. With this painting my aim was to really show late afternoon light and also create a peaceful scene. I hope that you see that. It is no where specific but I guess it can be somewhere in Europe, maybe France. Although it is quite a busy painting with many elements, I think that because of the colour harmony the whole is unified.

It also has a definate eye movement. Your eye is brought into the painting by the cast shadow of the tree to the focus point which is the figure sitting against the tree. It then moves up the tree and to the right to almost autumn leaves. From there it scans the houses and boats and then comes back river bank to the figure. I think it has a strong composition and good light and shadow design.

What is also interesting is that this painting could actually be broken up into various other paintings. It is fairly large, 1.5m x .5m. Here I show you two paintings within this painting - can you see more. What do you think about this painting? Please leave a comment!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

For the love of horses...

I am an animal person. Ever since I can remember we had dogs in the house. The first dog I can remember was Miekie, a Schipperke. Then there were Border Collies, Klonkie, Kaptein and Katinka. My first dog was Prince, a German Shepherd cross. I also had Jessie and then Tessa and now I have a Bearded Collie, Ami, and a Border Collie, Maggie. We also had a cat, Donsie, and although we got her as a male, she had many kittens. We had white mice and budgies then we also had horses. First my brother had a horse and later he sold that horse and got another one. Then when I got older I bought a horse for R100 ($11) and the saddle cost me R500 ($55).
Those were wonderful times when I could get on my bicycle after school and ride to the farm where my horse was walking, ride the horse, then ride the 7km back to our house before dark. Good times, wonderful times, carefree days!
Anyway I bought a couple of books about horses, and I started drawing horses. Last year I, actually for the first time, started doing oil paintings of horses. I will show them all to you, but this one is my favourite. I love this painting, because of the light and dark contrast. This painting is also my largest. It is still available and if you are interested in buying it from me, just say the word and I will give more details. I really hope you also like this wild horse of mine!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Roses for a friend

A friend commissioned me to do a painting for her sister who is also a very special friend of mine. She said it is my decision as to what to paint, how large and I could also get it framed with the frame of my choice. Sounds like an easy task, but it was not. I thought long and hard about what I should do. Finally I decided on a still life with roses. Now roses (my opinion) is the most difficult thing to paint. I got some reference material ready, I bought a bunch of roses, my canvas, paint and so on. I was ready to paint roses - my very first attempt. I decided on the colours that I wanted to use that would compliment each other and be in harmony.

I started painting, and along the way I had to scrape a lot of paint off the canvas from roses that did not work. Then I tried again, and again, and finally this is the result of hours of work. I took the painting to the framers when it was finally dry to the touch and decided on the frame. What a huge difference the right frame makes to a painting!!! I still consider this painting as one of my best. I just love this painting, and my friend also loves her gift from her sister.

I did a couple other paintings of roses also in the meantime, but I know I still have a lot to learn about roses and how to paint them. I hope you also like this painting - please tell me if you do!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First Portrait - Famous Afghan girl

It is always scary to try something for the first time - I think it is even more scary if you attempt your first portrait! It certainly was for me. But I decided it was time, and I searched the Internet for a nice photo of a person. I decided to use the famous picture of the Afghan girl which was on the front cover of National Geographic. Anyway, I started with the background, then blocked in the clothing and then the face. Then I started modelling the face, building it up in layers.
I must mention that I almost always work wet on wet, which means that I paint on wet paint. I do not wait for one layer of paint to dry before I paint the next layer. That also means that I cannot really do "dry-brush" and I also cannot do glazing. Dry-brush means applying paint with a brush that is fairly dry onto a dry layer of paint. Glazing is to apply a thin layer of transparent paint mixed with turps and oil onto a already dry layer of paint. Both these methods let the first layer of paint show through.
The way I prefer to paint is to paint the thinner, darker paint first and building the painting up using thicker paint in each additional layer. I keep the highlights for last, and it is just amazing how the highlights make the painting come alive. The thin paint should always be at the bottom, because if you put a layer of thin paint over thicker paint, the thin paint will dry first and as the bottom thicker layers dry, the top thin layer will crack.
Here is my first portrait. I must say I was very impressed with the outcome. Actually I couldn't believe that I was able to do it. Now I know anything is possible. If I put my heart and my time into painting, I might one day be able to paint like Renoir!

This painting is not for sale. I only did it as an exercise in portrait painting. There is copyright on the original photo and although my painting is not exactly the same, it still is recognizable.

For more portraits and paintings of  figures visit my website Painted Canvas.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Notan (abstract) pattern - strong design

They say (and they are not the You magazine! They are famous and well established artists), anyway, they say that a painting must have a strong underlying abstract design (also known as Notan design) to be a good painting. The question might be asked, what is a good painting? And who decides what the criteria is for a good painting? Every artist has his or her own unique style and taste. Every viewer has his or her own unique taste. So who is right? I like Renoir's paintings, someone else likes the paintings of Jackson Pollock more.

My personal view is that a painting is good if it draws the viewer's eye into the painting towards the centre of interest, and as soon as the viewer moves his eye away from that focus point, the painting immediately forces him to move his eye back to that focus point. The viewer might not even like the subject matter, or the style of brushwork, or the colours, but he just can't stop looking at the painting.

Remember, I am still learning! I am showing you 2 of my paintings with their abstract designs. The first one does not have a strong design. It might be a nice painting, but it is not a good painting. The dark areas are too scattered.

The second painting is a good painting with a very strong abstract design. It has a definite centre of interest. Can you see what it is? Take note how your eye moves around the picture. Does it go back to that centre of interest every time? This painting also received the most compliments from artists on the Paintings I Love website.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bold Brush Strokes

Sorry, I lost my chronological order! I don't think artists are very organised people. I know I am not! We have gone through most of my earlier works, so from now on I will show you works that have been done in the last few years. Most of them, in the last 2 years.

In between my earlier works and my later works were a period that I really didn't paint much. I started a freelance graphic design business and worked day and night. It was only since last year that I started attending painting classes, that I got more serious about working towards being a full time painter. I am not there yet. I just hope people will start investing in my art before I leave earth for the new Jerusalem!

I want to show you this painting, one of my abstract works. I kind of like it. I certainly enjoyed painting it. I could do anything, I was free, I used bold strokes and I think it was a good exercise in painting in a very loose style. Look at the brush marks on the close-up, it is a composition of its own.

Tell me if you like this painting, and if you do you can visit my website Painted Canvas to download a set of greeting cards for free. This painting is on one of the greeting cards.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cape Town - Bo-Kaap

The Bo-Kaap district of Cape Town is probably the most colourful neighbourhood in the whole of South Africa. It is definitely worth a visit if you ever come to Cape Town. It is one of the areas of the Mother City which lies between the central business district and Table Mountain. The best way to explore this neighbourhood is on foot. You can walk on the cobble stone streets and just experience the uniqueness. Drop into one of the restaurants and enjoy a traditional Cape Malay lunch like bobotie. The houses are all painted in very bright and beautiful colours and against the backdrop of the blueness of Table Mountain it makes a beautiful picture.

I am sure there are already thousands of paintings of the Bo-Kaap, and even more photos by amateurs as well as professionals. Well, of cause I also had to do a painting of the Bo-Kaap. After all, isn't that what Renoir would have done?

I still remember the day. It was during the Soccer World Cup in South Africa. My parents were visiting me and I started the painting in the morning. It took me the whole day and my mother had to prepare the lunch and dinner. After dinner I finished the painting. It now belongs to my nephew, so it is not available. To see a collection of my available paintings you can visit my website: Painted Canvas. Enjoy!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Self-portrait - A Closer Look

There were some requests from family members that I post my self-portrait that I painted 2 weeks ago on my blog. It is from a photo taken when I was about 3 years old. It was taken in the children's pool at the Worcester municipality swimming pools. We often went there when visiting my grand parents during holidays. They stayed very close to the swimming pools and I remember we often walked there.

With this figure / portrait study I worked with a limited palette to produce a monochrome painting. Although it might look as if I have used black and white, there is not a single drop of black paint on the canvas. I use Ultramarine blue, Burnt umber and Raw sienna to create the darks and I just add white to create the lighter values. At the end I just added a few patches of Raw sienna here and there to bring in some colour. I very seldom use black in my paintings. Black is a very dead and flat colour to use. If you mix other colours to create your darks it has much more depth and it adds interest to the paintings. I like the combination of Ultramarine, Burnt umber and Raw sienna, because it also adds warmth.

The top picture is a photo of the original photo, and the bottom picture is then my painting.
If you want a painting or paintings of yourself or your children when they were young, you are most welcome to contact me. My contact details are also on my website: Painted Canvas. There will also find a collection of most of my paintings. Make sure to visit my website often because I will almost weekly add new paintings. Enjoy!