Thursday, July 28, 2011

Just off the Easel: Shih Tzu Pup

Here's a fun little puppy I just finished.  I haven't done many pet portraits lately, and this was a fun change of pace from all of the portraits and beach landscapes.

oil pastel on board, 8" x 8"
Click here to view in my shop

We had a Shih Tzu puppy named Bandit who passed away years ago... this one reminds me of her.  She was full of personality and loved to lick: her nose, anyone who got close enough to her squished nose, any inanimate object or piece of furniture.  She was a bit of a strange girl! ;)

For a change, I used the clear Colourfix pastel primer tinted bright red-orange with some Golden fluid acrylics.  It made for a bright ground, more fun and colorful than my typical terracotta primer.  In the future, I'll probably try white pastel primer if I want to tint it a color, since the clear was pretty transparent when I added the acrylic.  Several coats would have made the board more opaque, but I don't have the patience for more than one coat!

I have a fun picture of some cows in Vermont that will probably be next to paint.  I bought some Ampersand Pastelbord in gray that I want to try out.  

Happy Thursday!

Bethany :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Just off the Easel: Daddy and Me

Here's another picture of little Natalie.  I started this painting as a Father's Day gift, but ran out of time (here's what Natalie got Nick instead).  Now I've finally gotten around to completing it!

I'm glad I did, because there's nothing more adorable than a girl holding hands with Daddy...

Daddy and Me
oil pastel on board
8" x 10"

Still loving painting these beach pictures.  It makes me feel like I'm still sitting in a beach chair with my toes in the sand... well, almost!

This painting was painted directly on a scrap piece of 8-ply white rag matboard.  Wish I had taken the time to prime the board with a coat of pastel primer like I usually do.  The extra step would have saved me time in the long run, since the pastel didn't have enough tooth to stick to the board.  Once I laid down the first layer of pastel, it was very hard to add any more layers since the pastel just slid around.  Lesson learned!

It's easiest to prepare a bunch of boards all at once.  When I don't feel like painting (but know I should be productive), I prime a stack of boards and paper while watching a movie.  Then, when I'm ready to paint, I have many sizes to choose from and can get started right away.

Right now I'm experimenting with clear Colourfix Pastel Primer tinted with Golden fluid acrylics.  So far it's been good!  I've started a portrait of another shih tzu (previous pup) with a vivid red background.  A post on this as soon as I'm finished. 

:) Bethany

PS... To "like" Bethany Bryant Art on Facebook, click here!  There may be a special deal for Facebook fans soon, **hint, hint!**

Monday, July 25, 2011

Just off the Easel: Watching the Grandkids

This is a painting for my husband's parents, who just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.  We visited them on July 3rd for their anniversary, and my husband caught this sweet moment of Jerry and Barb sitting on the porch swing.  They were watching the grandchildren play in the front yard, and it made for a nice little painting.

Watching the Grandkids
oil pastel on paper
8"x 10"

Wishing Jerry and Barb many more happy years together!  Here is another picture of the Grandparents with two of the four grandchildren...

Barb, Daniel, Jerry and Natalie

Happy 40th Jerry and Barb!  :)  Bethany

Friday, July 15, 2011

Just off the Easel: The Blue One

Here's the other painting I mentioned in yesterday's post.  

I just submitted my two entries into the Visual Art Exchange's N.E.W. Show (Never Exhibited Works).  Talk about sending them in at the last minute... due today by midnight and I just sent them in!  (Whew!)

The Blue One
oil pastel on paper
12" x 9"

This is Sennelier oil pastel over watercolor wash on Arches watercolor paper.  I did try using a few of my Prismacolor colored pencils for some of the finer detail of the siding, windows, and railing.  Smaller lines are very difficult to achieve with oil pastels, especially on a smaller scale like in this piece.

I really loved the vibrant color of this beach house, which is located in Emerald Isle, NC.  This beach is located along the Southern Outer Banks, dubbed the Crystal Coast of North Carolina.  It's less than 3 hours away from Raleigh, making it a great getaway for a weekend or even overnight.  

Here's the Google Map street view of the location... right next to the beach access off of 8th street.

View Larger Map

This is the third piece I've finished from this trip... also see posts about Emerald Isle Dunes and Buckets of Fun.

Not sure what I'll work on next.  It will probably be some more beach paintings once I download the pictures I took last weekend during our trip to Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, NC.  Stay tuned!

Bethany :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Just off the Easel: Just Before Sunset

Just finished two paintings to enter in the Visual Art Exchange's N.E.W. Show.

Here's the first one...

Just Before Sunset
Oil Pastel on Canvas
11" x 14"

I loved painting East on 64 from Jordan from the photographs I took near Lake Jordan last month.   This barn is in the right of the previous painting, and I wanted to feature it alone from a different angle.  I loved the colors in the roof, the shadows, and the warm colors in the grasses.

To start, I applied Golden's Light Molding Paste with a palatte knife to a stretched canvas to create some interesting texture.  Next, I brushed on a coat of Colourfix Pastel Primer in terracotta to give the surface some tooth to hold the pastel.  After sketching out the layout in white chalk, I laid down the colors with Neopastel II water soluble pastels.  Then, I used water applied with a brush to create a watercolor wash to finish the underpainting.

detail of underpainting after water applied to Neopastel II

Finally, I laid down the oil pastels and blended with my trusty  colour shapers.  I attempted to leave as much texture and marks as possible, because I'm trying to avoid my tendency to over-blend my paintings.  The colors always get muddy when I get a little crazy with the colour shapers... ;)

Fingers crossed that it gets into the show, but either way I had fun working on the textured canvas.  I'm thinking about how I'll frame this piece.  Since I went very light on the oil pastel (not thick) I'm considering varnishing it with Sennelier's oil pastel fixative, though I haven't tried it yet.  I may just wait to see if it gets into the show, since how I frame it will depend on where I display the painting.

Another post soon with the other piece I am entering in the show... Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Emerald Isle Dunes listed on Etsy

The Oceanic Latitudes show in Downtown Apex is over, so I've posted my Emerald Isle Dunes piece in my Etsy shop!  I've been so busy with the holiday and visiting with family and friends that I have only done a little bit of painting over the past week.  

Looking forward to getting back to the easel and working some more on beach-inspired work. We'll be heading to Wilmington this weekend, and I'm hoping to get some more great reference pictures!

Emerald Isle Dunes  available on Etsy

I'm working on another smaller version using the same beach photo on watercolor paper with watercolor wash underpainting.  Also I've been working on a oil pastel using this reference picture:

Look for a work-in-progress post in the next few days!  

:) Bethany

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