What a joy painting such a happy Pooch…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


I couldn’t help but fall in love with Montana ❤ His smiling face and bright eyes touch my soul.

I mixed some titanium white, a tiny bit of transparent red oxide and a tiny dash ultramarine blue and a tiny dash of yellow ochre for the white fur; to which I ad a dash of gray made up of burnt umber and ultramarine blue. It’s a little tricky working the dark and the light fur without greying the black. I used a clean brush with every stroke from black into the white fur so that I didn’t grey any of the black fur. I left little bits of the underpainting showing through and that warms it up from the inside out.

Hope you enjoyed the progress picks and how I develop a painting. More to come!


Today’s progress on Montana the pooch…

Blue skies

I worked until 11pm, I’m done, tired, but I did promised I would load my progress by the end of the day. It’s the end of the day and here it is :- )

The colors I’m using for this painting are; Transparent red oxide, yellow ochre, Ultramarine blue, Burnt umber, Titanium white Alizarin and cadmium red.

Once I had laid in my darks, I filled the background with blue skies and clouds, placing Montana on the beach, his favorite place to be.

Montanas palette1

I mixed Ultramarine blue with a dash of transparent red oxide, plus white for the blue skies and for the clouds, I mixed some white with a grey I made with transparent red oxide and Ultramarine blue. For the lights I mixed white with transparent red oxide and a tiny dash of Ultramarine blue.

Montanas progress1

I painted in the yellowy brown colors above and below Montana’s eyes. I mixed Transparent red oxide with yellow ochre. To darken the mixture I added some burnt umber.

Montanas progress2

I then added the blue grey markings on his forehead and nose and blended the fur with the white color which is Titanium white with a dash of transparent red oxide and tiny dash of ultramarine blue and grey.Montanas progress3

I then painted Montana’s eyes with Transparent red oxide, a dash of blue and burnt umber. Next, for his tongue, I mixed a dash of cadmium red, grey, alizarin and white with a teeny dash of yellow ochre and white. The grey I refer to is a mix of transparent red oxide and Ultramarine blue.

Montanas progress4


Next I painted in Montana’s teeth with some transparent red oxide, a dash of yellow ochre and white.

I premixed my greys. Actually I always premix all my colors, it’s much easier in the long run even though it takes quite a bit of time preparing my colors, it still saves me time and hassle in the end. For the browns in the fur I mixed together some transparent red oxide with yellow ochre and a dash of burnt umber.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to complete the rest of the fur and then finish off the final touches!


I think I’m going to paint the pooch outdoors with blue skies…


It’s early morning, Jiji waits quietly at her cat door watching out for mice. I’ve seen a few scurry by on occasion. Yesterday she flew out of there chasing a mouse. I never new my house slipper could move so fast!

Back to my painting of Montana, figuring out the background. I think I’m going to paint him outdoors with blue skies in the background, implying he could be on the beach or at a park. Yup, I like the sound of that, what dawg doesn’t like to be outside! Time to lay some more color on my palette and get painting.

I’ll be posting updates on my progress by the end of the day.

Wish you a productive and successful day!




Painting Montana the Pooch…

I recently received a commission to paint Montana, the adorable pooch. Unfortunately he is no longer with us :- (

I’m posting my process with progress photos to show I how develop a painting. The easy way!

Here’s the photo of Montana, I love his beautiful smile! I used some artistic license to create a playful element and a pleasing composition.

Montana On my easel

I began with a 11″ x 14″ canvas I primed and sanded smoothly. Next, I tinted the canvas with burnt umber thinned with oms, applying it with a brush.

Tinting my canvas

Then smooth it off with a neatly folded rag. If you bunch up your rag, it will leave marks on your canvas.

Smoothing it out

Next I drew in Montana with a brush and Burnt Umber.

Drawing of Montana

Once drawn in, I begin filling in all the darks with a mix of Burnt umber and Ultramarine blue.

Adding darks

Tomorrow I continue filling in color with more progress photos. I’m excited!

Painting in the Garden

I’m so delighted that summer has finally arrived! I definitely came prepared this time. I created a veggie and flower garden, growing my subject matter. I’m pretty much snowed under with painting for the next while. I have a show coming up at the Eclectic Art Gallery in Oak Bay in Victoria at the end of September. More work than time. 

I plan on painting outdoors all summer and most of the still life are painted outdoors or indoors near a window, using only natural daylight. I’m excited! when this painting is done, my next will be a large canvas filled with sunflowers. I’ll be setting my easel up in my garden, pictures coming soon!

I must admit, I do prefer the direct painting approach…

How I love to wake up in the morning and head straight into my beautiful garden. Everyone’s happy, fertilized, watered and growing as I await in anticipation for the magnificent summer display of blooms and butterflies. I can’t wait to walk through my flower garden and pick fresh blooms to paint. I’m so excited!

I will be spending much time this summer in my garden painting en plein air. There is nothing more exciting than painting outdoors with such a vast array of subject matter. Come on summer!!!

Back in my studio, I’m working on many underpaintings all soon ready for color.  I must admit, I do prefer the direct painting approach. I find the gray underpainting somewhat monotonous and boring, although when it comes to adding color, it gets exciting again. Once these are done and out the way, I will be very relieved and stick to direct painting in future.

I know that there are those learning this method and who are intrigued by the glazing process. I will post some images and perhaps an iphone video of how I go about applying color, glazing and scumbling. My palette is a gray tile and the colors I use for my underpainting is Titanium white and Raw umber. My initial drawing is done with just Raw umber. I like to leave some of the warmth showing through in some areas.




Painting these little guys makes my heart sing…

Happy New Year everyone, may you be filled with Love and Hope and a prosperous 2014!

A new year, a fresh start,  new paintings. I have much going on in my studio. Many paintings on the go, all in the underpainting stage. Every painting I’m working on excites me, so much, I can’t decide which one I want to work on first, so I work on them all. Variety is good, keeps things interesting and exciting. Here’s a large piece still in underpainting stage, called Playtime, my grandsons were on their Playtime mat and I stood over them and photographed the scene. When I later studied the photo I realized there was so much texture and color going on the whole arrangement. I loved everything about it and went for it and loving every moment. Painting these little guys uplift my spirits and makes my heart sing.
I have a few more paintings in the making, some portrait commissions. Will post soon. Wishing there were more hours in the day!

playtime progress

The challenge for me is orchestrating the design into a workable plan.

Last night I began working on my design for a new painting. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this. I know I say that about every painting, but this one is like something I have never done before. The image came to me in a moment of meditation, thank you kindly to the powers that be…

The challenge for me is orchestrating the design into a workable plan. The model, Christie, is one of my closest and dearest friends. She has a beautiful relationship with crows. They know her and are already spreading the word when the spot her. Next thing, they are flocking around her and landing on her car awaiting her loving attention and treats they have come to expect from her.

Christie drawing

This piece is going to be life size and although pretty dramatic, there will be strong connectedness between the human and animal spirit.  I can’t wait to share my vision and interpretation of a touching moment caught in time.

Imagine a crazed artist jumping up and down with anticipation…..

Months pass by and feels like only a few days. So much has transpired. My studio is practically ready, just a few more tweaks by the builders and this weekend I move in. I’m so excited! I have big plans for big paintings. I know I have been absent for a while. Now I return with a renewed sense of excitement and inspiration, I can hardly wait to begin! Imagine a crazed artist jumping up and down with anticipation. Yup, thats me! Now for some Java and to hang my paintings in my new studio and free up that display easel I made. By the end of the weekend I’ll have some Studio images to post :- )

A day at the Moss Street Paint-in

A day at the Moss Street Paint-in

I built this display easel and just realized how functional it really is and will be using it daily. I will of course add to it and make it even more user friendly. I’m delighted to mention that a brand new studio is in the works, so very excited, more to come :- )

%d bloggers like this: