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Showing posts from November, 2008

The Boy in the Car

5"X7" Oil on board
I don't do many figures, let alone portraits so I really need the practice. I used the same limited palette for this that I used for the winter forest scene yesterday, minus the terre verte. I think it works quite well for a portrait, especially one with this sombre mood. The woman who recommended it (I wish I could remember who) called it the "Old Master Palette", but that can't really be accurate. The two siennas have certainly been available since the dawn of time but paynes grey is a relatively recent invention and includes ultramarine, which was very expensive until it was sythesized in the 19th(?) century. I need to research this further, I am sure it is all in Phillip Ball's excellent book Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Color.Edit: Got it, it was Exploring Colorby Nita Leland.

Through the Trees

7"X5" Oil on board

I always use a pretty limited palette but today I decided to experiment with one that is even more limited than usual. Some book that I read a while ago (I would give credit if I could remember who or what) recommended a low key palette of raw sienna, burnt sienna and paynes grey for autumn scenes. This with titanium white and a touch of terre verte is what I used today. I bought the paynes grey ages ago on sale and rarely, if ever use it. Here it is used as a substitute for blue and it works quite well for a very Novembery scene.

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After Morris 2

5"X7" Pencil on Pencil

Still having trouble with my muse, so here is another art nouveau inspired doodle.

The Winery

7"X5" Marker on paper

There is an embarrassing story behind this one. Suffice it to say that if you sit in your car with the lights on, don't be surprised if the battery dies.

November Morning 3

7"X5" Watercolour & pencil on paper

I find myself using the Derwent Graphitint pencils again, definitely a Fall and Winter palette.

After Morris

5"X8" Pencil on paper

I have been having a really hard time finding my motivation for the last few days. Sometimes I just have to do something completely different. When I have seen my way through this first year I am definitely going to cut myself some slack and drop back to posting just three or four times a week. I need some time to work on some larger pieces. It isn't that I have run out of inspiration, just that I am running short of subjects that can be completed in under an hour.

Skylon Tower

5"X7" Pen on paper

As I have said before, pickings are pretty slim on Mondays so here is a sketch I did a few days ago, sitting in a Tim Hortons parking lot in Niagara Falls.

Morning on the Canal 3

7"X5" Oil on board

The boats are hurrying to get through the canal now, they know that it won't be long before the Seaway is closed for the winter. The Garden City Skyway, in the far distance, is one of the best places to view the canal, providing as it does the height that is so lacking around here. Stopping up there to to take photographs is frowned upon though, not to mention dangerous.

November Sky

7"X5" Oil on board

It is so flat around here that the most interesting part of the landscape is often the sky, especially at this time of year.

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Customs House

5"X7" Marker on paper
126 Queen Street Niagara-on-the-Lake was built around 1825 according to Peter Stokes' excellent book Old Niagara on the Lake now sadly out of print but available used.
Niagara-on-the-Lake was once an important border town and the customs house would of course have played a significant role. The coat of arms is the royal coat of arms of the British throne (dating back to Henry V) and reads "Dieu et mon Droit" . It seems to be a modern replica because the picture in Mr. Stokes book, although it follows the same conventions (lion & unicorn surrounding shield), the design is different.

I am honoured to be the featured today in the new "Friday Shed Art" feature over at Shedworking, which is one of my favourite non-art blogs. (I suffer from chronic shed-envy)

White Glass Marble

3.5"X2.5" Acrylic on paper
This was much harder than I thought it would be. It might have been easier in oils I guess, I can't get used the the unblendability of acrylics. This was a good little exercise though, dealing with the shades of grey, the light coming through the marble into the shadow and the slight hint of blue and yellow in an otherwise monochrome composition.


5"X7" Pen on paper
This one is from the series of sketches I did of the boys last week. I will be doing some painting this evening but I may not be finished until quite late and I don't want to cut it too fine.

Morning on the Canal 2

7"X5" Watercolour & pencil on paper

These gulls sit here every day, winter and summer, I am not sure what they are waiting for.


7"X5" Marker on paper

Mondays are always a bit of a challenge, even less time than usual. Today we are stuck with a scribble I did in the greenroom at lunchtime.

It Takes All Sorts

7"X5" Oil on board
More of my husbands finds, the one in the back is a russet, but I have no idea what the other two are.

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Heron ACEO

3.5"X2.5" Linocut print

Yes I know it looks more like a canada goose than a heron, but you try cutting out a heron less than an inch high. This is actually slightly larger than the original, well I guess it depends on your screen resolution, it is on mine.

I started playing around with relief printing about a year ago but then the daily painting took over my life and I haven't found much time recently. It is great fun and I do want to do more. I actually had an ambition to do some 'reductive' prints but that would really take some planning! I have made nine of these and I may try adding watercolour to some of them.

November Noon

7"X5" marker on paper

Not very inspired today. I managed to find some Prismacolor light grey markers, not quite the same as the copic markers, but they sort of do the job


3.5"X2.5" Acrylic on paper
I thought I would try a tiny landscape this time. These are quite fun to do during the week because they can be completed in about half an hour or less

Moon Shot

4"X4" Watercolour on paper

When I arrived home from work tonight a haloed moon was just rising behind the trees across the street, so I decided to attempt the impossible and photograph it. I then proceeded to surmount this feat with the improbable, and tried to paint it in watercolour. I actually tried to do this once before when we had an eclipse earlier this year. Not a great success on either occasion, but an interesting experiment.

Leaves ACEO

3.5"X2.5" Acrylic on paper

Not today's photo. It is cold and grey today, can the snow be far away?


Poppies for Remembrance Day ACEO

3.5"X2.5" Acrylic on paper

As I will probably be posting quite late tomorrow, I thought I would get this one done today. This one has to be for my father Maj. Stewart Lynch M.C. Although he lived until 1995, he died of wounds inflicted in Italy in 1945.

 $20 -Please contact me for more information.sarah[at]

November Morning 2

7"X5" Oil on board

The same general area as yesterday but more "contre jour".
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November Morning

7"X5" Oil on board

Out along the Lakeshore Road, heading into Niagara-on-the-Lake, this is part of my regular morning drive.


11"X8" Pen on paper

It has been a long time since the boys have played, it took a while to get tuned up. This was a great opportunity for me, I so rarely do figure studies. I did about a dozen of these, they were all pretty awful really, but fun to do.


5"X8" Marker on paper

Not inspiring subject matter I know, but a good study. Forcing myself to use firm confident lines, with no possibility of going back or correcting mistakes, is very good exercise, and the dual shadows were interesting. I still have not replaced my light grey marker, so I didn't really get the tonal variation I needed.