New Bowen Island Painting Finished

I have a new painting finished and up in my Etsy print store:

bowen

First Paddle, 16″ x 20″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © 2016 Kathryn Beals

This is a painting of my little daughter learning to paddle her own kayak in the ocean off of Bowen Island, in the Gulf islands of British Columbia.  We spent a lot of time there last summer swimming in the warm water.

Here are a few progress pics I took along the way.  The color is a little different since I was painting at night under incandescent light.

img_8264 img_8296

Painting in the sky quickly with my big brush.  I used mostly Ultramarine Blue with a bit of Anthraquinone Blue and of course, Titanium White.

ultramarine anthrabluetitaniumwhite

Then I added the beginning of the trees and ocean, again with the big brush to keep me from getting caught up in details.  The paint was drying quickly and I finished this part in about 10 minutes, taking pictures from my Apple watch:

img_8306 img_8347

Here’s one of the little tricks I learned from my portrait painting days. To save time and avoid perspective drawing errors (something I’ve never been great at) I resized my reference photo in a photo editing program, printed it out and taped it to the canvas with graphite paper underneath. Then I traced the general silhouette onto the (dry) canvas underneath as a reference.

img_8581 img_8594

I taped the photo next to my working area and painted in the kayak and girl:img_8629 img_8640

Here are some detail shots from the finished painting, in proper lighting.  Pretty clouds:Version 3

bowen_detail2

For the reflections under the kayak, I just added the colors of the kayak and her lifejacket as I was working.

Version 2

I find water reflections tricky in general and this was a good opportunity to practice.  In calm water, the reflections are always sharper than I expect them to be.  I used very stark contrast this time and I like how it came out.

The original painting is not for sale, but you can buy paper prints or canvas prints of this one in my Etsy store, which donates partial proceeds to Leave No Trace.

My first Death Valley National Park painting

I’ve finished the first of several paintings I’ve planned to do of my trip to Death Valley National Park last February.  I ran the Death Valley half marathon in Death Valley National Park just as the wildflower superbloom was starting, and it was a wonderful experience.  Just as the sun was rising and the runners lined up at the start line, the race director lead the crowd in singing “America the Beautiful”.

deathvalley_iw-2

Death Valley Superbloom, 20″ x 24″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © 2016 Kathryn Beals

You can click on the images to see detail shots from the finished painting.  I had fun working with yellow on this one:

Here’s a gif of the painting coming together.  You can watch my coffee cup moving around:

Death_Valley_Superbloom_painting_step_by_step (1).gif

The painting is now live in my Etsy shop as a photo print or canvas print, and up on my website.  The painting is for sale and I will be entering it in several shows this fall.

New Death Valley paintings coming

Hi!  I’ve been keeping pretty busy with my three little ones and managing my print store, but when I find time to paint I’ve been working on some paintings from a trip we took to Death Valley, California earlier this year.

I ran the Death Valley half marathon in February, and we caught the very beginning of the wildflower superbloom, a rare natural event that comes after just the right combination of rain and temperature.  The race went along Hwy 190 near the Furnace Creek Ranch, and was one of the most beautiful I have ever done.

We also did some stargazing, since the site is far out in the desert and away from light pollution.  My daughter was really hoping to see a scorpion, although we didn’t find any.  It was a wonderful trip and I had lots of painting ideas when we got back.

Before starting, I painted a few quick practice studies on small canvases to try out some ideas.  Each took about 10 minutes:

I started on the uppermost scene, a field of flowers at dawn.  It’s not finished but here are a few progress shots:

Stay tuned!  I’m hoping I’ll have this one finished soon.

New Tofino Beach Painting, in Progress

My husband and I took a trip to Tofino, British Columbia this spring, and I’m looking forward to making several paintings from the trip.  We both grew up in different areas of Vancouver island, and I have painted many scenes from this beautiful place.  This trip, we went kayaking around Meares Island, hiked in Pacific Rim National Park, and did a lot of walking around Chesterman Beach.

IMG_1089 - Version 2image1 image2

I’m starting with this scene of Chesterman Beach, which I have painted before from a different angle.  We stayed at the beautiful Wickanninish Inn, which you can see off in the distance on the right.

IMG_1137 image6

I started with my usual masking tape horizon, and started painting in the wet sand with Micaceous Iron Oxide:

wick-2 wick-4

I decided to enhance all the colors and go for an interesting sky, which I’ll probably still experiment with as the foreground takes shape.  For the sky so far, I used mostly Smalt Hue and a bit of Anthraquinone Blue, mixed with Titanium White and Titan Buff.

smalt titaniumwhite titanbuffanthrablue

I removed the masking tape and started painting the land on the right:

wick-6   wick-9

Then I painted in the rest of the land, and added the surf area in bright white:

wick-10  wick-12

At this point, the painting is still in progress.  I’m not happy with the colors of the sky and water yet, but the shape is coming together and I’ll add some transparent layers until I get it where I want.

wick-16

Here it is in gif format:

wick1

Montana Valley after a Fire, Finished Painting

This is a painting from a trip I took several years ago to Montana.  We visited a valley ten years after a fire, facing the Beartooth mountain range:

regrowth_iw

Regrowth, 24″ x 30″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © Kathryn Beals

My former career is in forestry, so I have particular interest in forest fires and the changes they can make to landscapes and plant communities. This area was so beautiful and vibrant, and the open space supported a huge diversity of  wildflowers and small animals.

I took video of the painting from start to finish.  The quality is not the greatest since it’s my first video, before I got my new camera, but you can still get an idea of the process:

Here are some detail shots, since it’s a big painting:

Regrowth_detail

Continue reading

Pacific Crest Trail Painting in Progress: Painting Stars

I took progress photos of the second half of my Pacific Crest Trail painting, and turned them into a GIF, so you can watch the sky coming together:

mather

After filling in the background colors with a large brush, I started putting in the stars.  I had a breakthrough in my starry sky paintings when I stopped using mostly black, and used a mix of blues instead for the background colors.  This painting has very little black.  The main sky color is Anthraquinone Blue, a strong transparent blue, with some Phthalo Blue and Titanium White.

anthrabluepthalobluegs  titaniumwhite

Another trick I’ve learned: use the handle end of the brush to make the stars.  They come out rounder, and you can adjust the pressure to make bigger or smaller dots.

IMG_2667 IMG_2668

I like to vary the colors of the stars to add depth as well.  For some, I used a mix of Titanium White and Phthalo Blue, then added white dots over top after the first dots had dried.  For others, I used a bit of Titan Buff instead of white, to make the stars yellower.

titanbuffquinmagenta

After putting in most of the stars and letting them dry, I experimented with the colors in the sky by adding in a bit of Quinacridone Magenta and transparent Zinc White here and there over top of the stars.

IMG_0438

I also added a bit of the magenta to the snow on the mountaintops below to tie it together. Here’s the finished painting:

mather_w

This painting is in my Etsy store as a photo print and canvas print.  The original is for sale through my website.

Starry sky painting, step by step

This is my most recent painting, another in my night sky series.   I just got a new video camera for my time-lapse paintings, and I’ll be posting the full video from this one soon.  Here’s the finished painting:

passage_iw

Passage, 24″x 30″, acrylic on canvas, copyright © 2014 Kathryn Beals

This is a memory of camping in northern Alberta, Canada, one of the most beautiful places I have ever lived.  Here’s my step-by-step process below in video stills:

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 12.48.05 PM

I started with my large filbert brush and quickly painted on layers of blue and white in a circular pattern.  This is a mix of Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo blue and Anthraquinone blue, mixed with Titanium white and Carbon black.  I didn’t worry too much about the shape and blending at this point, I just worked to quickly get the canvas covered in color.

ultramarine_bluepthalo_blue_gsanthraquinone_blue    titanium_whitecarbon_black

Continue reading