Dec 25, 2013

Christmas Cardinals Painting


Happy Holidays!!

"Christmas Cardinals"
Oil on Multimedia Artboard

Dec 19, 2013

Apple Chickadees Greeting Card Version

My Apple Harvest Chickadees painting shown here ...

.... has become a favorite with many of my friends and fans so I thought it would be nice to make these available as notecards as well as prints. This image is already available on Fine Art America as prints and notcards but, because it's a rather busy scene of large dimensions, it's not really suitable as-is for greeting cards. If you take this large painting and scrunch it down onto a 5"x7" greeting card many of the finer details will be lost. Because of that, I decided to digitally alter the painting to extract smaller groups of elements and adjust the size and ratio to better fit on greeting cards. Below are three new versions of apples and chickadees derived from the above painting. These new versions are the right size and ratio for greeting cards. Click on an image to be taken to its Fine Art America page.

Dec 15, 2013

Time For Something Personal - Kale!

I hate kale! I won't lie. I like a lot of vegetables, but kale is about as close to the bottom of the list as you can go, even below brussel sprouts. But, because kale is supposed to be a super anti-oxidant food, I have tried to force myself to eat it from time to time. I've tried baby kale in salads, and baked kale chips .... no matter how I've tried kale I am left lying on the floor in gagging convulsions. Sorry, the stuff is just gross! This is one of those foods that could only have been determined to be edible during a time of extreme famine. No well-fed human would ever crave a heaping pile of kale!

However, after all my attempts to find various ways to prepare and choke down kale, I did manage to find one form of kale I could actually eat! I would hardly call this delicious. I would never crave it over a hot fudge sundae...or even turnips! But at least it doesn't leave me gagging and convulsing. It's actually not too bad, as far as kale goes.

I bought mine at Costco, but there are few others stores that carry it. It's called Braised Kale and is made by Cuisine Solutions.

Dec 14, 2013

Your Art on Pinterest

I've recently started using Pinterest to share my wildlife art, along with other things I'm interested in such as other wildlife art, wildlife photography, nature, space, etc., and I think it can be a useful tool for promoting your art and website. There are already lots of articles on how to increase your following on Pinterest, such follow other Pinners with similar interests, Like and Comment on others' Pins, etc. So I'm not going to go into the basics of Pinterest here. This is not an introduction to Pinterest so I'm going to assume you already have your account set up and have some idea how to navigate Pinterest and are now interested in making the most of it. So in this blog post I want to talk more specifically about how to improve your chances of getting your websites and art seen on Pinterest, and also how to prevent your art from getting lost in the sea of Pins.

One important thing to keep in mind is that, if you post your art on Pinterest and make a mistake, you can go to your Pin and edit it. But if someone else has already re-Pinned your Pin then you can't edit that Pin. Your mistake is out there forever! So you really want to try to get it right the first time you Pin something.

If you have your own website (and you should!) the first thing to do is set up your site to make it easy for you and others to share your art images on Pinterest. Add Buttons to your website with their Widget Builder. Or you can go a step further and add buttons for Pinterest as well as other social media like FaceBook, Google+, Twitter, and more. I use the tool from and this is what it looks like on my website:

The tool just sits there along the side to the left of the menu. It stays in place even if you scroll way down the page so it's always accessible. Both the Widget Builder tool and ShareThis tool are free, and they're easy to set up of you know basic HTML. You just copy and paste their code into your page.

Now that you have tools set up so anyone can share your images it's important to do a few other things to your site to optimize it for Pinterest. You want all that sharing of your images to lead back to you, your website, and your art. One thing you should do is make sure your name is clearly visible within the image itself, not just as text next to the image. You should do this anyway, not just for social medial sharing. Anyone can download your images at any time and you want to be sure no matter what they do with it, such as post it on their, or email it to a friend, it always points back to you. Don't rely on your signature. It may not be legible, especially if the image has been compressed. It's worth taking the time to open each image in Photoshop (or similar program) and add clear text with your name, and even your website, right into the image, like I've done here:

It may not be pretty but it's very important for keeping your images credited to you. You don't want people taking credit for your work. There are some unethical Pinners who will replace your Pin's URL with their own, unfortunately. You always want people to be able to find your site should they see your image and want to know more about it. While it may be safer to plaster the text right across the middle of the image as a big watermark, I'm opposed to that. That ruins the image so much that I, personally, won't Pin and share such images. It's just too ugly. So if you want your images to be shared, don't totally obscure them with ugly text.

The next thing you need to do to your website is add descriptions to your images that Pinterest will use when someone Pins your image. I am amazed at how many Pinners are too lazy to add even one word of description to their Pins! They just put a dot, or a space, or a simple word like "wow" in, just enough to satisfy Pinterest's description requirement. Unfortunately, this will not help your art get seen. Pinterest does not have eyes. It has no idea what your image looks like. So if someone uses the Pinterest Search feature and types in "art" your images will not come up if they lack a description, or have an inappropriate description. Let's face it, we're never going to get all those lazy Pinners to type something, so let's do it for them.

Pinterest will grab some information from your website automatically, if it's there. If you highlight text from a page before you click the Pin button then Pinterest will insert that selcted text into the description for you. So make sure there is text near each image that says something about the artwork so Pinners can use that if they want. 

Many Pinners don't know about this, or won't bother, however. So you can go one step further and add behind-the-scenes descriptions to your HTML that Pinterest will grab by default. If nothing is selected Pinterest will grab whatever is in the "alt" tag for that image, so be sure to include alt tags in all your images! Since no one visiting your website normally sees these alt tags (it only shows up if the image does not display) you don't need to worry about cluttering up your page, so make your alt tag as long and descriptive as you'd like. For the above fox painting my alt tag looks like:

alt="Oil painting of a red fox pup in his den, by wildlife artist Crista Forest, Fine Art Prints available"

The words within the quotes are what Pinterest will insert into the description automatically when someone Pins your images from your website. Don't use only the title of your artwork. Use descriptions with keywords you think people will use when searching for art like yours. I don't even bother including the titles in mine. The above fox painting's title is "Learning" but I doubt anyone searching Pinterest using the word "learning" is looking for fox paintings. It's more important that I get related keywords like "painting" and "fox" and "art" in my description. Be sure to include your name. As you can see, I even included my website URL, which becomes clickable once Pinned.

Speaking of URLs, here's another tip about those when posting your artwork. If you have an account with Fine Art America, Etsy, Daily Paintworks, or similar site, don't Pin your art from there. Many of these sites make it easy for users to Pin from them. The problem with this is that when you post from these sites their URL becomes linked with your image, as shown in this Daily Paintworks Pin below.

This would be great if clicking that link right there would take viewers to your Daily Paintworks page, but it doesn't. (This is not the same as the URL people are taken to when they click the actual image, btw) If someone clicks that link what they see is a whole page of images Pinned from Daily Paintworks by anyone and everyone, which may or may not show any of your images. It's better to have your own website URL in there so when people click that link they will see all images posted from your website, not Daily Paintworks. You'd much rather have them discover other images from your art website than other artists from DPW! If you already have some of those Pins on your Boards you don't need to delete them and go re-Pin those images from your own site. You can just Edit the image and replace the DPW (or Etsy or whatever) URL with your own.

Well, that's it for now. I'm fiddling around with Boards and think I have some ideas on how to organize things to make Boards more appealing and more likely to be followed. But that's a whole topic in itself so I'll save that for a future post. In the mean time, come over and follow me on Pinterest!

Dec 8, 2013

Brushing The Cat No.2

Somehow I missed posting this painting I finished back in October. I had done a previous "Brushing The Cat" paint of an orange tabby cat with this concept of the paint brush creating the cat's image. In that one I'd deliberately left the whole painting unfinished as if the brush were still working on not just the cat but the entire painting. In this one the painting is finished but the brush is just putting the finishing touches on the cat, adding the stripes.

"Brushing The Cat No. 2"
Grey Tabby Cat
8"x10" oil on Multimedia Artboard
Original: Available

Here's the previous painting, in case you missed it before.

"Brushing The Cat"
Orange Tabby Cat
6"x6" oil on Gessobord
Original: SOLD

Prints and notecards of both cat paintings are available on Fine Art America


Dec 4, 2013

Being Painterly - Autumn Elk

Here's another one of my attempts to be more "painterly" in my art style. This is, obviously, an elk in an autumn setting.

8"x10" oil on Multimedia Artboard

I have made several attempts to loosen up and develop a more painterly style over the past year. I find it fun and challenging and, since it's not my usual detailed style, I've actually been pretty happy with the results of my painterly attempts.

But ... I must admit ... while I may be happy with the results, I'm not really satisfied. There's a bit of a difference between being happy with the results of your efforts, and being satisfied with what you've done.

I have been told by galleries, critics, and other artists that I should develop a more "painterly" style, so I've made several attempts to do so. Now that I think about it, though, I'm not actually sure why I've been told this. Is this because that is what art collectors want? Is that what wins competitions? Or is it just because that's what the "experts" think paintings should be like? 

I admire the painterly style. I really do. Many of my favorite artists paint in this style. And it's a lot harder than it looks! One would think that less detail would be easier but, trust me, it's not! At least not for me. I find it more challenging. To make something look good with fewer brush strokes is actually hard. So I have the utmost respect for those who can do it well.

But I think I've decided it's just not for me. Somehow I find it fun, but I just don't find it satisfying to leave out the details. No matter how hard I try to let go of it, I just crave the detail.

I don't think I'll make any more attempts to be "painterly" anytime soon. I admire the style but it's just not "me" and I don't think I should do it because some gallery, critic, or artist told me I should. Even if my painterly paintings turn out great, I think you can tell there's something missing from it. I need detail! And when it's not there, something of me is not there, and it shows. I need to be myself in my art, not what others tell me to be, or it's just not mine anymore.

Nov 30, 2013

Holiday Greeting Coloring Page for Children

I haven't posted a coloring page for kids lately so I figured the holiday season was a good reason to post one now. I recently finished a painting of some northern red cardinals in a holly tree that I've used to make Christmas greeting cards. I converted that to a black and white line drawing your kids color. They can color it on their computers. Or they can print it out as is and color it the old fashioned way with crayons or colored pencils. Then they can hang it up to decorate the walls for the holidays!

Be sure to click the image first to get a larger version of it, then you can download (right-click and select 'Save image/picture as...') it to your computer and color it in Photoshop or print it out to color with crayons. Below the drawing is the original image that your child can use for color reference.

Holiday greeting cards of the cardinals are available here at Fine Art America. It's not too late to order! FAA is pretty fast. Cards usually arrive just a few days after ordering. So there's still time to get them to mail out for Christmas!

All images here copyright © Crista S. Forest. They may be used for personal enjoyment only. They my not be sold, distributed, or otherwise used for any commercial purposes without prior written consent from the artist. 

Nov 26, 2013

Deer Painting Won People's Choice Award

I'm happy to announce my painting of two deer by a waterfall titled "Follow Me" has one the People's Choice Award through the Evergreen Association of Fine Arts public arts display program. The event theme was "The Great Outdoors" and took place at The Gardens in Bellevue, WA. Here is my winning entry.

"Follow Me"
Oil on canvas

I also entered two other images in the Great Outdoors display, my little cowgirl painting, and my Montana landscape painting, shown below. 

 "Waiting for Dad"
Oil on Multimedia Artboard

"Montana Morning"
Oil on Multimedia Artboard

All three of these paintings will be on display at The Gardens until January, so if you're in the area feel free to stop by and see these up close and in person, as well as the other wonderful outdoor-themed paintings on display there.

Nov 21, 2013

Time for Something Personal - Shampoo!

OK, I hear some say that people like to get to know the artist, not just their art. They like to know about the artist personally, on a level that has nothing to do with their painting inspirations or methods. Is that true? Well, let's give it a shot. Here is something personal about me that has nothing whatsoever to do with art.

I hate to sound like an infomercial but I love this shampoo!

I have fine, curly hair. Most people think that curly hair would be a wonderful thing to have but, in reality, it's a nightmare. It doesn't just lie there in pretty curls, like Goldilocks. It frizzes any chance it gets. I spend most of my hair-life trying not to look like a cave woman. My hair frizzes if it's raining, windy, hot, or humid. If you even look at it cross-eyed it will poof out like a dandelion gone to seed! I have tried all sorts of anti-frizz shampoos, conditioners, mousses, gels, and sprays. Even the famous "Frizz-eaze" line of products. All disappointing. Until I discovered this. After using this, my hair is actually smooth and manageable, and has distinctive shiny locks and strands. I'm amazed. Really, this is not an ad. I get nothing from promoting this product. I'm just sharing this for the other curly-haired people out there who are fed up trying to find a solution to their frizz problems. Let me know if it works for you!

Nov 16, 2013

Bay Dressage Horse Painting

This is the third dressage horse in my series of four. The first two were titled Concentration and Focus. This one I will call Discipline. There will be a fourth dressage horse portrait painting coming soon.

8"x10" oil

Nov 11, 2013

Cardinals and Hollies Painting - Limited Time Sale!

I finally finished my holiday theme painting of some northern red cardinals on holly branches. As you can see, the composition and colors are similar to my earlier chickadees and apples painting, right down to the basket in the corner. They are similar because I plan to do a series of four bird and tree paintings for the four seasons of the year. This is obviously my winter theme one. The chickadees and apples were the fall harvest theme. Soon will come the spring and summer theme bird paintings.

Prints of this version available here through Fine Art America

I painted all the holly leaves completely in this painting even knowing they would be covered with snow. All the details of the veins in every leaf. A lot of work to paint over with snow later! But I did it so I'd have two versions of this painting, one with snow and one without, to offer as prints. Some people like it better with snow, some like it better without. Now you have a choice!

Prints of this version available here through Fine Art America

I've also made a version just for Christmas cards! These are also available through Fine Art America. You can customize the cards to say whatever you'd like on the inside, so you can make the greeting as personal or as general as you'd like.

Cards available here

Now for the good part. For a limited time I am offering a 40% off sale of the full sized snowy version as prints on canvas! A large, 20"x16" print on canvas for only $75, normally $125! This would make a great Christmas gift for the bird lover you know. Click here to see this sale offer. NOTE: You must use that link to get the discount. Sale ends 11/15/13, so hurry!

Oct 28, 2013

To Vignette or Not?

As you may have seen from some previous posts, I've been doing some dressage horse portraits recently. I am working on another horse painting in my series of dressage horses and I'm trying to decide if I should do it vignette style or not. Here are a couple previous horse paintings I did, the first one with a vignette, the other without. I'd be interested in knowing which style you like better. Should I do my next painting with our without vignette?

Oct 24, 2013

Cardinals and Hollies Painting-WIP1

I haven't posted lately, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy! Quite the opposite. Lots going on lately, keeping me very busy and making it hard for me to find time to blog. One of my projects is getting this cardinals and hollies painting done in time for a winter theme show coming up, as well has having a new image for this year's holiday greeting cards. Here's my work in progress. I hope to have it done by next week! So, stay tuned to see the finished piece soon.

Oil on multimedia board

Oct 7, 2013

Miniature Paintings - No 44 - Autumn Chickadee

It's time to get you some smaller works that would make perfect holiday gifts, decorations, and greeting cards. Starting off the fall season is a small painting of a chickadee in an autumn setting in theme with my earlier Apple Harvest Chickadee painting.

6"x6" oil
Original: SOLD
Other small paintings available here

Oct 4, 2013

Print Sale! - Ends 10/6/13

Exclusively for you, my blog readers, I'm having a sale this weekend on prints of my artwork! Starting right now save $6-$12 (depending on the size you order) on all fine art prints ordered through my Fine Art America page using this discount code: NEDETZ

This discount does not require you to buy any particular size, image, or style. It applies to all my artwork, whether you want a print on paper, canvas, acrylic, or metal. Your choice! Below is just a sampling of the images available but you're not limited to these, so be sure to visit the FAA site for dozens more choices.

It's not too early to start thinking about the holidays. Prints make nice Christmas gifts, and many of the snowy images I have would also make nice Holiday Greeting Cards, so take a look.

Sale ends Sunday night, so hurry!

IMPORTANT: Remember to use this code NEDETZ when placing your order to get the discount.

Photography Prints

Sell Art Online

Art Prints

Oct 1, 2013

Making Prints from Oil Paintings

Do you hope to make prints from your paintings that you can gift or sell? I think most artists like the idea of being able to make reproductions of their artwork. Take a photo, print it out. Sounds easy, right?

Uh, no. Not really. I won't even get into the headaches of trying to get a good photograph of an oil painting. That's a whole other topic for another blog post.

Today I'm going to talk about why the surface you paint on makes a difference when you decide to make prints from your image.

The other day I spent a good portion of the afternoon cutting Multimedia Artboard® and foam board and pasting them together. I usually paint with oils on one of three surface types, or substrates: canvas, Gessobord®, or Multimedia Artboard®. Recently I have decided Multimedia Artboard® is my substrate of choice.


Because I have decided to focus my art on licensing, creating art for reproductions on posters, prints, jigsaw puzzles, calendars, etc. This requires good, clean, "flat" digital images. By "flat" I mean little to no texture or glossy bumpiness shows up in the photo. Oil paints are glossy, canvas is bumpy. This is not a good combination for flat photos. But, much of this can be eliminated with proper use of correct light angles and polarizing filters.

So let's say you have your polarizing filters set up, and your light angles just right, so you minimize the glare from the oil's glossy surface, and you eliminate the texture from the canvas surface. There's still one more problem with canvas. It has holes.

By "holes" I don't mean literal holes. But the texture of canvas leaves paint holes on the surface, pockets in the surface's texture where the paint doesn't always get in. I recently finished a painting on canvas of a palomino horse. I spent a good deal of time in Photoshop fixing all those holes that show up as white spots in the photo. Here's an example of that.

See all those little white specks? (If you can't see them click the image for a larger view) Those aren't digital camera errors, or glare. They are from tiny pockets in the canvas' textured surface where the paint did not fill the holes. Interestingly, when you view the painting in real life you don't see those at all. The canvas texture and the paint's glossiness hide all that. But when you eliminate the texture and gloss from the image with the polarizing filters, these specks become glaringly obvious.

I could reduce this problem by working the paint into the canvas more. But that's hard to do because, as I said, you don't really see it in real life, so it's hard to know where it needs to be worked in. Also, working it in would require really pushing the paint around. I'd risk overworking the painting, blending too much, and losing those lovely painterly brush strokes.

So, the solution to this problem is to ditch the canvas and other rough surfaces for painting on. Gessobord® panels are one option. They are very smooth and eliminate the hole problem completely. My problem with them is that they are heavy, which can add considerably to shipping costs if you have to ship the originals somewhere. They are also prone to cracking, chipping, and breaking. Gessobord® is almost too smooth sometimes, too. The paint slips around sometimes and it can be hard to cover it with a nice opaque layer.

This is what brings me to Multimedia Artboard®. It has a little more texture than Gessobord® but not nearly as much as canvas. So you eliminate the hole problem you get with canvas but don't have the paint sliding all around the surface like you do with Gessobord. It's also very light weight, lighter than either Gessorbord® or canvas, so it's cheaper to ship. It's also very thin, so it's easy to stack, store, or travel with.

So why isn't everyone using it? Well, it does have one major drawback. It's very brittle by itself and will snap like a twig if unsupported so it must be mounted onto a support surface. This is why I mount it to foam board. Unfortunately, I don't think you can buy it already mounted so you have to spend some time doing it yourself. But once it's mounted to foam board it is thinner, lighter weight, and even less prone to damage than either canvas or Gessobord®. And it eliminates the paint hole problem. So, overall, though a little more work up front, I think it's worth the time and effort. Give it a try!

Update: Multimedia Artboard® is now available pre-mounted on foamboard!

Sep 22, 2013

Being Painterly

Here is a new horse painting I just finished today. This painting was different for me because I was determined to avoid getting anal about detail on this one. I forced myself to use brushes that are uncomfortably large for me so I was unable to focus too much on fine detail. This enabled me to focus more on brush strokes, color, and lighting. It was a bit of an experiment.

Here is a close up of the shoulder area so you can see the brush strokes better.

What do you think of the results of my experiment?

Sep 11, 2013

Chestnut Horse Portrait - Fame

Finished - chestnut horse - "Flame"

I used to think chestnut horses were rather boring and plain but lately they have grown on me. The color can be rich and intense and, with a healthy, shiny coat they can look almost metallic copper. Very pretty! Being able to reproduce that metallic sheen in a painting is a real challenge, though. 

8"x10 oil on multimedia board

Sep 3, 2013

Apple Harvest Chickadees - Finished!

I finally finished my apple harvest and birds painting for the winery harvest theme art display. While working on this painting I was surprised to find I really enjoyed painting birds ... and apples! It was surprisingly fun painting the striped colors and shine on the apple skins. And the best part about painting a scene like this is I get the eat the reference when I'm done! The apples, that is! Not the chickadees! :)

Oil on multimedia board 

See a high res version and buy prints here.

Aug 26, 2013

Apple Harvest Chickadees - WIP3

More progress made on my chickadees and apples painting. 

It's times like this I wish I loved acrylics instead of oils because getting this done in time for the winery exhibit next week really means getting it done by Thurs THIS week so it has time to dry. Cadmium yellow hue in particular takes a long time to dry. But it's just such a nice color there's no substitute!

Aug 24, 2013

Apple Harvest Chickadees - WIP2

Still working away on my painting of chickadees in an apple tree. Besides more detail work on apples and leaves, I got one of the chickadees finished. Here's a photo of the section with the chickadee.

I'll post another update in a day or two!

Aug 20, 2013

Apple Harvest Chickadees - WIP1

I live in Woodinville, WA. For those of you who are not familiar with Woodinville, WA, you probably think that, with a name like, it's some small town Hicksville out in the middle of nowhere. I probably would. But, in reality, Woodinville isn't "out in the sticks." It's a well developed area just 20-30 minutes outside Seattle. Yes, we have modern shopping centers, theaters, freeway systems ... even a corn maze!

Ok, so we're "a little bit country, and a little bit rock and roll." :)

But one thing Woodinville is famous for is its wineries. If you're a wine connoisseur you've probably heard of Woodinville. If not, it's something you might want to learn about. Woodinville has regular wine tasting events, and winery concerts, throughout the summer months. And what better hobby is there for an excuse to laze around in beautiful scenery, listen to great music, drink fine wine, and get drunk than becoming a wine connoisseur?

So, why am I babbling on about Woodinville and wineries anyway? Well, the point of this blog post is to talk about an upcoming art showing at a local winery, the Goose Ridge Estate winery, just a few minutes from where I live. Through the month of September they are displaying artwork by artists from the Parklane Gallery, including one of my paintings. Because autumn is not far away, the theme for the art display will be the fall harvest. That limits what I can display there. I have one painting already done that may work, but it isn't ideal for a harvest theme, so I'm working on a new one that will work better. This one is of some chickadees in an apple tree with an apple harvest basket. Here is a picture of what I have so far.

 I'm still mostly at the blocking-in stage so there isn't a lot of detail yet. I did start to detail a couple of leaves and the apple at the top, but other than that it's just block-in. But at least it gives you an idea of what the overall scene will look like, some apple branches, an apple basket, and three cute little chickadees. I just hope I can finish it in time!

Aug 16, 2013

Palouse Whitetail Deer

If you've been following my blog for a while you know I started this painting a long time ago. Well, it's finally finished!

24"x36" oil on canvas

Some people have told me this painting doesn't look right. It looks like a North American whitetail deer running through the hills of Tuscany, Italy. It's not realistic. That scene could never exist.

 Well, I admit, it does look a little bit like Tuscany. But that doesn't mean it's not a real scene. Have you ever heard of Palouse in eastern Washington state? The scenery there is not all that different from Tuscany. And, there are whitetail deer living there! So it's not at all an unrealistic scene.

Here is just a sample of the amazing scenery in Palouse, WA.

Copyright Michael Greene

I suggest you Google Palouse for more amazing images.

Aug 6, 2013

Different Surfaces for Oil Paints

I recently updated my Horse Portraits web page and, in doing so, talked a little bit about the various painting surfaces I use for my oil paints. I thought I'd share those differences here, too.

I normally paint on one of three different painting surfaces, or substrates, with oils. Which one I use depends on a number of things. Some of it has to do with the look I want to achieve in the finished painting. Some of it has to do with what lighting conditions I expect the final piece to be displayed under. Some of it has to do with size and handling. 

The 3 substrates I use are:

• canvas
• multimedia board
• gesso board

Let's start with canvas, the traditional oil painting surface. Canvas gives the traditional rougher textured look that many people love in a painting. Canvas also leaves the oil in the paint, creating the glossy sheen of oils that many are familiar with. The downside to canvas is that finer detail is harder to achieve on this surface.

When I want a smoother, more detailed painting I often paint on multimedia board or gesso board.

Let's start with multimedia board. Multimedia board is much smoother than canvas but still has a slight texture. It is also much more absorbent than canvas, which means it will draw some of the oil out of the paint. This doesn't hurt the painting but it results in a less glossy, more matte finish when the painting dries. While some people love the glossiness of oils, that sheen can sometimes making viewing difficult because of glare. If you have a difficult lighting situation then you might want to go with multimedia board to reduce glare issues. Another advantage of multimedia board is it is very thin and light weight. Multimedia board is mounted on archival acid-free foam board to keep it strong yet still stay light weight. Because of this, it is not likely to be damaged when dropped and, if you want to ship it, costs will be lowest with this substrate.

Gesso board has the smoothest finish of the three substrates. It is less absorbent than multimedia board, so the oils will retain more of their glossiness, though not quite as much as canvas. It's a good choice if you want finer detail than canvas offers but still want to retain some of the glossiness. I only recommend gesso board for smaller paintings, however. Larger size boards get heavy and can increase shipping costs significantly. These large panels may also make your painting more susceptible to damage since they can crack or chip if dropped or bumped.

Below are images showing some close-up details of paintings on the different painting surfaces. Visit my website to see the full images.

Jul 31, 2013

Miniature Painting - No 43 - Happy Kitty

Yesterday I posted Sad Kitty and promised today I would post Happy Kitty. So here it is!

6"x6" oil on Gessobord

Jul 30, 2013

Miniature Painting - No 42 - Sad Kitty

Next up in the miniature painting series is 'Sad Kitty', a cute little gray tabby cat.

6"x6" oil on Gessobord
But don't feel bad that the kitty is sad! Look for 'Happy Kitty' tomorrow!

Jul 25, 2013

Dark Bay Dressage Horse Painting Sold

This painting sold a couple days ago through the Parklane Gallery in Kirkland, WA. Unfortunately, not to the owner of the horse. This was painted from a photo I took at a Hollywood Hill Saddle Club event but I never did find out who the horse's owner was to offer it to them. I'm happy it sold, of course! But I wish the owner of the horse had gotten a chance to see it first. Well, hopefully they'd be happy to know someone else thought their horse was beautiful enough to buy a painting of it! :)

It is a gorgeous horse, isn't it? No doubt a joy to ride, too!

I'm currently working on a new dressage horse painting, among other things. This one is of a beautiful very red chestnut horse. Check back soon to see it finished! 

Jul 14, 2013

EAFA Public Arts Display

I'm happy to announce that three of my paintings have been selected to be part of the Evergreen Association of Fine Arts (formerly Eastside Association of Fine Arts) public art program. These 3 paintings will be on display (and available for purchase) at the Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, Washington from today until October 20th. If you are in the area, do stop by and see these paintings, along with many other paintings from EAFA members, in person!

Black Bear Falls
16"x20" oil

Friesland Nobility
20"x24" oil

Follow Me
18"x24" oil

Jul 9, 2013

Miniature Painting - No 41 - White Stallion

Another milestone reached in my miniature painting project! Here's Number 41, a white Arabian stallion. I really wanted to get a lot of color in this "plain" white horse so there's not a lot of actual white paint in this one. I used a lot of pure yellows, blues, and violets, and used the contrast of yellows against the blues to make it pop.

5"x7" oil
Available here.

This painting was done from a photo I took at a local saddle club event. I liked the way the light was hitting him, the way he tossed his mane and tail, but I didn't want a rider and gear obscuring those beautiful Arabian curves along the neck and back, so I painted it without rider and gear. Here's the reference photo I used. As you can see, I moved that front leg a little so it didn't look like it was attached to the other leg. I hope that was an improvement. :)

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