Friday, May 31, 2013

Virtual Paintout 6: Vevie Goes to Italy!

For the month of May Vevie and the Virtual Paintout  gang went to Italy! 

Specifically Lido di Jesolo, a province of Venice. Yes, the place famous for all the canals and romantic gondolas.
(click on any pics to enlarge; I kept them small here so the page will load faster for you)

I must have been in a romantic mood for this one, and chose my title from an old Celtic hymn "The Water is Wide". The CD I have is by David Arkenstone called Celtic Hymns, and I like this version of the lyrics:

The water is wide, I can't cross o'er
And neither have I wings to fly
Give me a boat that can carry two
And we shall sail, my love and I

"And We Shall Sail, My Love and I"

From Google Street View in 
Lido di Jesolo, Italy
9 x 12 acrylic on canvas

Here is the original Google Street View scene I chose to use:

As usual, I dinked around in Photoshop, trying out color schemes, etc. Settled on the one below for my mock-up. You'll see in the finished painting I made a change by leaving out the street lamps. They just made for too much clutter right in front of all that ships rigging. I like it better without them, but retained a bit of warm glow by keeping the last remnants of a sunset in the lower sky behind the ships. 

For a value check and to help me see the ships rigging better, I also made a black and white version:

I settled on a limited palette. I set the tubes out, then put the rest away. This time it consisted of:
Pthalo Turquoise (and a little Ultramarine Blue)
Cad Red Medium (and a little Permanent Alizarine)
Indian Yellow (currently my favorite yellow; so warm and glowing)
Dioxazine Purple
Titanium White

For my black, I mixed together: Thalo Green + Napthol Red Lt; 
and a little Payne's Grey mainly on the ships and Vevie.
(Don't remember if I mentioned this, but I've been using Chroma Interactive acrylics for this series; will talk more about them next time; I'm really enjoying them).

So here we go, the "making of" photos:

I enjoy texture, so started by putting a layer of gesso on my canvas with a palette knife. When dry, sealed it with matte medium; that made it easier to draw the image and adjust the lines as needed, with vine charcoal. I tried the vine charcoal once before, and hated the smudgey mess! But discovered that sealing the dried gesso first with the matte medium made a huge difference in the mess factor.  :-)

Underpainting colors; decided to add the Permanent Alizarine along with the Indian yellow and Dioxazine Purple:

Started the block of of basic colors and shapes:

 Background done:

Alas and alack, I forgot to take more photos... so here we are, finished!

You can peek at the image wrapping around the canvas here:

Still wet on the easel, before a thinned coat of gloss medium, with the ref pic next to it:

A close up of the ships:

And can't forget Vevie or I'd never hear the end of it!

And the finished gloss coated large version of 
"And We Shall Sail, My Love and I":

Hope you enjoyed visiting Italy with Vevie and me. Happy painting!


PS: Anyone interested in joining the Virtual Paintout excursions is welcome. Almost all mediums are acceptable; check HERE for all the info. It's fun!


  1. Wow, that's beautiful. I enjoy reading about your process, too... as a non artist. But it and writing are so similar -- creation in layers and not all at once.

    Vevie sure gets around. :)

    1. Hi Mary,
      It's fascinating to me to see how similar the creative process is, in all kinds of applications.
      I'm happy you enjoyed see it, thanks for stopping by!

      Yeah, Vevie is quite the little world traveler. I want her to send me a postcard from her current location: the Azore islands in the Atlantic Ocean! ;-)

  2. As usual, an excellent picture! I love all the detail on the rigging of the ships. And the blue colors are my favorite! I'm amazed you can get so many different shades with the palette you used. But, since I'm not an artist, I guess there's a trick I don't know.

    1. Aww, thanks Karen! I find it interesting how many shades of blue there are! In fact the newest one I'm working has the focal point with a strong bright blue!

      Jim was peeking over my shoulder as I scouted about for locations, and he loved this place, and insisted it was a great choice. So... we shall see. It has a little 3-wheeled mini-truck in it that was typical in Europe, that he saw when he was in the Navy. He said it was probably from the 1940's! And they are still driving it around. Must be a guy thing, but it was "different", and I decided to go with it. I'll be curious to see how it turns out. :-O

  3. Hi Loretta! Well, today was the very hardest eating day I had since last September. I did not do well, and was extremely unmotivated. And guess what I had waiting for me when I settled down tonight--your comments. Thanks so much. You are very inspirational in your own way. And you have a place in my heart. And I keep your comments as emails because what you say to me--it means something special to me. I don't keep most of my comments, but I keep yours.

    I love the ponytail idea. We can certainly be sisters in fitness. Believe it or not, I'm harder on myself than I am on my blog, or comment "C." I never hate myself, I just get very strict about it. So when you're saying no, I'm probably saying it too. And it is good to have company in that.

    I'm sorry that you had such an awful day. You handled it as well as you could. Some days, I just cry. Things don't always work out great, but I try not to be the saboteur of my own happiness. That's the least we can do for ourselves on bad days.

    I always hope the very best for you. A 13 pound loss is fabulous!!! I really do follow my own strict rules. I have to go right now and fill out my food journal--pretty bad food items to put in today, but they are going in--all of it. And I'm going to think about you tonight and smile. Yay for you in my life. <3

    :-) Marion

    1. Thank you so much, Marion, for such a nice comment! I'm touched that my comment to you could help in a small way. I must admit I don't write often now on my other blog... I don't usually feel I have much to say.

      I hope your day today is much better. One thing I know about you from your blog, is that you don't have pity parties... you get up and go ON. I recently chose two people as my new "mentors", or role models to think about as I go on my own journey to fitness. Neither is perfect, but both are strong, determined, successful, stable and authentic. And you are one of them. :-)

      Thank you!

  4. I really like this one. Are you selling your pieces?

    1. Oh, thank you, Kyra, for asking. I'm actually planning on a 2013 retrospective show with the originals, to show where Vevie "went" all year. :-D

      But I really do need to get my time more organized, and get my Zazzle store updated. I plan to put all of them in there for now, until the originals are for sale next year. I'm still figuring it out, and they recently changed the website all around, so I need to just press on and RE-learn how it all works, LOL! I appreciate your interest, that gave me a huge smile!

      I visited your website, and OH MY! I am in love with your art! I really enjoy James Gurney art, and he calls it "imaginative realism". That is you! I think my favorite is your Alice in Wonderland art. I was smiling the whole time!

      Thank you for visiting, Kyra!