Monday, July 01, 2013

Virtual Paintout 7: Vevie Goes to the Azore Islands!

For the month of June, Vevie and the Virtual Paintout  gang sailed off to the Azore islands in the North Atlantic Ocean.

(can click on any pics to enlarge; 
I kept most small to enable faster page loading)

They are simply gorgeous! It was delightful to "travel" around the islands via Google Street View. In fact, it was so beautiful, it was hard to choose a spot.

Azore Coat-of-Arms

It was between a pastoral scene with black and white moo cows, the ocean in the background... and the one I chose below. My husband happened to walk by and peeked over my shoulder, wanting to know where we "went" for June. He happened upon me as I was "driving" past a crumbling little chapel, with an old 3-wheeled mini-truck in front. Naturally, that's the one he "voted" for! 

When he was in the Navy he was stationed in Spain and got to travel around Europe. He said he saw lots of these little trucks all over. He guessed this one might have been over 50 years old!

So... the old crumbling chapel, and the hard working little mini-truck. The tales they could tell!

Here is the final location Vevie and I chose:

After playing with it in Photoshop, I came up with this basic color scheme... notice I moved the little truck forward, to allow more of the chapel front to be seen:

And on with the WIP photos (work in progress)...

Since I DO love the Fauves*, I chose Vermillion for my underpainting; I even toned it down with some white... or so I thought! Then sealed it with matt medium:

*The short Fauve movement started about 1905, and basically blew the door off the vault holding color captive, freeing it to be used boldly, expressively and wildly. The term "Les Fauves" in French means Wild Beasts. Visit HERE  for more interesting info and paintings. While the movement didn't last long, it's effects can still be felt, over 100 years later. Here are some New Fauves I enjoy. 

Sketched it in with vine charcoal, then when satisfied, sealed the lines with Burnt Umber:

Still painting with (and enjoying) Atelier Interactive Acrylics, by Chroma. Chose a limited palette of: Cad Yellow Deep, Vermillion, Phlalo Blue, Diox Purple, Forest Green, Titanium White, Paynes Gray; and made black from Pthalo Blue + Cad Red Medium.  Started the sky here:

Continuing sky, and started blocking in the foreground; you can see the sides here, where the painting continues around all the edges:

Continuing on, adding layers and details; starting in on the little truck:

And here it is, drying on the easel:

A close-up of the chapel and mini-truck:

And Vevie would let me know if I forgot her close-up; here she's walking on the wall to check out the little chapel:

"Memories 'neath A Lemon Sky"

The Azores, Portugal
9 x 12 acrylics 
on wrapped canvas

I hope you enjoyed seeing the process. I sure enjoy traveling the world with Vevie and the Virtual Paintout gang, led by our fearless leader, artist Bill Guffey.  As always, anyone of any skill level and almost any medium is welcome to join us each month. Watercolors, oils, colored pencils, acrylics, pastels, ink, ballpoint pen... I think I remember one guy did a picture in crayons one month!!

No airline tickets to buy, no hotel reservations to make... it's free! Come on along! Here's all the deets. 


Happy painting,



  1. That was an interesting process. I can't believe you began with vermillion. Obviously I have a lot to learn about the way colour is layered.

    Your husband knows how to pick a scene too.


    1. I couldn't believe it, either, when I saw how bright it turned out! When Jim walked into the room the first time, he literally gasped. :-D

      Coincidentally, I was just gathering up photos to make a post about colorful underpaintings, and the effect it has on the finished painting. I've been asked more than once: if you just paint over it, why do you paint the canvas with that color first??

      It'll be fun putting it together to answer that question. :-)
      Thanks for stopping by, MargieAnne.

  2. Another interesting and beautiful painting. Congrats!
    I do love your paintings and the way you choose the Google scenes.

    1. Thank you so much, Murilo, I appreciate your kind words. :-)

  3. Your charcoal sketch of the chapel was my favorite of the unfinished pictures. I could put that on my wall as an abstract. Of course, I'm not an artist, so I'm sure I can't see all the little details missing. Like the color!

    I love the "lemon" sky! Such a colorful picture, with all the touches added. Beautiful!

    1. I'm glad you liked it, Karen. When I started, I wasn't so sure I was going to get that bright orange covered! It took a lot of layers, but the Lemon sky finally won the battle. ;-)

  4. Love the addition of the cat! I haven't thought about using photoshop to lay out a painting. I don't know why, I haven't, but I'm glad you posted this. It's definitely given me something new to think about for my work!

    1. Oh, it's so much fun to play with it in Photoshop, Kyra. You can do outrageous stuff... that you just KNOW will be awful. And then shock yourself when you discover you like it. I do hope you try it, I think you'll have a blast.