Thursday, June 30, 2016

Virtual Paintout 28: Medieval Castles in Napa Valley!

For the month of June the Virtual Paintout gang visited Napa Valley, California, USA. I fell in love with this gorgeous castle, called Castello di Amorosa.

This 12th century style medieval castle is a fully functioning winery! The building began in 1994, and has become world famous. Dario Sattui, the owner who fell in love with medieval castles while touring Europe as a young man in an old VW van, is the great grandson of Vittorio Sattui, an Italian immigrant who founded V.Sattui Winery in 1885 in San Francisco. 

The whole story is fascinating, and I loved reading it and touring the castle via Google street view.

Here is the original location (as always, you can
enlarge any pics by clicking on them):

I dinked around in Photoshop, playing with color ideas:

The line drawing on the birch wood panel:

First I painted the values underpainting. I wanted an old, aged effect:

Here is a crummy photo with glare, showing the blues being added. I used Ultramarine blue. In Medieval days it was a sign of wealth to use that blue, it being an expensive color to create from genuine Lapis Lazuli.

Some close ups:

And here is my finished castle, complete with actual images from inside and outside the castle. The gargoyles sit atop stone walls, guarding the entrance to the castle drawbridge. The iron dragon is outside, hanging from chains. The rest are painted images from inside, most on the walls of the Great Room.

"For the Love of Castles"
Castello di Amorosa
Napa Valley, CA  USA

8x10 acrylic on
birch wood panel

I hope you enjoyed visiting Castello di Amorosa.


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Virtual Paintout 27: Ducking in to visit Maine, USA!

Last month in June the Virtual Paintout gang went to Maine, USA. What a gorgeous state! 

As my habit has been lately, I kept my eye out for an animal to paint. Say what?? Not one animal to be found along Route 1 in Maine. 

But then... aha!! I spied this Duck in the window of the Siren Song Tattoo Parlor, in Rockland, Maine. A duck! How cool.

Here is the original location. See my little duck on the very left?

I had blast researching tattoos from the Old School, traditional American tattoo styles. Being a coastal town, I wanted to make my design fit the theme. Hence the lighthouse, compass, waves, roses, anchor, North Star symbols, etc. Those were all tattoos used in Old School tattoos from years ago. And I left some of the birch wood showing, and gave the painting a weathered "old" look, as though exposed to the salty sea air.

First some quick thumbnail sketches I did to try out some ideas:
(can click on any pics to enlarge)

After drawing out my final design and putting it onto the wood, 
I lined it using an acrylic paint pen:

Ack!! The paint pen smeared when I went to seal it. 
Don't know what happened; used this same technique last painting.

I stuck with it, and started the underpainting:

Here it is with the value underpainting:

And finally, it's finished. First here are the sides, 
which each have their own little motif going on:

And the finished painting "Siren Song... aka Ducking In For A Tattoo"

"Siren Song aka Ducking In For A Tattoo"
8 x 8 x 1 5/8 acrylic on
cradled birch wood

Hope you enjoyed this adventure from Maine!


PS: As always, anyone is welcome to join the Virtual Paintout. It's free, it's fun, and each month you can choose to participate or not, as your schedule allows. For this month of June, the destination is Napa Valley, California, USA. I have my spot all picked out! Join me??

Visit here for more details: