My blog discusses a variety of ideas and methods of creating colorful art. I like to share new methods of painting or making interesting artistic pieces which I am always searching for. I enjoy using different mediums and painting various subjects as you can probably tell when looking at my website. Although I do not write a blog on a daily basis, I write my blog when I feel there is something interesting or new that other artists would like to know.

Category: Paintings of Family Members

Painting Old Photographs

| 09 December, 2014 22:05

Every family has those old black and white photographs of Great Grandma and children growing up. Yep, those photographs were usually black and white or a sepia tone with the individuals dressed up and posed, often having serious looks on their faces. Cameras were  large and only used in formal situations.

Some people only have one or two photos of their ancestors, and place great value on those photographs. But those old photos will not last forever. 

You know what I am leading up to, right?  Yes, painting from old photographs will provide paintings that are colorful and can tell the story of our ancestors in a beautiful and long lasting way.  Old photos can be enlarged to help the artist see the details and facial features more clearly.  Individuals from several old photos can be included in one painting. It's all up to the owner of the photographs and the artist who will be creating a precious painting of long gone ancestors.

This painting was taken from a black and white photograph that had the year "1910" written on it.  Names of about half of the individuals in the photo were written on the back of the photo.  I had seen this photo before, but it was in my mother-in-laws box of photographs.  After my husband's mother died, we inherited the box of  photos, and this particular one was most intriguing to me. It shows young adults all dressed up for an important occassion, with each person in dress clothes including a hat.

So I decided to try and paint the photograph of my husband's grandmother and grandfather as a gift to my husband. It was fun to paint the ladies with their small waists(thanks to corsets in those days) and large romantic hats. The young lady on the left was 16 year old Sarah Lewis before she married Martin Burger, who is seated at her feet. Several of the men in the photo are Martin's and Sarah's brothers.

My husband treasures this painting and has it hung in our family room by a favorite stereo and old records. Visitors often ask us about the painting, and we are happy to tell them the story behind it.

Sarah and Martin Burger were married 43 years.  Martin died in 1955. They had seven boys and one girl, and Sarah lived to the age of 99. I met Sarah when I started dating my husband in 1965 and found her to be a spunky older woman who loved to sing in church and be with her family.

Old photos make great paintings.  They remind us of loved ones from long ago and their life styles.


Making a Painting of My Grandson

| 09 March, 2014 19:43

My grandson is having his 14th birthday next week.  I wanted to do something special for him this year, and decided that I would paint a picture of him as a baseball player.  He plays other sports, but baseball is his favorite and one that he has been in since he was about 5 years old.  Each year he plays on a team that father's in the community run because the public school doesn't offer this until high school.

I referred to a photo that was taken last year. He is wearing his team uniform, hat, baseball shoes and is standing with his bat ready to go.

The first thing which I did was to put a basecoat of acrylic paint(burnt sienna  & white) on the entire canvas which is a 24"x12" gallery wrapped canvas.  Then I drew the figure with a dark blue watercolor pencil.  I drew a grid on the photo and also on my canvas to help me with the drawing so that the body was in the correct proportions.  Once I was happy with the drawing, I painted the skin and clothes first.

The photograph had a fence, grass and a wall in the background, but I decided to keep the background very simple so that the figure was the main subject in the painting.

This will be packed up and mailed to my grandson who lives in Pennsylvania so that he will receive this for his birthday on St. Patrick's Day.  It is my hope that he will always keep this painting to remember his grandmother.