Welcome to The Official Page of Olivia Beaumont
May 17, 2017
March 21, 2017
A few posts ago I shared this drawing. If you want to review how to make the leap from imagination to an imaginative drawing, use the link.
I have outlined this painting process in previous posts. I'm going to try to hit different details this time. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments section if I skip something you're curious about or would like to know a material name brand to try it for yourself.
I transferred the drawing to a prepared wood panel. My favorite is Ampersand Gessoboard because it has a smooth tooth surface and the quality is so gorgeous I would hang it on my wall straight out of the wrapper.
This image shows the grisaille underpainting using Raw Umber and White.
Once the grisaille was dry I glazed with Burnt Umber, Black, and Transparent Gold Ochre.
I started glazing my primary colors. ..
In this next image, you can see that I made some compositional changes. (Keep looking for them throughout this demo.) I also started to scumble dry color into the wet glazed areas to build the form. The direction of the light hitting the scene becomes more definitive.
Glaze, scumble, glaze, scumble, hours and weeks pass...
On a personal note, I'm totally in love with the family of animals that includes otters, weasels, ferrets, etc. It makes me sad when I see weasels and ferrets always playing the bad guys in movies. Look at this common weasel - he's having such a good time! What better company can a sea otter king ask for?
And here I put my paintbrush down!
Thank you for viewing!
February 06, 2017
A mahl stick is an instrument used to prevent a painter from touching areas of wet paint with the hand or wrist. It provides a surface on which to rest and steady the painting hand.
This artist is holding a mahl stick and resting his right hand on it (Vermeer)
This artist clearly has a mahl stick next to his brushes (Rembrandt).
You can find the mahl stick in many artist's self-portraits if you just look for it!
Today I would like to show you how to make one. There are different kinds of mahl sticks but this is just a basic one, similar to those used throughout art history.
You can purchase mahl sticks at art stores but I wanted to make my own because it is super easy. The materials cost me less than $7 (I already had the glue, rubber bands and cotton balls).
1 Wooden dowel (7/16" thick)
1 wooden candle cup
1 chamois (5x7")
2 rubber bands
4-5 cotton balls
Gorilla glue or wood glue
Step 1: Place one rubber band around the end of the dowel for grip.
Step 2: Wet the surface (if using Gorilla Glue) of the wood near the rubber band and inside the candle cup and then spread a modest amount of glue. Press the dowel slowly into the candle cup. It should not be loose.
Step 3: Allow for drying time. (Place some paper under the glue area because the candle cup has a hole that might leak glue).
Step 4: Place the cotton balls on the chamois.
Step 5: Center the stick between the cotton.
Step 6: Fold the chamois up around the stick and secure with the last rubber band to form a soft ball.
Step 7: Hold the stick with your non-painting hand and rest the ball of the mahl stick on the painting surface (or the easel). Rest your painting hand on the stick for a steady paint free hand.
Thank you! I hope you enjoyed this simple tutorial and make your own mahl stick!
December 22, 2016
Preliminary sketch: Snow leopards are endangered. I wanted to reference the natural environment so I focused on the Tian Shan mountains. Wild tulips and small wildflowers can be found after the last frost.
I chose the Grisaille method of painting. Here I am preparing my color glazing palette to glaze over the dry Grisalle painting.
After the first glaze I use dry on wet paint to build rich color and eventually paint details.
"Senka": Because snow leopards are so elusive I chose "Senka" meaning "shadow" for this queen's name.
copyright 2016 Olivia Beaumont
September 21, 2016
I'm excited to write about drawing as part of the painting process because I've worked hard all year in this area. I've been trying to combat my impatient nature about sketching. Think about it, do you want to cover a surface with a little tiny pencil point that you have to sharpen every minute or a nice wide brush?! But, no! You can't think like that unless you want your poor draftsmanship to show up later. How are you going to answer when your worst critic (self) asks, "Did you fudge that right there?" Maybe I just have issues with pencils because I have no problem painting with a one-hair brush for five hours.
Ok, enough, let's see some pictures!
1. Thumbnail: This is the "seed"of the visual idea. Some artists (the good ones who took second year illustration) spend time on thumbnails. Then you have me. This took all of two seconds to draw. It was more of a "write it down so you don't forget it" moment.
2. Gesture. The gesture is my favorite part because I get to scribble and draw movement. I don't have to commit yet and I don't have to sharpen the pencil much. Plus, look at those adorable Winnie-the-Pooh arms.
3. Solidify the drawing but don't loose the gesture. However tempting to spend an hour on an eyeball, don't. See how there's weight to the arm and the belly by using a thick line at the bottom and using the eraser to carve your scribbles into a thin line everywhere else.
4. Allow the drawing to tell you what it needs. The weasel on the shoulder was planned, but I didn't know I needed the other two characters until I got this far.
There are infinite ways to solve the negative space, but think gesture first. See how I used simple curved lines behind the Otter King to show what kind of movement and direction the drawing needed before I decided what to put there?
5. Continue until you feel you've covered all the bases with a good balance of detail and gesture. Here's the final 11x14" drawing which took me around 8 hours including mustelidae research time.
September 18, 2016
Some time ago, a friend requested I paint a snow leopard. So I rarely take requests but she said she couldn't pass from this world happy if I refused. So here she is in progress!
1. Pencil drawing on toned paper
2. Grisaille using Payne's Grey and White. I usually use a warm neutral but the grey is suitable for the next phase when I bring out the chosen palette of colors that are cool in temperature.
3. The first color glaze went down quickly hitting the light with gold and the shadow with blue. While the painting was still wet I spent about 3 hours mixing with mostly dry paint on top of the wet.
Looking forward to bringing the highlights out when this dries. back soon for the final product!
August 02, 2016
This little guy is 8x10". I have a lovely frame on order, and I am nearing completion. While I work on a title and wait for the frame I'm excited at the prospect of starting something new in the next couple weeks!
July 20, 2016
We have barns swallows where we live and I just love to watch their graceful flight and their beautiful colors. This lovely bird is on the easel today.
June 22, 2016
*As a side note on Painting Medium, I keep each recipe in a separate jar with a number on top.
1.underpainting fluid- "thin" (solvent > resins)
2.medium body fluid
3.glazing fluid - "fat" (resins > solvent).
June 07, 2016
This painting is a commission that is still in progress. It is based very closely on the famous Arnolfini wedding portrait with the exception that an otter and a Westie represent the client's family, and other personal items have been inserted. Here is the original by Jan van Eyck (1434):
I thought it would be fun to show how I tackle such a detailed painting.
1. I researched the animals and made sketches of the otter and Westie in the appropriate pose. There were also some other small sketches made of any areas that were going to be altered, such as the frog and shoes.
2. I mapped the entire composition onto paper and made sure the proportions were balanced. Because I know my panel size will be 11x14", I use an 11x14" piece of paper as well. Jan van Eyck's perspective is a little quirky to start with but it's important to be sure your drawing is firmly rooted. It's a terrible thing to be halfway into a painting and realize your subject's head is too small.
3. I transferred the complete drawing to a panel prepared with a mix of yellow ochre and white. The result looks pretty much the same as fig. 2, except sketched over the light yellow ground.
4. Using Old Holland Raw Umber oil paint, plus white, and my thinnest medium recipe I start developing the painting (A "thin" medium means it's heavier in solvents than oils or resins, at least in comparison with later glazes). This stage can take quite a long time, but it's rewarding when the next step is reached!
5. Color glazing and top coat details will be the final step, although it will still take many hours. I will post again when I get to the color glazing. I would love to figure out how to create a video of the initial color glazing process . . . let's hope I do!
June 01, 2016
< The original concept sketch.
May 18, 2016
All artwork is the sole property of Olivia Beaumont and is held in copyright even after purchase. The images, artwork, and content may not be copied in any way without consent from the owner.
Photography: Paprika Southern, LLC www.PaprikaSouthern.com