Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kittens in Progress

First Steps for a Mural

These are scale drawings for a project in Amery, WI. The proposal is for a children's area of a hospital. The central wall, above, is 14'5" wide. Left wall, below, about 5'6".

The thing marked "BOAT" will be a three-dimensional built-in element done by someone who knows woodworking. That would not be me!

This project is pending approval. I will probably know by tomorrow afternoon whether it will go forward.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

La Patisserie Mural, Part 3

The phantom chairs are becoming real, and baked goods are beginning to magically appear on the shelves. I will be at La Patisserie again tomorrow to finish this piece.

If you're in the area, why not drop by? The location is at the corner of Snelling and Randolph (a little south of Grand Ave.) and they serve lunch until 2. Fantastic soups, sandwiches, and yes, pastries.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

La Patisserie Mural in Progress, Part 2

It got cloudy at the end of the day, meaning I didn't have much light when I took the photo.

I've added the upstairs of the building now, and the street on the left hand side. Working on the interior next.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Work in Progress: Mural at La Patisserie, St. Paul

It starts with a scale drawing on paper. My drawings are usually 1" = 1', and I divide them into a grid of 1" squares that corresponds with a grid of 12" squares on the wall. The grid technique dates back to Renaissance times, and it helps me enlarge the drawing accurately. 

Above, I've done a lot of the underpainting in acrylic, which dries almost instantly. It's convenient, but it's not great for blending and the paint is transparent, so the brush strokes really show. 

This is after about 7 hours' work. Today I'll be painting in oils over the acrylic. Oil paints are more opaque, dry much more slowly, and allow me to blend away brush strokes.  Because I don't have to keep adding more layers to get what I want, it's actually much faster to use the slower-drying oils.

With oils I use an alkyd medium -- an additive that speeds up the drying time so that by the next day, you can run your hand over the surface. Very useful for murals, which are in danger if they're wet for too long.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Woofy the Basset II

Woofy II, mixed pencils on paper, 8 x 11", by Tracie Thompson
Drawing practice is good for the soul, especially if the subject makes you grin -- and Woofy does. This is from a couple hours ago at the local coffeeshop.

I'm sorry it's so overcast today, not because I mind the clouds but because I had hoped to get more dogs-in-the-sun photos today.

My animal sketches are available for sale, and I will ship them. This one is $75 and comes in an archival soft-white mat, ready to fit your standard 11 x 14" frame.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nothing Runs Like a ... Basset?

Basset Run (sketch of Woofie), 6 x 9.5" ballpoint and watercolor on paper, by Tracie Thompson

A little fun on this Tuesday morning. I have plans for a small painting of this, because the shape of his body is so wonderful. Sketch is available at $40.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pumpkin in Progress

This dog. This dog is so adorable that I have to paint her. Resistance is futile, assimilation, et cetera et cetera.

Here's the photo I took yesterday, and am working from:

I mean, seriously. If I don't paint this, I'll have to hand in my artistic license. Oh, and if you're wondering, Pumpkin is a French Bulldog. I met her at Battle Creek Dog Park.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Down Among the Briars, and an exhibit in Hudson, WI

Down Among the Briars, 40 x 30" oil and wax medium on canvas, by Tracie Thompson
 This is one of those pieces I enjoy because everyone interprets it differently.

This is at O'Neill Elder Law in Hudson, just across the river from the Twin Cities.  The space is beautiful, and the staff couldn't have been friendlier or more helpful.

Ten pieces, including Down Among the Briars, will be on display through the end of May.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bird Bishop

Bird Bishop, 10 x 8" oil and wax medium on canvas, by Tracie Thompson.

The Bird Bishop, here, is the third of my Concreatures (part of the Cracked Concrete series). He's a traveller, and a friend of Wingy Thingy and Moon Howler.

And on that note, I must travel, myself. See everyone soon!