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Updated 1/13/10

The Daily Paintings and Postcard-Sized Sketches in Oils and Acrylics

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October 2009

3 I've started on the 11 x 14 oil of the Tennessee Walker commission here. Just the quick layin of the placement of the horse, and the division of space to show you that design begins from the first brush mark. The gift giver wants the full body and a relaxed pose in a pasture, so I am working from the long history of equine portraiture and moving it into a contemporary setting. Unfortunately, the source material isn't the greatest, and many artists would not have taken this one on. But the back-story on this horse and its relationship with its owner moved me so much... I'll unfold the story in the days to come.

This one will also have the changing values to focus your eyes on the horse, with the landscape being secondary. I've toned the canvas with the warm value to contrast nicely with the cool box colors that will make up the majority of the background.
5 Those interested in the upcoming DVD on misty/twilight paintings will enjoy how this one is unfolding. I have a misty background working against a patch of sunlight which will illuminate the light palomino Tennessee Walking Horse in the composition. At this stage I'm only concerned with the separate areas of warm vs. cool and not at all with the anatomy or look of the big gelding. The sky will go in, and the bigger shapes in the background before I tackle the details. It is coming along.
7

Last night a great group of artists came to the studio and painted/drew this model. I'm enjoying sharing with you the three (worthy!) images that came off my Conte crayons and acrylics last night. I'm seriously rusty on the 3-minute poses (the drawings) but didn't do too badly on the 15 minutes acrylic. In these drawings, I used black and sepia Conte and allowed the white of the paper to be the lights.

It was quite enjoyable to have a man smile and laugh with me, as I know this fellow from another "lifetime". And I'll be seeing other good friends this week, too. My art is so connected to what's going on in my life, and sometimes I have to realize that what I am is not determined by others, but only by my own self--and continue to do what I know best--make art that speaks both to me, and hopefully to others.
Here's the second three-minute pose. Looser, less shapes and more line. I do like that my drawing ability is still available to me when I need it.

And the third, the acrylic, was done with little regard to temperature (the Color System) as it was done in less than 15 minutes.
10 I'm working on the TWH commission today, and have brought it further along, making the larger shapes in the background more interesting. It isn't finished yet, (no buyer approval at this stage) so I will be adding more grasses and details to the focal areas.
And having the horse's head this way is due to the source material--tough all the way, with a winter/no sun/furry head shot and the other being inside an arena in summer coat. Verrrry tough!
My question is whether the horse is a palomino or champagne color. I've painted it more as a palomino, but may have to rework it if I am told it isn't. Thus goes some issues with commissions.
13 Last weekend I painted on location at the Riverside National Cemetery near my studio. A 12 x 12 evening light oil came off my brushes, and I left the site both satisfied and sad. Satisfied, because the painting was done to this stage so easily, with my brushes flying across the surface. The nuances of color reflecting the evening light of the Color System are readily apparent as one gazes across the hundreds of grave stones.

And sad, because just before my Dad died in 1998, I asked him, when I needed some love and support, if he could come to me in this specific place. He replied, "If there is any way possible, I will be there for you," and I am sure he was. Before I painted, I walked through the grave stones, and was stopped short on one with part of his name inscribed. I knelt down and cried, so much so that just remembering it brings me to tears again. He was there with and for me, in so many ways I needed just that support at that time.
14 Here's the finished 11 x 14 oil commission of the Tennessee Walker done and ready to ship. Yes, the Odie boy is a light champagne instead of palomino, so most of the finish work to the signature was done on his coloration. The new owner is very pleased, and so am I that I can present this to her sister. This rescue horse has helped her in many ways--just like my animals around me offer support and unconditional love as I meander through my waking moments.
17 I have been working on the first painting for the newest DVD, and it is really fun! The canvas is an 18 x 24 inch panel, and is being done in oils. I'm focusing on how to compose a painting, how to paint using the Color System, and in this case, how to specifically create a misty light situation across distance in a landscape.

At this stage, I usually call it "being in the Uglies", but even now, you can easily see the harmonious colors and related shapes, although the edges and details are long ahead and yet to be found. I've done about 40 minutes of filming at this phase, and will be editing for content and quality when I go into the "cave" to work on the master movie files.
26 The DVD painting is coming along well, and now the second layer of color has been added over the stronger hued first pass.

No details at this point, and still more to do to reduce the color intensities in various areas (can we say "purple"?), but the basic time of day is now coming across clearly.