Thursday, June 30, 2016


Friends, 4x6" gouache/watercolor, Diane Mannion


I've been playing in sketchbooks a lot lately which is a comfortable place for experimenting.  

Started these with a loose pencil scribble and watercolor underpainting.  Gouache can be painted over anything, the dog from yellow to black for example.  Endless possibilities for making changes are sometimes not a good thing, at least for me.  But then, the sketchbook gives me the freedom to push an idea to another level.

And no time fiddling in a sketchbook goes to waste, it's all practice for the next one.  There's no better exercise for sharpening skills than drawing from life, especially from a live model! 
Friday afternoon at the Venice Portrait Studio, sketched from life... sleepy model kept nodding off.  Experimented with composition and value mass changes... like the one on the right best.
 Another Friday portrait studio sketch from life.
Painted this with paynes gray watercolor and a brush.  Did not use pencil because my favorite mechanical pencil... Graphgear 1000 ran out of lead.  When I tried to add a new piece, the pencil came apart in a million pieces and I could NOT figure out how to put it back together!  (Why can't these things come with directions?  Emailed the company but never heard from them.) But I'm happy with this twenty-minute sketch.  And later... did get my pencil back together.  I like a mechanical pencil because I don't have to stop and sharpen them or carry a pencil sharpener.

***Leslie Saeta is doing a thirty paintings in thirty days challenge in September!  I've done it about four times and found it a great way to improve technique and self-discipline.  I'm in need of jump-starting my work after this two month healing hiatus.  Will do a 30/30 for July and also paint with Leslie in September.  Let me know if you want to join me!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


WATER PEOPLE, 20x16" oil on linen, Diane Mannion


This is the longest period I've not posted since 2008!  The miserable month of May, I called it, so I'll start off with the good news and then fill in the bad, which is rapidly healing to GOOD.

Honored and thrilled to have my painting, WATER PEOPLE accepted into the American Society of Marine Artists 17th National Exhibition, which will start September 9th 2016 at the Muscarelle Museum at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA.  The show will move through several other museums during the year to end at the Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, CT 2018.

Had total knee replacement surgery, May 4th.  Thought I could paint through the pain, afterall, just add T to PAIN to get PAIN-T.  Didn't happen.  Healing and physical therapy took all my energy.

My little Moleskin sketchbook was with me constantly, usually reserved for thumbnail sketches, it was also useful for med and physical therapy charts, and a good place for grumbling, especially about hospital food!  They actually served me Kool-Aid Jello which I refused to eat.  Fortunately, was freed after two days and sent home to heal.  Have gone from walker to cane and now four weeks later... cane-free ready to go!