Monday, February 27, 2017

No Swimming!

No Swimming! 9x12" oil, plein air, Diane Mannion

Boca Grande Lighthouse

Fabulous morning painting with the Peace River Painters!  Fresh breeze kept red tide offshore, artists dotted the beach (actually more artists than tourists!).  Sailboats scampered out the pass on choppy seas at the perfect time to be painted in!

I picked this view because I loved the No Swimming flag, a slash of bright red surrounded by dark green.  And the limited view of the lighthouse made for easier architectural rendering ( those front porch railings gave me lots of headaches on previous paintings).  

Used Tombow N15 and N55 markers for my thumbnail sketch in my Moleskin sketchbook because it doesn't bleed through the pages as much as the Copic markers did.  (Image on left is two minute pose from figure drawing session.)  This sketch showed I had to make lighthouse smaller. It's not pretty... simply visual notes and thinking on paper.  I like to make mistakes in these thumbnails rather on the canvas.  

My blissful view while painting on location.

A few artists during the gentle crit led by Sharon Yarbrough.  We learn a lot from each other!
Our group is open and free, and as Sharon said, "It's an AAA meeting for Artists Addicted to Art!"

Monday, February 20, 2017


LUNA'S, 8x10" oil, ©Diane Mannion

SRQ and Venice Plein Air Painters!

Wonderful morning painting with many talented artists in Venice, Florida.  Rain was expected but held off long enough to capture sunlight and shadows on this popular restaurant.  Took my mom there for lunch once and it was really excellent.

Painted LUNA'S! with many fun interruptions from tourists and other artists.  Sometimes, paintings come out better when I let them paint themselves like this one.  Happy with it!

Here I am with Durinda Cheek, a selfie with Mary Erickson, Johan Bjurman, Tony D'Amico, and Maryanne Jacobsen!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Snook Nook

 Snook Nook, 8x10" oil, ©Diane Mannion

Before and After

Always a treat painting with friends!  Peace River Painters met in Boca Grande Monday, but I spent more time talking than painting… and a quick trip through the Bargain House didn't help either.

The image on the left is what I went home with.  Spent this morning fiddling, was either a wipeout or a good excuse to push paint.  Could work on these things forever, when is it really finished?  But I like some of the results, especially the light flecks showing through the fence.

The Snook Nook was built in 1910 and remains one of the most charming cottages on the island.
A little white dog sat in the doorway watching all the action.  A wonderful pink, fat-tire bike sat out front until someone rode off on it.  Folks walked by, joggers, dog walkers, a woman pushing a baby carriage.  Plenty of tourists stopped to peak as artists worked behind easels…  Wish I could have painted everything!  

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Surf Sunnies

Surf Sunnies, 8x10" oil, ©Diane Mannion

Sunflowers #3

These sunflower paintings are actually small studies for a large project, working out compositions and color.  

Wanted to keep the background subdued in #3 so the flowers would pop.  Happy that the sky, water, and sand are completely from my visual memory bank.

Tried to keep the yellow and orange colors clean in the underpainting.

Painted background next.

Because this was painted wet into wet, or alla prima… it was difficult keeping yellows clean.
Wiped my brush after almost every stroke!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Sunflowers #2

Sunflowers #2, 8x10" oil, ©Diane Mannion


Still another sunflower painting and there will be more…  

Trip down memory lane: Came across some old photos from the 1990's when I painted a lot of flowers! 
 The top painting (almost 10 feet wide) with the yellow flower is a view from a clients home of the lighthouse in Boca Grande.  Bottom is me in my studio on Old Englewood Road.
Interior shot of our gallery upstairs in the Depot Building, Boca Grande.  John's furniture and fish which he designs, builds, and paints.

Friday, February 3, 2017


SUNFLOWERS, 8x10" oil, ©Diane Mannion


Sunflowers were suggested by a friend so I've started a mini-sunflower series because they're a delightful subject… except for yellow.  I find yellow the most challenging color!

While making piles of paint in three different values on my palette to start with, light and medium values were easy.  I had every tube of yellow out to compare.  Dark yellow, especially a cool dark yellow, like the bottom right flower in the shade was a struggle.  

Piles of mud appeared, too much blue made green, earth tones made brown.  Painted and scraped, blotted with paper towels and started again.  TIP!  If too much paint piles on simply blot it off with a paper towel… see image below.

A dab of purple toned the yellow down.  A touch of naples yellow light raised the value of the "lighter" petals in the shade.  Yellow simply had to be judged by seeing how the color appeared to the color right next to it.  It could look yellow on the palette but when placed next to another yellow on the painting it might look green.  

Here's the painting progression from sketch to block-in stage.  Thought the left side needed something else so I added the amber jar and purple flowers.

Blotting tip… place smooth side of paper towel on top of painting and rub.  Pulls off excess paint so the canvas can be "repainted."  I use the workshop towels that are found in the auto department at Walmart or Home Depot.  Nice blue color, too!