Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Diane Mannion, BOWL CAT 3, 8x6" o/c
Don't Miss My Dailypaintworks Challenge This Week!

On a roll with cats in a bowl for my Dailypaintworks Weekly Challenge.  This is my favorite so far... painted with only burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, and white!  The range of colors with such a limited palette, both warm (burnt sienna) and cool (ultramarine blue and white) is amazing.

Check out the wonderful paintings by other artists at the Dailypaintworks link above!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Bowl Cat 2

Diane Mannion, BOWL CAT 2, 8x6" o/c


Second Painting for My Dailypaintworks Weekly Challenge

This painting is closer to my usual style than the purple cat I did yesterday.  Indian yellow toned canvas and simple... red, yellow, blue, and white palette... no black.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Diane Mannion, PURPLE CAT, 8x6" oil/c


My PAINT-A-PET CHALLENGE... this week!
My daughter's cat, Elliot loved to sleep in this bowl as a tiny kitten and it's still his favorite place to hang out or hang out of.   I picked this theme for the Dailypaintworks Weekly Challenge... please visit to check it out or submit your version of a pet painting!

 Photos by Jana Potashnik

Elliot is actually a gray cat with yellow eyes, so why did I paint him purple?  Wanted to "see" if I could... just shocked my inner vision with imaginary colors!  Purple for dark value, orange and light blue for medium value, and yellow for lights.

Don't forget to hug your pet! 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

#87 Royal Terns

Diane Mannion, Royal Terns, 6x6" oil on Gessobord
Dailypaintworks Pick of the Day...YAY!

This Royal Tern family was on Englewood Beach yesterday squawking along with the folks cheering for the nearby triathlon racers.  Painted them because I loved the way the sunlight glimmered on their beaks!  (Never know what will spark a painting idea with me.)  Always found these birds amusing, the black feather tufts on their heads remind me of toupees.  I think the bird on the right was the big baby of the family... the headpiece was still developing.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Scrub Jay

Diane Mannion, #86 Scrub Jay, 6x6" oil

This scrub jay landed near my paintbox at Venice beach, Florida looking for a hand-out.  Signs all around said, "Do Not Feed the Scrub Jays!"   But it was a popular picnic spot and I'm sure folks dropped a crumb or two, so this bird was pretty tame and seemed to like posing for my camera.

Notice how many bracelet-like bands he had on his legs!  Scrub jays are cherished birds down here.  The Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) is the only endemic species native to Florida!  It's also an endangered species.  Birders travel from all over the world to see them.  Unfortunately, they are easily tamed by feeding which causes major harm to their breeding cycle.  And also, scrub jays that are fed by humans will reproduce earlier in the year than those that are not.  The problem is... fledgling scrub jays need to feed on caterpillars present in late spring.  If they hatch too early they will starve.  Sad.  I never knew this.  Now I'll have to explain it to my neighbors that like to hold up peanuts for them to eat.

The scrub jay, like the crow, is a bold and curious bird attracted to shiny objects and tempted to steal!  Perhaps, the silver glint from my paintbrush handle caused him to land nearby.  And no, I did not feed him!

This sign on a nearby roadway always makes me smile!  As if scrub jays didn't know how to fly!

Artist note:  Took the reference photo for this painting a few years ago and knew I wanted to use it... but wasn't ready technically.  This happens often, I'll take a great reference photo but can't quite figure out how to make a painting from it.  Then years later, I get braver, or feel I'm more capable technically and give it a shot.   And like I say over and over about painting from photos..."Don't be a giant copy machine!"  So, I changed a lot of the information in the scrub jay photo, especially in the background.  I'm pleased that this scrub jay painting has taken on a life of its own.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

#85 Orange Umbrella

Diane Mannion, Orange Umbrella, 8x10" oil on linen, plein air
Ahhh, nothing's more satisfying than spending a few hours in the shade surrounded by other artists, painting a view like this... and heading home before noon with a painting that doesn't want to make you throw up!  Manasota Key Beach, a favorite place to paint.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Row Your Boat

Diane Mannion, Row Your Boat, 8x10" o/c

This fellow rowed by while I was painting... knew it was excellent reference material and snapped a few photos.  (Changed his appearance to protect his identity).  About 3 hours.

A few experiments:
 Notan, simple black on white value study to see masses and play with composition.  10 minutes.

 Three value sketch, black, midtone, and white.  20 minutes.

 Five value sketch, scaled from black to white.  30 minutes.

 Fun with weird colors, purple, viridian, and white.  30 minutes.

 #84 Diane Mannion, Row Boater, 6x8" oil on linen
And a 60 minute high value study... darkest dark was the value of yellow ochre. Painted with mid-value black and white as cool dark.  Then lights for the b/w mixture which really look blue!
And the yellow ochre mixed with the b/w mixture look green.  Painting has hazy, foggy appearance.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Boca Depot Bike Path

Diane Mannion, Boca Depot Bike Path, 8x10" o/c plein air
Managed to find some sunshine between thunderstorms and painted in Boca Grande by the Depot Building, around 8 in the morning while some folks were catching up on bike and running time before even more rain.  It's raining again now while I'm writing this.  My sixty pound poodle, after suffering from Fourth of July celebrations last night, is trembling again from distant thunder.  Fireworks, thunder, and sneezing are her greatest fears... aside from the big scary exercise ball in the family room.

Worked on this for an hour an a half on location and added the biker and shopper later.  Have been studying the work of a few fabulous artists... will report later.  Have to unplug computer, don't trust the surge protector... thunder boomers overhead