Portrait Study: Oil on 12″ x 9″ Panel

I wanted to get some practice painting a portrait. For this painting, I wanted  to catch the light as accurately as possible. I may go back to this in a few days, depending on how I feel. This is a portrait of my  husband, by the way.

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Throwback: A Walk: Oil on 16″ x 12″ (2016)


This is an older painting I did three years ago. My style and skill-level is different, but I still enjoyed how creatively bold I was at the time. I use to always avoid talking about my past and upbringing, but some things just stay with you–I mean this is a positive way, of course.


The Truth about Happiness- “Looking Onward” Oil on 12″ x 9″ Panel

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I wanted to keep this painting simple, but I also wanted to  capture the viewer’s attention–making you feel as if you were present.  I use to focus on every little detail when I painted, but I’ve learned that being subtle is sometimes just as powerful.

I always try to post some sort of reflection along with my artwork, and my reflection for this piece relates to time. Sometimes we stay focused on the past and re-live the negative situations in our heads that keep us from moving forward. In reality, there are just things we cannot control and there are mistakes we have made. Accepting all of these things as a part of the human condition is necessary for us to move forward into a better place. Our past memories can be used as a learning experience or simply as a reminder that all  people are flawed. It is also important to remember that the perceptions we hold about ourselves and of others are not always correct, and that is okay–we are all complex individuals made up of many different experiences and ideas. It is impossible to know everything about ourselves and about others.  Like art, language, is symbolic and so our perceptions formed about what others have said is never the same. There is beauty in this!

Happiness is not composed of the  constant need for a dopamine induced euphoric moment, because that is not how humans are built–despite what our capitalistic driven society tells us. The idea of being happy all the time can cause us to think that something is wrong with us mentally when we don’t feel happy and make decisions that can negatively affect us.  Of course, we should do what we can to put ourselves in better situations or remove things in our lives that negatively affect us, but the obsession with finding this false notion of happiness is detrimental to our being. Instead, we should move beyond that way of thinking and realize that most people are not “happy” in the way we are made to believe–despite what we see on TV and social media. We should instead seek to be content and at peace with ourselves. Unlike the dopamine fueled feeling we receive occasionally that leave us feeling empty afterwards, this feeling is long lasting and leads to a healthier mindset and well-being. Once one understand this, the decisions one makes and the habits one forms follow suit, leading to true personal fulfillment and a better understanding of what happiness means. 



Bottles and Baskets: Demo- Oil on 12″ x 9″ Wood Panel

I decided to start a channel on YouTube for easier posting:

Here is a quick video demo of how I use my brush to sketch my painting on a pre-toned (ultra marine blue and red) wood panel with the size 4 Artist Loft Firenze level 2 angled brush from Michaels, which I mentioned on yesterday’s post:

Part1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKv3-R8jBqI

After some work, I demonstrate how I apply the paint boldly and deliberately:

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q71oyZA_YFQ&feature=youtu.be

If you are interested in seeing more videos like this, or if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments. I really enjoy making these videos, so stay tuned for more!

Final piece:

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Inquiries on this piece can be made on here or my website: https://vanessawithun.com

Peaches: Oil on 18″ x 18″ Cradled Wood Panel

I started this painting by toning with burnt sienna and ultra marine blue and sketching with my favorite angled brush from Michaels–It is the Level 2  Artist’s Loft Firenze Angle Brush in size 4. I will do a seperate review of soon. It is my go-to brush for sketching and making fine lines.

I wanted the focal point to be centered on the plate for this one.

Rough sketch:

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I worked in two different sessions for this painting. I added some finishing touches and leaves to give it more movement and added some interesting textures with a palette knife.

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Peaches: Oil on 18″ x 18″ Cradled Wood Panel