Monday, February 27, 2017

Painting Details....

And A Little More.....

The Problem with Details, Dear Readers, is that one can get Lost in the never ending pursuit of just One more Tiny, perhaps unnoticeable little addition, that just might make All the difference! You will undoubtedly be bored by looking at more of the not yet completed progress pictures of the Castle Hall Ceiling Painting! But I put a lot of Time into the Tiny people adorning the borders of the ceiling, and every time I thought I was "done" with a figure, I would notice something else that needed adding, a little tiny touch of shadow here, a little bit of highlight there, some pattern here, and then those hands! Twenty six little people's worth of hands! No, don't do the math, because Not every person has two hands Showing! It took me Days! But here, let me show you....

If you like, you can even play "spot the differences", 
but I warn you, even I have not kept track!
In the above two pictures the figures have all received their basic colors, 
but their faces are mostly not detailed.

Here you can see that most have their faces rendered.
Yes, it is hard to see the details, 
each figure is about one and one half inches tall!

Here is a closer shot.... 
I was amazed that the camera would focus in so well...!
The Lovers are nearly done.... even their hands!

The chess players have their faces rendered, 
but the musicians do not.....

These figures are mostly done, except for their hands....

And these too....

And while we are doing close-ups... 
here the Diners are mostly done.... 
except for their hands!

And this end of the table too.... 
notice I have added a pattern to the cloth.....

And then Finally.... 
a Day spent working on the hands.....
But please do not judge them too harshly.....
The hands are very small....
hardly anyone will even think to look up
 at the Ceiling of the Great Hall....

These figures are mostly done.....

And these too! 
At least done enough for me to begin the borders 
on the other side of the ceiling!

The panels on this side I wanted to portray the labors of the seasons.... 
and of the common folk...
But I am beginning with the central panel which shows 
the Noblemen going Hawking and Hunting...
Here I have only done the white under-painting. 

This panel shows the Peasants plowing with oxen, 
Sowing the fields, and Reaping the barley....

And the final panel shows a Maiden milking a cow, 
Shepherds with their flocks, 
and the Grapes being harvested.
I spent hours combing through my manuscripts 
to find images that would be suitable for these panels!

The next step is to outline all the figures with black,
 defining their stance and character.
This is where I rely heavily on the original Medieval paintings 
to get the costumes and attitudes of the figures 
to look "Medieval" not modern!

It is actually rather difficult to try to "unlearn" 
what you know about perspective 
in order to show it the way the Medieval artists painted.

At this point I have to be careful not to think of these as "sketches" 
but more as "cartoons" because the lines will really define the figures.

I am Nowhere near as good at it as the Medieval artists were....
but I am at least following in a long tradition of copying images, 
and inevitably making them my own style.

That is as far as I got, Dear Readers, 
but I consider it to be Huge Progress 
on the Castle Ceiling!
And yet, there is still such a long way to go!
More than half the Saints are not yet finished!
But I will leave that for another post!
And meanwhile, Dear Readers, 
Because it is my Birthday, 
I indulged myself and bought another Little Treasure....

She came in a Beautiful Box.....
 But she absolutely did not want to stay in the box!
A Beautiful Little "Jumeau" style Dolly 
made by Sandra Morris of Tower House Dolls...

She says her name is "Floralinda",
and Clearly, she has a mind of her own!

She is so beautifully made and lovingly dressed.....

Surely she Must have a "Girl" to keep her somewhere!

But so far, no-one seems to have noticed her....

She is simply going to have to explore!

Its a Large Castle.....

Welcome to my World, Little Floralinda!
 I So hope, Dear Readers, 
You were not too bored 
by all the Painting Details, 
And the Little bit More!


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, dear Betsy!! Your adorable Floralinda is a perfect gift for yourself, she is absolutely gorgeous! I bet that she will return in so many stories about your dollshouses ;)!
    Your progress in your paint work is really awesome, and yes, it's all in the details, I fully agree with you! I can imagine how difficult it will be for trying "to unlearn" what you've learned about perspective in order to show the way the Medieval artists painted. Your paintings of the tiny people are gorgeous and you've done a huge progress on the Castle Ceiling!
    So again: have a lovely birthday, dear Betsy!
    Warm hugs, Ilona xxx

    1. Thank you Ilona! I couldn't resist adding Floralinda to my collection! The only problem is that she wants her own family... and they should be old fashioned too..... so many projects come to mind! LOL!

  2. Bon anniversaire Betsy et bienvenue à la joie Floralinda.
    les peintures sont vraiment très belles. On ne s'imagine pas le nombres de mains qu'il faut peindre, quel exploit!
    Je n'imaginais pas les "problèmes" de perspective à contrôler, ce petit plafond est une oeuvre grandiose.

    1. Thank you Jean-Claude! :)
      I am glad you like my painting.... someday it will be finished! :)

  3. happy birthday, Betsy
    marvellous painting!

  4. Hello Betsy,
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! I wish you all the best my friend! Are you mad! how anyone could get bored or tired of looking at your painting is unthinkable! The detail is so amazing. The faces impress me the most. How accurate your brush strokes are. This ceiling will be rich and a true masterpiece. what an amazing hall! I wish I had half your talent and control of the paintbrush.
    Your birthday gift is wonderful. She is so beautiful and brilliantly detailed.
    Big hug, and I will have a large piece of cheesecake in your honor!

    1. Thank you Giac! I hope you enjoyed the cheesecake! :)

  5. Wow! Happy Birthday and I'm just amazed at your progress! Little doll is so sweet.

  6. Lo primero feliz cumpleaños y el capricho que te has dado es una maravilla.; como la pintura que estás realizando, un trabajo impresionante. Besos:-)

    1. Thank you Contrastes-Rosa! I am glad you like the painting! :)

  7. Birthday greetings Betsy. I hope you had a happy day. So nice you treated yourself to Floralinda as you will remember just when she came to you.
    Your medieval paintings are perfectly rendered and at such a small scale it is truly amazing. Do you use a magnifier. Please say you do!
    All the best.
    Regards Janine

    1. Thank you Janine! I do not use a magnifier for my painting... I have never been able to get comfortable with using one! I do use one for the tiny needlepoint... but that is so different from paint! The painting is just something my fingers know how to do!

  8. Wow, that is a phenomenal amount of detail in those paintings Betsy. You even managed to get the tiny chainmail in there! It's beautiful.
    A belated, Happy Birthday. I hope you had a wonderful day :0)

    1. Thank you Pepper! Yes, the chainmail took a lot of careful slow breathing! LOL! But it made such a difference! I really do love to paint details.... I can get lost in them for hours! :)

  9. A belated Happy Birthday! I hope you had a wonderful time. The little doll is adorable.
    I love your amazing paintings. Wow! What incredible talent!
    Hugs, Drora

  10. Hi, Betsy - and Happy Birthday! (Even though my happy wishes are a bit belated.) Yes, you have definitely made Huge Progress on the Castle ceiling. I agree with Giac that this is a true masterpiece in color, detail, and content. I cannot believe that the faces can be so individual on such tiny figures; the eyes, especially, are very expressive. Since I know little about art, I was fascinated to find that you do the white underpainting, then follow with black outlines. What an interesting technique!
    And the hands! I've never seen so many hands! I just read somewhere recently that the reason cartoonists put gloves on the hands of their animated characters is that the hands are so hard and time consuming to draw - so they don't! What patience and perseverance you have. Your little Floralinda is just as beautiful as her name. I'm sure she'll soon feel quite at home in your world.

    1. Thank you Marjorie! I do love to paint and Medieval art is my favorite... finding opportunities to use the style in my projects is a challenge... hence the Castle will have as much painted detail as I can cram in! LOL! And yes, hands are the most difficult to draw. The medieval artists had perfected many stylized gestures... I have copied some of them in the Saints... but in the smaller figures it is hard to do... so don't look too closely! LOL!

  11. Sorry I'm so late.
    Astonishing. I think those little strips of peasants dancing and loving and playing may be the best of all your paintings; they positively captured me. Absolutely lovely.
    I would love a strip (larger) of them to put in my own living room!

    1. Hi Mom! Hmmmm.... what an idea, an entire world of Medieval people dancing around the ceiling in a "frieze".... if I only had time....!

  12. Beautiful paintings!
    I know I'm late but
    I wish you Happy Birthday!:)

  13. Oh! Dear Betsy! Happy Birthday! I'm sorry I'm late ... Your doll is charming!
    You are a great artist! You have done a huge job! Congratulations!

  14. Happy Birthday :) sorry i am late. Wow your details are stunning. Your paintings are so alive. Amazing work. Your doll is so beautiful. I am sure she will find someone to take care of her soon.
    Hugs Maria

  15. Happy belated birthday!! Sorry to be so late!!
    I love the details you have painted. I think you are very good at painting from a medieval point of view. I think your hands are amazing!! I especially like the new sketches of the milkmaid and the sheep herders and the hunting scene!
    As for Floralinda, she is adorable!!! Such detail! It looks like only the dogs notice her at the moment :-)
    Big hugs!

    1. Thank you Veronique! I am looking forward to painting the agricultural scenes! And Floralinda is much bossier than she looks! LOL!

  16. Your painting is splendid, can't get enough of looking at it! So much to see and everything depicted so well....
    Enjoy the beautiful present you gave yourself :-D Gorgeous little doll!

    1. Thank you Tessa! I am so glad you like the painting! :)