Feeling A Bit Blue Green Aqua

Do you ever feel a bit blue green aqua?

I enjoy a little creative challenge every now and then to help think outside my comfort zone. So this week I incorporated several different bits of online homework and blog challenges altogether that had a few things in common. Namely the colours blue, green & aqua. 

Cool Windmills in Estonia
Cool Windmills in Estonia
    The first here combines

  • Virtual Paintout, Estonia here
  • Sketchbook Skool, Bootkamp : Juicy Colors here
  • Summer of Color 5,  Blue/Blue/Green here
  • Creative Tuesdays,  Aqua here
  • Sunday Sketches  here
Cool Volkswagen Van
Cool Volkswagen Van

This funky little van was based on an image I found on Pinterest here

  • Sketchbook Skool, Bootkamp : Stealing Influences
  • Stop Pinning and Make Something here
  • Summer of Color 5, Blue/Blue/Green
  • Creative Tuesdays, Aqua

I thought I’d include a few other pieces I’ve done previously that follow the colour theme.

The Whisper, oil painting of Bull Kelp
The Whisper, oil painting of Bull Kelp, 16 x 20


Quadra Island boat, watercolour paint on wood
“Quadra Island boat” is ink & watercolour on wood cradel board, 10″ × 10″.


You're Invited!
You’re Invited!
Blue Chair Diary blog
Blue Chair Diary blog

Virtual Paintout: Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

A freehand sketch of Cesky Krumlov done in India ink.
A freehand sketch of Cesky Krumlov done in India ink.

The Virtual Paintout is in Cesky Krumlov this month.

The Virtual Paintout is in online challenge hosted by Bill Guffey. Each month he chooses a different location around the world that is covered by Google Streetview. Using this technology allows you to “gather together virtually” in the same geographic region with other artists to draw or paint.

A small city in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Czech Republic was featured in the Virtual Paintout 5 years ago,  but the Streetview coverage wasn’t spread nearly as far.

Collage of work in progress, Cesky Krumlov
Collage of work in progress, Cesky Krumlov

This view is looking north-west from the gardens outside the regional museum. We can see across the Vltava river towards the Cesky Krumlov Castle that dates back to 1240. The bell tower rises 86m above the river.

It is easy and enjoyable to spend many hours “walking” the streets looking for the most interesting subject or the perfect angle but I am managing with experience to not get lost so much! For this picture I just slightly over 3 hours from the choosing of the position to the final stage.
Just to do something a little different this time, I chose to illustrate this month’s city with Koh-I-Noor Sepia Drawing Ink on an 8″ x 10″ canvas board. I made a few reference points with pencil at the intersections of the rule of thirds then just dove in, sketching with a Pitt Artist pen.  I added a bit of depth by adding washes of the same sepia ink.

You should give the Virtual Paintout a try yourself, it’s fun!

Rome: Virtual Paintout

Piazza del Paradiso, Virtual Paintout
Piazza del Paradiso, Rome, Italy (coloured pencil & watercolour) for the Virtual Paintout.


I participated in the Virtual Paintout again this December. The area to focus on was Rome, Italy.

Every painting is a voyage into a sacred harbour.

Giotto di Bondone

I have never been to Rome but as I have recently returned from Amsterdam, Barcelona & Paris. I can imagine to a small degree what it could be like: Narrow, cobbled streets lined with tall antiquated buildings (by my Victoria, BC standards, where some of the oldest buildings are 135-140 years old. Only babies by European or Asian standards!) in various states of decay/preservation, with cafe tables in every other doorway. I’ll get there eventually but for now, this surrogate ramble through the medium of Streetview with have to suffice.

While doing research for the Virtual Paintout the contrast of warm stucco against the cool sky caught my eye this time around. I also like the the negative space, the slightly cock-eyed “X” of the sky.

If your curious to see a glimpse of how Piazza del Paradiso appears in Streetview, click the link here, but remember you’ll need to crank your head way up to get the perspective.


Vritual Paintout
Artist’s Playroom
Paint Party Friday
Paint Party Friday


Virtual Paintout Ireland, Dreaming of Grand Houses, Forests & Lakes.

Virtual Paintout Ireland

Muckross House, Virtual Paintout Ireland
Muckross House, Virtual Paintout Ireland
Muckross House

I participated in the Virtual Paintout Ireland this month. The area to focus on was County Kerry.

It  was very easy to “wander” the streets and pathways for hours through Google Streetview this month. It seemed every time you turned a corner that there was another beautiful lake, a fine old pub, stone cottages, and little churches overlooking another pastoral scene.

I chose another tall building, maybe I’m attracted to the distortion of the upward angle.

Muckross House is located in Ireland’s  Killarney National Park and was built in 1843  for the politician Henry Herbert.

Muckross House, County Kerry Ireland as seen through Google Streetview.
Muckross House, County Kerry Ireland as seen through Google Streetview.

If your curious to see a glimpse of how Muckross House appears in Streetview, click the link here


vpo_link2   20120216-psum7fjy5aq22u61igimnueuyx   BlogButton4120

Traveling the world -virtually!


Nils Ericson Central Train Station. Watercolor and sepia, Virtual Paintout
Nils Ericson Central Train Station. Watercolor and sepia ink on 90 lb. hot press paper.

Gothenburg, Sweden is on the other side of the world from me &  I have never had the pleasure of visiting there but it is this University town where my brother in law lives & works which is why this months Virtual Paintout Challenge caught my attention.

“A good traveller is one who knows how to travel with the mind.” -Michael Bassey-Johnson

A few months ago I found this particular painting challenge which Bill Guffey began in 2009. The idea intrigued me and I have been meaning to try it but this month location gave me the extra motivation to finally put pen and brush to paper.

The general concept of the Virtual Paintout challenge is to use Google Street View as source of inspiration and reference for painting and sketching. No matter where in the world you live, if you are lucky enough to have access to the Internet you can cruise the streets from the view point of a camera mounted on the roof of a Google car. While you certainly have plenty of urban scenes to choose from there are also rural landscapes,  people or animals to be discovered too.

For the last year I’ve been practicing my urban sketching locally so I thought I would be up to this challenge. Once I zoomed in on the locale selected what I came across was very intriguing.  I was cruising the streets,  peering into alleyways and parks,  glimpsing people having lunch in outdoor cafés,  passing cyclists and wondering “Are they going to work or school? “. Part of the test is deciding on an image and while you can submit more than one entry they all that you limit it to three per month.

Shall I do another or wait to see what neck of the woods Bill chooses next?

Check out Bill Guffey’s site. :


P.S. I came across this article after I did my painting.  They’re so tempting I’m going to need to try some of them too!