Wednesday, October 31, 2012


"For Molly"

I just finished the two oil paintings of the "Children's Books and Toys" commission.  I have been working on them for a long time, all throughout the summer in fact.  It feels good to bring them to completion.  I am happy with them and am excited to deliver them to my clients home.  The one above is for "Molly", their grand daughter.  Some of the items that were asked to be included were and "elephant", a "sock monkey", a "penguin", a "ladybug" and some of their favorite children's books.  I changed a few titles and images around in the books to make them unique for these two paintings. 

The one below is for "Lily".  I had to paint in a little "bird" too since "birds" are my specialty.  Each oil painting is 24 x 18".   I am not sure what I am going to do without these two paintings in my studio any more.  It wont look the same.  They were so much fun to paint.  I think the hard part was gathering all of the various items I would need to set up the still life for reference.  Once I did that and got the first sketch in, the painting part goes smoothly.

I hope you like them.  You can see the progression of these paintings on earlier posts here on my blog.

"For Lily"

Here is a picture of the "Children's Books & Toys Painting" all finished, and sitting side by side, and then a few detail photos to follow:
(you can click on the images to see them a little bit larger)

all ready to go

detail of "Molly's

detail of Lily's

If you have a comment, I would love to hear it.  Click on the "comment link" below to leave one.  If you are interested in a commissioned painting you can contact me for info.
Thanks for looking.

Barbara Rudolph 

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Children's Books and Toys paintings - continued progress

Bear and Bunny are plumb worn out after a long day of posing for my 
"Children's Books and Toys commission"

Here are a few photos of the continued progress of the two paintings:

I still have to paint the penguin and the foreground, still lots of shadows to add too.  


I have continued with painting in book titles and blocking in the colors for the little toys and block letters. 

click on image to see larger

Here they are side by side, not finished yet, but getting closer.

The next time I post, I'll hopefully have them finished up.  There are so many small details yet, like the little Dr. Seuss  logos, more book titles to paint in, shadows, and I think they need a butterfly yet and a "little bird" of course.  

Barbara Rudolph

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Children's Books and Toys - Oil Painting in progress

This is the next phase in the "Children's Books & Toys"
oil painting for "Molly"

As I continue to work on both of these oil paintings, I switch back and forth between them allowing the oil to set up so I can do the next phase of the painting.  Above is the one with the teddy bear, duck and elephant for my clients grand daughter Molly.  Below is the painting for "Lily" sitting on my studio floor, waiting patiently for her turn in the next stage of the painting.

Now I will put "Lily's" back on the easel:  It's Lily's Big Day:

 I worked on a few of the books here and began to fill in some of the background layers of color in the center of the painting.  

Below - - It is Molly's turn to wait patiently for the next stage in her painting.

Tune in again soon to see the progress of these two paintings.

Barbara Rudolph

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Children's Books and Toys commissioned oil painting - ( In Progress)

The space above the bed.....where the commissioned children's
paintings will hang 

Early last summer I received a commission to do two oil paintings for a lovely room that was designed for my clients grandchildren.   

The idea was to create two paintings to hang above the twin beds in the guest room.  Each oil painting had to include some popular children's books and several other things like:  a penguin, a sock monkey, an elephant, and must include the names of each of the granddaughter's.   I went over to their home to take photographs of the room and to measure the space above the beds where the paintings will hang.  I also was asked to match the colors of the room.  So....I started with the fabric in the beautiful curtains, which are absolutely perfect for a child's room, bright and colorful.  

The curtain fabric for matching
the colors in my paintings

I then began my search for all of the books and items that I was going to need to do the paintings.  I borrowed some of the books and objects from a few people I knew, and also visited books stores as well as frequent visits to my local library.  I also purchased an old set of the vintage wood letter blocks on ebay.  I thought those old blocks would be perfect to spell out the names of each grandchild in my still life paintings.

I took about 200 photographs of various ideas for my paintings.  I then had to narrow them down to my favorites and ended up with several photographs from which to paint from.  I also set up the still life as close to the photos I took in my studio.  It helps to work from life (seeing the actual still life helped me with seeing the shadows.  

I ran into a few problems here and there because I had to continually renew my library books so I didn't have to take apart my still life.  (I have been working on these paintings for months), so I eventually just returned the books that needed to be returned and I am finishing the paintings now using my photos for reference.

This was such a fun project, time consuming but really fun.  Below are a few images of the paintings in the beginning stages.  I had already primed my canvas, painted the background color, and after that dried, I lightly sketched in my plan for the paintings:

This one is "Lily"
(Beginning the oil painting)

(This is the beginning stage of Molly's painting)
I hope you will stop back in again soon to see the next phase of my "Children's Books and Toys" commissioned paintings.  Don't worry.....I promise to paint in a "bird" somewhere too, since that is my specialty.

Barbara Rudolph

Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Winkin, Blinkin and Nod" Sparrow - oil painting triptych

"Winkin, Blinkin and Nod"

I just finished my 3rd "sparrow" oil painting to go in my triptych.  I like the idea of keeping them together as a  set, and hopefully they will find a good home.  I decided to name them "Winkin, Blinkin and Nod" which I remember was a favorite from an old Andy Griffith show.  "Winkin, Blinkin and Nod,"  was actually a popular children's poem written by an American writer and poet "Eugene Field," and it was first published in 1889.

Here is a close up of "Nod" the 3rd "house sparrow" in my set.
(You can see the first two sparrows in my previous posts on this blog)

 Each canvas measures 6 x 6 x 1.5"  and the "triptych" "Winkin, Blinkin and Nod" will be available at the next "Celebration of Fine Art" show which opens in January.

Here is a side angle view of the set:

Barbara Rudolph
my website

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sparrow oil painting (The second in the triptych)

"Sparrow 2"
The second in the triptych

This little "bird" I photographed outside my window.  I am painting a triptych of "sparrows" and this painting is the second in the set of three.  It measures 7 x 7" on gallery wrapped canvas.  The set will be for sale at my next art show at the "Celebration of Fine Art".  The "sparrow" paintings are complex, and I am trying to capture a true likeness of each bird in oil paint.  I enjoy painting these smaller pieces as I continue to work on my new large paintings.  Some of my large paintings take months to complete.  It always feels good to bring one to completion even when they are this small.  The set of three will make a nice wall hanging together, I am still working on the 3rd one.

Barbara Rudolph

Celebration of Fine Art

Friday, October 12, 2012


This little "sparrow" oil painting is going to be part of a triptych of small "sparrows".  This is the first in a set of three.  I painted it on a chunky gallery wrapped canvas size 6 x 6".  I photographed the little "bird" outside my kitchen window.   They like to come and eat at the feeder right up until dark, then they disappear again until morning.   I painted it on the dark background, which I often do to bring the focus on the little "bird."   I will post the other two once I finish them.  The set will be available at my next "Celebration of Fine Art" show, which opens in January.

Barbara Rudolph