Monday, December 14, 2015

Merry Christmas!

"Crabapples", oil on panel, 6x6 inches by Bobbi Dunlop

I'm posting one of my favourite paintings today ... It's an older one and while these aren't Holly Berries nor is it  mistletoe, the lively red apples and surrounding greenery is definitely a reasonable substitution.

I'd like to wish all of you a very Blessed Christmas and the best wishes for a Healthy and Happy 2016.

For those of you who have 'learning to paint' on your list of 'things to do' in the New Year, please see the sidebar for my 2016 Workshop Calendar.



Tuesday, December 1, 2015

SUNNY PITCHER - Daily Paintworks Auction

"Sunny Pitcher", 
oil on linen/panel, appx 6x6 inches

I'm so enjoying painting my ecclectic collection of teacups ... since I began painting these Dailies,  many people have shared with me about their own teacup collections.
Each teacup holds a special memory and a story of its own. 
 It occurred to me that in order to have a proper tea party we must also have a cream pitcher ... so I've painted one. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


"Teacup #7", oil on panel, 6x6 inches by Bobbi Dunlop


Many years ago I painted this lovely blue teacup in a watercolour  painting ... I really enjoyed  exploring the vibrant colour as I painted it from life, in oil, once again.

Painting "Dailies" is something I've returned to a number of times over the years since my first venture into Daily Painting in 2007.  Personally, I find it an irresistible way to explore and experiment with new ideas.  Plus, it gives me so much pleasure to bring these little gems to life and  to see them lined up in my studio along my studio shelves. 

So many artists today are exploring this phenomenon of 'painting daily' and there is no 'one-size-fits-all' approach to it, which  makes it all the more appealing for anyone who wants to add their personal stamp to the fun.

Artists jump into the fray for a variety of reasons;  ultimately, the ideal purpose is one of 'artistic growth'.  The small size of 'dailies' provides a means for an artist to start a painting and bring it to completion -  frequently.  It's an opportunity to experiment, take chances and have fun - all while moving toward a unique and personal artistic vision.

My habit is to "rough in" a painted sketch or "mass-in" of the teacup on my small hand-made panels.  This mass-in is simply and loosely done, not worrying about detail - just putting my teacup into its own little space on the square panel, the purpose being to develop a very simple abstract design and a concept for my painting. 

Often I will do a rough-in of several teacup paintings at a time as it takes mere  minutes to accomplish this. Overnight, the initial painted block-in dries and this is when I begin to apply colour.  I like to work this way because having a dry, fixed design to work on allows me to concentrate on paint and texture with my brush, not worrying about disturbing that underlying concept/design.  Having a concept or idea firmly in  mind enables me to work toward that goal or finished painting right from the first brush mark.

In my previous post, "Teacup #6" you will find a short step-by-step of the process I've described here.  I will post more in the posts come.

My upcoming 1-Day workshop "Painting the Still-Life, from Life" is an opportunity to take this idea of developing a concept further, in a larger format.  I hope you'll join me.  You can find a description and schedule of my workshops on the "Workshop" link on my website.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

 Step 1: "Teacup #6"

"Teacup #6", oil on panel, by Bobbi Dunlop

Havin' a teaparty in my studio!  Thanks for following along ... this is Teacup #6 in my 
auction on Daily Paintworks!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"Teacup #5" - Daily Paintworks Auction

"Teacup #5"


Our eldest daughter spent a year in S Korea teaching kindergarten.  When she returned home she gifted us with a  tea set which included  this delicately patterned tea cup.

 It is a beautiful reminder of a wonderful experience in her life.

This is "Teacup #5"  in my Daily Paintworks Auction ... I hope you'll follow along!

Monday, October 5, 2015

"Teacup #4" - Daily Paintworks Auction

"Teacup #4", oil on panel, 6x6 inches (appx) by Bobbi Dunlop

This beautiful little gem perfectly mimics the glorious colours I am seeing out my window today.  I hope you enjoy the 4th Teacup in my Daily Paintworks auction.

To view my Daily Paintworks Gallery, click here .. Thanks for following along!
 And, please share with a friend ...

Saturday, October 3, 2015

"Teacup #3" - Daily Paintworks Auction

"Teacup #3", oil on panel, 8x6 inches (appx) by Bobbi Dunlop

This lovely teacup was handed down to me ... it belonged to my paternal Grandmother, whom I never met, which makes it even more special to me.   It has appeared in several of my paintings over the years and I'm pleased to offer it to you again in my Daily Paintworks auction.

You can view my Daily Paintworks Gallery here or bid on this painting using the link above.

Thank you for following!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

"Teacup #2" - Daily Paintworks Auction

"Teacup #2", oil on panel, 6x6 inches by Bobbi Dunlop


This little teacup is available through auction on Daily Paintworks.   To find out more about my "Dailies" adventure, please read the previous post.   I hope you'll follow along by signing up to receive my blog to your inbox!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


"Teacup #1", oil on panel, 6x6 inches by Bobbi Dunlop


You are invited to my "Teacup Affair"!

Teacups have always been a favourite subject to paint from life.My fondness for those delicate teacups makes them an easy choice over all the other delightful, paintable objects stashed in my studio.

"Dailies" are small paintings that artists around the globe have incorporated into their daily schedule. 

Called "Daily Painting", it describes a means to complete a little gem over a few days - and nothing gives me more pleasure than to line them up in my studio in their various stages of completion.

Painting "Dailies" affords me the opportunity to offer my paintings to first-time collectors at an attractive price point via an auction format or an outright purchase.

You'll find these small paintings on my "Daily Paintworks" page. When an auction is in progress, a "Bid on this Painting" link and a "Buy Now" Button appear, taking the buyer directly to the online Auction on Daily Paintworks. All transactions are made securely through PayPal.

Enjoy one or collect several for a charming grouping. "Dailies" also make really great gifts for the special people in your life.

Painting "Dailies" allows me to explore many other fond subjects too. I hope that you'll follow along with me ... and perhaps add to your own personal collection.

Sign up to follow along on my personal blog (above right) to receive each painting to your inbox as it's painted. 

In addition, I plan to post Tutorials on Daily Paintworks, where collectors and students will find step-by-step
photos of my work in progress. 

First up on the auction block is the painting above, "Teacup #1" ... I hope you'll follow along!

Monday, September 28, 2015


Detail - "Flourish of Limes", oil on linen, 18x24 by Bobbi Dunlop

I'm really pleased to be adding an afternoon class to my teaching schedule mix.  The class will be an "Open-Studio" format where students will explore subjects in the style and genre of  their choosing -  from figurative/portraiture to landscape to still-life, from a photo or painting from life. 

I hope you'll join me!  (Beginners welcome)

Month-to-Month Oil Painting Classes
Tuesday Afternoons - 12:30 - 3:30pm
Cost: $120/month (4 weeks) - supplies not included
Calgary School of Art
531 Manitou Road S.E.
Calgary, AB

To register, email me or online with Calgary School of Art 

For a class description ... read more

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Step #1) Value Sketch/Thumbnail/Abstract Visual Idea

Step #2) Massing in my concept (painted on a panel with a previous underpainting)

Step #3) Massing in shapes/colour 

Step #4) Focusing on shapes

Step #5) "Very Glad", oil on panel, 16 x 6/34 inches

My daughter recently visited from London, UK and arrived with a beautiful bouquet of Gladiolas in hand. One of my favourite flowers! They were a constant reminder that she was with us and the final blooms helped keep fresh the wonderful, poignant moments we enjoyed together.

This painting was crafted on a panel that was odd-sized, hand-made and previously painted. The narrowed, long format strongly appealed to me and I found that the underpainting created some really interesting possibilities.  In combination the gladiolas and the panel made a perfect match for the idea I had in mind.

I began with a small 5x7 inch thumbnail sketch which allowed me to work out my idea quickly. A thumbnail/notan sketch helps me to develop the best design prior to jumping in to a painting.  I've found that in the long run, it saves a lot of time.  Too often I've found myself in the middle of a painting, working out ideas in paint that could have been resolved early on just by doing this simple sketch. Sometimes it requires a few sketches to come up with the best design. 

My aim was to keep the painting fairly abstract which the sketch helped me to do.  Once I got into the painting and needed a gentle reminder to stay true to my original idea, the sketch again proved to be very useful.

Step #1)  My visual idea - creating a concept or abstract visual idea

Step #2) I began by massing-in a very simple design to put the flowers into the space,

Step #3)   Focusing on the big shapes. Keeping things simple, I laid in the local colour and continued with the large shapes, looking for possibilities all the while.

Step #4) Going from the larger shapes I began to develop the more specific details, keeping things painterly with particular focus on making brushmarks.

The final painting, "Very Glad", oil on panel, 16 x 6 3/4.

These concepts and more will be covered in my upcoming 2-Day Still-Life Workshop, "Designing Your Painting/Composition", November 14 & 15, 2015, 1-4pm each day.  To register and read more about it visit Calgary School of Art.

And, you can read more about this workshop in my previous blog, along with some step-by-step photos for my "Painting the Figure (in an interior)" workshop, too! (see Workshop list in sidebar)

Please email me for a supply list.  I hope you'll join me!

Friday, August 28, 2015


#1) 5x7 Thumbnail - graphite pencil

#2)  6x8 Value Study, oil on panel
#3) 8x10 -  Massing in my concept, oil on panel
#4)  Blocking in colour masses
#5)  Looking for possibilities
#6) Study - 8x10 oil on panel

It's a delight to invite you to  my Fall 2015 Workshops at Calgary School of Art.  It's a pretty exciting line-up ... starting with my series of "Absolute Beginners 101,  Mini-Workshops"continuing with the  more in-depth 2-day-workshops in Figurative and Still-Life.  (see sidebar for dates)

The two-day format of the Figurative and Still-Life workshops allows me to delve even  further into my personal working processes and share this with you, my  student.  Processes are something that I savour, and embrace to the fullest,  in my life and my work.  This is a philosophy that I love to share with my students while making brushstrokes oh-so-joyful!

The photos above are examples of the exercises we'll explore in the 2-day Figurative Workshop where you will design your own studio painting.
( This is not a 'portrait' workshop)
Students (you) will work from a personal photo of the figure in the interior and will explore designing your paintings from an abstract visual idea - looking for possibilities. 

 Come and introduce yourself at the  "Instructor Showcase and Gala" at Calgary School of Art - 
Friday, September 18th, 2015 - 6-9pm,.  where I will be working on 
my studio painting from these studies.

Read more about my workshop and register online here at Calgary School of Art.
Or contact me at for further information.

"Design/Composition: Making a Statement"
(Paint the Figure from a Photo)
Sat & Sun, October 17th & 18th, 10-4pm each day
$220 - email Bobbi for a supply list and inquiries

Monday, April 13, 2015

What's new!

Study - "A Studio Visit"
Oil on panel, 11x14

From the time I was a little girl one of my favourite past-times was doing portraits of the special people in my life.   

As a very young teen I stood in rapture watching a local artist doing a portrait demonstration in the local department store.  Looking back, I now recognize the life-changing event that this was; opening up for me a glorious new world. 

In my own by-the-seat-of-my-pants style of learning, I set off to find out more about this incredible world of painting people - my loving and encouraging parents supporting and encouraging me in every way.

Painting people - particuarly my children - has always been a big part of my life as an artist and continues to be. 

I am happy to announce that I will now be taking on additional portrait commissions and expanding this side of my artist life.

I will share more with you on this subject in the coming weeks and months.  However, in the meantime, I welcome any questions and inquiries you might have.



~ If you missed it the first time ~
here's your chance to get in on the fun!

Join me in my 1-day Workshop

Saturday, April 18th, 2015 10-4pm  
(register online or call 403-287-7448)  
All levels welcome - Cost: $110
(***Please contact me for a supply list***)

Over the past number of years I've embraced the idea of painting "Dailies", those diminutive, delightful paintings which are overtaking artist's studios the world over.

This fast-growing group of artists, known as "Daily Painters" are painting small paintings daily - or weekly.  There are many variations to this theme as there are artists.

The "Dailies" adventure is there for you to explore, and only limited by your imagination.

I hope you'll join me in discovering your own adventure and experience firsthand the growth and freshness in your own work that every artist seeks.

(more about my workshops by visiting my website and clicking on the workshop link)

Here is one of my "Dailies" ...
"Windmill Blue"
oil on panel, 8x6 inches

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Horses and Flowers!

"Mystical Might", oil on panel, 24x30 by Bobbi Dunlop

I am happy to announce that my painting, "Mystical Might" has been juried into
the 2015 Calgary Stampede Western Art Auction.



I've been enjoying myself in the studio painting flowers in preparation for my 
upcoming 1-Day Workshop, 

"Painting the  Floral, Beautifully & Simply" From Life, in Oil
Saturday, March 14th, 2015  10-4pm
Cost: $110 (includes flowers)

Simple will be the operative word of the day!  Flowers are a joy to paint and these Azaleas were just begging to be simplified with a brushstroke.  Here is a quick demo below.

 Step 1

 Step 2
 "Azaleas Study", alla prima, oil on linen/panel, 5x6 inches

To read more about my upcoming workshops, please visit my website or go 

** Suitable for all levels, some experience would be good.

Monday, January 5, 2015

"Gazing and Grazing"

"Gazing and Grazing", oil on panel, 8"x10"
Horses being horses. It was a beautiful summer afternoon when I came upon this idyllic scene. The stillness of that  afternoon and the warmth of the bright sun are still so vivid in my mind.  I can't imagine anything more breathtaking than to look out my window to a scene such as this.
Do you have a SECRET WISH  to pick up a paint brush and learn to paint?

If you do, I have a new mini-workshop planned just for you or someone you know -

Saturday, January 17th, 10-1pm at Calgary School of Art

~~~  Workshops for 2015  ~~~
                         ~ Painting the Portrait from Life, Alla Prima   Sat, Feb 14, 2015
                         ~ Paint the Figure from a Photo                         Sat, Feb 28 &
                                                 (2 days)                                          Sun, Mar 1, 2015
                         ~ Paint a Floral, from Life in a Still Life           Sat, Mar 14, 2015
                         ~ Workshop TBA - Save the Date                      Sat, April 18, 2015

Is attending  a workshop on your Bucket List this year?
Read more about these exciting ones I have planned for 2015.  You'll find details here, on my website

I hope you'll join me!
 Registration at Calgary School of Art
Cochrane Arts Central

Happy New Year to You and Your Special Ones!