The Art of Sandra Busby...
Painter of Playful Light in Glass and Still Life


Saturday, 16 July 2011

Feeling Bubbly...

I had intended to do something a little more 'playful' for this post, but after having so much fun with the glass, I just couldn't resist some more realism!

I have been wanting to paint some bubbles for some time and at last I have finally scratched that itch :0)


As much as I prefer to paint from life, clearly this isn't possible with this particular subject! But getting a reasonable photograph proved to be a challenge in it's self! 
In the end I had to seek some help from my Dad, but even he found it difficult! 
So, as well as using photographs for reference, I had to call upon a little of my imagination too :0)

Though not as complex as the glass, this painting still required a considerable amount of concentration and observation. My eyes are actually still hurting as I type!

See you again soon :0)


  1. Really, really beautiful, Sandra!
    I can see you blowing bubbles while your father tries to take a picture! LOL

  2. I'm rendered absolutely speechless by this piece, Sandra. It really is absolutely stunning. You see light and shadow so well and paint so realistically and so beautifully. I would now love to see those skills you have applied a little looser, perhaps in a more impressionist style. I think the results would be flipping awesome but still very much you :O)

  3. Wow, it's so realistic...couldn't imagine it's possible to do so only with a brush and paint:)

  4. WOW! Sandra, that is truly incredible!! It looks so real I feel like I could reach out and pop one of those bubbles! The colors in the highlights and the shapes are so interesting I think I could look at them for a long, long time and never tire of it. :) I am loving these last two paintings a lot, but I'm still looking forward to your playful one too. :D

  5. Sandra ,, Speechless is not usually what I do. but I am.!!!!! BJ

  6. Love it, Sandra! I do hope your eyes are "better" soon!!

  7. What a beauty of a painting! It evokes such fun memories. Bravo, Sandra, really well done xx

  8. you should be really pleased with it sandra ... we still have alot of bubbles in our household :) ..super

  9. Awe inspiring.. Yet again..

  10. And one word from me.....WOW!

    Those bubble are so real, couldn't stop staring at this painting wondering how on earth you achieved this! Truly magnificent. Well done my friend!

  11. Those are the most perfect bubbles I've ever seen! I'm sorry the varnish didn't work out as expected. Anyway, I think what you did here would take tremendous observation skill and a lot of restraint, to paint only the parts of the bubble that your eye really sees, and not fill in the parts that you know are there, but they aren't visible. (if that makes sense) You did an amazing job with them! Congratulations!

  12. Stunning picture Sandra! I love how you have captured the colour in the bubbles but still kept them from looking solid.

  13. Sandra it is truly fabulous!!! I just love it! You have out done yourself again!

  14. So realistic - absolutely brilliant. Well done, Sandra

  15. You should freeze the bubbles next time! lol
    This is terrific....I don't know if I could pull it off, and certaintly not with your patient percision! Awesome. BUBBLY LIKE YOUR FRIENDLY PERSONALITY.

    Glad your sister likes me too!

    Ciao Bella!


  16. Hi Sandra, these bubbles are so realistic that it was hard to believe that I was in front of a painting! Absolutely brilliant!!
    If I have well understood this is not a watercolor, am I right? Ciao!!

  17. Hi

    Love it! They look so perfectly formed despite not having the entire bubble drawn. If that makes sense! They do look popable!

    Hi Carmelina. Yes I love your site! I am a complete novice and working from kits at the moment so if you ever create any, let me know!!

  18. Gorgeous!!! Maybe this style IS you and you shouldn't be trying to be loosey goosey just because you think it's better to be that way. It isn't. It all depends on what your own voice is, your own eyes are, and your own mark-making is.

  19. Judy - Thank you very much! :0)

    Michael - Thank you so much! I know what you mean. I think this would be easier to do when I am working on a bigger scale :0)

    Egle - Thank you very much! :0)

    Crystal - Thank you very much! It's amazing when you reeeeeally look at something, just how complex the colours really are. This is something I have learned by these two paintings. Mind you, I am looking forward to giving my eyes a break while I do the next painting. I just hope it turns out as I hope :0)

    Barbra - Thank you so much! :0)

    Studio - Thank you! They have recovered now and are having a little holiday from so much staring! :0)

    Pat - Thank you very much! :0)

    Jane - Thank you! I still like bubbles even now :0)

    Prabal - Wow, if I have inspired awe in another artist such as your self, that makes me feel very happy! :0)

    Debbie - Thank you so much! I had a picture in my head of exactly what I wanted to achieve long before I began the painting. This image in my mind went a long way towards the final painting because the photographs weren't easy to work from. Actually I think the fact that the photo's weren't entirely reliable, that did me a favour! :0)

  20. Katherine - Thank you so much! yes, I know exactly what you mean by that. I love it when edges disappear in to the background. I learned that from painting the Baubles in Cocktail Glass :0)

    Sue - Thank you! I suppose thats down to resisting filling everything in. I'd like to try this again one day but maybe with a bacground. I am imagining that the distortions would be fascinating to paint. Hmm.. Yes, that's definitely a new one to add to my list! :0)

    Carrie - Thank you! I am glad you like it :0)

    Lynx - Thank you very much :0)

    Carmelina - Thank you! You can buy 'touchable' bubbles over here but not ones suitable for the freezer, lol! Shame because that would have been handy :0D

    Tito - Thank you so much! You are right, this is painted using acrylics. I am working on a watercolour at the moment, though I haven't started the painting yet, only the planning! :0)

    Amanda - Thank you! When you really look at things, not everything has an edge at all. I have learned that if I don't see it, I don't paint it. This is why they look real :0)

    Laurelines - Thank you so much for popping by! It's always lovely to hear from you! I think my style definitely leans towards realism, though that's odd because when I look at other peoples work, I much prefer the looser styles! I hope that one day I will find a balance between the two. I think I need to do far more sketches to acheive that though! :0)

  21. I've been a fan of yours for a long time. Not wishing to detract from your previous work but these last two pieces have lifted you to a whole new level. Awesome work. ;-)

  22. John - Wow, John! What an amazing compliment! You have truly made my day, thank you, thank you, thank you!!! :0)

  23. OUTSTANDING!!!!!!! i think you might have found you niche!! your photo realistic paintings are so incredible i can't find the adjectives i need! i'm thrilled that you are painting what pleases you. i hope you have many more planned, they are completely wonderful in every way sandra!!! BRAVO!!!!!

  24. Suzanne - Never mind the bubbles, I think it's my head that might go 'pop'! Thank you so much! I still want to try out other styles of painting but there is something about this sort of thing that I really enjoy :0)

  25. Hello Sandra,
    very beautiful post!

  26. Very well painted you can tell a lot of looking was involved lol :).
    You should have a look online on to how to remove the varnish if your not happy with it chances are something will take it off. Also can I ask what did you painted this on? it kinda looks like paper but hard to tell

  27. I enjoyed your
    Work very much
    Good Creations

  28. Antonio - Thank you very much :0)

    Dan - Thank you!I hadn't thought of that.
    You are right, I did this on paper which is made for Acrylic/Oil. It has a linen like texture :0)

    Studio - Thank you so much :0)

  29. Sandra,
    These are so FUN - probably moreso for us than you :). You really nailed the eye movement in this piece and even though they are "just bubbles" I like how you got so much drama in the painting by using that stark black background.

    You may have done the exact correct thing by applying a gloss varnish (first) because a matt varnish may have turned cloudy on an absorbent surface. Depending on the brand you used, you may be able to put a matte varnish on top of the gloss. If it were me, I would check with the manufacturer.

    Great job on the painting!

  30. Sandra - I genuinely thought this was the photo you used for reference and scrolled down to the end of your post to see your painting of it only then realising that this was the painting! Unbelievable, you are truly gifted! I love this painting so much. Is it in oil? Truly wonderful,

  31. If its on paper double check about removing varnih might be tricky not as tough as canvas or board and could damage the work which really would be a shame so even test it before on a second piece of paper. :)

  32. Sandy - Thank you! I like using the black background when painting anything that is light reflective because I think it really brings out the sparkle in the objects. I have used a matt over the gloss which has improved it a little :0)

    Pointy-Pix - Thank you! Like the whiskey glass, this looks like a photo from only a short distance away, but when you look at it really closely, you'd be surprised how crudely both of them are painted - particularly the glass! I did these in acrylics because I find the drying time of oils so frustrating :0)

    Dan - Thanks for your advice. I really apreciate it! It's annoying that something can be spoilt at the last moment isn't it? Still, never mind, once again it was more an exercise in observation than anything so I think I will leave as it is now :0)

  33. Hi Sandra. Im always impressed by the level of finish to your work. something I need to work on.... You use the contrast of black to very nice effect.

  34. James - Thank you! I think that when working against black, it brings the light out and really makes it sparkle! :0)

  35. Hi Sandra, I haven't been on your site (or anyone else's for that matter) in a long time and I just wanted to say I'm lovin' the new pieces! It's great to watch other artist advance in their skills. This piece makes me want to paint some bubbles! Great work. -Steve

  36. Steve - Thank you for your visit! And I'm really glad that you like the new stuff. You should try some bubbles your self! They were fun to do :0)


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! Where possible I will respond via email. I really do love to read them! They always make me smile ;0)


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