Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tradition Continued Photo and Sketch 5" x 7" oil on canvas

I took this photo of my grand daughter the day I introduced her to beignets at Morning Call. By the time she was finished she was wearing most of the powdered sugar that did not reach her mouth. I was drinking the Cafe au Lait while she sipped on her chocolate milk.  
After making a 5 x 7 inch print of the photo in grayscale, I folded the print in halfs and in quarters both length and width. I then marked the edges of the print with a pen so that I could easily see where the folds of the paper were. I marked the 5 x 7 inch canvas with the same divisions on the edges. How much easier and accurate to sketch it on the canvas this way! Notice I eliminated the cup in the middle of the photo and just extended the milk carton. I changed some of the values from the photo in order to help the composition.

Shadow Bigger Than Life 6" x 6" oil on gessoboard

When I put together this still life, the colors of the blue-green background, the red-violet flower and the muted red-orange tablecloth seemed pleasing together. Looking on the color wheel I realized that I was using the tertiary colors. No wonder they looked good. And the white bottle takes on the colors of the surrounding area so it unites these tertiary colors.

Even though I got too tight with this painting, I am happy with the results. The flower could have been a bit smaller and closer to the bottle. But the stem does pull both together and the wall shadow helps too. The composition was risky and maybe it is not the best, but certainly not the worst I could have come up with!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Shadow Bigger Than Life - Sketch 6" x 6" oil on gessoboard

I am depending on this bottle shadow on the back wall to pull this painting together since both bottle and flower only connect with a stem. We'll see.

I tried to get a handle on the values so that when I start the painting I can be more aware of the dark against light, light against dark dynamics. For the sketch I used Burnt Umber and turp. Lifted out the light areas with turp and used more umber for the darks. This will be my underlay for the start of my painting. Now all I have to do is fill in the blanks with the correct color values!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Color My World 6" x 6" oil on gessoboard

The Challenge: To paint a white object against a background of primary and secondary colors. No earthcolors on the palette. The study is to help the artist see the surrounding colors in the white object.

I debated whether to paint the white object in first or the surrounding material. Gut feeling led me to the white object first. It was important to get the values right on the bottle first in order to play the light against dark, dark against light game against the background.

I found that the colors that reflected on the bottle were more noticiable on the shadow side of the bottle. I think this was because the bottle had a soft luster to it rather than a high gloss. It definitely glowed with its surrounding colors. It was awesome. I hope the finished painting did it justice.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Red Box

A blank canvas can be a daunting thing. But a painting gone bad is even worse. Being the day after Mardi Gras I thought I would paint something with green, purple and gold. I chose a Cupie doll; that doll with the big eyes that could have been a forerunner to the Precious Moments.  Even had the title picked out "Hey Mister Throw Me Something". Yes the title a bit trite and possibly over used. The painting was doomed to start. The lighting on the set up was too harsh and the doll was looking more and more like Chucky. Really scary. It was one of those situations when enough was enough. It is a humbling thing to admit defeat. But there I said it. I pulled out my little red box that Carol Marine gave us at the workshop to make sure it was closed up tight.
The next painting will be better. How could it get any worse!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Abe Lincoln Challenge

This weeks challenge was to paint old Abe in either of three ways. I chose using Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber with Permalba White for adjusting the tones of the painting. (Taking the photo of the painting still wet continues to createn reflection issues. The bluish area on the right side of the head is really a deep value.)

Well ok he looks like a cross between Abe Lincoln and Pierce Brosnon, what's wrong with that? Maybe you see someone else there instead. All in all not being a portrait artist, I think it came out ok.

I first mixed a large batch of  equal parts Ult blue and Burnt umber. Layed in the sketch with this mixture wiping out with a rag for the lights and using less turp for the darks. When I got an image that looked half human, I started adding variations of the white to this mix to do the overlay. It really was fun to do.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Magnificent Green Apple 4" x 4" Oil on gessoboard

Yes another bottle. What a wonderful magnifier it became when the green apple was placed behind it! I feel the brush strokes on this painting has given it a more painterly look which is my major goal. I changed the color of the background midway through. I had a midtone blue green but with that "thalo" green apple I wanted something more subdued but yet would help it pop. So I chose gray green which I mixed by using a significant amount of cad reds and alizarins for the graying process. That hint of red in there seemed to have done it's job. However I still wonder had I used a red violet gray in the background if that would have been better. What do you think?

The Magnificent Green Apple Sketch 4" x 4"

I have decided to start another paint challenge like the last, hoping to be more aware of each stroke without the blending. Here is the value sketch, a real general idea of light direction, medium and dark tones. The composition looks balanced and pleasing to the eye. The negative space is interesting. So the color mixing begins.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

"Oh I Wish..." 4" x 4" Oil on gessoboard

The challenge- Mix a color spot, put it down, mix another, put it down.... It is an excellent exercise in seeing color spots and their relationship next to one another. The final painting should look kind of patchy. No blending!  OOPs I did blend a little in some areas. I had a devil of a time keeping the patchy look on the label using only the half inch bright brush. All in all I think it made me looser. I think I will do another setup and do that challenge again. I love the look.

I am supposed to be looking down on the bottle. I hope that came across ok. I think I can do better next time.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oh I Wish... Sketched in on gessoboard 4" x 4"

This week's challenge is to paint by being aware of each stroke of color. Mix a color, make a stroke, mix another, make a stroke. Very tedious but Carol gaurantees that it will get me looser. I am willing to become a "looser" artist.

This is the start of the painting. I chose another bottle. No I don't get tired of painting bottles! I first toned my background with Burnt Sienna. Then I sketched in my bottle with the same color.  I wiped out to get my lights, and the dark tones I added more burnt sienna. Now I am ready to add the colors.

Can you guess what the bottle is by the Title?