Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Strawberry Queen Sketch

Another quick pencil sketch from a photo taken in 1948 of the Queen of the Strawberry Festival. Back then, candidates for Queen were selected to represent each strawberry grower's field or patch. At that time, strawberries were a good business. This queen represented my parents' field.

I didn't sketch in the background but wanted to get a feel for the shape/mass/values of the figure.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

"Francie" Head Study

More practice of the head. Quick graphite sketch using HB and 4B woodless graphite pencils. The reason for the quick sketches to develop my ability to get the form down rapidly. Most people don't sit still very long and it is my goal to do quick sketches, plein air. The reference photo of "Francie" is by terence_D from the Wet Canvas Reference Image Library.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sketch Studies

I am also sketching quick studies of noses, eyes and mouths. These are rough sketches and one thing I've noticed is that when I sketch everything is slanted. I understand looking at the drawing or painting in a mirror will make the slant more noticeable so one can correct it.

This sketch to the left is done from life. My very first! It doesn't look anything like the person but eventually that will happen, with time and practice.

This is my first venture into studying shapes in a flat 2-D manner on my journey to learn composition. These were done by using charcoal to cover a sheet of paper, then a paper towel to smooth out to a mid-value. The shapes were placed with darks added and lights lifted out with a kneaded eraser. The purpose of this is to learn to place elements so that they are interesting and create a flow from one element to the next so the eye travels through a painting or drawing. (I'm not saying the ones I did this morning are interesting. Remember, I'm just learning.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Salad Stuff Mixed Media

7" x 7" Mixed Media of watercolor and acrylic on Arches watercolor paper. I painted this originally in 2005 in watercolor. There were some changes I wanted to make and felt those changes would be better done in acrylic. So all areas have touches of acrylic blended into the watercolor. The reference photo for this painting is from the Wet Canvas Reference Image Library.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hot Stuff Acrylic

I worked a bit more on the painting by adding some green into the boa, changing the boot color just a tad, and the shape of one of the heels. This photo isn't picking up the definition that is in the boots or the lights that are in the feather boa beneath the boots as it was taken just after daylight this rainy morning.

Acrylic, 7" x 8 1/2" image size on 7 1/2" x 11" watercolor paper.
Not matted or Framed but can easily be matted and framed to 11" x 14" or larger.

What fun it was to paint these boots hanging on a wire. I took a lot of liberty with the reference photo provided by photographer, Assaf, for the Different Strokes project at Wet Canvas. I added the brilliant color and feather boa.

I used Ultramarine Blue, Pthalo Turquoise Light, Cadmium Red Deep, Quinacradone Red, Transparent Pyrrole Red Light, Dioxazine Purple, Pyrrole Orange, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Yellow Ochre, and gesso.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Where Spirits Meet Acrylic

I titled this "Where Spirits Meet" because it reminded me of places that have a mystical quality. I can easily imagine my indian forebears meeting here. This original 20" x 16"acrylic painting is on stretched canvas and was painted earlier in the year with adjustments made today. Source material by Earl 53 at Morgue File.

I used Ultramarine blue, Primary Cyan, Cobalt Turquoise, Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Red Medium, Dioxazine Puprle, Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna, Hookers Green and gesso.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Working the Flower Bed Sketch

A 2nd quick sketch using a mechanical pencil and 4B woodless graphite pencil for the larger sweeps.
Here is a quick sketch and the reference photo of Mom breaking up the soil in one of the flower beds. She has Macular Degeneration but still enjoys being outside doing what she can.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


No photos this morning as the small head studies are too overworked to share. I've been dabbling in watercolors attempting to get a feel for mixing light colors then darker colors, without the paint looking overworked or too pale. To someone like me, experimenting and learning is one aspect of what makes painting so interesting. Learning the paint to water ratios to achieve the darks so they still remain translucent and interesting, drawing the shapes of the face, the curves, the line, trying to achieve effects that absorb and hold one's attention. Maybe later today, I will have achieved at least a reasonable result from all my practice.

I have to share the website of Jim Kosvanec, his work vibrates with light and color.

Monday, June 11, 2007

2nd Rainy Day Painting

This painting is even worse than the first one as it is overworked. It is from paintings like these those that I learn a lot. The color was much better and the figure more defined but I decided to try for slanting rain again so that diffused the color and lost the clarity and light that was there. 5 1/2" x 8" on Fabriano soft press paper.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Duty Calls

Sometimes life gets in the way of painting and that is what has happened the last couple of days. A multitude of errands and interruptions so instead of fighting it I tried to go along with the flow, even though I was busily constructing paintings in my mind. Plus, I have been trying to set up a database of my paintings, listing the palette colors, size, medium, support, and date painted. This is very time consuming trying to bring all the information into one place.

The only thing I did was just a quick swish of the brush with triad colors. Mainly Manganese Blue, Yellow Ochre, and Permanent Red. Then I did one with orange, Perm. Red and Manganese and Fr. Ultramarine Blue. I didn't wait for the paper to dry between adding color and it shows in some areas.

These colors came from "Putting People In Your Paintings", by Laurel Hart. This is a wonderful book because it covers composition/design, values and value sketches and so much more.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Spin Dry, Watercolor Study

4" x 6" watercolor study of a figure walking through the wind and rain. I hesitated posting this as it is so terrible but in this blog the viewer gets to see the "learning" stuff too.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Spin Dry Please Quick Sketch

This is a quick 4" x 6" sketch from a photo by Dzz at Morgue File. I plan to do another sketch focusing more on the man and the slashing rain before painting. A small watercolor group is doing this as a group project so it will be interesting to see the variety of styles and what each one comes up with in the finished work.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

My Watercolor Painting After Francis Towne

This first image is my watercolor painting done after Francis Towne, 1739-1816. It is 7" x 10 3/4" on Fabriano soft press paper. I used Prussian Blue, French Ultramarine Blue, Maganese Blue, Quin. Violet, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna and Yellow Ochre.

I noticed after I completed the painting that I had changed the perspective a bit by making the foreground more prominent and the back mountain smaller.

This is the painting by Francis Towne, "The Source of the Arveiron: Mont Blanc in the Background", that was used for study purposes only.

Sketch after Francis Towne

This month the watercolor landscape group I belong to is studying the work of Francis Towne, 1739-1816. This 4" x 6" ink sketch is after his watercolor study, "The Source of the Arveiron: Mont Blanc in the Background". which can be found here. Towne intentionally flattened his image ". . . to reduce the effects of perspective to accent the two dimensional pattern of shapes and colors." handprint.com

Monday, June 04, 2007

Winter Morning

I decided this painting is not finished although I increased the size of the building and the figure plus added more shadows in the snow and on the barn. I used Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Hookers Green, Burnt Sienna, Dioxazine Purple, Raw Sienna, Pyyrole Red, Permanent Alizarin Crimson and, gesso. 20" x 16" stretched canvas.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Winter Morning In Progress

20" x 16 " acrylic on stretched canvas. When I open my South door this is the scene I see. Well, not the snow right now, grin. This painting is still in progress. The figure is not finished and the fence still has to be put in near the barn.