Monday, March 31, 2008

Pears, Gray Underpainting

The graphite sketch on a yellow toned paper with added gray underpainting in the shadows, composed of Cobalt Blue, Burnt Sienna, Quin Magenta and Quin. Gold. The paper was then allowed to dry.
After wetting the pears, pale colors of Auerolin yellow, Sap Green, Burnt Sienna, Quin. Rose, and Scarlet Lake were washed in. The paper was then allowed to dry.

Basically the same colors as mentioned above were again added along with the addition of Virdian. I added more Auerolin yellow to the table top and added shadows. Below, the background was added using the mixed gray underpainting colors. I could have added the colors used in the gray mix individually but felt that as that would create more pattern and wanted the focus on the pears.
5" x 4" Image Size
Fabriano 300# Cold Press Paper

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Watercolor Underpainting

These are tiny little studies of different color underpaintings in the shadow areas with different colors applied over them. The largest pear shape is less than 1" in size. I have joined with a couple of other artist friends to do underpaintings using pears as the subject since the shapes are simple. I mixed a gray composed of cobalt blue, pthalo blue and burnt sienna as one of the underpaintings. Then, the other pears have individual colors of cobalt blue, virdian, quin. magenta, quin rose, and burnt sienna painted in the shadow areas. That is allowed to dry then a layer of color is painted over them. I used Aureolin as my yellow along with a red Scarlet Lake. This was fun but this is only a small step just to give me an idea as to what the underpaintings would look like when painted over with another color.

Today's Sketches, Nudes & Pears

Pears are sketched from a reference photo by watergirl in the RIL at Wet Canvas.

A couple of sketches from early this morning using Pose Maniacs photos for reference.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Rough Sketches, Nudes

These are some practices sketches, really rough. I'm a firm believer in posting the good and the bad. It may not be as pleasurable to view but I can sit back, look at the images and think how and what could be improved. My mind was partly on sketching and partly on the upcoming Trail of Tears Art Show.

I have until Monday to make up my mind whether I will enter a painting. It is a juried show and they always have some beautiful art. One of my favorite artist that has shown in the Trail of Tears Art Show is Jerry Yarnell. His work is even better in real life. He makes painting look easy and is a fantastically caring teacher. I was lucky enough to take one class and want to go back for more. It is at least a two hour drive for me but well worth the trip.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Falls, Update

Had to edit this post. Too many typos and missing words. :(

I have posted the previous photo(the one on the right or bottom depending on your viewer) so you can see the painting has changed. In the photo on the left you can see that the left waterfall is now narrower at the top and the hillside is darker. I messed with the area of the cliff front on the viewer's right and don't like it as well now.

Again, this has been a difficult painting to photograph. I have taken photos outside at different times during the day, changed the white setting then taken photos inside under incandescent and fluorescent light.

As I view this painting, I keep thinking that there is a lot of clutter rather than simplified shapes and wonder if that isn't a product of a cluttered mind.

I may scrap part of this painting down and just use it for experimenting and practicing values. Or I may just set it aside until another day and look at it again to see if I can improve it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

More NUDE Sketch Studies

A couple of practice sketches for today using Pose Maniacs. Now I going to paint. Can hardly wait to get a brush in my hand!

Nude Figure Sketch & Indian Sketches


I wasn't up to painting the last couple of days so spent a bit of time doing figure and head studies. The references for the nude poses were from Pose Maniacs. The little head shape study was from Dan Gheno's website. I spent a lot of time reading and absorbing as much as I could.

I am also still drawing the head of this indian so I can paint it. I figure the more I draw it on paper, the more accurate will be my initial drawing on the canvas. I could save time by griding the photo and the canvas but by actually sketching it I become more familiar with the bone structure, which planes recedes, which planes come forward.

The practice will help me learn more about each area of the face, how the eyes sit in the socket, the profile (3/4) view, how the light reflects off the skin, the colors in the different areas of the skin. I have been having a difficult time comprehending the tones (colors/values) in the half tones which separate the light areas from the dark areas.

Another thing the sketching will help me with is the way I sketch. Yesterday I just practiced strokes with the pencil such as hatching and cross hatching. I am hoping that this will also teach me that less is more and that I don't need every line or shadow to show form.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Falls

18" x 24"
Stretched Canvas

I'm not great at titling paintings, can you tell?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Waterfall Landscape WIP

Hmmmm, maybe it wasn't Blogger but me that was having the problem. Anyway here is the in progress photo.

The painting is an 18" x 24" oil on stretched canvas. With this painting, I'm finding that I am painting in the same "old" way. My goal still, is to become more deliberate with my brush strokes, laying down a stroke and leaving it alone. In some areas I blend because a misty effect is needed so that just a hint of a tree(s) come through, in that instance I can't lay down a stroke and leave it alone.

Have a great day!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Calling Down The Thunder WIP

Calling Down The Thunder
18" x 24"
Stretched Canvas

I've painted a couple of smaller studies of this subject in watercolor and oil. Using those and the reference photograph taken at the Bell Pow Wow I have begun a larger painting. I have two tubes of WN Flesh paint that came with an Ebay purchase so I decided to see what I could do with them as far as mixing a closer skin color. To the Flesh tint, I have added in different piles, yellow ochre or Transparent Red Oxide or Burnt Sienna or Caput Mortuum Violet, along with Titanium white for different values. For the shadows I have added a bit of Ultramarine blue along with Caput Mortuum for a red purple shade or yellow ochre for a greenish cast. Not a lot of progress has been made on the painting as the figure is still appearing static. My plan is to bring more of a sense of movement and fluidity into the figure against a glorious stormy sky.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Indian Study, Watercolor

Fabriano Cold Press Paper
Paper Size: 6 1/2" x 8"
Image Size: 6 x 7 1/2 or crop to suit

This was a fun little study using Daniel Smith and Holbein Watercolors: Aureolin (yellow), Quanacridone Gold, Quinacridone Rose, Holbein Scarlett Lake, Viridian, Pthalo Blue. The pthalo blue is a staining color and once it is in place, it is difficult to get all of the color out when lifting. This palette is the one listed in Jean Pederson's book, Expressive Portraits, with the exception of Viridian. I had a difficult time with the face again as it soon became muddy. I resorted to using just a bit of gesso mixed with the watercolors to bring back some lights in the face, paint the spear and some areas of the yellowish feathers. So in essence this would be considered a Mixed Media study.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Rainy Day

I took this photo about 10:15a.m. this morning. As you can see the ground is rain soaked. We have had heavy rains and thunderstorms all night and into the morning.

A couple of more sketches of the indian I am planning to paint again and a sketch of a fictitious male. In the indian sketches my aim was to show more expressive movement and somewhat different design elements.
The male sketch was done to become comfortable with placement of the features, remembering widths, lengths and general shapes. The ears are uneven so will have to watch this when I begin a more serious drawing.

I painted this on Sunday, just playing with paintings and the Garret Copal Medium with which I plan to use more often in painting so need to learn how it handles.

Monday, March 17, 2008

My Workspace

This photo shows the painting areas. You can see the narrow table in the foreground and that is used for watercolors. It is on wheels and easily moved.

The next photo shows the area where I will paint with oils. That table is also on wheels.

This photo shows the area set up today for painting acrylics. I can sit on the bar stool to review what has been painted. Above this area is a fluorescent fixture which has warm/cool bulbs in it. Then I have another old heavy metal lamp that I can adjust to focus on different areas. That heavy lamp has a Reveal bulb. Then there is another fluorescent light fixture above the computer desk area. Lighting is so important when it comes to painting.
In the areas that aren't shown sits my computer desk and a recliner, along with a closet and a couple of chests. I took the carpet out knowing I would be slinging paint, and replaced it with tile. The work area could use a fresh coat of paint but I would rather put paint on canvas or paper than on the walls.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Oil Paint Practice

Before scraping down the painting I continued to work on it, in the eye and mouth, nose area especially.
I began this study last night on a 5x7" Ampersand gessobord. One of my goals with this practice was placing the different values on the face and then softening the merging areas. It blends beautifully as long as the paint is fresh but once the paint begins to tack up I need to quit as the paint begins to lift or bead up a bit when I lift the brush. That may not be a great explanation but what happens is the face begins to roughen instead of having the smoothness or softness look of skin.

The proportions are all off as this face is strictly from my imagination and I didn't measure or use a grid to draw the face first. My second goal was specifically the eye area. I wanted to set the eye socket into the head and then build the roundness of the eye ball as it protrudes from the socket. I succeeded in part but recognize that many more studies are needed so that I thoroughly understand how the face is formed. Now I will scrape down this painting and start another one

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Round File

It isn't often that I scrap paintings to the trash bin but I did this morning. Everything about the indian painting felt wrong except for a few areas. Usually I will set the painting aside to look at in a few days or months so this is an unusual occurence.

I am also going to change the name of my blog to A Painter's Journey, rather than An Artist's Journey. The reasons have to do with the way I interpret painting and art. There is a big difference between the two. One can paint and arrive at a very pleasing scene but to raise the painting to an artistic level requires adroit use of the brush, knowledge and skills honed through training. Even more in my humble opinion, the artist has to have imagination and flair, to envision and execute possibilities beyond the norm, to raise paintings above the usual level.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Calling Down The Thunder In Progress

03-13-08 One of the things about painting is how it can make one feel humble and sometimes inept especially when attempting to paint a distinguishable face approximately 1" in size. Artists who accomplish this have my admiration. Today, that is the area I will continue to work, my goal is to leave each brush stroke alone so the color and values stay fresh and clean. Wish me nimble fingers and sharp eyes!

I began this painting today featuring a Cherokee dancer. The dancer is taken from a photograph taken by my brother at the local Bell Pow Wow. The landscape behind the dancer is pure imagination. I wanted a composition for this painting that placed the focus on the dancer and I think this one works. This is almost a cruciform composition with the dark clouds above the dancer's head and the darks opposite each arm. It may be a bit too busy so will keep looking at it as I work more on the figure.
This first photo shows the initial blocking in to cover the canvas. My basic palette is Caput Mortuum, Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue, Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide (TYIO), Burnt Umber, Raw Umber and Yellow Ochre which is more opaque than the TYIO. The orange glow you is the TYI Oxide initially used to tone the unstretched canvas. Naples Yellow is a staple on my palette and it is often used in the place of Titanium White.
This second photo shows the figure beginning to take shape with placement of the fringes, feathers and angle of the arms.

This last photo shows the beginning of the tones on the face and more tonal work done on the dancer's clothing. I added Cadmium Red Light and Cad. Red Medium along with Cadimum Yellow Medium to the list of colors.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Addictions, Gambling


03-08-08 Decided to work more on this painting making the chips less defined, grayed back the cards so they were not so prominent, defined the lips and shadows just a bit more, and changed the sleeve color on the arms in the foreground. This painting was taken outside this morning then darkened to bring it more in line with the painting. I could have increased the contrast to bring out more of the highlights that are on the forehead and hands but decided to leave it as is.

03-07-08 The values and skin tones were changed on the foreground hands and more definition added to the chips but I think the chips will be changed to less edges in areas. The cards were lightened and more detail added but will be darkening the cards so more focus is on the face instead of the cards.

10" x 10"
Stretched Canvas

I may work on a few areas tomorrow, like the cards. For something so simple, they were hard to paint freehand. I've posted this at Wet Canvas in the Oils Forum for comments and critique. I'm sure there will be areas that need more correction that I'm not seeing. It is always great to have fresh eyes look at my work and offer constructive comments.

This painting is dark but it may look too dark on your monitors. I have adjusted my monitor as the images were showing light on it but on other monitors they were way too dark. So I am hoping that this time the adjustment is close to accurate.

My next venture will be color studies for flesh. Doing those studies creates a great opportunity to practice the different elements that make up the face or figure.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Robert Burridge's, ArtsyFartsy News

While searching for information on compositional elements on the Net, I found the web site of Robert Burridge. I enjoyed tremendously his artwork along with his great style of writing and sharing information. His use of color and design is a joy to behold. To read his newsletters, look for the logo for ArtsyFartsy News and click it.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Addictions, Gambling Update

I have begun adding color. Lots of work yet to do on all of it but I am having so much fun seeing the shapes, adjusting colors, blending. This photo was taken under a fluorescent light with the painting turned away so as not to have so much glare.