Saturday, May 31, 2008

Oklahoma Morning Photos

I don't expect to get much painting done today (but that could change depending on interruptions) so decided to post a few photos. This is the view I see while sitting at my computer. I don't even notice the things leaning and stacked against the fence near the storage building. What always captures my attention are the patterns of light and shadow, the birds as they light on the wrought iron gate near my door or the horses as they meander through the pasture. This photo was taken about 7:30 this morning.
This photo was taken of the North pasture about 7:30 this morning. I stooped in front of the car to get an eye level view. The glow of the early morning light was so beautiful and wish it was truly reflected in this photo.

This photo (taken in the afternoon a week or so ago) is of my twin mowing our lawn (trying to miss the baby fruit tree) with her new husky mix puppy, Bandit. Bandit also has a German Shepherd puppy companion named Smokey, which was Sharon's birthday present from her husband.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Two Small Watercolors

Just enough time today to do two small watercolor studies from my imagination. I just had to get the brushes wet and I wanted to use Pthalo Blue. Pthalo Blue is a very strong color and mixed it with Indian Yellow and/or Yellow Ochre. I also used a bit of French Ultramarine Blue for some of the greens just to help tone down the Pthalo Blue.
Yellow Flowers
41/4" x 6 1/4"
Arches paper

4" x 6"
Fabriano paper

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tim and Carrie, 1st Sketch

Watersoluble graphite on 18" x 24" newsprint of Tim (my grandson) and Carrie. The reference photo I am using was taken Christmas, 2007, with them sitting on the stairs. So I moved them closer together using Photoshop.
Some areas (well, several areas) need reworking, like Tim's right eye is too dark and Carrie's neck is a little too long. Carrie's hair beneath her chin is actually hiding part of her neck.
Next, I will use a regular graphite pencil and use a grid to draw a working sketch for painting.
Tim and Carrie will exchange wedding vows in July.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hawk Sketch

This is my first sketch of Hawk drawn from a photo I took at our class reunion earlier in May. Isn't he adorable and he was so shy. Hawk's body looks a bit displaced and I think I will have to place his mom in the painting to provide the basis for his leaning back, as you can see, into her arm. The sketch is on 18" x 24" newsprint using watersoluble graphite and white chalk. I removed the red cast caused by the lighting but did no other enhancements. I didn't apply water to the watersoluble graphite but may on the next one just to get use to working with it. For the painting I plan to do of Hawk (and Sadie), I will use a grid method to get accurate placement of his features.

This is a grid sketch of Hawk done this evening. It took a lot more time to do than just a freehand sketch. The next step is to take tracing paper and trace the grid sketch for transfer to the watercolor paper. Before transferring this sketch though I am going to do some value/composition thumbnails of a couple of ideas I have about this painting.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sadie Rework

This week has been exceptionally busy with not a lot of time to devote to painting. So, I played with the last Sadie painting in between interruptions and reworked it using gesso and watercolors. The painting is now overworked and blotchy and still isn't correct in many areas but this has been a great practice piece as I studied features, light and shadows. I am hoping my next watercolor painting will show improvement because of all the "playing" done on this painting. A special thanks goes to Sandy Maudlin with a critique and tips that could improve not only this painting, but any painting. Sandy's main suggestion was to get the drawing correct before beginning the painting. Sound advice I plan to follow.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sadie On The Beach, Study in Watercolor

Sadie On The Beach
Study in Watercolor
15" x 22" Less margins

Cropped Version

The red is really showing in the hair which actually isn't that red. If I decrease the saturation, then the pink also is desaturated. I am still not pleased totally with the background or for that matter the likeness to Sadie but I am more pleased this time with the skin tones on her face.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sadie, Watercolor 3 In Progress

This is the third painting of Sadie. This time it is on a half sheet of watercolor paper which measure 15" x 22" less margins. There are several very pale layers on the skin and a couple of layers on the hair. The eyes still need to be defined more and I will do that next before working on the hair and shadow areas. I also changed the direction of the light source to the front in this painting from the previous back lit studies.

There has been a lot of buckling with this paper this time. Because of that I have been painting with watery color and then using a clean, moist brush to try to blend out any hard edges. So far I have used New Gamboge, Lemon Yellow, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue Hue, and Viridian. I had to drive to the University yesterday for Cobalt Blue paint and all they had was the hue. It is working pretty well though as the color has good intensity.

I worked more on this painting, adding glazes and detail. The background isn't working for me. Perhaps the reddish colors need to be muted or grayed a bit. While painting the mouth the paper started to bead just a little so had to use a very gentle touch. Below is shown the full size painting then a cropped view. I also need to lighten the line around the chin.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sadie Sketch, Graphite

This morning, I reviewed the sketch of Sadie and reworked it a bit. I raised the upper lip just a bit and changed the slant of the mouth. The chin was shortened, lightened the shadows along side, under and above the eyes. Raised the ear a bit to bring in more in line with the eye to none line. Her back was changed by correcting the angle and raising the shoulder of the safety vest. I think these changes made a difference in the sketch. What do you think? These photos can be opened in new windows to compare them side by side.

This sketch is in graphite on newsprint, drawn to fit a half sheet watercolor paper which would be 15" x 22" less margins. In looking at the sketch I am going to double check her back and front area to make sure the angles are correct. The photo was not a good one to get eye detail so I had to judge the correctness of the size and direction of the eyes. The more I draw and paint Sadie, the more familiar I will become with her features. I think Sadie was about four years old in the reference photo and now she is the ripe old age of seven, turning eight at the end of the year.

More storms are predicted for the next couple of days. I hope and pray that the storms are not very strong, without the devastation and deaths that happened over the past weekend. It would be a pleasant change to just have some gentle Spring rains.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sadie Study Update

This is the continuation of the 2nd study of Sadie painted on an 1/8th sheet of watercolor paper. I failed with the straight watercolor so mixed the watercolor with gesso to get a little closer resemblance. The left thigh showing behind the right leg needs to be darkened and her fingers lengthened.
For your viewing pleasure here is a photo I took yesterday of some of the local strawberries I stemmed. Don't they look luscious. Today was the annual Strawberry Festival where they serve strawberries to several thousand people.

Class Reunion

The big day finally arrived, our 45th class reunion. The food was plentiful, as were the hugs and stories. As you can see below everyone is gathering for a photograph by the main photographer.
I had just handed the camera to my brother and he took this photo of me in the blue-green shirt (which I wasn't aware that he had done so).

And here classmates are at the condinement table set up in the dining room. In the background you can see the High School painting that I did for my twin.

Dining tables were set up in the garage and the patio to enjoy the food prepared by my brother-in-law, other helpful members of my family, and classmates.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Skin tone study, Sadie 2nd study in progress

This is a smaller study of Sadie on an 1/8th sheet of 140# Fabriano cold press watercolor paper, using the same photo. I'm practicing skin tones and shadows still, working toward cleaner, softer shadows. In the first photo, pencil lines can be seen in parts of the face and the face has two layers on it as does the shadow part of the arm and hand. There is a line along the jaw line that needs to be taken out. You can see in the hair area I have lightly underpainted with raw sienna.
In the second photo, I used a mix of cobalt blue and burnt sienna in the hair, lashes and eyebrows and added another layer to the skin. I've noticed that in this study I have made Sadie look older than she actually was in the photo. I'm still not achieving that smooth skin tone look that I am after before I paint a larger painting. So more practice is needed.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sadie on the beach, watercolor

Sadie On the Beach
10" x 13"
300# Fabriano Aristico paper

This is my first effort at painting my granddaughter. With her back to the light I found working with so much shadowed areas more difficult. My palette consisted of cobalt blue, cerulean blue, yellow ochre and permanent alizarin crimson. I added french ultramarine blue and burnt sienna to use for the eyes and lashes. The skin tones on this painting look blotchy and Sadie has the most beautiful porcelain skin so my goal is to improve that. Also her hair is darker and it looks like I made my mix too watery. I may face her toward the sun if I can work out where the sun would strike her face and body for the next painting. Had a grand time painting this though