Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chatter, Paint Brush Restoration & Photo Notans

These photos were taken by my niece from her trip to Ethiopia when they adopted their daughter, Bet. The photos were converted to black & white and then pushed the contrast to the most extreme, using Photoshop. What I like about doing this is that it shows the ratio of light and dark in the photos, which can be emphasized even more through simplifying shapes.

I'm getting ready to work on Joyce's portrait again but wanted to share this link to Art Studio Secrets which has a couple of tips about restoring paint bushes. Goop also will remove dried paint from brushes. After cleaning with Goop I swish in turps or mineral spirits to clean any Goop residue from the brush.

Do you ever make a "Wish" List? You would think that the list would note things such as clothing or major purchases. My Wish List is always art stuff, such as better lighting, or a new easel and/or pochade box, or a variety of new brushes, or perhaps some different brands of oil or watercolor paints that I haven't tried yet, or maybe a new video or book. I think most wish lists usually contains the things in which we are most interested or think about the most. I have yet to paint on linen and so linen panels are at the top of my wish list. Soon . . .

What is on your wish list?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Watercolor Practice- Nude Figure

4 1/4" x 8 1/4" watercolor study of a woman picking apples painted from my imagination. The most obvious miscalculation is the length of the calf/leg is too short or perhaps it is the thigh area that is too long?? In any case, this was fun picking colors, trying to round the form, and think about shapes and dimensions.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Joyce, Portrait Study, In Progress 2

I have worked on the study of Joyce, reshaping the face basically as can be seen with the comparison of the first photo compared to this morning's photo of the painting. Now I am waiting on the surface to thoroughly dry so it can be sanded and smoothed. The surface of the board is too textured for my liking,

Friday, October 23, 2009

Joyce, Portrait Study, In Progress

5" x 7" oil on Ampersand Gesso Board using Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Transparent Red Oxide, Ivory Black, and White. Photo taken under warm/cool fluorescent bulbs at night.

Still lots to do on this - modifying some of the reds, adding some lights to the lower right jaw/cheek with a bit of direction modification. The mouth/teeth still to be finished and need to scrap down the hair I think and do it again. Will look at that in the morning!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Skin Tones Study Day

Today was spent reading an excellent thread about skin tones at Wet Canvas in a workshop thread by Lacey-Lewis, and mixing paint. Lacey's work can be seen here.

I am having trouble composing this post as Blogger keeps underlining or carries a link where it isn't wanted. Strange things in cyberspace.

Notes and paint swatches were made on notecards as well as on a paper palette. I want to find a simple palette that will match my skin tones as they are very similar to those needed to paint Joyce's portrait. So far the red that closest matches my skin is a burnt sienna mixed with white; raw sienna mised with white, along with raw umber and white to value wanted mixed with a warm or cool primary depending on where the neutral is painted.

I will set up a mirror so I can look at my facial skin tones to see what colors are in the shadows, the hue of the halftones, and whether the light is warm or cool. Hopefully, I can then paint Joyce's features from a photo with the appropriate tones, values and shapes. One thing I need to remember is that a photo can flatten the darks, making it look solid rather than the warm/cool color shifts that would be in the shadows and reflected lights.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Smushing Paint & You Tube Video

Blocking in a painting of my sister on 5" x 7" Ampersand board. I call it smushing paint as shapes are changed and adjusted. Feels so good to have a paint brush in my hand even if the painting doesn't look promising. Will let this tack up before modifying more.

Here is a link to a You Tube video by pluskvam showing Dega, Renoir and Monet. Pretty cool to actually see them with a paint brush in hand. Note how that fill their brush, place a few strokes, sit back and look at the painting before continuing on.

NOTE: I deleted the video because it encroached on the sidebar. Hope you clink the link though as it is interesting to watch.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Taking a Break

Sadly, my sister passed away this morning and I will not be posting to the blog for a little while. Thank you all for your kindness and your thoughts.

Saturday, October 03, 2009



The end of another week which has been exceptionally busy. My room/studio has been painted but everything is still topsy-turvy. We also painted another bedroom and in the midst of putting everything back in it. During all this painting and moving things arounds, my sister has been in the hospital since Tuesday and we are taking turns staying with her throughout the day and night. Hopefully, she will be coming home tomorrow or Monday. Needless to say, painting and sketching has taken a back seat this week. I'm hoping that everything will be more normal in a couple of days. In the meantime, thanks for taking time to read this blog and for sticking around.