Saturday, December 6, 2014

"lakhota proud"

back in early october i posted a nearly-done photo of this painting. i decided at the time that i didn't like it and put it on the shelf. the other day i came across it and decided that i did, after all, like it. so i added some stuff and lifted some stuff, reinforced some stuff, and lightened some stuff..........and came out with this. the lesson here is not to throw anything out until it has aged a bit and one can look at it with "fresh" eyes. the change in one's opinion can be surprising. of course, sometimes one's initial opinion holds up....then , i suppose, it does become one for the bin.

a brief word on the shapes along both upper sides of the painting may be due.  i looked up a variety of pictographs from digs and finds in north america. i drew the shapes that i liked and those that had a known meaning on small pieces of foam core. i then followed those lines drawing with a thick bead of that craft glue "tacky glue" in the brown bottle that i am sure most have seen in craft and hobby stores. this dried leaving a slightly resilient raised line. since it was water soluble i sprayed it with fixative to seal both the glue line and the foam core. to make a mark i simply painted thickish watercolor paint onto the design and pressed it onto the watercolor paper. i spritzed each of them with small droplets of water to varying degrees to loosed them up and teased a few drips down the page for both looseness and interest. this is what i got. i can't take credit for this.....dale kendrick showed me this technique many, many moons ago during one of his workshops.....a great artist and wonderful instructor. may he rest in peace.

"lakhota proud" (13"X16")

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

"table for one....non-smoking, please" (9"X18")

i had painted this little girl before in the same pose but with a totally botched background and a composition i didn't like. so, i had another go at it. i think this came out better, pretty much in every dimension. i didn't take any process photos during this endeavor, however.....sorry.

i hope you enjoy looking as much as i enjoyed painting.

"table for one....non-smoking, please"

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"the colonel has a lovely daughter": finale

i think that the last brush stroke has been applied to this painting. as one nears the end it is always an interesting time in a painting's life. when i get to the point where i am making small enough changes that they absolutely no difference in the quality of the painting or just ill-advised, detrimental additions, i quit. i think i am at that place with this. i am happy with the likenesses, composition, and skin tones. the colonel came off more sun drenched and older (vermilion, raw sienna, and cerulean blue) and charlotte younger, more "peaches and cream" complexion (scarlet lake, brilliant orange, and cerulean blue). there is one thing i'm not too happy with and that's the intersection of charlotte's shirt strap with the exact right lower corner. i think a little crop will take care of that. i apologize for the fuzzy photo.......should have used a tripod as the light was waning. here is the finished masterpiece:
"the colonel has a lovely daughter" (11"X17")

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

...and down the stretch they come......

a couple more steps in the painting that i have tentatively called "the colonel has a lovely daughter." i have been doing bits and pieces of this while the calendar pages come off the printer.....its taking about a half and hour to print 50 pages, due mainly to the higher resolution of the photos this year. so, there is about 30 minutes work depicted in each of these.

almost done...some background and bill's hat to go

Thursday, November 20, 2014

just another darn painting

i wanted to get something posted before 2 months had gone by. since last month i have had the opportunity to paint with charles reid in a portland, oregon, workshop, see the kids and grandkids, visit seattle, and start a couple of new paintings. i am ready to make the final push of the year to get the calendar out (hampered by needing a couple more landscape-oreinted paintings.)

this one is inspired by a photo of an old friend from my dartmouth days bill (aka colonel chaos) badger and his lovely daughter charlotte snapped a couple of summers ago in vermont. bill is an architect specializing in restoration of historic buildings.....he worked with those restoring the train station in philadelphia, for example.

i wanted an intimate and fun perspective for this and cropped down to the scene above. charlotte is the star of the show with bill playing a minor but important role. i took a play from ted nuttall's book and cut off the right side of bill's face, just for interest.

i used scarlet lake and brilliant orange  with cerulean blue for charlotte's skin tones and vermilion, raw sienna with cerulean blue for bill's skin. brushes are escoda versatil rounds...mainly #10 and #14. the paper is fabriano artistico hot press, #300, 11"X 17". the dark shapes at the top of two of the paintings are shadows from pins i use to hold down the paper. here are the first few steps in the process:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

"4th street, actually": new cityscape

"4th street, actually": (14"X11")
i think these are slowly, but surely, coming around. the improvement is certainly in baby steps, but seems steady. at least, i am feeling more like i know the next step and am not groping around as much as i was a few months ago. the biggest challenge appears to be that initial wash and amassing all those shapes that share a fairly common value. that and leaving all the white patches where i want them....its very difficult to lift out to white....only a light value gray. so with that minimal rhetoric here is the next offering in the cityscape series.