Thursday, May 28, 2015

"west on market": she be done

i finished off the painting of the cityscape done from in front of the studio gallery 1311 on market street yesterday.

not too much to say except that i darkened and added some texture to the left foreground trees to bring them forward, finished the vaguely detailed distant background, put a graded wash on the street with room left anteriorly for the center stripe, added some lost and found branches running through the trees. i also darkened the building just a touch with an over glaze as it was getting lost in the clutter.

here is the final version of "west on market" (12"X11").

Sunday, May 24, 2015

"west on market": another city/landscape

as the title indicates i decided to do another city scape. this is a shot west on market street in la crosse standing in front of the studio gallery 1311 where we will have the first day or so of the frank eber workshop in september.  this a pretty quick sketch and if i work out some of the kinks, i'd like to paint it on location later this next month.

here are two steps separated by about 30 minutes work.

its on a piece of 140# rough fabriano artistico paper that is about 12"X12".

wip, "west on market" (12"X11")

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Feeling like morton's salt: When it rains, it pours

as I opened the email when I got home from the hospital yesterday (total hip replacement, long overdue, btw)), I saw a notice from the Red River Watercolor Society informing me that that my painting, "lakhota proud," had been invited to their 2015 national watermedia exhibition. My thanks to juror anda styler and the members of the rrws. More info about the opening which will be in morehead, Minnesota, as the time approaches. Now I need to get busy with mounting, framing and mailing!
"lakhota proud" (13"X16")

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A first for everything

Just today I received notice from the Pike's Peak Watercolor Society of acceptance of my painting, "waitin' for the Mississippi queen," into their 2015 International Watermedia Exhibition! Many thanks to all who make this exhibition happen and a special thank you to juror Ted Nuttall for judging my painting worthy of this honor. To say the least, I am pretty happy with this turn of events!
"waitin' for the mississippi queen" (11"X17", watercolor on paper)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"sorting grandpa" the last hurrah

after another hour or so diddling interspersed with some significant changes i have reached the point where i think i am finishes with this opus. most of what was done was background. a few more smidgens of darks in some key (and maybe not so key) places.

here is the final version finished this morning.
"sorting grandpa" (15.25"X12.5"; watercolor on paper)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"sorting grandpa": more to do

i worked about an hour on this painting yesterday. the hands proved to be difficult, mainly due to the fact that the reference photo is a bit confusing....what's fingers, whats thumbs, what's neck? in the end i put in what i could see, tried to get the values right,  and hoped that it would read okay. richard schmidt (i think) once said that one shouldn't put anything in a (representational) painting that one could not see. in this case it seemed like the way to go. i am a little unsure about the hue and value of the background. i put a light wash of ultramarine blue to gray it down but i think i like it a bit warmer so i am quite sure the next glaze will be something, quinacridone gold, red????? at some point i will have to decide on my t-shirt....more or less defined?

quite a bit of time was spent with very small details such as putting in some darker accents around eyes, nose, corner of mouths, etc. i always like to get some bits of warm (read red) around the eyes. there are spots in sophie's hair that are not reading well, again with the photo which is confusing, but i think i have it worked out. as i want sophie to play the lead role i added a light vermillion glaze over my face (it wasn't dark enough, i thought) and then pushed it back a bit with a thin glaze of ultramarine blue. overall this didn't change the value much but did make it less prominent, allowing sophie to shine.

this is getting pretty nearly finished. mainly thinking more and painting less....never a bad idea.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

first la crosse plein air and continuing with "sorting grandpa"

yesterday was the first plein air paint out that i was able to attend since returning to wisconsin. about 10 painters....mostly watercolorists oddly enough.......met at a local park to paint for 2-3 hours. i wasn't all that inspired by the scenery, but the early morning light was nice. i picked an area where i could sort of border the scene with the natural objects like trees, sidewalks/streets, and try to create the sun-drenched look by use of the crossing shadows of the adjacent trees. here is the painting that i did. about 2 hours, 140# cold press lanaquarelle paper, 11"X14".

later in the day i did about 45 minutes work on "sorting grandpa." i mainly worked on my face to try to add a bit of color using vermillion, raw sienna, and at times a touch of cerulean blue. i did finish out both my and sophie's eyes with over washes of cobalt blue/burnt sienna and adding pupils with ultramarine blue and burnt sienna. a note about eyes: with light coming in on the side, the edge of the iris on the shadow side will sort of catch the light as i exits the cornea creating a light spot. the light is a bit schizoid here as it seems to be coming from the front (and indeed i think it was in the form of a flash) so i decided to just call one side of both figures the one that will catch the exiting light. i have found that this gives the eyes a "real" and watery look. you, of course, will have to be the judge.

in the background i put down a wash of manganese blue nova going over the back of sophie's head, the left side of my head (note: these directions are relative to the figure, not the observer), and the top 1/3 of my t-shirt and then allowing some drips- the illusion of spontaneity, if you will. i think that's it for yesterday. as it is cold, blustery and rainy, i suspect more will be done today.