Thursday, February 4, 2016

More on both.....busker and brown eyes blue.

I had about 4 hours uninterrupted time this morning. I know, right. So, I actually got some time to do serious art. I started out with doing about three landscape drawings for paintings I want to work on over the next week or so. Still trying to figure out how I want to do these things

Then I worked about an hour on each of the two partially finished people paintings. I can't really remember all the steps I went through but suffice it to say that I worked mainly on the background in "serenading miss Rachel," and the figure and her clothes in the one that I have tentatively called, "make my brown eyes blue."

So here is where both were at the end of art time at ye ole casa
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Monday, February 1, 2016

Need two at a time

As I get further into this painting deal I find that my best defense against something giving me trouble is to move onto an area that I am pretty sure of. this gives me something to paint while in the back of my mind I work on a solution to that which plagued me in another area or in another painting. To this end i  find having at least 2 (if not 3) paintings going at the same time can be a useful ploy.

This is a roundabout way to say that the background was vexing me to a certain extent on the "Rachel" painting, so I decided to let it rest and started another painting....that way I would have two going.

This next one is from the photo shoot of Ashley just before Christmas. I think she may have been getting tired or thought the pose was a sort of "not another one," you've got to be kidding me" sort of thing......anyway, I caught her in a bit more of a candid moment which frequently are the best. The point of view is also from above which I haven't done recently. All this put together stirred me to go after it.
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The drawing is on a 20"x16" piece of arches hot press watercolor board. I wanted the figure crowded into the space but with some area at the top and left side into which she could (disgustingly, perhaps) gaze. This made the figure just a little bigger than I usually do.

With the drawing done, I flooded the entire thing with a light value watery, multi hued, wash concentrating the warm colors on her face with a few "accent" greens scattered here and there....some on her face as well. All this painted with a medium-sized squirrel quill brush.

When this had thoroughly dried I started sculpting the face and features. This with my #16 round prado escoda round. I used cerulean blue and various mixtures of alizarin Crimson/brilliant orange, vermillion/Carr yellow(cheap joe's.....a nice bright, transparent,saturated yellow) or raw sienna, scarlet lake/either Carr yellow or brilliant orange. I want to keep the small geometrical areas around the figure a glowing sort of yellow so I painted what you see with Carr yellow and raw sienna. Her topics started with a mauve consisting of permanent rose and cerulean blue. Her hair will be ultramarine blue/burnt umber/burnt sienna and some accent reds and violets.

That's all for now. Here are some shots of two of the last steps.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

a study in values: "serenading miss rachel"

i'm not sure i will get to any painting today so i thought i would check on the values of the painting. when i looked at it this morning while drinking my first cup of coffee, it just looked off. i wasn't worried about it, this early on i the process, but i wanted a handle on what the problem was before moving on. since most problems lie in the values being incorrect i decided to take a better look at them.

how to do this? i think a good way to do this, and one a lot of artists are resorting to, is to simply take a photo of the painting and change it to a black and white copy in whatever photo editor they have available. when it do this with the current photo a couple of things pop out that i didn't expect. to be absolutely transparent, i thought that the large shadow that falls across three articles of clothing on the "right" (his right) side of the figure would be several disparate values (and there in would lie the problem).

i was surprised to find that i had actually gotten these pretty close and the lapel part of his jacket was the thing that was too light. therefore i concluded that the shadow was pretty cohesive and i could make it more so with some unifying glazes that would also bring it up the correct overall value. additionally, i will need to darken the lapel and his right sleeve. then i think, hope, that it will take care of the nagging  issues that i felt this morning.



Tuesday, January 19, 2016

"Serenading Rachel" continuing with a WIP

just a bit more on our Seattle busker. I doesn't seem like much, but I thought and experimented for about an hour before I figured I knew what I wanted to do for the large shape over his head.


I knew from the get go that I wanted it dark. I experimented with a number of dry glazing, wet glazing (charging in color), direct painting, and any number of primarily complement combinations. I got as far as deciding that I liked the combination of burnt umber and ultramarine blue which I figured would read optically as a dark gray or black. I then could dry glaze over it with other colors already present in the figure and bring it up to value with black............yep, you heard it. I can't think of anyone who advocates the use of black out of the tube except maybe Charles Reid. Good enough for Charles, good enough for me. Besides I like the contrariness of the idea. I did enough on a separate sheet of hot press paper that I know it will get the effect I am looking for. Now whether anyone else will like it, is another story....news at eleven.

So here are two shots, before and after, of the painting in the process of the first dark wash. I also put. A bit of modeling on his clothing since yesterday.


Sunday, January 17, 2016

"In the moment" and beginning of "serenading Rachel"

I know, I know, been along time. No useful excuses, just pure sloth, I guess. Hopefully this may make up for it.

"in the moment"
I started this first painting almost 3 months ago. I changed tactics on the background several time and finally settled in the glowing sort of gold color you see here. A bit more on the Daniel sprick influence, I guess. The hair in these portraits always give me trouble if it is a big piece of the puzzle. I am fairly happy with this combination of detail and blur. Although many may think them superfluous, I rather like the stay strands of hair that everyone seems to have except maybe for the "buzz cuts." Anyway I enjoy painting them so unless someone can come up with a cogent reason not to do it, I probably will continue. In the reference Ashley actually is barefoot, but I gave hr a red sock and then made part of the painting ground in the upper right hand corner red as well. Seems rather simplistic in concept, but I like the unexpectedness of the gesture. I absolutely loved this blouse when she put it on and I hope I did it justice. I have several more reference shot in which she wears it so I definitely will be getting another shot at it.  Today I reached the point where nothing I was doing was adding anything so, it be done. Please enjoy, "in the moment" (21"x14").

this second one that i started a couple of days ago after we arrived in borrego springs is taken from a reference photo i took of a busker out in seattle. kudos to those who figure out the reference for the title. "serenading rachel", a work in process.

Monday, December 28, 2015

another great photo session

i have enough material to give me inspiration and references for paintings at least until the ice next descends from the polar regions. ashley met me at the studio gallery 1311 for a photo shoot a few days before christmas. she was her usual energetic, inventive, gracious and lovely self. putting up with my ridiculous ideas and coming up with much better poses has turned into her stock in trade. here are some of the photos that i am pretty sure will end up as inspiration for paintings.























speaking of trade i also delivered her commission piece for which she is trading the modeling  sessions. it is for a dear friend of hers whose father died recently. he served in vietnam in the late sixties and early seventies. he and three of his friends were involved in a fire fight in long an province on august 3, 1970. he was the only survivor, the other three kia from a ground explosive device. the painting is he standing in front of a stylized vietnam war memorial wall with the names of the three friends kia that fateful day. it may not be the best technical painting i have done, but it is full of sentiment for the family, ashley and now me. hope you enjoy it.

"lingering memories"  (16"X15)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

" in the moment" (wip, 15"X21")

" in the moment" (15"X21")
i have been working on a couple of things for the last week or two. one is a commission for someone of a vietnam war vet who died recently. i bartered some modeling time for the painting. i think i came out ahead on this one as she has proven to be delightful to work with and i have gotten some pretty amazing images to use as painting references. after it is delivered, gifted and an okay from the client i will post the image of it soon.

the second piece i am doing is of the same woman client mentioned above sitting in a chair in the studio whilst discussion our options. she is poised but charming, full of fun but very serious about what she wants. she is exactly what the world needs more of. so, without much ado i will post the work in progress of this painting, "in the moment".

hope you are having a great weekend.  cheers.