Wednesday, April 16, 2014

another landscape (cityscape?): seattle sunshine morning

"seattle sunshine morning" (14"X18")
it seems i have been skipping around a lot since we arrived home from borrego springs about 10 days ago now. i have 3-4 paintings in the works and although i paint on each one each day sometimes there isn't enough change to  make it worthwhile to post. this one i finished in about two days. it isn't perfect (no s**t, sherlock), but i think i am starting to understand how i want to paint these and i learned a tremendous amount by the attempt. taken from a photo outside of our daughter's abode in seattle about 7-8 years ago. i have wanted to attempt it before but didn't think i had the chops to do it well. so, here is the first attempt and i am pretty sure i will have another go of soon to see if i can make a better painting of it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

back in the saddle......

we are now home and ready to start painting again in an atmosphere bereft of flying dirt, high winds, and zero humidity..........should make things a bit easier.

i have been working a little on the "party girls" painting, started a painting of my great aunt from a photo when she was about 16, and am trying my hand at an animal this case a tiger.

i will post the steps for the great aunt painting later today or tomorrow after i finish a little more. however, here is the tiger at the stage that i moved on to something else to give it a rest . its a little tight which i find often happens when i tackle a new subject and experiment with ways of getting the effects that i want. all in all i am happy with where this is at the present time. i will have some comments on what i think i learned when i get closer to the finish. for now i will just post the photos of the various stages i have gone through to the present.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

"morning on the madison" : (yet) another landscape

i tried my hand at another landscape over this last week. i tried to employ some of the techniques i learned (to various degrees) at the workshop given by frank eber. i had painted this scene a few years ago. while that version wasn't too bad, this is much better., proving one can teach an old dog new tricks. i have a way to go in the pursuit of the landscape, but this is at leasy on the road to "not horrible."
"morning on the madison" (15"X19")

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"she's a determined young lady"

"she's a determined young lady"
i was not adding anything of substance late yesterday afternoon so i decided to let it sit overnight. still no more good ideas , so i am calling this finished. it is 14"X10" on 140#, arches hot press paper.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

frank eber workshop and start of a new painting

new orleans on a gray afternoon
last week i attended the frank eber workshop sponsored by the venus studio and gallery in palm desert. with nearly 3 hours of commute each day there wasn't any time for blogging about it at the time. now i am off to start another painting and to practice what i think i learned at the workshop.

a new york street corner
the workshop was about landscapes and frank has a unique way of delivering the information. he talks for about 15-20 minutes to cover what will be done over the next hour or so. then he demos a particular technique of area of the current painting that he (and the whole class are) is working on...more about that in  minute. then the class paints using that technique on the same basic painting. he passes out photos that he has taken and each class member works on the same scene. he walks around to each person as they are working and critiques/suggests/demos to make sure they understand how to do it and can actually perform the task. then he moves on to the next step for the next 30-60 minutes and turns the class loose on that next step..... the whole thing repeats itself until the painting is finished. then on to the next scene. the sequence of scenes were basically moving from relatively simple 3 step landscape to a more complex meadow scene, on to a waterscape with reflections of buildings, and finished with a relatively complicated cityscape. here are the completed paintings that i did that i actually remembered to take photos of before posting this entry. all in all a productive week and the major thing that i learned was a new way of putting down a wet in wet wash that i hadn't been exposed to before. like all new things it will take a bit of practice to improve my technique, but at this point i can see using it quite a bit even in my figure and portrait work...along with continuing to try my hand at the landscape.

i started a new portrait-style painting the day before the workshop began and here are the initial two stages of the painting. it is based on a photo taken by the always excellent and generous steve evans of a girl living in madagascar. it is 15"X11" on 300# fabriano artistico hot press paper. i managed to get a reddish splotch on the light-struck side of her face during the initial light underwash that i am not particularily fond of. i will have to figure out a way to deal with it. i think that bringing the values of the rest of the painting up to where i would like them will be the first step. it may just become a non-issue at that point.

off to paint.

Monday, January 27, 2014

a finish (?) and bonus extra

"a post from charles" (15"X11")
i think that i have finished the painting of the young girl musing about the contents of the letter she has just received and read......from charles....obviously! from the last posting i have finished her dress and hair, strengthened the values in the lower part of the background under the table, painted the watch (i initially painted it too may still be?), and put in some darks in the crevices (a term i think i first read in a book by jan kunz).

this second painting is not finished and may never be. it started out as an experiment in painting a nude in a real painting as opposed to the quick sketches in life drawing sessions. there were a lot of things i liked about it but also a lot of problems. it was based on a great photo from dave bass from studio gallery 1311 in la crosse, wi. since i thought it was probably a "goner" i decided to do some more experimentation with the "swatch" technique that i used on the commission portrait posted a few weeks ago. i think it could work if i used some of the same technique in the figure, but the whole thing seems just a bit dingy and drab.........just checking to see if you are paying attention.
"stalking the wild orchid" (10"X14") wip

Saturday, January 25, 2014

"a post from charles": continuing steps in current painting

i am starting to get an idea of what the title might be for this piece. this may mnot be it but something close i think. perhaps a reference from within the letter itself: "he loves her raven hair" ????
folds /shadows on her dress: manganese blue,
 carmine, raw sienna

here are some of the intervening steps between when i last posted and now regarding this painting. again i will let the captions carry the day with the exception of one thought about the background. i am usually drawn to more organic shapes in the background of these but in this case there was going to be the more geometric shape of the pedestal table so i decided to break up the background into geometric shapes. its sort of taking a page from ted nuttall's playbook and i think works here better than my usual doodling.

starting shapes for background
darkening right background shape and
putting in pedestal table shape

close up of face at this stage

bringing everything up to value slowly

at the present time: probably finished with face and dress
just a little more on background to go.
i added red stripe on upper right for interest and balance.