Tuesday, November 22, 2011

battened down in portland

still life with paint tubes
we arrived in portland last friday after a pretty much uneventful drive. we had on day of treacherous driving through the northern rockies from about butte, mt, until coeur d'alene, id, with a mixture of sleet, snow, freezing rain all driven by 30 mph-winds. as usual the biggest problem was other drivers who thought it was a good idea to hydroplane past us slowpokes in the passing lane going , oh, about 75mph through 2-3 inches of slush. every time someone did that i held my breath. stupid. i saw one guy about an hour later at a rest stop and found that he had arrived 5 minutes before we did...okay, so it was worth the risk.

i am in the process of getting a studio of sorts set up in the corner of the great room at the place that we are staying. it has great light, but i need to get a drop cloth to foil my innate sloppiness. once that is accomplished, i will be ready to finish up pine ridge jim's portrait. bear with me!

a drink for all occasions 
are two paintings from a while ago just to dress up the posting.

Monday, November 14, 2011

heading to the great northwest

i have done neither painting, nor blogging in the last week or so as we are preparing for a trip out to portland, oregon, for the holidays. all our kids and grand kids live either in portland or seattle. it will be the first time in about 8 years since we have all been together for thanksgiving and christmas so we are naturally looking forward to this journey. it will take us until about friday (11/18) to arrive in portland as we will take a leisurely approach to the whole thing and it looks like we may get held up just a bit by a winter storm in the northern rockies. this will probably be the last post until i get a studio set up out there, which shouldn't take too long. i am interested in getting back to jim's portrait as i like the way that it has started and at least the drawing has a good likeness of him. some may remember the portrait of spotted elk that i started out in borrego springs earlier this year. i am taking that along and will see what i need to do to get back to painting that as well. the area obviously offers an unbelievable opportunity for landscape, so i will be disappointed if the whole 2 months we are there slides by without taking advantage of it.

i did manage to get to the life drawing/painting session last week so i do have these last offerings for your viewing. westward, ho!

25-minute pose

15-minute pose

40-minute pose

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"pine ridge jim": next painting

this next painting will be a portrait of a fellow i met out in porcupine, sd, on pine ridge reservation, last may. he has a very interesting history having spent a number of years down in australia (or new zealand, i can't remember which at this date) and then moved back to the rez with his spouse. he helps run the clinic building in porcupine which is how we met him. he agreed to the photo that i am using and although the photo was taken inside i am going to put a loose background of the pine ridge countryside in behind the figure. he has had a broken nose in the past and his nose is quite crooked which i think adds great character to his face. this should be fun!

first stages of "pine ridge jim"
i started with a drawing using the modified contour style on a sheet of 16"X20" 140# fabriano artistico cold press paper and then started the actual painting with the nose and its cast shadow. the colors were burnt sienna and cobalt blue. after putting in a rather dark shape for the underplane, i used a clean damp brush to move the pigment up and over the top planes of the end of the nose and down onto the upper lip. i was using a #6 round brush for all of these steps. i next painted the shadow under the upper eyelid and then the upper portion of the iris. i added ceruelan blue with a touch of olive green for the iris and then used the same procedure for the lower portion of the iris as i did for the nose drawing it down with a damp brush. i put a tie-in with the lower lid right away using the same damp brush but not more pigment. while i waited for this to dry i painted the dark medial shadow in the socket carrying it over the upper lid and below the eye as well. i started this with pretty much pure cobalt blue and moved it around with the flesh mixture by adding the burnt sienna. i painted the lateral socket margin with a lighter wash of cobalt blue blending that into the upper lateral cheekbone area with burnt sienna. adding the hair with a substitute of ultramarine blue for the cobalt right away gave me tie-in there and release of the face shape. by that time the iris had dried sufficiently to just get a bit of bleed with the pupil so i added that with ultramarine blue wet-in-wet carefully painting around the highlight. lastly i scraped in some hair strands with the palette knife when the sheen had come off the wash of the hair.

life drawing/painting studio: week #7

there were two three-hour sessions this week but i only stayed for about 2 hours in each of them.  not too much to say as i went about things the same as usual. for once the longer pose on wednesday was actually better than the shorter one. on thursday the model was clothed so that was a good change from all undraped models. so here are the "sketches/paintings" for this week.

35-minute pose

25-minute pose

2-hour pose

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"red boots splashing": the finish line is in sight

near to finishing
there really isn't too much left to this painting. i finished off the modelling and painting of the raincoat using the #8 round and mixtures of raw umber and oxide of chromium carefully losing edges in about half the shapes as i went. i then put in an overall wash of cadmium yellow medium so as not to leave too much stark white paper. the coat is yellow after all and that was what appealed to our daughter the most at the time. some anatomy corrections were necessary around her *left* hand where i lifted some pigment infero-laterally and repainted the hand/arm/cuff. the background needed to be added and after a bit of thought i decided to make it a little longer on the left side (as we are looking). this was done with a #12 round and a combination of ultramarine blue, mineral violet, burnt sienna, carmine, and cerulean blue as it worked its way down the page. as i worked i spattered some and the rest i kept quite juicy as i imagined a damp, wet, rainy day. i found a little too late that a small dribble had collected itself and had raced down the mid left side before i spotted it. i made a feeble attempt to blot it but it was too late and the pigment had stained the paper. at that point i decided to "like" it and left well enough alone. i finished the boots as seen with carmine and cadmium red light mainly re-stating and correcting the shadows . i charged a bit of ultramarine in places seen and made sure that the cast shadow was added to right away guaranteeing a continuation of the tie-in established on the last step. i didn't like the shadow under the nose and the line of the upper lip so i did some lifting and re-painting. i strengthened the shadow under the nose and the nostrils with a dab of cadmium red light and cerulean blue dulled down with a small amount of raw sienna. the buttons on the coat were added last as seen and the upper left edge of the remaining two were lost using a damp, clean brush after i put in the shadow to define the lower right extent of each. i believe that is all that i will do on this particular painting, so on with another!
red boots splashing, 20"X16"