Wednesday, April 17, 2013

the not so bitter end and beginning of another masterpiece

"dazzled by the light" (14"X11")
i finished up what i am going to do on both of these paintings. on "the tao of dreadlock maintenance" i did a little work on defining her hands and fingers. on "dazzled by the light" i softened some of the edges. this latter is so subtle that i wonder why i bothered, except that, "hey they bothered me!" 'd be surprised if an observer could tell the difference if viewing before and after versions side-by-side. so, here they are:

"the tao of dreadlocks maintenance" (19"X15")

having noodled around with these way more than i should have, i went casting about for another project to start. at the mustang reserve where we recently left were 3 border collies who came across the yard to see us whenever we came out our door. one of them was quite young (about a year?) and full name it.  in the photo i chose for the model for this painting he was trying to convince joan that what she really wanted to do was play with him. he was quite the charmer with his one brown and one blue eye. i will have to do a portrait of him face on to show his two eyes.  his name is "suka" (pronounced shoon-kha, the lakhota word for dog). i haven't really painted a dog before so i am eagerly looking forward to the challenge.

beginnings of "what's happening, suka?
so i drew the figures on hot press paper (the back of a 300# piece the back of which contained a failed painting) and started in on suka. the darks were combinations of ultramarine blue, cerulean blue, burnt sienna and umber, and mineral violet all applied with a #16 round. i pulled some of this washes out to form some of the shadow modeling with a damp clean brush. i am still really trying to find my style with the backgrounds and nothing seems to be telling me "this is it". in the background is a screen door to our abode that forms a rectangle behind the figures. so, i thought i would try to put that in as an abstract shape, leave it alone, and let the figures "poke" out of the sides of it where ever. the colors were my basic trio for light value gray, cerulean blue, alizarin crimson, and raw sienna. i actually put down some blue painter's tape  along the left side and bottom of the initial hale to get a straight edge to contrast with the more organic shapes of the figures. this looked a little rigid so i just "kissed" the tip of a damp brush up against the edges of this shape to draw some pigment out and away to try to loosen it up  a little. so far i am pleased with this. lets see if i can leave it alone long enough to forget to monkey with it!
"what's happening, suka" at the end of the day
 here is where i am at the end of painting for the day and about 30 minutes before calling it a day.

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