Friday, June 27, 2014

moving on with the troubadour

in amongst the coming and goings of exhibitions, trips to madison to pick up an automobile to replace our 10-year old vw gti, getting things ready for the state WRAP exhibition, i was able to get a little painting in on the troubadour  painting.

after 20 minutes more
another 20 minutes (some was just thinking)
the main things that i did was give his skin some warming up. he is really quite ruddy and obviously had spent quite a bit of time in the sun and i had left him rather wan at last sitting. this was quite easily effected by an over-all wash of vermillion. i painted in some of the wrinkles and folds on his shirt trying to keep them consistent in value with the light side of things except where they turned into shadow. cerulean blue, alizarin crimson permanent, and raw sienna were the colors and a #18 escoda versatil sintetico was the brush. some of the shadow on his face needed some darkening and cooling off. the darkening was done using vermillion/raw sienna/and a touch of cerulean blue. the cooling was done by a dilute wash of ultramarine blue. in areas that are in deep shadow, such as under his chin/neck and far right side (as we look at him) i used a bit of hooker's green to get a darker sort of value/hue and create a cooler turning edge.

adding warmth to his face
i started out thinking the background would be more blueish but ended up trying out a more variegated green to emulate the trees behind him in the real setting. so, after a bit of messing around with the manganese blue and reddish stuff at the top that is seen in the earlier steps, i started adding ultramarine blue with somewhat subtle vertical streaks of quinacridone gold put in wet-in-wet. i think this is going to work but it will need some value fortification as we move along. it also is a bit "sweet" for my taste and i will have to tone down the saturation a little as i move along. the hand on the guitar neck is coming along well and i am going to lose the inferior edge into the background.

at the end of work today...with background
the guitar neck has been percolating around the back of my mind ever since i started this painting. the question was whether i should render it in some detail of sort of smudge it in. have looked at a number of paintings of guitarists where things were done both ways, i decided to be a little more accurate and careful. sigh........tedious but a better choice at this time, i think.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

WRAP exhibition "Best of Show": "needing more than a tattered hat"

i was thrilled to see the "best of show" ribbon affixed to my painting "needing more than a tattered hat" when we went to the artists' reception last weekend. it was totally unexpected as there were over 20 other artists who had work entered and they all were extraordinary. my special thanks to marlene salls for encouraging me to enter and to juror ellen roles who found my painting worthy of this high honor. the wisconsin state WRAP exhibition is in wausau starting august 8th and runs through september 27th.

i know that i am fretting over close to nothing but i worry this painting may be chosen for inclusion in the "watercolor west" show in la brea, california, in which i entered it along with "a final glimpse of benita wire". if it does, i have 2 days to get the painting to california as that show deadline for receipt of paintings is september 29th......i should have such problems! any who, here's the masterpiece:
"needing more than a tattered hat" (11"X21")

Thursday, June 12, 2014

moving forward....a potter's troubadour

having finished the painting of nalah, i turned my attention to the guitar player that i saw at the pottery studio tour and show north of the twin cities a few weeks ago.

i needed to get on with the drawing which took me about two hours by the time i decided on a size and composition. the drawing is on a piece of 300# fabriano hot press paper ripped to about 11"X14" to simulate the deckle edges that was already along one side from the mold. his shirt just seemed too busy to me, and too tedious to paint, so i think i am going to go with a solid color (and knowing my like for white attire??????), hmmmmm.

drawing of our troubadour
so, with the drawing done, i got busy with an initial light value wash consisting of about 10% mixes of vermillion, raw sienna, and manganese blue. in some areas i came into the face from well outside the boundaries and other times was quite careful to stay within bounds. the former to give the illusion of looseness and the latter to make sure i didn't sully, what i think will be, the white shirt. this was done with a #16 escoda prado brush. this is brush new for me and so far i love it. all the snap of kolinski with good water carrying capabilities, great sharp point, and durability. i can't wait to see what their new versatil  line will be like as it is touted to be superior to the prado.......big shoes to fill imho based on a few hours painting with the prado.

some stunning washes!
when this initial wash was just about dry...only a little cool to the touch. i started in with the features using the same colors in a little more concentrated solution. with the paper a little damp i did't get some of the early hard edges i sometimes have to deal with with this fabriano hot press paper (perhaps more on this later). i made the under brim of the hat and the shadow on his forehead all one large shape at this point and left a hard edge in the center of his forehead to signify the cast shadow from the brim. this wasn't so obvious in the photo but this will give the painting a bit more of a sun-drenched look. in some areas in the shadow i used a bit of arbitrary color which in this instance was hooker's green dark. i will probably use a bit of something warmer on the side of the face out in the sun......mineral violet, alizarin crimson, scarlet lake??????? we'll see. i also used a bit of cerulean blue around the eyes in spots for variety and to help the socket recede. i can see now leaving his mustache and other hair areas as a negative shapes is going take a bit of attention! still using the #16...can't say enough about the point given the full belly of the brush.

i began experimenting with little swatches of color in various places to help define the extent of a feature, (chin, side of face, edge of hat, design on the hat band) with well graded edges so bringing more paint around it will be easy. i'm not sure if this is a bad habit, but it gives me an opportunity to see what things might look while still being able to lift out a small area if i don't like it.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

finishing up, "nalah and the great guacamole caper"

i finished this painting of nalah our youngest grandchild. i snapped this photo just after she  (and i if i am being honest) just polished off a large tub of homemade guacamole....fed to both of us via her chubby little fingers, a feat she found hilarious. i think she had just licked off the last of the homemade guac when this photo was taken.

since the last posting i just continued darkening the background with dilute glazes until reached the value and chroma i was looking for. unfortunately it didn't turn out just exactly as i had imagined (but when does it, really?). it looked just a bit lopsided even though i hadn't planned on making a compositional problem out of this. with that in mind i splattered and spritzed a subtle organic shape in vermillion and manganese blue along the right edge.

a bit on her hair and dress and i think we have arrived at the end....for now. i will let this sit on the wall for a week or two giving it the once over at least daily just to make sure that i am satisfied.

"nalah and the great guacamole caper" 14"X18"