Saturday, July 12, 2014

a pot pourri: several new works and one old one

"a stalwart troubadour" (15"X20")
i have been fairly busy working on things in the studio these last few weeks but haven't managed to post anything. to pick up with the troubadour, i have almost finished him. i worked on the fret board of the guitar, darkened some areas on his face, darkened and changed the hue, of the background, and added some splashy organic stuff on the background mainly on the top half or so of the painting. here is where we are at the present. i am letting it lie "fallow" for the time being waiting to see if anything else pops out at me, at which point i will declare it finished.

every once in a while it is necessary to try new things, experiment, different colors, techniques, etc. in order to grow. this next work is the result of some of this experimentation. i will stipulate up front that i think it is very close, i not already there, to a failed painting.......but still a huge learning experience. i wanted to try a different palette for the flesh and to tie the figure into the background a little more than i usually do. the whole thing got muddy and went south pretty quickly, but i learned a lot in doing so. i wanted to get away from the very warm reddish/oranges i had been using and tried to neutralize them a bit with a variety of blues/greens. i figures out how to apply these, meaning, how darkly, when in the process, etc. some of this will be reflected in the next piece i started yesterday. for now here a a few of the steps of the of the experimental painting effort.

first washes and photo of subject
close up of first washes
this next painting is of a cowboy who attended the round up/ride at borrego springs a couple of springs ago. he is interesting in that he eschewed the stetson. the other wranglers called him "doc". i have been waiting for my ability to catch up with my enthusiasm for the subject as i wanted to do a good job on it. i have incorporated some of the things i learned about flesh tones from the previous failed painting and i think one can see the difference when compared to the "troubadour". this was painted with a #18 ecoda round versatil brush utilizing scarlet lake, brilliant orange, and manganese blue nova in the face using VERY dilute washes so as not to muddy things up. when i got to the background which will be mostly an amorphous dark shape behind the figure i added ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson permanent, and burnt sienna to the mix. these were mixed very little on the palette and encouraged to separate on the paper near the edges of the shape by adding water. here we are at the stage i left it last night.

last for today, a landscape for my friend dan who spent some time in sierra leone with the peace corps. he got this shot of the kids in his near-by village racing pell mell down the road when school got out. obviously some things are universal!

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