Sunday, April 26, 2015

A first for everything

Just today I received notice from the Pike's Peak Watercolor Society of acceptance of my painting, "waitin' for the Mississippi queen," into their 2015 International Watermedia Exhibition! Many thanks to all who make this exhibition happen and a special thank you to juror Ted Nuttall for judging my painting worthy of this honor. To say the least, I am pretty happy with this turn of events!
"waitin' for the mississippi queen" (11"X17", watercolor on paper)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"sorting grandpa" the last hurrah

after another hour or so diddling interspersed with some significant changes i have reached the point where i think i am finishes with this opus. most of what was done was background. a few more smidgens of darks in some key (and maybe not so key) places.

here is the final version finished this morning.
"sorting grandpa" (15.25"X12.5"; watercolor on paper)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"sorting grandpa": more to do

i worked about an hour on this painting yesterday. the hands proved to be difficult, mainly due to the fact that the reference photo is a bit confusing....what's fingers, whats thumbs, what's neck? in the end i put in what i could see, tried to get the values right,  and hoped that it would read okay. richard schmidt (i think) once said that one shouldn't put anything in a (representational) painting that one could not see. in this case it seemed like the way to go. i am a little unsure about the hue and value of the background. i put a light wash of ultramarine blue to gray it down but i think i like it a bit warmer so i am quite sure the next glaze will be something, quinacridone gold, red????? at some point i will have to decide on my t-shirt....more or less defined?

quite a bit of time was spent with very small details such as putting in some darker accents around eyes, nose, corner of mouths, etc. i always like to get some bits of warm (read red) around the eyes. there are spots in sophie's hair that are not reading well, again with the photo which is confusing, but i think i have it worked out. as i want sophie to play the lead role i added a light vermillion glaze over my face (it wasn't dark enough, i thought) and then pushed it back a bit with a thin glaze of ultramarine blue. overall this didn't change the value much but did make it less prominent, allowing sophie to shine.

this is getting pretty nearly finished. mainly thinking more and painting less....never a bad idea.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

first la crosse plein air and continuing with "sorting grandpa"

yesterday was the first plein air paint out that i was able to attend since returning to wisconsin. about 10 painters....mostly watercolorists oddly enough.......met at a local park to paint for 2-3 hours. i wasn't all that inspired by the scenery, but the early morning light was nice. i picked an area where i could sort of border the scene with the natural objects like trees, sidewalks/streets, and try to create the sun-drenched look by use of the crossing shadows of the adjacent trees. here is the painting that i did. about 2 hours, 140# cold press lanaquarelle paper, 11"X14".

later in the day i did about 45 minutes work on "sorting grandpa." i mainly worked on my face to try to add a bit of color using vermillion, raw sienna, and at times a touch of cerulean blue. i did finish out both my and sophie's eyes with over washes of cobalt blue/burnt sienna and adding pupils with ultramarine blue and burnt sienna. a note about eyes: with light coming in on the side, the edge of the iris on the shadow side will sort of catch the light as i exits the cornea creating a light spot. the light is a bit schizoid here as it seems to be coming from the front (and indeed i think it was in the form of a flash) so i decided to just call one side of both figures the one that will catch the exiting light. i have found that this gives the eyes a "real" and watery look. you, of course, will have to be the judge.

in the background i put down a wash of manganese blue nova going over the back of sophie's head, the left side of my head (note: these directions are relative to the figure, not the observer), and the top 1/3 of my t-shirt and then allowing some drips- the illusion of spontaneity, if you will. i think that's it for yesterday. as it is cold, blustery and rainy, i suspect more will be done today.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

"Sorting grandpa" : continuing efforts on current painting

i got quite a bit more done on this painting in the approximate hour I have spent on it this morning. I mainly worked on Sophie's face. Continuing to explain her facial features. For this I used scarlet lake, brilliant orange, and cerulean blue applied with a #10 escoda versatile round. Areas of her hair were mixtures of quinacridone gold, burnt sienna, mineral violet, and touches of alizarin Crimson. My shirt was mainly oxide of chromium dulled with abit of alizarin Crimson. The background is a medium value manganese blue nova that I allowed to run over the back of Sophie's head, the left side of my head and the front of the t-shirt I am wearing. It's getting both sunny, but also warm out so I am going out to scout some areas for plein air painting later this afternoon and tomorrow morning. Until next, be well.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Gotta get back to work.......

well, we got home about two weeks ago and I haven't done much except get unpacked and straightened up the studio. i started this current painting before we left for warmer climes but decided to leave it on the easel during the trip and finish it when we got home. Guess what? We're home. So, I better get back to work.

reference photo
This reference photo was taken about 11 years ago or so and is of our grand daughter Sophie (she's now 14) and me on the porch. Joan got the pic at just the right time. I have been wanting to paint it for quite a while. Now is the time. I wanted Sophie center stage so I decided to only show part of my face. When doing this I have to be careful to not bring an apparent or implied tangent to the edge of the painting. Here that would mean the vertex of my head bumping almost parallel with the top edge. It could also mean the right side of my jaw running into and parallel with the left edge of the paper. as the process wears on i will have it be a bit darker and cooler to let me recede and sophie will be warmer and hopefully come forward.

status at day's end
I am using some watercolor board by arches. I think it is #90 hot press paper on some sort of archival pressed board. The whole thing is about 1/16" thick. First time so I am anxious to see how it goes. Btw, it is cheaper than #300 arches paper by quite a bit.

So I drew it out, put a light value variegated wash of scarlet lake, brilliant orange, cerulean blue, vermillion, and raw sienna over all the flesh areas and out into the background. I couldn't resist putting in a few features such as a couple first washes on the eyes and Sophie's nose. All done with a #14 round cheap joe's pseudo sable brush. Then we left for California.

Yesterday I noodled around abit, put a wash of quinacridone yellow on the background, redefined the right side of my head, put a second wash on one of my eyes, started on sophie's dress. Again the #14 brush. I worked for about 45 minutes, took some photos, and went off to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather.