Wednesday, February 24, 2016

"paint my brown eyes blue": just about finished

Now that I figured out what I want to call it I figured it might as well be done

I loosened up the background a bit this morning around dawn. I must say the sun rising up out into the eastern sky was a bit of a distraction, and it was pretty cold out on the patio that is now my studio en plein aire. I felt the background was too rigid. After a lot of looking and thinking, I timidly took my #18 round escoda versatil brush in hand an serially put some loose monochrome washes with lots of gaps and encouraged drips on the upper part. The colors were cerulean blue, brilliant or and, quinacridone gold in that order.

While those glazes dried I reinforced some of the shadows on the figure, trying to get the values consistent and bringing some definition to areas that were a little ambiguous. This too was effected with the same large brush and my usual skin colors. I wanted these a little looser as well so I applied them while holding the brush at the end and loosing only a minimal edge here and there. I also painted a slightly darker value mineral violet stripe down the right side........something told me to do it......

I am pretty pleased with the painting right now where I wasn't when I hit the hay last night. Please enjoy, "paint my brown eyes blue."

Just a little bit more

Got a late start this morning so only worked about an hour here is where the painting, "waiting on the students," is at the close of studio today.  Starting to pull some of the details together....maybe too many details? Then of course there is the whole big barn thing......

Monday, February 22, 2016

Start of a new landscape....."watching for the students"

I captured this shot of one of the myriad farms that dot the roadside country around la crosse. I liked the school bus nestled between the barns all ready to leap into action when the school bell tolled. I have included the original photo as I cropped it for the painting, a value editing of it, and the first few shot of the painting process.

For the painting, I started with the sky using a mixture of cobalt blue, raw sienna and a touch of alizarin Crimson permanent and a mid size squirrel quill mop brush by isabey. The bushes were dabbed in with a Chinese calligraphy brush with splayed ends. I was careful to leave some peak-through areas to give them the feeling of airiness. The distant hills were painted in with cobalt blue, vermillion, and cobalt turquoise. I lost some of the top edges to give them a feeling of distance and atmosphere. The bus is initially covered with a coat do Carr yellow (cheap joe's). I started to experiment with the barn painting working with some mixtures of burnt sienna, alizarin Crimson, cobalt blue, mineral violet.......I think the trick is going to be getting it them the right value (duh) and variability of hue.

That's all for now.

"Serenading miss Rachel"........probably finished

I reached the point that adding more "stuff" was not helping and was starting to detract from the overall effect I was trying to achieve. I had intended to cut in some whispy hair along the edges of his head and beard. To do this I was going to use a technique described to me by jĂșlio Jorge where one cuts two shallow lines close together and going at on end and then lift off the paper in between.....leaving a thin tapered white line of "hair." There are actually a few examples where I tried his on this painting already.. Look at his right (our left) eyebrow, for instance. But in the end I decided that I was going o do it because the technique intrigued me rather than if it was right for painting.  Never a great reason for inclusion. So, at this point I have decided not to add them. Tomorrow? Who knows! 

The painting is about 20"x14" on 300# arches hot press paper. So far no one has risen to the challenge of figuring out why I have given this painting the name that I have. The clues are that he is a busker at the pike place public market in Seattle.........come on folks, it's not that arcane........ Or is it?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

More on both.....busker and brown eyes blue.

I had about 4 hours uninterrupted time this morning. I know, right. So, I actually got some time to do serious art. I started out with doing about three landscape drawings for paintings I want to work on over the next week or so. Still trying to figure out how I want to do these things

Then I worked about an hour on each of the two partially finished people paintings. I can't really remember all the steps I went through but suffice it to say that I worked mainly on the background in "serenading miss Rachel," and the figure and her clothes in the one that I have tentatively called, "make my brown eyes blue."

So here is where both were at the end of art time at ye ole casa

Monday, February 1, 2016

Need two at a time

As I get further into this painting deal I find that my best defense against something giving me trouble is to move onto an area that I am pretty sure of. this gives me something to paint while in the back of my mind I work on a solution to that which plagued me in another area or in another painting. To this end i  find having at least 2 (if not 3) paintings going at the same time can be a useful ploy.

This is a roundabout way to say that the background was vexing me to a certain extent on the "Rachel" painting, so I decided to let it rest and started another painting....that way I would have two going.

This next one is from the photo shoot of Ashley just before Christmas. I think she may have been getting tired or thought the pose was a sort of "not another one," you've got to be kidding me" sort of thing......anyway, I caught her in a bit more of a candid moment which frequently are the best. The point of view is also from above which I haven't done recently. All this put together stirred me to go after it.

The drawing is on a 20"x16" piece of arches hot press watercolor board. I wanted the figure crowded into the space but with some area at the top and left side into which she could (disgustingly, perhaps) gaze. This made the figure just a little bigger than I usually do.

With the drawing done, I flooded the entire thing with a light value watery, multi hued, wash concentrating the warm colors on her face with a few "accent" greens scattered here and there....some on her face as well. All this painted with a medium-sized squirrel quill brush.

When this had thoroughly dried I started sculpting the face and features. This with my #16 round prado escoda round. I used cerulean blue and various mixtures of alizarin Crimson/brilliant orange, vermillion/Carr yellow(cheap joe's.....a nice bright, transparent,saturated yellow) or raw sienna, scarlet lake/either Carr yellow or brilliant orange. I want to keep the small geometrical areas around the figure a glowing sort of yellow so I painted what you see with Carr yellow and raw sienna. Her topics started with a mauve consisting of permanent rose and cerulean blue. Her hair will be ultramarine blue/burnt umber/burnt sienna and some accent reds and violets.

That's all for now. Here are some shots of two of the last steps.