Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thanks Frank ... (and Kevin)

I'm still trying to 'get it'.  Block in the shapes.  How hard can that be right?  The other day I found a step by step  from American Artist Magazine.  Frank Serrano gave directions, step by step, on how to start a painting.  The name of the article  was "Paint En Plein Air:  Beginner Landscape Oil-Paintnig Techniques From Frank Serrano".  Wow, I thought, maybe this is just what I need.  I have never really done a step by step and looking at his painting and the steps along the way, he made it look as if it was something I could complete ... and get right.  Maybe I would finally 'get it' after all.

The above photo is Frank's (Frank Serrano) finished painting.  What my painting would look like when I completed all of his steps in the article.  ....( yea, right ).  I had my canvas,  a small 4" x 6 "  I thought small would be best and let me finish faster.  I've got to stop that.  Small isn't necessarily better, in my case anyway.

I was very impressed with his instructions, his step by step. He was very thorough, even telling what colors he mixed to make the different painted passages.  I'm thinking "how could I miss" with all the details he was giving.  Soooo, when I got to the end of the article, the above photo is what I had accomplished.  I was so disappointed.  It looked horrible, it wasn't any better than I'd done before. Being frustrated I grabbed a Kevin MacPherson book and headed to the recliner to once again read about the process of painting.   Ah haa.... there it was,   I wasn't finished .... I just had the basic shapes down.  Now was the time to go into the larger shapes and put down smaller shapes.  I've never done that before!  I've read about it and thought about it prior to picking up a brush, but now I went back to my painting and start to put down the smaller shapes.  

The above picture is after I went back in and put in more shapes.  Yippee, I think I'm finally getting it.  No, I'm not mistaken by thinking this is a great painting ... Its great because I finally understand and have done what I'm suppose to.  Big shapes, then add the smaller shapes after all the large shapes are down!  Frank had said that, but I just hadn't read it that way.

I really appreciated the step by step as it made me finally realize about the blocking in of the large shape process.  But, if I were to change anything about the article it would be that  I could have seen a reference photo of the area and not just attempt to 'copy' Franks painting with out knowing 'why'.

There is still one more step by step he offered in the download and I'm thinking I'll give it a try also.  Who knows maybe I really do finally understand.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Are your roses blooming yet?

I have a friend who lives in France who paints the most beautiful flowers and she tells me her roses are blooming now.  

This small little rose painting is no where near the beauty that she paints, but I thought she might appreciate seeing that I am thinking of her and her beautiful paintings.

3 1/2" x 3 1/2"  oil on wood block                                                                     

Friday, May 13, 2011

Garlic ~ a veggie?

3 1/2" x 3 1/2" oil on wood block

Although I've been looking forward to starting a new oil painting since my return from vacation I keep running into obstacles.   Yesterday with some garlic in hand I went to the studio and  decided that I'd paint a small painting for Daily Paintworks weekly challenge, which happens to be Paint Your Vegetable this week.  

~  I had gessoed a number of these small wood blocks awhile ago and thought they 
would make nice little paintings if shown in a grouping.   Although the size is attractive, I find them a little small to hold and try to paint, yet, I was having a hard time keeping it on my easel  because of the 1/2" thickness of the board.  Since painting this and taking a good honest look at it, I've decided that I'm not pleased with it and won't be posting it to the  weekly challenge.  Maybe I'll try another challenge or attempt another vegetable.  Also, the real painting doesn't have this bright yellow in it, but I couldn't seem to get rid of it with photoshop.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Nancy ... where have you been?

Watercolor sketch - somewhere in the Caribbean islands............

I bet you didn't even miss me ......  If you didn't that's because that is just how I had hoped it would be.  I had painted my boat yard painting prior to leaving and took pictures as I finished each step and then scheduled the postings.  This is the first time I've used that particular blogger feature and I can see where, if you painted ahead a lot, it could come in handy.

I wanted to tell you all that I really appreciate all the comments I received on my boatyard painting.  I particularly love the tips I received.  Invaluable.  I've started a notebook to keep such suggestions and hopefully will not just write the tips down, but read and utilize them as well. Thanks bunches.

~~~  this little watercolor is a typical scene in the Caribbean.  I used a 140 lb. Arches watercolor scrap, painted to about 4" square,  that I had laying around.  I painted this from memory.  Trying to remember the beautiful white sand, the unbelievable turquoise water (who ever heard of such a thing?) and beautiful bright sky with huge white billowing clouds.