Thursday, December 29, 2011

Back Yard Snow ...

Back Yard Snow 8" x 6" Oil

With only a few days left until 2011 comes to an end I wanted to paint one last painting before the new year, something wintery.  Looking through a stack of old photos I found a view of our back yard in a house we lived in before we moved here, a winter scene filled with snow.  Our back yard (at the time) butted up to a 20 acre forest and a trail from our back yard ran through the forest and led to a creek then on back home.  In the summer time the forest was a cool place to hike when it was hot outside.  This view is just to the left of the trail.

All comments and critique are welcome.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Before the end of the year...

I'm pretty happy with myself in the fact that during this busy time of year I have not used that as an excuse not to paint.   I am still going forward and working toward becoming a better oil painter.  During this last week ... well, since I completed the red ornament painting, I now have another finished oil to add to the first.

Reflections of Silver ~ 5" x 7" ~ oil

After I completed the red ornament painting I thought I should start another one right away so that what new skills I had used wouldn't be forgotten.  Again, I'm happy with what I've produced.  Although the painting I did with the red was nice, I think I'm liking this one better.  Maybe its the warm browns and blue combination.  Then again maybe its because I had so much fun seeing shapes and painting what I saw.

I think I may try one more holiday painting before the end of the year ..... but not until after some gifts are wrapped.

On another note, one of  the blogs I frequent is by a wonderful Oregon artist named Marla Baggetta, her work is beautiful and I love the way she writes.  In this post I really felt she was talking to me ....

Being Kind to Yourself
We beat ourselves up most of the time. If only we viewed ourselves like we view our own friends, we'd be better off. Quieting our voice of judgment and giving ourselves credit for what is working in our work and building on that. We are quick to find what is "wrong" and then discount the whole. We are fast at niggling away at those areas in our work and in life that aren't perfect. Well, perfection is a state of balance that to me, simply does not exist... Be nice to yourself, be slow to find error and quick to find the good. Be as patient with yourself as you would be to a good friend. You are your own best friend. Then, remember to paint, paint some more and then after that, paint!!!

Do you think she was singling me out?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'm happy ...

Reflections ~ 5"x7"~ oil

I've painted a holiday painting and I'm happy with it.  Two amazing things when you think about it.

I have two of these small inexpensive panels measuring 5" x 7".  I thought it would be nice to use them both for ornament paintings.

Its amazing all the reflections you can see in a round object.  It really makes you focus your attention on shapes, not named objects.  I really enjoyed painting this one.  I'm happy .....

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Reflecting ...

Reflect :   Verb  
1.  The snow reflects light ... (send back).
2.  Their expressions reflected their feelings .... (indicate).
3.  He reflected on his responsibilities ... (think about).

Lately, I'm sure it's because of the holidays, I keep seeing more and more artists painting reflected surfaces in their work.  Bright, shiny objects. Pretty sparkling reflections in shiny objects.  Being new to oil painting I thought I'd better do some practicing before I attempt to paint a reflection on canvas so I decided to do the 10 minute exercise to get me use to painting reflections.  

oil on paper

In the first group of painting exercises I didn't even start out top to bottom or left to right.  I had this lone red ornament sitting on a white paper towel.   Looking back on these now I see my number #1 wasn't as bad as I originally thought and my number #4 wasn't as good as I thought.  I like the reflection in  number #1 best I think.  "Reflecting" on it now, seeing the results, I'm more confident in giving this another try.  Maybe on canvas this time.

oil on paper

Hmmm, what can I say about this second group of reflected surface exercises?  When I showed this to my husband he said he was glad I told him what it was because he didn't recognize it as our sterling silver pepper shaker.  I had placed a piece of cardboard behind the pepper shaker and it was sitting on a paper towel.  Remember that in these exercises you are allowed 10 minutes and no pre drawing, so that is my excuse for having them look like they were bent and broken.  Needless to say, #4 was no better than number #1.  I'm gunna leave these out of my painting.  If you own it and you still don't recognize the object after it's painted ... its best to move on.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Counting our blessings

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

This time of year I need to reflect and ask myself some questions.  Do you take the time to feel gratitude through-out the year, not just on Thanksgiving?  When a friend calls, a loved one drops by, or when you are able to share a meal with others.  The list goes on and on.  I am so grateful for you all ... that you come back time and again and show interest in my life.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Art ... under your feet

Have you noticed, I've been away.  Not doing any art, but instead I've been taking a lot of inspiring photo's.  I thought these three were worth sharing with you all.  Can you imagine living with this beautiful tile work beneath your feet as you go about your business during the day? Even on a rainy day they make life look brighter.

Now I'm back to the real world where my calendar tells me that our local holiday bazaar is this next week-end and I still need to prepare some things for that, orders are coming in for Christmas cards using the note cards from the house portraits that I sold during the local art show earlier this year and I still have a list of works I can't wait to oil paint.  Can you tell I'm going to be busy, busy, busy?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

A book that inspires .....

Winston S. Chruchill's book
PAINTING as a Pastime  (click to enlarge)

Do you have a book that speaks to you ... one that gets you excited to paint when you read it?  That makes you want to do as it says?  I do.  Its Winston Churchill's small book titled Painting as a Pastime.  The first time I read it I couldn't believe how he described painting in oils. Although I had been using watercolors exclusively, his words made me want to rush out and buy oils and canvas.

He writes:  "I write not word in disparagement of water-colours.  But there really is nothing like oils.  You have a medium at your disposal which offers real power, if you only can find out how to use it.  Moreover, it is easier to get a certain distance along the road by its means than by water-colour."  "One sweep of the palette-knife 'lifts' the blood and tears of the morning from the canvas and enables a fresh start to be made." "Lastly, the pigment itself is such a nice stuff to handle (if it dos not retaliate.")

This book is so small ... just 32 pages of written text, that you wouldn't think the words written in it could mean so much to someone reading it, but, each time I read it I can't wait to start painting in oils again.

If you are thinking of painting in oils or do already paint in oils, I think this book is one you'd like to be on your book shelf.

Do you have a book that inspires you to paint, draw or sculpt?  I'd love to hear about it.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Overwhelming ...

8" x 6" oil - unnamed 

On the third day of Kathleen Dunphy's workshop we were to paint water. I ended up focusing on the greens of the trees and I became so confused.  All the greens seemed to run together.  Now in the studio with my reference photo, which was a poor photo, I find its still too confusing to me. And working on the painting today is not improving it.   I think I need to pick a bush or two, but not a whole forest yet ... 
Time to move on to another painting.

A bit of humor for you: 
While we gone the last five weeks we stopped at both Yosemite National Park and Crater Lake National Park.  Both parks ask you to store your food in bear safe containers.  At Crater Lake National Part this is a sign we saw as we entered the campground ... Someone had a great sense of humor and put a stuffed bear on the sign. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Correcting a few problems ?

I'm not really sure I've improved much on the painting, but I did eliminate "trying to capture sunlight hitting the metal roof".  I added a little bit of color to the edge closest to the trees, yes, I was nervous trying anything, but like Celeste said "go on to the next Plein Air painting".  Think thats what I'll do.

The above photo is the corrected version.  (I can never get two photo's to look the same as far as brightness, color saturation... neither one looks 'just' like the painting.

8' x 6" oil, unnamed

This was my painting from the first day of Kathleen's 3 day workshop.  Well, actually I forgot to take a photo of what it looked like after my first day, but take my word for it, it looked nothing like this, just some strange blocked in shapes. This is the painting now after I worked on it a couple of days after I got home.  Just in case you can't tell what it is,  (ahem, lie to me please, tell me you knew what it was, ok?)  it is a barn... with two roofs.  

One of Kathleen's suggestions was that after we have worked on a painting and you think it is going south, ask your self some questions like:  Is it the design? Is it the drawing?  How are your values? etc.  When I question this painting I find that the sunlight that is suppose to be on the barn, that lighter line going from left to right about in the middle of the painting, really doesn't look like sunlight on the metal roof.  I have since attempted to correct that, but it still doesn't look like light hitting the metal roof. Also, in the upper right hand corner when I used a color isolator the afternoon of the workshop I found that the hill side really WAS that value and color, but I'm not sure I've depicted what that is in the painting.  What do you think?

Even though the painting has a number of issues I don't find the whole painting bad ...some things that I do like are my trees, how the light is seen around the edges .. back lit.  .  Also I think I conveyed that it was a bright sunny day. 

What do you think, I'd love to hear your thoughts ... How would you suggest I 'fix' this painting?  Do you see some issues that I didn't?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Learning the hard way ...

I think most of the time, good, really good lessons are learned the hard way.  Such as me leaving my paint box palette filled with paint to harden ... for one week.

See the dried up mess on my almost new Guerrilla paintbox palette below?  Ouch, what a mess.

Next photo you see a paper towel with paint scrapings from the above palette. I ended up using a palette knife, odorless turp and a retractable razor trying to remove the dried on paint.  Some big globs, some small smearings of paint.  All very hard to remove from the wood palette.

After working on this for quite awhile I've finally removed all the paint and I've learned my lesson to never leave the paint on my palette this long again.

In Kathleen Dunphy's workshop her palette was a beautiful grey that had accumulated from wiping up the oils.  After time it had turned a beautiful hard smooth surface.  I think I'll try this next time before my paint dries too hard.  I chalk it up to being new at oils, what do you think?  Have any of you learned this lesson the hard way?

Monday, September 26, 2011

My workshop with Kathleen Dunphy

6" x 8" oil

Whew, just arrived home from a three day workshop with Kathleen Dunphy in Murphys California.  Each of the three days was filled with Kathleen's generous knowledge of oils and plein air painting.  

On our first day we started out with a three hour lecture followed by mixing our paints, then after lunch we went out to paint in the warm afternoon, or should I say I attempted to paint.  Geesh, I was feeling so confident when I arrived and yet I froze with I got out in the field trying to put paint to canvas.  Okay, my first day was less than I had wanted for myself but after I gave myself a little pep talk that evening the next day was much better.  We all met at a local winery at nine the next morning and because it was pretty hot after a demo by Kathleen, I chose to set up my easel in the shade of a beautiful grape arbor facing the front of the wine tasting building.  As I started painting Kathleen came by to see how I was progressing and was pleased with how I had started and her words were just what I needed to continue and not freeze like I had the day before.  The above painting was the results of the day.  I still may do a few more things to my painting, but for the most part I was very happy with the light I caught and the shaded of the front porch.  I am thinking that now I may be able to pull the other two out of the ditch and make them better. 

I was more than happy with my three days at the workshop ...  and I think it was just what I needed to more forward with my goal of painting en plein air in oils as well as studio work using oils.  Right now my head is reeling with all the information I received.  

I hope to share more tid-bits of my trip as the week rolls along.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

House portraits - done.

Click photo to enlarge
Here's a collage of house portraits I've completed.  I also finished two others but they are meant to be surprise gifts so it wouldn't be a good idea to show them yet on the blog.  You can see one person wanted hers to be more of an illustrated holiday theme so she could use the cards as Christmas card.  This helped break up the routine of the same-ness of this project.

It has been such a fun project and one I'd recommend to any artist.  Each portrait is 5" x 7".  I matted each one with white matt and also gave a 6 pack of cards with each portrait that they may reorder at any time for the regular price of $12.00.  I packaged the portrait and the cards in a cellophane bag and tied them with a raffia bow.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Watercolor house portraits ...

Two finished house portraits

I've been busy working on the house portraits that were commissioned during the Art Show and Sales event that took place on the 9th of July.  Above are two of the house portraits I photographed this afternoon.   I finished and delivered another but forgot to photograph it.    

I like the presentation package I came up with.  Each 5" x 7" painting is matted with a 8" x 10" white matt and foam core backing and encased in a clear envelope.  The package of 6 note cards is in a clear package and attached to the front of the painting with a small piece of double stick tape.  Both are then placed in a larger clear envelope and a bow of raffia encloses the whole package of note cards and painting together.  A nice presentation for the owner of the house.

This is the first time I've really done house portraits. Do you have experience with this type of commission?  Would you consider doing house portraits?  

Monday, July 11, 2011

Saturday's Art Show and Sales

7" x 5" watercolor sketch, matted to  10" x 8" with matching note cards

Remember me telling you about the Art Show and Sale ?  Well Saturday was the day and the weather was perfect for such an event.  It was well attended and a huge hit with both the vendors (aprox. 20) and attendees.  

Lunch could be purchased for a $5.00 donation, proceeds going to a local school.  The menu consisted of a glass of wine, sandwich wrap, 2 salads, 2 asparagus spears, and a huge strawberry,  all served on a small clear plastic plate with a paper doily.  It was a masterpiece in its self .  Attendees could help themselves to dessert of either a lemon bar or brownie or both.  As you can imagine the food was a huge hit.  

I usually try to come up with something new for each of these shows and this year I offered a 5" x 7"  watercolor portrait of the purchasers home, matted to 8" x 10" and a free pack of 6 matching note cards.  I felt I could only offer it to 5  buyers because my schedule from August through November is very full and wouldn't have time to finish them after August.  I sold out with-in the first hour.   And, it was so fun to offer something that so many people were interested in.  I even took two more orders from people who swore they didn't need the portrait until after the first of 2012.   

The show was well advertised and it showed that those in charge had worked hard to make it the great event it was.  

Now time for me to get back to work and get some painting done ....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Is my face red?

How embarrassing ... Last night as I was cleaning up my studio I found step #4 of Franks Serrano's Step by Step under some paperwork on my desk. I didn't remember seeing it before.  I was happy to see it yet since I had already posted the photo of what I thought was finished I was a little embarrassed.  Oh well, what to do but attempt to make it more finished.

I stayed up and worked a little more on it as well as some this morning, but, I'm stopping now.  Too much sticky paint.

I wish it would have been my photo reference so I'd 'know' what I was looking at in Franks demo.  Even though I am not sure of all the detail I do think it looks better since I worked on it more.

8" x 8" on paper

This photo of Franks finished work shows what the painting was suppose to look like.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Another Frank Serrano Step by Step

I should have been working on Exercise #17 of Charles Sovek's book Oil Painting Develop Your Natural Ability today, especially since we are finished with the house painting, but in #17 he wants you to have a person pose for you while you paint the person sitting and the shadow predominates so only a third of the figure is in light.  So, maybe in a day or so when we have sun and I can get the poser to nap sit for me while I paint.

Meanwhile, I remembered I still had one more Frank Serrano Step by Step I had saved. (I think I found these on American Artist web-site some time ago)
You can see the first Frank Serrano step by step I did here.

Oil on paper ~ aprox. 8" x 8"

I would rather have painted a scene of the Northwest, but it was still nice to get my brush in the oils again an try to think shapes as I attempted to read what he suggested in steps 1, 2 and 3.  

As I was painting I was thinking it didn't have enough detail, but now that I'm finished I think it has just the right amount of detail, especially since the title of his lessons were How to Paint en Plein Air: Beginner Landscape Oil Painting.

The top photograph is my take on Frank's Lesson 2:  Conveying Time of Day.  The second is the photo of his finished lesson.

Can you tell what time of day it is suppose to be?  You may find it easier to guess by looking at Frank's finished painting, but it was tough for me to tell.  All in all I'm happy with this one.  Not perfect, but still pretty good.   What do you think?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Still learning

Back in March I told you I was working through Charles Sovek's book,  Oil  Painting Develop Your Natural Ability.  I am finally getting back to where I left off at that time.  About 3 weeks ago I started on Exercise #16 and promptly got buried with a number of other things and couldn't finish this easy (?)  exercise.  In his book he suggest working outdoors where you have direct sunlight striking your object.  At that time it was raining here and the sun was only a memory.  Instead I pick a photo that I had showing light and shadow very well after I put it in Photoshop and turned it into a black and white.

Click to enlarge this group of photos
The photo I chose was a street scene, plenty of light and shadow.  I was to lay in opaque passages of blue for the shadows and cad orange and white for the lights.  That was when I got interrupted and didn't get back to it until now.  I did keep thinking about this when I was off doing other things and told myself "remember, big shapes", then "remember little shapes.  You know, after the painted in the big shapes, I became frozen... "what now?"....  deep breath ...  "this isn't rocket science but canvas and paint ... if you mess up its nothing serious, move on."  So I did, I kept working, not thinking of how the finished painting would look, only of shapes.  Keeping the sunlit areas warm, the shadow area cool.
I'm finished with this one but think I need to attempt this exercise again when I can do it all in one sitting.   The title of this exercise is "Using full color to show the various home values of objects within the light and shadow patterns of a composition."  I will attempt this one sometime when I can be outside and see the colors better and not just the muted shapes in a photograph.

On to exercise #17.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Plain air easels, ohhhh my

I have come to realize when its time to make a choice between two or more things, no matter what the things are, it's going to be tough for me to make a final decision.

Now that I'm trying to learn oil painting, I think ... I plan on doing, plenty of plein air painting. Years ago I had purchased a full Mabef French easel, not realizing how much it would weigh once I had filled it with paints, brushes, turps, etc. Plus its awkward if caring it any distance.

Recently I've been researching plein air easels and I found that there were plenty to choose from and a lot to consider.  Weight, price and size were my main considerations.  It makes a girl dizzy just looking at all of the types of plein air easels out there.  I wanted something that was light weight, sturdy and relatively small, and not break the bank.  I wanted to be able leave the house at any time and not worry about forgetting something.

It was a tough decision and I finally narrowed it down to 3, the Easy L Lite,  the Coulter Plein Air System, and the 9" x 12" Guerrilla Box.   I was able to make my final decision based on all three of my needs.  Price, weight and size.  I purchased the Guerrilla 9" x 12".  I was fortunate to find a new Guerrilla Paint Box up for auction on Ebay (a friend found it for me on-line ... thank you Nancy) and won it for $69. A huge savings off the regular price of $179.  It weights 5 lbs. but built solid and sturdy.  Also, I was really sold on the idea that I can carry paint, turps etc all in the 9" x 12" paintbox.  (I realize the weight will change once I pack it full of paint etc. ) And, its balanced so I can set it on a a table or use a tri-pod.  I can grab my box and walk to the waters edge or paint out on the deck and have everything with me and ready to paint.

Its been a tough decision and one I didn't take lightly.  I realize I'm new to oil painting and in time, after more experience, may change my mind. But for now I'm thrilled to have finally made a decision and a purchase.  Yippee, that decision has been made!

Tell me, did you have as tough a time picking out your plein air easel?  Did you have requirements you felt you had to have?  Were you able to get them all in your plein air easel choice?  Have you changed your mind and bought a second easel having realized you wanted something else?

Friday, June 10, 2011

That time of year ....

I realize I haven't posted on my blog for awhile, but its not that I haven't been busy.  I was asked to design a flyer for our little local art event and that took a bit of time.  I was given the words as well as the photos of artists work, I just had to put them all together in a manner that  looked good.  I think I accomplished that, what do you think?

Click to enlarge

Don't think I haven't been painting up a storm.  This time I'm using acrylic latex satin enamel. You guessed it, we are painting the outside out our house.  Whew, I'm beginning to see the end in sight so maybe before long I can post some work in oils.  Its that time of year when we find things that keep us busy both inside as well as outside.  Happy painting.

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.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Finished ....

I'm finished.  I think I was too uptight when painting this one, but I'm ok with the finished product.  Give me your thoughts?  Do you have any tips you can share that I could try on my next attempt? 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

And more......

I'm now thinking I might be getting too picky.  I really would like to paint in loose style, but I don't see it happening on this one.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A little more work done ...

I'm not sure you can tell, but I've done a little more work on the painting.  I particularly enjoy adding the rust to the boat.  Give me more rusty boats.  Fun to paint maybe but not fun to work on in the boat yard.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Adding more color ...

Even though I'm getting more color on the board I'm not feeling all that comfortable as an oil painter yet.  I'm sure with experience I will learn to breath as I paint ... *grin.  I think I am finally learning to wipe my brush off after I apply paint instead of going right into my turps and clean the brush.  I was really getting some dirty thinner/turps and am glad to be changing that habit.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The next step ...

I was a little nervous when trying to get some sky color on my support.  What colors should I mix ... how do I 'say' it was a sunny day?  All parts of my attempt to learn.  I was painting this from a photograph and I don't think the sky reads the same as in person.  Anyway I am moving forward, writing down some thoughts as I continue on.  If you are wondering what that is in the bottom right corner, its a bulldog clip, holding my support onto my easel ...

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The beginning ...

I think a lot of you know the kind subjects I want to paint.  I'm mostly interested in sea and landscapes.  I am very interested in my surroundings of  boats, saltwater, sea life, and birds of the pacific northwest.  Knowing this you won't be too surprised to see the first subject to be painted on my freshly gessoed supports will be a boat.  This reference for this painting was a boat I saw in a 'bone yard',  slang for an area where old or discarded boats etc. are collected before being disposed of.

Above I was playing around with some thumbnails.  Just getting the hang of seeing the boat and the  drawing in the square format.  I decided it was ok and plunged forward.

I was really happy with the warm underpainting I chose for one of my 10 minute Apple exercise
 a few posts earlier and I wanted to try that again.  I chose this bright yellowish gold.  Next I
 used drew a grid and my drawing on the support with a ball point pen.  I don't think I would
ever have thought of using a ball point pen but I had read on Terry Miura's
March 18th blog post that he had used it andI am up for experimenting to see just
what I like and don't like when it comes to any part ofmy new oil painting journey.

I think I'm off to a great start.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Getting ready to get ready

Having a full, well almost a full, bucket of acrylic gesso I decided it was time to gesso some wood and masonite in anticipation of putting some paintings on them.  Somewhere I had read a small sponge roller works well with gesso and I did think it worked very well.  Although being new to oil painting I'm not really sure what texture I should be looking for to paint on ... so this looked great to me after I gave the supports three coats.  I had one masonite piece and forgot to paint the back or at least put an X of gesso on the back.  I also had two 9" x 9" wood panels and 8 small 3.5" x 3.5" wood supports.  On one of the 9" x 9" I did adhere some canvas to it and the other I left just gessoed.  Now I think I'll put a coat of gesso on the canvas as well as the back of the masonite I forgot.  So being I'm new at this ... do any of you have tips or thoughts that I should do next time?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Some painting exercises ..

I have found too many things to occupy my time lately and have not been doing as much oil painting as I had hoped to.   Here are some of the exercises I have completed since I last worked from the book "Oil Painting Develop Your Natural Ability" by Charles Sovek,.  The next assignment will be working on exercise 16.  I had just glanced at this exercise and for the last week or so assumed it needed me to observe a subject out of doors. Thinking I needed a lot of sun, I have not progressed further.  Having read a little today I see I can work without bright sun. Good. I won't need to wait for three or more months until we see summer.  Lesson learned, 'don't assume' anything. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Beach Grasses

Small study on paper 6" x 8"

This started out approximately 8" x 8".  After completing the painting I looked at it for awhile and I wasn't happy with the foreground so I decided to  cropped it in Photoshop.   Now I like it better - cropped.  In the cropped out foreground I had attempted to put in some wet sand  that was partially in shade and had some of the  grasses, but I couldn't pull it off to make it look realistic.... crop, crop, crop.

So, what do you see?  
  • What time of day is it?  
  • Whats the overall feeling, mood? 
  • Summer, Winter, Fall, Spring?
I'll give you a clue. This doesn't look anything like the photo reference I worked from.

Today, I'll attempt to paint another.  Today, I'll do a value sketch.  Today, I'll put in my shaded areas first.  Today I'll start out with a list of things I must remember as I work.  Todays a new day.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

One more time...

I think this will be my last 10 minute sketch photos that  I share with you all for awhile.  I  have really enjoyed these exercises and do see the value in them, but, for the next couple of oils I'm going to work on something besides these exercises.

The top two apples were painted yesterday and this morning I did the last two.  I toned the square in #4  and found I enjoyed seeing the orange some through the paint in different areas.  Also, I think this exercise turned out the best ... even it I did have to cheat and add a minute or so.  I think my green values could have been a little closer to each other than I was able to mix this time.
I found time today to mix some green color charts.  I have it all written down as to how I mixed these and when the oils dry I'll write the color combinations on the canvas.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More 10 minute exercises

Number 1 is starting at the top left, number 8 bottom right.  I'm thinking I like number 7 the best and yet none of them turned out as I had hoped.  I couldn't get the color of the perfume correct.  
It is very pale with hardly any color to it. And my shadows .... huh, what was I thinking?
 I think I would have done better to put it on something colorful instead of something white. 
 Having said all that I enjoy these 10 minute exercises.  You really don't have time to dwell on anything. Think about it and move on.  Things I know I'm having issue with is not thinning my paint when I should then having to stop and thin some, forgetting that dark is usually thin, light paint is usually thicker.
So what do you think, was my first mistake not putting the perfume bottle on something with more color?  Also that I should have thinned my paint before I started the painting?

I have one green apple and before it is eaten or dies a shriveled death I think I will try the 10 minute exercise with it.
Fun times ... I'm enjoying this journey.