Monday, January 31, 2011

In the Yard

Before the first of the year, a friend gave me a box of blank greeting cards for oils or acrylics.  I was so excited about having these that I thought I'd paint her a picture of a type of boat she use to own and send it to her as a Thank You.  As you know, the best laid plans, etc.  The above painting is the result of that attempt and needless to say she deserved better.

I've signed up for a workshop in Portland, OR, about 3 hours away from here, this coming Friday.  If all goes well I will come home with some basics and more confidence in my oil painting tries.

I'm in the middle of some painting exercises from a Charles Sovek book and I'll post these later this week.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another oil attempt

So as not to give up and get too discouraged I thought I'd try another oil.  I started out by blocking in the shapes and did not remember once to look for shapes after that.

I need to write myself notes and put them on my easel.

This is pretty small ... 6" x 4".  Still, it was fun.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Oil Painting Practice #3

No apologizes ... I'm still learning.  *grin
I had an orange wedge as well as a whole orange that I set up on some white card stock and had a light shinning on the two.  I drew the two (I use the term 'drew' lightly) on my support which happened to be another piece of card stock taped to some plexiglas and sitting on my french easel .... whew, so far so good.  Now comes the hard part.  I thought I'd mix my colors first so all I'd have to do is put the color down where needed.  Well, that didn't work out too well as I kept having to mix more colors to match what I was seeing.  I found I was thinning my paint too much at times and not at all other times.

Having said all that I realize I'm still learning and I'm pretty happy with the results.  I've made notes to myself as to what I want to focus on with my next attempt.

  • don't thin the paint so much ... so frequently
  • look more closely at shapes 
  • for now less blending
  • keep having fun!
Any suggestions you can offer are appreciated.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'm just sayin'

Is this a coincidence?

This top photo is of  an oil painting  that I cut out of an art magazine years ago.  I think it was an ad for a gallery as I remember it.  I liked the colors, the subject, the design. 

In the bottom picture on the right hand side you see the original photograph that I had cut out of a magazine ...see my start at trying to copy the photograph on the left?  So what do you think, is this just a coincident that the first oil painting I had cut out of a magazine years ago looks just like the photo of the same place I had torn out of an old magazine?

Anyway as you can see  I'm still puttering around with oils.  Not sure what I'm learning if anything.  I'm forgetting to thin my oils and end up with such a thick mess.  I'm not really trying to mix the proper colors, then get frustrated at the mess that I've created.  Even with the down sides I'm still loving the oils. With a workshop coming up I'll learn some guidelines and have something to go on.

Oh and..... how do you guys ever make a straight line.  My poor deck in the above photo was big then small and the pilings were so fat no one would know what they were.  I'm thinking part of my problem was that I had too much thick paint I was trying to paint on instead of thin paint.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

WARNING, do not try this at home ...

Color charts, when done slowly and done well can not only be beautiful, but, so helpful.  I love mixing color, but wow can you create a huge mess attempting to make one of these charts.  I had oil paint on my face, up my arms all over my hands ... and I was being careful, LOL.

I started out with the original color right out of the tube, or mixed with another pigment right out of the tube, gradually adding white to each square going down.  I mixed white with the color in the top of each column to progressively get a lighter value of that color.  The bottom 5 rows I added a trace amount of black, or yellow or blue etc.   I'm using a very limited palette of Cad Yellow Light,  Permanent Red Medium and Ultramarine Blue.... plus black and white.  Even with this limited palette the color combinations can still continue on.

I'm sure there was an easier less wasteful way to mix my paints.  I feel when I was done I had way too large of a pile of brownish muck left over.  See the pile on the left front of my palette.  Also see my medium and turp cup open on my palette (Am I talking like one of the big kids now?) I did not thin or use medium with any of todays project,  I just used some thinner to clean up a mess I had made on myself.

And finally,  the above photo is my finished charts for today.  
I had read that the tape you use to section each square off with should be taken off soon after painting the charts ... thats where most of my face and arms got into the project.

Don't try this at home or else you could end up with paint where you least expect it.
Oh what fun I had!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Paint Tube, Palette Knife and Medium

Whew, finally I've put some pigment to canvas and now can say I've started ... officially!

I apologize for the glare.

I'm still getting use to the consistency of oil paints and how I want to handle them.  For me I'm using the trial and error method.

I had put these three items that I sat on some white paper inside a cardboard box.  For more controlled lighting (?????), then proceeded to paint.  The problem was I just forged ahead and didn't go any preplanning.  Next time I will plan, I'll do a value sketch.  I always love to do value sketches but I think I just got caught up in the excitement of finally getting some pigment to canvas that I forgot.  And, next time I'll plan my colors better.

Lets hope that next time I enjoy painting as much as I did this time.

All critiques and comments welcome.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lets talk

I'm probably one of the few people who is confused by the fact that I have three (is there more) choices as to how to receive someones latest blog post.

  • I can subscribe to their blog.  Sign up on the opening page of their blog if they have a subscription box.  
  •  RSS feeds ... come right next to my mailbox.   or 
  •  become a Follower.  

The problem I see is that if you don't become a Follower, fellow bloggers can see who is 'following' them and will wonder why isn't 'so and so' following me.  Unless I go to my blog and look to see what fellow bloggers are up to the new blog posts can be missed.

When you subscribe to a blog that means you receive e-mails in your box.   If you don't get too much mail already this might be a good way to get the updates.

Then there's Subscription through rss feeds.  They are there right beside my mail box and yet easy to ignore until I have the time to sit and enjoy them.  This is my favorite way to be updated.

  • Does anyone else feel confused by the choices like I do?   
  • Which is your chosen method of blog up-dates? and, 
  • What if  someone would rather subscribe by rss feeds and drops the other way of receiving your update... no one can tell if they are followed by rss feeds as I understand it.
Wanna talk?

Sunday, January 09, 2011

How fun ...

I've been going through Charles Sovek's book "Oil Painting Develop Your Natural Ability" chapter by chapter.  I had been stuck on Chapter 2, Looking At The World Through Colored Glasses. Some of what he was telling me was not making any sense to me.  Finally after re-reading it many times, then, leaving it alone for awhile I think I'm understanding it a little better.

Here are some exercises I've done from both Sovek's book as well as Macpherson's Fill Your Oil Paintings With Light & Color.

The above exercise was from Chapter 2 exercise 8.  Lightening & Darkening the Home Value of Color

This was my favorite exercise, from Kevin Macpherson's book.  I was to match the color at the top.  Looking at the color, figuring out was it lighter than the blue from the tube, cooler, warmer etc.  Lots of fun.  I think this will require a lot of experience before it comes easy.

I am using a very limited palette.  Ultramarine Blue, Cad Yellow, Permanent Red Medium, plus black and white, so the above exercise didn't take long at all.   I was to make a value scale from black to white, then add my colors under the value that matched my pigments.

I love the challenge of a limited palette and learning to mix just the right color.  I also spent some time   mixing a bunch of different greens but I couldn't get a photograph to show all the wonderful differences.  I did take notes but not as detailed as I will next time.  Next on my list of things to do is color charts ... yippee, more color mixing.