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.