I have been struggling with compositions for still life. So I decided to take some time and do some exercises. One thing I do need is to get some better grade reds. Even though these look bright and saturated, I realized how hard it was to get the paint to lay down on the canvas panel. I think it is a combination of panel and paint. Thinking of getting back to gessoboard or cutting my own masonite and applying gesso again.
I have been spending time on the Daily Paintworks site and watching my art bytes that you can order from this site. Carol Marine http://www.dailypaintworks.com/artists/cmarine is a favorite artist of mine and she did an art byte on painting apples. I replicated her composition with a few changes and painted it trying to remember all her good teaching points. I got so much from doing this. I have a tendency to forget or miss points, but when I go entirely through the process, it finally sinks in and goes to my muscle memory.
Here's some of things that I learned:
A penumbra is the light transition mark that is put on the edge of the cast shadow which is darker than the color in light and lighter than the shadow color (this shows up nicely at the bottom of the cast shadow of the green apple on the right).
When laying down the first color of the apples, don't make it too light. She said she tended to do that before. It may not be as light as it looks.
All shadows are grays which are the mixture of red, blue and yellow. Grays are used in the form and cast shadows.
She talks a lot about islands (apples, form and cast shadows) and oceans (backgrounds, papers that items sit on). Paint islands (apple) first, then cast shadows (more of the islands) and then papers and table (oceans) last. Go out of the lines when painting the islands. When you lay in the oceans you cover it up and the object fits in the picture rather than on top.
I highly recommend going to the Daily Paintworks shop and buying Art Bytes! They are free or cost $5 - $15.
Not the greatest picture of this painting. It was really dreary outside so I took the picture inside using the night setting and turning off the flash. I'm going to need lots of practice on drawing bowls but I think this turned out ok.
This is the first acrylic I've done in such a long while. I painted it first in oil and couldn't get the background colors nice and I ended up with mud, thus scraping the whole thing. I then got my acrylics out. I had plenty of good colors to do this. I'll keep going with acrylics for my still life paintings for a while and see how it goes.
I know I should be painting fall landscapes since I live in beautiful Ohio, but I'm missing the beach! These are familiar scenes with kids being buried in the sand. I can't imagine why they love it...
I'm satisfied with the way this turned out. The horses were fun but I had a hard time keeping track of the legs. I began with a good drawing. I printed the photo on a full sheet of paper and put my grid lines on the photo and the canvas which helped with this complicated scene.
To bring unity to the painting, I ended with adding spots of warm and cool colors around the painting. I put some of the lightened yellow ochre in the cooler street and added blues to the warm colored buildings. I softened edges in the background and carefully added details to the horses and wagon.
Here's my cute story about the day I went to the Horse Parade in 2012:
Early in the morning on the day of the horse parade, my husband was driving home from out east of our town. He saw a man riding a horse along the rural highway with a dog and a mule following close beside him. The man had a large backpack, dressed in a fringed leather jacket, and was obviously traveling somewhere. This man actually happened upon the horse parade in our town and the officials of the parade asked him to lead the parade which he did. My daughter, grandchildren and I went to the parade that day and we didn't know about this man on the horse with his dog and mule at the time. When we saw him in the parade, we were delighted to see how well the dog and mule stayed with him. The story came out in the local newspaper the next day about him. My daughter and I actually were interviewed as well at the parade and our interview was written up in the article as well.
While perusing through my blog list, I saw that Cathy Engberg posted on her blog a work in progress that she was excited about and asked what other's had on their easels. This is it. It's a scene from the Horse Parade in Delaware, Ohio. I've never really painted animals other than little dogs in scenes and horses are a challenge for me. We'll see how this turns out. I'm loving the cool and warm colors in this scene. The colors on my palette are warm and cool yellow, red, and blue along with orange, raw sienna, yellow ochre and of course, titanium white. For greens I'm using phtalo blue, orange, and yellow.
I guess I wasn't done. I've determined that this painting was a study and I don't really like the painting that much! I really lightened things up once I went back to the computer and edited the photograph. I saturated the color and lightened the tint and there were all those colors in the windows, etc. that my original photo didn't show. If I was painting plein aire, I would have seen these colors and more.
I pushed myself on this one. I'm not that comfortable painting buildings and cityscapes. I've been reading Painting with Impact by David Curtis and Robin Capon. David states, "You will find that it is only by confronting even greater challenges - and persevering at ways to solve these - that you will improve your work and gain in confidence and skill. I also learned from Tim Deibler on a painting exercise on you tube that in an average painting, you make up to 2000 decisions. I know that oftentimes at the end of a painting session, I'm tired and now I know why. I'm definitely tired of working on this one and will put it in my "study" pile.
I think I'm done with this one now. I darkened the brick on top and the sign and flag still stand as focal point with the hard edges. The cars do stand out for sure, but I think this painting now is a little more pleasing to the viewer, at least I hope so.
This journey in oil painting is a continuous building of skill. An art instructor once told me that once you master one thing, it stays with you and comes naturally. It becomes part of your memory. I have come a long way since I began my blogging. Even though I get into a slump every now and then, I absolutely love painting and try to evoke this passion in my work.
Can you tell a difference between these two photos? The second photo is of the same painting but reworked. I softened the edges of the background information so that the hard edges of the sign and flag would create more of a focal point. When I looked at the first one, my eyes were moving all around and something didn't work for me. Too busy, but softening the edges even with the bold colors of the cars and the brick at top, my eyes moved to the focal point of the sign and flag. I'm thinking that if I toned down the brick at top so as not to compete with the red in the car, that might help also. I'm not done with this painting.
I decided to do some cityscapes. This is downtown Westerville. While walking along State St., this scene caught my eye with the flag and the red, white and blue cars lined up in front of the Amish Originals Furniture Co. First time I've really done cars other than spots of color in other paintings and of course, my husband said time to paint my cars. I'll give them a try.
Gearing up to start painting again. I had to get more paint and boards. I have a show coming up at the Delaware Arts Castle and that's been keeping me busy getting things chosen and priced. Also, getting back to my videos and perusing the net for more to learn and try.
As I was going through my painting album in picasa (a site where I save all I do), I came across this one of my son-in-law. It was a quick study, but looking at it now, I really like it. I captured him well. As much as I struggled at first to get subjects for my figure paintings for 30 days, I'm realizing there are subjects everywhere. I just have to open my eyes and see them. I also think that I'm realizing that I can paint scenes, subjects, etc. now that I didn't know I could before.
Some thoughts: I'm going to have to set up my own challenges or maybe time frames in which to finish a painting. The pressure motivates me and if I post on facebook, I've committed myself. I have found that if I stick with one subject, skill to work on, size of painting, or whatever for longer than a day, I can make better progress and improve.
I am surprising myself with the likenesses I'm able to capture in my family paintings. The difficulty with this one was getting the prospective or sizes correct because the photo I painted from was taken looking down on us somewhat. It would have been easier if the camera were straight on us. Anyway, I was pleased with it. Fred was leaning on a counter and I left out the complicated background. I really only wanted to keep my focus on the figures during this challenge. I look forward to painting larger pictures and getting out my larger brushes.
Busy day yesterday and I just got this posted. This was a quick study. The beautiful lady on the left is my husband's aunt who is 90 years old. You would never know it. Yes, she has brunette hair and it's lovely! We couldn't keep up with her while walking on the beach! She left sunny California to visit us in sunny Florida.
Before I even paint today for the painting challenge, I had to revisit this painting. I was not happy with the lack of details in the faces. I framed in the girls a little more and added more contrasts in their clothes and legs. I don't know if it's better, but it is now satisfying to me.
Tried some of my phthalo green and got a much brighter green. It's the green I used for the dark haired child's pants and mixed with yellows for the yellow greens. The blue is the phthalo blue mostly and some ultramarine. I think I'll leave out much of the backgrounds from my photos to speed up the painting. This challenge for me is to study figurative painting. It might be time for me to look at painting faces. The post from yesterday needs a lot of work. The bodies are ok with me but I didn't really have a clue what to do with their faces. I don't even know if the value of their faces in shadow was close. Probably needed to be darker?.... Any advice???
This is not the first time I've done this scene. I've struggled with this photograph many times. I thought I would give it a try again since this challenge for me is a study of doing figures. Getting the shadows on the faces was the hardest. The photo showed some highlights on the children's faces, but when I put them there and looked in the mirror - whoa, it was not good. I reworked it many times before I was satisfied with the results.
After struggling with this painting, I went to my blog list just to peruse and happened upon Taryn Day's blog http://awakeandpainting.blogspot.com/. In her blog there are links to interviews with her. In one of her interviews she talks about painting from photos. She said this "I always paint from my computer monitor, because the sense of depth is so much better than in a photographic print. I often turn the image upside down to get a fresh take on the shapes and colours. I use relatively large brushes so I’m forced to focus on the large shapes first."
What a fabulous find for me and just what I needed to learn today. Thanks, Taryn!!! Check out her work. She's incredible!!!
Can someone tell me how to get a bright pink? I used permanent rose mixed with red and it brightened up the pink but still looks red to me. I also tried quinacridone rose and alizarin crimson. I'm wondering about the Gamblin radiant colors. If you'd tried them or have any other suggestions, that would be great!
The day started off well, but I struggled with getting a painting done today. I had two other photos that I was trying to work through, but just couldn't get them done. I had in my mind that I would do a couple today because I won't have time to paint tomorrow, and I think that pressure affected my painting mood. Anyway, I am pleased with this one.
This was my granddaughter when I picked her up from school yesterday. Of course, when she saw the camera, she knew to pose for her grandma. I wanted to highlight the shadows so this would look more like the actual painting but Picasa changed today when I got on and I'm going to have to learn it. Always challenging my technology skills....
I found out that I've been missing some of my wonderful comments because they have been going into my junk mail. I will be sure to check this next time. I'm sorry I missed some of you but got them today. They mean so much! Thank you!
Got out my phthalo blue today and I love it! We can all relate to this mom watching that her kids don't go too far out.
I didn't have to deliberate over the color choices much today. An artist that I once worked with told me that once I accomplished or learned something, it would stick in my brain. I guess that some things are beginning to stick.... about time!! More work to do.....
Enjoyed doing the flesh tones in this one. This scene was in Lido Beach, FL and this is my niece. We were walking together and trying to capture some good photos for my painting. The photo of her was the best of all! She just gave birth to another baby girl which makes five girls for her!
Another grandchild playing with a plastic bag! Don't worry. She was gathering things in the yard.
This pose posed problems. P P P but I think I did it. One of my favorite artists, Robin Cheers http://robincheers.blogspot.com/ , has many paintings looking down on people. You'll have to check her out.
This is my niece a few years ago. Lots of warmth in this painting. I also started with a pink underpainting as I have the last four paintings. I know you don't want half warm and half cool. The darks are cool and I tried to cool the background at the top. This is something I was working on.
I'm a day late posting because in the short hours I had in my day to paint yesterday, I scraped off two times. But what I learned is that I like to paint from photos that have good source light whether it be backlit or side or front. In many of the beach scenes, the source of light comes from the sides, thus nice, shadows that have pleasing shapes as Peggi Kroll Roberts http://krollrobertsstudio.blogspot.com/ would say.
This painting was easy for me, but yesterday's photo just ended up flat and I couldn't change it to make it work. That is what I know about the place I'm at as an artist right now. I can paint what I see, but to create my own source light and go with it, I'm not that experienced yet. You've just got to put in the miles, which is why this challenge is so important to me.
I haven't listed any of my paintings for sale yet. I'm looking at this challenge as a study of figure painting and want to compare them for now, but they will go up for sale sometime unless they are my family and they go to them first.
This painting was the toughest by far. I had a hard time getting the blues that I wanted. Usually ultra is very bold when mixed with white. It, however, looked gray on the fender of the front wheel and on the seat. After much mixing, I somewhat got the blue I wanted. I found putting warm and cool blues side by side does help. I definitely learned some things and made many decisions during the few hours it took to complete this painting.
This is my granddaughter Amanda when she was little. She is also the Yellow Bikini beach beauty from a couple of days ago. Yesterday, the painting titled Yellow Bucket was her little sister, Annabelle, at four years of age. She's now seven. I'm so lucky to have such beautiful models. More to come....
I am in the groove now. The most difficult part of the process today was the drawing with the child leaned over like this and the background. The photo had such energy and movement in the background but I wanted the child to stand out. I grayed down the water which made her pop. Love it when I do something right.
Today was a much better painting day. I actually painted this one in just less than an hour. I'm happy with the results, especially the color combinations which this photo really doesn't show. I had to photograph this one inside on my mantle. Not the best light.
Thanks to all of you who have commented on my blog. This challenge has introduced me to so many incredible artists. I'm having fun!