Friday, September 30, 2011

Open Studio Painting

I attend open studio with a live model at least once a week. In this case, the model poses for 6 hours but I had to leave after 3 hours. I should have spent another hour, at least, to finish but I am happy with the results. Open studio is without instruction and allows you to practice what you have learned during the week. It is a great opportunity for any artist to continue to enhance their skills.
This piece on a 16X20 canvas sheet.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bad Paint Day But Reinforced A Need For Good Habits

I had a bad paint day yesterday. I was whining - if you can imagine me whining. I was working on a portrait and the forehead kept getting bigger, the drawing was off with the lips and I just couldn't see what I needed to do.
I wasn't close enough to the model but I think it was more that I was seeing the model. I spent the time looking at the painting. I was painting the learned process and not the actual model.
Here is yesterday's portrait study. I used a canvas sheet that had a crease in it and it is visible.
I need to remember. Plan - don't rush. Look at the model. Measure and correct the drawing. See the shadows and be sure to darken the eye sockets. Get that nose on the page correctly. Highlight the brow. Remember, we all have a tendency to want to straighten out the mouth and align the eyes. If they are not straight, DO NOT paint it straight. See and do not rush.

Let Them Paint Cake Part II

This the completed painting of "Let Them Paint Cake". I painted the background that was in the original setup and I changed the cake stand. I fixed the plate elipse under the plate. To the cake, I added more filling and darkened the shadow side.
I need to learn to simplify more - not to describe everything in a still life nor any other painting.

Monday, September 26, 2011

10 Wonderful Days In An Rv

I just got back from 10 wonderful days in an RV with my husband. We visited Lassen National Park where I painted about one hour. I was distracted by hiking Bumpass Hell and seeing the beautiful sites. Then we headed to Oregon to visit friends. Next was Patrick's Point where we hiked all day and I did environmental art with driftwood and rocks on Agate Beach.
We later hiked through Trinidad and visited the Humbolt State University Marine Laboratory.
We stopped in Eureka at a wonderful natural food co-op and then continued to the Mendocino coast. We stayed two days at Westport and came back home.
Best vacation ever. The weather was great and it was fun in an RV. We rented it from Cruise America in Citrus Heights, CA. It was half off and was a deal for 10 days. I highly recommend it if you want the RV experience without buying one.
Think about it. If you buy one and use it only a a few times a year, you are paying insurance, maintenance and, perhaps, storage.
This way, you don't have an RV payment and you get to turn it in at the end of the trip.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Canteloupe Tonight I Am Plum Tuckered Out

Here is my study of cantaloupes and plums against a dark cloth and background. This is my second pass at this painting. It was in the freezer waiting for the next session.
It needs a few more brush strokes - I think. I liked this lesson because of the resolving the cantaloupes and the plums.
I learned that you need to remember to enlarge the objects closer. I know that sounds obvious but I have a tendency to make similar object the same size.
I need to keep my brush strokes closer together. I have a tendency to not do this.
Good lesson.

Yesterday - All My Memories Seem To Fade Away

I hope I remember what I learned yesterday in the figure painting class. It was another exceptional lesson as that we were forced... no that's not the word. Given the opportunity
There we go ... given the opportunity to paint three 50 minute figure studies. I thought I was comfortable with portraits but this session shoved me out my comfort zone. I went kicking and screaming. Splattering paint everywhere, throwing lines down with no logical thought, making up values and mushing my colors. Despite all this and having to control my art's tourettes (talking and cursing out loud to the painting), I finally got through the class. Bad paint session as I made every mistake possible. Great learning session as I made every mistake possible.
I need to measure better, learn and practice gestural drawings, and keep my paint strokes next to each other. DO NOT be afraid of white. It is needed to make the flesh tones. Don't over mix oil paint. Foreshortening - think of cylinder shapes. Clothing is painted around the form. Keep shapes simple and SEE. Oh and practice, practice, practice.
All three of these studies were worked on by a patient instructor, Terri Muira.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

All Painted Out

I spent the whole day in art classes. I can't believe I use to able to take several classes a day in college and not feel tired.
I had the most difficult time in figure painting because I literally couldn't paint. I just sporadically put down color with no thought. I was overloaded with information and couldn't process it fast enough. After some dinner, I felt better and headed to portrait class. Here is tonight's study. I think I need to adjust the value of the brow. Other than that, I am happy with it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Let Them Paint Cake

Here is a fun still life from my advanced oil painting class. What a talented group of oil painters!
I still need to add a few details and fix my elipse. I enjoyed this painting. There was a lot to see but as the instructor, Randy Blasquez, reminded us - simplify. Click her name for her website and classes. I added her link.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Color Study

I had a wonderful day painting this color study. They are fun and force you to see. This piece is unfinished. I spent approximately 6 hours on it and will need another 3 more to complete it.
The bottle neck needs to be darker. It is darker than the bottle's left side shadow. There is a dull pink on the side closest to the blue. I need to make variations in the colors so the bottle will not look flat.
The shell does not need a lot of detail to create the illusion of a shell.
I was reminded to break up the shell's darkest shadow color. This will make it lie down.
The table cloth was painted with yellow and I would normally put down a cerulean blue. Instead, I asked what the instructor would do. I was told she would use a viridian. I added it on top of a light yellow. I, also, was told not to blend to a hard line. Keep it loose.
See how much you can learn from a color study. They are a great learning tool.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Coffee With My Husband

My husband had this piece I painted of him hanging at work. I know it is a few years old because we were still drinking coffee and we gave it up at over two years ago.
Why am I bringing up the coffee? Well, I painted this with my morning cup of coffee. I loved a rich, dark cup of french roast and got the idea to dip my brush in to see what would happen.
He thought this was great and has had it hanging at work ever since.
Fun piece on 140 pound watercolor paper, with graphite, paynes grey and coffee.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Go Figure

I have spent very little time, in my life, drawing the human figure. This doesn't mean I can't identify bones and certain muscles. I loved biology. In the past, I have attempted to learn drawing the anatomy but it seemed so tedious and difficult that I gave up every time. Now that I am trying to improve my art skills, it has become necessary to progress. So, I am, once again, learning to draw figures. I find it intimidating because I don't know how to draw an arm, a back, legs, hands nor feet. It is difficult. I keep thinking I need to know all the muscles, tendons, bones and cartilages. I over complicate it.
Here is today's practice drawings. The model posed in 5 2 minutes poses, 3 10 minutes poses and then 3 20 minutes poses. The finale pose was for 40 minutes with a break in between.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Open Studio

Here is my portrait study from open studio today. I had a drawing issue I kept resolving. This was an "almost profile" view and the more I painted the more the head grew. I redrew and painted the ear several times. I still think the nose is too long
Good study because I didn't get frustrated I just redrew it.
I think the upper lip is a bit too bright but, overall, I enjoyed painting the model. I liked resolving the value issues and the drawing issues. I am gaining confidence which is a plus to painting in oil.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Paint All Over

I continued working on this still life from an advanced class. I decided to pull out all the tools and have fun with this. Palette knife and pulled the excess paint off with a Viva paper towel. I enjoyed it but afterwards found myself covered with paint.
Still trying to figure out how I got that much painting on my upper arm.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Painting With Other Artists

I met with several well known artists for a day of painting in Audi Stanton's studio. We worked on still life and photographs. We talked about life, art and great artists. Audi did a wonderful oil painting of Harris Beach. Rob Decker used watercolor and pastel to create a masterful still life with a blue plate, a watermelon slice and a plum. Verna Pooler did a striking watercolor of the same setup. Kathy Huxley painted an orange. watermelon slice and cobalt blue vase with her well known broad brush strokes in oil. It was lovely. There was a lot of talent in the room and it showed.
Here is my piece for the day. I needed one more session to make it complete but I am happy with the study.
Thank you, again, Audi, for opening your studio to all of us. What an amazing day.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

More of It's a Boat

Here is another boat. Oh and I didn't get very many visitors today asking what I was painting.
I think my work was more flat today than yesterday.
I am definitely sunburned despite being in the shade. I forgot my sunscreen.

It's a Boat

I enjoyed painting with some well known artists yesterday. We stood on the beach and near the piers to plein air. The best spot was near the restroom. This meant a lot of foot traffic and people wanting to ask what I was painting. The first stages of the painting is abstract and sometimes difficult for a viewer to see what the artist is painting.
"It's a boat". I would say. "What boat?" "Why do you paint that way?" "The brush artist over there has a painting that looks like a boat". I would explain it is a different method of painting.
Then while the time passed, I heard we had only 45 minutes to finish the paintings and go to critique. I put in details and met with the other painters who looked at it and said, "It's a boat!" Yes, it is a boat.
If I had more time - I would have worked on the reflected color.