Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Commission #3

I have posted this painting without correcting the lighting and "living with it" for a little while. I think what I especially like about this painting is the color of the skin color against the blue background.

Artist Note: The skin has a lot of burnt sienna (orange) which is the compliment of the grey-blue background and the skin is warm, against the cool background.

I now feel that this painting is "done"  (as learning artists, we wonder how to know when a painting is done. The best answer I have heard is "when there is nothing else you can add") So I am posting this again, with good lighting, "done"  in the series of commissions.  There are some commissions that are secrets for Christmas so I can't post them (yet).

Happy Thanks giving!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Commission Work 2

Here is a (link) to all of the 6 x 6 paintings that were juried into the Randy Higbee 6 x 6 show in California. If you can't go to the show, these paintings can be purchased on line. A word of caution, there are many absolutely beautiful paintings in this show, so click on the link when you have some time to enjoy them.

Here is another of the small commissions that I have recently completed. Can you tell by the posture of the child that this is the first day of school?
Great idea for a painting, isn't it?
It was  really fun to try and capture the "feeling" (milestone, anticipation, some anxiety? of the parent and child) with the movement of the background paint marks.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Commission Work 1

Darling Ballerina/ oil on board/ 5 x 7/ HAS A HOME
I have been working on completing a series of commissions. I hope to share many of them in the next several posts.
Commissions for me, take much longer than even my paintings that I am working on for show entries.
Commissions continue to be a learning exercise. First, I have learned to accept work only from someone who wants a painting in the style and of the subjects that I like to paint. (if you follow my blog, you know that I don't paint houses or detailed architectural structures). Next, I have learned that there are some requests that I can't accept. This may be because I am given an image  that I don't feel I can paint well enough to make the client happy. Sometimes, there is a deadline that I can't meet.
In fact, the commissions that result in my best paintings are usually given to me with absolutely no time pressure. That was the case with this ballerina painting. I was asked to paint from a beautiful photograph. This request was months ago but without a time deadline. I had enrolled in Carolyn Anderson's workshop. I felt that I would want to paint this after I had learned from this very special class.
Months later, the class completed, I love this little painting and give it with joy to its new home.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

November's Class

Please excuse the lighting and angles. These little paintings were completed today by our small Nov class. A remarkable preteen student keeps up with all of the adults. We worked on first paintings of glass and learning about transparent and opaque paints. We also painted on a new surface for many. After these little paintings, everyone worked from life.
As usual, I think I had the most fun.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My Hat is Too Big

My Hat is Too Big/ 6 x 6/ watercolor on aquabord/ Low Country Gallery
This is another painting on aquabord

Artist Note:
The most notable thing about this painting is that it was painted on a board that had an unsuccessful painting on it that was completely washed off.

Until it is fixed, you can wash back to the white, soften edges, and easily alter colors.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Painting on Aquabord

Recently, I have been experimenting with watercolor on aquabord  by Ampersand (link).  Aquabord can be treated to frame work without glass. Aquabord  is a bright white clay coated hardboard that feels coarse both to touch and to brushes.

What I have learned so far: I have found that synthetic brushes work best for me on this surface. Advantages of this surface include the ability  to  use transparent application of thin layers of color which gives the sparkle and translucency that is special to watercolors. For me, this works best by prewetting the area for the thin wash, complete drying and then rewetting and reapplication of an additional thin wash. This surface uniquely allows for the correction of watercolors by washing back to the bright white base.  For granulating or deeper color, I find it is better to lay unmixed component colors in creamier consistency onto larger prewet or smaller dry areas of the painting. I especially like the way the surface allows the bleed backs that add interest to the paintings.

Here are some recent paintings on aquabord, I especially like.
Sentry/ watercolor on aquabord/ 6 x 6/ unframed/ Low Country Gallery

Monday, November 18, 2013

Miniature Grapes

Miniature Grapes/ watercolor/ 2 x 4/ Low Country Gallery
This is another miniature painting. If nothing else, painting this small works on brush control.
My goal was to capture the smooth reflective grapes against an opaque, dull surface.

Artist Note: Glassiness is attained with sharp edges and bright highlights.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sharp Shadows: Class Demo

Sharp Shadows/ oil on board/ 6 x 6/ Low Country Gallery
This coming Saturday (November 23) this will be the demo painting that we will do step-by-step for the first half of our class. With this style of teaching, the instructor paints a passage (a piece of the painting) and then the class paints the same passage. I think this type of teaching works really well if there is also teaching/reinforcement so the student can go home and practice with this new information on their own painting.

Artist Note: This was painted on black primed gessobord. On Saturday, we will experiment with different prime colors. This painting also uses the knowledge of the differences between transparent and opaque pigments. If you are local and might be interested in this class, we have at least one spot available this time.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Almost Finished

This is a requested painting by a family member. I am posting it tonight, almost finished, still attached to the waterbord that I use to stretch large paintings. I'd love to hear what you think.

I shot this with my phone so the focus and lighting are not great. Sometimes after a long day of painting, I am too tired to go set up to shoot the resulting painting correctly. Today was such a day.

Today, I also painted some things I hope to enter into upcoming competitions, so I will save them to share after the deadlines have passed (in or out).

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Christmas Pup

Christmas Dog/ oil on board/ 4 x 4/ Suttons Gallery
I haven't painted a dog for a little while and I came across this great image from last year. Since I am starting to make my lists......

Artist Note: This is painted on a black primed surface and I allowed small pieces of the black to show through which flattens and abstracts the image somewhat.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Watercolor Miniature

Funny Bird/ watercolor miniature/ 3 x 3/ SOLD

I thought it might be possible to paint smaller paintings faster to have things at a "gift" price point for the holidays. This little miniature is the second one I painted. The first is in the trash.
It is extremely difficult to paint this small scale . The time to paint this was at least twice the time to paint an oil painting that is four times its size. I guess this explains the price point when I look at miniatures in galleries either the on line or brick and mortar types.  However, there is definitely something very special about this little painting and I want to try another.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Still Life Study

I am working on painting from life and in this case, I get to eat the set up (though the orange slices do dry out under the lights). Tomorrow, I may add a glass or reflective surface to the set up.

Artist Note: This is Qiang Huang's (which is also Richard Schmid's) palette. The transparent darks (mostly transparent red oxide and ultramarine blue) make a good distant background and are incorporated into the shadow colors.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Home again

This was photographed while still on my easel (hence the shadows on the top by the hands). It was painted on the fourth day of Carolyn Anderson's fantastic workshop that I attended a week ago. Carolyn filled the four days of class with fabulous demonstrations, hands on explanations and help while the class painted from models, and one half day from Carolyn's photographs. Carolyn also shared and explained her understanding about light and color, edges, color mixing and ideas about components of an exciting, interesting painting. Probably this was the best workshop that I have experienced. I hope to continue learning from it as I look over my notes, attempt to incorporate what she taught, and read the books Carolyn suggested. I also want to relook at works by Sargent, Serov, Fechin, Tkachev and others that she shared in class as she discussed color temperature and types of edges.

At the conclusion of the workshop, my wonderful husband picked me up. We traveled to see the exhibition of Sargent's watercolors at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary. On our way home, we stopped at Chad's Ford and saw work by another favorite painter, Andrew Wyeth. Now, with the cat continuing to complain about my prolonged absence (howling everytime she spots me) , three loads of laundry going, my notes transcribed and e mail answered, and I am starting to feel "home. Hope you have been painting. I can't wait to share what I have learned......

Thursday, November 7, 2013

October: A slower painting month

It is starting to feel like autumn here. However, it is still hard to fathom where October went...What a great month: lots of travel,  fantastic workshops both attended and instructed, a painting juried into another great show (web site will have details because my web mistress is busy updating as this is written ), and some lovely small paintings that I loved painting!!

Christmas is coming and I am starting to collect images to "get in the season". I have a wonderful dog in a Santa hat that I collected from 2012 and some commissions that will be gifts, so not publishable (yet).

Monday, November 4, 2013

Little Owl

Little Owl/watercolor/ 6 x 6/ SOLD

I love this little guy. He was tucked back into a corner of his cage with poor light and yet those green eyes were still visible watching visitors watching him...

Artist Note: I continue to work on birds, using them to practice the foreground being integrated into the background (see how the white in the shoulder becomes the white of the background).

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sunflowers: Learning and practicing

If you are a painter, or even if you love to look at paintings, please consider asking someone that loves you to give you Richard Schmid's newest book: Alla Prima II (link).
You will love the images of his paintings. I am trying to use his paintings to learn to paint flowers These brown-eyed Susans are a still poor copy of his but I will have many opportunities to retry them since I now own this beautiful book....