Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Why I practice with Fruit and Oil

Study Peaches and Cherries/ oil on re-used board/ 6 x 8/ Low Country

You know that I have come to painting late in my life. Not the interest in all things art but the practice and learning "how to". You also know that my primary medium is watercolor and yet most of my small study paintings, most of my recent workshops/classes and books are about oil painting. This is because I find that oil painters, in general, have done a better job of describing what I need to learn to become better at painting. Most of my favorite watercolorists paint first in oil and describe their methods from that beginning.
 I know my heart wants to paint loose, abstracted lost-edged but still realistic paintings. Painting small oil painting exercises of fruit seems to be my way to make progress toward these goals. Thank you for sharing my progress and for supporting my learning.

 I am so excited and honored to share that my painting "Vigilance" was chosen by juror Judi Morris to hang in the Northwest Watercolor Society 75th International Exhibition opening in Seattle tomorrow.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Commission Color Changes

Here is another color comparison. This little dog was painted close to the values of a photograph I had altered to decrease the shadow of the little guy's face in a client's photo. However, as painted (left) the client hoped to have the shadow side even lighter than this. Because values are related on the lit and shadow sides of an object, I decided to re alter the photo, further increasing the exposure and then repaint.

Here is the lighter painting with a lighter background. This version felt better to the client.

To me, this is another interesting effect of color and how color creates a feeling: scruffy, rambunctious or refined and trimmed. I am working on a series of crows. A dark background makes them more menacing. I'll share this soon.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Beach Front NC

Beach Dunes/ oil in canvas mounted on board/ 7 x 13/ SOLD

This is a painting of a beautiful beach in North Carolina. Piled sand dunes with gorgeous seagrasses are seen in many locations. I liked working on the subtle colors that are visible in the white sand and the blue skies.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Musing about Color Interactions: Bengal

Bengal Study/ oil on board/ 6 x 6/

Here is the original and repainted little cat painting from this week. Again, the cat is unchanged in these paintings and you can see the effect that colors placed beside each other have on each other. To my eyes, the green background makes the orange fur "oranger". This effect is discussed in books about color (an excellent discussion about simultaneous color modifications can be found in "Color Right From the Start by Hilary Page).

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Working on the "fur edges"

I have wiped this cat painting three times. I was struggling with the edges. I wanted the cat to look "furry" not cut out. The trick seems to be to paint wet into wet at the edges and best if it connects the transparent under colors. Tomorrow, when this is drier, I may overpaint the background but I'll decide that with "fresh eyes' At least the edge problem is better!!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Colorful Turtles Altered by Background Color

This is an exercise with both brush strokes placing small pieces of paint and bright colors.

Bright Turtles/ oil on gesso bored/ 5 x 7/ Low Country

Here is the same painting with the background altered. The turtles were not touched. This demonstrates how colors affect each other. In the revised painting, the same reds read lighter and brighter by putting them against the yellow green instead of the cobalt blue and turquoise.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Plums Reimagined

Plums Reimagined/ oil on board/ HH Gallery
I painted purple plums last year and had to wait until now to have plums in season again. In the last year, I have been exploring edges and abstracting more of my work. This painting shows those changes and I am much happier with this revised version.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Rooster Study of Vibration

Rooster: Vibration Study/ oil on board/ 6 x 6 / HH Gallery

This is one of a series of chickens that I am working on, The challenge in this one was to create a vibration. One way to achieve vibration is to place colors of the same value but opposite color temperatures in juxtaposition. Look at the chest of this guy to see that illustrated.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Striped Pitcher Still life

Striped Pitcher Still Life/ 6 x 6/ oil on canvas board/SOLD

The hydrangeas are starting to bloom in the garden. The geraniums have been blooming because I bought them from a great nursery earlier this spring. I thought they looked great in this new e bay vintage pitcher. This was not painted with a transparent under wash because it had to cover a very poorly done painting of trees so lots of opaque paint was needed.

Monday, June 8, 2015

A New Technique in Watercolors: Rabbit Test and Iris Study

Rabbit Study with Gouache/ watercolor/ 14 x 9.25/

This is the first painting working on a new watercolor application. Using opaque watercolors and gouache, the background is dulled back. This effect is less obvious with the orange but easier to see with the grey brown in this painting.
My purpose in working on this technique is to explore painting a lit flower against a dulled background. My hope is that this will add "glow" to the transparent colors of the flower.

Iris Study with Gouache/ watercolor/ 9.25 x 14/

Here is the first painting using this idea. This allows for an abstracted background and makes the flower really glow...

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Three Apples Study

Three Apples Study/ oil on canvas on board/ 5.5 x 13/ HH Gallery

This is a painting I have worked on and seen progress over the last months. Compositionally, this used to be five apples that were boring and fairly realistic. I love cutting through the edges and adding bits of color into the background. It makes the apples feel more interesting to me and even makes the painting have some movement.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Larger Irises

I wanted to try the pink irises larger. I didn't want a vertical composition so I added a different companion iris. Next, I wanted to paint on a gallery wrapped canvas but have a smooth surface. Furthermore, because I haven't done many large paintings,  I wanted to do this painting as inexpensively as possible. I ordered Premium gallery wrapped stretched cotton canvas from Blick (worked for the cost) . I re primed it twice with gesso. This gave a fairly smooth surface.
For the painting, I under painted the entire composition with transparent colors. I then overpainted using careful strokes and precise colors (Full disclosure: I messed this painting up once with too many opaques. I was disappointed in how "muddy" and impenetrable the background became). The lighting on this is not great so the next problem will be working on photographing a larger painting....