Monday, July 29, 2013

Tick Tock

This painting has a combination of pouring and direct painting.  I've really been enjoying using that technique recently.  I used a 260# Waterford hot press paper which is a really nice paper.  The smooth surface is good for the detail and straight lines in the design but doesn't show the beauty of the sedimentary paints that I used.  That effect shows better in a more textural paper.  I guess I can't have everything.  It  would have been really hard to paint the lines straight on a textured paper which is why I chose the hot press surface.

Tick Tock
Image Size 22" x 30"

Monday, July 22, 2013

Figure Drawing Class

Five weeks, twice a week for eight hours a day and this is the only drawing that I felt looked human enough to post from all of the drawings I've done during that time.  We actually drew this model from the waist us but in the interest of keeping this blog rated PG, respecting the modesty of the model and the fact that I drew her breasts leaning the wrong direction, I cropped the drawing to show just her face and shoulder.

This class has been brutal for me and definitely the hardest thing I've ever done.  The teacher is excellent, but there is so much to remember and I seem to have a hard time getting the information to go from my head to my hand.  I've always had a mental block about drawing people but I never realized how hard that block was going to be to break.  I can see that this is going to take a lot of practice to get to the point that I feel comfortable and happy with my drawings.  I plan to take another figure drawing class in the Fall, but I'll take one that's only three hours for each class.  That's stretching my attention span about as much as it will go and still accept information.

Taking such a class as a summer course was probably not a great idea.  Learning something that is so foreign to me in a compressed period of time made it an extremely stressful class.  We only have two classes left and I'm looking forward to what I will learn and also to the class being over.  : )  I need a break!  Who knew that art could be so stressful?

Anyway, I'm glad I finally took a life drawing class and who knows, maybe you will actually see some people in my paintings in the (far) future.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

If you happen to be at the John Wayne Airport, Orange County, anytime between July 10th and August 8th, check out the art on display.  I will have 13 of my paintings in the non-secured areas of the airport.  They will be located in cases next to the security entrances for all 3 terminals and in the 2 baggage claim areas, adjacent to baggage carousel 1 and 4.

All of the paintings are watercolors that I have painted within the past few years.  Although I finish a painting each week, it was challenging to pull together a cohesive group of only watercolor paintings that I felt would show well together and were the right sizes to fill the cases nicely.  

I'm very excited to have this opportunity to show my work in such an unexpected venue and hope that people will have the time to check out my art as they wait in line for security or upon arrival when they get their luggage.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Secret Cove

I had so much fun playing with pastels last week that I wanted to continue for this week's painting.  Last week's painting had an underpainting of watercolor and this one also has an underpainting, but I used pastels for this one.

Here is how it started.  I rubbed a light layer of pastel on Wallis sanded pastel paper.  This paper is very durable and can be used wet or dry.  Some pastel papers aren't so versatile.  One of my favorite pastel papers, Sennelier La Carte, can't tolerate any moisture at all or the surface will fall off.  Below is a photo of the first stage .
This looks pretty childish, doesn't it?  I didn't use much pastel because just wanted a light map of where the painting was heading and didn't want to fill the tooth of the paper.   If I wanted it to be darker, I would apply more pastel.  Next, I used a paintbrush and water to liquify the pastel.  I know a lot of pastel artists use alcohol but for me, water works just as well and is always available.

It looks just like watercolor, doesn't it?  Normally, I would probably use watercolor for an underpainting but I wanted to show another option (for you KimmieK) in case you don't have watercolors handy.

I used a combination of Nupastels, Rembrandts and Sennelier pastels for this painting.  My friend gave me the Sennelier pastels awhile ago as she was cleaning out her art supplies and this it the first time I used them.  They have a wonderful soft, buttery texture and are really nice to use.  Thanks Peggy!  I thought my Rembrants were soft, but compared to the Sennelier pastels, they seem like a hard pastel.

The reference photo for this painting actually had a very sculptural silhouette of a leafless tree in the foreground which is why I picked it for painting, but I was happy with the painting at this stage and was afraid that I wouldn't be able to describe the tree successfully and get the edges hard enough with the pastels.  I'll try that version with another medium in the future.

Secret Cove
Image Size 9" x 12"

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Hint of Sun

I was a bit of a slacker this week as far as painting is concerned.  I'm taking a life drawing class that is 2 days each week from 8:30 to 4:30 and it's really killing me both mentally and physically.  I've never done anything that is so frustrating.  I'm one of the worst students in the class.  I've always had a mental block when it comes to drawing the human figure which I'm finding is very hard to overcome.  I am getting a little better though.  The first 3 classes, I was close to tears by about 2:00.  The latest class I actually saw a little (very little) improvement and wasn't quite so depressed.

Anyway, cutting 2 days out of my week has had an effect of how much I'm getting done around here.  I'm also working on the final details for a show that begins next week.  I'll tell you about that in my next post.

So today, I found myself with no painting to post.  I decided to paint some figs that I picked up that were really beautiful colors.  I spent an hour and a half working on it and it was going from bad to worse - probably because I wasn't motivated to paint and it is also really hot and humid here right now.  I wiped all of the paint off of the canvas and now have a nicely toned surface for my next painting but an hour and a half is a long time to end up with just a toned canvas.

The painting above started as a watercolor.  I found a piece of printmaking paper (no sizing) and wanted to see how it would accept the paint compared to the piece of watercolor paper that I painted on a couple of weeks ago that seemed to have no sizing.  It was even harder to build the darks on this paper.  It wasn't a successful painting so I decided to add some pastel and see what happened.

I'm actually pretty happy with the outcome.  Below is a picture of the watercolor painting before I added the pastel.  I had to blend a lot to hide the texture of the paper.
I think it has a completely different feeling than the pastel painting.  The pastel is much more dramatic. 
I hope you like the pastel better than the watercolor because the watercolor is now completely covered by the pastel. :)

A Hint of Sun
Image Size 4" x 6"
Pastel over watercolor
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