Some recent figure work. The male figure is a drawing that I've worked on for about four, three hour sessions. Originally I was going for a 16" x 20 " canvas, but I realize with only three sessions left, I wouldn't get very far. So I photoshopped it and printed out a smaller version which I'll trace onto a small canvas. The skeleton is a drawing on tracing paper that I've started to do over the figure using Richers anatomy book. Eventually I'd like to keep adding layers until I complete an entire ecorche' drawing. The female figure is from my drawing group, a three hour pose. The block in seemed to come together on this one and it's one of those drawings where I wish I had another twenty hours.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Heres the poster and a little bit done on the middle ground. The poster's going to help me a lot when I'm painting the foreground figure because of the compressed value range. I want to keep it kind of mysterious with most of the light on the still life and the background figure. A note to fellow artists ; if you want to torture yourself, paint lemons on a white plate. Most of the darks will be washed out by the reflected light making for some very tricky painting.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Well, I thought I was done with the "Three Roses" 11"x14" but after looking at it in my studio for a while I just wasn't feling it and decided to jump back in. Mostly I worked on the background but also on the dipper and the table. Who knows if its better or just different, but I feel better. I can see why some artists turn their paintings to the wall after completing them, they just nag at you. I'm happy with the "Fifth of July" 8"x10", at least for now. It looks way better than it's photographing. One thing about working on linen is that the texture throws off my overhead lighting system. I'm going to have to come up with a solution. Maybe I can do something with photoshop. I'll just have to spend a day figuring it out.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Kind of a different take on my usual still life paintings. A bit of an homage to Pietro Annigoni, on a slightly larger 16"x20" canvas. This one's going to take a while, but I won't be working exclusively on it and my models aren't going anywhere. I'll make a small poster study manana.
The method that I pretty much use now is to make a block-in, develop the drawing and shading masses, trace the drawing, transfer it with charcoal, and go over the lines with india ink. Then I cover the whole canvas with raw umber and a little black, using mineral spirits. I give it a quick wipe with a paper towel to get rid of the strokes and even out the tone. Next I use the paper towel to pull out the lights, and I work like a madman because the raw umber starts setting up within an hour.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
The poster study is on a 5"x7" canvas board and the ebauche is on an 8"x10" stretched linen. I decided to combine the wipeout with the ebauche on this one. Mostly because theres so much color involved but also because I'm not completely satisfied with painting over the wipeout (no colors to compare) and I'm not big on doing an ebauche on a pale ground because I feel that the colors end up looking too chalky and putrid and it puts me off. I'm digging the combination of the two a lot better and if this works out I may stick with it.
The figure is from life and the background is completely imagined. It was tough to get then to relate, what helped a little was using a limited palette. It was fun and I'll probably try again when I'm feeling inspired to do so.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The metal dipper was pretty intense and took a lot of stepping back and forth. I'm guessing it's a dipper, I'm not really sure what the heck it is! The paintings a little lighter than it looks here, I'll have to do some photoshop work when it's all done. I have a wierd color combo for metal; Ivory Black, Raw Umber, Yellow Ochre and White. Not sure how I came up with it, but it seems to work and it's a good base to put other colors into when the metal is reflecting or absorbing.I should be able to finish the first pass tomorrow and then wait a week for touch-ups. I'm itching to get started on that fireworks painting.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Got back to my rose painting. I'm trying to gradually diminish the intensity as the light travels from left to right. The first rose is practically whited out in intensity and the small vase is fairly subdued in comparison. I didn't make a poster for this one so I'm kind of deciding things as I go along. One thing I'm getting is that it's a lot easier to make a light tone darker than a dark tone lighter, so it's better to err on the side of brightness.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Fortunately it didn't rain. I ended up having to paint at the same spot. What to do? I thought about focusing in on some shoreline rocks but then I caught sight of this view. The only problem was the shoal and tall grass mound were on the right side. Not easily discouraged I took Carlson's advice and decided to put them where I wanted them. I kept the background and distant boats greatly simplified to keep the eye on the foreground-middleground area. I actually like this one better than the one I did yesterday, but yesterdays painting was framed and submitted for the auction which takes place at Gallery North on Sunday.
Friday, July 10, 2009
"Along Shore Road" oil on linen, 8"x10"
I'm painting this Friday and Saturday, along with a bunch of other artists in Gallery North's "Wet Paint Festival", which is a plain aire paint out in honor of Joseph Reboli (deceased). Thanks to Frank Serrano, John Budicin and Kevin Mcpherson, not to mention Carlson's guide to landscape painting, I feel like I'm starting to understand some of the theory that goes into plain aire painting. Once I had my basic value pattern established I tried to keep the strength of that right to the end. That forced me to compress the values in any given area and to make color changes without necessarily changing the value. I also considered the form of each thing that I was painting and I tried not to just replicate value changes but to roll the forms up to the light. Anyways, I'm a little happier with this one. I get to try again tomorrow (supposed to rain) and then the paintings will be auctioned off.
Posted by Shawn Sullivan at 12:56 PM
Thursday, July 9, 2009
The Blue Door Gallery (sorry, they don't have a website, but the number is listed on my webpage) asked me to do some really small paintings for a show they're putting together of $100.00 paintings. So I started this flower series. Each paintings is on linen glued to wood at 3.5"x4" . I'm not really into that whole daily painting thing but I thought it would be fun to give it a try. Problem is I ended up putting as much effort in as I would on larger paintings. Anyways, they're good practice for a larger flower piece that I'm getting ready to start. They should be at the gallery in about a week, framed in simple lattice molding, ready to hang.
Monday, July 6, 2009
I've added quite a few finishing touches, darkening and lightening areas, softening edges etc;. It's always tricky when going back in, not to get too carried away and end up killing the freshness of your original vision. In this case I was willing to push it as far as possible because I wasn't satisfied and ultimately I am happier with it, but it's a small painting and I'm ready to move on to something else.
Friday, July 3, 2009
I started an underpainting for a new flower painting. I guess I'm a glutton for punishment. After randomly laying them out, and starting the block-in, I realized that I had chosen three roses at varying degrees of blossoming. They are all white so the challenge will be to walk the whites across the painting with diminishing degrees of brightness. The metal creamer's just there for balance and because I think it's really cool looking. Happy Fourth of July!
Posted by Shawn Sullivan at 1:12 PM