A little more progress on the new one, finished first GCA figure painting in color, tweaked birdbath painting. A good way to end the year. Next year I plan to be bolder with my color, brushstrokes, and compositions, but boldness guided by knowledge and planning. Can you plan for boldness? we'll see! Happy New Year!
Thursday, December 30, 2010
"Painted Vase" oil on linen, 16"x20" . It's been a while since I've worked on a larger canvas and it feels pretty good, kinda liberating. I decided to skip all the amenities; wipe-out,ebauche,poster study, and just go for it. The oranges and the grapes have a brilliant color that I know was not going to last for very long, so I went for it. Artists often talk about obliterating the white of the canvas but I've heard artists such as Scott Burdick, Jeffrey Larson and Stephen Gjertson talk about how they see the values set up on their palette and use that as their guide, at least in the beginning stages. Stephen Gjertson has a wonderful half started painting of some bowls of fruit on his website under the heading "working methods" found in the "interviews" section. I've worked this way before but one of the things that I'm finding is that it is much easier to get the edges to look the way that I want them to and the white of the canvas is also forcing me to paint a bit thicker in the lights. We'll see what happens when I'm all done. Looking forward to a new year, hope you are too!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
This is a little 5"x7" sketch from my imagination that I've been thinking about doing for a few weeks. I'm fascinated by the process that artists had to go through to compete in the Prix de Rome. They would be given a subject and had to come up with thumbnails, sketches and a fully realized color study that if they were chosen would be worked up into a full blown painting using life references. So eventually I would like to follow that process for this painting. The subject is a figure in a dark studio holding up a panel to a window that causes the light to flow in a beam onto a table where a model of a gothic building stands. I'm not sure what it all means, maybe it's about what inspires me, I don't want to figure it out before I've even started to really paint it. My next step will be to construct a box with a little tableau and see what the light might actually do in this kind of setup. Hopefully this summer I'll be able to hire a model and see it happen. That will give me a lot of time to really study the idea. But this little sketch already has my blood going and I guess that's what's supposed to happen.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
I finished the first finishing pass, it's a little sunken in but it gives the general idea. I probably should have taken a photo of the underpainting, it had a really cool look. I decided to use a frottis (rub-in) on top of the wipeout to get a general color scheme before I started to window shade my way through the painting. The bird bath was taken from my backyard so it had a wonderful weathered patina but it also meant that the surface was so dull and matte that it absorbed the light like a black hole. This is where my cast training came in handy I just imagined each forms relation to the light and painted it that way while still keeping the values very compressed in order to still keep the weathered look. I also found a lot of subtle hvc shifts that were fun to play with. The background was treated rather sketchy so as not to overkill the amount of detail in the painting and to act as a foil to the birdbath and flower. One of the things that I'm beginning to notice is that when I'm loading these paintings to post them the finished paintings and the poster study, when seen in a one inch thumbnail, look almost identical. That's good. that means my small studies are serving their intended purpose and that they are helping me to conceptualize a bit more rather than just eyeballing the arrangements.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
"Bird Bath" 11'x14" oil on canvas. Heres the poster study (5"x7"), drawing and wipeout for a new painting. I've been thinking about this composition for a while. My original plan was to paint it out of doors with the sky reflecting in the water around the flower but I procrastinated so now it sits in my studio. I still might do another one like that in the spring. Anyways I kind of like the idea of the contrast between this very dull colored object and the burgundy red background all being keyed off of the flower. The poster is pretty spot on so I'm debating whether or not to do a fully colored ebauche (underpainting) or just jump right in.
Monday, December 6, 2010
"Pumpkin and White Onions" 11"x14" oil on linen. I worked hard on this one to achieve a variety of textures and a heirarchy of detail. The pumpkin is pretty tight, next the onions and then varying degrees of focus for the rest. I wanted to give the feel of the fded box without necessarily painting every crevace. I kept stepping back quite a bit and asking myself if it had the feel as well as the look. I like the shadow box effect of the hanging cloth and I think I'm going to explore it in some other paintings.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
I got three more hours in each on the figure and the portrait. I'm using the same pre-mixed palette for each, under the same lighting, with different results. Go figure. I'm happy with the way the figure is going, I'm not sure about the portrait yet. I wish that I had done a smaller study first, but I thought I had only five sessions so I wanted to get right to it. Now it turns out I may be able to get in an extra five. I'm thinking that I may have overdone the light on the zygomatics and maybe also that the cheek that turns away could be brought down altogether a step or two. This is where having the poster as a guide comes in handy. I'll stick with this one until I get it right, but next time I'm definitely doing a poster. It's better to have one eye socket that's perfect than a whole face that's off.