Friday, April 22, 2011

Svetlana and Petit Dejeuner au Lit

I finally got a decent photo of "Svetlana" 9"x12". I read a statement by William Whitaker saying that he takes his digital photos out side on overcast days, so I thought I'd give it a try. I set my cameras white balance and the photo came out pretty good. I'm going to try this with a few other paintings and see if I get better results. I'm slowly crawling around my still life painting and fortunately the bread hasn't gone moldy yet. I'm seting up north light in my studio so I'm planning to do a bunch of daylight paintings now that the days are longer.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

More Vickie

I'm pretty much done with the portrait on this one, except for a few touchups here and there. It's a little sunken in at this point. I oil out lightly before each session but by the time I take the photo the next day it's sunken back in. It'll all pop back nicely when I spray it with re-touch varnish. Some artists like to use retouch varnish to oil out. I tried it I didn't like it. It's too slick. I use refined linseed oil cut in half with oms. I brush it on and then lightly pat most of it away with a Viva towel. I'm glad I made the portrait life size on this one, it's allowing me to really dig in on the subtlety of the forms. My studio mates Carlos and Bob are into old hats, hence the 1920's looking specimen on top of the models head. I'm not even sure what to call it; is it a hat, a semi hat, an oversized barrett, I don't know but it does make a nice dark accent against the head.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Petit Dejeuner Au Lit

Heres the poster, block-in, and ebauche for "Petit Dejeuner Au Lit" 16'x20". I did the underpainting over a raw umber toned canvas, to get the paleness of the ebauche to look a little less milky. The background interior is a corner of my bedroom which I'm in the process of doing a small painted study for. I plan to paint the final version from the study and drawings. One of the things that they've been pushing at GCA lately is the idea of taking reality and altering it somewhat to suit a specific goal rather than just rendering things as they are. Although this scene isn't that much of a stretch, it does include an arrangement that couldn't actually exist in my bedroom. Eventually I'm going to include some figures with a bit of narrative. One of the things that I tell my students and workshop participants is that if you're not getting excited at the underpainting stage, don't go any further, this is where you'll find the spark to carry you through all the long, hard work that's ahead.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Few Things

"Moon Box" 11"x14" oil on canvas on board, "Vickie" oil on canvas on board 16"x20", "Still Room" 16"x20" oil on canvas. "Still Room" is pretty much finished. I locked in the background this morning before the light changed and then I spent a few hours tweaking it to get it to harmonize with the foreground. That was harder than I thought it was going to be. "Moon Box" was painted using a very wierd and unique method. I have an Ott light next to the box shining through the hole, my studio lights turned off, and I placed my easel next to a window where I allowed just enough light through to be able to see my canvas and palette. It wasn't easy but it was the only way to get the effect that I was after. My once a week portrait is coming along, albeit slowly. I'm not loving the raccoon shadow around the eye so I may try to find a way to play that down.