May 19, 2014

An Almost

I feel like I almost came away with a portrait this time that could have been really good. 

I had what I felt like was a pretty good start at the Friday open studio. Then I got it home and a couple of bad things happened. One, I let it dry. Or partially dry. Which meant that I couldn't get certain effects I wanted which would have enhanced the painting. The paint, being partially dry wouldn't receive the new paint because it was sticky, rather than slippery. You can paint wet onto dry (scumble or glaze) or you can paint wet into wet, but you can't do wet into half-wet. It sucks. 
But being the stubborn, impatient cuss that I am I plowed straight forward anyway. The problem areas came mostly in the hair. I feel like I can usually handle most hair okay. At least so far. But this was near disastrous. Oh well.

There were a couple of other little things that I did that were kind of, uhh... shall we say, stupid?  But I'll let those pass here, because I don't think in retrospect it would be all that helpful (to me) to dredge up.

Some people might think it not a good idea to post anything like a failure on one's blog. Out there for the world to see. But I'm okay with it. I wouldn't say that this attempt was a complete failure either anyway. There are some things I am pretty pleased with. But this is an honest record that I'm keeping, mostly for myself, but also for anyone else that might profit from my experiences. I won't be putting this blog site on my business card, that's for sure. In the future I might keep a separate website that is more professional in terms of self-promotion or potential sales, but for now I feel like I'm still in the learning phase and I need to be as honest as I can.

May 13, 2014

One Model, Two Mediums

You may not be able to tell, but both of these pieces are of the same model. 

The first one is done in charcoal pencil. It so happened that I hadn't gotten all of my supplies back that day from the time I'd shipped them back from Scottsdale, so I decided to just go ahead and draw. I'm glad I did because it was almost as much fun as painting. It was nice to just get back to basics and see what I could do. 


The second is my usual Friday painting effort from the live model. Even though I don't blend a lot and this one is a little rough looking, I'm still kind of pleased with it. I figure I can always do more blending in the future, once I get a little better at my values and temperatures. I do have to admit though that before I was through, Tina stopped in and let me know that the eyes were a little out of place. Despite my protestations I had to admit she was right and had to reposition them. Better to just take your medicine and re-do than to have an odd looking face. I ain't doin' Picasso!

And just a little close-up of the above.

May 03, 2014

Some New Studies and a Finish

So I haven't posted much of anything in a while. But it's not because I haven't been painting at all. I have, just not as much as usual. I've been busy with other things. Life mostly. But I still try to get into my studio to paint, even if it's only for an hour or two at the end of the day. Even if I'm dog tired I still find that I want to get back to it and it usually revives me. I'm a little OCD these days when it comes to painting. I very much do want to get better and so even if I'm not actually painting I will spend a lot of my day just either thinking about it or researching great paintings and artists on the web that inspire me.

One thing I discovered in my research that some may find interesting is a live stream of a drawing demo that takes place on Friday nights. The demo is put on by Jeffrey Watts, an excellent artist from California who has both an online atelier and a brick and mortar school where he and his talented staff of instructors teach. You can check out the demo here:

I know. Not everyone's idea of a rocking Friday night. But for art geeks like me it's pretty cool. 

Sheesh, I need serious help.

Anyway, here are a few recent efforts. Each has a different level of finish, but I think that's okay because my objectives were different in each one. This first one is of a co-painter at Bay Arts. We had no model that day so he offered to sit for us. A great model he was too.

This study is quite rough and loose but I did try to keep it a little more impressionistic. I don't think I'll be trying to refine it. I'll just file it in the back of my head as I think I know where my problem areas are in this one. Still I think I managed to capture a fair likeness.

The next one is also one of our Friday models. I took this one home and worked on it a bit but not that much. The photo is a tad dark as you can't even see the highlights I put into her braid. Yes, she has a braid and not just short hair. also, the color is a bit off as the light color in the background is a somewhat brighter blue. All in all fairly satisfied with this one. I played with softening the features in the face as well as keeping some of the edges softer in strategic spots.

This last one is of a beautiful young girl of Indian descent who posed at the workshop I took in Scottsdale. I did a color study while there and took some pictures too so that I could go home and finish it up. I'm not unhappy with this one but I think I may just take another crack at it and try a slightly different approach. You'll have to wait and see.

 Thanks for taking a look.