Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Nothing Finished

I started on this painting of fuchsia flowers a couple of weeks ago while painting with a friend in her studio. I brought it home, but did not make too much progress.
I worked on it a little more, but I am frustrated with the greens and need to go back to it. As usual, life provides many distractions and interruptions.  This is Winsor & Newton Artisan (water mixable) oils.  Yes, I am still struggling with learning to paint with oils.

Meanwhile, I took a set of 12 videos out of the library on Bob Ross and his style of painting. He was a wonderful presenter on PBS stations years ago.  While he is no longer around, his videos and books are still very useful.  I tried using his techniques on a large canvas (18" X 24"). I enjoyed spending the time and learned a few new things, but decided that this is not for me.  I like to have more of a relationship to a painting, not just some mountains, some clouds, some trees etc.  I am letting my canvas (photo below) dry and then I will go back and detail it with the way I usually paint.  His style of painting is wet on wet, with a layer of "Magic White" paint below so everything lightens up as you go down and moves around easily.

I used my own photos for practice. The basket of fuchsias was from a photo I took while visiting a friend in Vermont. I cropped in closer for my painting.  The waterfall scene is from a photo I took in Utah several years ago while at Red Butte Gardens.

For more information, or to see free videos on Bob Ross, just type his name into your search engine. You can also find recipes online to make your own Magic White, or you can buy his products online or at most art supply stores.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Spooky Day

Last week I painted with another artist in my own studio.  I saw how she prepared her canvas with purples and I was immediately attracted to the color. I decided to use acrylic paint in analogous colors (colors next to each other on the color wheel) for my background. I prepared a 16" X 20" canvas (photo below) and looked at it for a while.

After I studied my background, I thought about the upcoming holiday of Halloween. The undercolors suggested a landscape to me. I made a little drawing on a piece of paper, trying to make some kind of composition.  The top photo is the result. This is the first time I have tried just pulling an image out of my head, not from something I had actually seen.  I am happy with the result.

At the same painting session, I also watched my friend paint with a palette knife. I had a small canvas prepared and decided to do a painting of Frankenstein Cliffs with a view looking up from below, at the parking lot.  I gave away my larger painting of the cliffs to my son for his new house.  He liked all the greens in it. You can still buy a print or card of that image on my website.

I found it difficult to get any sort of detail with a palette knife and had to use a brush in a couple of places. This is a fun technique, but uses a great deal of pigment.  I used acrylic paints for this experiment. We hiked this trail last year, at the beginning of the fall. It's not a hike I would recommend as the trail was very poorly marked.

I am not taking any art classes now, but I am enjoying painting with other artists.  This is something new for me and gives me inspiration as I watch what they are doing.  It is a good learning experience.

I will be exhibiting my cards, prints and some originals this fall at several craft fairs. The events and dates are listed on my website calendar.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How about a kiss?

Mug Shot
The link above goes to my website where you can get more information about this image. I used water mixable oils (Winsor & Newton Artisan) on canvas board, 8" X 10".

I was visiting family in Mojave, California. I am not a rider, but I talk to the horses and pet them. This mare is very friendly and was looking for a kiss, or a carrot. I'm not sure which. I thought about titling the painting "How about a kiss?" She came right up to the camera. I thought this would be good practice for me as an example of foreshortening.

I started the painting with an underwash in raw sienna, then underpainting in acrylic (below). This helped me get the drawing and values in. (Similar to grisaille)

Then I did a layer of oil paint (below).

I let it dry and continued with another layer and touch ups of the oil (below).
I am still a little frustrated with the oil paint since it takes so long to dry. As I was trying to correct the sky, the brush removed some of the paint.  I had to let it dry for several days before attempting the correction again.  The final result is the first painting above, which I have titled "Mug Shot".