Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Painting 56

This is my cousin's little girl Claire. I painted this from a photo I took during a family reunion trip to the coast. My second portrait that I have attempted and I am pleased with the results. After a long string of so so paintings, it's nice to step back and appreciate one every once in awhile. There wouldn't be the motivation to paint if I didn't find the good and be able to celebrate the successes of what I do as a hobby. So in that spirit, I applaud my effort and refrain from saying anything negative about this portrait. Claire is in possession of her painting and I hope she enjoys it as much as I enjoyed painting her. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Painting 55

This painting is odd, yes. It was done for an online painting challenge. Karen Jurick, a really great artist, has a blog called Different Strokes from Different Folks where she hosts a painting challenge. She posts a photo for anyone to paint and then she posts the submissions. It's a lot of fun to see all the different styles and interpretations of the same subject matter, in this case wigs. Here's the link to see the different wig paintings. 


For a subject matter, this isn't what I would have preferred to spend my time painting, but I was anxious to participate in the challenge. I prefer the wig heads in the background over the featured wigs. The two on the left are my least favorite basically because I didn't do a very good job on the faces. I slipped out of my comfort zone on the colors and tried to be a little crazy instead of painting what was there. In the end, I do think the exaggerated colors work better, especially when you look at all the different paintings on Karen's blog. I don't care much for the orange in my painting. It's one of my favorite colors, but can be a challenge. Karen's use of color with the red is, in my opinion, the most successful of the bunch. My painting is destined for a second hand-store where it'll sit collecting dust, waiting for a buyer to come along and pay the $2.00 price to take it home. 

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Painting 54

Another small study and my last for awhile. Glass is a scary subject matter for me, but it's not going to get any easier unless I actual attempt to paint it. A glass of wine is usually not hard to find at the studio, so it was an easy still life to set up. Only problem was I kept moving it every few minutes. The drawing is off, but for my first attempt at cut class, it wasn't too bad, especially since it was done in a short session. Now with all these quick studies out of the way, I'm ready to get started on a larger painting.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Painting 53

After the workshop, I returned to the studio and continued to concentrate on the small paintings. I wanted to do one that I could spend more time on and not do it in just one sitting. So as you can see, the blending is back. The quality that I liked so much with the lemon is gone. I didn't see how I could capture all the details of the plate and tablecloth design and be loose at the same time. I like the tomatoes and the plate, but I think the pattern of the tablecloth competes with the focal point. I also don't like the vantage point. Looking directly down on the subject matter seems a little unconventional to me, or maybe I'm just over-thinking it. Overall, there are things I like about this painting, but there's something that just doesn't feel right. Did I get more value by spending more time on it? Not sure that I did.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Painting 52

My last painting of the workshop. Fake strawberries! Regressed somewhat on this attempt, probably because I was tired and over it. The bowl was a challenge because the sides flared out toward the top and I struggled with the perspective. It doesn't help the painting that I cut off the bowl right at the corner, which draws to much attention to that area. I do like how I painted the strawberries, but the background is too vibrant for me. Overall, it was a great workshop and I found Carol Marine to be an excellent instructor and a great deal of fun. Just spending a big chunk of time painting and being around other great artist was very fulfilling and quite inspirational. Fortunately, I have a studio to go to where I can always be surrounded by great inspiration.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Painting 51

Carol presented a new challenge with our next painting and I found the exercise extremely valuable because it forced me to paint much more looser, and more deliberate than what I normally feel comfortable doing.  She had us paint an object with a one-stroke technique. We could only make one stroke on the canvas after applying paint to the brush. We had to mix our color each time we applied paint and we were instructed not to work the paint on the canvas, but to just apply it and move on. It forced me to choose my colors and values very carefully and the result was a nicely rendered lemon.  I love the way the lemon and background looks in the painting. This is what would have made the jalapeƱos a better painting instead of the flat red. The obvious brushwork and lack of blending creates more excitement to me. The composition isn't all that great with the lemon smack dab in the middle of the canvas, but  it was fun to explore a technique outside my comfort zone. If you haven't painted this way before, I encourage you to try it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Painting 50

My first painting on day two of the Carol Marine workshop. I choose grapes as my subject matter because I admired the way Carol handles grapes in her painting and I wanted to paint some myself with her help. I purposely chose a limited palette for harmony, probably as a result of my last attempt with the peppers and the jarring red background. I like the composition and the rendering of the subject matter. I thought the grapes turned out well. I think another object, such as a utensil of some sort, would have been a nice addition, but for a quick study, I was pleased with the results.

One momentous thing to note about this painting is the number. My halfway point! I wish it had been something painted over a few days, and not just under an hour since it's the midpoint of my goal. So in my mind it's not as significant a marker as it could have been. But even though my 50th painting was an exercise in a workshop it still feels great to get this far.  In the beginning this painting would have taken me days to get this result, so if nothing else, I'm faster with the brush!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Painting 49

This one is making me happier. I painted this in the evening after the first class and perhaps the wine helped loosen me up. Overall, I was way more pleased with this effort than with my previous attempts. I like the peppers although I struggled with the highlight. The white must go on thick so the paint underneath doesn't blend and I just couldn't seem to get a good white. Carol warned us about making our highlights too big. Mine just don't seem to pop that well. That red background is vibrant and solid and somewhat overpowers the painting but it plays well against the green. Nice to end the day on a good note add confidence for day 2 of the workshop.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Painting 48

My second attempt during the workshop and with some improvement. I like the rendering of the vase for the most part, although it is a strange grouping and the background color is ugly. Perhaps if the background was in the orange family I would have achieved more harmony. I like the looser brushwork and seeing the brushstrokes. The small improvement is encouraging even if it wasn't any more successful than the other quick studies. But I definitely started to relax and I believe it helped overall.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Painting 47

This painting is my first still life during the Carol Marine workshop. There's a lot off pressure painting in a group setting where you feel everyone is watching your work, judging it. There's definitely a tightness that came through the brush on this one. Another painting that I don't have much good to say. A very fun group during my workshop and Carol was very informative and entertaining. I admire her work, her confidence and success at marketing herself. She created a nice niche for herself that has worked very well for her. I hope to find my niche.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Painting 46

Tuesdays are my official painting days. I love having a studio, but the call of TV, naps and drinking seems to pull me away on most days, however, I usually manage getting to the studio on Tuesday evening. Sometimes my body is there, but my creative spirit is nowhere to be found. I was in a mood to do anything else but paint and I had nothing on the night I created this painting. I just grabbed the first thing I found while on my way to the studio and it became my subject matter. Another monochromatic painting done in an hour or so. Another reason to hate painting. Wet on wet painting is difficult because I spend a lot of time spreading paint around. Crisp lines are impossible. Getting good dark values are difficult once you have paint down on the canvas. These quick paintings are valuable but tricky. I thought I was unhappy with the apples, but now they don't seem so bad in comparison. I hope that once I reach my goal of 100 paintings that I don't feel as frustrated as I seem to feel on a constant basis. I'm almost half way through my goal, but where is the progress?

Friday, May 07, 2010

Painting 45

Back to Posting after a long absence. I've set a new process up for my postings so you should see more on a regular basis. Another still life painted quickly. Apples on this attempt. The painting is monochromatic which was intentional, but I'm not sure it was the best move. I was copying Carol's composition and subject matter, but she's so much more successful at it. I don't really care for what I did. The apples or something doesn't read correctly. I'm not sure if the apples are too flat or what. Maybe the apples are too close in size so it lacks depth. I like the apple to the left with the dark near the stem, but the apple in the foreground is missing that element and appears too one- dimensional. The apple in the back appears more stuck to the apple instead of sitting behind. The shadow on the front apple looks off as well. With such a harsh shadow you'd think there would be more highlight. Let's see if this gets any better when Carol steps in.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Painting 44

Lemons are another favorite of mine and a good subject for another quick painting. Again it's 6x6. I like the square canvases and these have a deep 2 inch edge which makes them pop out nicely on the wall. Again, I played with being loose with the brushwork and I like the feel. I love the slice of lemon. It doesn't show as well on the photo, but there is a glimmer of light shining through the slice. However, if you look at the lemon that is cut, you may notice I made the slice too small. Also, I'm getting a little too repetitive with the perspective and I should explore different angles, but since I painted this from a still life, I'm limited to my table height. I should shake things up and try a straight-on view for a change. I question my choice of the bright blue shadow—not sure how that would have been created in nature. The red hue on the bottom of the lemon in the background is also a bit too bright. The shadows should have been warmer since they would be reflecting the lemons’ color, right? Yeah, I don't like this one. Just too many things about this one that bother me.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Painting 43

A small 6"x6" study I did in one sitting. Still trying to master painting in one day. I did cheat and worked on it another day, mainly to add a bit more drama to the background. I tried using more deliberate brush strokes instead of blending and I like some of the results. It doesn't show up as well on the background, looks more smooth and blended. I like the reflection of the table on the pear and the composition works for me. I still feel that some of the values in the pear could be a bit darker as it was with the bell peppers. Overall, for a fast painting I was pleased. Once again I donated this painting to a fundraiser and a fellow artist I know purchased it. He was the only bid so I think he felt sorry for me. He's nice that way.

I still have a block against picking up a brush. I can't even think of going to the studio.