Monday, June 25, 2012

Portrait progress...

I was hoping to get this picture mostly done today. Unfortunately, today was one of those days where I got sidetracked by minutia over and over again. It was difficult to stay on task but today was mostly productive.
Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Painting Plein Air...

This little set of paints was so perfect that it was hard to open it up and use it.

 A few of my friends have been painting landscapes from life recently. I've always admired those who can do that well, but painting flora and fauna while amidst flora and fauna has always been a challenge for me. 
I painted this one this morning. I had to stop when the sun rose too  high and changed the shadows.

Another good friend whom I will refer to as my BFF gave me a brand new set of Thomas Kinkade oil paints. The set contains a couple of dozen little tubes, all named differently than the paints I am used to. Will this make me a "Painter of Light" like the late great Mr. Kinkade? I am not sure but I did love the colorful set. One noteable color that was missing was a cadium red. The set contained cool and soft reds. Even the orange was a bit  cool. 
It was fun to work with his colors, but after a while, I broke down and threw a few of my colors onto the palette.
A crooked barn. Painting crooked buildings is a challenge,  you want the viewer to know you meant the structure to be crooked, otherwise they'll think you've had too many wine coolers.

Painting plein air is harder than some of my talented friends make it look. I am happy with my efforts on my first day, but plan on learning more about this before I have another go later in July.
Tomorrow I will return to my watercolor portrait, hopefully getting it farther along. I won't need sunscreen to work on it, and I won't have a pissed off mocking bird yelling at me the entire time.

A few patrons of the arts.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Emily and Madeline...

These lovely girls are sisters. I am painting their portrait on hot press paper in transparent watercolor.
After months of working digitally and in oils, it is refreshing to get back to water-based media.

I hope to get this done in one attempt, although watercolor can be very unforgiving. Some of my previous watercolors took two or three tries. I am approaching this picture differently than I used to. When I begin a painting, I work out the values first. I used to do that with layers of paynes grey and raw umber. This time I am working out the main values in pencil before I put down any paint. It is tempting to rush this stage of the painting because it can be pretty tedious. The next step is to lay in the lightest washes of skin tone and background colors.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Going to the fair...

"thirteen," oil on linen, 12" x 14" 2012
One of my portraits got selected for exhibition in this year's  Ohio State Fair. I packed it up and shipped it off today. This is a first for me. I've never exhibited in a fair before, county or state. The competition is pretty stiff, but maybe I'll get a cool ribbon :-)
We are really busy this summer, but I hope I get a chance to stop by and see the painting on display. Sending it off was a little stressful, kind of like the first day of kindergarten.