Sunday, December 17, 2017

Something New

I've never tried to paint sheep before. This is from a picture of a sheep and a very sweet lamb that I took back in 2015 when I went to a class at Kristin Nicholas' farm house. It makes me wish that I had taken many, many more pictures of the sheep.

#169 - Sheep and Lamb - 5" x 7" paper - alternative palette
This was a bit of a challenge for a number of reasons including:

  • It was painted on a small surface, although I did use a smaller brush..
  • I have never painted sheep before. There are unique things about each animal that you figure out after awhile. 
  • There are two subjects close together. I still mostly play it safe and stick with one thing at a time. 
  • I'm transitioning back from 4-value paintings to trying to see more nuances than 4 values.
This may sound like a bunch of excuses, but it's not. I did find myself bouncing in my head between painting shapes and painting sheep. 

I'd like to revisit this one or a different sheet, but go for a larger size. 

Palette Update

This is mostly a note to myself. I changed my alternative palette. It now contains both the alternative blue and the alternative yellow.

The specific colors are located here.

Friday, December 15, 2017

A Happy Finish

This is Jacques.  He is a big, sweetie-pie of a cat owed by friends of mine.

#168 Jacques - 8"x 8" on paper - std palette
I painted this as a "regular" painting, not a 4-value one, although I am being much more mindful of values these days (now that I see them or realize that I don't see them well enough, so I check them using Notanizer).

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Happy Start

I pulled out a new #10 bright brush and started this painting. It just felt good, plus I am feeling better. Last night was the first night in a week with a good, mostly uninterrupted night of sleep. Until last night, it seemed like I was waking up every 20 minutes or so coughing.

Anyway, these paint strokes just felt lush and happy to me.

It Is A Cat

On Monday morning, I finally started getting my brain back from the never-ending cold of 2017. I actually felt like picking up paper and a pencil and drawing cats. I played around with different things for 20 minutes or so. At one point, Hammett was sitting on the back of the recliner and suddenly I saw him in shapes. I did a rough sketch in pencil and filled in the lines much darker so you can see them. Ignore the horrible lines in marker that are bleeding through the other side of the paper.

It was interesting seeing him as a collection of shapes and in a very simple form. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

It's Not A Cat!

That's what he said when I first showed him this painting.

#167 - Peony In Yard - 8" x 8" - paper - alternative blue
This one was painted both from looking at the original photo (below, which was cropped) and a version of the photo in my beloved app, Notanizer. I'm not sure that I would have painted the darkest parts of the flower dark enough if it wasn't for the app. When you look at the flower in 4-values with this app, the darkest parts of the flower are black. My eyes / brain still want to stay, but wait! I know it's a dark value, but how can it be that dark when the native color is white. Actually, that's not 100% true. I'm finally starting to get it, but it's taken a long time and I suspect that I will continue to struggle with this. It made me think about the donut painting from painting class last fall and the follow-up donut painting. While I may not be the quickest at picking up on these concepts, I don't give up either. 

I think my lightest colors in the flower and the darkest ones are pretty good. The middle values could probably use some more distinction between them. I've wanted to try and paint from this picture for some time, but didn't know how to approach it. I knew that I didn't want to try and paint every petal, so I wasn't sure what to do. What I decided was to try a mix of going with the shapes and going for the feeling of the petals. 

For a person who loves bright, bright colors, it always surprises me how much I enjoy painting different types of white. When I looked at the picture, there were yellowy whites, gray whites and pink whites. 

I did this in one sitting, yesterday. It went fairly quickly. I'm still getting over my cold, so the analytical part of my brain was too tired to get in the way. That made doing the background easier. For a change, I didn't over-think it. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Just Ignore The Green

I get rules in my head, so sometimes I set out to break them. That's how I ended up painting a green cat. This painting is from yesterday. I did it in one sitting and it came together fairly quickly. 

This started as another 4-value painting, although it morphed to five values even before I went even farther with it. Throughout this painting, I also tried to have more paint on my brush.

After I painting the original values and shapes, I decided to add a background.

From there, I added another dark color to define the cat, since the black parts looked odd with the background. I wish I would have taken two more progress pictures. The first several paint strokes of the extra dark body color did amazing things. Next, I finished all of the formerly black background with a dark green. It would have been good to take pictures of both of these steps. However, my energy level was terrible and I didn't feel like going upstairs two additional times to take pictures in natural light. I have been fighting and, mostly, losing the battle with a wicked cold this week.

The very last thing was suggesting the other eye. The finished result is below. It was fun pushing this to completion.

#166 Marvin In Green - 8" x 10" in paper, regular palette
Here is a painting from the same source picture from back in August 2016. Even with the hideous green, this painting reads so much better.  It's all about the values and the shapes (which is the mantra that I need to keep repeating to myself).

Also in all of these value paintings, it's been amazing to me how little you need to represent an eye. This is especially true of the suggested eye that I added at the last minute. It's just one stroke with a tiny, tiny highlight and it adds so much!