Friday, September 21, 2018

Goodbye My Friend

Since my first large painting was of Dorian, I've been wanting to do a large painting of my other gray cat. I started it last week and finished it on Wednesday. I don't believe in forces at work other than coincidence, since Ella's health situation has been fragile these last two years and she has slowly been declining.

On Wednesday, she was eating and was social. Thursday morning, she stopped eating and she started to withdraw later in the day. We brought her to the vet this morning to see to see if there was anything else we could do. There was not and it became time to let her go.

Goodbye sweet Ella Phant. I do not have the words to express my sadness.

#261 Ella Phant - 18" x 24" - hardboard 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Hello There!

Earlier this week, I started a small painting and a large painting. The small one is my September painting for Art 4 Shelter. I had one false start. On my second start, I liked it better before I got a little fussy with the bird.

Looking at it later, I decided that the darkest darks on the bird needed to be darker.

#260 - Hummingbird At Feeder 5 x 7 - paper

I also started working on a large cat painting. From the beginning, I have fought with this painting. Lighting, paint colors, paint strokes - - you name it. About 15% in, I was tempted to sand it, gesso it, and start over, but decided it would be better to keep working and finish it. I’ve been working on it here and there in small pockets of time. Finally on Thursday morning, I got into a flow with it and it just felt good to enter that space in my head. Right after that, I left for a long weekend out of town with a friend, so I don’t be back to finish it until next week. 

One other thing, I signed up for a set of painting classes with Carl Oldvedt at Wet Paint. They start in mid-October. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Another Busy Work Week

This week, I mostly played around with making brush strokes, so I did not paint with an intended purpose. It was good to just practice making marks.

Last night, I tried to do my September Art 4 Shelter painting and it did not go well. It's already been discarded. So I could end the night on a good note, I did a little planning for another big cat painting. This morning, after a good night's sleep, I drew out another Art 4 Shelter painting, so I guess I plan to work on a small work (5" x 7") and a large work (18" x 24") this week.

I did quick value sketches of both. I'm not sure that I am really massing values and value shapes, but I did think this is helping me think more "big picture" rather than focusing on the details.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Paint Strokes

While I made a promise to myself that I would not go crazy with either critiquing or culling my monthly Art 4 Shelter submissions, the memory of the paint strokes in this one kept bugging me. I decided to revisit it before painting my September submission. I painted it without looking at the first version until I was done.

#259 - Cabin Dock at Sunset - 5" x 7" - paper
I like this version much better and will submit this one.

The lesson in this is that the direction of paint strokes matters. While values and the value shapes are important, so is how you "build' the value shapes through paint strokes. This is a hard lesson for me, since I don't have an intuitive sense of this and need to learn from trial and error. That's why I wanted to redo this one. 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Favorite Picture From The Minnesota State Fair

This is my favorite picture from going to the Minnesota State Fair, this evening. Have I mentioned that I love the camera I bought in November?

Lots And Lots Of Timed Tomato Paintings

First up, timed orange tomato paintings. For all of these, I used a size 10 brush. For three of them, I gave myself 10 minutes. For the last one, I gave myself 8 minutes, which made me frantic. The one in the upper left-hand corner turned out the best to me and it's the first one I did. It was a busy week, so in this set I did one each day.

#257 - Timed Orange Tomatoes - 8" x 8" - paper

Next up are the timed red tomato paintings. I settled on 9 minutes for each one. This was the right amount of pressure. Ten minutes is becoming a little too long, but 8 minutes is not enough. For the first 3, I used a size 10 brush. Since I made the tomatoes small, I was having trouble with brush control especially with the foliage. For the last one, I used a size 8 brush. The last two on the bottom turned out better to me. The last one looks more apple-like, but the darks on the right side really work!.

#258 - Timed Red Tomatoes - 8" x 8" - paper
I did the first one on 08/31 and did not capture the shape or "weight" of it correctly. After I painted, I tried several quick value sketches of just the tomato. 

Early Thoughts On New Paint Colors

A tiny dab of Yellow Ochre has take up residence on my palette. If I use tiny bits of it when I am mixing yellows, oranges, or reds, it helps me make darker colors. My theory for this is that it is such an opaque color. Usually, I have to mix in some Titanium White, which is also very opaque, but also makes colors lighter. With Titanium White, I think I use too much, so I get opacity, but I also get too much lightness. For other colors, especially blue, I don’t think I use enough Titanium White when I need a lighter shade.

Here are some sample mixes of my new colors, Diarylide Yellow, Pyrrole Red Light and Yellow Ochre . On the bottom row on the left is the "pure" color. Next is the color mixed with some Titanium White. After that is the new color and my current palette color (eithe Hansa Yellow Opaque or Quin Magneta) for the first two colors. Since I’ve already been mixing with Yellow Ochre, I skipped this “test” for this color. In the next row up, I experimented with mixing greens using Phthalo Blue GS and purples with Phthalo Blue RS and the new color, with both a darker and lighter version. Above that, I used Ultramarine Blue in the mixes.

None of the greens or purples really speak to me. It was hard to get something which looked green on the palette. When I painted with these colors, they were on the yellow side and too light. The purples are hideous, which makes sense since Pyrrole Red Light is an orangey-red. The  most interesting mix was the mix of Pyrrole Red Light and Quin Magenta.

I am still going to experiment, since these new colors could be useful in mixing colors for shadows or landscapes. Also, branching out into new paint colors from time to time helps me understand my current palette better.