Friday, July 15, 2011

"The Swimmer"...WIP

I didn't have a lot of time to paint today, but did manage a little time with my brush and paint.  Here is today's progress.
This is turning out to be some pretty tedious painting so things move along rather slowly.  At the moment it is difficult for me to wrap my head around the painting like I should so I just have to paint a little bit at a time.  I paint a little, leave it for a little while, then come back and paint a little then repeat the steps all day long.  Not the most ideal way to paint because I can't really get in the flow of the painting but it is the best I can manage at the time.  Do you ever have to just "make do" with the time you have to paint... and be happy you have that much?

These are some thoughts from Timothy Clark when he was at Watermedia 2003 in Houston. (Gosh that was a long time ago!!)

  • Line inherits shape, shape inherits form, form is enhanced by value, value is enhanced by color.
  • Pattern is 2-D and texture is 3-D.
  • If you deal with shape and value, form will take care of itself.
  • Composition is the way you organize the elements ~ organize with an underlying element (ie - triangles)
  • Be aware of the emotion that you want.
  • Local color + Light + Shadow = fully rounded form.
  • If you paint orange on top of yellow your blue won't turn green in a sky.
Be Still My Art,


Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Painting

Yesterday I started on a new painting.  I did the drawing and used maskit on the areas I wanted to remain white.  That was pretty tedious work so I didn't get any painting done other than a wash of blue over the entire painting.  Today I have had more time to paint so I have made decent progress on it.

This is one of those paintings where the details will make or break things... IMO!  I don't have a lot of patience so I have to work on the painting a bit, then get away from it for a bit... then go back and work on it some more, and so on.  Slowly, usually very slowly, it begins to pull together.    Do you ever work on paintings with lots of details?  Do you ever get lost in all the little shapes?  Value will be a big key to this painting... that is what will pull the small shapes together into big shapes.

 Color Formulas (in case you don't have them already or have forgotten about them...):
  • Burnt Sienna + Ultramarine = very attractive gray which dries with subtle granular patterns. (An excellent mixture for painting skies)
  • Raw Umber is ideal for dulling blues, yellows and greens.
  • Paint several sequences of colors in areas that move from light to shadow:
                   Red, Carmine, Violet - warm shadow
                   Thalo Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Violet - cool shadow
  • A neutral gray blue - Cobalt Blue + Burnt Sienna
  • Shadows:
                  Dark Shadows- Winsor Blue + Permanent Alizarin Crimson
                  Intermediate Shadows- French Ultramarine Blue + Perm. Aliz. Crimson
                  Subtle Shadows- French Ultra. Blue + Perm. Rose
                  Vary the shadows from cooler (more blue) to warmer (more red)
                  Warmer in foreground, cooler in background

Be Still My Art,



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Daydreamer... Completed!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today was a good day for my mom and she slept most of the morning.  Her sleeping allowed me time to paint... I keep a monitor in my studio so I can hear her and know if she needs me.  It felt so good to paint for several uninterrupted hours.  Painting has been my "Saving Grace".

Some things to keep in mind when painting ... from Stephen Quiller:
  1. See the stroke before you paint it.
  2. Variation: light against dark, transparent against opaque, warm against cool, etc.
  3. Rhythm in brush strokes
  4. Create both negative and positive shapes
  5. Create depth with overlapping forms
  6. Decisions on paintings come up again and again, so push through the painting... MAKE THOSE DECISIONS!
Be Still My Art,


Monday, July 11, 2011

Daydreamer... still in Progress

All of last week I spent at the hospital with my mom who has terminal cancer.  This is a particularly difficult time for me since I have cared for my mom for the past 16 years.  Letting go is never easy.

While at the hospital I used the time to go through old sketchbooks looking for usable hints I might have written down and to go back through some of the books I have that I hadn't looked at in a long time.  I think sometimes it is fun to realize how far you have come or in some cases where you are stuck!!!  One of the books I looked at was Watercolor Wisdom by Jo Taylor.  What a great book... so full of information and exercises to do.  It was in looking through her book that I realized I am sort of stuck  and need to do a little bit more exploring to really find what I have to say.  Time will tell if I really do that or not.  I am pretty big on staying in my comfort zone right now.

I didn't get to do much painting last week, but yesterday and today I have spent doing a little painting just to escape from what is going on with my mom.  Yesterday I spent putting details in the back ground... felt so good to be in control of something!  Then today I spent covering up those details using a technique I found in Alex Power's book Painting People in Watercolor-A Design Approach.

I really have a long way to go on this but am making some progress slowly but surely.  

Judy Morris believes there are five stages to a painting...
  1. idea stage
  2. drawing stage
  3. just paint everything
  4. go back and finish the painting
  5. use magnifying glass or gray cardboard viewing card to look at the finished painting.

Be Still My Art,


Monday, July 4, 2011

My Color Notebook and More Tips... (Oh! No! Not more on Value!)

The past several days have been especially difficult as we had to put my Mom in the hospital on Saturday.  She apparently has cancer that has spread to several places in her body.  We will know more on Wednesday but until then I am struggling to maintain some control... Mom has lived with us for the past 16 years so it will be especially difficult to let her go.  I sit at the hospital desperate to separate myself from the situation so I work on art related things that can be done on the "fly" with few supplies.  Today I penciled in some quick exercises in one of my sketchbooks so that when I had a minute I could just add the color to them and my samples would be nice and tidy in an actual book instead of "floaties" that tend to disappear.  When I got home tonight I just had to hold a paint brush in my hand for a while (at least I can control that, right?) so I painted a few of the samples.

I can also round up all the "floaties" and put them in the book and everything on color will be in one place.... well, almost everything on color.  What about you?  Do you keep notes on mixing colors and samples of different formulas?  What do you keep yours in?

I hope you are starting a notebook on value... if so, here are even more tips that I found on a handout that I have.
  • Place a middle value first for a better grasp of the whole range of value and to reveal light areas.  Add darks last.
  • Full value range paintings lack a dominance... omit unnecessary values.
  • Take a black and white picture of your painting.
  • A small halo of light accents an edge where it meets a dark.  Conversely, a small gradation of darker value will relax the same edge.
  • Keep middle value paintings in the #4 to #7 range... middle values hold a painting together.  We need middle values in large areas or shapes for cementing.  They are the walls that support your windows of light or upon which darks can be patterned.
  • Dark value paintings should be kept in the #5 to #10 range.  They give punch, drama and like light values can be used for structural unity. 
  • Light value paintings should be kept in the #1 to #5 range.  Light values give life, breath and sparkle to a composition and can be used for structural unity.
  • A photo of a sunlit subject usually blackens cast shadows.  Lighten these and put more color into them.
  • Alternate value contrasts along extended edges.
  • It takes a value change to separate a tree from the sky.  Don't rely on a color change to separate it.  Even worse, don't rely on texture.
  • Most brighter colors come to full intensity in mid-value
  • Give most of your attention to the four to seven largest pieces of value in your painting.  If these few large hunks are not the most distinguished shapes you can make, your painting will fail.
Haven't had a chance to work on "Daydreaming" but maybe soon I will have an update on it.

Be Still My Art,


Saturday, July 2, 2011

More Color Tips

These color tips come from the same source as yesterday's ... and that is "I don't know where!"  It is another handout that I have had sticking on my bulletin board for longer than I care to admit.

"High Key" - refers to values in the light range, ie. high light, middle light and low light.  No matter what colors are used the effect will be soft and pastel.  Foreground ~ values 0 to 9, Middle ground ~ values 3 to 5.5, Background ~ values 1 to 3.5

"Middle Key" - refers to values in the middle range.  Foreground- values 1 to 10, Middle ground- values 6 to 9 Background ~ values 5 to 7

"Low Key" ~ refers to dark values... makes the painting feel dark, mysterious and dreary.  Foreground- values 1-10, Middle ground - values 6-8, Background- values 7 to 9

  • Mix Burnt Umber with New Gamboge to make a good value 10 "yellow".
  • Mixed grays can be especially useful when you are trying to achieve a warm or cool color dominance in a painting.  If you are using a predominately warm color scheme, you should also use warm grays.  In a predominately cool color scheme, use cool grays.
  • Alizarin Crimson, Phthalo Green and Burnt Sienna is a nice mixed gray.  (Don't use this to gray a color
  • To intensify warm colors, try tempering them with a little Carmine or Opera Pink.
My Mom has been ill and we had to put her in the hospital today... so my painting time today was not to be.  I did find a small amount of time to paint yesterday, so here is the progress on the painting... such as it is.

Soooooooo much work to be done yet....

Be Still My Art,


Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Few Tidbits on Color and my WIP

These are just a few tidbits on color that you may already know... hope you don't mind a short reminder.

   If you want a color to look:                 Paint next to it:

  • More intense                                   Its complement
  • Less intense                                    A more-intense version of the same or a near-hue
                                                                          (Its neighbor on the color wheel)

  • Darker                                            A lighter value
  • Lighter                                            A darker value
  • Cooler                                            A warmer color
  • Warmer                                          A cooler color
A color that is surrounded by black or a dark value will appear lighter, brighter and larger than it actually is.
A color surrounded by white or a light value will appear darker, duller and smaller than it actually is.

More to come on color at a later time...

I worked on "Daydreamer" today and it seemed that the more I painted on it the more that needed to be done.  Ever get to that point in a painting where you just really have to push yourself to "just put paint on the paper" and not get caught up in all the little details that will come later?  I could have spent all day on just one little section, but I like to paint the entire painting and hold off on the details until last.

Doesn't look like a lot of progress... but any time you are moving forward it is a "good thing", right?

Be Still My Art