Monday, October 25, 2010

Daily Painting Practice - Stand Back From the Still Life

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Has no Name Yet - work in progress
oil on canvas

Remember this one? I could name it "resurrection" because I think it has come back from the dead. (several times).  I like how it has developed though, and as you can see, I have been having lots of fun with the texture of the wall in the background. ( not so much fun with the texture of the  orange.)
One idea behind this painting was all about painting different textures.  But now, I am at a familiar spot in the painting process... the  "Stand Back from the  Still Life!" spot.
I was  reading one of my  favorite art blogs, Art and Influence, written by  Armand Cabrera. His latest post is titled "(Bouguereau Quotes Part 2".)
 There is one quote from Bouguereau I can really relate too. (especially now)

"Starting a picture is very pleasant, for you always believe that this time you’re going to create a masterpiece; you take pains, and little by little the painting takes shape, the effect comes through. You feel marvelous sensations. When it’s done however things are different. You want to touch up the arm, the movement of the body doesn’t seem graceful…and you end up doing nothing for fear of having to redo the whole thing completely."

I get that feeling a lot. The best way I have found to get past it is to  take very small steps. First take a tiny section. ( perhaps the  light side of the orange)  Analyze it, look at it critically.( go back to  my last two posts) and fix that  part. Then take another small part and fix that area.  Keep moving and  you will soon have gotten yourself past  your dilemma...

Of course you may end up right back where you started... needing to step away from the painting!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Daily Painting Practice - More Marigolds corrected and complete

Last week I posted different ways I check my  work and asked if  you could  spot where I needed to go back and touch up.  Many of you who commented or wrote me emails did a great job seeing what needed to  be fixed.   (Isn't it easier to see mistakes on a painting by someone else?)

click on the image to enlarge the painting

More Marigolds
oil on panel

I fixed many of the things you commented on. Now I'm ready to move on to other things.

Like Mums!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Daily painting practice - how I check a flower painting

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Marigolds - work still in progress
( needs a real title)
oil on masonite

There are many times I sign a painting only to find out afterwards that it needs more work. That's why it is a great practice to have a few ways to crtique and check the work.
One way is to turn the painting upside down. This helps you spot problems with the drawing and it gives you a different perspective to see how the light falls across the form.

Another check is to look at the painting in a mirror. This reverses the image, now everything on the right side is viewed on the left. Does the composition still hold up?

I also like to take a photo and check the progress without color.

Now that I showed you what I have checked. Can you spot the areas I need to go back in and fix or touch up?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Daily Painting Practice - Phillips Mill Inn Complete

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Phillips Mill Inn
oil on canvas

Completed one! yeah. Feels good. I had the hardest time with the foreground. I removed the road and used my artistic license to add grass and a few extra steps. I needed the foreground not to be too detailed or it would distract the viewer. But it needed to be detailed enough to look like grass.
Here's some details.

I really like how the windows turned out. It was important not to let the reflections and hints from the interior details take over but keep them muted. The flower box was fun. I went over it several times to sharpen some edges, especially the hanging leaves and the top.

I left one of the mailboxes. I painted it over about 4 or 5 times. The flowers and iris leaves were an important detail for the right side. They stop the viewer's eye from trailing off the painting.

Overall, I had a lot of fun with this one, even though I struggled. Thanks to my gang of 4 for all their help too. They kept me going when I was ready to throw in the towel..

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Daily Painting Practice- Gout and about with marigolds

 The Gout by James Gillray ( 1799)
( that's  my foot )

I thought  I had a good excuse for not posting  the past  2 weeks. I had a bout with gout. That's right gout . You know the  disease of kings. ( Ben Franklin, Alexander the Great had it)  It  is excruciating on the worse days...  just plain painful on the good days. And to make matters worse  you need to  keep your foot above your waist or  it explodes. ( at least it feels like it would)  When I finally  could sit up  I tried to paint  with my  foot up.

After two weeks I'm almost back to normal. I have to keep my complaining and whining to a minimum because I researched other artists that had gout. Michelangelo ( that explains why he painted that little chapel on his back), da Vinci, Corot, and PeterPaul Reubens (he died from it). So much for excuses on how I can't get any paintings done.
  Here's the  companion piece to last  week's  Marigolds.

I like to start these with a dark underpainting to capture the light effects quickly.

I go right into the color but I try to keep it thin or I know I will be scraping it off sooner than later.

More Marigolds - Work in progress
oil on panel

I wonder if Michelangelo ever said "That's enough, I need to put my foot up"... probably not, but I bet it sounds good in Italian.