Friday, November 26, 2010

Daily Painting Practice - Half a week's work - Painting mums

This was a short but busy week in the studio with guests and a holiday thrown in.  I started  several paintings  though and thought I would post half of what I have been  working on. ( I'll save the other half for another  post)

 No this isn't another 8"x8" flower painting. This is a detail of the  24"x36" Mum Mum Mia painting I posted at the beginning of the month.

 The  white mums will be my  focal point so I started there.
 After beginning with the focal point  I decided  to move to the left side and go around the  painting making a color map.
 I like how each group of mums has its own color and character. In a funny way that  helps me paint each area with fresh eyes.
 So around I go adding  just enough detail in this first phase without  getting carried away but keeping my  main  focus on  values and muted  colors.  I have only  worked on the  left side. (had to  take  breaks to eat my  Thanksgiving meal  and then  there were the left overs , visiting, and the apple  pie and ... you  get the picture.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Daily Painting Practice - Spice Jar Complete

click on the image to enlarge the painting

Spice Jar 
 (temporary title)
oil on canvas

Just finished the Spice Jar painting. Can't progress any further without muddling with the paint. That's a clear sign it is time to quit and sign it. I had a lot of help with this one from the gang of four. ( my critique club). My favorite part was the texture in the wall. My least favorite part ( because I painted it over 11 times) was the orange. Over all though I like the painting for the mood and sense of place.
OK, on to the next one!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Daily Painting Practice- tangerines and Rembrandt? Stories behind the painting

 Tangerines and Cut Glass
work in progress
oil on panel

I love a good mystery. And lately I have been listening to ( audio books on the web, while I paint in the studio. Last week was Sherlock Holmes.

There isn't a great story that goes with this painting, but to me, it might be fun to try and create a good mystery around the title "The Mystery of the Tangerines and Cut Glass".

My hero with dramatic light has always been Rembrandt. He is a great orchestrator of light. A great story teller. You can't help but be drawn to the areas he wants you to look at in his paintings. But I never imagined there could be a mystery in one of them.

I love to watch videos or documentaries about great artists. Especially, when they explore the conditions the artist was painting under or explain what every day life was like for people during that time period. Here are two documentaries looking at the same painting by Rembrandt, "The Nightwatch". But, like my days in engineering,(If you ask two engineers to solve a problem you will get twenty three different solutions) you will see that art historians can weave different stories from the same painting.

The first one is a clip (about 9 minutes) from a great series on Rembrandt by Simon Schama (click here to watch) This is the more conventional interpretation with a creative way to discuss the painting.

The other is actually a short movie/documentary (1hr 40 min.) and the best art movie/mystery I have ever seen called Rembrandt's J'accuse, (click here to view)
Which do you believe is the real story behind the painting?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Daily Painting Practice - Tangerines and cut glass - work in progress

I know we are all trying to manage financing these days. Artists are no different when it comes to trying to save cash...(has it ever been any different?)

Tangerines and cut glass. The tangerines from the supermarket  and the cut glass from the  thrift store. Total cost about $4.00. Not a bad investment for a daily  painting practice piece.  They to go together well. Here's the progress  shots

Tangerines and Cut Glass
work in progress
oil on panel

Off to a good start!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Daily Painting Practice - Painting Mums

A few weeks ago a friend of ours was kind enough to let us come over and harvest some of her beautiful mums. Chrysanthemums are a very hardy flower, after it is picked it lasts a long time and takes a lot of abuse. Good thing, because I tried making a lot of different arrangements from the batch only to end up painting the bucket we dumped all the flowers into.

This is the small 8"x10" color study I did. All I was interested in was capturing color notes of the different flowers so I would remember them at a later date.

Mum Mum Mia
only a working title
oil on canvas
Here you can compare the small sketch with the layout on the large canvas. I know , it's a big step from my recent small 8"x8" flower paintings. Hey a guy has to break out every now and then.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Daily Painting Practice - Mock Orange Still Life

Step 3- ( I skipped showing steps 1 and 2; transferring drawing and going  over it with Liquin and dark paint)  Let that dry overnight. Step 3: I started scrubbing in some very thin paint with a very dry brush.

Step 4:  I am establishing some color in the darks. Still keeping the paint thin. I want to make the  vase  feel solid.  You might notice that I only use the drawing as a road map.  I paint  over the  flowers with  half tones though I can  still see some of the drawing  poking through.

Finally, I can start the real fun... the blossoms. These Mock Orange blossoms I clipped from a neighbors hedge row. They last one day after cutting then drop off to the floor. But while they are alive they look beautiful.

I am trying to keep my mind on the light as it travels across the different forms and I keep going back to work on the vase. lighter, darker, more color, muted color... on and on it goes.
 Mock- Orange  
 work in progress
oil on  panel

Now  for the background.... I know, I know, some days I seem to  approach these paintings in  reverse order. I cooled the painting down a bit.   Next steps,  finish background,  clean up details,  go through check list... get approval from the gang of four and sign it... OH... and think of a title. Any suggestions?