Friday, January 29, 2010

An Update on Chopsticks and a Challenge

"Chopsticks and Tulip Bowl" 12 x 16" Pastel on Belgian Mist Wallis Paper
(Work in Progress)

Last night I started laying in color and shapes in the background. One of the challenges of this piece will be to have the background not overtake the tulip bowl and chopsticks. So I'm being very cautious about too much detail or color in the background.

But another equally challenging issue is the photography of this piece. For those of you who have ever worked with colored pencil on black paper, you know they photograph really well but in real life they look very muted. Well, I've discovered the same issue with this piece. Since I am putting the pattern and color over the black pastel in the background it is very muted, but when I photograph it, it looks much richer in color.

Since I work in a dark studio with an incandescent light on my work (and on the still life set-up), the background looks much like it does in the photograph above. But out in the daylight or in my house under normal ambient light it looks very muted.

It will be a sticky-wicket to get it to work under both normal lighting and bright light/photography.

Unlike colored pencil which is difficult to apply the pigment heavily enough so that it ever becomes "bright", I believe I can get the pastel to be much more colorful....just don't want to overdo.

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Painting in Progress - Chopsticks and Tulip Bowl

Resource for Chopsticks and Tulip Bowl

"Chopsticks and Tulip Bowl" 12 x 16" Pastel on Paper
Work in Progress

The first photo is a shot of the still life set-up in the studio. I am not painting from the photo, it's only here to give you an idea of where I am heading.

The shadows and lights have been blocked into the painting, and I will be tackling the background next. If you look closely you can see the two small white x's in the background. Those spots denote where the figures will be placed. Some of you have seen my dynamic symmetry grids that I draw on the paper before I start. The figures are place in "sweet spots" within the structure of the grid.

The "foreshortened" chopstick was a little tricky, but I kept checking the angle with my pencil and transferring that angel to my drawing paper.

Won't be able to paint in the studio again until Thursday night...I'm itching to get the background in.

On another note...
This excellent site called "Pearathon" has nothing but pears...still life with pears, or just "naked" pears in all their glory. I submitted two pieces "Pears and Cherries" in colored pencil and "Pears on Sateen" in pastel.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Floral Vase Still Life Pastel - Finished

"Floral Vase Still Life" 7 x 12" Pastel on Sanded Paper

I think I finally have come to terms with this one. It was difficult trying to figure out how to pull it together given a dark area and a light area of similar size. However, I increased the light area by diminishing the shadow in the background and added lots of reflected light in the area of the little pot.
The goal of this piece was to acquaint myself with my new still life items, but I think I have a piece nice enough to be framed.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Berries in Blue Pitcher - Finally Finished!

"Berries in Blue Pitcher" 16 x 20" Pastel on Sanded Paper

Floral Vase Still Life Pastel - Update

"Floral Vase" 7 x 12" Pastel on Sanded Paper (Work in Progress)

Finally able to get back to this painting today.

I brushed out the floral pattern on the vase as it was pretty much non-specific and I was having trouble getting that "lit" look back. I redrew the pattern with a pastel pencil and then started layering some color into the pattern. Much happier with that aspect now.

Other things I worked on..

-Added more pink and rose into the "air" color
-Pumped up the reflected light in the small pot
-Lightened up the left side of the table
-Added more color into the cloth as it rolls over the front of the table

Still need to work on the symmetry of the vase. and a little more tweaking.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

CPSA ET!6 Acceptance

My colored pencil and pastel piece, "Vintage Teapot", was accepted into the Colored Pencil Society of America's 6th Explore This! Exhibition. Fifty some artists were accepted for the exhibit which is an online exhibit combining colored pencil with other media.

This exhibit used to be held every other year in a brick and mortar gallery, but in the spirit of "exploring" it was decided to explore the concept of an online exhibit. The top three award winners are invited to exhibit their work at the annual International Exhibit, this year in Los Gatos in July.

I am very excited to have been accepted!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Floral Vase Still Life - New Painting

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year's Eve and Day. It was a quiet one at our house which suits me very well. Not a party person.

The day after the New Year holiday I spent a couple of hours at the local thrift store stocking up on still life objects for 2010. Almost everything was half price and I was in heaven. Among the "treasures" I found were the two objects in this painting. The little pot in shadow is a Williamsburg Pottery piece, and no info on the floral vase but I just loved the color and pattern on it.

As in the last painting, the concept of this was "intensity" where almost everything but the focal point if muted in color. I also wanted to play with creating space in my still life as almost all of my others seems to have the objects shoved up against each other. Nothing wrong with that, but I just wanted these objects to "breathe" a little bit.

Work in Progress "Floral Vase Still Life" 7 x 12" Pastel on Wallis

First Layers on Work in Progress - Floral Vase Still Life

Last year you might recall I picked a word for the year, for 2009 my word was "live". This year I have picked a more descriptive verb if you will, and it is "paint". Mark says he likes this word better than last year, because you can picture an he points out you could "live" never getting out of bed!

What's your word this year?