Friday, December 31, 2010

Vintage Bottles - Daily Painting

"Vintage Bottles" 4 x 4" oil on gessobord Daily Painting

Happy New Year everyone....well, tomorrow actually.

Today's daily painting is of my two little Anchor Hocking vintage bottles. Love these little guys, but painting them was tough. So I took a photo, did a notan to get the darks laid down(black and white image on my computer), and then squinted really hard to get just enough detail to get the bottles to read.

The tough part was to get a composition that had some cohesion and not just two bottles sitting on a table. Besides, the shadows and the reflections were what made me want to paint them.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Morning Snack 4 x 4" Daily Painting

Morning Snack 4 x 4" oil on gessoed board Daily Painting

I don't usually paint fact, I can only remember one done in colored pencil years ago that was a "hide in the closet" piece. But we received this lovely box from Harry & David for Christmas from our real estate agent/good friend, and there were these two lovely apples as part of the fantastic display. Hubby ate all the pears before I could paint them, so I'm left with this one apple.

For my daily painting today, I decided to try one of these little 4 x 4 gessoed boards I got at the art store (my son gave me a gift certificate for Christmas!) They handle much different than canvas and once you lay the paint on you're pretty much done otherwise you get mud. I think the surface of these boards will work well for the classical layering approach to oil painting.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cutie in a Cup - Daily Painting

"Cutie in a Cup" 5 x 7" oil on canvas board - Daily Painting

I don't usually a bird's eye view composition (from the top), but I liked these little cuties I pirated from my son's refrigerator yesterday. The cup and the viewpoint seemed to be a little more of a challenge for my daily setup. I also used south light from the window this morning to set it up, another challenge. I am used to classical lighting from the left with a incandescent bulb. I really had to observe on this one.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Break Time - Daily Painting

"Break Time" 5 x 7" oil on canvas board
Daily Painting can be purchased here

Ooooh...back in the studio today! Very productive day, worked on my daily painting and then started glazing the background on a little larger piece. Two very different types of oil painting requiring very different skill sets.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve!

"Mandarin Orange & Tulip Bowl" 9 x 12"
oil on board - Work in Progress

I had such fun yesterday....painted ALL day. I finished the "dead" layer on this painting and I have to say it was very satisfying. There's something about black/white paintings that I find appealing. I worked in white colored pencil on black illustration board a few years ago. "Onion" was one of my favorites.

Merry Christmas to all that celebrate this wonderful holiday, and a peaceful holiday season to everyone! However you celebrate, make it about love.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Working on Dead Layers

"Plain Mandarin" Dead Layer WIP
5" x 5" on Gallery Wrapped Canvas

I see "Dead Layers" that bad??

Anyway, the Umber layer of the two paintings I'm working on have been completed and are finally dry. They are:

5 x 5 "Plain Mandarin" on gallery-wrapped canvas

9 x 12 "Mandarin and Tulip Bowl" on Gessoed Board

Here you see the small 5 x 5 with what's called the "Dead Layer", which is nothing more than a grayscale painting in oil over the Umber Layer. I completed the dead layer today in just about two hours. You can see some of the Umber showing through which gives more depth, I think, than just a plain greyscale underpainting. So I guess that's an even dead-er layer.

OK enough to "dead layer" the bigger painting, "Mandarin and Tulip Bowl".

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's a Crock (Pitcher)

"Pitcher" 5 x 7 oil on board
not available for sale

Warming up in the studio today with another little alla prima daily painting. Speaking of warming up, we had to open the door and the window at the was such a lovely day. We could see the dark clouds to the west, but it was sunny and 50 degrees plus in beautiful downtown Golden.

We had visitors at the studio today, some friends of June's. One friend brought her two boys, 4th grade and 1st grade. I just happened to have some extra pencil sets and gave them to the boys. They were so thrilled, you just never know what impact you might make on a child that loves art. I was one of those kids who received art supplies from a neighbor and it started my quest to learn everything I can about painting and drawing.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

While Paint is Drying

"Mandarin Orange" 5 x 7" oil on board

While I'm waiting for paint to dry on some of my more involved paintings I thought I would try a small alla prima painting. Alla prima just means no layers, painted directly onto canvas or board. In this case I did have the canvas toned with a peachy, umber-y color.

I'm not an alla prima painter or really an oil painter for that matter....but I rather like the freshness of the approach and the chance to see the brush strokes.

My studio mate, June, and I decided we need to do these every day we paint as a warmup. The cost of these daily paintings will be minimal ($18.00 includes shipping) and available for purchase on my Etsy Shop. Click here to purchase this painting.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mandarin Orange and Tulip Bowl - WIP - Oil

"Mandarin Orange and Tulip Bowl" 9 x 12 Umber Layer (Work in Progress)

As mentioned in my last post, I've been looking at the work of Dennis Whalen and a few other artists who use the techniques of Flemish painting.

The first thing I did was draw my composition on my gessoed panel (9 x 12). I then went over it with ink (I used a Sharpie). I can only guess at this point that the ink drawing is to preserve your drawing when you tone your canvas and if you don't like how the first layer is going you can wipe it off and still have your drawing ready to go.

Toning the canvas consisted of applying and wiping with a cloth a thin mixture of Burnt Umber oil paint. I used Walnut Oil as a medium to thin the paint. I let that dry for a day.

This picture is the Umber Layer...I've also seen it referred to as the Umbra Layer. The purpose of this step is unknown to me at this point, but I have to tell you it's the most fun I've had in a long time. Just the patient application of paint in a value study.....such tedium and so relaxing.

I'll let this dry for a couple of days, and then I apply the "dead layer".....doesn't that sound horrible??

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Glazing on Strawberry Started

"Strawberry on a Plate" 9 x 9" oil on board

This color glazing is going much better than the cup and grapes from Monday. Things I have learned so far:

1. Some Flemish painting techniques start with an umber value study and the second layer is the "dead layer" which is the greyscale underpainting. Then go to color glazing. Check out Dennis Whalen. I skipped the umber underpainting although I can imagine it would warm things up a bit.

2. Don't put in the highlights when doing the usually leaves ridges that can't be corrected without scraping the canvas/board. Only add the highlights towards the end.

3. Be careful of hard edges that you create in the underpainting.

4. A mop brush is a big help for gradations and smoothing the paint without actually pushing it around.

There may be more learnings as I go....but for the first two oil paintings done with this approach I'm happy with the direction. I just need to get familiar with my palette, mixing colors and using the medium.... in my case walnut oil.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Glazing Color over the B/W Oil Paintings

"White Cup and Grapes" 9 x 12 Oil on Board

I did two oil paintings in greyscale, a value study. I don't have a before picture of this painting, just with the color glazed on.

There must be a trick to photographing oil paintings which I have not discovered yet, because there is a lot of reflection especially in the dark background...but you get the idea.

This was a tremendous amount of fun, and a great experiment. I'm going to try more....