Friday, July 29, 2011

Back Alley Girls 6 x 6 Oil Painting

"Back Alley Girls" 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord


The alley behind our studio has some lovely garden spots. One right outside my window (nearest my easel) has hollyhocks and some wonderful sunflowers. These called to me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Finished the tunes of Diana Krall

"Apple and Copper Bowl" 5 x 7 Oil on Gessobord

Click Here to Purchase Painting

I've really been enjoying painting to Norah Jones and Diana Krall these past few times in the studio. The music helps with the lines and color, I think!

What I learned about the "continuations" is to prep the area of the painting surface that you are going to work in with the walnut oil...otherwise it's hard to get the paint to "flow" on the surface.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Continuation of Apple and Ribbons

This was my stopping point today. Most of the background and the bowl is in.

This was where I started today, just the underpainting.

The steps I took today to take this painting, 9 x 12 oil on gessobord, was to

- rub down the dry underpainting with some walnut oil to get the board to accept new paint smoothly.

-put a little glob of Indian Yellow on the bottom half of the painting and wiped it down. Gives me a "glow-y" effect underneath the top layers.

-painted the background it's final color (transparent red oxide and french ultramarine blue), and also the shadow areas of the bowl.

-started with laying color in the copper bowl, being very careful not to alter my value structure

-painted the apple, shadow first, and then the highlight areas

Hope you are enjoying my little "dog and pony" show!

Stay coooooooool!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Back to Painting Today! Aaaaaah......

"Limes, Ribbons and Shadows" 5 x 7" Oil on Gessobord

Click Here to Purchase Painting

After spending last week in Dallas, TX (HOT!) for the Colored Pencil Society of America's 19th International Exhibition and Convention, I was able to get back to my painting today. This painting is one that I started with an underpainting and was planning to "continue".

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Underpaintings..Getting the Structure Right

I know that the thought process behind an underpainting is not real appealing to some artists, but for me it's how I can wrap my thoughts around a painting and know whether it's going to hold together at the end or not.

If I don't use a process that lays out the light and dark structures for me I get very tangled up in applying color. Trying to determine the temperature and the value of the color along with drawing and composition at the same time makes me crazy.

Here is the process I use whether working in oil, pastel or colored pencil. The underpainting process works great for all three.

1. I Carefully set up my still life so that my light and dark areas make an interesting composition. Some folks at this stage will do a thumbnail sketch or take photos to work out the best composition. My lighting is usually coming from the left side (a can lamp with incandescent light in a darkened room) and arranged so it carries the viewers eye to the center of interest near the lower right corner (the Golden Mean.)

2. I make a drawing for placement of objects as well as dark structures in the composition. You can see from the photos that the dark sides of the objects have well defined shapes. I'm not really focused on the accuracy of the drawing. However, the colored pencil medium is a little harder to alter as you are painting so I have to make a more accurate drawing when I work in cp.

3. Then I begin to fill in the values starting with the darkest first so that there is somewhat of an abstract feel to the painting. If you are having trouble determining values for you underpainting a great trick to train yourself to see them is to remove the color from your photo (in Photoshop it's the grayscale mode.) In the colored pencil piece I used Inktense pencils which are water soluble and once the darks are all filled in I applied water giving me a solid base to apply the rest of my colors. In pastel I use a very dark pastel (dark purple, black or dark brown works well). For my oil painting I use burnt umber or raw umber for most of the values,but I use a mixture of transparent red oxide and french ultramarine blue for the really dark areas. You could use black I suppose, but I learned about the red/blue mixture from Daniel Keys video and just love the rich dark that the mixture gives you.

I'm not focusing on final colors or brushwork/strokes at this point underpainting stage. What I'm trying to do is work out all the problems with values, line and shapes which will give me the best possible base for the next stage of the painting which is all out fun and games with color, edges and texture.

For the next stage of your painting you can refine your final painting over the underpainting as much as you like. Some artists leave their colors, edges and textures very loose or painterly, or they refine them to achieve a more realistic, photographic effect.

"Apple and Copper Bowl" Photo Resource in Grayscale

"Apple and Copper Bowl" 5 x 7 OIL (Work in Progress)

"Vintage Teapot" COLORED PENCILS (Work in Progress)

To see more of the process and the finished piece click Here

"Cobalt Blue Bottle" PASTEL (Work in Progess)

To see more of the process and the finished piece click

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Photo of Setup

Underpainting..a point from which I can continue!

The larger my paintings are getting, the more I need to understand how to continue the next day with a painting and still get the results I want (loose, soft edges, intense colors). So it was suggested by my artist friend, Valorie, that I should practice my "continuations". It's been very helpful. And it seems people enjoy seeing the process as much as the finished pieces.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Peaches and Copper Finished

"Peaches and Copper" 6 x 6 Oil on GessobordSOLD

Finished up was a lovely day at the studio today compared to the heat of yesterday. A little iced coffee, a little Norah Jones on the CD...fabulous.