Over the past 4 years we've been very lucky to have some terrific model here in the Upper Delaware Valley. This is Corrine from the latest session at Pauline's first Tuesday drawing social. these are 1 minute to twenty minute poses. A tremendous model. An athlete artist. Her poses are classic and inventive.
Working from life has become pretty much normal now. Working with models is the best part. The figure contains all the proportion, perspective and spacial challenges you need. It requires energy and some on the fly imagination
Of course there is the majestic Catherine who never strikes a bad pose. Who Johan, Judith and I have been painting for the better part of two years.
There is Justin, Marie Louise, Racheal who was Ianni's favorite, Dianne, Miguel, Mary, and Soha. And a bunch whose names I can't remember. The best part of being an artist.
This pear is painted with Geneva Colors mixed with Gamblin Cold Wax medium as were the cucumbers. The wax makes a wet and hard to manage paint workable and even pleasant. But thats not the only thing about this. This is the fourth painting I've done with my John Sloan inspired semi neural and neutral colors as my principle palette. Also my block in, underpainting, was done with acrylic paint. Fast and quick drying. The violet towel in the background with the orange stripe weaving through makes a nice secondary color theme of Green, Violet and Orange.
Last summer we grew we grew a few vegetables in our little garden. Including these cucumbers. Early on they were great but then can a blistering hot dry period. Our well could only handle a little bit of watering.. so the early guys were the best of the season.
I painted this on a panel with Geneva oil paint. Which is a very loose paint with high pigments content. For me it's been hard to paint with. I found a material called Cold Wax Medium from Gamblin and thought I'd try to add some body to the Geneva paints with it. It worked!
Here's an iPhone shot off the near finish. Waiting for it to dry and then a layer of glazing.
Finally completed. It's been about 6 months of false finishes. The color is pretty much dirivitive of Sloan's color wheel. Mostly what he called Semi Neutral or Bi Color. With a little bit of what he called Hues. The hues are derived from the secondary neutrals. These are colors that I have tubed so that when I need them they on the palette and working for me. Mixing time is more focused. More time to see. I've been gradually moving into this neutral color zone for over a year now. As you can see these neutrals are pretty colorful. There are occasionsl full strength accents that pin the colors down. There will be more of this color technique for sure.
This weekend I attended Peter Fiore's 3 day painting workshop. I have been doing this over the past few years. My paintings have improved. I can thank Peter, Judith Reeve and Johan Sellenraad equally for any improvement. You just can't do it alone.
Peter's workshop is geared to those of us who like to work find paintings in photos. This weekend I looked for paintings in three or four paintings and found 2. The process is simple and in the tradition of inkspotting an image the I learned from Norman Baer out of the Brandywyne illustration tradition. Make some rectangles and with a big brush make some abstracts from the photo.. Work a selection up to a rough. Maybe you found a painting. Not a photograph. Sometimes its close to the photo mostly only influenced by it.
Here are the 2 potential painting I found this weekend. These will be painted or at least attempted over the next couple of months.
This is my brother-in-law Moose aka Dick. He is the craftiest cribbage player in the known world. It had been a long time since I'd done a portrait so... As mentioned in earlier posts I've been looking for color neutrality in my paints. Achieved. This was painted with Sloan's bicolor and hue mixes almost exclusively. It's not like I wouldn't have gotten here from my modified spectrum palette but this took no time to find color. I even had time to think about painting rather than chasing color. I was so happy with the color that I have started tubing up the mixes with Judith Reeve's help.
I used this to demonstrate the process on my forum. I started this site to help a few friends with their painting. Anyone one can join. I'll be offering a web site link from there that guides the user through making structured color with a spectrum palette. Coming soon.
This is a painting of a white pine on the river road in Milanville, PA. I have focused on this tree for several years for its unique little setting. It has enough space around it to allow light to get into it. That space has allowed it to spread out and not have to loose it's lower branches. On this cloudless day I notice how beautiful and neutral the scene was. I had to paint it. Had to. It gave me a chance to make a neutral palette from a spectrum palette and paint only with the neutral color.
For several years now Ive been looking for a structured approach to neutral color. Not mixing bubble gum and jellybean colors until I achieve an acceptable 'gray'. But a quick and economical method. The answer was right in from of my face. My life painting friend Judith Reeve had the answer. https://attentiveequations.com
Using H. Denham Ross, Robert Henri and John Sloan as her spirit guides she focuses on the depth and power of the spectrum palette. Sloan created a triangular color grid that, with some pain in understanding, offered me what I was looking for.
Using Sloan's 'color grid' I've begun to build a web based interactive.
The goal. To help artist understand structured spectrum color mixing. By using a visual tool an artist can internalize the process.
Speed and economy.
This is our old tractor barn. In it is a tractor and a lot of other stuff. Its old. Made from recycled wood. The beams are just trees.
I photograph this barn all the time and have painted it at least 3 times in the past. There is sits . On a little bump.
This is really a value study using neutralized tints derived from my spectrum palette. The colors are turning out to be very rich and powerful... Stay turned.
Not it's not a Syrian folksinger. This is a painting of an apple that I picked next door in the Damascus Town Forest. Damascus PA not Syria, It is of unknown variety. This area of northeastern Pennsylvania was covered in orchards at one time. Some time over the last 50 years or so most orchards were abandoned for one reason or another. Some years there are so many 'wild apples' that you can pick to your heart's content and have apples of many varieties for months. This year not so much.
Anyway I painted this as a challenge to myself to paint with Geneva Paints all by themselves. Geneva paint are a slow drying very fluid paint developed bu Mark Carder. Several years ago i did testing for them during their development in conjunction with my regular paints. I never really got the chance to build a palette from the limited color set of Ultramarine Blue, Roso Corsa (red) and Cadmium Yellow. So I mixed a spectrum palette; Red, Red Orange, Orange, Yellow Orange, Yellow, Yellow Green, Green, Blue Green, Blue, Blue Violet, Violet and Red Violet. Very nice color. All from the original 3. Color is amazing.
Recently I have been learning how to build a working palette from the spectrum. Mostly from Judith Reeve* one of my life painting group. A working palette of semi neutralized color. More true to the real world of color. And faster to mix to match real world color use. This painting took about as long as most of my 6 x 6 Kitchen Art pieces. Somewhere around 2 hours. The Geneva Paints were a challenges though the colors mixed beautifully. Fast and predictable. The color blocking was very quick. The finish was difficult. The body of the paint is somewhere between liquid and very heavy cream. It stands up but doesn't have every cohesion to bring a mongoose hair brush to a point. So toward the end I swapped out Geneva White for my white. Much better.
All in all a successful attempt. I'm sure theres a way for me to boost the body in Geneva Paint.
On to the next one
* Judith Has a fascinating web site full of magnificent paintings and incredibly brilliant study of color and composition. https://attentiveequations.com
The is is Justins 3rd pose with use. It’e His third pose ever.. He’s a great model it turns out. He hold a pose for a half hour and gets right back in after a break. Long distinct features and a unique look. This pose is a serpentine hind of thing. Resting back on a stool in extension. Foreshortening, backlit, and the changing lighting condition of a pose over three sessions.
It’s not finished very much to do but I very much like the direction. For over a year now I’ve been trying to understand the Sloan Triangular color wheel. The concepts of semi-neutrals and hues produced by using the triangular configuration. I and starting to get it enough to apply a bit of the knowledge on the fly.
A little addition to my collection of ‘Kitchen Art’ paintings a colorful and yummy Bartlett.
The past few weeks we painted Justin standing In Johan's studio. Everything about the pose was terrific. The gesture, the light. the environment and Justin's unique body expression. This is a departure point for me. I started this painting not drawing but blocking in the masses with a biggish 1 1/2 inch varnish brush. Its a 24 x 30 canvas. Over three weeks I worked up to the drawing. I't a bit unfinished but I like that. There are a few things, direct light, reflected light planes. When I get to it.