The is a detail from the biggest painting I’ve ever attempted from a live model. 4’ x 3’. I think I got pretty far along in the about 7 hours over three weeks. It’s not done by any measure but a good solid base to finish from a photo. This is Katalin our new model. Again it’s color and value. She had a crown of flowers in her hair like it’s 1967. Far out great fun to paint.
I like dogs. We have three of them. I like painting dogs as you’ve seen in this blog. So why not offer painting of people’s pups on commission.
Reasonable pricing and turn around. A painting may take a week to 10 days. Drying and varnish time 2 weeks to a month.
Thoughts are like vapor. They come and grow and go as they came. With age they are harder to solidify.
This is a painting done with 75¢ brushes. Bristles on the edge of control. Simple complementary colors with just a little contamination. Softened layers with big brushes. I can see more of this to come.
What can be more boring than blue skies. Gimme some clouds. Big puffy things .moving fast through blue yonder.
I did this rough piece as a demo on pushing value to create dramatic effect and keeping color in a value range. Painted on canvas pad about 9 x 14”
Value is the most important thing most of the time when making a painting. Color in itself is value.
While Catherine is basking in the sun down in Florida we a painting away up here in the Upper Delaware Valley. Shoveling snow and sharpening Yak Tracks. But we have a fantastic new model . I’m starting with bigger canvases. This is 20 x 30 oil on canvas. It’s not quite finshed. The textural details are all that’s left
The piece bellow is a 30 x 40 piece. The biggest figure piece I’ve ever done. The figure is pretty much painted the ‘background’ need a lot of work. A great pose.
Working big like this is challenging for me. Managing the amount of paint on the palette is a real challenge. My structured palette helps but I really need to use a bigger palette
Around here I seem to always looking out of some valley made by some tiny little creek. Then there are spots like this when pop there you are looking 50 miles into the next state over.
I chose this to paint because it’s a natural composition. I painted with chromatic neutral mixes enhanced with color. The dark in the middle ground is a cloud shadow. They always amaze me the way they change the landscape as they sail over us.
This scene his about a quarter of a mile away from the painting in my October 16 blog post “A view along the way”
I may fix it up a bit. Or not.
Some short poses from Tuesday nights session. 15, 10 and 5 minutes.
The element of time comes into play when drawing short poses. What do you do. How do you approach the paper. Try and express whole figure or just the essence. The sensitive placement of the hand. The elegant point of the toe or the rhythmic twist of the torso? Mostly there is little tome to choose. You make some quick measures and attack. First with the charcoal then with the chalks. No time to recheck proportions. Just trying to get the feelings.
It’s not hard when the model is a dancer, an artist.
This is a painting of Josh Bills. Part of a portrait swap we are doing on my artist forum. OpenStudio. Learning to Paint Realism with Oils
There are 4 pairs of painters. Each painting the other from photographs provided. There are to objectives in this challenge. First assuring that a good photograph is provided and understood. Second objective is managing value and color focusing on spectral color.
I added to my personal challenge by selecting Geneva Paint as my palette. Geneva is a more liquid self leveling paint with a slow drying formula, I started by mixing my 12 color pallet from Ultramarine Blue, Cad Yellow and Pyrrole Rubine. Then mixing set of tertiary semi-neutrals.
The painting got it’s start as a half size touch painting on paper. I worked out rough color, value and likeness. I tried to get a handle on the Geneva and groused a lot. The color is good but it hard to handle the paint with an expressive brush.
I made a outline “master” from the painted sketch. I projected to sketch to the final canvas. A panel I had made with Raphael linen on wood panel. I had to make a lot of corrections to the features. The Painting took over a week because off the slow dry characteristic of the Geneva paint. It would have been 3 or 4 days using Lukas paints.
It is still not finished. Some spots are still wet. Very wet. Need to do a little glazing. All in all I happy with the painting and the experience.
Over the past several years I’ve been exploring color with a keener eye. Guided by my painting buddy Judith Reeve and he excellent blog Attentive Equations. Over the years I would either work from a preset palette or a spectrum palette. I would build a 'sub-palette' from the resource painting from the sub-palette mixtures. Usually a photograph. I started seeing similar colors reappearing in my sub-palettes. I was seeing some of the colors on Judith palette and asked how she was getting them. It turns out that there is a logic behind color. The more I delve into it the more the simple logic of color is revealed.
These are some books that help reveal color.
The Principles of Harmony and Contrast of Colors and Their Applications to the Arts by M. E.Chevruel. This is where the practical description modern color in the applied art begins. A tough read but essential.
John Sloan on Drawing and Painting. A Dover Book. The Art Spirit by Robert Henri. A Dover Book. Two essential reads of the emmerging views of color from the early 20th century . Sloan begins to layout the his color principles.
A painters palette; a theory of tone relations, an instrument of expression. Denman Ross. Forgotten Books An Introduction to the Language of Drawing and Painting. Volume 1: The Painter’s Terms by Arthur Pope. Harvard University Press A couple of Harvard guys who tried to unify tone and color. Fascinating but can be difficult. The challenge for me is to simplify for presentation.
Interaction of Color by Josef Albers. Yale
I’ve added this because it deals with color massing in a fun way. This is how color was taught in art school in the sixties.
The continuing process off understanding Catherine. From Judith Reve’s drawing class, Drawing for art instructors, or something like that. After about a year we’ve all progressed to capturing this level of drawing in about 2 hours give or take. Drawing in like any effort. You learn it do it all the tome you get goo. But also fast.
Cleaning out some draws to make room for stuff that I’ll clean out in a few years for more stuff. I found these. From my days on Beacon Hill at Kennedy Studios. Primo’s was around the corner. I did these and a lot more in trade for food. Yummy. I had a lot of fun those days. Too much fun if that’s possible. I was a cartoonists working in the alternative newspaper scene. Mostly for the Real Paper. Sometimes for the Boston Phoenix, the dark side.
Here is a Phoenix piece.
For most of the past year I have been taking a weekly drawing class with Judith Reeve. The class was put together to teach art teachers to draw the figure. A more classical in approach than I have done since art school. I didn’t see the relevance then. I did well at it but pursued a live in humor. What a laugh. Looking back at the thousands of humorous characters that I drew over 18 or so years. All from my imagination! I couldn’t have done it without those three years of life drawing classes. I can still remember Mr. Litberg in his grey painters smock an pipe. The model Mr Fisher who had modeled for Picasso in the 1920s.
Today I understand that I couldn’t do anything without drawing the figure on a regular basis. Everything about scale, color, perspective is understood in the figure.
I bought some cortlands to make a pie. I think Cortlands make the best pies. I was fussing about in the studio and found this nest. So it just seemed like the right thing to do. I put an apple in it. Then I forgot it. I was cleaning the palette and saw the apple in the nest. I smelled it too. Time to paint . I painted it yesterday. Just stood up and painted it over the day. Scratching and brushing brushing and scratching until it was done. I think. Pretty much a neutral palette excepting the apple wihich has a lot of Raw color. Tomorrow Pie.
Last weekend I attended a Peter Fiore workshop. I alway get a boost of freedom when I paint there which I do several times a year. This time I was able to combine the looseness that I always seem to find there with my ever more focused approach to color. The base colors here are all semi—neutral colors derived from my 12 color spectrum palette. When I need a saturation boost I tint with a top line color. I’m not a conscious color temperature guy. I always figure if I see it I'll get it. Here I started out with the understanding of a two zoned color temperature palette. I think I succeeded.
This is a tough painting to photograph will ail the thicker than usual brush strokes. Its pushing a little red in the sky. Most of the subtle touch strokes are evident though.