Friday, June 22, 2018

Two Hours On The Big Giant Hand

Haven't touched this one in a while, figured it was time to get back to it. Started refining detail and edges on the left side and worked across to do some blending on the hand itself.

The Hand Of The Artist, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Here And There On The Evening Star

I had pretty much come to a grinding halt on this painting. There's SO much work left to do on it, but I'm burned out. I did force myself to deal with a lot of the nitty-gritty details last night, things like straightening edges, painting faces on the customers in the right side window, the brackets that hold up the shelves on the wall, adding glasses on the tables, and painting a tiny little "Don't Walk" hand reflection on the window. It's not so bad once I get started, the problem is just getting started.

Evening Star Café, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Thursday, June 21, 2018

For Rent, And The Big Repaint

It was time to darken the windows in the building down the street from the café, so I did that and added a little of the trim above and below each of them. Also worked in a few places here and there; the girl's hair and scarf, the cup and water bottle on the table, darkening some of the guy's skin tones.

For Rent, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Also moved on to the repaint of Three Women. I've probably mentioned that the figure on the left has always been a problem, but it does feel like I'm finally going to get a handle on it. I'm also trying to decide whether to try to match the wall color or darken it (and the cast shadows from the sculpture).

Three Women At The Corcoran, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

A Diversion

I like to work on the commercial cats project when I feel like painting, but don't want to do the (usually) tedious stuff. Here is a "before" and "after." This particular painting was just so horrible I've been avoiding it for months.
Tuxedo Cat, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Tuxedo Cat, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
Still needs a LOT of work.

Labels

Worked mostly on the upper and lower labels on the fire extinguisher this morning; also a few places up toward the top where the gauge is.

In Case Of Emergency, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Last Night's Work

Put in an hour or two on this one. The figure in the bar window is developing nicely.

Waiting At Le Diplomate, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Exhausted

I've spent the last several days in front of the TV, following the news about the inhumane and disgusting policy of separating immigrant children from their parents. I've written to a number of Republican legislators and the RNC, and apparently so have a lot of other Americans who have a conscience. Hopefully, things will change soon as the president has given in to criticism and has just signed an executive order.

In the meantime, it's been hard to concentrate on thinking about art. It takes time to get one's thoughts together. In my case, the thinking about art has to be sustained and linear, if you can follow that. Distractions break the train of thought, whether you're trying to think about a color palette or a new series of images. I finally got back to the easel after a week of no painting, and yet the distractions continue.

Here's today's work:

Selfies, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
The work on Selfies was mostly in the upper left-hand corner and the left side. I think it's going well.
 
Finding A Shell, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
I keep going back and forth over the shallow water on this one; the way I'd originally relied on the natural taper of the brush really wasn't communicating the truth of the way the water looks— the openings in the foamy surface are more rounded than tapered. And some of the surface catches more light, while slightly deeper areas need to be a bit bluer to project the sense of moving water.
 
There's a fair amount of green and blue in the skin tones, too. Again, I'm satisfied with the progress. Taking a break now.
 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Cats

Had to go run some errands today and was too bushed when I got home to work on anything serious. The cats project appealed to me as the physical painting is loose and free, requiring little in the way of sustained line. Felt like I made good progress on the:

Brown Tabby, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Also on this one:

Marmalade Cat, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Though I think the symmetry is off a bit. Next time.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Like A Turtle

"Slow and steady wins the race," is the way the fable of the tortoise and the hare goes. Well, I my not win any races, but I am progressing, bit by bit, on this painting of a wall of green tiles. It's not the only thing I worked on today, but the other two paintings aren't ready to be written about yet.

Waiting At Le Diplomate, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Monday, June 11, 2018

Working A Second One In

This is going— as they say— slow as molasses, but at least it's moving forward. Worked, again, on the right side of the canvas, but minus the smearing and messiness that characterized this morning's work.

Selfies, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Can't Seem To Get In Gear

It's always hard to start the week, but today was worse than usual. After waking up late from a fretful, rainy night, I forced myself down to the studio and spent an hour and a half smearing paint around, finally giving up. The cat was no help, either; he kept snaking his way around my legs and meowing pitifully until I let him out in the fenced yard a couple of times. I did get a decent amount of work done on the right side of the canvas, though.

The Gauntlet, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Of Cats And Redness

Doing the work on the commercial cats project is like being on vacation. While I take the painting seriously— what's the correct color for this area? How fine do I want the brush strokes to be?— there's a certain freedom about it all.

Here is what I worked on so far today:

Brown Tabby, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
While my own cat was taking a nap upstairs, I was able to sneak down to the dungeon studio and get a bit done on these two:
The Gauntlet, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
In Case Of Emergency, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

A Surprise In The Mailbox

HillRag, the community newspaper of the Capitol Hill area, is featuring my painting, "Navigating The Stones" on its cover this month:


And A Little Wait Time

Waiting At Le Diplomate, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Seashore

Painting water is fun, because the brush naturally mimics the wavy patterns. And the strokes don't have to be precise.

Finding A Shell, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Friday, June 1, 2018

Completed: Learned Pond

Learned Pond, © 2018 (click on image for larger view)
I'm not sure I like the ripples.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Color Change, and: Cats Project

I've continued to be flummoxed by the color of the tunic, which appears in the reference photo as a nice shade of blue in the shadow areas and brilliant white in the sunlit ones. But when I paint it, the color's too intense, even when I think I've lightened it up. Today I tried a new tactic, and added some muddier green-greys since the colors in the water would be reflecting on the tunic. I might try a glaze with some red in it once it dries. In any case, I think it's less jarring.

Finding A Shell, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
Meanwhile: a year or two ago I decided I needed to make some money, and started a series of cat paintings to be printed up as posters. It never went anywhere, but the sight of the little unfinished cats in the studio makes me feel guilty. Picked up on this one today:
Brown Tabby, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

And; Inching Along On The Buildings

You wouldn't believe how much detail there is on these buildings. I started at the top today but got bored and worked a few places in the center as well. It will be a while before this is done.

When I Woke Up I Was In Brooklyn, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

At Least This Is Done

The repaint of this one is finished. I can still see some things that I'd like to re-do, but it's time to just wrap it up and take it off to the gallery.

Keep Out, © 2018 (click on image for larger view)



Mistakes

I don't know how this happens; the reference photo is right in front of me and yet I mis-measure and draw lines in the wrong place. That's what I discovered on the window frame behind the girl's head— that thinner dark vertical line just doesn't exist in the photo.

After adding in some brushy bluish strokes to soften the neon greens in the hillside seen through the window, that whole area now looks too soft to me. Will have to go back with darker blue and pick out some detail.

For Rent, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

This Needs To Dry

So, I worked on some very small places on this piece tonight; some of the restaurant patrons, the table settings, window reflections, brightening up a few white spots, etc., but really all over the place. Now I have to wait for all those tiny places to dry before I can get back to it. You'll notice the little boy in the right side window— he needs to be developed. As does the right side window. I would love for this to be finished, but there are still places to paint.

Evening Star Café, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Roseanne Barr and America; Plus, The Chrysler Building

I am going to get political here for a moment. We in the United States are not all racist lunatics; note the number of people who attended the Women's March on Washington just after the inauguration. Roseanne Barr today apologized for a racist comment she made on Twitter, and ABC, despite the fact that her show was its top moneymaker, cancelled the show after a mere 11 hours. There is hope. There is an incredible amount of disinformation— lies— spread by the administration and its minions on a daily basis, but I am hopeful that the 60% of the population that is not stupid or crazy is going to prevail.

So. Here is the latest iteration of the Chrysler Building:

Chrysler Building, Dusk, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Balancing Yard Work And Painting

...Or, trying to, at least! The weeds are getting completely uncontrollable, so it's vital to get them before they take root. At the same time, I feel more energized about painting; when I catch a glimpse of this one out of the corner of my eye, it amuses me, and I want to finish it. Not so easy a task; I spent over an hour on it today and did not get far. Blending takes A LOT of time.

In Case Of Emergency, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Monday, May 28, 2018

Two Women (And Some Mannequins)

Late this afternoon I spent an hour and a half picking up where I'd left off on this one. I mostly confined my attention to the two mannequins just left of center, and also the face of the striding woman.

The Gauntlet, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Then tonight I lightened (again) the tunic and worked on the skin: 

Finding A Shell, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
And that's it for the night.


Ducks!

I really am closing in on this one. Added the ducks, did a little on the clouds and reworked some of the tree foliage this evening. Need to do the ripples made by the wake of the ducks.

Learned Pond, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Selfies, And The Green Wall

Here's what I was planning to do on Selfies this morning: heighten the orange color that shows up in the ceiling in the reference photo. Instead I got started in the corner of one of the middle panels and then just worked down from there. The stunning orange and yellow light on the ceiling will have to wait until next time.

Selfies, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
I showed this one to a friend of mine, and she likes the green wall. It has a lot more paint on it now than when she saw the image, though. I still think the proportions are off on the waiter, so will have to fix that; and, sorry for the glare; I worked on this last night under a Verilux lamp.

Waiting At Le Diplomate, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

This Will Have Ducks, Part 2

I've still been plagued with insecurity, so have just taken some time off. But then a couple of paintings started beckoning to me ("Finish me!" "Don't you want to work on this foamy sea water?") so after running around doing errands this morning, I got back to two pieces.

This one went remarkably well— the softness that I'd been looking for in the cloud edges finally came about. Not much left to do! The ducks and their watery trails, a bit of softening on the trees, a little ripply detail in the foreground, and that should do it.

Learned Pond, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
Moved on to this:

Finding A Shell, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
Believe it or not, I lightened up most of the purple. The garments are actually white, but in the reference photo, everything's violet blue. I guess I need to go lighter still.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Interruptions

I feel guilty when I'm not painting on a weekday, but there are things that come up that need to be attended to. Hopefully, I'll be able to spend tomorrow painting, and the entire eastern seaboard is supposed to be socked in with rain for the next week, so I won't have to do much gardening...Meanwhile, here is what I worked on last night:

Waiting At Le Diplomate, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Monday, May 14, 2018

Ocean And Pond

Over the weekend, I put in a few hours on these two paintings. The blue-violet on the woman at the beach is WAY too dark, but I've rationalized it by deciding it will be a nice under layer, and I'll just lighten it up here and there.

Finding A Shell, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
I'm happy about the colors of the sea and sky; they look natural to me. 
 
There's been some progress on the pond painting, too. It doesn't look as blotchy in real life as it does in the photo, and I did a lot of blending and glazing to soften the cloud edges. Still some work to do on the bottom half, but it's looking better.
 

Learned Pond, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Friday, May 11, 2018

Looking Forward To The Weekend

I feel kind of worn out, and have only managed to work on Selfies this morning. I might get back to work— it's a hot day outside and the Dungeon Studio is nice and cool— but then again, I might just loaf around. I do feel like I put a lot into the figure on the left and the area surrounding him:

Selfies, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Gauntlet

Mixing the greys for the top area is tricky. There's a lot of red in them, and they have to look transparent in some places, too. You can see the wet paint in the upper left hand corner; I put in a good solid hour on it and some of the mannequins, and the lower back wall this morning.

The Gauntlet, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Shallow Water

Talk about a tedious project— I'm looking as closely as I can (it's really boring) at the surf patterns and trying to sketch them in. There's going to be a lot of color adjustment, the water as seen through the foam is sort of a greenish grey in some places and light brown in others.

Finding A Shell, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Here And There On The Big Giant Hand

Skipped around the picture plane on this one; now time to let it dry.

The Hand Of The Artist, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

This Little Scene Makes Me Happy

With the shadowy figure on the left now visible, I think you can get a better idea of what I'm aiming for. There's another figure, too, on the right in the bar window: a woman waiter shaking a cocktail mixer. I can't wait to get to her, because the light she's in casts shadows on her white shirt that are a combination of violet and orange. What a challenge that will be, and if I can pull it off, what a visual treat.

Waiting At Le Diplomate, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

The Struggle Continues!

I decided the eye was too far forward on the first girl on the left, and some of the other drawing was off, so I'm starting her over. Also, I don't like the fact that she has the same expression on her mouth as the girl sitting opposite from her. They both look like they're pouting. Changes are in order, but now I must re-pot the little spinach plant and plant those dahlias. Hopefully there will be no more snake encounters.

The Chair, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
I did make some progress on Girl #4. And it turns out Cad Red Light, Viridian, and Ultramarine Blue make a nice shadow-on-skin mix.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Using Up The Roll Of Painter's Tape

I did get to work on the two I mentioned earlier, though having the TV on and listening to the political news was distracting. I stuck to taping and painting edges rather than getting too involved in mixing color and trying for the illusion of realism. But as it did this morning, I set a good foundation for what comes next on these paintings.

For Rent, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Because this one is on a thin panel, it bends back against the wall and the dark detail on the right side looks distorted.
 
Next: I do like the way this one is coming along.
 
Chrysler Building, Dusk, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 

Taping Off, and Red and Grey

If you look at the previous posting of Selfies, you can see how irregular the black window frames are. I got tired of looking at them this morning and taped off most of them, then painted them in a standard Ivory Black (which I'll modify with other colors over time) to neaten up the edges.

Taped:

Selfies, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
After painting:
Selfies, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
Then I moved on to taping the top edge on this one and also working some detail in the lower left part of the window near the mannequins' feet: 
The Gauntlet, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
And finally on to Emergency, since I already had some black, grey and red mixed for The Gauntlet. After a break I think I'll tape off a few edges on the Chrysler Building painting, and For Rent. Seems like that's the next logical step with those two anyway.

In Case Of Emergency, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)