Sunday, October 21, 2018

Darker, Then Lighter

Once the green tiles dry, I'll bring some lighter tones back in, especially on the right side. There are large skylights in the room, and they create slanting reflections on the glossy tiles.

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



Saturday, October 20, 2018

One More For The Evening

Back to the wigs.

Wigs And Shades, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Making Up For Lost Time

I spent so much time out of the house last week that not a lot got done, so I'm trying to do some painting today.

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

Gotta Work On That Likeness

It's hard to get a resemblance, or it is for me, at least. Being off on a feature measurement by a millimeter or two really changes your perception of the model. So there's more to do on this one. But I'm establishing the various grey tones on the window frames and the curtains.

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

Friday, October 19, 2018

Completed: America Series, Eddie and Jeff

I'm not entirely sure that the corner of Jeff's smile (he's on the right) is correct, but otherwise this painting is done. Of course, once all of the figures are finished, I'm going to go back in and mix up a big batch of background color, then paint all of the backgrounds at once. So those misplaced markings to the right of Jeff will be covered up.

Eddie And Jeff, America Series, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Now I can start another new piece!

Trying Out Color

I'm still trying to get my feet back on the ground after yesterday's overload of beauty. A full day of exposure to golden sunlight and 9 different art venues out in the country made it almost impossible to get to sleep last night. I felt like I was radiating all the light and energy I'd internalized like a rechargeable battery.

Anyway, I do like the way this painting is starting to shape up. I'm mixing the greys using Cobalt Blue and Cad Orange with Titanium; we'll see if that mixture holds up in the long run.

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

Thursday, October 18, 2018

A Ramble In The Country, Part 2

So I met a friend at the Metro, and we shrugged off our political news angst and headed for the country. The fall color is not there yet, despite the fact that it's well into October, but we got a few decent reference photos and visited A LOT of art spaces.

I'll have to check what's on my other camera, but this appears to be the money shot right here:





The day couldn't have been more beautiful. Tomorrow: back to work.

Gazing Out The Window

I got a little more done on this last night, mostly blocking in face and hair. It'll start to shape up soon.

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

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Surprise! I Completed Something

This is actually finished! I thought I had messed it up yesterday, but when I took a look at it later it seemed fine, and after a few more minutes today, nothing more needed to be done.

Morning Light, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
Now I can start something new— especially since I picked up several stretcher bars at the art supply store a couple of hours ago.
Meanwhile, I floated some orange wash over this one:
The Promise Of Evening, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Don't worry, it'll be fine.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Party Colors

Today's work:

Wigs And Shades, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Monday, October 15, 2018

An Attempt To Get It Right

Originally, I created this image through the use of three layers in Photoshop: a basic background layer with the main image; a separate layer for the view of the marshland through the window; and then another layer of the main image on top. So when I pencilled in the vertical lines to establish the window frame at the top, I dimmed the two lower layers and used the measurements on the top layer. The next time I got back to it, I used the lower layer, not realizing my mistake; the measurements are offset from the top layer by nearly an inch. Things didn't line up. After figuring out what was wrong, I let it dry and have now gone back and drawn the window frame lines correctly. Have also blocked in a few areas.

The Promise of Evening, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Weekend Work, And A Little Self-Indulgence

I worked sporadically from Friday through Sunday and then a little this morning. It's a new week, and though I look forward to the ones where I don't have to leave the house and can just concentrate on painting, this is not going to be one of those weeks. But I'll fit as much work in as possible.

Over the weekend I managed to mess up the measurements on the new painting, so I've had to let it dry before going back in and correcting it. I did some more on the wigs painting, and indulged myself by starting a new little cat portrait— I'm doing a bunch of these as a goofy sort of project; a wall of cat mug shots, so to speak. But here's this morning's work:

Waiting At Le Diplomate, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
Each of the tiles is slightly different in color, and there's the added trick of the light coming from the skylights above. So there's some variation. But I like the way it's going so far, and have been using a little gel medium to glaze the green colors.
Here's the new painting in progress:
The Promise of Evening, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
And the latest on the wigs:
Wigs And Shades, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
Last but not least, my little cat painting:
Grey Tabby, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)



Thursday, October 11, 2018

I Worked All Day And All I Got Was This Lousy Grid

Well, it's not really bad; in fact, I have hopes that this will end up being a really beautiful painting. But it did take hours. And there's a lot more pencil work to do (actually, pastel pencil) before i can get to the fun stuff.

I've been struggling lately with trying to finish the 5 or 6 pieces in the works right now or start one of the new ideas that have been nagging at me like a half-remembered dream.

The Promise of Evening, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A Few Refinements

Darkened a few areas, notably the orange-wigged mannequin's neck, the purple hair, and some of the background. It sure is a colorful piece.

Wigs And Shades, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Le Grid

Struggling with the grid for the tiles on this one for the last day-and-a-half; you'd think it would be easy to just measure it out and paint the lines. But sometimes the brush tip lays down a larger than intended line, and the tape placement can be a bit off. No matter; I have to paint over the current lines anyway and also create some darker ones adjacent to them to give the effect of depth.

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

Monday, October 8, 2018

A Ramble In The Country, Part 1

Yesterday we took the day off and drove out to the country to scope out a venue I've been considering for showing my work. It was a lovely day, albeit very warm for October. I took over 350 shots but only about 10 of them might be useful for painting. Here's the best of the lot:


Saturday, October 6, 2018

Modeling The Faces

My camera goes crazy when I take photos of this piece; it thinks the mannequins are real people and it puts frames around the faces and tries to identify them. Ha! Well, nevertheless, the structure of the faces is woefully unreal to me as I look at them, so I've been working on that.

Some of the colors in the original photo defy description, and it's a challenge to try to replicate them.

Wigs And Shades, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Friday, October 5, 2018

Darker

One mistake that I make on a regular basis is to avoid going as dark as I should, or maybe in some cases the paint just dries lighter than it looked when it went on. I didn't have a lot of time to work today, but I did darken a few areas, and modeled the cheekbones on the mannequin at upper left. I'm also spending a lot of time really looking at things, trying to understand what's going on before I try to translate it with the brush.

Wigs And Shades, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Thursday, October 4, 2018

If It's October...

Every year I pick up again on this painting in the fall, in an effort to get it finished in time to show it for the holiday season. And every year something comes up that makes it impossible to do so.

This year, I'm starting off by trying to fix a problem that's been nagging me, albeit subconsciously: simplifying and darkening the ceiling area. I'm also trying to warm things up with deeper reds and red-oranges, and warmer neutrals in general.

A Quiet Evening In Cambridge, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
I think I'll take out that distracting bright spot at upper left. That'll throw the focus on the center of the picture plane and make the whole interior seem more cozy. I'm trying out different colors on the right hand side wall, too, as you can see. Here's the previous version, with a lighter ceiling:

A Quiet Evening In Cambridge, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)






Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Back To The Reds

Since neither of these paintings was slated for the show, I've had them on the back burner for weeks. I listened to CNBC while working on this first one this morning, found it (oddly) to be less unsettling than listening to the actual news. Worked on evening out the interior shadows and the reflections on the glass case on the lower half of the piece.

In Case Of Emergency, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
And here's the other one: I had to stop working because I was screwing up the trim lines below the window glass. You can see the blue painter's tape where I was working.
 
The Gauntlet, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
I'm trying to make some decisions on where to go from here, besides catching up on the things on the Works In Progress page on my website.
 





Tuesday, October 2, 2018

A Sigh Of Relief

It's wonderful to be able to work at a slow pace again, with no pressure. This morning I found an alternate photo of the back room at Le Diplomate, and it showed more of the bartender's face. I like the idea of giving her a face, more personality than in the original obscured shot, so I'm starting to redraw that; I also worked on the main figure and the foreground tiles.

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

Monday, October 1, 2018

Redrawing

I've been looking really hard at my reference photos for the last few weeks in an effort to better understand what needs to be done on the paintings and to kick things up a notch. A lot of time is being spent just sitting and staring before ever picking up a brush, and looking at the photo for this piece, I see there's more to be done on the ocean surface.

Meanwhile, tonight I redrew some of the figure, and I'm also thinking that lightening the woman's hair and making it warmer in tone would set it off nicely against the blue green water.

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



Wet Wigs

It's October 1st already, and for some reason I feel energized and enthusiastic about life this morning. It might be a good idea to stay away from the news for a few days! Anyway, I wanted to get rid of the blank spaces on this one, so have already put in over an hour on it. It's shaping up!

Wigs And Shades, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Sunday, September 30, 2018

This Looks Better In Person

Trying to keep the brushes warmed up.

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

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Next

Today I got caught up on a lot of things that had to be put on the back burner for the last couple of months. After that, I felt like picking up a brush again. This one is fun to work on!

Wigs And Shades, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

The Show Is Up, Part 2

A wall of work... There's more around the corner, but this is the main part of it.


Lots of delicious cheeses, dolma, sweets, etc.


Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Show Is Up!

Of course I got so wrapped up in the logistics that I forgot to take a photo of the gallery, but I did take a shot of the apples. This is the first time I've seen it hung!

The Arrow Of Time (or, The Second Law Of Thermodynamics), © 2017 (click on image for larger view)

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Art Supplies

As the result of visiting my local art supply store, I am now $90 poorer. (And they were out of two of the colors of oil paint that I need.) A roll of decent quality linen costs between $300-$400 these days, so if you're an artist planning a large painting, you have to figure in the cost of the linen and the stretcher bars (which are also going to add another $75-$100 bucks to the total) along with the paint.

On the plus side, my patron picked up the big giant hand painting and paid me for the commission, so I had something to pay the bill with. 

Grey and dismal today, and I've got prep work to do for the show.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Done And Done

A few minutes ago I put the finishing touches on Selfies, after having found several more places that needed additional work. Closing Up, likewise, was finished an hour or  two earlier. I'm trying to decompress right now; the Big Giant Hand is ready to go out the door, and as soon as the patron picks it up I'm going to take a long nap.

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


Closing Up, © 2018 (click on image for larger view)

Friday, September 21, 2018

Brooklyn: Finished!

At long last this one is signed and completed.

When I Woke Up I Was In Brooklyn, © 2018 (click on image for larger view)
 
Closing Up still needs work, but the layers that I have to add are on places that are still sticky! I will get back to the last few spots on Selfies, though, in an hour or two or tomorrow morning.

Coming Down To The Wire

I've actually managed to finish a couple of paintings. Three Women At The Corcoran, of course, was done recently; For Rent is done, and I posted a photo of it nearly finished yesterday, so will not repost it; today I got Selfies to within a half hour of completion, and Chrysler is done, done, done! I'll get back to Selfies later when a few areas dry.

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

 Selfies needs only three lines (two diagonal, one horizontal) and a little finessing of the black glass frames. I'm finally happy with the face!

Here's the Chrysler Building painting:


Chrysler Building, Dusk, © 2018 (click on image for larger view)
Now I'm moving on to Brooklyn and Closing Up.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Nearly Done

But unable to get into gear this afternoon. We met friends for dinner in DC last night and had a great time: the food was good, we laughed so hard my stomach hurt, and I took some photos of a young barmaid in a setting that referenced Manet's Bar At The Folies Bergère. Also found the waiter who posed for my painting Waiting at Le Diplomate and showed him the work in progress, which seemed to please him. So all in all, a great evening. And now today I don't feel like working!

I did a bit of painting on this one this morning, though, and there is so little left to do on it that it's not worth mentioning:

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

Two of the others are  too wet to work on today, I'll have to finish them tomorrow. Going to take a nap and then get to Chrysler and Selfies before the day is out.



Wednesday, September 19, 2018

And A Little More Dark

For Rent, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
The shadowy areas on the left side of the painting needed to be made darker, as did the side of the guy's face. I'm feeling better about this one now, too. And this will all be over on Friday!

Light And Dark

Today's work (so far):

Closing Up, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
I'm happy with this one now. I still need to add some more lights, work on the already existing ones, and tape off and fill in some dark areas, but it's starting to look the way I originally envisioned it.
 
On to the Chrysler building painting— 
 
Chrysler Building, Dusk, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
This is also going well. I think it has maybe 45 minutes more of work left to do on it. Excited about the little white lights that will go into the construction zone area (the orangey part in the middle of the painting).
 
And there's maybe half an hour left on this. The brownstones are nearly done:
 
When I Woke Up I Was In Brooklyn, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Running Out Of Supplies

The bottle of Gamsol is getting really low— Gamsol is the mineral spirit used for thinning out paint and cleaning brushes. I'm also running out of retouch varnish, which I'm going to need once the paintings are dry. Meanwhile, everything is wet, so wet in so many places that I can't work on areas that need another layer until the paint dries.

Maybe I should get a drying medium; I bought some once, years ago, but never used it and now it's all gummed up in the bottle, and brown, besides. This is why I hate to use anything other than plain, pure mineral spirits, a reliable glaze medium, and a dependable painting medium: I want the work to be up to a high archival standard. I don't want the painting to darken or change color.

More work today: touching up a few places here and there. Added some horizontal lines on the back wall, standardized the tables, taped off the extreme right side and painted the vertical frame there in preparation for doing the more detailed work in a couple of days.

Selfies, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
The mysterious construction areas (they are the orangey spots in the center of the painting) are pretty much all that's left on the one below, and those will be fun to work on because unlike the rest of the piece, they are indistinct and don't involve too many straight lines.
Chrysler Building, Dusk, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Closing In On Closing Up

Made some strides on this one last night. Drying time is the big problem!

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

The one below is also very close to being finished. I have to paint in a couple of trees, refine the air conditioning units and the pipes, and do a little more to the trim on the brownstones.


When I Woke Up I Was In Brooklyn, © 2018, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
After a break, it's on to Selfies! Soon I will get my life back.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Weeklong Slog

So much work, so little time. Everything needs to be finished on Friday. Today:

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