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)