Thursday, September 19, 2019

More Cherry Cobbler, More Brushes!

A good friend had a birthday last weekend, and a couple of us got together for a long planned celebration around lunchtime today. Afterwards— since I was already away from the house— i took the opportunity to head on over to the local art supply store and peruse the brushes. I'd looked online to see what else might be useful, and the idea of a "grainer" appealed to me. It would make painting wood grain easier; I could load on the paint and drag parallel lines, then add detail with smaller brushes. Here's what I came away with:





Then I added a few more details to the cherry cobbler painting. It wasn't the most productive day, but at least something got done.


Cherry Cobbler, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)


More Gooey Redness

This morning, so far:

Cherry Cobbler, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Back To Dessert

These dessert paintings really need to be finished. I pulled this panel randomly from the stack of 12 and set about working on the strawberry glaze.

Strawberry Shortcake, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Meanwhile:  the brushes Erin gave us at the workshop are TERRIFIC. I've been using the Princeton "Snap!" ones and they are far better for my purposes than the regular rounds I've been using: they're shorter and stiffer, so they make placement of the paint more accurate and they still have a point for fine details.





Progress

I probably need to amp up the contrast, but the skin tones are definitely better than I've done before the workshop. I am a happy camper.

Coming Of Age In The Year 2018, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Applying The Principles

The work on Grace's face in this little painting is by no means done, but I'm feeling pretty good now that I have a process to lean on. I'm paying a lot more attention to the planes of the face, and am working up from the darkest darks.

Grace, America Series, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Bouncing Around

Had a yearly visit to the eye doctor just before noon, so it broke up the day. Felt more like having fun than stressing over the questions I'd had yesterday, so I started applying paint to this one. It's part of a series hanging in my home; the original version sold a few years ago and I've always missed it, so this one is just for me to fill in the blank in the series.

  Variations On A Theme #2A, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Monday, September 16, 2019

A Period Of Adjustment

Well, clearly, the workshop had more benefits than I'd originally thought. I'm looking at form in a different way, and taking more time to analyze smaller, less conspicuous shapes. Also, Erin provided the group with a packet of Princeton brushes (a brand I use normally) with different tips than the rounds I paint with. For this next piece below, I used something called a Spotter, and it laid down the paint exactly where I wanted it to go on the shirt and apron. So I'm feeling a bit better about my work and am intrigued to explore the other brushes.

Waiting At Le Diplomate, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)



Doubts

Now— as a result of the workshop— I'm questioning the wisdom of everything I do in the studio. Am I being smart about mixing colors? Why don't I make better use of the mahl stick? Shouldn't I be wiping my brush on a rag every time I place a stroke? Am I laying the paint on too thick?

So here's this afternoon's work. There's not much of it; I didn't really feel like sitting at the easel and analyzing color choices for very long. But I'll ease back into a decent schedule soon.

Île Flottante, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Easing Back In

After such a long break, it's hard to figure out where to pick up again. I thought it would be a good idea to start with this piece, since I could apply the things I learned about portrait painting to an area I've been having a lot of trouble with; the face of the waitress. So I started with the darkest darks and am working my way up the value chain— but I'm not liking the grey cast to the skin tones as they exist now so will go back in and warm them up later.

Tuesday, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
It's been a more productive morning than it seems. I've already looked through the hundred and fifty or so photos I took on the trip and cropped and resized a little restaurant scene I want to try next. And I've started stretching a small (8" x 9") canvas for it. Have also examined the work of Rene Magritte from a book I picked up at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, from an exhibition they had there several years ago in hopes that I'll be inspired to try something a little surreal.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Recalculating

You know how your GPS says, "Recalculating," after you've made a diversion from the original plan? Well, that's how I feel right now. I needed to take the last couple of weeks off from painting to mull over what I've been doing and what changes in direction I want to make next.

One thing is to find some darker interior spaces to use as background for some figures. Also, I want them to make some sort of statement. Another plan is to hike up the realism. I spent yesterday at a superb workshop with notable Pennsylvania painter Erin Anderson and learned a lot; specifically: I'm not paying enough attention to form.

The little painting below is oil on vellum, and it took me several hours to get it to this point. It's not done yet, and after fatigue set in and I started to make mistakes, Erin herself picked up on it to correct some errors and work on the neck.

I'm still mulling things over. There are some things I've been doing that haven't worked for me, and now I have to decide what to do next and how far I want to push myself.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Time Off

I need a break from painting, so am doing some peripheral stuff; stretching canvases, going through the photo archives to find images to paint on them; organizing the works that are going into upcoming shows, etc. Be back soon.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Dessert After Dinner

It's now almost 10 o'clock, and I'm washing the brushes out for the evening, but here's the last one for today:

Choose One, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Worked entirely on the background.

Grace, Adjusted

Added some color to the sweater; used the brand new blue for the navy dress; gave the face and hair some dimension.

Grace, America Series, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)