Monday, February 18, 2019

Monday Morning Blues

I added some more water detail to the left and lower left sides, but this is an extremely tedious piece to work on, and I want to enter it in a competition next month.

Coming Of Age In The Year 2018, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Wigs And Shades, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
And there's the usual frustration with this one, though the painting on the yellow feathers seems to have worked pretty well this morning. Break time now, hopefully on to some more fun stuff later today.
 

Friday, February 15, 2019

Reconsidering The Aluminum

I took off the rest of the plastic film, and now I'm wondering how much of the aluminum in the foreground I should keep unpainted. It looks like water with highlights on it.

Coming Of Age In The Year 2018, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Meanwhile, more work on the wigs painting. I continue to plod on, but it just doesn't look photorealistic to me.

Wigs And Shades, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)






A Quick Trip To The Country

I'm planning to get back to painting in a little while; in the meantime here are two views of our trip out in the Virginia hills.

Tree branches frosted with ice, Appalachian Trail and Rt. 7 (click on image for larger view)
 
  Bucolic farm scene, State Rd 340 (click on image for larger view)
 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

So Very Green

Added a glazing layer to the green tile wall; next time I'll differentiate between the lighter and darker hues and add some of the light that comes in through the skylights. Still bothered by the flatness of the facial planes.

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

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Hands And Hair

While hands are by no means easy to work on, at least the ones in this painting didn't require quite the level of concentration as in the fire extinguisher one. And hair is always a pleasure to paint.

The proportions on the fingers was wrong, so I redrew them. They do look better to me now.

The Promise Of Evening, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

A Morning Of Work And Not Much To Show For It

There have been constant interruptions this morning, and we are currently waiting for the plumber to show up.

I realized the left side of the fire extinguisher was not correct; the top was further away from the side than the bottom, so I taped it all off and redrew it. Then I tried to get the contour shading right on the bottom label, but it's been a disaster. You can see how ragged the bottom of the label is— I'll have to wait for it to dry and then sharpen it up. This is not the sort of thing to be doing on a day when it's hard to focus. I'll pick up on something that doesn't need so much intense concentration.

In Case Of Emergency, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Monday, February 11, 2019

Glazing The Wall

Glazing is fun, and the blue wash that I floated over the right side wall looks like it's doing its job, making it a bit darker and adding some atmosphere. Sorry for the glare in the upper right hand corner.

L'Auberge Provencale, February, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
I also added some more tree branches in the background.

Red To Raspberry

The right side of this painting has been crying out for me to work on it for months, so today I squeezed out several red pigments onto the palette and gave it a go. The deep reds that I have tend to go purplish, as you can probably see here; not sure whether it's a good idea or not. I also brushed some transparent black up at the very top, should probably do more of that to create convincing shadows.

The Gauntlet, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

The clothes still look flat, will have to do something about that, especially the mannequin on the far right.

The Sunday Paintings

I forgot to post these last night! Plugging along on both of them, but much to catch up on with all the other paintings sitting around in the studio.

Worked mostly on the orange wig (it's nearly done now) and getting the skin color right on the mannequin at lower left.None of the mouths are quite full and pouty yet.

Wigs And Shades, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
Painted a very thin, brushy foundation color on this. It will look awful for a while until I do the next layer.

Tuesday, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Scuffing Up The Stones

The stones that were used to build the old inn are actually quite a warm beige color. But the colors that are bouncing around from the sunset reds, corals, and yellows, and the sky blue, are tinting them. I'm putting a lot of effort into the blank wall at right, but wonder if it's wasted energy; there will be a large tree covering most of it.

L'Auberge Provencale, February, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Bar Scene

This morning's work was on the little Tuesday painting. I did some refinement on the waitress's face and added some more background color. Some of my original window frames turned out to be in the wrong place, so I redrew them.

Tuesday, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Disappearing Plastic Film

I'm looking forward to getting that plastic film off the lower part of the panel. The panel itself is 16"h x 20" wide, and I've worked the film down to the last few inches. I'm not as worried as I was at the beginning about scratching the surface.

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

Grudgingly Back To Work

I just needed some time off, so I spent last week doing crafty things. There's enough accumulated art and craft stuff around here for me to open my own store, and I often feel guilty about not using it. So far I've crocheted a cowl, a shawl, and a dressy metallic-and-black scarf. I've been looking at the beading materials, the polymer clay, and the resin, and have been flirting with the idea of designing fabric. There are just not enough hours in the day.

Anyway— Here's today's work so far:

Wigs And Shades, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
The wigs painting is driving me mad. Every time I look at it, I see something else that needs to be refined.
The sheep painting is, however, done; I even signed it.

Sheep In The Meadow, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Branches And Stones

When I look at the photos of this place, it astounds me how rough in shape the stones are that were used to build the inn. I simplified them in my work on the flat wall on the right, but the originals are smaller and more organically shaped.  The tree branches are always a tough paint for me, but I'm blundering along in my attempts to represent them.

And I repainted the French tricolor.

L'Auberge Provencale, February, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Painting at 2 A.M.

Once in a while I can't seem to fall asleep. Instead of lying there in the dark last night, I decided to do a little painting. I paid special attention to the planes of the waitress's face, but knew I'll have to smooth out the transitions next time around.

Tuesday, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Monday, January 28, 2019

Ripples

This is an exhausting painting to work on. I'm trying to balance a fairly accurate placement of the watery lines with a looser brush stroke. The ultimate aim is to make the painting believable and aesthetically pleasing at the same time. If that makes sense?

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

More Wig Work

I think that upper right-hand corner mannequin is nearly done now. The "skin" color is pretty close to what's in the reference photo, and I painted the glitter on the sun glass frames.Also smudged some color onto the orange wig and feathers.

Wigs And Shades, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Fun In Wine Country

I know— it doesn't look like fun, does it? A dreary winter day; vines sleeping, waiting for warmer weather; an overcast. leaden grey sky. But sometimes you just have to get out of the house and away from the easel; inside the winery we met up with friends and had a wine tasting, followed by good conversation and shared cheese plates and truffle popcorn. Learned about an interesting book called "The Evolution Of Everything" and discussed the techniques of Impressionism.

Out of respect for my friends' privacy, I won't post a photo of them but here is Breaux Vineyard in Purcellville, VA.


A Repaint

Sometimes, after I think a piece is finished, I look at it over the next few days and see things that bother me... like the clouds here; or the darkness of the sheep; or the fact that I really meant the sky to be more graduated and include some pale yellow near the horizon... or the color of the grass...

Sheep In The Meadow, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
So, here's the revised version. (And I'm still not happy about the clouds.)

Getting Back To The Curtains

Here's the latest work on the curtains. Their color is a curious combination of orange, blue, and grey, and when I mix Winsor Orange (which is somewhat transparent relative to the cadmiums) with white it goes pink. Mixed with blue, purple. So I'm leaning a little more on the cads.

The Promise Of Evening, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Friday, January 25, 2019

Foreground

The grassy area in front of the old stone inn is a winter shade of green; that is, very dull and washed-out. The color of the open sky is a deep blue, and some of that blue light is reflected on the grass, but so are the sunset colors of coral and yellow. So there's a lot going on. I might have made it too vivid; will have to put it aside and take a look later.

L'Auberge Provencale, February, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
Meanwhile, a little more work on this one:
Tuesday, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

A Little Diversion

It's cold outside, but the strong sunshine makes it seem like a day in early spring. I feel more cheerful than yesterday, when the news really had me down, and wanted to work on something fun this morning.

Blue Vase With Irises, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Thursday, January 24, 2019

One More For Today

I'm getting fatigued, though I might get back to this one later— I want to define the color/value and the drawing of the curtains at top right— anyway; here's the latest on:

The Promise Of Evening, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Mannequins In The Window

Neatened up a few areas in different parts of the picture plane; time to let it dry now.

The Gauntlet, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Murky Waters

There's a reason this painting has the title it has.

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

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Feathering The Feathers

Painted the red feathers as best I could, then used a soft brush to blur the edges between them a bit, as they were looking too harsh.

Wigs And Shades, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

"Tuesday" On Wednesday

I decided (for now) on the name"Tuesday" for this painting. Tuesday is the most anonymous day of the week; Monday is Back to Work, Wednesday is Hump Day, Friday is TGIF, etc. But  nobody takes much notice of Tuesday: it's just another day. And for this waitress, it's just another day at work.

Tuesday, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Emerging Figure

Here's the start of that new painting I penciled in a few days ago.

Untitled, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Moving Some Pieces Forward

I started this morning with some extremely tedious details, using tiny brushes. Then that morphed into a couple of larger things, and now I need a break. But first— two that I worked on yesterday:

A Farm At Dusk, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

The farm painting still doesn't have the mood of the original scene. I added some warm tones to the right side, closer to where the sunset is, but some of them are not working. And I'm worried about the heaviness of the clouds, though maybe that will sort itself out when I put in the rest of the cloud detail in the upper left.

On to Craig: I worked on the skin tones on the arms, a bit on the face, and some of the foundation color on his tool bag. The tool bag is really the only thing left to finish. 

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

Then, this morning's work. On Daniel the waiter, I spent about an hour working and reworking the facial features, trying to get everything right: the drawing, the planes of the face, the lighting, the skin color, and mainly, the eyes.
Waiting At Le Diplomate, Detail, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Not perfect, but a move in the right direction. At least he looks human now. Since his entire head is only about an inch high, I'm having to use very small brushes and strokes. It's really hard to get a likeness in such a small space.

Next:

L'Auberge Provencale, February, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Trees— well, drawing convincing trees— have always been a problem for me, ever since art school back in the day. I'm trying really hard to observe how the branches twist themselves to gain access to sunlight. The strokes taper, too, from very thin at the outer edges to thicker where the branches meet the bigger limbs and trunks. So that makes for very slow, careful work.

I also got the placement of the French flag wrong in the initial drawing; had to paint most of it out for now and will put it in its correct place once the paint dries. It was both too small and was obscuring the white ball of the sun in the sky, just at the corner of the porch.

The last thing I've done today (so far) is the pool painting:

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

That hot pink you see in the lower half of the image is the reflection of the hot pink sweater I'm wearing today.


Monday, January 21, 2019

That Glorious Orange Wig

I indulged my desire to work solely on the orange wig this morning; it's so assertive, like fireworks going off in every direction. I'm letting it dry for now but will get back to some glazing and then some fine detail.

Wigs And Shades, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Friday, January 18, 2019

Some Afternoon Work

Worked on the curtains, the quilt, and the figure.

 
The Promise Of Evening, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Fun With Glazing

I love glazing. Putting down a wash of thin color over a couple of opaque layers adds such depth and richness as the colors combine. The washes I used today were varying red pigments, mostly Winsor Red (which is transparent anyway), Cadmium Red from Grumbacher (used to be Cad Vermilion), and Alizarin Crimson, all mixed with W&N's blending and glazing medium (which, by the way, is packaged in a bottle that is nearly impossible to open).

All of this morning's work has been on the right side. That vertical pillar looks a little too bright; I'll have to knock it back with a subsequent gaze.

The Gauntlet, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Completed! Sheep In The Meadow

Finally done. I breathe a sigh of relief and move on to other work.

Sheep In The Meadow, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Better

After a couple hours' break, I went back to this one, and worked my way across the picture plane. I think it looks better now.

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

Troublesome Tiles, and Working Multiple Pieces

The tile colors are not working out. They're either too artificial a green, or too flat in color (the tiles in the restaurant are glazed, and they have some visual depth), or too dark or yellowy. I'm trying to use a glazing medium and transparent pigments today but that doesn't help if the color is wrong. Not sure what to do.

Also, this photo is picking up a lot of glare from a nearby window.

Waiting At Le Diplomate, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Recently we had friends over for dinner, and the wife (who, like many of my friends) is an artist. She and I got into a conversation about productivity while I was showing her some of my latest stuff, and she mentioned that she usually has about twenty or thirty paintings in progress at any one time. This was reassuring to me, as I have other friends who don't understand why I have anywhere between 16 and 23 paintings in various states of completion. I just don't like to waste time waiting for the paint to dry on one piece' it makes more sense to put things aside when they're wet and work on something else.

A Little Homage To Vermeer

Vermeer did a painting he called "Officer And Laughing Girl," which features a well-dressed man sitting with his back to the viewer, and a smiling young woman across the table from him. I took a bunch of photos at a bar in Manhattan a couple of years ago, and one of them has a composition that's a little reminiscent of the Vermeer. I thought I'd try it, since I'm uninterested in doing much else lately. So this is the initial drawing.

Untitled, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Making Some Adjustments

I thought the sheep painting was almost done, but after looking at it for a week I realized the background needed to be less detailed, more coherent, so this morning I mixed up some greens with slightly earthier tones and brushed over the grass. I think it looks better, but the sheep tails might be too long— I don't know what breed of sheep these are, but their tails seem unusually long to me— and I'd like to put a few darker shadows here and there in the clouds.

Sheep In The Meadow, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Meanwhile, the country inn is moving in the right direction, but I spent an inordinate amount of time this morning searching the photo archives for a better reference photo for the stone wall on the right side. I know I have one somewhere, but couldn't locate it in any of the many many folders I have of this place. So I'm winging it, as they say. And I'm trying very hard not to mess up the tree branches with the rigger brush.

L'Auberge Provencale, February, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

 
 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Balancing Oranges And Blues

There are a couple of places where the shadow color on white (whether it's the blouse or the curtains) is influenced by either the peachy color of the walls or the bluish light coming in the window. So I'm trying to create greys using those colors. The French Ultramarine seems to be working better than the regular ultramarine; meanwhile, that shadowy area to the right f the figure needs to go darker.

The Promise Of Evening, © 2019, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Snowy Weekend

It was nice to take the weekend off. The snow here measures 9"; I tossed a lot of bird seed around for the ground feeders, refilled the suet, peanut and sunflower feeders, and added more dried worms to the little basket. The bluebird population has been increasing over the last few years, and we now have a happy flock of them downing the worms like candy.

This morning I picked up the brushes again and worked on the aluminum panel, adding more watery detail and some stronger color to the figure.

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