Tuesday, September 29, 2020

I Am Going To Have To Stop Predicting When A Piece Will Be Finished

 The closer I get to finishing a piece, the more I find little places that need work. Case in point: the Banana Cream Pie painting, which needed me to go over the plate with more graduated color, and some of the background. And it's drying now, but it still needs highlights.

 

Banana Cream Pie, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)  

And I did glaze over the wooden tabletop with Alizarin, and it did look very rich and deep, but when it dried a bit I realized it was too dark. So I've wiped away some of the glaze.

Two Spoons, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Today I'm working on a large personal piece, so I won't get to post until tomorrow at the earliest.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Clouds And Sun

 Moving along slowly on the clouds; added some midtone greens to the vines.

     868 Estate Winery, Virginia Vineyard Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view) 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

A Little Clean Up

Some of the areas on the lower right side just need to be cleaned up, so I've started working on them. 

 
For Rent, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

I May Have Gone Overboard On The Highlights

 I put some more highlights on the face, as it was hard to separate from the background, but I might have gone too far. There are several places (mostly on the window panes) that need work on the edges, and I think I should pull out some highlights on the hair strands. The hair, right now, is just a big dark blob. Some auburn highlights would be nice, and would work well with the pale peach of the sky.

 
The Promise Of Evening,  © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Meanwhile: since I had the green/ochre palette ready, I made a few changes to the foreground.


Variations On A Theme #2a,  © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 

 


Getting Sloshy With The Paint

 I love these initial sessions where I get to just slap the paint on the underlayers. There are so many different greens in this one, it'll be fun to pull it all together.

 Veramar Vineyard, Virginia Vineyard Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)  

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

More Landscape

 I find that the landscapes are more relaxing to work on these days. Added a lot of color to this, mostly ochres and shades of green. The water will eventually have a lot more color, too; the river is shallow in the foreground and there are some rich reds and violets in it.

A Bend In The Green River, Postcards Series #13, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)


 

Clouds

 Mostly painted the clouds; added some greens to the vines and grass but not sure the color's not too bright. It's starting to take shape, though.

    868 Estate Winery, Virginia Vineyard Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view) 

Wood Grain

 Finished the wood grain this morning (I think); it'll probably look better once the finishing coat of varnish is applied. In the meantime, I need to work on the plate and its contents.

Two Spoons, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view) 

Monday, September 21, 2020

A Lazy Monday

 Well, I shouldn't really say "lazy," as I've spent the bulk of the day on technical issues; moving files between computers, removing files to create space as my old computer's hard drive is completely full and it's acting cranky... no matter what I do though there seem to be mysterious files somewhere that keep clogging it up. But I did get some work done on the marble tabletop in the painting below:

Banana Cream Pie, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Might be done at the end of the week.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Out In The Country

 I'd love to be out in the country right now. But I can work on the vineyard series in the meantime, and it's very soothing.

 
    868 Estate Winery, Virginia Vineyard Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)  
 
 
Veramar Vineyard, Virginia Vineyard Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)  

Three More Sessions

This piece is drying now— I brightened up the face after realizing it should stand out more from the background, and it is, after all, the focal point of the painting. Also worked on the window frames. I think there's only about three more sessions worth of work, mostly on the windows and the sheer curtains.

 The Promise Of Evening,  © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

The Madness Of Painting Decorative Rings on Plates

 Yessir, painting these stupid rings is no fun, no fun at all. God help me if I ever photograph another dessert that's so beautiful I have to paint it, rings and all. 

Thankfully, these are close to being done. A few more sessions and they'll be finished. As I look around the studio, I realize it's possible I might finish 9 more pieces before the end of the year.

Banana Cream Pie, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

 

 
Ile Flottante, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Moving on, I painted many many lines on this one earlier today; in the photo the wood has a sort of cherry color, so I've got to remember to float a glaze of Alizarin over it at some point.

Two Spoons, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

And the highlight is done on this one:

 


Strawberry Shortcake, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Another Fresh Start

I'm trying to concentrate on a few of the series that are pretty far along. I think the vineyard series still needs a few more paintings, but what with the pandemic and all, I can't get out to any wineries to take photos, so I'll apply myself to this one and the 868 Estate painting. 

 This image is from a trip last autumn. Overall, it needs to be a bit warmer, but this is the initial paint application.

Veramar Vineyard, Virginia Vineyard Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view) 

Monday, September 14, 2020

And Again

 Working from left to right on the sky; added some more color to what's below the horizon line.


    868 Estate Winery, Virginia Vineyard Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)


Sunday, September 13, 2020

More Paint

Here's yesterday's work on the new vineyard piece.

    868 Estate Winery, Virginia Vineyard Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Friday, September 11, 2020

Something Old, Something New, and I Was Never Good At Math

So, I ended up taking yesterday off, and today I got back to work. This first one is a piece I thought I had finished, until I happily posted it on Instagram and then realized the shape of the plate was distorted. I worked on it for a long time this morning. It's better, but it still needs a bright highlight at the bottom of the plate.

Strawberry Shortcake, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Then I started a new piece in the vineyard series. Starting a new painting is always the most fun; it's the tedious later stages that make me want to avoid the easel. This will look better in a week or two.


    868 Winery, Virginia Vineyard Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)



Finally, after an hour of carefully painting lines on the door, I realized all of my original door measurements were wrong! I had a whole section on the left side that didn't exist, and the center of the door was off. So I had to cover over some lines, and now it's a mess. But the wonder of oil paint is that you can cover your mistakes, so once it's dry, I will do just that.

Variations On A Theme #2a, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Completed!

Forgot to mention that I actually finished this one; #9 in a series. Now I can start #10!

  Bluemont Vineyard With Sunflowers, Virginia Vineyard Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Work, Work, Work

With the change of every season comes a list of new tasks that's as long as my arm. I've been getting a lot done, and even answered 7 or 8 outstanding email messages this morning. All of it cuts into painting time, but I've worked on at least 3 pieces a day for the last week; however, something had to give, and in this case it's been blogging. So I'm just going to post a quick catch-up and post some of the paintings below.

Banana Cream Pie, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Those green rings need to be perfectly drawn, but I ain't perfect. 

Sara Driving Across The Desert, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Tranquil Pond, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view) 
 
For Rent, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view) 
 
The Promise Of Evening,  © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view) 
 
 


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Happiness

Earlier today, I decided that a glaze of Asphaltum and Sap Green would be just the thing to unify that thicket of stems at the very bottom of the picture, but it dulled everything down too much so I tried to wipe most of it off. Then I went back in and picked out some lighter and darker details here and there, and finally brightened up the flowers.

Left the studio for a bit, and when I came back in and caught a glimpse of the painting on the easel, the sunflowers were so cheerful they made me smile, not an easy task in these days of gloom.

  Bluemont Vineyard With Sunflowers, Virginia Vineyard Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Changing The Wall Color

I'm experimenting with the color of the wall on the right, and have brushed in some Cerulean mixed with white. It needs more of the dappled light and shadows but it's a start.

Light And Shadow, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 

Friday, August 21, 2020

Something New

I know that reading this blog has all the excitement of watching paint dry; the paintings go ever so slowly because of the amount of tedious work involved, so the changes you see are incremental. I get tired too, and sometimes I just have to break out and do something new. So yesterday I stretched a 16" square canvas and today I had some fun loosely brushing on this base layer.

Tranquil Pond, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Foliage

I've been looking at a lot of clipped magazine photos I've gathered over the years of landscape paintings, and it seemed like a good idea to add some blue tones to the foliage here. Next time I'll go back to the flowers.

Somerville Roses, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 

Reworking And Renaming

Late yesterday afternoon I redrew and then scrubbed out a new sunflower at upper right; I wasn't careful enough about placement and I knew it would bother me every time I looked at it. This morning I drew it in again, slightly lower, and added a couple of other elements. The original composition had two or three snapdragon stems too close to the top of the canvas, so those are gone now. Also, I'm renaming it.

Bouquet In A Blue Vase, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

One Step Closer

The day unfolded very slowly— I didn't even start painting until after 12 noon— but in the end, I got a lot done. Besides the paintings, I polished the wood floor and made several coronavirus masks.

Here's the first of the day: it was time to start placing the details on the door:
 
Variations On A Theme #2a, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Then I tightened up the detail on the spoon handle below and repainted the outer rim of the bowl. There's very little left to do; I think I need to pay some attention to the inner rim of the bowl, and clean up the bowl edges.

Strawberry Shortcake, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
  
And here is the repaint on the postcard that I never liked; I think the changes I'm making are good ones. It's that middle section that needs some drama.

A Bend In The Green River, Postcards Series #13, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

 






Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Adding A Head

Originally I left the head of the bald man at left out of the picture, since I didn't want to distract from the woman at the table behind him...but I think she's so well lit you can't miss her, and why would that bottle be on an empty table otherwise?

Specials Of The Day, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Blossoms

Worked on the cherry blossom painting today. I'm trying to get a sense of structure in the clusters of flowers.

Tidal Basin, Postcards Series #15, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Monday, August 17, 2020

Carried Away With Blue

The intention was to correct the color of the sky, which (though it pretty nearly matched the reference photo) seemed too assertive. So I greyed it down a little, and then fretted for a while that I might have made it too subdued.

At the same time, I've been admiring the work of some landscape painters recently, and studying how they paint foreground weeds and grasses. The ones in my painting looked too light in tone to me, so I set about making them darker...but that eliminated a lot of the carefully drawn detail, so I'll have to go back and redo it. But it does give the piece a more unified look!

And I dabbed some of the sky color on the foliage. Not sure that's working, either.

  Bluemont Vineyard With Sunflowers, Virginia Vineyard Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Softening The Shadows

I'm making an effort to conform with the fact that the further away from the light source, the fuzzier the shadows. So I've softened some of them and done a little redrawing today.

Also changed the color of the shoes.

Light And Shadow, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Fretting Over Unresolved Areas

The quilt patterns are going to drive me crazy, eventually. I have no patience for them. Meanwhile, I did darken the pants and take out the detail on the sheer curtains. And I reworked the hands a bit, and the wall area underneath the window. Next I have to replace the soft subtle colors of the sheer curtains; covering the lacy spots with white obliterated all those sunset yellows and window frame blues. But the work moves forward, and in the next sitting I'll draw on the knowledge I gained in that Zoom class for the face.

The Promise Of Evening, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Working The Foreground

While waiting for the paint to dry on the sky areas, I decided to take out the roadside strip at the bottom of the canvas and replace it with some of the shadow color of the weedy areas. There are also many highlights in the crops; the leaves are catching the fading sunlight, and it will be a challenge to paint them in without making the overall effect too busy.

Rising Stars, Setting Sun, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
The reference photo also shows barnyard animals: cows, geese, and a goat. I would love to add them but it might be too cheesy.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Another Dessert To Finish The Week

 I'm still trying to make up for lost time. Enjoyed cleaning up some areas and clarifying others on this one today, but I have not been careful about brush washing lately and as a result I'm having trouble finding one that holds a point. 

Choose One, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Friday, August 14, 2020

Making Up For Lost Time

 Added two more tonight to the day's work. This one has a blue cast, since I took the photo late in the day.

 Bluemont Vineyard With Sunflowers, Virginia Vineyard Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

And this: 

Variations On A Theme #2a, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

 

Interruptions

 The refrigerator conked out again; it does this every so often, but lately it's happened every month. It causes huge problems, as I'm sure you can imagine. So most of the morning was wasted with trucking food around. 

Here's what I did on the big painting: clearly the guy's head is too small right now, so I'll fix that next time. But I sketched in the bottles, and am experimenting with the color of the back wall.

Unfinished Business II, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
 Later, I looked at the dessert paintings lined up in the hall, and decided the Banana Cream Pie painting was pretty close to being done, so why not work on that? Haha! Once on the easel I realized my mistake. For one thing, the green rings on the plate are painstakingly tedious. And there are three of them. And they have to be "drawn" correctly. I painted and repainted, trying to get the angles to match. I still have one more ring to put into place, close to the outer one.


Banana Cream Pie, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Another Repaint

 This is one of the last of the Postcards series; I never liked the way it looked and am trying to bring it p to par. But I think I need to work on the atmospheric perspective; darker greens in the foreground, lighter in the distance.

A Bend In The Green River, Postcards Series #13, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)