Thursday, April 22, 2021

House Paint

 I tried to eliminate the greenish cast on the house in the background as it didn't seem to work well with the pinks and peaches of the roses. That was a mistake. The color I used to cover it was too grey, too somber; I ended up wiping off as much as I could and using a lighter blue but it still looks sad. Maybe I'll make the house color yellow next time.

                      Somerville Roses,  © 2021, work in progress (click on image for larger view)  

Meanwhile: I painted the tree back in on this one. Maybe it's done now? Or maybe it needs just a few more touches of bright yellow?

                      A Sunset For Karla,  © 2021, work in progress (click on image for larger view) 

 


Forgot About This

 Did more painting on this one yesterday; again, the learning process is ongoing. Here I'm using washes of blue across the mountains in the background. And everything is a matter of choice regarding warmer/cooler, lighter/darker. I'm conscious of making the areas further away lighter and bluer, and adding some cooler tones to the golden foreground where it meets the sloping edge.


     After Cindy Baron,  © 2021, work in progress (click on image for larger view)         

The Eyes Need Work

 I'm trying to utilize all of the good advice I've gotten over the last two years about painting the face. It's been working well on the Waiting At Le Diplomate painting (below) but I'm struggling withthis one. Part of the problem is that the model was looking up, and I really wanted a side glance; trying to redraw the eyes the way I want them to be is proving a challenge, as I'm having to fake it concerning structure.

Meanwhile, I made a useful discovery yesterday: Permanent Carmine is much better for flesh tones than the cadmium colors I've been using. I especially like the way it mixes with ochres and siennas for anybody with a tan.

     Untitled Mulberry Street Piece,  © 2021, work in progress (click on image for larger view)        


Stopping Before I Screw Up

The eye on the left needs more work, but I'm going to let the paint dry before I get back in there with a fine brush. Overall, I'm pleased with the way this is moving forward.

                Waiting At Le Diplomate,  © 2021, work in progress (click on image for larger view)   

Monday, April 19, 2021

One Of Those Days, Part 2

 Finally, I decided to resuscitate the fire extinguisher painting, which has been languishing for a very long time. I wanted to lighten the background wall of the box, behind the extinguisher. I'm not sure it worked. I'll let it dry and then see what to do next.


           In Case Of Emergency,  © 2021 (click on image for larger view)  


One Of Those Days

The sporadic technology problems drive me crazy. And today there were two separate issues; no, three, actually... and I am so tired of it.

So I tried to calm down this morning and get into a Happy Zone, because it is impossible to paint when I'm riled up about something. I queued up some soothing music and got down to it at the easel, starting with one of the Hot Fudge Sundae paintings. Paying strict attention to the lighting on the whipped cream rather than slathering on the white paint proved beneficial; the cream looks more believable now, so that was satisfying.

Hot Fudge Sundae I,  © 2021, work in progress (click on image for larger view)   

Moving on, I got tired of trying to tell myself it was okay for the raised brush strokes on the little sunset painting (the ones where the poplar tree had been) were okay; they were really not okay, and every time I looked at it it bugged me. So I bit the bullet and scraped off most of the most egregious ones with a tiny sharp blade, then repainted. I'll post the images below.

 

          As Far As The Eye Can See,  © 2021 (click on image for larger view)  

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Planting, Not Painting

It's Spring. I have bought a lot of annuals and perennials that need planting, also some seeds; time is of the essence, and I'm spending a lot of it outdoors lately. Got to the easel this afternoon (since it started to rain), and worked on the painting below, mostly on the figure and its reflection in the mirror. 


Baby Needs Shoes,  © 2021, work in progress (click on image for larger view)  

Thursday, April 8, 2021

And Some More Color

 Am I getting carried away with this? Should I tone it down a little?


             A Sunset For Karla,  © 2021 (click on image for larger view)      

Figure Work

 Finally got to the shirt and apron on the waiter. Inching towards the finish line.


                Waiting At Le Diplomate,  © 2021, work in progress (click on image for larger view)   

More Landscape

 I guess I'm just into Nature today.

Resting Place,  © 2021, work in progress (click on image for larger view)  

 

Middle Earth

 Not from the Hobbit series; rather, I concentrated on the middle portion of the picture plane.  In looking at the original, I'm struck by the amount of subtle detail in the distant trees. It's what makes her painting so wonderful to look at and explore. 

The hazy blue glaze I added a week or two ago has worked well, so once the painting's dry I'm going to try a few more, especially in the lower areas of the mountains.


       After Cindy Baron, work in progress, © 2021 (click on image for larger view)   

 

 

Back And Forth

 More experimentation on this one. I painted back some blue sky, brushed on a lotta white, changed some ground color, and, oh yes; added the Washington Monument in the background. Waiting now for the paint to dry so I can put in the ripples in the water.


         Postcard 15,Tidal Basin, work in progress, © 2021 (click on image for larger view)  

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Another One To Set Aside And Mull Over

 The lure of the garden is very strong, especially on days like yesterday and today, with glorious sunshine. So I've had to force myself— after 3 p.m. today!— to sit down at the easel and paint. But this one might be finished. I have to think about a few areas and then decide.

                    Variations On A Theme 5, work in progress, © 2021 (click on image for larger view)   

 

Monday, April 5, 2021

A Day Of Straight Lines

 The floor took an awfully long time this afternoon. The grout lines that I painted in were horrible; they were very dark and wobbly and assertive. I bit the bullet, so to speak, and went back in with the tile colors (a mix of 4 pigments) and carefully painted around and on top of the dark lines. I don't want the floor to be the thing that draws your eye; it needs to be nondescript.

                       Waiting At Le Diplomate,  © 2021, work in progress (click on image for larger view)  


Refreshed

 Took the weekend off from painting and spent some time in the garden. Things are blooming! Things are growing! The grass is turning a bright green. Zinnia seedlings have sprouted. All in all, a great weekend. 

Now it's time to get back to work. I added a lot of diagonal lines on this piece this morning. Every now and then I stop to question whether I really want all of those little lines, but I do like the sense of texture they lend to the tablecloth. They won't end up being as bold as they look now, I just wanted to get placement correct today.

                  Cherry Cobbler,  Stress Eating Series, © 2021, work in progress (click on image for larger view)  

Friday, April 2, 2021

I May Have Bitten Off More Than I Can Chew

"What fun it'll be to paint that little oriental rug," I thought. 

Not so sure now. 


             Baby Needs Shoes, work in progress, © 2021 (click on image for larger view)     

Noodling

This was only a few minutes of work, as all I wanted to do was apply a couple of color washes and then wipe them back, then add a few well-placed highlights. I look forward to repainting the tree branches. In any case, it's far better than the original version, and I'm glad I decided to experiment.


             A Sunset For Karla,  © 2021 (click on image for larger view)     

The Toned-down Version

 I had a really late start to working today as a minor domestic issue forced me into Technology Hell. But I did take out the fussiness of the foliage on the right side with some brushier strokes. And changed the sand bar at the top. Still not happy with this piece.


             Tranquil Pond,  work in progress, © 2021 (click on image for larger view)    

Thursday, April 1, 2021

More Fun Than I'm Allowed To Have

While waiting for the delivery of the brushes that will allow me to do the tight work on the desserts, I've been enjoying the freedom of the gestural strokes on the landscapes. This one was a great deal of fun to work on today. 

                Resting Place,  © 2021, work in progress (click on image for larger view)  

 

Meanwhile

 Will I ever finish this? I added some more color mixes to the tiles today. They needed to be brightened up, especially in the center of the picture plane, and darkened in the lower right corner. It looks a bit rough where the dry parts and the newly glazed parts meet, but that will all even out with the varnish coat.

In real life, the painting is neither as green as it appears here, nor as bright!

 

                  Waiting At Le Diplomate,  © 2021, work in progress (click on image for larger view)   

I guess that's about the 18th layer of color on the tiles so far.

 

Toning Down The Tabletop

 The tabletop bothered me; in its previous incarnation, it just seemed that the wood grain was too bold, too assertive. So I glazed over it with some ochres and neutrals, using one of those odd grainer brushes.


                  Cherry Cobbler,  © 2021, work in progress (click on image for larger view)  


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

A Scary Glaze

After dinner, I applied a glaze of azure blue over the top half of this painting, and then worked the bottom foreground. I wiped the glaze off, but it seems to have dulled the detail in the far mountains.I'll take another look tomorrow.


             After Cindy Baron,  © 2021 (click on image for larger view)    

A Tree Disappears

This is the piece that was formerly known as A Poplar; I couldn't get it beyond looking stylized and cartoonish, so I started painting over it. I've been studying the breathtaking sunset paintings of many an artist recently, and picked this one up again this afternoon. It is either done or very close to it; I'll study it from a distance for the next few days and see what I think. But I like it right now.


              As Far As The Eye Can See,  © 2021 (click on image for larger view)    

Ooops

 Too much color. It's a rainy, gloomy day here, so maybe that was a factor. I wanted the tree to be golden, but then decided to add some red to give some of the boughs a sense of mass. Bad decision! Now I'll have to wait for it to dry and then go back in with some greenish gold to tone it down.

                    Variations On A Theme 5,  © 2021 (click on image for larger view)   


Hot Fudge Sundae I

 So many of these little dessert  paintings have been dependent on lunches or dinners out with my sweetie or with friends. I haven't been able to take any new reference photos since the pandemic hit, so I look forward to getting out and about again; I only need two more images to complete the series. 

This particular one is from a lovely lunch with friends in DC at a place called The Smith. The plate edges are as much of a problem on this one as they were on Hot Fudge I, but they're developing, and I can't wait to add the colors in the spoon that reflect the ceiling.

Time to dry now, though.

                   Hot Fudge I,  © 2021, work in progress (click on image for larger view)  

 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Hot Fudge II

 This is the companion piece to Hot Fudge I, which features the separate sauce bowl for the fudge. The idea was that the person eating the sundae could control the placement of the fudge sauce. Getting that plate to look round, and making its edges sharp, are a challenge. It's probably too subtle to see, but I lightened the bottom part of the plate and warmed it up a little with a grey/white combination. 

Also did a little detail work on the spoon, but all my brushes have gone bad on me and now I need some new ones that will hold a point.


                   Hot Fudge II,  © 2021, work in progress (click on image for larger view)  

And with that, I will take the rest of the day off.

A Tree Appears

 It's been a while since I did any new work on this, so I browsed through tree images over the last two weeks and finally settled on one. At one point, I thought I might place two trees in the opening, but decided it would look too weird. The plan is to make the tree golden, to match the autumn colors in the foreground, but the current silvery hue is kind of nice, too. Mysterious.


                    Variations On A Theme 5,  © 2021 (click on image for larger view)   

Those Buildings Are Going To Be A Pain

The buildings in the background are going to need a series of fine vertical lines to indicate the windows, and I'm not looking forward to that. What I did today felt very clumsy, like someone trying to paint in the dark. It's a slow process of refinement of line, shape, color, and value. 


                  Spring Street, work in progress, © 2021 (click on image for larger view)   

Filling In The Blanks

 More people, more color today:

                         Another 4th Street, work in progress, © 2021 (click on image for larger view)   

Monday, March 29, 2021

And A Little Face Work

Much more to do on this; the line of the mouth is all wrong and I need to get the eyes to look like they're on the same face.


       Waiting At Le Diplomate, work in progress, © 2021 (click on image for larger view)   

 

Tidal Basin Pink

 Added both white and more color. Too bad this won't be ready in time for the actual festival; I plan to put some people in the picture. 


        Postcard 15,Tidal Basin, work in progress, © 2021 (click on image for larger view)  

Tablecloths

 Multiple interruptions this morning while trying to finesse some very challenging shadow detail on the tablecloths on this one. I'll probably never be happy with the way it turned out.

  Specials Of The Day, work in progress, © 2021 (click on image for larger view)

 

 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Vastly Better, And At The Same Time, A Real Mess

 When I look at how much this piece has changed in the last week, I have second thoughts about what I've done, but I really hated the way it looked before. So I'm pushing forward with multiple glazes, having read the advice of other artists to trust your instincts and experiment. It is moving forward in a direction I like, it just looks hideous in the interim.

A Sunset For Karla, work in progress, © 2021 (click on image for larger view)

 

Friday, March 26, 2021

And So It Begins

With the second dose of the vaccine in my arm (as of 3 weeks ago) and the arrival of Spring, things are changing fast. Tomorrow I will actually leave my house and visit my friend at her art gallery. It'll be the first time we've seen each other since January of 2020. And today is so spectacularly beautiful that I had to put the brushes down and go outside. The daffodils have burst into a kind of firestorm of yellow and orange, and the star magnolia's in bloom.

What work i did do today is almost invisible: I confined myself to the architectural elements and the curtains on the Mulberry Street piece, so it looks like nothing was done. And the rug in Baby doesn't look any closer to being finished. It'll be a battle between yard work and painting from here on in.


     Untitled Mulberry Street Piece,  © 2021, work in progress (click on image for larger view)         


     Baby Needs Shoes,  © 2021, work in progress (click on image for larger view)         

 

The Plate Is Actually Green

 It's amazing how, after not working on a piece for a while, you see things that should have been obvious. The plate actually has a greenish cast, not grey, so I repainted it and also took out a line of chocolate sauce that didn't exist in the original photo. Now the question is: do I paint in the double green lines of decoration around the edge of the plate? They will be very hard to do, and also time-consuming.

          Six Layer Indulgence,  © 2021, work in progress (click on image for larger view)