Today's work was mostly on faces.
4th Street, © 2021, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
I got a little bit of work done today. It really feels bad not to be painting, but right now there's SO much yard work to do.
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)
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.
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)
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)
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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)
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)
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)
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.
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.
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)
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.
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)