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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mouth of David Cast Study - Oil Grisaille

Oil Grisaille on Canvas - 6x6"
This is a little study I did of the a Mouth of David cast, well actual a photo I found online of the cast as I do not have the actual cast. I was planning on buying the set of casts but of course they have to be shipped so keep putting it off and luckily in the meantime  found a really nice bust locally to work from for a fraction of the price. So expect to see many more cast studies from me in the near future :)
Raw Umber, Ivory Black and Titanium White

After transferring the outline sketch to my canvas I mixed a string of gray scale values using Raw Umber, Ivory Black and varying amounts of Titanium white to get a range of 7 values.  My value 1 is straight titanium white and my value 7 is a 2:1 mix of Ivory Black and Raw Umber.  I really enjoyed this exercise and using a simple subject really allowed me to focus on modelling the form without getting caught up in the details. 

The photo of the finished study looks much whiter than in real life.  I will have to wait for a sunny day and re take a bunch of my photos outside as I just can't seem to get decent shots inside.  Oh well, no sun means I don't have to think about yard work and can keep painting, bring on the rain :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Eggs Still Life - Wipe Out

Raw Umber Wipe Out
I had so much fun working on this little wipe out that I probably added much more detail than I needed too... but it was so much fun, I am such a geek.

I have tried this process before a couple of times and found it super frustrating as the paint kept either sticking & lifting off or sliding off the canvas.  I was using different ratios of mineral spirits (OMS) and oil in the past and was probably too much as well compared to the ratio of paint.  I tried a 60:40 ratio of oil and odorless mineral spirits as suggested by a amazing artist and teacher Terry Strickland. Viola, what a difference, plus I "probably" learned something during my past failed attempts.

I set up a couple of brown eggs in a black box I bought from IKEA ages ago.  I built a still life box awhile back but it took up too much space in my already cluttered studio.  I place a black table cloth inside and a piece of foam core on top to block the light.  I then placed the eggs inside and adjusted my table lamp so that the light hit the eggs nicely from the side.

The box is sitting on top of my sub woofer, total necessity in the studio :)  I then mixed up a bit of raw umber paint with the oil and OMS.  You could use linseed oil as well but I had walnut oil on hand.

I then brushed the paint over the entire canvas working the paint into the weave of the canvas so there were no wipe speck of canvas to deal with later.  I then took a cloth and wiped out the basic shapes of the eggs and cloth.  I then added and removed paint using both my cloth and brushes to get the tonal ranges and shapes that I could see.  Dipping a brush in the oil/OMS mixture when needed to lift out the lightest values.

It is still very rough and there are some areas where the edges of the shapes look a little to hard (now that I look at the photo online) but hopefully they can be softened more subsequent next layers.  I am definitely going to play with this technique more in the near future.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Graphite and Charcoal Study of Eye

Graphite & Charcoal Eye Study - 6x6"
This is another little study I did today using graphite and charcoal on canvas.  I wanted to fully draw out the details of the eye before moving onto the over painting on my oil portrait of the same subject. I miss drawing even more than I realized!

I went to my life drawing class last night and really enjoyed the session even though I was dog tired before I got there.  So this morning I was quite eager to start this sketch.  There are just not enough hours in the day!

I will refine  this drawing a touch more so that I can use it as a reference when I am working on the oil painting as the more familiar I am with the shapes the easier it will be when I dive in with color, well, that is the hope anyway ;)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Little Oil Study...Big Ear

Oil Study of Ear - 6x6" on Canvas
This is a little oil study of an ear I finished today.  I wanted to take some time to really focus on learning proper techniques for creating shape and form while maintining proper chroma and hues of my skin tones. 

Wow if you think that is a mouthful, try painting it ;) There is so much to focus on when learning a new medium, not to mention working in color rather than monochromatic as I often do. So I bought some cheap little canvases for creating studies. This way I can focus on areas I need to work on without the stress of working on a real painting. 

I plan on doing many of these in the weeks to come.   Once I get more comfortable, I think I will use better quality canvases or prepare some small panels so that the paint flows more easily.  All in all though these are fun to do as they do no take as long as a full painting and, I hope, will be good references when working on real paintings.  I am not sure if it is just my laptop settings as on my monitor in my studio the skin tones are much closer to the original study.  Here they seem quite washed out, whereas on the study there are really pretty orangish and reddish hues peaking through in areas...hmmm  

So in real life, I am quite happy with the skin tones, not so much in the photo.  Areas I am not happy with are my dealing with edges and some of the transitional areas which are too harsh for my liking.  So I think I will move onto the next study and focus more on these areas going forward, so excited to start the next one!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Portrait of Boy - Color Under Painting

Color Under Painting - 16x16" Gallery Wrapped Canvas
Well I got more carried away with the details than I had planned.... as I often do - but I still managed to keep some areas loose....hard to break old habits. 

Now I need to leave the under painting to dry the next step is to build up the skin layers as accurately as possible. His lash line ended up much to harsh but will be softened and much of the darkest areas of the lashes will be cut into with the skin tones so they will not look so harsh, that is my plan anyway ;)

I really tried to keep things less chromatic at this stage so that the next layer can be more chromatic yet show the shadows underneath.  I really enjoyed this phase ...now to find the time to mix up all the skin values and paint!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Rough Sketch for Oil Painting Portrait of Boy

Rough Sketch - 16x16" Gallery Wrapped Canvas
Wow, has it really been that long since I posted to my blog!??!? Lots of other things to focus on this year and my poor blog has fallen by the wayside, but i have still been painting and drawing every chance I get.

I have several little projects going on in my studio, have been teaching a few workshops and have even signed up for a workshop in the near future, so excited :)

Much of my time has also been spent learning more traditional methods of drawing and painting and am quite enjoying the process.

This is the rough sketch of a portrait I am starting which has been transferred onto a toned canvas.  I have tried to indicate all of the areas of the light transitioning across the form, will see if this helps me during the painting phase :)

I actually was surprised by how much I like the drawing at this stage...and now there is a very loud voice in my head screaming "don't mess this up"...this is why I play very loud music while I paint :)