Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Here, Chickie Chickie Chickie

Chorus Girls, 10 x 20" oil on canvas, for the Black & White Show at Maple Grove ArtsCenter. Available, $195. 


My source photo, above. I found it fit a 1:2 format perfectly, and I had a 10 x 20" canvas on hand, so we were off to the races. First step, get the drawing established. Below, the drawing in brown pastel pencil, which is easy to erase or paint over. Regular graphite pencil is NOT, so I don't use it when I paint.

I don't often outline forms before I paint them. This time, I wanted a little bit of a graphic flavor to the painting, so I used a liner brush to establish my drawing before I began blocking in the light and shadow.

Much as I loved the tractor wheels in the source photo, I really couldn't use them in the painting. Sometimes, you have to sacrifice things you love a lot, in order to get what you love the most. In this picture, I loved the sense of movement and rhythm of the hens and I'd have lost that if I'd junked up the background, so the tractor had to go.

Oil paints usually work best if you start with the shadows and then add more and more light, so that's what I did here. Overall this is very thin paint, and will be dry to the touch in a couple days.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Big Mare, Finished

This was, more than anything else, an exercise in knowing when to hit the brakes. I love color and contrast so much ...

One of my college professors taught us about Martini Syndrome, which is what happens when you're painting and you do a little bit of something and it. Looks. Amazing. And so you figure, if a little is that good, you need a LOT MORE. And then it turns out, no, you really, really didn't. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Art on the Easel ... and on the Floor.

This is a pretty large canvas, 40" h x 30" w.  Based on a snapshot of my Twilight looking rather elegant, short-legged Percheron that she is.  These three shots show the progression from first stages of sketching and very thin washes of solvent/oil paint, to working out some of the "background" composition.

Above, what the painting looks like as I type this post. I've got a good sense of solid form and some depth happening, and from here on out the challenge will be to finish the piece without overworking and killing it. I like the looseness and want to keep that.

Meanwhile, on the floor beside the easel, I've got a composition laid out for a salvage piece in black and white. I have to paint some of these elements, assemble them all, and then create other pieces to add. This is feeling more and more like part of the Crows series, so expect there to be black birds involved.