Sunday, November 24, 2013

New Glasses, Alla Prima

Ron looked quite dashing in his new spectacles--dashing enough for me want to snap a photo before he dashed off, back to the farm, back to the pursuit of The Big One (as in deer.)

And then I made my painted version.

water-mixable oil paint on a 8" x 10" canvas
This came together pretty quickly--a couple of one-hour sessions, tops, and then a forced break in the shape of a weekend away. The very thinly painted surface is dry now, so my opportunity for blending and tweaking is gone. However "scrappy" it may be, I like the spontaneity of the piece, and rather than paint over the whole thing, I'll just set it aside and take out a new canvas....

Monday, November 18, 2013

Stand By: Technical Difficulties

Post-Election Season, and I haven't posted any watercolor portraits. That's because I dove back into work by getting out the oils instead. Water-based oils, but oils nonetheless, and so my work can't just be slapped on the scanner fifteen minutes after completion, like with watercolors. And I've had some bit of relative success.

But either my camera is not working, or my computer's not working correctly, because even though the camera seems to be taking pictures of my (not dry) work, the computer is not recognizing those pictures.

I'll figure something out. In the mean time, maybe the paint will dry. I'll throw a couple of extra logs in the wood stove. That ought to do it!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Gouache: You are not my friend

The election is over, and all of the non-stop meetings, door-to-dooring, sign-spreading and other hijinks are over (for now,) and I am free to focus on my artwork again. Really free, too, since my running mate and I will not be taking seats on the Greenwich Town Council.

That's OK (for now.) We were really, really underdogs to the point of being sub-underdogs. Submarine dogs. We made a good showing, and may have nudged the political thought in town just a little left-of-rightmost.

So why, for my much anticipated return to drawing and painting, did I choose to try a gouache landscape instead of good old watercolor portraiture? For cryin' out loud, GOUACHE DRIES ON THE BRUSH ON THE WAY TO THE PAPER. And it doesn't seem to dry the same color as it starts out. 

done with Cheap-O Reeves gouache. I think the whole 24 tube set cost less than $10.
Yuck! The photo I used for reference was of a section of the Au Sable River in Keene Valley, New York, where Ron was working on some river bank remediation. (The sides of this painted sketch are cut off, else you would see the teeny yellow excavator.) So while the back ground, right up to the middle ground trees was really there, the foreground was, in actuality, piles of dirt, rock and root wads. 

Lesson learned: Find a second photo reference instead of making up crazy looking foregrounds.

I'm going to pull up a photo of a face and get back to Comfortland.