Tuesday, January 28, 2014

If James Says It's OK...

My most recent experiments are still too sticky to scan--water-mixable oil paint portraits from old B&W photos. But there have been two brand new adventures:

1. I "won," (ticket raffle auction) a nice set of Windsor & Newton artists oil paints a year ago. Too precious to open for my meager skill level, I set them aside and began to paint some portraits in my old water-mixable oils, thinking I'd improve a little before cracking out the nice set. Yesterday, thinking it was dumb to save them forever, I went in search of my old can of terp, and found...the bag of old oil paints I'd nearly thrown out a few years ago.  A very limited palette*, but I brought up an ancestor photo and had some fun (to be posted in the near future. Maybe.)

2. James Gurney wrote in his blog about the tradition of copying the masters, and the value of that. So today, I set out to do some copying with the limited palette. Instead of an "old master," I chose to copy from Jennifer Balkan, who I consider a new master--an artist of immense skill and talent. I won't be showing the result, because it's from her vision, but I am fairly pleased.

* black, alizarin crimson, burnt umber, cerulean, golden ochre. No white, so I used the water-mixable white.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Magic Shadowland

Here's another of my ancestors, painted from an old, 
faded, black and white photo. 
8" x 9" water-mixable oils
Lots of my ancestors seem to wear really high, 
throat-encasing tubes of collars. 
Even the men. 
Maybe my clan had a terrible fear of vampire bites!

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Solid Stuff: Glass, Slate and Chrome

Here's a little watercolor sketch , painted over the weekend as a muted sun shone on the salt shaker. I love the challenge of trying to render materials like metal, glass, and stone (in this case, the laser-etched slate turntable) but as you can see, I love it in bite-sized servings!

One of these days, I'll take on a tableful.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

About Time!

It's not so much that I haven't been drawing and painting, it's more about having to wait for the paint to dry for scanning. (My camera gave up the ghost a while ago.)  And about how, upon seeing a painting up on the screen, I'll notice a glaring problem and so decide to hold off for repair.
This time, I decided not to hold off, but to put it out there anyway:
8" x 10", water-mixable oils

The stiff, unnatural pose was not a mistake--this was from a very old photograph, and Stiff and Unnatural was evidently the way they posed.  Among the problems that stand out the most (to me right now) are: his right eye (on the left) is too bright and should have been in more shadow, especially the "white."
And his skin tone is too ruddy. (Been working out in the sun, sonny?) 
And his tie is crappily rendered.
I have yet to do any experimentation with glazing. Maybe now would be a good time, and provide a way to fix those things.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Great (Great?) Aunt Bertha

It's not that I haven't been painting, lately (well, maybe somewhat. a lot. because Christmas.) but what I have done lately has been in oil paint (well, water-mixable oils,) and therefore, not Slap-on-the-Scanner-able, until dry. That was a pretty bad sentence. Anyhow...

...for inspiration, I've been turning to the huge file of old family photos that Cassidy uploaded. They are all black and white, so the color, above, is of my own choosing. Believe it or not, although her face looks kind of weird and the proportions may not be quite right, her hairdo looked just like this. JUST LIKE THIS! In fact, I captured the hair more realistically than any other part of her!

Note: Weird hairdo styling at the turn of the 20th century 
was not just a woman thing. 

Another note
Hair Craftsmanship didn't stop at what was 
on someone's head, either. Case in point. 
Hair Wreaths, people. 
Hair jewelry.