Friday, January 30, 2015

Hate the Paint?: License to Play

1. Bought an inexpensive sample pack of Golden Open Acrylics.

2. Tried and failed to paint a simple landscape. And I was trying to COPY someone else's "simple" landscape so it shouldn't have been hard! I am clueless about landscape painting.

3. Had some paint left on the palette: LICENSE TO PLAY

4. Result: Fun little portrait of silent movie star Lillian Gish (with "playful" coloring)

5. Feeling a bit happy about the result of my relaxed, fast-and-dirty Open Acrylic painting, I set out to make a nice, larger, more realistic portrait, based on an old family photo. FAIL. Golden Opens might stay moist longer than traditional acrylics, but I found that they dried and became unworkable pretty darn fast. Too darn fast. My attitude about acrylics remains as it always has.

sooo...I decided that the six little tubes of paint were expendable, and I squirted out more and decided to play, throwing paint at the canvas with abandon, not caring when things looked less than right. Heck--the paint is only going to get chucked to the back of a drawer--might as well use it up!

6. Result: quirky (and slightly unfinished) portrait of that ancestor. The hair on the right got freaky when my dog decided to throw up next to me and I bolted after him.

11" x 14"
..and then the palette was scraped dry, the dog and I ran outside, and I left the painting as is.

Wacky, and possibly up for revision. Lesson learned that I will carry with me when using NICE paints:

Don't be stingy with paint amounts! Don't try to scrape by with "economy sized" dollops of paint. 

and Have Fun!

Golden Open Sampler

4" x 6" 
I have hated acrylic paints for a long time, after many failed attempts at painting with them. I always felt like the paint dried on the brush on the way to the painting surface, and I never liked the colors--particularly the greens. Blech.

BUT the other day, on a whim and with a hit-and-run visit to the art store before a doctor's appointment, I bought the little sample pack of Golden Open acrylics. I came home eager to play, and after I unsuccessfully "played" at a little landscape, I played with this little portrait, unconcerned with the actual colors, because I was just using up whatever was left on the palette from my blech landscape attempt.

It was fun. Maybe there is a place for acrylics--especially slower drying ones.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Close Cropped Kids

watercolor on paper

There's more white space around these kids in the actual painting--but my scanner is only so large.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

In progress, at the moment...
watercolor, image about 9" x 12" 
I'm painting this image of brotherly/sisterly/dog love from a very old photo, on request, and it's a struggle! I really do love painting portraits, and when I do, I tend to start with a pencil sketch, move on to a big brush and some loose washes, and then zoom in with the details when the washes are dry.

That's with faces--maybe faces and a hand or two--on 8" x 10" or 9" x 12" paper. MUCH larger scale.

This painting whole bodies/more than one being/things get tiny AND their faces must be recognizable, not generic, is challenging, to say the least. In truth, this is the third attempt from the reference photo. Here's number two, which I wrecked with a sickly green background. What was I thinking!?! (I was thinking: contrast.)
watercolor, image about 9" x 12"

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Original "It" Girl

watercolor on paper, 8" x 10"
Clara Bow was the movie star woman of the 1920's. 
She's also the reason every fresh young actress gets 
a temporary tag as "The It Girl." 

And she was "It," back in the early part of the 20th century, not only starring in the movie "It," but ensuring producers of an enormous return on their movie-making investments. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Alla Prima Interruptas

8" x 10" oil paint on canvas
Here's a problem. I found a woman's photo online somewhere (which is illegal, or unethical? I'm not claiming the ref photo as my own, nor attempting to sell the painting, but I am posting the painting. Hmm.) and began to paint her, alla prima. I intended to finish her in one couple-hour sitting, but was distracted. 

And now I have no idea where to find that photo reference.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Cartoony Yuck

9" x 12" watercolor on cold pressed paper
I do hate it (or actually, I get so frustrated with myself) 
when I sit back and look at a finished portrait and it's 
completely cartoony instead of semi-realistic.