Friday, January 20, 2012

toned down

I added a wash of ultramarine blue over the left side of the head and I think it toned it down nicely.  Still not in love with this painting but I'll try again, trying to keep it looser and work on getting the color more accurate and  fresh. 

snow day snow boots

It's become a series of shoes now.  I'd like to redo this one now that I see it with a fresh eye.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

ink wash drawing

This is my compromise between drawing and painting.  I get to experiment with brushwork without having to deal with color...  And the color of the walnut ink works for my Golden.

chugging along

Another shoe today and I am in the zone.  Like I said, drawing is where I am most at ease.  That said I know I need/should challenge myself with learning color and painting but every once and a while it feels good to do what you know.  And this is what this is all about after all, me getting back into doing what I love.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

changing gears

Today I decided to change gears for a bit.  Drawing has always come easier to me than painting, and when I'm feeling frustrated with a painting it helps to get back to drawing.  I found this little boot in the basement with all my still life objects.  Then I found a drawing that I did of it (six years ago...) in my sketchbook.  I love doing charcoal on toned paper heightened with white and this little boot was just the perfect subject for such an approach.  It is size 3T in tan faux suede and it belonged to Maggie at around 3 years old.  Just as meaningful to me as her portrait, but I can be a little more objective.

Monday, January 16, 2012

color and contrasts

Playing with color and contrasts of warm and cool. 

The shadows are reading way too warm right now, and I need to darken the hair and lessen the contrast between the hair and the dark side of the face.  Maybe a wash of ultramarine blue will solve both issues...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

knowing when to stop

I think I'm stopping on this one before I overwork it.  I don't think it's all the way there yet, but I'm afraid it's going to get murky if I darken the face any. So...I started this...
Still a lot to do, this is just the first few layers.  I'm going to try and not overwork this one, so I have to remember to have a light hand and think before I paint.  I'm use to oils where I can layer and layer and layer, and cover up.  Not so with watercolors!  I'm learning...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

playing with contrast

I'm still trying to play up the contrast of the warmer/darker flesh tones against the cooler/lighter sky and foliage.  Just need to keep movin' along....

Monday, January 9, 2012

the third and last stage and the start of something new

So I think I'm done with this painting, not because I think it's finished, but because I can't fix it.  I am used to painting with oil and being able to push and pull things around till I get it right.  With watercolors I feel like you have to have a clear idea of where things are going from the start.  I sketched this in quickly and there is something not quite right with the drawing of the eyes, something that can't be fixed with slight tonal gradations that I keep layering on...  Oh well, it was a good learning experience and I will try this one again. 

 For now I decided to start a new painting.  Here it is in the very early stages...

I don't want to even think about the drawing this time, so I just traced an enlargement of my picture on the lightbox.  The photo itself is quite blurry anyway so I can't get caught up in details.  It is a photo of my son at an apple orchard in the fall and the colors are so crisp and clear that I thought it would a good choice to work on color with, especially since I'm using my daughter's kiddie watercolor set with it's ummm, "limited" palette.  My new paints will hopefully arrive soon!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I am trying my hand at watercolor...this is stage one. 
...and this is stage two.  I'm not sure I like how it's coming out but I will continue to work on it because I have nothing to lose.  Stay tuned for stage three! 

Friday, January 6, 2012

just a sketch...

Just a quick sketch of Maggie that I did in my small book in the hotel room.  Not the best lighting/shot/drawing, but hey, it's day two and I'm still doing it!  This was done as a half blind contour, which is something I love to do, to just focus in on the job of looking, really looking at your subject.  And following the nice lines.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

you have to start somewhere...

I always have a hard time starting things, but I've begun to think that done is better than perfect.  Not that I want to rush through every piece I do, but sometimes just getting started is all I need to want to continue...