Wednesday, August 7, 2013

at the barn

acrylic on panel, 8" x 8"

I did this one a while back but was not happy with it.  I keep meaning to give it another try but I haven't yet.  So I thought that if I posted it, I might be motivated to try and improve it!  A self-critique is much more thorough when you know it's not just yourself seeing it...

Monday, August 5, 2013

Morning on Hanover Street, take 2

acrylic on panel, 4" x 4"

It has been far too long since I was able to sit down and paint.  But today I did just that!  (I think the last time I painted was back in June when they were still in school.  The big kids started camp today, and the little one actually took a nap so I had a nice quiet, calm house...)

I came across this snapshot when I was looking through some old photos.  I have painted it before, on a much bigger scale, in oils, about 15 years ago.  It is of my husband back when we lived in Boston, pre-kids.  I've always liked the light in this one and thought it would be strong as a small study.

I wanted to try out a new color palette, the Zorn Palette, of Cadmium Red Light, Yellow Ochre, Ivory Black and Titanium White.  And I was using a Cadmium Red Medium ground so there's that in there as well.  I like the glow of the Cad Red(s) against the neutral grays, but flesh tones can get too brown.  Not sure how to fix that but I will have to play around with it and see. 

Working with the photo upside down, and under tracing paper (to obscure the details) I tried to block in the major shapes of light and dark first.
As I work, I try to take a few progress shots in black and white to check the overall values.
Once I am sure I have the values and larger shapes right, I flip it over, and then take off the tracing paper to work on the smaller, more subtle shapes and color/value changes.
I'm not happy with the flatness of the background so maybe I'll go back into it... As long as there are parts of a painting that I like, I feel I have learned something.  Just happy to have been able to send the afternoon painting!