Sunday, December 31, 2006

Bosc Pears

Since the oil painting didn't turn out well at all, see below, I decided to try some watercolors. I am much happier with the simple rendering here. Should have started lower on the page, but overall, color and shading I'm pleased with. Thanks for stopping in. Posted by Picasa

Muscle Pears

Oh, dear, this one is a flunkie. I call it muscle pears, because it looks like these poor Bosc pears went on steroids or something, tricked out with oversized bottoms. I am posting it because I think it's important to show that not everything turns out, and to admit that we are all limited by our skill level. Maybe by this time next year, I'll be able to look back and see exactly where this one went wrong. Oil 8" x10". Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Double Painting

The eighth painting, eight days. Rolling along here. I find that the second attempt at just about everything is the better version. EDM folks have been talking lately about right brain-left brain functions and warming up before drawing and painting, and as I mull over the comments, it just makes sense that you can apply what your right brain has learned at a first attempt in a second, more freed up version. I also like the blue bowl here, and I sprayed the lemons with water so they weren't drying out so fast. Another lesson applied. Next I think I'll try some limes, maybe, or maybe some fortume cookies that I spotted, leftover from our last take out order.

Many of the EDMers are also working on goal-plans for the year 2007, and since my brain (either side) is too lazy to think of new things, I think I'll just borrow Laura's from last year (see the Laurelines blog, sidebar, wonderful stuff) and revise a bit. Will post soon. Thanks for checking in. Posted by Picasa

Seven in Seven

Day seven of the trial run on daily painting. Trying some yellows, and finding the shadows on yellow are really tricky. This one is definitely shakey, but I'll let it dry before i try some refining. I DO like the one lemon slice at the side of the bowl with the little shine spots. Oil on canvas board, 5" x 7". Thanks for looking. Posted by Picasa

Eggplant Two

This is the second version of the still life set up. See first attempt below. This one much better on the shadow color, softer. And the skin of the eggplant looks smoother here, more like how it should look. Continuing with the effort to do a painting a day. Watercolors are gonna count.
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Eggplant Watercolor One

First attempt at a small still life with eggplant and a nice pepper. The color of shadows is still an elusive thing for me. This version is too blue, I think. But I had stretched and stapled two small pieces of watercolor paper on the same board, so did two at the same time. While one was drying, flipped the board around and worked on the other. A nice break from the oils. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Little Landscape

And here's the little landscape, from a summer photo of Lake Hollowell in Olney, a tiny and peaceful residential pond, nice place to paint, except of course, no bathrooms. Gotta find a large bush in that case. But there were a lot of geese, even a heron there on a couple of occasions this summer. They make the oddest sounds, or maybe it was a crane? Really don't know, but it was a very cool bird. Anyhow, this is one of the five in five days paintings. I was needing a break from the desserts, but I want to try this one over with a larger brush and see if it comes out more loose and painterly. Glad you could stop by. Posted by Picasa

Cupcake Two

The Christmas cupcakes, second version, with one of the green ones included. I'm happy with this one, although the shadows are a little odd, going off and up the napkin like they did. Expecially like the frosting on the white cupcake, after scraping it off a couple of times. The papers were fun to do, since who counts the folds anyway? Just imagine them in and you're done. Thanks for looking. Posted by Picasa

Cupcakes One

Another small painting of some Christmas cupcakes from Giant. The green ones actually look more Christmasy, but I wanted to try two of the little paintings with cupcakes. I did better with the frosting here, I think, than the eclair. Posted by Picasa
Five paintings in five days to see if I could do it. Not necessarily in any order, but I've done four desserts and one landscape, all small sizes in oil. This fruity one on the green plate is the last, finished this morning. Yes, definitely a Karen Jurick influence here, thanks to whoever had her as a link on their EDM blog. I absolutely love her work, and am trying to study it to learn to paint similarly. This one I'll call home serving, since it's the size of a slice you'd never eat at a buffet or at a restaurant, or at a friend's house, but at home...well, totally different story. It was melting as I painted it in the spotlight, but I kept popping it into the freezer for a minute here and there to firm up again. As you can see, things were sliding off the custard topping. The elclair I had a hard time with, especially the whipping cream, that's so hard to get right, I'll have to try again a couple more times to get that white and shadow right. Thanks for looking.
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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Something Sweet Challenge 96

This took about two hours to paint last night and I admit that I was in a hurry. I didn't want the filling to spoil before I could eat it, and it did have a light shining on it. I am happy to report that it was indeed delicious, the berries especially. The flakey crust had gotten a little mushy by the time I got to it, but overall, yummy, nice smooth vanilla filling, oh my yes! Done in oils on canvas hardboard, the masonite scraps from Home Depot which I cover with canvas. Thanks for looking.
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Challenge 94 Spoons

Same large spoon, done with two different sets of pencils. I'm really not happy with either one, since the spoon is a beautiful silver antique spoon which belonged to my mother and grandmother, a large and heavy serving spoon, now somewhat bent and scratched a bit, and these don't actually look silver. I will have to use it in a watercolor to try to do better by it. Nice to play with good sharp pencils though, as always. Thanks for looking. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Checking on Values

What a neat feature of the photo editing programs! You can go black and white, and check to see how you did with your values. I almost like the grey scale version better than the color version. But it sure is useful for the tones in the color version. Posted by Picasa

Diamond Drugs in Gaithersburg

Our painting class spent a very cold afternoon trying to paint outdoors on Tuesday, doing urban landscapes. This one was almost sucessful, though I think I overdid it. The yellow here is much brighter than it is in the painting. In the painting it's more of a white-yellow. I do like the way the sun falls on the front wall, and I think the shadows are finally starting to work here. The windows were the most fun to paint. Thanks for checking in. Posted by Picasa

Oil Landscapes

Two landscapes in oils, trying to capture the "big color notes." Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I will have to fix the tree color behind the buildings on the bottom one, I think. Make the colors more in keeping with the rules of cooler, lighter for distance. The green comes too much forward. Thanks for looking. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Challenge 92 Brown Paper Bags

Ahhh, brown paper bags filled with flavored ground coffee; scoop up those nice fragrant beans and grind them into these cute little bags, a nice occasional treat. Usually it's whatever happens to be on sale at the Giant. But hey, I needed to draw brown paper bags anyway, right? French Vanilla and Chocolate Almond anyone? This one was done with pastel pencil on toned charcoal paper with a small spotlight to bring up some highlights. All the midtones are just the paper color. Worked out pretty well. Thanks for looking. Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 20, 2006

Apples Watercolor Challenge 91

Three watercolors of apples, all sorts of apples. I think it's Roma, Delicious and Granny Smith. The trouble with these kinds of watercolors is the "background" or what to do with all that negative space behind and in front of your items, whatever they are. In these little studies, I have not done much of anything, but my professor suggested looking at the work of Charles Demuth, who did a sort of fade away drapery in some of his still lives. Worth a look. I think I'm most happy with the one above, the Romas, they had the most interesting markings, and I think the shadows work better than the other two below. The purple shadows seem too strong to me. The shadows in the Romas (the yellow and red apples) are more subtle, using a grey brown color, with a small touch of purple, just a touch.

And yes, I DO like using Picassa better, there is definitely more clarity in the photos. Thanks much for stopping by.Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Trying Picassa for Photos

Linda suggested using Picassa, and their Blog This feature for uploading photos, so I'll give it a try. I have not been happy with the way my great camera and its high resolution photos wind up looking so mushy on the blog. Do you think it could be operator error, LOL? Anyone with suggestions on how to post really nice photos to blogger, please chime right in. Thank you, thank you. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Oil Landscape

Working in oils is a challenge and a pleasure, entirely different from watercolors, and just as much fun. I love both, but have to really scratch my head when I switch back and forth. This photo is pretty blurry, but it does show the idea of trying to think in terms of shapes, values and color notes, a la Kevin Macpherson. His new book about oil painting looks just terrific, Landscape Painting Inside and Out. Can't wait to get into it reading and studying.

Landscape Class

This has been a gorgeous and longish fall for me, starting in Massachusetts and then enjoying the peak all over again in Maryland. Our November colors are so rich with wonderful grays and purples, deep beautiful browns and reds. The plein air class I'm taking has me frantic to paint, all I want is more time, more time, more time. Here are a couple of the oils I've been working on. There are a dozen more, all unfinished of course.

Life Drawing

Another nude. This poor man has a mangled shoulder, and a back too big for the rest of him, but it seemed correct at the time. Oh, well, we keep on keeping one and eventually, it'll come out right. I love going to the sessions.

Life Drawing Sessions

Been going on Saturdays to our local college, and participating in a life drawing session. It's a great opportunity to work on drawing skills, intense and absorbing. Most of the time it's so quiet, everyone concentrating fiercely, you can hear the scritching of the pencils and vine charcoal going. Most of my drawings are badly out of proportion, head too big, shoulders too big, arms too long, off kilter, but every once in awhile, it feels almost right. Posting a couple of those. This lady had her forearm stretched, and the back calf is deformed, but I am amazed at how hard it is in ten minutes to get it right.

Challenge 93 Eggs with Carton

Thanks to Casey from EDM, I got excited about trying pastels again. Dragged out some pastel pencils and found a sheet of charcoal paper, and purchased brown eggs. The color of the eggs is so wonderful, a cross between sienna and ochre, yummy. However, I remember now why I don't work with these much, the pencils need to be sharpened with an exacto knife, and you just can't get a good point, mostly the pigment drops off in the middle of a sharpen, and you get to start all over carving wood. Then you've got this coarse, chunky stump of color to work with, and the work is crude at best. The upside is the wow color you can get with the pastels. Anyone ever found a good way to sharpen these, beside using sand paper and blade?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

City Monkey

Visiting at my daughter's in Massachusetts, helping out with the four grands while her DH is out of state for work training. Gorgeous fall colors, maples all firey orange, reds and yellows. But had to do a quick watercolor pencil drawing of city monkey, my grandson Max's second best monkey. Country monkey was taking a nap with Max, so not available for posing. The oils are on hold while I'm away from home, but have been doing some artwork with the grands, and loving just being with them. Did bring my camera and some watercolors, so I'll see what I can do. Thanks for looking.

Monday, September 18, 2006

EDM Challenge 84 Bread

What a lovely excuse to go visit Vie de France in Olney. Our local French bakery, where the breads are beautiful, and the chocolate croissants, well, they don't make it into your drawings! I really took my time choosing some things to paint, since the smells were so yummy. Now that I'm finished with the drawing, well, get out the bread knife. Oh, and no, that's not a potato, it's a pumpernickle roll, but oh, well... Thanks for looking.
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