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?
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