A real toughy today. Painting along with Paul Foxton on a daffodil value study in oil. Much much harder than it looks.
Here he is and I managed to build on a good start. Those trees took
and could maybe have some more work done on them but I didn’t want to overload them. Pretty happy. Love the light in this.
Now this is only half finished but I’m almost tempted to leave it as is. I’m liking the light and the water effects on the barn and foreground. I’ll finish it tomorrow but I’m going to do some experiments on the trees so may push it over the edge.
James Gurney style sketch easel.
Painting has taken a little bit of a back seat this week as I finally decided to make a James Gurney style lightweight sketch easel. He has a fantastic video showing you the details
and many more details on his blog
The materials didn’t cost very much themselves. The wood was $15 and I have enough to make 4 more easels if I want to :-). The hinges were $10 and the little nalgene 2oz water jar was $6. The jar and palette are held on by small neodymium magnets that were around $10. The easel fixes to the tripod using a t-nut and quick release plate which cost around $12.
My biggest purchase was the set of travel brushes that sit handily over the sketchbook for easy access. This was $40 but I suspect will get a lot of use.
I did spend a fair bit more on tools. I needed special drill bits for the magnets and to recess the t-nut for the tripod. Then there was glue, some clamps, epoxy putty for the hinges, screws, oil for wood finishing (I found wood stain in the garage). I suspect after some use I’ll be making another one – maybe a little bigger but who knows.
Here it is with a shallow tin as a palette which I’ve sprayed with white enamel paint. Good for gouache I think.
Here are some more shots! Can you tell I’m really pleased with myself? For its size and weight it really is a useful little thing. Can’t wait to try it out in earnest. Many, many thanks to James Gurney and all the wonderful helpful people on the
facebook sketch-easel group
Now this didn’t come out quite how I imagined. I knew it was going to be a struggle and definitely turned out that way. As usual I’m in two minds. I think I like it but let’s see what tomorrow brings.
I’m starting to prepare for next months classes and needed some good, clear still life references. Out with the trusty tripod and LUMIX ZS50, some coroplast board and assorted fruits. I like to have bright and light photos for my still life classes. The classes are great for practicing color identification and mixing and the fruit shapes are simple enough for beginners to tackle. While I had the gear out I took some photos of my white wood blocks and colored spheres. The blocks are great for practicing painting values and the spheres for modeling form correctly. They seem simple but they’re not.
Clear colors, crisp shadows and a white jug for a little height.
These are just wooden toy blocks painted white with acrylic paint.
These are polystyrene balls which I’ve painted using acrylic. They’re not perfect – the bobbly surface disrupts the smooth change in value so I might invest in some wooden ones. Good enough for now though.
Well this started out really well and then I lost it. Grrr.
Some intermediate photos.
Three Puffins. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”/16”x20” matted
A few years ago I sold a lovely painting of 5 puffins and, to be honest, I’ve never managed to quite capture again the looseness and lightness of touch with this subject. So today was the day to kill this once and for all.
For me this was quite a long painting. Even though the style is loose and sploshy it was very carefully planned and painted in several layers. I think I’m happy although I could possibly pushed it a little more to the sploshy side.
Here we go with the stages:
First stage after the drawing was to put light washes of color roughly where the darks and colors were going to go. I’m pushing through the edges as much as possible just being careful to keep away from areas of detail like the faces. Blossoms, drips and sploshes are welcomes at this stage. It will al add interest to the final painting.
Next layer is to start just indicating some of the darks and bringing some of the edges in. Nothing too defined at this point so we can keep that lovely shimmering image.
We’re sharpening up the image here. Going darker where it needs it on the black parts of the birds and being quite crisp on the face and beak.
The final thing. I beefed up the background a little to bring out the whites of the birds but without making it a subject in itself. A few more darks on the black feathers, a little shading on the faces and we’re done!
I’ve been rooting around for something that really tickles my fancy to get me back into painting again. One of my Christmas presents was Andrew Loomis’ Creative Illustration book which has a lot of top notch painting advice and I highly recommend. One of his example paintings is of the lovely lady above and, as I haven’t done much figure work recently, I thought I’d have a go.
She’s done entirely in a combination of ultramarine and burnt sienna. I wanted to try and combine the granularity and washiness of the watercolor with the subtle range of tones in the flesh and face. Pretty happy with the result although the facial likeness to the original is not that close.
Here are some intermediates:
Started off with a rough pencil drawing and a fairly light wash to put in the main areas of light and dark. I was careful to not leave hard edges where they would draw attention to themselves but also lose edges where the values were similar.
Next I went in with some darks to define the arms and shoulders and the hair around the face. I put some detail in the face but was careful to keep the values light.
Next was putting some detail in the dress, defining some of the folds but leaving other areas quite in distinct. Some subtle shading for the hands but kept them with low value contrast so they don’t detract from the face. The face went in next and was almost a disaster as I was working quite small here.
The final thing and managed to stop before I ruined it. A little more definition in the face and some more interest in the background to frame the face. A little more detail in the hands and a few tweaks to the dress more to aid the composition than anything. Phew!
Cambridge Street, MA
Finally finished this one and I’m really happy with the way it turned out. Just enough looseness to give it life but precision where it needs it.
And here it is on my new hanging wall. This is my pride and joy right now. I used to put things on shelves in my old studio but everything got really cluttered very quickly. Now I can hang things immediately so I can see how they look.