Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On Quitting Painting

In the last ten days I have decided to quit painting at least four times.  The paint isn't flowing, the drawings aren't working, color relationships are off, values are in the middle range....it all just seems clunky.

Most painters I talk to have periods like this one.  After years of these attacks of 'quitting for good' I've come to realize, however rotten I feel, that it's just part of the process.  Maybe tomorrow it will all be different and the brush will be a friend....maybe it won't.

Stay tuned.  I feel a breakthrough coming on....

(This demo painting is from some months ago....just to put something on the blog.)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Island Morning, 24x24

While in the studio the other day I ran across a small study done about a year ago and, together with a marker sketch, redid the painting in a larger size.  Keeping with 'no predrawing' I quickly blocked it in with a grayish purple and just kept going.  That undertone wasn't bad for establishing a cool morning mood but I may paint it again with a warmer undertone just to see where it goes.  Simple shapes hopefully kept together. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Demo Value Sketch and Color Comp


Before doing the class demo from the previous  blog I did a quick marker value study.  By exploring and simplifying the value arrangements in a quick sketch I was better able to tie some of the pieces together.  I think its like beginning a conversation with someone you don't know yet.  We found an understanding that let us continue. 
I then did this 4 1/4 by 4 3/4 color comp on some watercolor paper(the scan came out a bit dark).  I used a palette knife so the colors would stay fresh and unblended.  I remember being most interested in how to treat the background tones, keeping them related to the other parts.  Sometimes these comps are as appealing as the finished painting.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Marker Book

 I've gotten several inquiries about my book on sketching with markers.  Here's the skinny:

I'm in a rewrite of it to include some new chapters and new material (plus I'm out of stock so a good time to improve it...it's like writing software.  Always an upgrade).  It is currently 52 pages long but it looks like the new one will be in the sixty page area.  The graphic below is from last year so ignore the date....however I expect the new one will be out in early April.  Only a month away.

If you are following this blog, you'll know about it as soon as I have it in my hands.

Thanks for the interest.

Winter demo 20x24

So long since I've blogged...it has been a very busy six weeks.

This is the demo I did for my intermediate painting class.  After I was finished we critiqued it.  I made the changes we felt would improve the piece in about five minutes and they worked.  I moved the peak of the cloth from behind the green decanter so they didn't line up, better anchored the foremost plum to the table cloth and placed some highlights on the coffee pot.  Small additions, really, but they all helped the piece flow.   Thanks for the suggestions.

Notice how everything has a light and shadow side, from the still life as a whole to the combination of pot and bouquet and down to each flower....and each has to fit into the value of the area it's in.  The shadowed flowers, for example, have lighter and darker areas but they stay within the context of where they are placed in the overall arrangement.  It's the gestalt of the thing.

Tomorrow I'll post the value drawing and color comp I did prior to painting the demo.