Saturday, April 26, 2014

No Trespassing, Rail Yard!

Since I got kicked off.....

.....I thought it deserved a drawing.   "Whhadya tink yoo doin'?", he asked, "get off our prop'ty!"  It's OK, I didn't mind.  He had a job to do and keep....and likely a family to feed.  I just thought it was funny that he referred to it as property he was part owner of.   I'm not sure the railroad company would have agreed or he'd be sharing the profits.

Here is the drawing that caused the ruckus....drawn from my vantage point sitting in the street.  He said they didn't own the city streets but he was reluctant to admit it.

You can meet the most interesting people doing art.....

The Marker Workshop on May 24th is already filling up so if you have an interest call Martha at the Winslow Art Center.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

'Net Shed'

The Historic Net Sheds....

......of Gig Harbor were unknown to me until last night.  Scheduled to do a Marker Drawing presentation for the Peninsula Art League I had just enough time before to spin down to the harbor and do a drawing of one.  There are seventeen of these interesting structures and most are still in use.

Working harbors are rare in this area, so this one has me excited to return with some paint and canvas to explore the area.  Usually I have to travel out of state to find this sort of thing.  If any of you know of working harbors in the area I've missed, let me know.

The Peninsula Art League members are gracious hosts.  They evidently have art demonstrations regularly at their meetings and it's open to the public.  Last month they had Ned Mueller.

My next Sketching With Valued Markers Workshop is on May 24th at the Winslow Art Center.  Find out more HERE.  Take the one day workshop and get up to speed for some good summer sketching.

Plans for the Italy Drawing and Painting Workshop continue to evolve and you can sign up or get more info HEREMontisi is a small, undiscovered by the tour buses, Tuscany hill town with a strong artistic community.  Good food, good company, drawing and painting sources galore.....I'm looking forward to taking a small group there.

Go do a drawing....send me a picture!

Monday, April 21, 2014

New Edition of Sketching Book

Finally!   I Finished It.....

....and the printer delivered it this morning.  The updated version of my book Value Sketching With Markers, A Guide for Turning the Visual World into Artistic Ideas is back on the market.

This book shows you how to use simple markers to find compositional possibilities for your paintings, prints, or just for your own amusement.  It's easy and there are very few tools you need to carry around with you.

Best of all, markers with gray tones of 30%, 60% and 80% (or 70% and 90%) encourage you to move values one direction or another, simplifying your visual statements.

'In art, the hardest skill to learn is to be simple.'   Sergei Bongart

Click on the Page link above to find out how to order.  The price, unfortunately, will have to go up a few dollars on May 1st, 2014.  Right now I have it at the old price but will have to raise it by the end of the month.

Keep Drawing!!

Just ONE marker makes form and dimension!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Portraits Three

The faster I go....

....the more in the dust I get.  I'll never post everything, so here is a group of portraits done in the last couple of months, in an effort to get more of it out.

I decided to spend some time with profiles because they are a hit or miss kind of thing for me lately.  There isn't much room for error. 

'Red Beret', 12x16 was of a friend whose likeness I have always had trouble with, this one included.  Still, I like it as a painting.  I used Raw Umber, Cad Red and Yellow Ochre.   Rim lighting.

'No Wrong Notes', 11x14 is the daughter of another painter.  Get this.  She also races sailboats, is a computer programmer and a couple of other things I was too blown away about to remember.  She is sailing solo from Seattle to Hawaii just to be in a competition.....and then sail back.  My usual split primary palette.

'Daily Dress' 18x24, is of a woman living north of here who has decided to dress like someone in the early 1900's.  She has done it for the last ten years.  Her corset has given her the tiniest waist.  The hat is from the 1870's but the other clothes she makes.  She speaks frequently to groups who want to know about period dress.....and to others who wonder where her internal organs have gone.   Split primary palette again.  Another backlit scene that affords those wonderfully colorful shadows.   When she first took this pose she had a defiant kind of stance which as the session went on became much more relaxed.....I'm glad I was able to keep the 'attitude' in this one.

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Safe Rest, 18x20

Envy.... on my mind and in my heart.  Ever since I realized the Plein Air Convention was in progress down in California I've been wishing I were there.  Not enough, however, to actually spend the time and money to go to it.  But the desire is building.  Maybe next year.

The scene is the California coast near the convention area so at least I'm there in spirit.  This is from another photo lent to me by Tim Deibler and used to create the painting.  Lots of interpretation going on here.  I think I'm making some progress on this paint from photos thing.  Still, I'd rather be there, standing on those rocks.

Here is another one from photo.  It was a quick 30 minute one and, since I'll be gone a week, maybe the last posted until I get back.  Remember that Spring Training for Painters begins on the 15th.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Snow Fields Summer, 18x20

It's the colors in the shadows.....

.....that most intrigue me.  Back lit things appear to exude more life.  The shadow in the mountain and foreground, even though darker, have more luminosity to them.

The scientific reason is that, having little or no white pigment, they have greater transparency and the underlying board, like in watercolor, reflects through the paint.  In the sunlit areas opacity from the pigments, white especially, traps the light and prevents that 'see-into' effect.

If you look at natures shadows, from a face to a forest, they look like they have transparency about them.  Rembrandt, even with his limited palette, played the transparent/opaque thing to the hilt.

I think I'm getting better at this 'paint from photos' thing.  When glancing at the photograph I find myself continually asking 'what would I see if I were really standing there'?  You know, breeze in the air, sun on the face....bugs on the arms.   It helps.
This photo source was generously loaned to me by Tim Deibler.

'Spring Training for Painters' begins April 15th!  I'm planning on having fun!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Orchestration, 12x16

Ken Auster's words rang in my head.....

.....while I was wandering around the Winslow Art Center during my painting class.  Ken is an intriguing and talented painter from Laguna Beach who said 'good painters paint what they know, not what they see.  What you see is just resource material'.  His website is HERE.

Having dealt with the 'am I a camera or an artist' syndrome myself, I wanted a way to demonstrate for the next week's class what orchestrating a painting could mean.  So, while the class was doing other things, I painted this one when they weren't looking.

I had this panel with me that, for some unknown reason, I had toned green....but it was all I had.  In looking at the still life setup....and this is a picture that doesn't describe the side lighting....the white coffee cup and the cloth around it was by far the most strongly lit area.  That's not where I wanted a viewers eye to go.

Here is the sequence.....remember the photo of the setup is not true.

Sketchy drawing just to place shapes.

Beginning color block in.

Just before 'going for the finish'.

From here I threw in a few lighter portions and called it done.  The cup now takes the role of supporting actor.  The 'Lady Gaga' flowers lure your attention.

My workshop in Italy, Simplifying the Tuscan Landscape: Drawing and Painting, has been officially announced HERE.   Susan Ogilvie is also teaching pastels there a week earlier.  The place is spectacular.

  Also, my workshop in Spring Training for Painters, begins on April come get your painting arm and eyes in shape for the summer season.  Find out about that one HERE.

Keep painting.  Summer is coming.....really!