Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Leaving Orvieto, 8x10

The Winslow Art Center.....
.....has just announced my painting workshop in Umbria, very near Orvieto which we will visit.  I spent seven days in Orvieto during our last trip to Italy and not only is the city amazing but the countryside around it, where we will be staying, is terrific.  Take some time to check out the details HERE.  There are already people signing up.

Open to sketchers and/or painters in oil, gouache or acrylic, we will work both independently and as a group, around the villa and on day trips in the area.  More details on the website and from me later.  It looks terrific.

This small painting is actually on top of a portrait that ended up less than inspiring.  Turning the panel upside down I just blocked in the major 'dark' shapes.  I don't have a pic of the painting process but the block in looked something like this.....but with an upside down face under the paint.

Perhaps this will help to see it:

To me, when I squinted, the buildings were mostly in shadow and the sky and road carried the light.  You could just as easily have said the buildings are warm and the sky and road are cool....doesn't matter.  It's the division of shape characteristics that carries the weight of the painting.  As long as I did't go too far out of my original values (or temperature if that is how you see it) it was going to work.

Yes, there are light shapes in the dark areas.....or there are cool shapes in the warm areas....whichever.  Yet there aren't enough of those to break up the initial vision.

With those shapes loosely blocked there was no reason to draw any lines or create more definition.  I could begin 'paint carving' right away, using a limited number of values both lighter and darker than the shape.  Painting is just 'big shapes and doodads'.....I used to title my painting class that name.

By the way, here is a drawing I've posted before that was done just to the right of this vantage point maybe twenty feet and back.  Those houses on the lower left are the ones in the painting.  I drew it in the rain, shading my paper, markers and gouache with my hunched body.  It was fortunate that the heavy drops held off until about 2 minutes after I finished.

Thanks for looking.  Back soon.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Nancy meets Zorn, 16x20

Yesterday was the third session.....
......of Painting the Portrait which should end next week, although there is mention of it continuing for a bit more.  We've explored charcoal drawing and painting with just one color (Burnt Sienna).  This time it was a brief exploration of the Zorn Palette.

Anders Zorn was a brilliant Swedish artist who often used only four tubes of paint: Ivory Black, White, Cadmium Red and Yellow Ochre.  With that limited selection he was able to achieve luminous color effects.  It is a good approach to use for introducing color to the figure.

The limiting of choices allows for a focus on 'possibilities' rather than copying or coloring.  It sparks creativity, avoiding a slavish reproduction.   The image you see here doesn't show the more subtle colors that are in the painting, especially the soft lavenders and greens that the original has.

During the times that I didn't want to hover over people, I sat on the floor and did this one.  The steep angle up at Nancy....a good friend.... I found interesting and attractive.  Backlit subjects are always more intriguing as they allow for more color to seep into the image.

Signing it for Nancy.
Thanks for looking.  I haven't posted for a bit....like two months.....but l think I'm back now.

(It looks like we will be going to Italy for a workshop in October.  Stay tuned.)