Saturday, June 30, 2007

Saturday, June 30, 2007 - Medusa's Daughter and Tilted Head

A friend in my wc class gave me a photo from a magazine (a girl flipping her hair all around in stringy bits). I saw that and thought of Medusa with the snakes for hair - my first study (I intend to do another one and fully explore this concept because I think it's cool and interesting and different) is below.
Meet Medusa's daughter:

Also, did another sketch from the Michael R. Britton studies online - this one of the tilted head. See how I tried to straighten her mouth instead of tilt it? So much to learn and to see! This is on really thin paper, not drawing paper at all, so the shadowing came out too dark, too. Will work on good paper from now on.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007 - Cool Gators Finished

Finished this in class Tuesday morning - got my new camera and figured out how to get the white balance right (it was showing too yellow) - and here it is. Half sheet Fabriano Artistico hotpress paper 140# - granulating colors (all Daniel Smith brand).

In case you don't remember, I did the first ones in all warm colors - here's the painting (also 1/2 sheet 140# coldpress Arches).

Which do you prefer?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thursday, June 28, 2007 - Small Watercolors

Another small try at the Oscar Rivers landscape - this one is on watercolor paper, no preparing the paper, just painting and trying to get the angles correct this time.

And a small tree - just a watercolor sketch done in class Tuesday looking out the window.

Got my new camera today but will have to read the instructions and learn a bit more before using it to download larger paintings.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - Figure Session, Small Sketch

From the Open Figure Session Tuesday Night:

Angela Long Pose #2

I won't share Long Pose #1 since it is a mess - just could not see the shapes right.

And a small sketch in my sketchbook - model from Michael R. Britton of ArtAcademy handout/teaching.

Monday, June 25, 2007 - New Camera on Order

Since my Olympus E10 died, we've been searching for a small point-and-shoot camera that will do everything I want it to do plus everything Jerry wants it to do (he needs many more features than I do). We finally ordered a Fuji E500 and it should be here by the end of the week.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007 - Busy, But...

Yesterday was the group birthday party here and today was my mother's birthday at her house, so I've been busy...
...but did some revisions on this pastel from the Tuesday night open figure session. I like the softness of the Rembrandt soft pastels much better than the pastel pencils I used in the session. But maybe a mix of both would work better - or I just need to learn to use the pencils in a lighter way - some of the other artists get some great work out of them, I know. I just ordered 2 books of anatomy for artists as I need to learn how the body looks - the bones under the muscles, the muscles under the weight, etc. to get the shapes, sizes, shadowing, etc. correct. Much work to do.
And, I just discovered that a young man in the open figure sessions, Emil Robinson, was featured in American Artist magazine in April 2007! His oil paintings and his sketches are lovely. Check it out online here:

And if you get the magazine, check out his work in the April 2007 issue.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thursday, June 21, 2007 - Manifest Studio

Happy Summer Solstice (2:06 pm EDT according to my calendar).

Here's a photo from the Manifest site for the studio sessions - this was Tuesday night's session. You can see the nice open space. I'm in the far corner straight back although you can't see that it's me - which is good because I hate having my photo taken. The photo was taken by Jason Franz, the Director of Manifest Gallery. He joins us for drawing every Tuesday evening - you can see his fabulous work at

Our space is in the Essex building in Cincinnati which houses many many many artist studios and where the Cincinnati Art Academy has some off-site classes.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - Figure Studies from Tuesday Night

Well, I just couldn't get it right last night. Struggled with the shapes I saw - I could SEE the shape, but my hand just wouldn't draw it right! And then I was working with some cheesy paper - you just can't erase from newsprint very well. So switched to better paper and pastel pencils - but it's still not right. Oh, well. I should have just moved to another position for a fresh view - but didn't.

Plus, this may be the last time I post for a while - my camera died while taking these pics and I get no picture when I look through the viewfinder. After looking through the manual and Jerry doing the same for about 1 1/2, no luck. Haven't a clue what happened.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday, June 18, 2007 - New Glasses

I've been putting off getting my eyes checked and today's the day. So probably won't be painting or drawing today - seems to take forever for the dilation to go away. I need new sunglasses (haven't had a new pair of prescription sunglasses for years and years) and maybe everyday glasses.

No wc class tomorrow - Sandy off on another painting jaunt with friends all week. Wouldn't that be fun? Instead, I have to give the house a thorough cleaning this week for company Saturday. Oh, well, you have to do it once a year whether it needs it or not! ha-ha

Well, my eyes have changed but not enough to get new glasses so I picked out a pair of sunglasses and they put my prescription in them. I'm set for summertime and can stop fighting the glare when driving.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sunday, June 17, 2007 - Happy Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day to all the fathers today!I believe this photo was taken at the Cincinnati Airport back in the days when you could drive out to a viewing area, park your car and sit and watch the planes coming and going.

This is one of the few photos I have of my Dad (1934-1969).

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Saturday, June 16, 2007 - Sketches

I intended to work more on the Cool Gators - but didn't. Got my Michael R. Britton ( printouts and worked on some of his lessons on sketching portraits.

1 = foreshorted and lying down

2 = model with a long face and leaning in towards us (I obviously need to work on the eyes!)

3 = scowling and hand on head

All of these done with graphite on heavy Strathmore drawing paper. But I need to expand a bit and use something other than graphite, I think - maybe try out my new pastel pencils and other things for fun and some color.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday, June 15, 2007 - Peony Completed?

Dulled the pretty colors in the bottom leaves - they just took my eye there and kept it there and it shouldn't be that way - it sure was pretty, though :( Oh, well. Then someone in my online group said it wasn't really showing the stem correctly - and she was right (thanks, Doris!). So will tweak that a bit and then it's done.

I intended to work more on the Cool Gators painting but didn't get to it today. I think I had an allergic reaction from something I ate or drank and had to get an antihistimine tab in me and then I was useless (sleeeeeepy) for the afternoon.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thursday, June 14, 2007 - Finishing Some Watercolors

Had the pouring rain paintings (2) to finish. I hate things being left undone. Although I often go on to something else, I do try to go back and finish things I have set aside.
Sometimes, setting things aside helps you gather your momentum again for the next step. I hoped that would have happened - but that big tree in the second one looks horrid. I definitely need more tree study :)

But I do like how the peony is coming along - does it need the pale green to be more muted? I think I've fallen in love with the greens rather than the petals - so time to break the relationship and just go in and darken and dull it down! It is so much fun working on Arches hotpress paper with a bit of oxgall liquid in my water bucket to make the surface tension of the paper release - the paint just explodes over the surface of the paper with this stuff. And no hard edges where you don't want them. I think the sky needs to be more blue - IRL, it is more blue but it could be even more so against those pinks and purples, I think.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - Figure Session Tuesday Night

Well, I got there early Tuesday night and thought no one else was going to show up - finally we had about 5 people but no model. The model never showed up so...we asked for volunteers and some of the guys posed - just 20 minutes each.

All of the guys - 20-somethings who are art students - just sat in the same chair and posed - nothing special and lots of teeshirts and shorts.

The only interesting view I got was the unnamed student (quiet guy and I don't know his name) who had great curly hair and glasses and the light made interesting shadows on his face but I blurred them too much so may go back and redo this one just for fun.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 - Class Work

Wanted to finish some unfinished paintings I'd started, either just a sketch on the paper or a started painting that I put aside. Have the gators to return to - in class, a student suggested I do this one in cool colors because the first was all warms. Good idea! So I did it. Not finished - but about 3/4 of the way there...1/2 sheet Arches hotpress paper 140# with Daniel Smith granulating colors.
Also, I got some tips about the rain paintings and what to do to make both of them better - will work on those, too.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Monday, June 11, 2007 - Here Comes the Rain Again...

Now, didn't Annie Lennox have a song that began with those words? Yes, I think she did.
And here it comes again - not happy with the previous one because the rain doesn't look like rain. to describe the wind blowing the rain at the umbrella and the man's pantlegs, etc. and the trees bending, etc.? Thinking and needs some darks and work on the figure's head area and the umbrella. But I like the foreground better and the smaller size of the figure in this one although he looks a bit hump-backed in this one!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Saturday, June 9, 2007 - Pounding Rain Painting in Watercolor

My painting friends and I (Hi, Ann, Deb, Paulette, and Teresa!) have decided to do this one in watercolor and in acrylic. Now I know next to nothing about acrylic plus I only have a few colors so...I started the watercolor first and may not do an acrylic painting at all - maybe am opaque watercolor painting instead...will think about it.

Here is my first try - I hope I've worked out that the man (or have I turned him into a female in this painting?) is not centered, and there is a dominance in the painting - perhaps vertical? I know one thing - I don't like the green at all and the traffic signal needs to be paler to be pushed back a bit. I think all the concrete parts do look wet, though - and no one so far likes the walkway and wants it changed so will think about that with the second try.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Friday, June 8, 2007 - Pounding Rain

I asked Sandy (my wc teacher) how she would do the rain in this one and she came up with a complete value study/sketch! Since I have to do one of my own with my own composition (can't just copy her sketch because it's not mine), I worked on it last evening. I've posted Sandy's version (at the right side).

And I'm posting my version after I tweaked it a bit more - I wanted the walkway to lead our eye into the painting and I wanted the signals to be on the right side and I got rid of the post (I had drawn it in but Jerry said he didn't like it and since I wasn't attached to it - out it went).
The brown at the upper left is a coffee stain - sorry!

Now I need to get painting!

And again - the photographer is DZZ at MorgueFile and his name is Dmitry (all there is in the info) from Russia - he calls the photo Rainstorm (

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Thursday, June 7, 2007 - Figure Studies from Tuesday Night

We had a new model tonight, Angela. I didn't get any good gesture drawings (the model does ten 1-minute poses) but I liked the 2 long pose drawings I did. I tried working with charcoal this time. Now I always end up with black all over my hands and up my arms with charcoal but it does make a nice line. The first one was with a harder stick of charcoal and the second was a softer vine charcoal that didn't make darks well but blended nicely on the lights - I think using both would work well with the vine for the mid-tones and the stick for the darks. We had another student pose the model tonight and he did a nice job - it's a good pose, nothing strange or unusual, and shows nice curves. The second drawing is after she took a short break and returned - her hair was different and she was turned a bit differently so the shadows were different on her left side. Next time I can try using my new pastel pencils :) The student who posed the model tonight was working on a dark green gessoed paper with pastel pencils and it looked good - of course, he (Emil or Amil) is a fine artist.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - GCWS Meeting

The Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society meeting was this morning. We had a short business meeting and then an art sale. People brought in their slightly used brushes, paints, and art books for sale to other members. Everything was very reasonably priced (meaning garage sale cheap) and I got a set of pastel pencils and 12 sheets of Fabriano Artistico hotpress for $10 total! Plus I sold everything I took to sell.

The Evergreen Show ended Sunday and we only sold 8 paintings - a disappointing number since the show ran for 4 full weeks, including Mother's Day weekend and Memorial Day weekend. Oh, well...

After the sale, Sandy Maudlin gave a demo/lesson on her taping technique in watercolor.
She won the Ohio Watercolor Society Gold Award this past year with a taped painting (painting at left) and she enjoys working this way but all that taping on masking tape in small bits here and there just is soooo time consuming that I don't have the patience for it.
Today's outcome (with 16 participants - a good turnout) was this painting (see below).

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - Class Today

Sandy's critique of my Towne landscape was it had no color harmony - d'uh! I knew that so why did I paint it that way?

So...worked on a new one and even reworked the first one, cropping it and making the ice mountains just rocks and putting some browns in with the greens, some greens in with the browns, etc.

I like it better small and cropped but I really like the second new version - I just took the misket off so the whites aren't touched yet and I may leave them that way. But no time now - have to get ready for figure study group tonight.

Monday, June 4, 2007 - Francis Towne Pastiche First Try

Well, I just can't seem to get the ice mountains right so this is definitely a re-do! I did them with a sketch and wash pencil and then wet it to get the greys, then added some violets and beige colors in - but it looks ugly to me. So - another one coming up maybe tomorrow using just pale blue and the white of the paper for the ice mountains.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Sunday, June 3, 2007 - 12th Anniversary

Today Jerry and I celebrate our 12th anniversary. It seems like we've known each other forever and yet it seems like we've just been married a few years. So no painting today - I may have other things to do :)

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Saturday, June 2, 2007 - Next Pastiche + Summer Fair

The landscape group I belong to has started another pastiche/study of a past master, Francis Towne (1740 - 1816). Here is his painting we will be working from. I haven't started yet - it's been a busy day doing other things. There are two versions of this watercolor painting around - one more greyed and one more colorful. Of course, I like the more colorful one.

SummerFair (, the annual arts event, started last night and continues through Sunday evening at Coney Island in Cincinnati. Paintings, photographs, wood and metal sculpture, glasswork, jewelry, fabric work, etc. all available for sale in the booths. Plus lots of food and music.