Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday, August, 31, 2007 - No Frog Today

Intended to do George over again yesterday but other things got in the way.

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend and stay safe.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - Do Over: Red-Eyed Tree Frog

I put the painting of George under the tap in the bathtub and washed it off completely with a sponge. Yupo is a plastic "paper" and you can just wash the paint off so it was easy. If you want the paint to stay on the paper permanently without fear of rewetting it or smearing it, you have to spray it with an acrylic sealer at the end.

So...this is how it looks (left) when it's back to the paper. You can see the painting faintly but that's good because that helps me redraw it on the paper.

And then here it is (bottom) after I've redrawn it using watercolor pencils. I'm putting in some green fronds/leaves in the bg so it's not all one color or one texture and should be easier to work on when I start over. Since I'm going to do this all in one go, I'll start it tomorrow when I'm fresh and ready - at least, that's the plan.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - George

Well, I tried to work on the background but those of you who have worked on yupo know that it's hard to make changes without getting changes elsewhere due to the nature of the "paper" and how it runs a bit here and there. So the background isn't looking too good right now. It's wet (I went in and tried to fix the ugly places again and you can see where the paint is already running from the tree limb to the background) and I'll have to wait until it dries completely before I go back and see what I can salvage from it.
I may have to admit defeat and just wash it off and start over. I think it's easier to work on yupo from start to finish if you can, rather than go back in later and make changes.

Did you get up early this morning before sunrise to see the total eclipse of the moon? I did, watching it slowing being covered with a reddish brown shadow. Then it stayed that way from 5:55 - 6:25 am when I finally gave up and saw that it was going behind a lot of trees and the sun was rising, lightening the sky. I didn't get to see the end where the shadow uncovered it again. It was worth getting up at 5:45 this morning to see it, though.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sunday, August 26, 2007 - Finished George?

I intended to finish the yupo painting of George, the red-eyed tree frog, yesterday but forgot Jerry's girls (my step-daughters) were taking him to River Downs as a birthday present. Spent the day there and the weather was kind - about 91F but a nice breeze blowing and we were shaded and we even got a bit of a tiny little sprinkle twice that helped cool us down.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007 - Finished Spoons + George

Finished the spoons I think. I'm pleased with the shiny look of the bowls - they look very good in person, too :) I'm not quite done with George but almost there.

Will finish George tomorrow - Jerry doesn't like the white abstracted places and wants me to make them green. May have to just play with that in photoshop or something to see if I want it. Is the grey-white too much?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - Spoons Next Version + Class Work Tuesday Morning

I didn't go to figure drawing session Tuesday night but did start a yupo painting in watercolor class Tuesday morning. This is George, a tree frog that belongs to one of Jerry's students but we get to babysit him every now and then.

I also worked a bit more on the spoons. The misket is off in this version and I need to shape and shadow the handles more and then they should be done.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007 - Spoons Again

Here is the next stage of the spoons painting. I am darkening everything, and slowly working on getting the felt the spoons are lying on a deeper color with some variety by using a variety of blues and purples and reds.

I also did a little pastel practice. It looks a bit strange because I don't have a lot of variety in the pastel colors - if I was going to do portraits, I'd have to get a portrait set of colors since I'm just working with a few basics that don't work well for skin tones. But I played with darks and lights on pastel paper. I need to work on the collar bones so it looks like she's facing toward us not away but this was more to play with the strokes and blending than anything worth saving.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007 - A Bit More on Shell Spoons

I worked a bit more on the spoons painting - not much more but some. I may be away from the computer for a few days but check back later if you're interested...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007 - SmokyMtStream, Spoons Redux and Card for Chris

I worked more on the Smoky Mt Stream painting. As you can see by the second photo, I need to darken some areas still to match up the photo better but not much more to do...does the water read water? Streaming water?

I also began what will be a more blue-purple version of the spoons. The handles will be warm against a cool mix of blues and purples.

And just so I wouldn't get bored, I also painted a small birthday card for Chris (our son-in-law = Jenny's husband). We will see him and the granddaughters Saturday for a family birthday get-together. This is on a small piece of Textured Clayboard.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 - Figure Study Tuesday Night

Tuesday in watercolor class I started another SmokyMtStream painting. I tried to do the drybrush technique over the previous painting I did on hotpress paper but I just wasn't getting it to work for me. So just began another the usual way. Sandy liked this one better than the previous one because she said that first one was 1/2 and 1/2 in colors (green and rusty brown) and no predominance. I like the start of this one, too, but that water is going to be the test!

Our model Tuesday night didn't inspire the women very much (2 of us left early and 1 other expressed the same thing). I don't know what it was but I had an uneasy feeling while drawing him. Oh, well, they can't all be positive experiences, I guess.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - In Class This Morning

Since we didn't get to celebrate a class close to Sandy's birthday, I took cookies today and those present got to partake and sign the card (from a photo I took of her in a Janet Rogers workshop). It was fun. But I didn't start on the spoons at all, instead tried a drybrush technique (on the rocky stream painting) that drove me nuts and wasn't very successful so wet the paper and worked on it on top of the drybrush. I just didn't have the patience to layer and layer dry paint but it was worth trying. Will finish this up and post later.

In the meantime, Michelle said I should do the wave I posted yesterday on yupo and wanted to share it with her here - it was done back in April, I think. The photo was taken off Palm Coast, Florida - we walked the beach every day.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007 - It's Too Hot

Too hot to paint or draw. Too hot to do anything but veg on the sofa and read about being somewhere else.

Maybe somewhere cool.

Photo of poppy by Smudger at WetCanvas.

Photo of waves coming into shoreline, east coast of Florida, by Jerry.

The verdict is about 1/2 and 1/2 on keeping the red felt background on the spoons painting vs going for a blue/purple mix instead. I may have to do two of them! You'll find out my first choice after class tomorrow.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday, August 12, 2007 - Spoons Sketch Again

I traced the small 4 x 6 photo of the spoons, then enlarged that and printed it out and worked to get the shapes right, using a larger photo. And then traced the larger sketch onto the watercolor paper. So all ready for a larger (1/4 sheet) painting. Here's just a few of the works I've done to get ready...some good, some not so good:

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Saturday, August 11, 2007 - Watercolor Study of Spoons

Did this little study of some spoons from a photo Jerry took at the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine, Florida 2 year's ago.

I need to get those curved bits right on the handles or it's not going to look good at all. Jerry says the bowls aren't curved right, either.

I'm thinking I'll change the fabric from red to blue and pick up more blue highlights in the spoons (which are carved from shells). This is about 6.5" x 9" and I'm going to do a larger painting of it and change some things and be careful of the curves.
So will be working on a detailed drawing today before painting another larger painting of the spoons.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday, August 10, 2007 - Reading Art Magazines

My American Artist magazine and Watercolor Magic magazine came yesterday. And I've been reading the Drawing magazine, too. Check out this woman who sketches with graphite on black paper:

Interesting in that she uses the soft graphites as the highlighted areas on the black paper.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Thursday, August 9, 2007 - Pastel Practice

I've been going through the pastel book and trying some techniques to get the feel of the pastels and paper, just doing something simple to practice the strokes. There are so many choices in pastels and so many choices in papers, too! Right now I'm just using the Mi-Teintes pastel paper I bought recently in various colors (ochre, eggshell, pale blues - all fairly pale colors).

I'm not sure I like the dust and mess of pastels but maybe I can work around that. Or it's back to the graphite for me (and I even get that all over my hands and forearms when drawing :) And the author says a beginner problem is blending too much so everything is soft looking (which I'm tending to do!) so you have to go back in and heighten things with strong lines after you've softened everything you need to soften or blend.

You really need to know your color theory well to work on colored paper - how does this warm ochre change my blues or greens? How does that cool paper work with any warms in my painting? Lots of things to learn, of course! And the color is never completely covering the paper so some of that base color will show through, changing colors - like the simple landscape below - it's on a warm ochre paper and the sky color sits on top of that warm color, which shows through unless you put on fixative and add more and more layers. I'm using Rembrant soft half pastels and I like their creamy texture - not too hard like the NuPastels I used once in a drawing class. Isn't this small box like looking at delicious candies of all flavors?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Wednesday, August 8, 2007 - 0

No watercolor class Tuesday morning - Sandy off to a workshop!! That must have been her birthday present to herself :) She'll come back with lots of new info for us all...

And the model cancelled at 6:30 for the 7:00 figure drawing session Tuesday night so I drove over there and then was told it was cancelled :( Just me and one other lady showed up because we get there early.

So here's what I did for the landscape group - a painting to show "unity." It's from a photo Jerry took in the Smokey Mts of a stream with lots of mossy rocks and running water. It's on Arches hotpress 140# paper.

The latest American Artist Drawing magazine has an article about The Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center (that's a mouthfull!) and showcases a couple of Emil Robinson's drawings and drawings by 2 other students I never met. Nothing of mine was included, but wait till next year! Check it out at your local bookstore:

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tuesday, August 7, 2007 - Pastel School

Got a new book from NorthLight Book Club on pastels and am trying to work with them and learn some techniques. Can't seem to find a teacher anywhere for just drawing or, specifically, figure drawing, so will have to learn myself from books, I guess. I like the Hazel Harrison books - I have one for watercolor painting which is excellent. She has one on painting in acrylics, too. Very detailed, lots of exercises, and good instruction if you can't get it in person.

And the Art Wolfe dvds and books came in Saturday for Jerry. We've both been enjoying them very much. Excellent photography on the dvds and good comments and the books are well done, too. My only negative comment was they never emailed me when the stuff was posted but that could have been a computer glitch that let me end the transaction without putting in my email addy (and then I guess it couldn't be added after the fact although someone at his shop said she would do it). If you can catch the shows on your local PBS station, do - they are great! (Art Wolfe: Travels to the Edge).

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Sunday, August 5, 2007 - Sandy's Birthday!!!

Today is my watercolor teacher's birthday! Happy Birthday, Sandy :) May you have all the art materials you ever wished for and all the time to create beautiful things.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Saturday, August 4, 2007 - More Drawing

Worked some more on the beach tree (I don't have a clue what kind of tree it is). Added some color with conte sticks and pastel pencils (only had 2 blues so the sky looks a bit wonky). I love drawing and painting trees - mostly the trunks with twisted limbs and roots curving around on top of the ground.
Hey, check out this site of local Northern Kentucky artist and muscian,
Robyn Roth ( Don't you just love her artwork? I do! Especially her indigenous people's portraits.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Friday, August 3, 2007 - Sketch of Beach Tree

Working on a sketch of a tree standing on Base Beach on San Sal. We will be working on drybrush techniques in class on the 14th and I may work on this in watercolor then - but having fun picking out the shapes on this one in my 9" x 12" sketchbook.
This still has work to go on it for a good sketch and I think I will finish it in graphite and maybe add a bit of color, too. (The original photo is below and you can see the ruddy color vs the bleached out look of it).

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Thursday, August 2, 2007 - My Sweetie's Birthday!

Today is Jerry's birthday!!! Since my order for him (the dvd set of Art Wolfe's "Travels to the Edge" and a couple of his photography books) won't be in today :( we'll have to do something to celebrate - maybe a meal out and some cake. We will have a better celebration Sunday with family with a meal, cake and ice cream and presents.

We had a new model Tuesday night. This is the graphite sketch I did (on 14" x 17" Aquabee sketch paper).

I talked to Emil Robinson about drawing lessons/tutoring but he doesn't have time as he's teaching a class at UC and also planning a long trip away to London in the fall. Until I find a good class that is recommended by someone or someone who is willing to do tutoring, I'm just struggling on my own but Jerry said my drawings are getting better. Of course, you don't know if they are correct or not since you don't see the model's position but I think this was pretty close. In the second one, I just focused more on her face after her break (so she was turned a bit more than the first one). And in this one I may have not gotten the foreshortening right because I think her legs were actually larger because they were the closest elements to me when she was lying in that position.
A couple of the guys were talking about liking to draw the female models but not the male models. I wonder why that is? I, too, prefer the female forms unless the male is in good shape and has good muscle structure. Maybe the female forms are more flowing and less intimidating (especially to the males in the group who greatly outnumber the females in the group). This model was new and she had really developed calve muscles and was fit without being muscled and had gorgeous red hair which made me want to add color but I think I should stick to the black and white in the session. I may add a touch of red here at home to give her some color.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - Dog Days of Summer

Finished the Royal Poinciana painting in class yesterday morning. Done done done!! It's a 1/4 sheet size (the bottom looks odd but it's because it was curved under a bit when I took the pic just now.

Our meeting of the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society was really good today with Ken Bowman of Bowman's Framing, Inc. (103 North Fort Thomas Avenue, Fort Thomas, KY) giving us lots of pointers about how to mat and frame our paintings to show them off and/or put them in shows. Thanks to Ken and Julie Williams, his able assistant, for their presentation today! Ken told us something that I think was news to many: he hosts the Kentucky Watercolor Society travelling show when it's in northern KY! But today was the last day so I didn't get to see it :( I'll put it on the calendar for next year since he does this every year during the summer.