Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Not Much Painting, but a Fair Bit of Drawing ...

This is a still life we worked on in the drawing class last night. I was grocery shopping in the morning, and remembered to pick up our "models".

Yes ... I have a skull living in a wig box in the closet. She was my dad's - he was an ear-nose-throat specialist, and I suppose availed himself of the skull for anatomical study for surgery. Sounds reasonable??? Whatever ... Zelda, as I named her, was a most accommodating model.

Another student brought in this beautiful dark, glass vase. It looked even when I was working on it!!! 

Plans for a commission. I am just starting to give it some serious thought now.  It will be large and complicated, so I have been procrastinating. 

Yes, it involves cats - eight of them, as well as a cockatoo, a parrot, two doves, two dogs and a rabbit!!!

So I have been doing quick cat studies in different poses.

... and more cats ...

... and still more cats!

That's pretty much it from the Farm for now. Bruno still is off with a hurt tendon, and we are both going a bit squirrelly from lack of exercise. So ... back to the drawing board and MORE cats!!!

Thank you for dropping by!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Are we There Yet??? ... Two Works Finished - the Cockatoo and the Tugboats

I left the poor bird here ... just a mass of feathers.

I used quin. violet, burnt orange and indanthrone to mix up some blue/violet for the beak and feet, black for the eye, and a brown for the branch.

I then went back in with the ultramarine/pink mixture, and gave the bottom of her body some definition.

I used the same blue/pink color to start adding some definition to her head feathers ...

... and kept on going till she looked right to my eye.
                                                                 "Pretty on Pink" 
                                                     36 x 40 cm.

I also did some fiddling [another technical term, similar to fussing] with the tugs. I intensified the colors of the tugs, especially the closer one, and I added some shadowed reflections underneath it. I also did some wet-in-wet applications of the dark sea color in a wavy motion in the foreground. All these changes were at the request of my aunt, and I agree with her appraisal and ideas.

I've had several people ask for my definitions of some of those technical terms I used in the last post. Blorping is applying fairly concentrated pigment in a happy-go-lucky manner. A wubble is what happens when the water/pigment ratio is off. I tend to make my washes quite smooth, and when there is excess water, it starts to move the colors in an unexpected [and usually unwanted] way.

 I may not be posting or painting as much for a while. My aunt went back into the hospital on the weekend, and it doesn't look good. So it goes ...

Thank you all for dropping by!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Tale of Two Parrots ...or ... Works in Progress

Since the last post, I went over the shadowed areas of the head with alizarin crimson.

Next I painted the blue ruff around the neck with ultramarine blue. Then ... the FUN part ... wetting the head, and blorping [a very technical watercolor term  :)] on lots of cadmium red. Right now, I like how it looks. We shall see what happens.  

I also started another parrot - same drawing, smaller format. I started by masking all the white feathers that were in direct sunlight. I wet the entire sheet, and loosely applied aureolin, quin. coral [a warmer version of the quinacridone pinks] and quin. sienna. 

I let it dry [no, I carefully used a hair-dryer, not feeling particularly patient], wet the entire sheet again, and applied thin washes of coral, sienna and ultramarine. I tried to encourage the blue to move more to the bottom, and ended up with two wubbles [another technical term] on the lower left.  

No problem! I dried it, re-wet it [using a firmer stroke than usual when applying water to loosen the areas of mistakes], and applied quin. coral and quin. sienna. It looks like that correction has almost completely eradicated the wubbles. Now I'll let it dry completely, and see what it's like when the masking is removed.

Thank you so much for dropping by! 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Why I'm Not Getting as Much Painting Done ... and ... a Parrot's Progress ...

Can we go for a walk NOW???
As soon as the sun starts to rise, Maggie is ready and raring to go! She has SO much energy! I take her and my landlady's dog out for an hour in the morning. And of course, Bruno; on the days I ride, it's another 2 - 3 hours there. Teaching is also taking time away from painting, especially the drawing class. But I'll get all of it organized ...

This is my reference photo, taken by a woman with whom I work. I loved the pose, and the colors in the neck area.  I had planned to work those colors into the background of the painting, but got swept away in a different direction,.

I masked the cockatoo and some palm leaves, wet the paper, and  dropped in some aureolin, pink and phthalo blue.

I started drawing in more leaves, and masking them ...

... and totally lost the bright colors.

So I will try something else. The parrot will now be red. I am painting the shadows in ultramarine blue, and the parrot will be done in cadmium red. These are both colors I never use, so this will be interesting.

My color swatches - I had thought a thin glaze of phthalo green would be a good shadow, but the ultramarine blue actually looks better. The green was quite dull-looking.

This is a photo I found on the internet that I am using as a color reference only.

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Vancouver Scenes, and a Bit of Painting

This is the side entrance to the Vancouver Art Gallery. It was a gorgeous, warm, sunny day, and I wanted to be outside, but I also really wanted to see this exhibit - it was the final day. The gallery was showing an exhibition of 500 years of Italian art, on loan from several Glasgow museums. There were several exquisite Renaissance works - very inspiring!

I had to take a photo of the skyline near the gallery. Vancouver has changed so very much. Every time I visit [which isn't often],  there are major changes.

Photos were not permitted in the gallery proper, but I was drawn to some of the renovation work that is being done inside the foyer. To me, it looks quite lovely and has  a European flavor.

I had my sister pose at the bottom of the winding stairs. 

On the way home, we drove through an older section of  Vancouver called Gastown. This isn't  the showy, store-front view. It's one of the grungy alleys, and I thought the photo would be a perfect reference for an exercise in perspective for my drawing class.

The other side of the street - another good perspective shot.

We passed through Chinatown ...

... and along Commercial Drive where some fair was being held. I just had to get a photo of the "bee-man" with his wings.

Also on Commercial, I took a photo through  the windshield of this woman's wild green dreadlocks. I am like a tourist in my own city. My niece once said that going out in the city with me was like going out with an alien from another planet - always looking, always fascinated and amazed at what I saw. 

I did some painting this week - finished the contented cow, by giving her a solid shadow and ground.

And I am still slogging along with the tugs. I was darkening the treed areas in small bits and pieces with a dry brush technique, and it was so slow going.  So I decided to bite the bullet, and put some masking on and get it DONE. I will have to darken the water and foreground tug, and then re-assess.

The watercolor classes are still going so well - all are happy with their work, and inspired [including me].

I taught my first drawing class last Tuesday. That was not so inspiring! The class is extremely diverse - from those with absolutely no drawing background to others with many years of doodling and drawing. As for me, I have been drawing for as long as I can remember, and I'm finding it somewhat awkward to explain something that is so natural to me. Like ... how do you explain to someone how to walk who has never done so??? Somehow, I'll figure it out. I think the next class will involve much looser work using charcoal on large sheets of paper. One overall mistake I noticed with the class was that they were all very tight, and trying to be "perfect" in creating a drawing. And I must do more demonstrations.

Anyway, that's life right now. Thank you for dropping by!