We usually paint a poinsettia in December during the adult watercolor class.
This year we are doing two small paintings. The students will cut and glue them to see what kind of abstract patterns they can come up with. They did some wonderful work and I feel a little bad that we will be cutting them up, but I also know that the end result will be full of another kind of fun discovery.
Ok, so last week I started a Santa demonstration and ended up painting the inspiration image of a man with a red beard. This week I followed my lesson plan and modified the image to be more Santa-like.
Everyone in class was in the best mood.... I think Santa makes us happy.
Quick demonstration in watercolor on quarter sheet cold press paper
Blogging has been a wonderful way for me to "get out of town." I have seen many new viewpoints, shared some of my own and made some wonderful artist, designer and collector connections. Scrolling through my blogger friends is like paging through a magazine. It is good to share some of the successes and struggles that we all go through. So for my fellow bloggers, a huge thanks for taking the time to share!
I enjoy teaching, doing demonstrations for my students and working on commissions, but sometimes I have paintings in my head that just need to get out. I miss painting just to paint. So this evening I spent some time at the studio working on this portrait of my son, Nick. Not done yet. Still working on values, color tweaking and deciding how loose to keep the bottom portion of the painting... It feels good so far.
Terri Ludwig Pastels on Wallis Paper, 18 x 20 inches
I hosted a 3 day beginner watercolor workshop this week.
I shared my steps to a finished painting (for good studio habits) and used a very limited palette (warm and cool of each of the primaries) to get the students used to mixing and having fun making "mud".
These are pretty basic projects.
We started with the leaf project, working wet on wet to get used to playing with color, using salt and layering.
The next project was the bird with simplified background. Wet on wet for the background and a soupy base for the bird with layers after each area dried.
Then the lighthouse, focusing on the stormy sky and softening shadows...
Each project gave the students some experience and confidence to move the the next subject.
I tried to keep my demos quick and simple.
The students all took their projects to the next level and went home with work to be proud of.
Well, I guess it was finally my turn. Thought I would do a self portrait for the daily paintworks challengeand I chose the red paper again. But I sat down to do a younger woman (don't we all think of ourselves younger than we are) and found that she has been modified to over 50 years old.
It is ok, this reality check.. and it is not so bad.
12x12 inches, Terri Ludwig pastels on Canson paper
I was invited to be part of a show at Gallery Sim, southside of Pittsburgh, opening on May 8th. The theme is "Capturing Carson" the main street of the area. I planned to do people, shoppers, commuters... but ended up with this image from a rainy day this past December. It is titled "Seeking Entry"
Up for Auction is my demonstration painting that I did for my class on night sky and artificial light. I put this up for auction at the Daily Paintworks Site. Please take a moment to bid on this or one of the other paintings with proceeds going to Japanese Earthquake and Relief fund.
UPDATE: painting sold and is now the gift that keeps giving.
I had some nice interest on my brief description of my pastel portrait process and thought I would post something on my watercolor process.
I like to get color down quick and don't like to go over the areas with many washes. I find the more washes and layers you use the less glow a painting has.
I start with large areas, saving the whites, and feeling my way around the form. I build up color and work the detail in bit by bit.
I add the background at different stages for each painting. Usually when I feel I have enough of the face value established to know how dark/intense... to make it.
I usually have a color scheme/temperature... in mind when I start, but don't fret if I change mid painting. Thumbnails/planning is good and something I do as a habit. But once in a while a painting reveals a new direction that I didn't think of. So I usually will go for it. After all, it is only paper...
We had two models today. My model had clothing that reminded me of the new True Grit movie, but I couldn't get into painting the entire image. So I focused on what I know. The other model had gypsy inspired clothing. I took photos of both of the models and I hope to paint them later this week.
pastel on 16 x 20 inch mounted wallis paper
I also wanted to share a very basic description about my process since a few asked at the session.
I start with vine charcoal and play with placement. It doesn't always work the first time, but I need to see it on the paper before I decide. Sometimes, like today, I sketched in a landscape format, didn't like it, so turned to portrait and did that twice before I found something I wanted to continue. In my studio, I usually do thumbnails, but at these sessions I just go for it.
Then I start with soft pastels (Terry Ludwig's mostly) and block in large and small areas using three basic values. The rest of the time I spend measuring, tweaking, adding more color... I used a wet sponge on a nu pastel base for the background and used soft pastel for additional color. I have a heavy hand and don't blend too much. If I do it is with my pinky. I also do what I call a "picture walk" and step away from the painting every so often. What you think you see up close can look so different from a distance.
We had a three hours session today. I spent about 2 hours of work time on this. I always find things I could tweak after I walk away for a while. If I could go back I would sharpen some of the eye structure, highlights and define the shoulder on the right side of the image.
Greg was one of the three models we used for the model session at Butler Art Center this past Saturday.
The mouth was challenging because his fist pulls it to one side.
A great place to learn technique is the Judy Carducci dvd on portrait painting. The dvd is so full of great info... could watch over and over and still learn more. In fact we had Greg sit in a similar pose to the model on the dvd.
I found another blogger who had been doing self portraits for a year. http://myrnawacknov.blogspot.com/ She has explored and posted so many ideas. I shared a few of them with my adult watercolor class as example on how to expand the use of materials and just have fun and play. My demonstration stayed pretty close to the example, but my students went over the top with the process. All of them made the project their own and I have to say, I am happy and just a little jealous of what they did.
quarter sheet watercolor paper, tissue paper, watercolor and black marker
Here is the link to one of my students whose project I just love.
This is a quick watercolor painting (12x20 inches) that I did last year for a local show. I did not enter it because it is not my usual style. It is really loose. I took another look at it this year and I guess it grew on me. Kind of fun, so I entered it this year.
The inspiration is from a photo that was taken from the annual Kokoon club, Bal Masque which was the ticket to get if you were in Cleveland about 80 years ago.