Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Up for Auction, Times Square at Night Study

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.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My "how to' watercolor portrait

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...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My "how to" pastel portrait.

 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.