August 27, 2013

Birch Bench Part 2

Outlined drawing ready for paint.
Sky first. Easy enough, so far, so good.
Shadow mass. Too early to judge.
Already this is not going the way I'd planned. Oh well, keep trying. It's a learning experience.
Building up colour with a pallet knife.

So that was way harder than I thought, but I like the blobby paint effect. I need a smaller pallet knife and a lot more yellow, the colours are wrong. I also need to stop and think about this for a while, like over night. I'm sure once I'm warmed up it'll go better. Though I have a feeling I'll be back to obsessing over the details with a paint brush in no time.

Aarrrhg! Must stay loose!
I thought I was quitting for the day but as predicted I'm already obsessing so I stayed and painted the trees on the right with my pallet knife. I managed to capture a little bit more of what I wanted. And believe it or not I lightened the sky. Acrylic paints dry so much darker than what I expect. I think it could still be lighter. I'm going to have to get used to mixing in a very pastelly way.
So now I'm really quitting for the day. I'm tired, I'm hungry and my hands are dirty, but I'm pleased.

August 26, 2013

Birch Bench

Well, I'm calling this new painting Birch Bench. I thought I'd go for a little harder subject this time, more of a landscape. And I really wanted to experiment with a different style too, a freer, more abstract look. There's a fabulous artist I found recently named Maxim Grunin. If you want to see him paint, check this video out on YouTube. He works with a pallet knife and I'm dying to try it. 

Anyway, I thought these two photos taken in Ft. Langley would make a nice painting.The river was too washed to see it clearly out so I took another shot of just the river and joined the two. 
This is the actual view from the bench the old man is on.
Here's the composition combined into one reference photo. In my finished drawing I've left out the fences and poles.  
 There's something about the old man and his dog sitting alone amongst all the high contrast shadows that I really loved. 
My pallet is a plastic tray from the dollar store. Here's a trick I saw in a book that's really helpful. You fold paper towel lengthwise into thirds, wet it, then lay it out along the sides of your tray to  keep your acrylics wet. Though with my Titanium White I find it easier to use wax paper so I can remove it if I need to. At the end of my painting day I stack two wet sponges in the middle of my tray so they're higher than my paints, then cover the whole thing in saran wrap. Works great for keeping them wet overnight. 
My canvas with my transferred drawing all ready to be outlined. It will be interesting to see if I can stick to a pallet knife style and keep my vision loose. Will be a challenge I'm sure since I'm such a detail lover.  

August 13, 2013

Morning Fuchsia Part 4

So it's been awhile since I posted my painting and I think I'm almost finished. This first picture is from a week ago. It's been very difficult trying to understand this paint. To see my process you'll have to scroll waaay down to part 1 from weeks ago. 
Nothing turned out the way I expected. 
Though once I started adding colour I felt a little more comfortable. 
On this particular morning as I was getting up my nerve to paint I saw that  
 some of the leaves near the bottom of the branch were all screwy. Everything was going in the wrong direction. Oh no! Hey, wait a minute. This is my practice canvas, I'll paint them out in white. See what happens. A little scary but not too bad.  

Then I took my pencil drawing outside to my plant, drew some new leaves that I was
happy with and transferred them onto my canvas
And after a million layers of paint and glazes, I finally made some headway. Fortunately, I was able to spend a whole week and at least 8 hours a day by myself, painting, because my husband was away. I'm not quite finished yet, I still need to detail the edges of the leaves and fix the main flower. 
But overall I feel better about it, not overly confident, but better.  

Though now I'm kinda sick of Fuchsias and I still have the real painting to do, the brainstorm that started this whole thing.