While I’d love to be painting in the south of France in the springtime that’s not always possible (if ever). And while a fresh, white blanket of snow can be pretty, I’m not going out there to paint.
Hence the photographic reference comes into play.
This week’s eCourse Dreama tells us her photo had white shutters but she made them blue in Photoshop®. I also notice some of the flowers have been squiggled in with some color as well.
I do my best to compose in the camera, trying to get a paintable shot. Photoshop allows me to crop out and add elements to those not so perfect shots and work it out before I even get to the canvas. Every little bit helps.
The photo, after all, is not something to be copied, but a jumping off point for so much more.
Here is my “blue shutters” painting from week 6. #DreamLovePaint
A huge winter snowstorm is a great reason to be inside painting. The 10″ of snow makes it quite bright outside in a basically black and white world.
My painting from week 5 of my eCourse is also bright, but very colorful and much more cheery than the blowing snow outside. It makes me happy to be reminded that Spring will come again and flowers will bloom. It makes me smile.
I was about to wipe out one area I didn’t like to repaint it, when I took a few steps back to have a look and saw it looked really good. Sometimes we are too close to something and we need some distance to see it clearly.
When I was just about finished I took a photo and was amazed at how a few problems stood out like a flashing lights. So a few more tweaks to take care of those and I’m happy.
A good reason to paint and a good reason to have art around me—it makes me happy.
Here is my flower painting from week 5. #DreamLovePaint
Week 4 of my eCourse and I feel like I’m getting the hang of it. Start out with thin paint, bold and bright, massing in the shapes. Then redefine the drawing with this handy tool, the Kemper wipe out tool. It has a pointy rubber tip on one end and a chiseled rubber tip on the other; it removes the paint from the surface.
Moving on to thicker more opaque paint with lively brushtrokes and a variety of colors allowing some of the layer below to show through.
If I fuss too much in one area, instead of blending it starts getting mushy, losing that lively quality, paint builds up, and it gets muddy.
The Kemper tool comes in handy here. I can wipe out a whole area back to the surface and start over. Oil paint stays wet for a long time allowing me to do that. Put back in the brights and be more attentive to the opaques. Way better than wiping out on a surf board.
Here is my blue chair painting from week 4. #DreamLovePaint
Painting realistically is not hard for me. Pushing it to photo-realism is challenging but not impossible. (I used to think I could’ve been a forger.) But I find it tedious, and with cameras what they are today, why paint that way?
I want to make my art look like paint, show my brushstrokes and marks, and show my interpretation of the subject.
But breaking habits is not easy. This week’s painting of a sunflower proved that. When watching my eCourse DreamLovePaint video and Dreama said to “mass in the shapes of the petals”, boy I wanted to paint each and every petal!
This is going to take some practice.
Here is my sunflower painting from week 3. #DreamLovePaint
Every time I take a class I want to know everything NOW! Just open my head and pour it in. I am always frustrated in the beginning because in any class there are always various skill levels of people signed up and there is a certain amount of basics to get through.
My eCourse is no different. I want to paint. But there is setting up the studio, setting up the palette, loading up the brush, cleaning the brush, yada, yada, yada… all good information, and I want to PAINT. And I learned a lot in spite of myself.
I’ve always known certain pigments didn’t cover as well as others and this was annoying. These are the transparents, and now I know how to use them to my advantage. As a thin underpainting they provide a rich glow of bright color, which work with the next layer of thicker opaque color to provide depth and richness.
The second week we painted! After switching to acrylics for the past 3 years I remembered why I like painting in oils. Thick and buttery, there is nothing like it. And it’s pretty easy to wipe out and paint over if I don’t like what I’ve done (which I did several times).
So I’m getting the hang of this loose brushstroke thing, at least while I’m watching Dreama do it. We’ll have to see if I can do it on my own with my own painting. But I’ve still got 4 weeks to go.
Here is my cupcake painting from week 2 #DreamLovePaint.
Pantone Inc. is best known for its Pantone Matching System (PMS), a proprietary color space used in a variety of industries, primarily printing, though sometimes in the manufacture of colored paint, fabric, and plastics. Annually, Pantone declares a particular color “Color of the Year”. Fashion designers, florists, and many other consumer-oriented companies look to Pantone to help guide their designs and planning for future products. Pantone has said that color “has always been an integral part of how a culture expresses the attitudes and emotions of the times.”
Pantone has chosen two colors for 2016, Serenity, muted pale blue, and Rose Quartz, a pale pink. A challenge was put forth on Daily Paintworks to create a piece or art using those colors. This is my answer to the challenge.
People admiring art sometimes tell the artist, “Wow, you’re good, I can’t even draw a straight line.”
Here are my straight lines. Left hand; right hand.
There are no straight lines in nature. Humans make straight line usually with the help of a ruler or some sort of straight edge. In my previous blog you can see my preliminary drawing where I used a ruler to draw in the building. I do not use mechanical aids when I paint.
I could use a mahl stick which many artists use to keep their hand off the surface of the painting while doing fine work. Or I could tape it off like the artists did in the 1960s when Pop Art became the vogue and crisp, straight lines were part of the style.
I want my lines to show my hand, to look painterly. I don’t want a mechanical look even on mechanical objects. This is not a photograph. This is paint on canvas or board after all.
So if you can’t draw a straight line, maybe you can push some paint around.
It takes a few layers sometimes. I’m not done yet. Still moving paint.
More decisions to make. I’ll keep painting ’til I’m happy.
I know a lot of artists who will roll their eyes or cringe when they hear someone say they are looking for a painting to match their couch. “Art should be bought because you love it”, they’ll say. “Because it speaks to you”. And wouldn’t it be nice if we all had the money to buy the art first and decorate our rooms around it.
But most people already have flooring and maybe have picked a wall color and bought a sofa and tables and lamps and now, maybe have some money to buy art. It’s probably the last thing and they want it to fit in with every thing else. That’s OK.
Then again it doesn’t have to MATCH. You know that technical term the designers use…you don’t want too much “matchy-matchy”.
My walls are forever changing—art goes up when I paint new ones; art comes down when it goes to a show; back up when the show is over; down when I sell it. Anyway…this piece is up on the wall. It is mostly blue. So are the 2 small ones. I have no blue in my living room. I do have brown, which is a darker version of orange. Orange is the complement of blue (opposite on the color wheel) so they go together. Nice! And there is a little orange near the horizon where the sun has set.
See that. It’s all good.
Next time more tips on art on the walls. Until then I want to know…what’s on your walls?
Thursday was no exception. I go out painting “en plein air” or painting out doors with a group or artists on Thursdays. There are 2 dozen artists on the list and one beautiful artist coordinates a place and communicates to us via email. Those who intend to paint respond so no one ends up showing up alone.
Last week 5 were supposed to paint; only one other artist showed besides myself. But we had a guest.
A well-known and local artist, Tim Widener, was bicycling through the park and spotted Theresa, my fellow artist, and stopped. He had been painting nearby the day before, would like to come out and finish his painting, and asked if we would like to join him. He’d be glad to give us some instruction as well. Uh, yeah! He is also a well-known instructor.
His spot was on a lookout right on the river where you can see the boat dock. Seeing another artist’s color choices, brush choices and process is always interesting. Watching him work on Theresa’s pastel was cool too. I had blocked in my sky, trees and water and was going to put in the boats later. He said I needed that white line in there almost immediately to be able to relate to it. Seems I remember hearing something like that from an instructor long, long ago, and it seems I had forgotten that.
Thanks Tim. It was a joy painting with you.
“Dock of the River” 6x6x” acrylic on gessobord panel, unframed, available for $50 via http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/andrea-jeris/dock-of-the-river/399857