Friday, December 31, 2010

Lemon Trio

I wanted to explore painting fabric, so I laid these three lemons on a white tea towel.  The background is the dark gray of my light box.

Claire Christinel said that in a workshop she learned that she should look at values not just relative to the object, but also relative to the values in the rest of the composition.  (You can click on her name to see her blog.)  

I was thinking about that today as I was painting.  The edges of the lemons looked very dark against the white cloth.   I also thought some of the shadows of the cloth looked almost as dark as the background.

I've painted lots of lemons (there are usually always some in the refrigerator).  When I compare this painting to the others, I realized that I painted all the lemons differently, with different colors of shadows and highlights.  They all look like lemons, though.   The values are more important than the colors.  People say that all the time, but when I lined up my lemon paintings I could really see it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lemons and pitcher

Arrrgh!  I haven't painted in several weeks, and I can tell!  I made mud in a couple of spots in this one.

I am beginning to learn something about values.  I have a tendency never to make my darks dark enough. Then I have to go back and adjust.  I did that on the grapes here.  Since they are pale green grapes, not the dark purple ones I painted last time,  I laid down what I thought was a dark color.  But then when I started painting in the lighter body colors, they were too close in value to each other.  Lesson learned.

I just dabbed on some highlights and quit.  I have to go out of town today, so I'm posting this.  I hope to get back to a regular schedule of painting now that most of the festivities are over.

Thanks to everyone who has visited me and commented over the Christmas holidays.  It is so great to see the generous comments from some really terrific painters out there.  Thanks again!  You guys rock!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I'm saying this one is finished.

Yesterday afternoon I worked on my painting in my art class. This morning I tweaked it a little, but I think it's done.    This is my attempt to paint sort of like David  Leffel.  It's not a copy, but my interpretation, as Lorraine called it.  There's a lot more of me in this than there is of him!

I'm happy with it, though.    My little camera doesn't show the richness of the paint colors, but you can get some idea of it.  I hope some of the looseness carries over into my paintings.

I think next I'm going to paint a snowman.  I've been enjoying everyone's Christmas paintings.  Since it never snows here, I'll have to use artistic license!

Click on the painting to view larger.

12" x 16" oil on canvas

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Work in Progress

Like most everyone,  I find these days very hectic.  Shopping and decorating and baking take up lots of time.  In addition, we are in the house-building phase, so I've been spending lots of time meeting with workmen and on making choices for paint colors, light fixtures, flooring, etc.

So not much time for painting this week.  I am working on a larger painting for my weekly class.  I bought a book about David Leffel, called "Oil Painting Secrets from a Master".  I find his paintings a little dark for my taste, but I do like the looseness of his brush strokes.  So I am trying to learn by painting a copy of one of the illustrations in the book.  

 This is just a corner of the canvas.  Maybe I won't get arrested.  I'm not trying to sell this or pass it off as my own.  Just trying to learn a new technique.   It's all I have to show for this week.

Monday, December 6, 2010

You Say Tomato

This one wasn't as easy as the bottles.  I liked the colors as I was painting, but at the end of the session I decided I had been too timid with the highlights and too "vigorous" with the stems and leaves.   So the next day I worked on those areas, increasing the highlights and painting over some leaves.   I like it better now, but I'm not in love with it.

I did learn something.  I used cad red and viridian green and then added titanium white to create a grayed highlight.  The green and red I also used to create some of the shadow areas on the tomatoes.

I think I probably should work on more than one painting at once, because I find that I am painting in blocks of color that become the underpainting.  Then I add more paint the next day.   It's hard for me to finish a painting in one day.  If I had two going, maybe I could alternate drying days.

8" X 8" oil on canvas panel

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftovers

As you can see, all that was left were the bottles after Thanksgiving.  My husband even asks me now if I want to keep a bottle before he throws it out.  

This painting was fun today, and I was surprised that I completed it in about an hour and a half.  I kept trying to remember to paint "shapes" not objects.   Now that I've photographed it, I can see the drawing errors, but I still like this one.   I plan to paint these again.  

8 " X 8" oil on canvas panel