Sunday, April 17, 2011

Geraniums, Too

Another practice painting for the larger painting I want to do next week.  I think I did much better on the blooms this time.  However, I still can't paint leaves!

I think I need to practice painting nothing but leaves for a few days.

8 inch by 8 inch oil on canvas panel

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Geraniums and shadows

I mentioned that I want to learn to paint flowers, and I want to thank Janice Warriner for suggesting that I look at Helen Van Wyk's work and lessons.  I found a copy of Van Wyk's book "Color Recipes" online, and I'm loving it!  She gives actual mixtures to use for a painting.

This sketch is a practice for a larger painting I want to do in my weekly class.  It's from an illustration in the book.  She tells step by step what she mixed for the painting.

I don't have some of the colors she used.  Van Wyk says that Grumbacher Red is the closet tubed red to true spectrum red.  I don't have that color, I have cad red medium.  She used cadmium red light, but that's the only cadmium red she used.  She said cad red medium doesn't mix as well with white.

Something about this sketch isn't quite right, and I think it's values.   I was concentrating on trying to mix colors and make it look like a geranium, and I neglected values.  So much to think about!   Rather than try to tweak it,  I'm going to try another sketch.   I need to practice on leaves, too.   But I was pleased with the shadow on the wall.

8 inch by 8 inch oil on canvas panel.
Click on photo to view larger.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Poppies in Vase

I finished this in my class this week.  I posted the start of this painting last week.  I'm happy with the way it turned out.  The colors are even more intense than they show in this photo.

I wanted to keep it loose (for me).  My fear was that I would work and work on it until I lost that feeling of spontaneity.   It is so hard for me not to get bogged down in details.  That's why I always make myself paint with a large brush, even in the small daily paintings.  I painted this primarily with a number 8 filbert.

This is a 12 " by 16 " oil on stretched canvas.
Click on the picture to view larger.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Red Pears on Red Stripes

These are red Bartlett pears that I bought yesterday at the market.  The color is amazing.  They are almost the color of cordovan leather.  Two of them have a touch of pale green on them.

I put them on a red striped tea towel that I picked up at Tuesday Morning to add to my hodge-podge collection of things to paint.   This was my first attempt to paint stripes.

I really enjoyed painting this.  None of that kicking myself around the room feeling.  I am slowing letting go of the feeling that every daily painting needs to be a finished painting.   Trying to relax and enjoy the journey.

8 inch by 8 inch oil on canvas panel.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tulips and apples

When I first started this blog, I mostly painted fruit.  That was a big enough challenge for me.  I avoided more complex subjects, because I didn't think I could paint them.  I kept telling myself that I can't paint flowers, but that when I become a better painter, I'd try.

So something shifted in my brain this week.   If I want to learn to paint flowers, I need to start trying to paint them!  Doh.

I realized a couple of things while I was painting this:

1.  It's really too large for a small canvas.  I should just try to paint a couple of flowers instead of a large vase full of them.   Next time I'll do that.

2.  I spent 90% of my time on this painting on the tulips, trying to make them have volume and "read" as tulips.   I painted the apples and fabric in less than five minutes.  That was an eye opener to me.  I knew how to paint them!   All that practice.  Maybe after another six months I'll know how to paint flowers!

8 inch by 8 inch oil on canvas panel

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Summer breeze

My mother used to hang laundry outdoors on a clothesline in our back yard.  We lived on the Texas coastal  plains, so we had coastal breezes every day in the summer.  Sometimes a summer shower would come up, and we'd run outdoors to gather in the clothes before they got wet.  Nothing smells fresher than sheets that have been dried outdoors.

On the downside, every single stitch I owned had to be ironed.  The clothes smelled good, but I didn't enjoy ironing.  I had to sprinkle the clothes with water so that they'd be damp and then iron them dry.    It was the only way to get all the wrinkles out.   Nowadays I enjoy having a drier and not having to iron!

I painted this for the April challenge on Daily Painters International.  The theme is The Wind.  The artist can choose any subject that evokes wind.  I decided on this scene of clothes drying in the breeze.

8 inch by 8 inch oil on canvas panel

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Work in Progress -- Poppies in Vase

This is a work in progress from my painting class last week.   This is the underpainting.  I blocked in the colors and will work on adding detail this week.  I hope I don't overwork it.  I always start out  thinking big strokes, keep it loose.  But my own personality kicks in and I overwork the details.  

I am in love with cadmium orange light!   I haven't used it before.  I always use a limited palette, because that's what my instructors told me when I first started painting.  

And they wouldn't let me use black, either. I sometimes cheat a little by using black, though.  Not in this painting.  But a couple of paintings with lots of dark background just needed black. 

12 inch by 16 inch oil on stretched canvas 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pear study

I wanted to try something different with the background, here.  I wasn't able to achieve what was in my head, but I like this blue and yellow together.  

This is a picture of my latest purchase.  I'm always buying something that I "need" for painting--new brushes, new books, etc.  This is a tabletop lighting studio.  It's a white nylon box, and came with two spotlights that I shine on the sides of the box.  The fabric diffuses the light, so I don't have the problem with glare that I have with a flash.  There's enough light that the flash on the camera doesn't even go off.   It's 16 inches square, so it won't work for large canvases, but it's great for daily painting.  Now I don't have to wait for a sunny day.  It was $45 on Ebay. 

This wasn't even my own idea, but now I can't remember who recommended it to me!  My apologies that I can't give the credit where credit is due.