Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Value of Values

Recently, Maggie Price wrote an article about organizing your pastels into value ranges instead of by color. I figured it was time to get my studio trays in order. I had a habit of keeping the paper labels on my pastels thinking that when I needed to purchase another stick of a color, I'd have the information. But really, I've been doing pastels for several years now, and can't say I have ever bought a replacement stick.

So after completing a painting today and before I cleaned up, I decided to rip off the labels, clean the sticks, and try to put them in value order. What a surprise! When you have the full stick visible, the colors seem much different! I noticed when you can only see the tiny end of the pastel with the paper on, it is very hard to judge the value and color.

Here are the organized trays. If you squint your eyes and look at my trays, you might notice I need to move some things around, and I have many duplicates of ultramarine blue and some yellows. Seems like when you buy a set of pastels the vendor always includes these strong colors. Obviously, I don't use these colors much!

Friday, January 18, 2013

There's a Reason Its Called a Boob Tube

I'm still around. I just haven't been in the studio much lately. I broke my New Year's resolution to refrain from purchasing more art supplies for 6 months. I really have plenty of supplies to last a long time but there were just too many good sales to pass up! Some of my purchases have arrived but I just piled in the studio and I seem to be hibernating in front of the TV.

And speaking of budgets.... I put myself on a strict 'play money' budget awhile back, but along with some tax changes, both real estate and the federal tax, I'm feeling a pinch in the household budget too. So I was trying to find ways to cut back. When I moved from the country to the big city in 2005, I got myself in the mindset that I 'had to' have cable TV. I really enjoy using a DVR to record some series shows and thought I could not live without it. The complex I live in only has two options for regular cable and I didn't want to deal with a dish setup for several reasons (and still no cheaper). The cheapest cable company, which I've had for several years, just announced another increase. I decided enough was enough. It is pretty stupid for a one person household to have a cable/internet bill of $115/month.

So I have spent this week trying to get ready to pull the plug. (I need to be weaned from this..LOL.). I found a 4G wireless internet provider that has a service for $35/month with no contract. I got this going this week. Then I bought a streaming video device for access to NetFlix, Hulu Plus, etc... and then I got my TVs setup to receive the 'over the air' local channels. For some reason, I forgot there IS free TV - !!! DUH. I guess all those years living in the country far away from the broadcast channels made me stupid (or it could be the years watching the boob tube!). I now live so close to the local broadcast channels, that I get them perfectly!

I want to spend the weekend checking the speeds on this new setup, and if it continues to work as well as it did this week, I will call the cable company on Monday and cut the cord!! Imagine the difference in cost - $115 before, to $35... and even if I pay for Netflix and Hulu Plus for about $16 it will still be less than half the cost of cable with internet!

Then maybe I can get myself in the studio more while it is cold because before you know it, it will be Plein Air season!!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Studio Work - Lone Pine

Lone Pine, 9 x 12, oil on canvas board
I finally quit procrastinating and got back into the studio. I had the photo below of a pine tree I wanted to paint. The print is very faded in color because my printer color ink cartridge needs replaced, but I was more interested in the relationship of values than the local color.
I'd found a suggestion on Facebook which told to put a grey value scale under the glass of your palette, so it was easy to lay your paint on top to check value. I decided to start this painting with a grey underpainting, paying attention to values.

quick scrubbing in of design

beginning of color

adding interesting darks
Finished painting. (sorry for the glare due to wet paint)