Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Studio Work - Dieffenbachia

Another little flower painting. I struggled in the end with this one. I did a bit of an underpainting and scribbled the design out from the paint:

 I always love this stage:

"Dieffenbachia", 6x6, oil on canvas wrapped board
I need to take more reference photos for new paintings!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Studio Work- Begonias and Coleus

It's been a productive art weekend. I did one more flower painting before cleaning up to get ready for work Monday morning.

This one was a bit tough - the coleus and begonias weren't working, so I made some scribbles and that helped!

"Begonias and Coleus", 6x6, oil on canvas wrapped board

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Studio Work - Another Flower Painting

Again, after I finished with my plein air piece of the day, I decided to try my hand at another 6x6 of a flower painting. This one is a bit simpler than the first one in the flower pot. These are great fun! I intend to do more.

Purple Petunias, 6x6, oil on canvas wrapped board

Saturday Plein Air - Kenyon College, Gambier

Today it was damp and overcast. We met at Kenyon College at Gambier. This is a lovely campus on top of a hill in Gambier Ohio. Lots of old architecture. I had intended on including some of the older campus houses in my view of this street. But I chickened out in the end, and covered them up with more green trees....sigh....

 Process shots follow:

 This is where I stopped out in the field:
I decided to make a few changes in the studio as shown below in the finished painting - not exactly how I envisioned the scene, but there are a few areas I like:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Are you a Follower or using my Google Friends Connect Widget?

Are you a Follower or using my Google Friends Connect Widget for notifications of my new posts? I have been asked by some friends who say the notification of new posts on this blog has stopped. I Googled it and it appears Google cancelled this tool almost a year ago! 

I'm sorry, but I didn't know.  I hope you'll find another way to keep up with my blog!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Studio Work - Time for COLOR!

Enough already of the green foliage! I need to paint some COLOR! I headed over to one of my favorite metro parks early today, Inniswood, to take some photos of flowers. I generally don't paint flowers, because they are HARD to paint, but I really needed to paint something colorful. I decided to use up the oil paint on my palette and do a small 6x6. I went back to a technique I had tried in the past with my abstracts and used it for flowers. Another artist online does this technique and she recently had an excellent video reminding me how to do it. I had a blast! Finally something colorful!
"Posy Pottery", 6x6, oil on canvas wrapped board
Process shots follow:

Yes, this is a fuzzy photo. I like it because you don't have to squint to see the design!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Saturday Plein Air - Powell Park

Amazingly, we had ANOTHER perfect painting Saturday! We painted at the park beside the police station in Powell. We had a nice size group today, maybe close to 20. After painting, half of us went to lunch at the Liberty Tavern. Good food!

I decided to paint in oils today to try out my new homemade palette. Here it is all ready to go!

And my scene -  lots of greens! I looked around for more colors, but those were mostly architectural, and wasn't brave enough to try those today.
Didn't take many in-process shots, so here is the final painting. I re-painted that pine tree on the left about 100 times and still couldn't get it to read correctly. Although I like my composition, the monotones of green are not too exciting.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Studio Work - Playing in the Shadows

I took sick time from work to go to a doctor's appointment and decided to stay home. Not too sick - I got into the studio!

I wanted to try my hand at dappled shadows. Shadows are HARD to paint!! I worked in pastel today on a sheet of Wallis Museum paper. I did a quick layout with hard pastels:
 Then I used denatured alcohol to melt the pigment into the grit. I have used regular alcohol in the past, but the denatured dries much quicker:
 This shot was early in the process. I like the freshness of this version:
 Trying to get that shadow on the path correct! HARD.
 This is how I finished.
"Playing in the Shadows", 8x10 pastel on Wallis paper

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Finished Folding Oil Palette with Pastel Box Option

I put the final finishes on my folding oil painting palette last weekend, even adding some mini super magnets to latch it closed. I also added a brush holder which attaches to the magnet in the right wing when it is open
 My "Palette Garage" which holds my oil paint piles, sits nicely on the top edge. The large middle section will be used to mix my colors so it will not ever look this clean again!

But I wasn't done yet! A month or so ago, I had tried to downsize my plein air pastel palette, shown in the right in the photo below. Although I have a very nice Heilman pastel box (shown at left), I wanted something a bit smaller. I used this new tiny collection of pastels just once. Just a bit TOO small. I needed larger pieces of pastel.
I like to look around several thrift stores occasionally and found a case that was about the perfect size! It was a cassette tape case for 16 cassettes.

I figured I could find a way of using this for my new pastel plein air setup. It's a bit smaller than the Heilman:
Because it is really difficult to find an exact size of box to fit into this, I decided to construct my own from foam core board. I enjoy building things with foam core. I made the small boxes with lids, and the larger box with some divisions to get the pastels secure, and a lid that would stay on from the pressure of the small boxes when closed. Here they are in place, with only a couple pastels inside.

Once they were ready, it took a long time to decide how to load them with pastels. I wanted to use some larger pieces and more hard pastels. I use a lot of blues for skies, so added plenty of those. I use few reds, oranges or yellows, so kept those to a minimum.
For the harder pastels, I assembled a set based on Michael Chesley Johnson's "Extreme Limited Palette for Pastels". My set, close to Michael's, is on the left below. I still wanted a few more hard pastels, so selected the others on the right side. I also added a black, grey, and white pastel pencil.

 Here it is compared to the Heilman:
Add with the lids on:
 Here it is sitting on the new oil painting palette setup:

I'll have to give one of these a try this weekend. Hmmm, which will it be?