Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Illustration Master Class Update

I have received my schedule and assignment for the upcoming IMC at Amherst Massachusetts. All I can say is "OMG". I have never seen such a packed agenda. I only hope my body and brain are up for all this. There are non stop activities, lectures, demonstrations and studio work the entire week, a full seven days. There will be lectures even into the evening hours. The assignment I have selected is to illustrate a children's book cover. We have been given a general topic of the book and we change the title a little to give it our own idea. I have soooo many ideas that I am having trouble picking the one to go with. I have (I HOPE) a pretty decent preliminary sketch developed. The first day up there is a critique of our sketches, so we shall see if I am up to the challenge or shot down in flames.

It's still two weeks away, but my suitcase and equipment are packed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Learning About Color

One of the best ways to learn what you can or can't do with colors, is to do color study charts. This one uses Hansa Yellow Light and Dioxazine Purple and Yellow Ochre and Dioxazine Purple. Both yellows are complimentary colors for the purple. When mixing complimentary colors together, you are actually greying the colors and if mixed in equal parts, you end up with a grey or brown mix. After the initial first row mix, the following two rows were lightened with Titanium White to give more combinations. I could have taken this a step further and introduced a black to darken or reduce the hue intensity.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Reverse Work

I almost never paint the subject first and then add the background. Its just too difficult for me to work that way. But here is the exception to the rule. I wanted to establish the flow of the snakes right from the start. I just could not keep from jumping into the details first.

It seems to have worked out ok for me this time. I have an initial layer on the background. I will go back to it later and try to create a soft sky and clouds effect behind her. I also have asked Jennifer to come back to the studio again.....I am not thrilled with the position of the lowered arm.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Encounters with Nature

I have a small goldfish pond in my backyard and on my day off, I go out early in the morning with my cup of coffee. It is so peaceful there. This morning I am sitting quietly and saw motion out of the corner of my eye. I slowly looked up to find a buck with button antlers standing between my two Blue Spruce trees at the patios' edge. Not more than 20 feet from me. We both froze in place and stared eyeball to eyeball for what seemed like an eternity. Yesterday, a rose breasted grosebeak landed on my porch rail outside my kitchen window while I was eating breakfast........I don't think I could ever be happy living in a city.

I really need a camera class.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Snakes & Arm

Wow, I have really made progress in the last two days. I have most all of the snakes blocked in and her arm and hand. I hope to add three or four more snakes in the lower part of the painting when I return to work this week.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Snakes & More Snakes

I don't know why, but I started the snakes on the right side of the painting instead of my usual method of working from the left to the right, just like we write.

Oh well, must have been something subconcious going on there. I am finding I really enjoy doing the snakes. Tip: Use a cheap and flexible piece of garden hose to simulate the snakes under a stationary light source. The cheaper, the better.....they seem to be more flexible. You can produce most any bends you want and all under the same light source which is very important.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Medusa Continues

Here is the progress so far. I will start the snakes tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Transfer Methods

When I looked for my graphite paper at the studio on Sunday, it was no place to be found. So instead of waiting to go to my local art supply store, I used a centuries old method of getting my drawing onto my canvas. On the backside of the tracing paper that now has Medusa reworked, I took some hard charcoal and rubbed it all across the back of the tracing paper. I then shook off the loosest pieces of charcoal and laid the tracing paper over my canvas board, affixed it in place with some tape and then proceeded to trace the outline of the drawing with a stylus or ballpoint pen. I was careful to apply enough pressure to push the charcoal onto the canvas and yet not leave any indentations from applying too much pressure. This leaves a delicate tracing, that you must be very gentle with so as to not smudge or remove the drawing until you can permanently get it drawn onto the canvas with a grisaille. I like a blue grey oil paint thinned with odorless thinner to do my grisaille. For this grisaille, I am using Gamblins' Torit Grey.

You can see in the photo that the tracing paper hand is now raised and very dark....I did smudge it a bit, but not enough to ruin it. You probably can't make out the new expression on the face, but in the next step, you will be able to see the changes.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sketch of Bronson

My model Jennifer, is such a good sport. And so I did this little sketch of her dog, Bronson, as a way to thank her for all the free modeling she does for me. Models are hard to come by in the country. Bronson is done in Conte and pastels on blue Canson paper. Behind him is the original sketch of Jennifer as Medusa. I have since redrawn her. New Medusa photos are coming up soon.