Sunday, February 26, 2012

Minerva's Glasses

After spending all day on paperwork, taxes and other mundane junk, I realized I only had half an hour until my husband would be coming in from work. So I looked at the Minerva painting for something small to do that would not take me more than half an hour. I decided to give the glasses a go.

The two pictures show you what was done before dinner and after dinner when I went back into the room and realized the frames were too heavy and dark. If the first thing you see is the glasses in a portrait, you know that you have over done them. Glasses should be understated. After all, you are painting a portrait as a whole. No one thing should jump out at you.

Fortunately for me, if you spot a mistake before the paints set up, you can simply adjust them by taking a dry brush and pushing around or removing the wet paint. Of course, whats underneath (her eyes) must be absolutely dry....otherwise you will remove them also.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Amazon Warrior Finished

Well, I finally got this one finished. It has certainly evolved the way most of my work evolves. Although the concept is the same, minor items change as the painting goes along. The final snake has some leathery flesh as opposed to the slick skin I originally envisioned. And the costume of the Amazon changed as I thought about the environment that she is in. Snakeskin replaced what I had originally thought would be leopard skin. And her upper covering became metal instead of leopard. The helmet is pretty much what I had in mind, but I increased the cockade to reflect the same pattern as the arched doorway. Everything was toned down so that the Amazon took centerstage by being the most colorful and lighter valued object in the design.

Since this piece was done solely for my portfolio and there was no hurry, I completed other jobs while working on this. I intend to do another portfolio piece, start to finish in as quick a time as I can so that I can judge how much time to quote when accepting a commissioned illustration.

I have a date set aside for my model friend, Jennifer, to come over and pose for another piece. She will be bringing her daughter who has agreed to pose for my mythology series.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

IMC-Illustration Master Class

Just got my receipt (for Uncle Sam and IRS) for my tuition at the Illustration Master Class coming up in June. I am very excited and already thinking how I will shine like a star this year. Not that anyone will notice my work when there will be about 100 other super nova stars in the class rooms. Last year I went not knowing what to expect. Also, my right foot had a really bad plantar faciaitis thing going on. I limped around everywhere, I was a total wallflower and made few friends, I got no rest at all, and good old Lupus reared it's ugly head.
This year I have a plan. I WILL BE HEALTHY! I WILL USE MY TIME THERE BETTER! I WILL PAINT LIKE DAVINCI! I WILL NOT BE A SHY WALLFLOWER! This is absolutely the best class I have ever taken and I have taken a bunch. A full week of non stop instruction by the best in the illustration world. OH and just because they are illustrators, don't think they can't paint fine art. Just Google, Rebecca Guay, Greg Manchess, Donato Giancola, Dan Dos Santos, Ian McCaig. These guys can hold their own with Rockwell, Davinci and Michaelangelo. But the best part is, I get to paint, paint, paint and get critiques from all the instructors. Good Solid Advice and Instruction.
Ain't I Lucky?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Minerva Progress

I worked on the hair again and the area of the eyes, refining the block in. I then moved on to the shoulder area and upper part of the dress. Trying to give an illusion of a sheer and sparkling fabric that I draped onto the model over a makeshift white tunic.
Darn,that hair still seems too yellow. Or maybe the photo was too warm, since she was sitting under a gallery spot light.
Glasses???? Yes or No, send me your vote.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Great progress made yesterday. New hand pose blocked in and arms and book on her lap. Her shift will be white with a sheer blue overdress. I think the back and sholder are a bit too large,but will reserve judgement until I work on the arms a bit more. The hand on the book, although just roughed in, is indeed too large. Foreshortening dictates that it be smaller since it is moving away from the viewer. The arm on the book needs more mass also. It is closer and seems too thin at this time. Again, the hair looks more yellow than what I think I have painted it. But overall, a really good likeness is coming together. Still undecided about the glasses.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Minerva Block In

I have enlarged Rose more as I have redone her pose. I have opted for a 3/4 pose now. The old camera took such fuzzy pictures that I went down to The Art League Gallery and reshot the facial photos of Rose. I don't know why her hair is looking so yellow. But it's still early in the process. Here on the canvas it looks more of a redish blonde color. I am pleased to already be getting a likeness although I am only concentrating on placement and basic block in. I am torn with whether or not to include her glasses in this painting. I suppose I should. You can see in the original pose she is turned forward more. I like the glance upward in the second set of photos.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day

I got my heart shaped box of chocolates this morning from my sweet heart and then I got the results of my MRI. My meniscus is torn, but not too badly. It should heal over the next few weeks without surgery, but just in case, I have a follow up with the doctor to be sure it is healing without his help. There was also a lot of bruising on the knee bones and a slight fracture of the patella. My husband brought my tall stool up from the basement and set it up in front of the Minerva painting. I made great progress on the painting. And I am making changes (as always) to the design as I work on it. I decided to increase the size of the portrait and figure so that it is more of a 3/4 portrait instead of full size. Pictures will follow shortly.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fruits of Fall Miniature

I again see just how bad my old camera is. I used it instead of the newer camera for this photo since it was less hopping around on the crutches to get this photo. Anyway, here it is finished. 2 inches by 3 inches, oil on ivorine. This was originally (and still in my collection) Fruits of Fall, 16 x 20, oil on canvas. I liked the composition and felt it would make a nice miniature. I changed the regular white tablecloth in the original for this crochet tablecloth. I just love the pattern in this one piece of crochet. My mom was quite the crocheter in her day.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Finished a miniature I started weeks ago, finished up the Viking drawing (I think), finished two small commission pieces, and managed all day without the crutches.
This morning my knee is not so good again......back to the crutches and sofa. I will try to get some photos of mini and viking today.

Friday, February 10, 2012

More Good Stuff

Another good site to checkout. Especially if you are into illustration art or sci fi and fantasy. I am hooked!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A New Perspective

I started this drawing last night while watching TV. We set up a makeshift drawing table next to the sofa and I can keep my leg raised and still draw. I used my husband, who will be the monk, and my brother in law who is going to be a viking. You probably can't tell from this photo, but I have such a good likeness of the my brother in law, I really hate to cover most of his head with a viking helmet. The reason I am showing you this is to point out how important it is to get a new perspective when you are working on something. I like to photograph my art and then look at it on the computer. I am always amazed at how this quickly shows me what is wrong with the art. I was actually thinking this was a fantastic drawing until I saw it on the monitor. I immediately see that his cranium is too large on the backside and his legs are twiglike. In my defense, they are not really drawn in, just indications of where I want them positioned. I also have not done justice to his sinewy physique. I will bulk up his arms and legs when I return to the drawing. I also may have bulked up my husband a bit too much. That may be grounds for divorce. I will correct that immediately.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Check Out This Website

Check out

I love anything related to art and got this new newsletter site the other day from Gamblin Artists Colors. Granted it is a bit technical and lengthy, but we all owe it to ourselves to learn as much as we can about our process and tools. I read the newsletter in small increments to avoid information overload. It is very informative. A few days back I reviewed the new Fastmatte oil colors from Gamblin, did not give them my seal of approval at that time, but now after reading more on the subject, I am going to try the colors again. They are well suited to someone who paints with deadlines looming over them.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Knee Injury Culprits

I saw two doctors today. I had tripped on a kitten toy in the dark a few days back. Did not seem injured at all and went on with life for three days and then my knee fell apart. Today an x-ray confirmed that the knee cap has a fracture. I have an appointment on Friday for an MRI to see what other damage there is in the ligaments and soft tissues. This is Monet, Picasso and Rockwell. Monet the solid black kitten is the owner of the toy that I fell over. Oh well, they can keep me company for the next few weeks while I am confined to the house recuperating. I now have a horrible leg brace that makes it impossible for me to drive.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Another Bad Knee Day

Got out the crutches this morning....the knee keeps going out on me and the pain is horrible. I am definitely going to a doctor tomorrow. Geez, getting old sucks! Its good that I have two projects going that require me to sit and work on them instead of standing at the big easel today.
Sometimes it feels like I take two steps forward and one step back. My husband and I were finally on a roll with the walking each morning and cutting back on the junk food. Now we have lost four straight days of walking and I am hearing the refrigerator calling my name even with the boom box at mega decible level. I am determined to be in peak physical condition this year when I return to the Illustration Master Class. Absolutely no limping around up there this year and I WILL be 50 pounds lighter by then.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

More Organizing

It's really dreary here today, drizzle and cold. No walk this morning, just as well, since my knee is on the mend and I don't want to reinjure it. So, I am going to spend part of the day continuing to merge two studios and get better organized and then spend the remaining part of the day working to finish two pieces of commissioned work. Tomorrow, a good friend is coming by to pose as Flora for my upcoming solo show series. Next week, the hubby returns to work and I get my sanity back.......I am dedicating every hour next week to the solo show pieces.