Saturday, March 31, 2012

Minerva Finished?

Well, I think I have finally finished Minerva. I toned down lots of areas, including the easel, most of The Thinker and did a tad more work to the blue dress and her hand and arms. I really took down the value of the highlights on her dress. Later, after looking at her for a month or two, I may go back in and add some shine to the highlights on the dress. I see them on the actual cloth here in the studio, but felt they looked overdone on the painting. I will remind myself to use restraint if and when I put them back in. I love painting transparent objects, but this cloth was a tough one. I will set up a still life and use this cloth again, just for practice. Of course, only after I finish up three or four of my current projects. Focus, Linda, Focus

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Finished Spec Piece and New Job

Since my little gallery closed and since the art commissions have dried up along with the economy, I decided to get a part time job to help me over the slump. Also, I reasoned that since my eyes pop wide open at 5:00 am (I am definitely a morning person) I may as well do something productive and not wake my husband who is not a morning person. It just so happens, Gusto Di Vita in Warrenton was hiring. It is the cutest little coffee drive-thru and now I am learning how to be a first rate Barista. It's only part time in the mornings and I still have 75% of my day left for the art studio. It has been a positive thing for me, I am eating less, getting more exercise and I have lost 10 lbs as of yesterday. I also finished the spec piece I started while sick. Feeling good, it turned out beautiful. OK, off to paint now. Ciao!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ailing Artist-Ailing Art

OK, so I got sick Saturday night, layed in bed or on the sofa all day Sunday. Yearning to paint, I decided to draw, since that can be done in the living room from the sofa. I was wanting to do this spec piece of illustration work since Saturday, so today I proped up my drawing board on a tv table and sat on the sofa in my bathrobe drawing. Not Too Good! Although the pencil drawing came out half decent, when I tried to transfer it to illustration board and ink it in, I totally destroyed any charm the original drawing had. Thankfully, I still have the original drawing and can try again. I am definitely waiting until I am no longer under the weather. The moral to this story is, Healthy Body-Healthy Art!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Not A Daily Painter Site

Welcome Brenda Doolittle to Monthly Masterpiece. You will find that this is not a daily painter website, but more of a how to site, with a bit of junk and day to day life sprinkled in. My goal is to take a step by step approach to a painting I am working on. I am presenting it here for any and all wanting to improve their own works. I don't always paint "daily", but I do work towards a monthly finished piece. I don't profess to be an expert, but I do hope to gain a better knowledge, and improve my own work by disecting what I do.

Proof of this was yesterday. I had a pieced of art to drop off at the City Hall in Alexandria for a show entitled, Art in City Hall. By the time my running around was finished and I was back home, most of the day was gone. And so I did not paint. But I did draw a bit.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

More Minerva

Here is the photo of Minerva I had promised a few posts back. The books and Mona Lisa have been glazed darker and this tones down their importance in the painting. The Thinker still needs work in a few areas and I want to push him back into the background more. All that I think is needed after that, is to refine the portrait and the arms more. At this point the actual portrait is more Walt Disney than Linda Lawler in style. I don't know why this happens in my portraits, but from time to time I get a definite Disney look instead of the realism I achieve in other portraits, such as the one of my husband on my website. Oh well, sooner or later I will figure this out. Focus Linda, Focus!!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Off to a Nice Start

I have gotten a nice start to the face of Mercury/Hermes. I continued to work on it after this photo was taken and today I think I may have overdone his nose in relation to the rest of his face. I always feel as though my portraits go from great to bad and then back to almost good, but never back to great.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Viking Progress

I like the sky in this piece although I see something wrong. Just above the ship are two dark clouds. They are too similar and two is a boring number. I always try to have odd numbers of things in a painting. 1, 3, 5, 7 are interesting numbers for clouds or trees, etc. Even numbers are boring to look at. So, I can add a cloud or take one out.

I am happy with the way the viking is coming along. Good beginning on his face and chainmail. The ground is just a wash of color to keep me from obsessing about all the white area not painted. I will work on it again shortly.

The model for the viking is my brother-in-law, also the same model for Mercury/Hermes.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Minerva Back In Studio

Well, Minerva finally got enough rest and I have laid a glaze over the books and Mona Lisa to decrease the amount of attention they draw. No pictures today. Will post a photo after today's session.

I have been tweaking two small commission pieces for a client. Amazing how right the customer can be sometimes. It was suggested that I darken a few shadows on one piece and after doing this, WOW, the customer was so right. A greater difference in the values of the painting made the whole painting so much more appealing. I feel that sometimes I am too close to a work, to the point that I miss something.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Another Background Begins

Remember a few posts back, I had done a drawing for a scene with a Viking killing a Monk? Well as always, the drawing was redone with some major changes to the composition. I needed more action in the scene and so I pushed the Monk back more into a falling pose, extended his arms out, the bottom hand trying to break his fall and the upper hand trying to ward off the blow from the hatchet. I also pushed all the action down to the lower portion of the scene, so Icould leave room at the top for any copy a publisher would want to include in a book cover space. Finally satisfied with the design, I took the drawing to Staples, got my copy and headed home to fix it to the masonite board. You know how I hate backgrounds......well I did this sky just after doing the background for Mercury/Hermes. Two in one day. Now I don't have to ruin another painting day with more background work. I already see the background is not as dramatic as I envision it and will probably go back into it tomorrow and punch up the colors and drama. Oh and remember the new color(Sepia) I have been experimenting with? Well, it was great for the sea behind the Monk.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I Hate Backgrounds

Somehow I have gotten this photo twice. Not sure how, but Whatever. I dislike putting in the background of a newpainting. It feels like it takes me forever and then when its done, I am not sure if I will be happy with it once the painting is really underway. Also, I love to do the details and can't wait to get into the finer work. To some degree, I am a bit hyperactive I think.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mercury Begins

I spent today getting this drawing onto the canvas. I used a thinned down sepia oil paint. I normally use burnt umber, but I have only recently discovered this color and have been working with it to see what it can do for my style and technique.

I already see that I may have his arm too long or not thick enough. It may be the hand outstretched creating an optical illusion. Tomorrow with fresh eyes, I will see what needs tweaking.

New Painting

OK, Minerva needs a rest so that I can do some glazes. After that I will finish her face and arms. The paint underneath needs to dry and I tend to overdo stuff. So she is in the guestroom resting today. I would like to start a new painting today and just can't choose which will be next. Either my brother in law as Mercury/Hermes or The Vikings attacking the monks. You will just have to wait until my next posting to find out.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Books & Background

I worked on the books yesterday and gave the background a second layer to enhance the color. Looking at the books on the monitor here, I realize they are too high in value. I need to tone down the white pages with a glaze as soon as the paint is dry enough to take it. Oh and I started to add some color to Mona Lisa against my better instincts. I originally was going to make it just a grey tone like The Thinker. A friend asked if I would do it in color, which got me to thinking maybe I would. I feel the color has drawn too much attention to Mona. I plan to tone it down also. Maybe tomorrow. Today, I am finishing a small commission piece.