Saturday, February 28, 2015

Watch and Hand Continues

Just as I expected, I saw some things to tweek just a bit last night after dinner.  Was putting my brushes back after cleaning them and I spotted from across the room a minor adjustment for the watch.  So I worked on that first thing today and then put on his wedding band and worked on the upper hand.  I hope to continue the hands tomorrow. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Watch Continues

Resumed work on the watch today.  Not too bad. I will probably see something to tweek after my brushes are cleaned up today.  But, that's what tomorrow is for.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Began Watch and Hand Today

Today I have started to work on the hands again.  But have really gone to work on the watch.  At this point it is well placed and blocked in.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sofa Revised

I got around to fixing the sofa today.  I realized that the sofa arm peeking out from the side of his arm was too distracting.   Now that I have removed the sofa arm on the left side of the painting, I am much happier with the composition.  My eye is no longer drawn to that side like before and the arm seems to lay upon the sofa arm better. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

An Off Day

Every artist has an off day from time to was my turn.  I did nothing but paint and wipe off and repaint and wipe off.  The studio was warm enough, so I can't lay the blame there.  Anyway, no photos today, since I did nothing to be proud of and photograph.   My next few days are going to be spent doing some prescheduled things and so I won't have a post for you for a bit.  Hopefully when I get back to the easel, I will be recharged. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Background Second Pass

We are having unusual low temperatures here and today, my little heaters and woodstove were unable to get the studio temperature above 52 degrees.  Well, need I say more.  My fingers were too cold to do real fine work, so I gave the background a second pass glaze.  I like the outcome.  I am still bothered by the sofa shape and color.  Will work on that if the studio is cold again tomorrow.  Also, today my mother turned 90.  My father used to tease her that she was born a day before George Washington and she is still alive.  She did not appreciate that, but us kids thought it was a hoot

Friday, February 20, 2015

Teeth and Beard

Worked forever on the teeth and beard today.  Teeth are not that hard to paint, but it is hard to pull it off so that the person does not look maniacal.  I think I have it right, almost.  I am almost happy with the beard, but still need to adjust the smile a bit.  Lets hope I don't overwork it. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Haircolor Adjustment

Well I finally got around to fixing the haircolor.  I should mention at this time that with regard to color, every color effects the color sitting next to it.  My flesh tones were very light and warm, while the background is very dark and cool.  The light warm flesh was making the golden hair color look pale and colorless when in fact the yellows were much too strong.  Because I was looking at the painting from a very close perspective, my eyes became blinded to the yellows.  Kind of like when you are in a snowy landscape on a sunny day, your eyes become snow blind.  When I finally uploaded my photo to the computer monitor, I saw the reality of what I had painted.  I also, became aware of my mistake after I had finished for the day and was viewing the painting from across the room.  Lesson Learned......always take frequent breaks and get back from the painting for a fresh perspective.   I have repainted the hair using a cool tan and brown mix with hints of Pthalo Green and Yellow Ochre highlights.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Neck and Beard

I got up really early today, had a very early appointment in town.  I went out the door and waiting for me was Bambi and her fawn.  I have been feeding the two deer and she has become pretty tame.  I was not prepared and had no food for her, and as I headed to my car, she followed me to the driveway.  I guess she is getting a bit too tame.  So this afternoon I looked out the studio windows and there was Bambi with about 15 of her best friends.  Guess she was getting even with me for not feeding her this morning. 
 I hope to get some real close ups for you to view, shortly.  Started off today's session working on the neck and shadow created by the shirt collar, laid in the lips a bit and started fleshing out the neck and beard.  Took another pass at the ears also, adjusting the shapes and colors in them.  As I work on any one area, I may spot an area elsewhere that also uses the color I am working with.  This is when I will take a dab of the color I just used and place it in the area where I see that same color.  This adds to the continuity of the painting. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Too Yellow and More Details

  Today I got to really go to town on the details on the left side(light side) of the face.  I see now that as I lightened the flesh, the hair became too yellow.  I will fix that shortly.  I also put a little more squint into the right eye.  I got around to laying in some flesh and shadow in the neck.  Got that beard established also.  A good day at Western View Studio. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Hurray For Details

Worked on the shadows around his mouth and nose.  Put some detail work into the hair on the light and dark side of his head, strengthened the cheeks and continued the face into the left side near his mouth.  A few dabs here and a few strokes of paint there.  I love the details and little touches.  Totally forgot to fix that eye that needs squinting.  Painted a few little smile lines around the eyes also.  Hope I have more time tomorrow than what I got today. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Finally, Some Details

Finally, I have started to put some details into the painting.  I focused on the face yesterday.  Worked on the light side of his face, especially the forehead.  Placed a lot of color into the area around the eye and worked on the moustache.  I also have noticed the eye on his shadow side, the right side, is a bit too open and needs to be a little more squinting.  It does my soul good to be lavishing my attention on the details. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Back In My Zone Again

Woke up feeling like a new person today.  Looked out the window to see bluebirds and I knew it would be a great day for painting.  So, I turned on the heater in the studio, turned on some Neil Diamond and got into my zone for the first time in weeks.  I only put out small amounts of each color, since I was not sure just how much time I would get in the studio before having to stop.  I have been using a limited pallet for this painting.  Starting from the right the colors are, Titanium White (2 little blobs), then Ivory Black, Paynes Grey, Burnt Umber, Raw Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Alizarin Crimson, Permanent Rose, Scarlet Red, Indian Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Zinc Yellow, Pthalo Green, and Blick Sepia.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sofa and Tea

I am still a bit under the weather today.  The chest cold is still making me miserable and just not up to my usual energy level.  So, rather than cop out and not paint at all, I got a cup of hot tea and worked on the sofa some this afternoon.  It is still that ugly greenish yellow, but I think it actually looks ok with the background.  I may rework the shape a bit later on and adjust the color, depending on how it looks when the background is finished up. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Second Hand Blocked In

As I write this, I see that the fingers aren't long enough on one hand or maybe they are too short on the other.  Either way, I will go back to them later and adjust one or the other with fresh eyes.  My colors that I have used on the two hands are, Permanent Rose, Indian Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Alizarin Crimson, Titanium White and a bit of Pthalo Green.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Taking a Bit of a Break

Since getting the flu almost three weeks ago, I have been unable to really bounce back.  It has become a cold and settled into my chest.  Now, it has worsened and I had to cancel my open studio today.  I am in bed with my laptop and trying to keep the day from being a total loss.  I think I need a few days just to eat chicken soup, drink some hot tea and shake whatever this is that I have going on.  Our friend has told us that his doctor said all the nursing homes up here are emptied out, most of the residents needing hospital care and that this flu lingers for four weeks or more.  I can honestly say, I have never had a flu or cold that has knocked me down for so long.  I may move my painting into our spare bedroom tomorrow so that I can continue to work on it in a more comfortable setting.  Hopefully, I won't miss too many days of posting and progress on the Eledge portrait.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Revised Hand

I forgot to point out yesterday, that the hand which hangs over the edge of the chair, has now been enlarged a bit.  I paid a lot of attention to the area where the hand connects to the wrist, so that it looks like it recedes from the front of the hands at the knuckles.  I will keep the hands slightly darker than the face, since they are in an area that does not receive direct light other than on the tops, which would cause a bright highlight.  With just some light falling across them, they will not scream for attention and pull your eyes from looking at the center of attention, the face.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Hand Blocked In

I had decided that the hand draped over the chair arm was too small, so I have blocked it in a bit larger than the original sketch and increased the size of the chair arm. 
Next, I mixed up some flesh colors and made a more refined block in of the hand.  I have also indicated where the ring will be.  This is by no means a finished hand.  But, it is a good beginning, showing me the range of cool and warm colors as well as the lights and shadows.  I am happy with this so far.  But it could all go wonky at any time.  Now, on to the other hand.  No details allowed just yet!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Coat & Hand Changes

Warming up the studio this morning, I noticed from across the room that the hand I had sketched in, looked too small today.  Fresh eyes, always make the errors obvious to me.  I also felt that I needed to increase the arm of the sofa and the shadows at the back of his hips and thighs.  So I worked on those three items and now the foreshortening is correct, I think.  We shall see how I feel about it tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Denim and Background

OK, so the sofa is a sickly color of  yellow/green.  This too shall be resolved down the road, but for now it covers the canvas and is pretty close to what was in my photo-shoot.  I will most likely tone it way down as I progress.  I am pretty satisfied with the denim jeans and will tweak them also as the painting progresses  to a finished state.
 Foreshortening is tricky.  If I look at my subject from one position in the room, the hip seems larger, but if I stand to the right and further back from the subject, things look entirely too small in the hip.  Now add to that, the fact that a camera shoots just what it sees without regard to human anatomy and you have a real confusing situation.  This is where a sound knowledge of human anatomy is a must.  If you are going to paint figural works and portraits, then studying from life is a must.  I have seen otherwise wonderful art that falls flat on its face simply because the artist did not know how arms join to the shoulder or connect at the elbow and therefore look like sausages hanging from the body.  Knowing how a hand connects to the wrist tells me that my one hand is a bit too small and is not dangling from the chair arm in a convincing manner.  Back to Drawing Board now!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Finishing up Jacket

I made great progress on the light blue shirt, deepening the details a bit more.  I will move on now and come back to it later to add more depth, detail and the buttons.  Really pushed myself to get that arm resting on the leg to a greater degree of complete.  I used Alizarin Crimson mixed into the Ivory Black to deepen the look of a dark velvety black.  Unfortunately, Ivory Black is such a flat color and then when it dries, it becomes even more flat and ugly.  I often will use any of the following transparent colors to liven up and make the Ivory Black richer looking; French Ultramarine Blue, Dioxazine Purple, Alizarin Crimson or Sap Green.  On some occasions, I will skip the Ivory Black totally and just mix my own black from those transparent colors.  Now, that's a beautiful black!
You can really see in this photo, the background scumbling I have done so that I could soften the jacket and hair edges.  And last but not least, the sofa was a yucky yellow/gold color and so I took a few blobs of colors left on my palette at the end of this session and just smeared them onto the canvas.  Did I mention, the blank canvas bugs me?  I must get that leg and those hands started ASAP.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Git Er Done

Back to work with fresh eyes today, I immediately began laying in the shirt and jacket.  I can't stand that blank canvas showing.  Its really got to go, so lets Git Er Done.  Used Titanium White and Cobalt Blue with touches of Alizarin Crimson and some Ivory Black in the shirt.  Ivory Black, Alizarin Crimson and French Ultramarine for the jacket.  As I worked on the shoulder of the jacket, I mixed some background color to scumble onto the background at the edges where the jacket and hair meet the background.  I then took a soft brush, I like a watercolor or oil sable brush, to softly blend the two edges together to create some lost edges.  I will do this throughout the painting as I come to areas that should recede. 
I am forcing myself to not touch the face today.....I am trying to not let myself nitpic the details too soon.