Thursday, October 23, 2014



Slow Alla Prima.  This is still in the works on the easel.  It is difficult due to the reference being a photo taken with a flash.  But I am learning to see it.  I am also practicing applying color over a monochrome--lots of self doubt here.   I am also procrastinating working on my monochrome.  I do wish I had gotten into this, this seriously, years ago. --I just ordered another book: How To See Color and Paint It by Arthur Stern. My order really speaks volumes of how insecure I feel when it comes to color.  Note the brushwork--from rough to scumbling drybrush.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Half Hour With Sargent


It wasn't too successful. I was trying out my General Charcoal Kit.  I used a soft, when I should have chosen a hard. I lean toward soft; this gal didn't go for it. John Singer Sargent's world was so elegant, not the world we know today. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Free Hand Weekend

Michael's eyes are driving me nuts--the reference is driving me nuts.  I must get a better one.

Steve, graphite and charcoal pencil study
Free hand drawing time at my house begins at seven AM, or earlier, when I sit down at my SAD light for a half hour dose of ionized air and a brilliant facsimile of sunshine.  I'm back into my boys these days.  I really made a mess of the painting I had the audacity to attempt in 2012, I thought I'd give it another try.  These are warm up sketches and something to do while just sitting there in front of the light getting rid of winter doldrums.

 I bought a starter drawing kit from the General to see what they had to offer and I love it.  It comes with a complete range of charcoal pencils of varying grades of hardness, white and black chalk like, conte like crayons, a knead eraser and the sharpest little sharpener--the kind you wish you had in your grade school pencil box, the kind that doesn't break the lead.  I am really enjoying this half hour of free handing with the General.

 I am also enjoying the fact that the grand monochrome painting exercise I've taken on has had a positive effect on how quickly I'm reading the tones in my grayscale references. The burnt umbra/white, nine step value scale seems to have been burned into my brain...

BUT I KEEP WANTING A DARK DARKER THAN BURNT UMBRA CAN GIVE.. So I added Ultramarine to the BU for a darker than the darkest tone for this alla prima oil study and I like it!  The other color I'm missing is Burnt Sienna.  I guess I'm really missing the play of cool and warm? While BU washes out warm, add white to it and color goes blue--too blue for someone who sits in front of a SAD light every morning. 

Alla Prima weekend with Michael.  Trouble with the reference is the photo was taken with a flash. Shame on me.
But that was way back when I didn't know any better--though this is a better likeness than the one in the 2012 painting.