Thursday, March 8, 2012

Better...


So I had another doctor's appointment early this morning. I don't know where my head was at six months ago when I scheduled two doc appointments in one week, on consecutive days, first thing in the morning. I must have been out of my mind. At least today, I knew about it. They called to remind me.

Since I haven't been designing or building anything over the last year, I rarely look at my calendar. As far as I'm concerned, I'm retired from the building industry. I'm on my own clock and my work is in my studio. As much as I liked designing residential spaces, I love painting more. When it goes well, I'm thrilled. When it doesn't, I'm the only one who is going to bitch about it.

Today was better than yesterday. I felt more at ease with the oils. I found a favorite brush--the slanted one seems to have a lot of strokes to offer. I've also decided whatever brushes I end up favoring, I need two of them: one, for the paint; one kept clean for blending.

The difficulties I'm having with this self portrait are due to the complicated lighting in the reference photograph. I have only myself to blame. In the photograph, there are two major light sources. One, is the natural white light coming from the window on the right. The other is incandescent light from an alcove on the left. I should have turned off the light in the alcove to keep things simple. But the two lights together are challenging with regards to the colors of the shadows and that's what's holding my interest. For better or worse, I'm sticking with this little painting. What's a few eggs busted on the way to enlightenment?

11 comments:

  1. Still like it! Not kidding!

    I would tell the lighting whose boss, though.

    I really like the way you turned the green shade to reds - a good solution and adds depth.

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  2. This is looking good - I agree with Casey about the green/red shades.
    Thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind words - it's very encouraging.
    I don't have a cat anymore, I just buy a bag of kitty litter to handle the oil sludge!

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  3. Thanks Casey. That means a lot coming from you. I am always impressed with your work and your enviable sense of color. Unlike acrylics where you have to make a conscientious effort to get unifying grays before they dry; oils will gray on the palette with over zealous mixing. Hard to get used to after so many years with acrylics. I don't know why I'm insisting upon reinventing my wheel?

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  4. Carol, I assumed you had a cat and that's how you stumbled into that tip. Sorry. I could just hear my spouse now if I came home with a bag of kitty litter. He'd get hysterical and definitely think I'd hidden an animal somewhere--cats are evasive. Might be interesting to watch him hunt.

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  5. I like it, Linda. it is a very strong portrait - bold with the colors and strokes!!!

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  6. wooooo hoooooooo! I like everything about it!

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  7. Thanks Kathryn. I've set it aside; I'm moving on. I think I like it too--I certainly learned a lot about the medium jumping into it as I did-- without drawing, without really laying in the tones as one should, without exercising any restraint working the colors. I also learned about light sources and the difficulties they can present--so the care one should take in the photography phase of portraiture.

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  8. This was a good lesson in portraiture and working with oils Celeste--also on small canvases where mistakes are much more obvious than on larger ones. Correcting drawing errors isn't as easy with oils as it is with acrylics--just due to the drying time--though that seems to be faster than what I recall. I'm thinking there's something in the paint.

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  9. You put some warmer hint of red in this one , and I like it as well as i did before.

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  10. Yes, very warm on one side, very cool on the other. Very difficult lighting situation that pointed out how important it is for the portrait artist to be a top-notch photographer and shoot her own reference photographs.

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  11. this has a wonderful feel to it linda i really like your use of colour .

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