Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Blew It! But Not Altogether.

This underpainting on the left  no longer exists; all that remains of it is the painting on the right. A pity. It was a good abstract. But had I left it alone, this painting wouldn't have happened.

 I totally blew the orange horse--overworked it--but I suspect it was overworked yesterday. I did like my development of  the right portion of the painting, so I cut the bad out and kept the good. It's small and narrow, (3 1/4" x 8"), but  charming. You live, you paint, you screw up, you learn what's a mess, what's worthy of saving.






AFTER MY DISASTER, I FIRMED UP THE FIRST PAINTING: After a couple days of observation, I decided when painting a carousel,  one needs a firm grip on some solid color.


THEN I FOOLED AROUND TILL LUNCH:  Watercolors aren't finished till matted. They need air to breathe--especially when the blog page has a charcoal gray background.




AND I WILL TOO GET THOSE TINY LITTLE HANDS IF IT KILLS ME--AND IT MIGHT!

Another couple of hours spent with oils and little baby hands. They are painful to paint, but I think I'm making progress. An artist I ran into advised don't make them as wrinkled as they are. Thinking I know best--we're all so egotistical--I ignored her advice for a while, then after getting too detailed and ugly, I started to simplify. She was absolutely correct. The hands have started to improve.

Online looking for glazing guidance, I ran into a wonderful portrait artist. Jess Bates is his name. His site is basically to promote his portrait business, but it also offered tutorials. I read one then browsed through his other pages.  After reading what he tells his clients, I felt so much better about how long this painting is taking me.  Bates said a painting can take four to six weeks to paint and another month to varnish That's for a painting coming from a professional. Naturally, being a novice, of course this painting is going to take  me  a tad longer. I immediately relaxed. My Mother's Day deadline is off. I do plan to finish before then, but I really do think it should be varnished correctly. A proper varnish coat is what will keep the painting in the family  for years.  For other novice and not so novice portrait artists, I added Jess Bates to my blog list. I intend to spend some more afternoons with this man.


19 comments:

  1. Well there might have been a stampede with the horses - but what the heck, you ... and us, enjoyed the experience ... meanwhile I think the portrait looks totally brilliant.

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    1. The hands are coming along John. The three watercolors have character. I've had a good day. I'll be at the pub if you need me.

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  2. I love these delightful watercolor abstractions. Great colors and lines, my best wishes to you.

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    1. Thanks Leovi. I can take credit for the colors, but the lines? I don't know...

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  3. Great find; the tutorials are interesting.

    I love your rescue of the watercolor.

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    1. Thanks. I really do believe that nearly every piece we do has some merit--even if we can't save a portion.

      I intend to read the glaze tutorial again. Supply sites sell "glaze medium" for oils--I doubt Leonardo had a store bought glaze medium--but used a combination of something already in hand. --Also brushes. That angled flat brush is a painter's dream.

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  4. Linda,
    Thanks for dropping by my blog. I'm always happy to learn what you think, and especially liked the news that my blog comes up on a search. My life is crazy right now, so I'm taking a blogging break, but continue to enjoy checking in on your progress.

    The carousel horse grouping is fab! Together they make quite a statement on your deft understanding of value and abstraction.

    Isn't it great to have a space of time to work on your oils? There are days I resent visitors...just wanna paint. Those little baby fingers are charming. I love that negative space between the baby's fingers and the older boy's arm. Some good painting going on here!!!

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    1. My pleasure. You have such a wonderful sense of color values yourself lady. And also a command of various mediums. I loved your 6 x 8 oil of the fawn--and your colored pencil drawing of the tree trunks in your back yard. --That's the gift we have Nanina. When life is crazy that's the time to sneak away and let that craziness out on a canvas or piece of paper.

      Trouble is, I am a loner by choice. Not healthy. When a friend comes knocking, I've got to make time for them-- baby hands going well or not.

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  5. A really great discussion of varnishing in relation to commissions is at http://clicks.robertgenn.com/protect-paintings.php . Love all the knowledge I gain from Robert Genn.

    Sooooo....you are doing quite a bit of watercoloring here. I venture to say that you are so loose - you are using it like it should be used and with really cool results. I totally - totally blew one the other day. I was in an irascible mood, and worked fast. Fast is, for me, not so good.

    Your later resolution of the pink horse is fabulous! And your style shines through, even in the different medium.

    Finally. I live, I paint, I screw up, I learn what's a mess, what's worthy of saving. We have something in common. We should have Kenny Rogers record this, or Alanis Morissette.

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    1. Dan if you read this reply, could you e-mail me the last news letter. I didn't get to comb it over thoroughly and so I was going to put it in a specific folder for Genn--instead I lost it somewhere in documents and cannot find it because his name isn't prominent in the newsletter header. I went back to his site, but couldn't login--seems my e-mail was incorrect--the e-mail I used to register in the first place!

      I liked stumbling into Bates because he made me feel better about how long this first portrait is taking me. When he described the length of his process and all that it entailed, I was relieved. I knew I was on the right track. I also appreciated the knowledge that he didn't charge by the size, he charged by the length of time his process took--suggesting that each portrait varied according to how extensive. That is something I'm familiar with from the design/build business. Portraiture is a possible business opportunity.

      The watercolors, I owe to you in part and to the tediousness of portrait painting little baby fingers. It provides balance.
      The Carousel was fun. The watercolors were fun--but I didn't take nearly enough photographs of it. Without Honey, I could have waited around for more kids and gotten a few more shots with the colors multiplied by the addition of a colorful, screaming crowd.

      I vote for Kenny Rogers to write the music--only because I don't know who Alanis Morissette is by name. We'll write the lyrics.

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  6. I like all those watercolors...! zesty! The portrait is coming along so well. I would never have the patience required!

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    1. Me neither Celeste, thus the watercolor breaks.

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  7. I love the abstract that came out of your 'disaster' ...good coming out of bad! And yes I can very well imagine how hard it is to get these small fingers right, but with this patience you ill succeed perfectly.

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    1. There's a pony in that abstract Jane. Yes, the baby will have baby hands eventually.

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  8. Linda, though I am not a big fan of abstraction, I do love that watercolor carousel horse - the top one you framed - great energy in that one!

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    1. Thanks Kathryn. That's not an abstract painting; you recognized that it was a horse. The horse wasn't distorted it was just devoid of linear definition. I let the shapes and the colors tell the what.

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  9. Linda, I think the abstract horse at the top is awesome?! The Merry-Go-Round is great for your style. Good subject.

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    1. Thanks Nora. I do like merry-go-rounds and pastries and other kid stuff. The subjects always make me smile and go for the bright colors.

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  10. Hi Linda, I have just saw these three watercolors. May I say that for me, the last one is simply fantastic! I really like it, something between an abstract and a figurative painting. To me the best way to interpret the painting.....unfortunately I'm not yet capable! Ciao!

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