Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Little of This and A Little of That Too

What's it going to be?  Crimson Fall or Spring Dogwoods amongst the green?  
The Dogwood in my courtyard is having an identity problem. One half is green with budding  flowers. The other half is crimson red and dropping leaves. Strangest thing I've ever seen. I hope the green wins, but I'd bet the crimson. It's thirty four degrees and not going to be much warmer.

The Blond Kids is done and signed . 
 There's no identity problem with The Blond Kid though. She's herself alright. In spite of having a flu-like day, I did manage  finishing touches and a signature I have to practice with oils. It always looks so klutzy. My problem is I really do hate using those tiny brushes. Isn't there an oil pen out there that would do the job with a bit more finesse?


The UPS guy rang the bell twice this week bringing me art related materials. I finally bought myself a real mahl stick and some decent size tubes of Naples yellow which has become my favorite "flush" tone for little white kids. It doesn't scream. It's not pushy. It's totally easy to mix just a little this way and a little that. Perfect. I had all of the items
spread on the breakfast room table when Honey
walked in, eyed them, and remarked,"You have anymore art stuff on the way?" I could tell by his
tone that he thought I was spending our disposable income over the top. I didn't have the heart to tell him I was expecting Henry Yan's Figure Drawing (Tips and Techniques) the next day.

Yan's book is going to be the book that kicks me out the door to that studio session on Saturday mornings; just looking at the drawings made my hand itch to hold a piece of charcoal. His descriptions of how to  obtain different quality lines with charcoal (and of course that info would apply to pastel) made me think I should get out the newsprint pad for a little experimental line session. I never really had anyone tell me there was any other way to use the sticks than holding them sideways.

 As I was leafing through it, another book came to mind: Dynamic Figure Drawing which advocates being able to construct figures in many poses off the top of your head without a model.  Yan's constructive style of circular geometric forms made me think I should pull that book out too for an anatomy review. My books are piling up. But I'm very well prepared for bad weather days in front of the hearth--or a life without Honey who should never get involved with any other activity besides work. How else can I keep that UPS guy coming to the door with art goodies everyday?

My cocktail table art books runneth over. So far there are two "bibles" on this table: Alla Prima and A Passion for Watercolor, Painting the Inner Experience, which stresses the wet into wet method, the only watercolor method that offers the immediacy I favor.


18 comments:

  1. The key is arranging deliveries that aren't witnessed, a bit like my lovely who will occasionally appear in clothing that I've never seen to declare that it's be around for months. My art deliveries are often picked up by me when out alone.

    But seriously, we thrive on the stimulus of new materials or texts. The constant inspiration is important. Speaking of which, your dogwood photograph is a wonderful jumping off point for some interesting picture making.

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    1. You've got me laughing Mick. This 'lovely' used to keep her packages in the car trunk till Honey wasn't around. Then I would bring them in and destroy the bag. Next outing, I, too, would suddenly appear in 'something I've had for months.'

      I love art books and of course art supplies we always need. My problem is my mate doesn't have a passion, other than me. So he growls a lot, but he doesn't bite.

      Whereas last year I would have used this Dogwood photo as a reference, I am sticking it out with portraits this year--and a once a week pastel still life. Who knows where my whims will take me next year?

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  2. So what on earth is happening to nature with such a mix of vegetation in your garden, does look very pretty though. I totally agree with you about signing oils, I've always hoped someone would come up with the perfect art pen for signing alone, perhaps you and I should invent one.

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    1. Is that tree weird? I couldn't believe it. I can't wait to see what is going to happen next Spring.

      If there are oil pastels, are there oil pencils for detail work? Those would work before varnishing. I should look that up.

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  3. You have a treasure over your coffee table and of course, at your studio!! Come to think of it, the most priceless treasure is Ellis, how lucky you both are!
    Unfortunately until now information and guidance I can only afford to get from internet or fellow bloggers. I'm not complaining, internet is an endless source of information and fellow bloggers are priceless too :)
    I hope your flu-like day will change tomorrow and you feel better!
    Hugs and Smiles.

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    1. I do! I have always been a push-over for art books and have carried some heavy, cocktail table sized ones in my arms home on a plane. My two latest additions to my collection are Vianna's favorites. I saw them listed on her blog and spread my purchases out over the last months so the credit card bill wasn't a killer: Alla Prima and the Henry Yan that came yesterday. Actually, Ellis should growl at Vianna, not me.

      Ellis is a sweetheart. I met him when I was fifteen. He was nineteen. I told him I was going to be eighteen, which I fully intended to be in three years. Unfortunately, my mom threw a Sweet Sixteen party for me and that gave me away. Hugs and smiles back at you and thanks again for the ouzo.

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  4. Es un retrato hermoso, lleno de ternura y delicadeza. Enhorabuena. Un abrazo y feliz semana.

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    1. Thanks Sonia. It took me a little while, but I'm finally satisfied. I still think I'd like to get a little more accurate a little sooner than I do, but I suspect that will come with time and practice. Hugs to you too and a very happy painting week.

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  5. Linda!
    I love "The Blonde Kid"! Hope the real one is feeling better.
    Love your photo of the Dogwood. Make a great painting by you!
    My forsythia are doing the same thing. New green shoots in some areas and yellow fall leaves in others. What's up with that!
    Paint on! Paint on!
    Hope "Sandy" is a dud.
    Michael

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    1. Thanks Michael. Yes, I am much better and ready to start painting the week away.

      Sandy isn't a problem for us here in the Midwest, as far as I know. And I hope the Dogwood isn't either come Spring. It sure is a strange looking tree.

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  6. The portrait is lovely. You really captured that childish look on her face. Well done.
    I love the colors of the season and they are so vivid in your photo.

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    1. Thanks Roger. I think I learned a lot with this one--particularly about skin tones, which seem to be the main concern of portrait artists after accurate drawing measurements, albeit likeness. How well I did on likeness will be revealed when my friends sees her granddaughter.

      The leaves are falling pretty quickly now around here and the ones that have yet to fall are the purest of color.

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  7. hmmm, wonder what gives with that tree?? hmmm mysterious!
    The child portrait is great. I have a couple of those books. Can't wait to see what you do next. I bet it will be outstanding (as usual!)

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    1. That tree is weird.

      Thanks. I learned a lot about mixing Caucasian skin tones with this one. I also learned weird expressions are challenging with regards to handling the push and pull of the facial muscles around the mouth. That challenge is why I suppose most portraits have set 'portrait smiles'--half smiles, mouths closed, no teeth showing. And it's those more-or-less expressionless portraits I find boring to look at and boring to paint. I want a pose, a look that shows me who the person is. Next I'll finish Mr. Fuz Zy Pants. It's promised. Who knows how good or bad their next painting will be? Each subject is unique and demands some sort of stretch.

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    2. PS. I looked into Ray Mar canvas panels. They look terrific. I'm going to order the 3 panel 9 x 12 sample package to test the grades out as soon as the new billing month comes up. Poor baby is getting sick of UPS guys coming to the door almost daily. :-)

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  8. That sure is a confused tree! Love the blond kid! I've got to find that book on watercolor, it looks great, and I love a bit of inspiration!

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    1. It sure is!

      Thanks. She came out pretty good. I hope her grandmother thinks so.

      I love that watercolor book. It stresses wet into wet, my favorite, immediate way to paint. The only things to control are how wet and what color next? A high grade of paper is necessary for you might want to soak again or lift colors. It's a very uninhibited way to paint. You can do no wrong. Love it.

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  9. Your dogwood, my sweetpea and hollyhocks - still in bloom, with more buds to open.
    Blondie is looking very, very good. I love how you have integrated the yellows through her hair, face and background - beautiful portrait!
    As for the books, I'd love to come over and use your library. You have some fascinating books there. Let's hope Ellis doesn't develop a hobby or decide to retire. :)

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