Friday, October 19, 2012

Stand Back, Way Back

Stand Back Mostly
In Progress: The Blond Kid
 No painting close up ever again.  As I worked, I found myself holding the long handled brushes at the very end, standing way back, then coming forward to make my stroke, then backing way up again. Back and forth I went all day. I should have been steadying my stroke by holding a mahl stick under my forearm, but I didn't think of it till I was closing up shop. Luckily, my concentration was strong enough that my marks were pretty much on the mark.  The little blond kid is coming along, as I adjust my painting practices to  eliminate details and  see just shapes by distancing myself often.

In a classroom situation, this discovery means I do not want an easel up front--but rather in the back where I can't see the details at all, only the values simplified into shapes.

NOTE: MIX SHADOW COLORS THREE STEPS DARKER THAN WHAT YOU THINK THEY ARE. I must have darkened the area under her eyes and at the side of her nose at least three times, before I was satisfied. Looking at the painting here, her neck stills needs to go darker.

GO TIGERS GO!

I found my wedding band last week. I've had three client calls and one sale over the last two weeks. And the Tigers
are American League champions on their way to the World Series. Are these signs of better times? I like to think so. Detroit will rise again. Go Tigers go!


24 comments:

  1. The blond kid painting is coming along nicely now. Looking forward to see the finished painting. How many paintings do you have going at once?

    Happy painting.

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  2. Hi Linda. I find I am doing more of that, too - standing WAY back, to judge, not to paint [doesn't work that well painting watercolors]
    Blondie is looking good!
    And GO, TIGERS, GO!!! :)

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    1. Hi Kathryn. Yes, I understand. Dribble and drips, the two D's :-) Yesterday, I spent as much time observing, as I did painting. Daily Painters pass on the impression one should paint a painting every day. I believed that would be good for a long time. I've changed my mind. For me, that would be one hell-of-a-long day. I don't want to work on a production basis. I want to fine tune my observation skills, fully comprehend the values I'm seeing, mix those values with accuracy, and place my mark on the mark. That kind of skill takes time to develop. Schmid's common mistakes list hit home. I really think that loose, doesn't mean fast and that keen observation is an important part of painting--that's really an understatement.

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  3. Times of life are strange ... good things come together, and even those are not good come together!
    My husband says"it is statistical, but bad luck as everything goes" ... sooner or later!
    When I saw the photo with the ring, crossed my mind this thought, GOOD SIGN! Your portraits have a life of their own no matter what you do on their, you're worse than a plastic surgeon,Linda! But you are ALWAYS RIGHT!
      The painter has absolute freedom of brush!
    Have a good weekend, Rita.

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    1. You too Rita. I think I'm going to get out and do something different--there's a Faberge exhibit at the museum that runs through the holidays. I think I'd like to see it before the crowds push you along more quickly than you care to walk.

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  4. It's looking good! Love your practice notes - great advice (to self and others). May your luck continue!

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    1. The Tiger's win really wasn't luck, mine or theirs? It was their skill and their opponents' errors. Work starting up again after four years, wasn't luck either. That probably had to do with how long it takes things to start falling apart in a house :-)) Now finding my ring, that was luck. I figured it was long gone to some trash dump, thrown out with a wad of dirty tissue from one of my pockets.

      Shadows in skin tones are difficult. Up close they are comprised of a few colors and not so dark. Looking at them way back, though, only one tone can be determined and it's darker than you think. Reminds me of the adage:push the color--push the values. Important in two dimensional representations. When it comes to painting, I'm really wet behind the ears, but making discoveries everyday.



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  5. Plenty of good tips in this post that one can use in art and life... I have to stand back, way back, before my eyesight blurs and go back and forth to do justice in details. And, though a steadying stick can be useful, concentration and love on what I'm doing is more important!
    I'm very happy to hear that you (and Tigers) are having a good period! The painting is coming up marvelously!!
    Hugs and smiles.

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    1. Hugs and smiles back at you Konstantina. Today, I learned one more thing. While I have to wear reading glasses now that I had my cataracts taken care of and can see great distances, I didn't wear them when I got up close to the painting. I preferred blurry. I don't know why yet. The little girls hair shadings are a challenge--hell, everything is a challenge, but I'm having fun with it.

      It's nice when your hometown baseball team succeeds especially when Detroit has suffered so under Kwami Kilpatrick and Coleman Young's leadership and the automotive industry was so pompous ,for so many years, to think they were infallible. A winning ball team can do wonders to lift civic pride.

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  6. Wow! You are an amazing artist. Blessings!

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    1. Wow your creative self! Thanks for visiting and your blessings.

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  7. heel knap gedaan met goede gelijkenis dank je wel voor het delen met ons lieve groetjes Danielle

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    1. Thanks Danielle. I'm pleased with how it's coming along and more pleased with what I've noticed about how I work and what to change in my methods.

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  8. My daughter has only been in the US since early September, and things are looking up for you already! She arrives in Portland, Maine today (from Chicago) - they are motoring all the way down to Florida! Then fly back to Denver.

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    1. That's a long trip with a lot of beautiful country between here and there to keep her from boredom. I wondered where all these good vibes were coming from. England of course:-) Love your touches of color in The Cloisters--perhaps a touch of red in the little girl's skirt to connect the two area and guide the eye?

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  9. You really caught the expression of the little girl...looking very good so far, I am sure you will pull it off perfectly .

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    1. The skin tones are taking a lot of consideration. Lots of unexpected gray. Her skin is very fair and the lighting has a blue cast. Naples yellow and Paynes Gray are the best mix. Odd combination don't you think?

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  10. I finally step back and look at my paintings before continuing...I never used to and there was always that "something" that wasn't right. Your painting of "The blonde kid" is truly beautiful. The likeness is amazing, Linda! I'm looking forward to your next post!!

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    1. I'm getting down to details now--her mouth --her eyes, a Mediterranean blue--her mouth is longer than the usual measurement--and the background. Backgrounds play into the lighting of a subject more than anyone would think.

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  11. Linda!
    Your portraits are fine! Great works!
    I love seeing bits of your art studio! I especially enjoy seeing some of your work that wasn't the focus of your photo! Great fun!
    Go Tigers! Go "Everyone!" ;0)
    Michael

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    1. Thanks Michael. Any day now I'm going to get back to my three men, my boys. That triple portrait you see leaning on the wall is what has sent me off to workshops and classes this year. It is what clued me in as to what info I was missing.

      YES. GO TIGERS!

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  12. great work on the blonde kid...you never chose an easy pose....nice drawing as well as painting

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    1. I think the difficult is what attracts me. I like expressions not normally used in portraits, but often used in life. Thanks.

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