Monday, November 5, 2012

Cat's Eyes

Mr. Fuz Zy Pants got his eyes back and one whisker
Remind me never to do a calico cat again. All the different shadings in his coat and his whiskers are driving me crazy. Today, FP got his eyes back and one whisker; he needs a few more.  I lightened Taylor up too, but she will probably go dark again. I just needed more color in the blackish background and a softer transition passage between the cat and her face.

PASTELS: WARMING UP THE BLACK

Painterly Pastel revisited.
I didn't like how dead black the background was. I didn't  like what 'swiping' a folded piece of toweling did to the background. I went back in to get the freshness back. It was a risky move, for most often your first efforts are the best and can never be retrieved once they've been messed with. But It my painting and it's me learning the ins and outs of pastels, so what the hell. (The light on the cloth didn't reproduce photographically exactly how it is. The gold isn't nearly as obvious and the white is actually a pale pink. Everything after that is pretty much how it is).

This is the original rendition
...before I went in with the swipes and added colors to the black. It's more lively. The pitcher has some interesting strokes that are now gone, but the highlights aren't high enough on the plum or the drapery it's set upon, and the background is still dead. I do like the roughness of the strokes. So blending is not something I want from this medium is what I learned from this exercise.

In a workshop or class, the object is not to make a masterpiece. The object is to learn what you can and cannot do with the medium--what you want from the medium. No student should walk out of the experience thumping their chest with pride. Being in a learning place, the object is to listen, learn and then push it to find what pleases you. A smooth surface doesn't please me. I like the unevenness of color a swipe of the pastel produces.


22 comments:

  1. I love these two Linda! I love the shiny sparkling effects in each of them!
    Very, very exciting. Vibrant comes to mind! Luscious!
    Also love the colorful art work posted the other day. I have been in Boston and am thrilled to be home and catch up on your blog.
    Take care.
    Michael

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    1. Thank you Michael. I really appreciate your kind comments. They keep me upbeat.

      Wow Boston. I've never been, but would like to my buddy to go on a driving trip up that way and beyond. I've seen most of the States, but the ones East of New York. Philadelphia is on my list as well. These two cities are the seat of the history of this country. I will have to push this trip. I do hope you took pictures and will share.

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    2. I think everyone would love Boston. Of course I am very biased. I grew up in Boston and love the city.
      It has so much to offer! I think you would love it!. I would recommend staying at the Marriott Long Wharf. It is right on the water, near the downtown area. Walking distance to Boston's historic Italian North End! Great history and fantastic Italian food!
      I took your advice and posted a few photos. Not nearly enough to justify how great the city is but maybe a little taste.
      Take care.
      Michael

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  2. I take your point that it is about learning and not masterpieces, but the 'revisited pastel' is far superior to the original ... I really, really like it.

    The saga of the 'cat-fight' continues, you do pick the most difficult of subjects, Linda... but you are certainly winning

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    1. I hope so. The first finish troubled me. It wasn't a finish at all. You have to listen to your intuition as you know. AND THEN TREAD LIGHTLY. The hardest thing to learn is when to stop.

      It's an on-going saga. But this is my grandkid's cat. This will be a meaningful painting for her, one she might carry with her through life. This one is important. I do hope I'm winning, but it sure is a struggle. I'm not a lover of felines. I favor puppy dogs.

      How are you doing? The loss of a brother before his time is very difficult, unacceptable actually. Ellis and I still mourn our younger brothers' deaths. They were supposed to bury us.

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    2. She's going to love it.

      I'm coping, thanks for asking, Linda; very considerate of you to ask.

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  3. Excellent development of these images. Just getting a few finished before you jet off?

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    1. Four weeks from today we're off. I'm one of those A personalities that plan ahead given there's family holiday get together between now and then. I hope to finish FP before the holiday. That's when my granddaughter will be home from college. I'm putting the pedal to the metal. My determination may or may not work, in which case, it becomes a Hanukkah present. I really hope that doesn't happen.

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  4. good looking cat! I do believe your are winning the battle! As for the pastels, I can see the merit of both versions. I like your analysis..& it is always interesting to see the revisions side by side.

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    1. EXCEPT when the current painting loses its original charm. Then you lament: why didn't I leave well enough alone? :-) So it goes.

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  5. I adore the cat - neat we both have a cat on our blog on the same day.
    Of the two still life pieces. I, of course, prefer the more colorful one. That is certainly a no brainer!

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    1. Yours is probably done though. I'm just plodding along. I do have to finish up in the next week. It's not a little painting. It's 20 x 20. It's taking a bit of paint.

      Color wins every time; that's what painting is. I couldn't get over people liking that dead black. It needed livening up just to create the illusion of airiness.

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  6. Linda, Mr. FP is looking great. Think of his coloration as a challenge. :)

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    1. I don't have to think of it as a challenge; it is a challenge--as is the brushwork. Lots of whipping going on. I did force the reference photo. I cropped in tight and played up the cat and played down Taylor. I blacked all else out in the scene to get a more interesting composition than what the snapshot had to offer. FP is a lot more sandy colored than what I'm doing. The painted cat is an exaggeration. I like to make things interesting for me.

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    2. I like the exaggerated colors! Whipping? As in self-flagellation??? :)

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    3. Maybe--after she hates the pushed colors and says that doesn't really look like Mr. Fuz Zy Pants. --But honey, the title says it's Mister Fuz Zy pants; it must be. Titles don't lie. :-)

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  7. That cat is really coming to life. Sorry for being quiet, renovating my hallway, taking a lot of time and energy....

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    1. Well eyes will do it for you. They are the focal point to which all value nuances must point.

      Renovating is hard work. Energetic. We've been called in many times to take over renovation projects begun by the homeowner and then abandoned because they were overwhelmed. Patience and consistency is key--just like painting. Trouble is: spouses get sick of the mess and want it finished. Supreme organization helps with that.

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  8. Linda, Mr. Fuz Zy Pants is coming along nicely. I really like your choice of colors and your eat brushstrokes.

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    1. Thanks Laura. I am most concerned with the brush strokes. I am pushing the color. I hope my granddaughter will understand that's what painters do--at least that's what this painter does.

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  9. Oh I love the calico cat, the personality really shines through!!!

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    1. I hope so. You know how people feel about their pets. You know how people who don't paint don't understand how color and light is pushed to add excitement to the real thing. But I'm doing this for free, so when I'm done, I'm done. If you hadn't told me this was a calico cat, I'd still have no idea what cat I was painting other than a fuzzy one. :-)

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