Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Babe in The Woods

 
 Sharon isn't as loose as I would like, but looser. I made some changes  in my equipment: I doubled the size of my palette to 33" x 18" for enough room to layout value gradation; and I changed my canvas size to scale the size of my reference photos.  These simple measures taken relaxed this painter so she could loosen up. Tight spaces make for tight drawings.

Lily Pond, underpainting, 12 x 16"

But I have more eggs to break on this adventure I'm on.  I laid out this underpainting of a new lily pond I came across in the woods  and decided I needed to knock off a quick one. Usually landscapes are good for that.  Well not this one with oils; it's too complex. This underpainting immediately followed by wet-into-wet  Alla Prima oil paint applications quickly  turned to mud. I wiped the canvas clean concluding: forget underpainting.  I really am a babe in the woods with this new medium and new technique, but my values were right. Slowly it goes, but not painfully.




The cross bow sapling would have been eliminated of course.  I love the reflections in the pond.
I like the black and white photograph; it has a full range of grays.  This is just a portion of the original panoramic view worthy of matting and framing.








 

13 comments:

  1. The Sharon painting is so fun--I love the wack-o expression. It really captures a moment of some sort of astonishment and glee. YOU really have the knack for getting facial features down so fast and accurately. I am sorry your lily pond tanked. But--it is the tanked paintings that teach us the most. I love the subject matter you choose. It seems that you are always drawn to "the tangle" of nature. You set up great...putting in the darks. I had a teacher tell me to not use brown as an underpainting. (I know, Richard Schmid might disagree)...this teacher told me to use modern colors instead of earth colors, because going over the top of brown is tricky. So, he recommended colors like purple and magenta for underpainting. Not purple out of a tube, but a mixed purple or violet. Also, he wanted us to just map what the scene was without putting in too much paint. This way, when you went over the top of it, if you did screw up, at least it would be pretty colors...haha! Seriously, he said no brown. The painting I just screwed up the other day was because I forgot all this and tried to paint on a brown toned panel. Anyway! I hope you give the pond another go..it is such a good (but absolutely challenging) image!

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    1. I think I'll look for a less complicated scene. I'd like to drag my easel outdoors, but so far wet conditions--not just damp, but wet--have prevailed. I was thinking about why I chose brown today and started that painting that old fashioned way. I concluded I'm still an old fashioned gal OR you go back to where you left off years ago. I was going to give it another try, but I think I'll do Jerry. Purple you say? Modern colors you say? I have finished Schmid. I'm moving on. Thanks, I do love capturing people's expressions and Sharon was so gracious to accommodate me. I did pay her back though when we had our Skype conference chat. I suppose I'll be seeing myself soon on her blog.

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  2. Well, it is starting to look something. You have left the horror house and are moving in the right direction. =)

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    1. That's it for Sharon. Thank you. I knew I could save her. There's always a getting acquainted period with me. The first rendering was just that. The initial process is always about getting acquainted when no preliminary sketches are done. Sorry if we barged in the other day. We didn't mean to startle you, Our Skype conference call was great fun for me. It's cool talking live between three countries.

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  3. Talk about making a person smile!!! She just made my day...LOVE that expression and the skin tones are excellent, Linda! I really need to do a portrait in oils....what's the worse thing that could happen?? I'm looking forward to seeing the lily pond...it certainly looks challenging but I know you could do it!!

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    1. You wipe it out. I'm wiping out a lot these days--including a run at the lily pond, which will remain a photograph. It is too complicated. When I go out photographing the woods, I think I might be wearing my sculptor's hat. The entanglements of branches fascinates me, as does the different textures--water reflections and grasses. My walks are a tactile experience. This photograph and two failed attempts at painting it brought that realization home. Rain too. While the painting came out okay, my fascination was with the rivulets and distorted streams in between, pathways stretched between welt-like forms--the structure of rain.

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  4. Ze kijkt verbaast en blij tegelijk leuk om je veranderingen te zien lieve groetjes Danielle

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    1. Yes, it wasn't easy getting that look of happy surprise down as you can tell from the previous post. I loved doing it though. The challenges of direct painting plus the challenge of the expressions that appeal to me are giving me quite a workout.

      Ja, het was niet gemakkelijk krijgen van die blik van blijde verrassing beneden zoals je kunt zien uit de vorige post. Ik vond het geweldig doen hoor. De uitdagingen van de directe schilderen plus de uitdaging van de uitdrukkingen die een beroep op mij geven me nogal een training.

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  5. Great portrait Linda! A real masterpiece. A hug.

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    1. Masterpiece? Not quite, but a step closer. Thanks Tito. hugs back. :-))

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  6. Portrait unusual but effective. How thrilling to see other sides of reality and paint them in its own way !
    Have nice week end!

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    1. Unusual is exactly what I'm after in portraiture Rita. Thank you. Portrait done straight--three quarter view, Mona Lisa smile, I tend to walk right by them. They are paintings done for commemorative purposes or status. I love just seeing people as they respond to life. Sharon was good enough to give me some excellent and challenging material to work with. Having accepted that I will never be a great portrait artist, the artist of the rich, the wannabees and such--and actually being too old to have such aspirations--I figure I can paint people as I enjoy them--being themselves. As you love flowers, I love people's expressions as they deal with life. It's nice to have found what I will go to great lengths to paint. Now, my camera is my constant companion. I've become a head hunter.

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