Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Cardinal

Cardinal, Acrylic on Crescent Board, 10"x10", $150




More Experiments...

In this painting, I continued the process I was working on in my Goldfinch painting. This time, I started with rectangular shapes in the background and then super-imposed the cardinal on that. I used the branch and the dark shapes to integrate the background and the foreground. I'm still working on that balance thing.

If you would like to purchase this painting, please click on the Daily Paintworks icon at right.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Goldfinch

Goldfinch, Acrylic on Crescent Board, 10"x10", $150

Experiments...

In this painting I started with the colored abstract background in blue, gold, and orange. The colors put me in mind of an American goldfinch. I used black paint to draw in the bird and then added all of the black patterns. That done, I felt I needed to put in the white bars on the wings and tail and a bit of the white under the tail. Once the white was in , I discovered that my eye went directly to the white spots, so I decided to balance them using a white shape behind the head. Still feeling a bit lop-sided, I added the small white rectangle to the left of the twig. I struggled with the patterns and abstract shapes - it's really hard to decide where and how much to put in to get the effect I want.

If you would like to purchase this painting, please click on the Daily Paintworks icon at right.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Snowy Quartet

Snowy Quartet, Acrylic on Gessoboard, 6"x6:, $100

Snowy Quartet

In this painting, I decided to add some twigs and undergrowth to add life and a bit more color to this winter scene.Twigs and weeds have such a range of colors if you look closely. And there is nothing like the whiteness of a blanket of snow to pop those colors.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Winter Trio

Winter Trio, Acrylic on Gessoboard, 6"x6", $100




Winter Trio


This is another painting that was almost done but not quite. I like the variety of color on the tree trunks and the shadow patterns.

To purchase this painting, please go to Daily Paintworks (click on the icon at right.)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Autumn Reflections

Autumn Reflections, Acrylic on Canvas, 10"x8", $275

Autumn Reflections

This is my first painting since the January 30 Day Challenge. I've been using the time to get caught up on various household projects (cleaning, painting walls, etc.). This is a painting I did last year but that just didn't feel finished. I made some changes and like it a lot better now.

To purchase this painting, please go to Daily Paintworks (click on icon at right.)

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Day 29 - A Young Maya Angelou

Young Maya Angelou, Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 29 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

The month is almost over and I feel like I have made a lot of progress in my ability to paint faces. This painting is of a young Maya Angelou from a photo I found on the Internet. I used only black and white paint on a red background. The technique I have been using seems to work pretty well for me. I have included the source photo and my initial block-in below to show how much information can be captured in those first few paint strokes.

Source photo (left) and initial block-in (right)


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Day 28 - Watercolor Style

Untitled, Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 28 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

This one was done with acrylics but using a very wet watercolor-style application. I started out with the board on my easel but I had to take it down and put it on a flat surface - too much running. Although this came out OK, I have to admit I liked the stronger hues from yesterday's effort more. And although I got more subtlety in the washes, I'm not as happy with the overall effect. I have more work to do.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Day 27 - Back to Faces

Untitled, Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 27 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Back to faces. I gave myself a few days to regroup and decided I was ready to dive back into the portrait painting pool.This is from a photo I got from the Internet. If you can tell who it is, then I have learned more than I thought I would in such a short time. I decided to go with a one-shot watercolor-style paint application on a white background. Out of practice, I made the color in a few areas a bit too strong and some of the edges should have been a bit softer. Nonetheless, I am quite pleased with this one. It has a looseness and vibrancy that I like.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Day 26 - Geranium

Geranium, Acrylic on Crescent Board, 10"x10"

Day 26 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Geraniums today. I started this piece last year and quit when I didn't know what to do next. I had some ideas for it today, so I picked it up and tried them out. It still doesn't look complete but it is more interesting than it was. I have been playing with some of Karen Knutson's ideas, specifically, her "wire drawings" and the way she plays with space, overlaps, and color. So hat tip to Karen - I've got a long way to go before I get anywhere near her expertise.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Day 25 - Cyclamen

Cyclamen, Acrylic on Crescent Board, 10"x10"

Day 25 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

I decided to mess with patterns today. I used plastic wrap to make patterns in wet paint. Once that was dry, I superimposed a drawing of cyclamen on the patterns and then started playing with the division of space. The blossoms don't have as much punch as I would like but I can see possibilities for future attempts. There are interesting elements here and some things that didn't really work all that well. That's how we learn - right?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Day 24 - Tiles

Tiles, Acrylic on Crescent Board, 10"x10"

Day 24 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Today's painting is my rendition of the Daily Paintworks Tiles Challenge for this week. I chose to cross the pair crossed lines on the tile, and I painted all of the lines and dots black. I chose a four by four grid - we could choose any number of tiles. This challenge is a lot harder than it looks - there are thousands of ways to arrange the dots and lines, at which point you can make them different colors and sizes, add embellishments, and more. My version is really pretty simple - I am in awe of the folks that figured out how to blend their patterns from tile to tile all the while changing the colors and resultant shapes. Wow!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Day 23 - The Eyes Have It

The Eyes Have It, Mixed Media/Collage, 10"x10"

Day 23 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Visual chaos! This is what my brain feels like after doing 20 paintings of faces. I'm fried. The portrait I was painting today ended up in the trash basket - totally unrecoverable. For this painting, I tore the eyes from a bunch of the photos I have been using and glued them onto a gessoed Crescent Board. Then I added paint. The eyes are all there looking at me. It's really busy, but kind of fun, too.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Day 22 - Just a Guy

Untitled, Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 22 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

This guy is based on a photo in my collection. I got rid of the facial hair and changed the lighting to create a new image. I think this one came out pretty well.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Day 21 - Love Those Shades

Love Those Shades, Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 21 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

I've fallen a little behind in the last few days. I'm hoping to be able to catch up but we'll see. I painted this guy before but this time I added sunglasses to the mix. I'm not sure I have made the lenses wide enough but it will have to do for now (that's what happens when you add things without having any reference material to help with sizing and placement.)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Day 19 - Ruddy

Ruddy, Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 19 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

I used an old photo of my Dad for this one. I am starting to get some likeness, although I don't have it nailed yet. Dad has very ruddy skin which I tried to capture here. I found the ruddiness very hard to match color-wise - there's a lot of red, but it isn't all that dark, and there are some hints of yellow and blue in there.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Day 18 - Side Light

Side Light, Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 18 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

This is based on a photo of an elderly uncle sitting in a chair by the window. The resulting side light made the right side of his face almost completely white while the shadowed side was quite dark. I decided to add a bunch of greens and blues to the shadowed side and work out from there. It mostly works. I have to admit that I mentally stalled out about half way through this one.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Day 17 - MLK Jr.

MLK, Jr., Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 17 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

A day late, but I wanted to try a painting of Martin Luther King, Jr. I got the photo from the Internet (a wonderful thing, the Internet). I had to extrapolate the right side of the face somewhat because he had his hands under his chin in the photo. I liked working with the different values that the black and white photo of an African-American provided - so different from all of the pale faces of my relatives. The stark lighting of the photo also appealed to me - I really like the drama.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Day 15 - Old Man

Old Man, Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 15 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

This painting is based on a photo of an elderly uncle taken years ago. I wanted to play with drama and contrast in this one. I upped the contrast in the photo using Photoshop, then further increased the effect in the painting. Another concept that deserves another visit.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Day 14 - Study in Black and White

Study in Black and White, Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 14 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Another study in black and white. I find myself returning to the simplicity and power of black and white. It's all about the values. I started this one yesterday but got stuck mentally. With fresh eyes, I was able to complete it this morning.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Day 12

Untitled, Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 12 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

This was a tough one. Lots of wrinkles, deep-set eyes, but with a wonderful sparkle in them. I may try this one again some time, but for now, I declare victory.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Day 11 - Mischievous

Mischievous, Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 11 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

I struggled with this one. I wanted to get the mischievous expression on her face. This is based on a photo of another of my elderly aunts. They are all long gone, so I figure they won't mind if I learn to paint people's faces using their wonderful expressions. This lady was always up for an adventure and loved to try anything new. One of her favorite thing in her last years was coming to America to visit her sister and sit under the trees watching the wildlife.

I have been using my own home-grown method for painting my faces. It seems to be working for me. I start with a black and white block-in on a colored ground. I then work on adding color and finally refining the shapes. I took a picture of one of the interim steps (shown below) so you could see what I mean.




Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Day 10 - Squinting in the Bright Sun

Squinting, Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 10 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Yikes! This was a hard one to do! In the photo, this gentleman was strongly lit from the side causing him to squint in the bright sun. He also has very deep-set eyes with relatively dark skin resulting in the effect of dark circles around the eyes when he squints. I went back and forth with various levels of pigment and line-work around the eyes. I finally decided I'd done enough and it was time to move on. I will likely try this one again sometime, but not today.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Day 9 - Contemplation

Contemplation, Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 9 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

This painting is based on a photo of an elderly aunt of mine. She was very small and delicate in some ways, yet you can see that she had very strong, European features. My challenge in this painting was to capture the impression of advanced age (she was in her eighties in the photo) without painting in every crease and wrinkle. I think I was able to do a lot of that. I am finding that once I have the main features of the face (eyes, nose and mouth) in the right position and proportion, I am able to fiddle with the shape of the face to make the rest work. In this painting, the length of the nose, the ear, and the chin line gave me fits.

Artist's Note: I want to add a heartfelt Thank You! to everyone that is following and especially those who have taken the time to comment. I appreciate your kindness and use it to fuel my efforts.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Day 8 - Laughter

Laughter, Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 8 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

In the photo I used for this painting, this lady was clearly having fun. I loved the bright red lipstick, the pale skin, and the dark hair. I amplified the effect by painting the whole thing with cadmium red, black and white on a cad red background. Fun!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Day 7 - Smiling Eyes

Smiling Eyes, Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 7 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

This one started on a bright gold background but it overwhelmed the rest of the painting, so in the end, I covered it all up. I do feel like I got my skin tones right here. I'm having trouble getting that softness in the chin line as people hit middle age - this one shows it a little bit, so progress.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Day 6 - Study in Black and White

Untitled, Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 6 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

In this painting, I just used black and white paint over a cadmium red background. I let the red peek through here and there, keeping everything more or less integrated. This picture was really hard because I was trying to figure out how to show age without putting in every wrinkle. I think I got some sense of age but not as much as I wanted.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Day 5 - All Smiles

All Smiles, Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 5 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

I struggled with this one. I started with an Indian yellow under-painting. Then I blocked in the big shapes using black and white (I took a photo to show what I mean by that). Finally, I added the local color and the details. As with many good photos of people (read properly exposed, etc.), the photo for this lady had very few distinct shadows and the value range was pretty tight. Using Photoshop, I increased the contrast and decreased the brightness to better delineate the shapes. That made it a bit easier to see the shapes and to determine what areas needed to be darker or more intensely colored.

When I do the block-in, I try to get the shapes and values and a good sense of the facial expression. That helps me stay on track as I paint the subtleties in the final layers. In this painting, I think I lost some of the joy in the original - the block-in looks more playful and less posed than the final rendering. Something to work on.



Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Day 4 - Using Color

Untitled, Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 4 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

For this painting, I used the adjusted photo of my cousin that formed the basis for yesterday's painting. I liked the drama of the adjusted photo and decided to paint it with the stronger pigments. Quite a difference!

So far, the methodology that I chose for my paintings is working. I paint directly on the board using black and white to define the main shapes. Once I have those, I add gray areas to further block-in the facial features. I haven't been doing any drawing at all. I start with the eyes, then add the nose and mouth before defining the shape of the face, chin, hairline, etc. By not drawing, I feel like I am able to preserve a painterly look and a looseness that I normally have to struggle to maintain. I like the results even though I am not achieving likeness yet.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Day 3 - Study in Pink

Study in Pink, Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 3 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

For this painting, I used a photo of a cousin of mine that was taken about ten years ago. She is very fair,with light skin, hair and eyes. I really struggled to see the shapes because the values occupied such a narrow range. Frustrated, I went into Photoshop and really increased the contrast and decreased the lightness of the original photo. The result was a much clearer definition of the shapes and relative values. I used the adjusted photo to do the black and white bock-in and then went back to the original photo to put in the final colors. Other than the eyes, this painting only used black, white, and alizarin crimson.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Day 2 - Harley Brown's Friend

Harley Brown's Friend (after Harley Brown), Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 2 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

This is from another Harley Brown demo piece in an old International Artist magazine. I used a lot more color than in my first two attempts, basically expanding to what I consider a full palette - cadmium red, Indian yellow, ultramarine blue, titanium white, and carbon black. The under-painting is Indian yellow - you can see it around the eyes and around the edges although it also comes through near the hairline and around the mouth.

So far, so good. I am enjoying the challenge of doing faces, and so far, I like my results.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Day 1 - Incognito

Incognito (after Harley Brown), Acrylic on Gessoed Mat Board, 10"x7"

Day 1 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

I found the source for this painting in an article by Harley Brown in an old International Artist magazine. He was kvetching about sunglasses and how they obscure the eyes so you can't see what the person is thinking, although he also admitted that you can get a really cool painting with sunglasses as the subject. This was one of his examples.

I painted almost all of this painting in black and white, adding just a few hints of cadmium red under the eyes and in the cheeks and letting the red lips really pop. This painting just flowed.