Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Icy in Oklahoma

Power just came back on thanks to Ozarks Electric, who are really on the ball. I feel for those workers that are having to work in these conditions. We have ice on the trees and power lines but not as bad as in other areas of the state, or farther north or south of us.

It is my understanding that there is more to come tonight and tomorrow. It is my hope and prayer that it won't be as bad as expected, especially for those that are elderly or in ill health.
While the power was out, I started a color wheel for a new color theory group I just joined. By starting at the beginning, doing color wheels of the different color palettes such as the split-complementary palette or a triad palette, it will broaden my understanding and usage of color.

Oops, the lights are flickering so will post this

Sunday, January 25, 2009

At the Zoo, Charcoal Value Sketch


This is a quick value sketch using charcoal on an index card to get an idea of the placement of lights and darks. I can tell that going toward the corner to the left of the figures, it needs to be darker while in front of the figures, there needs to be a sense of more light hitting the figures.

At the Zoo, Sketch

I haven't posted much this past week. It was one of those times when every day had something scheduled or unexpected. I was beginning to feel I was falling down on my goal for 2009 of doing more sketching and drawing.

This graphite sketch on printer paper is from a photograph taken by my daughter of three of my grandkids at the zoo. The two boys in the middle and my granddaughter, who is bent down and is mostly hidden behind the boys legs.

Underneath the railing is glass and there is a wonderful play of reflections in the glass which were just barely indicated in this sketch. The figure on the viewer's right is only partially indicated in the photo, mainly just part of the back pack and shorts with just a hint of a leg. For this sketch though, I added more of the figure

I haven't thought of a title yet for the painting I want to do based on the photo and sketch but for now will call it At the Zoo.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rough Sketch of Brian

This is the first rough sketch of Brian practicing his karate moves. I didn't erase and the proportions are off but by doing quick little rough's, one gets a feel for the movement, the shapes, which helps when a regular drawing or painting is done. This sketch isn't fluid as the lines look stiff to me instead of more gestural but that will come with time and practice. That right arm is really hideous but I'm not changing it as I want the sketches to chronicle improvement over the next months. (Keeping my fingers crossed for that *smile*.)

It is always such a treat to shop for art supplies which is what I did Tuesday. Brought home more panels and canvas along with some oil paints, and brushes for both watercolor and oils.

Yesterday was also the day for me to work on the Artists of Northwest Arkansas(ANA) 2009 Prospectus for their main show of the year to be held July 10 through August 7, 2009. This show is open to all artists located in Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Once the Prospectus is finalized it will be posted on the ANA website and I will post the direct link here in the blog.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Brian Sketch Reworked



I spent yesterday and this morning reworking this drawing of Brian. His right cheek may still be a bit too rounded but this is much closer to the reference photo. My goal is to get a more accurate drawing so for another painting. You can see the original drawings here

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Brian, Overworked

Instead of posting a new entry today, I decided to post here as I quickly changed the shape of the jaw line and shortened the chin just a bit. I was not after finished changes but only changes to show what a difference shape can make to a likeness. The nose just a bit too long and I didn't try to correct that. So here are the two photos side by side so the changes can be seen. The painting is so overworked now it isn't salvageable but has served as a learning experience. For some reason I can't get the two photos to line up evenly.



I've spent the day working on this painting. It is close to looking like Brian but there are several things out of sync such as the nose, especially the right nostril. When I place the painting beside the photo, the discrepancies are more apparent. This is exactly the reason why it is imperative to have as accurate a drawing as possible before placing the first brush stroke if one wants to get a reasonable likeness.

Brian, Watercolor In Progress

This morning the first thing I did was erase a few lines around the mouth and eyes. Color was lifted near his neck on the viewer's right so the neck area could be widen just slightly. Brian's left eye was narrowed slightly but now I see that the top lid needs to be lowered just a bit. Before doing that I will first lay a ruler or piece of paper across to see where the eyes are out of alignment. More color was added into the hair, in the whites of the eyes, and in the background. So far the palette for this painting consists of Burnt Sienna, used to create a neutral or gray, Fr. Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, a bit of Cerulean Blue, Raw Sienna, New Gamboge, Perm. Alizarin Crimson. Greens were mixed from the yellows and blues. The dark areas on and around the nose, the eyes, and on the chin is misket. Next, misket will be added to a few areas of the hair to keep the lights.


This first photo is where I stopped painting yesterday. I painted a light wash of Daniel Smith Raw Sienna (yellow) over the face, letting it completely dry, keeping the lights in the very lightest areas of the face. Then painted a very pale glaze or wash of Holbein Rose Madder over the cheeks around the eyes and parts of the neck. While that was drying, I painted in a pale grayish background, changing the grays to either bluer or redder then as it came down toward the shoulders, added green. It is at this point that I see some corrections need to be made to the left eye and to his neck.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I like to look

at different blogs and/or websites that have anything to do with painting and just a few minutes ago found the blog (correction: the website) of Claire Schroeven Verbiest. Her watercolors sing. I was so impressed with the way she painted the variety of denin jeans in "Denim Nation", that I just had to share her link. The other watercolor that really attracted me is "Summer". Look at the color harmony and the freshness of the color. Wow. Now I'm heading back to her blog to view the rest of her work.



Brian Sketch Comparison

Below is a side by side of the two sketches drawn of Brian today. The left one is the first sketch. The second sketch shows a younger look, largely due to lack of shading or shadows. The eyes are much more accurate in this drawing and this is the one I will use as a basis for a watercolor painting. The second sketch was so light that I used light levels and contrasts on it to bring out the lines.

Brian Sketch

Did this sketch of my grandson, Brian, this morning using a 2H and .09 mechanical pencil. Everything is about right on this sketch except for the most important area, the eyes. Brian's left eye is too high still as I actually erased it once and redrew it. Usually I begin a sketch with the eyes; in this one I began with the jaw line. So I will draw Brian again and then place this drawing and the new one side by side for comparison.

One neat trick I learned from the Painting Friends art group is how to overlay this sketch over the reference photo to check for areas that need to be corrected. Pretty cool.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Road Trip, Changes

Wednesday, 01-14-09

In the comments, Sandy thought the pure color of the blue throw and jacket competed with the face. I took her suggestion to tone down the throw by glazing it with orange, the complement of blue, to gray or mute some of the blue. She was right, it does look so much better. This photo was taken inside this morning while the photo below was taken outside, yesterday.

After a critique by the Painting Friends art group, I made some changes by scrubbing out the neck and the gray lap throw and repainting them. I like the blue throw better but didn't quite get the look of Tim's chin correct. I also added more color behind his head in the dark area and along the shadow side beside his head and body on the seat. More color was added to the pages of the book as well. I'm calling this one finished unless the chin area bothers me so much I have to change it. *grimace*

Monday, January 12, 2009

Road Trip WIP, Today's Progress

This is where the painting stands. Some areas I am quite pleased with, while other areas such as the muddy looking neck, I am dissatisfied. I haven't figured out how to take a photo of blondish/reddish/brownish hair without it going more red. If I desaturate the red, it affects others areas in the photo. I will also step back and look at the hair in the painting to see if there is that much red.


I'm taking my time with this watercolor, especially in the face area. One thing I have noticed with this sheet of 140 lb. Fabriano Aristico paper is it isn't absorbing water as well which is making it more difficult to get smoother transitions. I didn't soak the paper or wet it down first to remove some of the sizing.

One area I am going to work on is the left eye as I went too dark with the lashes. I will wait to do that though until I have finished applying the skin tone layers and reevaluate that area.

Since Tim's eyes in the reference photo aren't easy to read, I am using a hand mirror to view my eyes, having the light coming from the same direction so I can see where light is hitting the eye.

Road Trip WIP, Tim

After spending some time doing color swatches of skin tones Sunday, the first wash was laid in on the painting of Tim based on the line drawing I did Saturday. I upped the contrast on the photo of this watercolor so you can see the line work in the face.

The first layer of indian yellow was applied to the skin area. The gray's are comprised of Ultramarine Blue, Indanthrone Blue, Burnt Sienna, and Carmine. The next step will be working more on the windows and landscape areas, adding misket to the gray throw covering his knees before proceeding with the figure.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Tim Sketch

This is a line sketch of my grandson, Tim, reading while on a road trip. For this sketch I used a 2H graphite pencil on bristol board. I had to use the contrast on this drawing as it is so light it didn't photograph too well.

I have been wanting to paint this for quite some time so will transfer this drawing to watercolor paper and hope to begin that today. The drawing is based on a reference photo taken by my daughter.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Nude Sketch


I was perusing the Figure Forum at Wet Canvas where I noticed a weekly drawing thread. Using their reference photo, I sketched the nude figure using a mechanical pencil on typewriter paper. I cropped the photo of the sketch for viewing here. If you want to see the full sketch click Here.

Glass Bowl Sketch

A quick graphite sketch of a small glass
bowl sitting on my desk with the light directly overhead. My apologies for the fuzzy photo, in real life, the sketch is more crisp. These sketches are fairly simple because it is the shapes and values I am wanting to learn to see better as well as better control of the pencil or brush. To that end I had better correct the ellipses at the top of the bowl, *grinning*.



Last evening I did some split-complementary color swatches then played, randomly placing colors to see how they looked and interacted.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Some Days

Some days are just meant to be spent quietly, and this morning has been one of them. I just spent one of the most pleasant hours at the website of Colin Page, viewing his artwork and reading his journal entries. As I viewed his work, I could feel the heightened awareness running through me, appreciating the delicious color play, the sure brushwork, his design/compositions, but even more it was the feeling he was in tune with the moment which brought added zest to his work. He does just as well with the written word, drawing one in, wanting to read more.

Since I haven't sketched or drawn anything today, here is a photo of a couple of the quarter horses belonging to my brother, taken during the summer a couple of years ago. That is me, petting Bucky, who will follow you anywhere if you have a bucket of feed. I will sketch or paint something but for some reason I am in the mood to clean and straighten the studio. When I'm in this mood, it is best to pay attention to it as it doesn't happen often.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Bicycle in Snow




Graphite sketch of a bicycle in Snow on typing paper drawn for an art group project. Reference photo was from Morgue File.

Brian Sketch Rework

You can in the comparison photos of the sketches see what has been reworked. I decided to do that instead of beginning a new drawing. By doing these reworks, it makes me more aware of each feature. I've found when drawing I always start with the eyes. So don't be surprised if you see some eye doodles, both in graphite, watercolor and oils.

In the reference photo I used, Brian's eyes were closed a bit more but I wanted them open in this sketch. It also looks like he has a heavy beard in the rework. Hopefully the next drawing of him will resemble him more. He is such a cute teenager. You will note I took off the tuxedo and replaced it with a tee shirt. This looks more like him but still isn't quite there yet.

Brian Sketch



Graphite sketch on typewriter paper of my grandson, Brian. This is one of those sketches that almost resembles the subject. The jawline is not quite right. The teeth are definitely not right. The nose is almost right but the base or bottom of it needs to be reshaped, one eye is just a tad too large and, he has a bit longer neck. Still for a first sketch of him I am not displeased with it. It just spurs me on to do a better one.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Sadie Watercolor


8" x 13 1/2" Image Size
12" x 17" Paper Size
Fabriano Aristico Soft Press Paper

I cropped the painting to the smaller size because I think the composition works better. The background has a soft flesh tone wash behind the chair. I mucked up Sadie's face as their isn't the smooth transition in tones that I wanted. I am not displeased with the painting but feel I can do better. Now I am really happy I transferred the original drawing to tracing paper in case I decide to do this painting again.

Sadie Sketch

A comment was just posted wondering why I drew on Bristol Board first. The reason is that a goal I have set for myself in 2009, is to sketch frequently. This line drawing is my sketch for today. I then traced the line drawing to tracing paper, flipped it over, rubbing graphite over the lines, and transferred the drawing to Fabriano Aristico Soft Press watercolor paper. I could have drawn Sadie again directly on the paper but this way I don't have to be concerned that erasure marks have scarred the paper.

The photo to the right shows the transferred drawing and some of the color application made to the face and hands, using New Gamboge and Rose Madder with shadows using the flesh mixture and ultramarine violet. You will note the bands across the paper and that is shadows from the desk.

The palette I'm using is New Gamboge (yellow), Rose Madder Genuine (cool pinkish), Carmine (a darker cool red), Scarlet Lake (an orangy red), ultramarine violet and cobalt blue. From these colors I can mix the greens needed and any neutrals.


Using a reference photo my daughter sent me, I sketched this line drawing on Bristol Board of my granddaughter, Sadie, using a .09 mechanical pencil. I will check the alignment and size of the hat and the width of the ear before transferring this line drawing to watercolor paper. I had to up the contrast in Photoshop of the line drawing because it is so light. If it looks like Sadie is leaning, it is because she is. She is leaning against or partially laying on an armchair. As you can tell by now, Sadie is one of my favorites to sketch.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Lilac Sketch

It has been chilly here all day and my thoughts turned to Spring. I found a photo of some lilacs I took a couple of years ago and used that for the reference for this sketch. I think the sketch could use more darks or value changes around and within the lilacs.

Made it to the dr. today and am now wearing a walking boot which helps for balance when using crutches. This has been an eye opening experience, realizing how loss of muscle has impacted my abilities to lift myself or even walk well with the crutches. I have good intentions to correct that. Maybe improving my muscle tone will also improve the way I see things. Probably not as that is an exercise of a different kind. But I think sketching is one way to exercise the way I see, don't you?




Sunday, January 04, 2009

Left Handed Sketch


I wanted to see if I could even get a close resemblance to fingers/hand using my left hand to draw. The one thing using the opposite hand will help is concentration. I had to concentrate on one small area and concentrate on getting a mark that helped shape that area. I found that my hand often didn't want to move in the direction my brain wanted *smile*.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Hand and Tiger Sketches


This morning was started off sketching my hand. When this sketch was first started I drew circles and cylinders for each part of the fingers so I would know the approximate placement of the joints and the length of the fingers.















Then I went to Paint Friends.com and downloaded a photo for their 2HC challenge, which is to paint or draw and stop in two hours or less.

The tiger is from the 2HC reference photo and took approximately 25 minutes to sketch.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Foot Sketch


I wanted to sketch from life so decided to sketch my foot. It isn't very interesting but was good practice for shapes and folds. I'm such an impatient sketcher, not giving myself time to get into the sketch but hurrying through it.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2008 Went Out With A Bang or Should I say Foot


I'm laughing at the comedy of errors that occurred last evening, the major one being I broke some of the bones in my left foot. I won't go into the details but trust me, in retrospect it had its hilarious side. I'm not great on crutches so plan to spend more time sitting.

This is an opportunity to do more reading and sketching while propping up my foot. I'm still reading Richard Schmid's book, "Alla Prima" as there is so much to absorb, I go back and reread passages and ponder what was read. Great, great book.

The watercolor painting shown is of rope sitting on a dock. I liked the abstract qualities and the palette of this painting which was done in either 2004 or 2005.