Posts Tagged ‘oil painting’

August Sun- New Painting

September 1, 2008

August and September. It’s hot. You do the physical work in the early morning or late afternoon.

9X12 oil on linen

Sometimes you have no choice- the works’ got to get done. I was taken with the contrasted colors of his red t-shirt, the cool, blue pool ( not mine…..), and the white hot concrete around the edges. Like an iced, frosty cola, the shadows showed me where the cool spots were. August Sun– seemed appropriate.

Noel Coward does a very saucy, perky rendition of Mad Dogs and Englishmen , here:

And then you can add to those two species who don’t know enough to stay out of the midday sun, this extraordinary creature that popped out of one of my plants when I hosed some in the backyard. I don’t know who was more shocked! I’d never seen anything this, well, GREEN!

Learn more about Green Iguanas here:

She’s a juvenile, already about 12″ long, was serenely checking me out, waited for me to come back out with my camera, and then ( the best part ), she took a piece of pink guava from my outstretched hand and ate it!

Now I may have to spend more time out in the midday sun….

Shallow Water- New Painting

August 25, 2008

Shallow Water 8X10 oil on linen

By this time in August, the days are hot and the sun is relentless. The best way to cool off is to get in the water. I was watching this father and son at the shoreline, saw a good shot, and happened to also have the camera with me. Doesn’t always line up that way.

The dad was apparently comfortable in the water but the little guy, not so much. His face showed some displeasure. If he only knew how lucky he was to be living near a beach as pretty as this one.

I tried some new approaches on this painting and you can see the process below. Seeing works in progress when other artists show them has been so helpful. I thought I’d do the same.

First I toned the canvas with a raw sienna wash and while it was still wet, wiped away some areas for lights. Then I did a rough-in with a deeper sienna to position the dark shapes.

I usually sketched my subjects first but I wind up trying to “stay in the lines ” and I wanted to be looser with this and just get the feel for it. The toned canvas is great to give you a value base to relate to. Lights look more luminous and the darks are already pretty much in place.

Now I started to add in the colors, and again tried something new: a limited palette.

Yellow ochre

Alizarin Crimson

Ultramarine Blue

Titanium White

Burnt Sienna

Touch of Black but barely.

And one teeny dab of Cad. Red on swim trunks. I just had to.

It’s a serious exercise in being very precise in the use of color. And challenging.

Without Cad yellows, greens are much softer and cooler. What is it about green? Sheesh, I hate painting them.

So to complete the reverse order of images, this is the original reference.

It’s too hot…. I’m going for a swim. Unlike the little guy, I fully realize how lucky I am.

Trinidad Market Girl – A New Painting

August 13, 2008

I thought I’d hate the fumes. I don’t. What really happened is that I transported myself back to my days as an art student at Parsons School of Design in NYC.

I’d forgotten how the smell of linseed oil evoked the small, airless room we painted in, feeling a little bohemian and maybe a little bit goofy after 5 hours of breathing in turps.

I’d had this reference photo of a Trinidad Market Girl and wanted to rough out a sketch first, to get scale and placement. Sketching gets me familiar with the subject.

This is an 8X10 linen canvas that I tinted first, and visible are the bisecting lines in pink to make sure I didn’t truncate her head or her arms. You know how that goes- huge head, tiny body.

I need to pitch a big thank you to two great blog mate painters who are always eager to share information and very generously.

Linda Blondheim– a superb painter of Florida landscapes whose posts include textbooks worth of painting tips. You’d think she was getting paid to do it.

And Nancy Moskovitz who is also a terrific Florida painter in both oils and acrylics, for sharing painting tips and a great heads up on increasing your hits on your blog by selecting the right titles- read more about it here at Empty Easel.

Getting my Photoshop toes in the water and playing with values lets me look as I go, with a dispassionate eye. Being artists, we’re supposed to be passionate. We can trip over our own damn egos and toes if we’re not careful. I fiddled around to get this in shades of grey- thought it looked pretty good.

It’s a real discipline for me to get un-disciplined. I went for loose and sassy. Did I make it?

Double Double Oil and Trouble

July 26, 2008

” Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, “

This recipe seemed to work for Shakespeare since Macbeth is one of the most sought after parts for an actor to portray.

It might have been easier for me to extract the eye of a newt ( just reach up at night behind any picture on the wall and you’ll find one ), or the toe of a frog. We have those too. The wool of a bat? A little trickier but possible. Sorry, I draw the line at tongue of dog since mine sleep next to me in the bed and short of the 8 million buckaroos Leona Helmsley bequeathed hers, are family emeritus.

So any of those things might have been easier than getting reacquainted with oil paints after many many many years.

I’ve been using acrylics for the past several years but have been feeling the pull towards oils for the exact opposite characteristics they possess. I had taken a plein air workshop here a few months ago, was the only acrylic painter among the oil painters and felt this siren of mediums taunting me.

I’m now outfitted in paints, brushes, knives and mediums, learning to embrace the fragrance ( fumes ) of the turps again and the very smells are taking me back many decades to classes at Parsons School of Design where I took my first courses in art.

I’ve tried to keep it loose and gestural to get the feel of the softness of the paint and the different application that’s required. I wasn’t going for replication.

The switch from acrylic to oils is like this:

You’ve been a shepard your entire life and now, you’re going to herd cats……. Have mercy on me and offer up some gentle yet helpful advice/suggestions/quotes/something!!!!

I’m laying myself open here, I realize but hey, when you live here, this is the rule you get to live by and I’m sticking with it: