Had a few days painting outside with watercolors last week--this was one of the more successful ones. Watercolor isn't my strong suit but it is fun to splash colors around.
I'm happy with this painting. It came together quickly for me, as many good paintings do. It was painted from a reference photo of our cat, Slater, who has more of a gray color than this and wasn't actually tangled up in yarn in the photo---that was added to balance out the fact that I started painting the cat too high on the canvas, leaving too much of an open area below. The addition of the yarn ball, as it turns out, is what makes the painting work, in fact. Otherwise, though I didn't do a bad job with the face and the eyes of the cat, the painting would have been boring to look at. As it is, it isn't boring. So, I conclude, it's a success! (I might need to make prints available for this one)
My studio space is not very large. On pleasant days I try to work out-of-doors, but more often than not I return to this little room of mine. (at least I finally got daylight-balanced fluorescent bulbs)
Pictured above is my studio space. By my estimation, it's a seven foot by thirteen foot room with a ceiling I can barely touch with my fingertips if and when I try to do so (though I've never, to my recollection, needed to do so).
I don't care for these dusty blue curtains, though I do enjoy all the sunlight the windows let in---it's a corner room that was once a sun-room, so I have windows all along two of the walls. I recently set up my homemade H-frame easel in the middle of the room facing one wall of windows. I keep a little laptop running solely for reference photos on a little stand I made out of a tee-ball stand and a square of plywood with a hole drilled in it---works like a charm. The desk on the left is homemade as well. So is the standing-up computer desk against the far wall next to the door.
My studio space probably looks a bit messy to the untrained eye, but I've seen it at it's worst and what's pictured here is sublime in comparison. And yes, paint gets on the carpet from time to time but I don't care about that. The carpet will be replaced one day.
As you can see I keep my paint in a plastic pallet with a blue plastic top---this keeps the acrylic paint from drying out when not in use---and I use a spray bottle to keep the paint wet during extended painting sessions. I use four brushes, generally. A large utility brush for covering large paintings quickly. A one inch flat brush which ends up doing most of the work. A half inch brush for smaller work. And a liner brush for lines and details and signing the finished painting.
I guess that's about all I can think to say on the subject---paintings in progress or paintings that will be painted over, as well as new canvases, all lean against one wall or another and I move them and resort them as the need arises. Pictured on both monitors is the reference photo for the bulldog I painted not long ago. And the blue mat in front of the standing desk is where I spend too much of my average day. More to come.
Originally painted a couple years ago, this colorful painting has been hiding away in my garage awaiting a stretcher-bar replacement procedure as its old stretcher bars were somewhat warped. I've finally re-stretched and touched up the piece and now it's ready to present once again. One of my favorites.
It's been a month since my last post. Huh. So it goes.
Here's a painting I did of a bulldog.
Here are three paintings that weren't quite working for me. Instead of painting over them completely, I reworked them. I'm happy with them now and happy to share them [again, for the first time] here with you.
This one was just going to be a quick "sketch" with my paints this morning, then it turned into something more finished. It went through many phases in the process---it initially had a figure in the foreground feeding the gulls, for instance---and I'm happy with the result.
This is an image I've painted twice before in smaller sizes. I like the melancholy feel this one has---the drips of paint only adding to the effect.
I enjoy mixed media. I should do this more often. This one is acrylic on newspaper on canvas and features a Beetle Bailey cartoon, among others.
I don't know. I was in a certain mood at the time and I simply needed to show the entire word: "mustard." Besides, if I had painted it as I saw it, I would have to rename the painting, "musta," wouldn't I?
At any rate, though I couldn't bring myself to share the painting for several months, I also couldn't bring myself to paint over it. So it remains. Mustard.
This is a commission I painted a few months ago. I took photos along the way and thought I'd share a bit of my painting process for you here.
First off, the reference photo. Here's the photo I was working with. Ideally, the photo should encapsulate the basic layout of the painting itself. Photography after all is an artistic pursuit in its own right. This photo was taken in landscape but I want a portrait-oriented canvas---not so bad as this was the only major change I needed to make.
I usually don't make a drawing before starting in with the paint. Here my main goal is to cover the canvas with paint---I am trying to capture the placement of the subject but only roughly [and knowing I will be changing and perfecting anything I paint at this stage].
Once the shapes are roughed out and the canvas is covered with paint, I start the process of reshaping the form into something more akin to the photo. The client wanted a nondescript background with vibrant reds and yellows, so I laid it on thick, adding dramatic lighting by suggesting shadows on the ground [notice, there are actually little if any indications of a light source on the dog's body itself---if I wanted a more realistic representation, I would definitely address this issue perhaps by retaking reference photos with a light source coming from the left].
I usually do not like to leave dead spots in my paintings---places where there is a single unvaried color---notice how the white of the chest and the tan of the back are both mottled with gray, indicating fur and making those areas more interesting. And of course, the background is a mishmash of undulating color.
I am pleased with the final painting, though it took a bit of time toward the final stages getting the details right. I focus most of my attention in the later stages on the face, since this is the focal point of the painting and the focal point is where most of the details should reside. Other important parts of the painting---the carefully attenuated feet and the dramatic shadows beneath those feet---make the entire surface of the painting important to the viewer. The eye moves from the focal point to the interesting background, to the feet and shadows, then return to the features of the face.
Finished painting, photographing, and posting this one with 36 minutes left in the day---close one (I did say I'd try and post something every day, didn't I). We spent the day at the zoo today, the wife, the kid and I. We had a blast.
It's not much different---it might even seem less impressive---but this new site will allow for much needed features including better handling of mobile devices and (eventually) a place to purchase paintings and prints, among other improvements. The old content is mostly still available, though many of the links may have become mangled in the process of moving.
In conjunction with this new site, I intend to start posting something here everyday. This will not necessarily be a painting a day but will include sketches and photos and hopefully more content beyond just the newest painting. Perhaps a few videos from time to time.
Don't worry, one of the first things I'll be adding back is a new gallery. I just wanted to get the site up and running first.
All that being said, thanks for stopping by and don't be a stranger!