Working on emotion.

 

Remember to practice the value scales in graphite or color. See what the mediums can do for you and how it can be used in your artwork. Look through the recent postings for examples or use the search box on the menu.

Here I am working on emotion in Life drawing. I like this pose, it was a 15 minute pose. For some reason I see dispar in her eyes. I am connecting to the sadness I guess? The proportion is wrong and foreshortening, but I was concentrating on the face. Her head is too large for this pose, But I like it. Life drawing is about learning proportions, angles and weighted objects and many more aspects related to drawing. Keep drawing even if your work doesn’t look like you imagined. Keep pressing through, you will see improvement after one filled newsprint pad.

Value scale in black and white as well as color.

I0/24  I am going to start an entire new series of black and white watercolor paintings and hopefully paint at least three, maybe five. I have been working on b/w portrait photography and actually starting to reap some valuable results. I also will post progression pictures so you can follow along skill techniques. If you want to follow and paint with me then I suggest taking a b/w picture or changing your color picture to b/w. I am going to draw it out today. Remember, you can not paint well in anything until you learn to draw. The value scale principle is Key to learning to see values, color etc. Once you learn and understand how to draw using value ranges, then start with a b/w painting medium. Each medium has a certain amount of ability and or content that it can do; learn what the medium can do for your style and skill level.  Transforming from a wet medium in b/w gradually adding color will be an easier transition and you can take your knowledge of b/w values into the next stage of painting strong compositions.

 

In the search box on the menu bar you can find post that you may want a subject in and maybe I will have something written there. I can’t stress enough how important it is to practice the scales in graphite and color. You need to take the time and make a value scale for each graphite pencil and a range of color pigments.

Make a scale with ten boxes one to ten; first box is white and the tenth box is the darkest you can get the graphite or color to be. The fifth box is a #5 or middle tone between one and ten. The rest of the boxes two to four gradually get darker to reach number five. Six to nine get darker from number five to reach the tenth box. You want to see what each pencil or color range is and how you can use each in your artwork.

Look though my post regarding value scales and the information should help you. You must know how to draw before you can paint. You need to understand the elements of drawing; line, form, shape, color, texture, value and space. How each of these elements relate to each other and stand on their own. Composition and light are key to a strong piece of artwork.

You want to practice perspective exercises such as drawing a sphere, an egg shape, a square, rectangle, cone and any other shape that expresses a solid form. Create a strong light source and notice the cast shadow as well.

Email me questions with pictures that you are having trouble with and I will see if I can help you. Also practice life drawing skills with charcoal and newsprint. I write about this often; draw someone when on your lunch break if you can sit outside. Draw a person in your life…..even if sleeping in the chair. Draw 3 minute poses, then five minute poses and then ten minute poses. Charcoal will help you smear to shade the figure.

You can do it! You need to start somewhere. Pictures from on-line.

Defining your artwork.

Not everyone has the same understanding what realism entails or any other style actually means to each person. My perception of what impressionism for example compared to someone else’s can be very different; plus the way it is approached and painted. For example; to me painting Realism is not necessarily Photo realism; two different approaches. Photo realism is the painting dot to dot for an exact copy. Realism is the enjoyment of a style portraying life-like perception.

Like I have stated before do not ever be afraid of trying a style of painting because you think you can not or know how to approach or even begin. As an artist we want to say we are or like realism for example and paint that way. Try not to put yourself in a box of style. You can say or paint realism in or with an expressive background. Remember each medium has  limits to what it can do and not do. Pick your mediums to what you expect your artwork to look like. Use the mediums’ strength to enhance your work. This is your job to figure it out, there are no quick answers. A medium or artwork style will define itself over time and many paintings later. You also may think you want to paint in one medium vs. another, but do not be too quick to judge yourself. When I first started painting watercolor landscapes they were awful! I never really knew I could paint tightly refined portraits until I just sat and tried. Don’t give up! You need a smart talented teacher to help you. Take a few lessons with me and I can help you. Send me your questions and I can try to demonstrate a few post.

You can not paint if you do not know how to draw!

I am very serious and I suggest saying a prayer before you begin. I tell you the truth when I say God is interested in what makes you happy and what you desire as long as it is on the right path of course. I never knew I could paint portraits, I was painting fire hydrants for six weeks in a lame ass class with a lame ass teacher that painted orange people! I am serious, it was awful. The black and white watercolor painting on my blog was my first watercolor attempt painting people in which I earned a big fat “F”!  Who cares?  I know it is good.

My point today is you need to learn the medium and what it can do for you. Watercolor  and all other mediums have their own identity. These mediums deserve respect for what they can do; you need to learn their capabilities. Watercolor can be loose and free of course and it can made tight or realistic style. It is all about learning what each layer of wc can do and learning what your brushes can do as well. Use what the medium can do to enhance your work, you may never think that acrylics for example is your thing but it may Fit your style and convey what you are trying to portray. Maybe the raised paint or thickness of the paint can be more expressive for you. Think about what the mediums capabilities are and how they can benefit your work?

The following picture is Joan’s and the first layers of color; now if this is the level of realism that you want you can keep it at this stage. I suggest working the entire painting to a certain point and then go back into the painting to add more realism. The pear started out with a citrine green followed by a little spot of red. To start to define shape a raw Siena was added all on a wet surface. Remember the highlights and where the light is coming from? Now this pear can stay at this stage or be fine tuned for realism. Work up the entire painting then looking at it from far away [5 feet] to see what you want to add or continue with.

Very important: The value scale of colors. Every layer of the same color will add one level or shade of value to the color or hue. Watercolor is about Layers.

Watercolor techniques

There are amazing watercolor techniques out to try, here are some.

There are several artist that work with the results of one or all of these techniques in their work; it just takes time to try each way and figure out how the results work for you. Sometimes it is fun to play with these following techniques and see what the picture or painting turns into. It is a freer style way to work and can be very relaxing if you are just painting and enjoying the style. If you need a still life to work from I suggest a subject matter of nature; a daisy, a flower, a glass vase or a stream with rocks. Make a sketch on wc paper of a landscape and apply each technique to the individual parts; wax paper to rocks etc.

1. Use scran warp from your kitchen; take a piece of plastic wrap and pull at both ends until it is tightly stretched and lay it over a well wet surface with the color already down on your paper. Press the wrap down and you will see the markings it begins to make. Let it there on the paper for a few minutes, once the paper has dried a bit remove the scran wrap. You should have ripple type markings that work well for water and a wave effect.There are two paintings in this shot, the aqua painting on the top is upside down. Look closely at the scran wrap and see how it is pulled or sketched at the ends to create the wave shapes. Leave the scran wrap on for about a good half hour. Play with the design as well; press down the wrap and move it around.

2. Freezer paper works for a pointillism or a speckled look. Tear the freezer paper into pieces and lay the torn pieces down onto wet colored watercolor paper. The shape of the torn paper will be the design left by the freezer paper.

3. Wax paper works in the same way freezer paper does. Freezer paper gives you a more solid design because it is thicker than wax paper. Excellent look for rocks, dirt and ground. You want the freezer paper and wax paper to be flat on the colored surface.In this picture Kaitlyn is adding torn pieces of wax paper to create rocks. Fill in all the spaces and where the paper is seen you can paint in some darker colors or darker value of brown if you want to stay within the same color or hue. In the section where the green is that is the glaze wrap. Glaze is tricky to work with; put a lot of color down because the cotton glaze will suck up the paint. Add the color first and keep the paper really wet with colors. Add color after the glaze is in place as well.

4. Glaze cotton wrap works very well for landscape; trees, bushes. Wet your paper and place the glaze flat on the paper and then color. Leave until the glaze starts to dry. Remember to put down a lot of pigment.

5. Epsom salt will give you larger burst of whiteness and design vs, table salt. A larger salt granule will give you a larger burst. Place salt onto a wet surface of color, let dry and brush away salt.

The techniques will define themselves into shapes to work from. Go with the results! Use what the techniques have provided you and look at the results and use the results to enhance your painting. Experimenting with the techniques and evaluating what each one produces and how it can relate to your artwork will take a little bit of time to figure out how you can incorporate them into your work. Have fun!Kaitlyn’s masterpiece!  For the first time working with these techniques the painting is Fabulous! Way to go Kaitlyn!!!

Added light.

Check this picture out; I went outside for a moment to notice that a neighbor’s house about 300 yards away had a fern by her mailbox lite by the setting sun. Really beautiful.

Please don’t steal my artwork. You may refer to my page and give credit.

Thank you for the kind words and awesome comments!

Ever changing seasons.

Isn’t this beautiful? The oranges and the blue sky, just love the beauty all around us. I suggest to carry your camera with you and most use their phones, but if you are feeling somewhat “art-less” and complain you don’t have time to create your artwork anymore for whatever reason carry your cameras with you. Put them in your car and take the opportunity to reconnect with your art once again. You will be surprised how self-fulfilling it can be using your camera vs. the phone. If you are the negative Willie than stop! Stop complaining and start doing. Start to train your eye again and look at what interest you. You are worth the time it takes to stop and take a picture on the way of car-pooling to a kid’s game. You may not have the time to create as you would like, but use this time to gather the information you may use in the future. Tip: Look for complementary colors such as; orange and blue, purple and yellow, green and red. The combinations will make strong compositions.

Updated information.

Sometimes as an artist we experience not being clever or creative everyday. I found and learned to use the time wisely. Look at situations you are interested in; I love the way the light falls upon objects or rooms and even people. I like to study the environment and notice the expressions on people’s faces and how the light matches the moods. I like, love film photography…..I have a positive potential piece of future artwork. I was taught to take the picture in the camera’s lens and crop looking for composition, light and all the elements. That is what I think makes a great artist or piece; the ability to create with/from raw materials/talent. Having to guess whether the piece was changed in a program just doesn’t have the same truth for me. It’s just the way I was trained to see the photos I take. I enjoy my photography time and I appreciate the time spent seeing. Art is not about creating a piece in minutes, if the piece doesn’t  derive from soul it will not work in any aspect. Emotion in artwork is key.

It is very interesting to me to see the connection of my photography in college of how I perceived light and how those situations still inspire me today some twenty plus years later. It’s my common ground of subject I suppose or life has taught me to see more maturely.  This is the third year I have been working on my photography and really provoking and pushing myself in this area. I need to dedicate more time and just take the day and go out and photograph light. Like I stated before and believe there are seasons of change in life and time that works with our wanting to create. New seasons should be embraced and not railed against because if we fight change it will not be an easy transition. Learning to accept change gratefully will give us a better attitude towards the art we are creating and the life we are living, wrinkles and all.  Life doesn’t stay the same for anyone. I am at a season where my children are “pre-flying the nest” and I must admit I am looking forward to taking more time back for myself and concentrating on my artwork. Yeah, the house will be more quiet but the toilets will be flushed! I don’t want to get caught up in the moment the last one flies away, I want to dance with joy! I am more than a Mom. Do not ever say you are JUST a Mom! Being a Mom is the hardest job you will ever do well. Remember God sees all and knows our hearts. He does reward us with the desires of our hearts and His timing is different than ours.  I often look at people in the career art position I would like to be at this age, but I am grateful to be alive and survived the illness I endured. So, what ever God has for me in this approaching new season is good or I should say great!  I am trusting God and leaning on His understanding not my own. I am still Standing Baby!

In the next few weeks I will add new photography I am working on now. Adding new flowers design directions for sale and working on painting. Trying to expand my art borders and not putting my art in one box, style etc.

I must say I am not the best writer on my blog or do I spell everything correctly…..just the way it is. I will try to use spell check a bit more for those whom it bothers.

When to call it finished?

Every piece of artwork has a time when it is time to put down the brushes. There is a saying “Artwork is never finished” But that is a very thin fine line. Do not over-work a piece by playing attention to every tiny detail. In this painting I tilted; “DAD, HOLD STILL!”; I added a few dandelions here and there  for a dot of color to break up the green. Be careful how you add details;  I didn’t want the viewer’ eyes to go to the dandelions first. I like this……there are things I would have changed, but every artist is their own worst  critic.

 

 “DAD, HOLD STILL!”.  Watercolor; 16.75″ x 27.75″.

When I get a moment…..

As soon as I get an extra moment I will up load several life drawing sketches and a few friends’ artworks. Keep sketching and working on your next masterpieces!

I finally am able to print out my art directions regarding miniature flowers I design. What a huge hurdle that was….Now if I can only get the files to email? Tried everything. Anyway, as soon as I have an extra hour I will try to figure out what to do next. The flowers I have posted in the Miniature Flower section the Directions are for sale. I can only print them at this point. I will mail them to you vs. email a PDF.  Payment would be through Paypal to my email.  Please email me if interested. Thanks.

In the next day or so I will post the amount of pages per flower and the directions I have so far; such as container ideas etc.

I was going to sell and post per flowers directions; I think it will be easier if I combined three flowers and their directions per mini book. I will figure out the cost for printing color ink, folder and shipping in US and I will post soon. Please look for a new menu tab in the near future for Mini Flower Directions for sale.

Blessed to be busy working on my artwork.

Firstly, Thanks to God for all His Blessings everyday and especially answering prayers.

I have been very busy with artwork these past few weeks and it has been great. I joined an Art Palette Club in my area which I believe will be beneficial for me; meeting new artist and being a part of a great organization. I had the chance to meet a well-known artist Jim MacFarlane and watch him start a watercolor. I took from that demonstration how he uses complementaries in color to value the artwork. Very interesting. He gave an idea or theory he uses; skim milk, milk, cream and heavy cream in watercolor consistency in layer of paint.This applies to each layer of watercolor that should be used in every watercolor painting. There should be layers of colors or the same color. I believe his site is jimmacfarlanestudio.com

I suggest asking yourself if there is a light source and then check the composition for balance and rhythm or movement throughout the composition. I am trying to paint into a more loose style but still keeping the realism. Not as easy as it sounds. I think finding the right composition is key to help with the focus or subject in the painting and then the secondary subject matters can be loose. I suggest taking a lot of pictures of the same subject; this will force you to look at the subject in an unique way producing interesting composition. Check for a strong light source also.

Life drawing class has started and I LOVE it! I also have a few pictures to post! Look for inspiration in everyday life, find subject matters that you are passionate about. Painting or your artwork is a reflection of your soul.   Have a great week.