Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Tangled acrylic pour

                                                                    Acrylic pour
Well today's picture has a story behind it.  This is one of my Sunday pour experiments, no swipes, just layering the paint in a cup and then slowly pouring and letting paint flow and mingle with a bit of guidance to getting all the canvas covered.

Well I had  really nice delicate feel going with the painting.  Left it to sit overnight in the garage to start the dry-off process.  Thought it had set up enough to take a picture and brought it into the art room and set it on the easel.   Looked over a bit later and saw the paint had shifted and was moving down the canvas.  Gravity at work.  Ended up with blobs of paint on the rug and that pic I worked so carefully on was gone, gone, gone.  So back to the garage and it was still wet enough I could put in a new design and continued the drying process.   Think it is dry now but taking no chances and will leave it for another 24 hours in a flat position.

Since pour colors and designs are determined by paint density, which is different by color you never know what you are going to get or where.  I added a couple of new colors to test in this piece and stills able to use some of the old excess I have from previous pours.  Nice thing is that adding the Floetrol keeps the acrylic liquid, kind of like it is wall paint in a can.  So I can continue to use up the old and add new colors.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Father-Daugher Dance Native American dancers

Father-Daughter Dance
Acrylic w/Oil glazes
Acrylic Only
 Well thinking this is pretty much done.  Again, did a acrylic pour/swipe background using the excess of paint from another project.  Since that paint had some silicone in it, I needed to clean off the silicone before I could paint on the top again.

Then did the first painting till I thought it was complete using acrylics.  Once the acrylics completely dried I sprayed with a clear coat of varnish and then let that dry completely.  Once varnish layer was dry I went back in and added in glazes and opaque swipes of oil paint.  (Figured if I didn't like it I could wipe it off, not damaging the acrylic layer below the varnish)

Why did I add oil?   I was trying to do was to utilize the best of acrylics, easy correction and fast drying, but give it the final vibrancy that only oils can give.  The oils, were water mixable, and even the liquin was water soluble, so everything cleaned up with soap and water.  Not too many bad smells either.  And, as advertised I think there is a big difference in the pictures where the oil was added.

Thanks much for stopping by

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Shot Thru with Turquoise

Well, not a lot to show for last week as I finally gave up and gessoed over it on Sunday.  Just wasn't coming together.  Battled the sky, battled the face, just generally battled.

So to do something fun I finally tried doing a pour and swipe.  This is a 6"x6" canvas so you can pretty much turn this any way you would like to get the most interesting look.    I started out trying to control it and find that it is impossible, especially when you have a lot of paint.  So it ended up being several pours and swipes before I left it at this point.  I need to get some bottles, like the old squeeze bottles you used for ketchup and mustard, with the pointy spout so I can put out less paint.  Since I added Floetrol and then more water I might have gotten it too thin as well.  Not sure what I am going to do with this now, may just pour over it again and might try to paint something on it - who knows!! that is the fun of these projects.

 Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Fortune Teller finally finished acrylic figure

                                                        The Fortune Teller
She certainly was a fun project and came together pretty much as envisioned.  But it is the great thing about painting, each picture has something different to teach you.  While you might struggle in parts and aspects, if you push through you will be pleased to accomplish something that helps you in the next picture or so.

I really like the drama of this piece and have to credit background for that.  While my goal was to pain this realistically, it is not hyper realism and I was able to use some of the techniques I learned while I was doing the performers series.  I always have to remember to step back.  Like Monet is the best example, right up close it is a bunch of squiggles, dashes and blobs of color.  But step back and magically it comes into focus.

On to another project, thinking though this will be more fairy-like or a goddess.

Thanks so much for stopping by and my crew buddies - I appreciate you so much for all the thoughts, support comments and critiques.  Your thoughtful help makes me improve and see things I would normally miss.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Fortune Teller WIP Continues

Well we finally are going to get a break from the gray, cold, wind and rain - what they call the wedge here as it comes down the Appalachian mountains.  I don't always hibernate when it is like that, but it is not my favorite weather.  Did get a bit stir crazy from so many days of it and took off for a wonderful long walk yesterday.  So when it decides that it is going to be sunny and the temps are going to get to the mid 70s, it is time to enjoy the porch.  Thinking of all the videos I can watch or how many pages of my book I get to ready.  Sounds funny for a retired person, but I am getting a day off!!  So, probably not much painting going on today just enjoying and seeing if we see new birds - our most unusual to date is a Red Bellied Sapsucker.

Decided to do this painting using purple as one of the main underlying colors.  So there is purple in just about everything from the black background to the shadow skin tones.  I think that it ties the picture together pretty well.  Also saw a video that talks about magenta as your "red" so am using it along with burnt sienna to get the rich reds in this piece.  I also am still really enjoying my new toys - two of them - transparent and unbleached titanium white.  (I am using the Liquitex basic for parchment and soft body for the transparent)   It is like "how did I ever live without these colors"?   I use the parchment as a base for the skin tones and it adds that necessary yellow.  As you can see most everything is blocked in now so I have the finishing details to continue to work on.  She wears a lot of jewelry and I think that will be really fun to put in.  So hoping a couple more days of work and she will be complete.

Thanks much for stopping by and taking a look.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Fortune Teller WIP

Yes, there is progress it is just slow at this point.  Still trying to get things blocked in and get underpainting ready to do some glazing.  Will try tomorrow to get the rest of the dress blocked in and then I can begin to get the upper layers coming together.  I still keep fussing with her eyes as I don't think I accurately got the exact likeness, but you know, I think it is good enough.

I want to thank Helen Eaton for lots of her precious time and help as she was guiding me through setting up an Etsy shop.   Each year for the last couple I have tried an online platform for selling, first Daily Paintworks, then FASO and now, this year, Etsy.  I did pretty well at first on Daily Paintworks, but then it fell off when I tried to increase pricing a bit.  On FASO I never really got traction as it is a pro site and, well, let's face it, I am not a pro.  Etsy is a pretty economical place to sell and I am hoping to unload some of my smaller paintings.   I would rather do that then have them sit in the closet or throw them out for the garbage man.   The only thing that concerns me is that most of the art out on that platform is prints and they sell super cheap.  I am not sure I want to invest in the printer to do those, and you almost have to do your own prints in order to have control of colors and offer quick service.

I really think the driver behind that is just wanting to get some exposure and validation.  I think that is what we all would like, just for someone to appreciate what we are putting into our work.

So I am also going to look into Artfinder, Saatchi and Ugallery to see if I could sell higher end or larger paintings out there for more like the pricing they recommend.  Saw a great video about how to price from Stefan Baumann who said bare minimum pricing for emerging artists should be $2/sq inch and then increase .25/sq inch each year.  Well Etsy is well below that if you want to sell anything but am going to check out the folks who are selling for more bucks and see how their pricing compares to that.

One thing though that I am trying to figure out is SEO, keywords, descriptions etc.  So still have much studying from people who are successful to figure out how to extend reach.

Oh man, the things you see.  Was just sitting here and looking at the fat arm this gypsy has - thankfully Acrylic covers many sins!!

Thanks much for stopping by and taking a look.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Fortune Teller WIP acrylic portrait

Well I have spent quite a few days on this face. changing, tweaking and still see more that I want to do on it.  But again, that is the blessing of acrylic, it loves all the layers.  The more layers the smoother it gets.   I do also notice however, that when it gets tougher I start to feel my enthusiasm deteriorate and I really don't want to get painting cause I feel it is so hopeless.  But, always got to remember you go through many ugly stages and hopefully with the next brush of color, you will start to get something better.  Also got to remember to stop, step back.  Watched an English portrait artist yesterday who trained in Italy and he would walk back to the same spot, mix or measure and then walk up and put on one stroke of color.  Then proceed to do the same thing again for the next stroke.  So moral is, no stop isn't what it is all about.  (Just as an aside, I was relieved to see that that artist didn't get an exact likeness, got a lot, but actually made the model look better)  Hmmmmm!!

Decided to get more color into this picture so I can then determine what I want to do with the skin tones as there should be some reflected colors of the red and golds that are in her dress and scarf.

Been trying to figure out why I feel compelled to paint the fortune teller, well got to tell you a true story.  Even growing up parochial schools I always had a pretty open mind.  I think I always have had a bit of "new ager" in little old conservative me.  Where I lived for a few years they had a antique market and every year a friend and I had our fortunes/cards read on the 4th of July.   We would take notes for each other because there always was so much said that you couldn't take it all in.  When I was getting ready to relocate for a job change we went the last time and as I was walking away from my reading the fortune teller called to me and told me I was going to get married again.  Yeah!!! sure.  She then said come back and proceeded to tell me that I was going to relocate, (never told her that) and at some point in about a year or so, in the Fall, I was going to meet a professional guy with salt and pepper hair.  Well she missed about the time frame, but sure enough the rest turned out to happen and be true.  Never sure whether they plant the seeds in your head or if some really can tell what might happen.  But I think it is a great story.   So I say it is time again to thank the fortune teller for 35 years of happy.

Thanks much for stopping by and taking a look at this WIP.