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Showing posts from July, 2014

Pool Balls ACEO

ACEOs are just plain fun.
ACEOs are little - just 2.5"x3.5".  Just like a sports trading card size.
Whenever I need a break or want to experiment the best way to do it is to do a small size picture.  I like doing the ACEOs or a 5"x7".  You don't have a lot of time or materials invested and you get a quick result.  I was working here with color pencils over black paper.  The black really kills the colors so I tried putting some gouache over the top of the color pencil layers, am thinking  next time I might try putting the gouache down first and see if I could gently layer the color pencil on top without taking it off.  I wasn't sure it would stick, as the pencils leave a slick waxy surface, but only one way to find out.  I also really liked this composition but wasn't sure I would want to do it in a larger size, and found out that yep I really would - so you may see this again.
Thanks for stopping by and have a great painting week.

Shades of White

I am pretty sure that the folks who do beautiful flower paintings are no in trouble - that's you Rita and Janina.   But I had a great time doing this picture and absolutely love the color in the petals.  While my yellow solvent added some extra issues, especially in the white areas, this is untouched with no gouache in the white areas.  Will leave it on the board and determine down the road if I want to add that in.
This is taken indoors, and I definitely want to get a pic of it outside, but raining and cloudy today so ...  I may try this again with pastels as I think I'd like the soft texture on this as well and since I have a thing about hard edges, the blendability of pastels would give smoother transitions I think.   
Again I tried to create a self-mat by leaving 1" around the edges and even though I used tape to mask it I still ended up, due to the tooth of the paper, with little seepages - so I did use some of the white gel pen to try to cover up those dribbles an…

Magnolia WIP

TGIF!!!!   Yep, it is Friday......
One of the things about experimenting is that you always learn things after the fact:
- I know that if I continue to do this type of process in the future I need to get some new solvent.  Mine is lots of years old and has a definite yellow cast to it, so just by itself tends to color the paper yellow tone. 
- I also need to figure out how to do this technique if you don't have a lot of pencil on the paper - might work better if I had a smoother tooth - but want to keep the colors light, because it is white, and it leaves me with streaks.   Maybe do the light tones with watercolor where I can just use water and it might fill the tooth more - back to more experimenting I guess.
- Am going to finish the last of the petals and then determine if I am going to need to hit the pure whites with gauche to brighten them up - won't be able to pull it out with just white pencil alone.
See that I still will have some cleanup on petal definition, but all…

Magnolia WIP

This year has been all about exploring, experimentation, reading, Youtube videos and trying to do the things I have read/seen about.  It is scary to think that I am within sight of this first art year of being really serious just flying by.  Way to much to learn, try and do. 
This is color pencil, but I don't think it really looks like color pencil, do you?  Think it has more of an intense watercolor feel to it. 
In Georgia we have magnolias, the king of flowers, some right in our housing development and I always love them when they bloom.  Also the other thing I love about them is the fuschias (did I tell you I LOVE color), lavendars, yellows and olive greens that are in the shadows of the petals.   Again this is regular color pencils, Prismacolor, Karat, Faber Castells, just a mixture of types of pencils, polychromos and wax based put onto the paper, dry as usual.  Then I am hitting it with solvent.  Supposed to be able to do solvents at each layer, but made paper funny and l…

Cat's Away? Mice Play!!! Finished

Well I should have waited until tomorrow to post this since I just put up something yesterday, but got in the art room today, zoned in and got this, I think, pretty finished.  I will let it sit on the board and probably play a bit with it, but think overall I am pretty happy with it.
Another new technique that I tried was to use on the mice graphite powder (simply shavings from sharpening my pencils) and applied it to the surface with a patting motion onto the heads and body of the mice and then drew in their hairs.  I think my experiment with the trompe l'oeil turned out too as I do think the mice look in front of the cat and that they are coming forward outside the frame.  Later in the week think I will spray it to hold the graphite in check (workable fixative) and then go to Binders to get a frame.  Also gives me a reason to see my picture in the show and all the other pieces again.  Also will look to see if there is anything else I have completed that can go into a square for…

Cat's Away?Mice Play

Today when I was running I was listening to an art podcast and they were talking about making interesting pictures and leaving something for the viewer to discover.  So Viewer - I made a subtle change in this picture (hint is in the title).  Can you find it?  Also I think that it would fall as a focal point and hit the Golden Mean rule - so could be a win win all the way around.
Also added a couple more tools to my pile - HB pencil, charcoal pencil #2B for the blacks without the shine that the graphite gives you.  Also using poster putty as unlike the maleable eraser you don't run this, just dab and it picks up the graphite - does a better job lifting just a little too.
Got the mice blocked in a bit more and they will be the most effort over the next couple of days.  Trying to pop the boys out of the picture and onto the border.  Did discover one thing, they have pretty ugly feet, made me think of aliens

Cats Away, Mice Play Update

Ok, you can see I that I have added the base tones for the chair cushion.  This was done in circularism, hundreds of small o's with a very sharp pencil.  Then as I did in the upper left hand quadrant I will go over it with a piece of chamois (got it at the $ store) and gently smooth it down so there is still texture and makes it look kind of velvety.  Also got more precise with the paws and hind quarters of the cat.
Usually when I have done graphite it has been with 2B pencil and erasers.  This time I am using different levels of pencils, F, 3B, 5B and a 2B mechanical pencil to try to let the different softness of the leads do the work for me.
Taking a break now as it was darn tedious to do the circularism, but know that the fun part is coming!!
Thanks for stopping by and hope you are having a great week.

Cat's Away, Mice Play

Hope this will bring you a little smile as I work through the painting as I feel in a humorous mood for whatever reason.
For the August show my art group wanted you to work in squares.  So I decided to do a 12"x12" size overall picture (cause you have to frame this piece and I'm cheap), breaking it into 4 squares of 5" each and putting my lazy cat and friends into it. 
Going back to one of my loves, and that is graphite.  By the way there is an excellent tutorial for the last two months by Peter Williams at PMP's magazine -, and look for Peter's article as he is quite spectacular. 
I have been trying for a while to learn and then actually use GIMP.  My main thrust was to learn how to put together two different pictures and make a new reference (thankyouYouTube, only had to watch it 27 times!!!).  Finally think I was successful (see below).  Found a wonderful reference for both cat and mice on PMP.  Didn't want this to be …

Draft Horse Scratch - Almost Finished

Atlanta is having the most beautiful day, for the absolute middle of summer, when we have been well over 95F multiple days we woke up to 66 degrees, lesser humidity and a light breeze and so it is wonderful.  Not sure how much of this is courtesy of the hurricane that went up the coast these last few days.  But it is sure wonderful and must be enjoyed while it lasts.
I thought my horse might be close to done, but as I see this on screen I am finding a number of things I am going to want to tweak.  But at least he is to the point where I can have him on the board just to look at for a bit. 
1) Might have to do a bit more with the grass, I only wanted a sprinkle so that he looked grounded so might darken out more areas and put some more behind him rather in front of him, as it doesn't look real grounded to me at this point, I don't want to color them, just make it look like he is standing on something…


FINALLY.  When God was giving out patience I wasn't impressed and obviously got back into the hip line for seconds -  as I didn't get much patience (one of the many things I have to work on).  Anyway the last few days has been hard while the art group was getting organized enough to publish a list of people who made it into the show.  I had a call with no message on Sunday and found out yesterday that one of my paintings had made it, the Zebra, but wasn't sure until this morning that both actually made it.  Each one was juried in, one into each show, with decisions being made by two different judges.  And, no, I have not wiped that dumb wide smile off my face.  I am thrilled, surprised, excited and humble to say the least.  I went down to see both shows this morning and I must say I am in excellent company.  Just some really beautiful work - but, and a big BUT, I don't feel like I shouldn't be there with them.  So ...  No scratchboard pieces in sight. Thanks to al…