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Showing posts from September, 2016

30 Day Challenge - Day 26 - Auberge du Tresor WIP

Yes, this picture is coming along and while it is pretty complete there is still a lot of work to do.  I think many times I start to get anxious for the picture to be over at this point and stop at what I now realize is before completion.  However, to get a more finished end result there is still a long way to go just doing the small tweaks now.  One of the things that I am going to have to be sure is that I don't overwork the details here at the end.   While this picture tends more to the realistic side I still want to keep it looser.
I went out and googled horse and buggies so I could find a better shot with a bit more details rather than just leave the dark blob that my photo shows.  I also googled Auberge du Tresor and got winter snow shots -- hmmm, might be another picture!
I was watching a video by Will Kemp (one of my current favorites) and he talks about how at this stage of the painting he goes back and forth between working in color and thinking in black and white to be…

30 Day Challenge - Day 25 - Study of Woman

Due to the circumstances I wasn't able to use the proportional dividers or a ruler and to be honest I really didn't spend a lot of time using the pencil to measure - I was pretty much just "eyeballing" it.  I started out just working on several nose positions and then decided I wanted to try to do a full face (get impatient I guess)
 I started with just doing plane angles for the outside of the head dimensions.  Then rounded those out and when happy with the base drawing I started to shadow in the drawing.  This was started while waiting and finished while flying so it was a couple of hours work.
For whatever reason I have to say that it was relatively easy to come together (even hubby, my biggest critic, thought I caught the likeness to the photo)  and I am going to check it with the proportional dividers, but am thinking that I pretty much got them in place.  I do think however, looking at this that her ear is pretty large as it merges into the shadow at the bott…

30 Day Challenge -Day 24- Young Boy II

Still working with the proportional divider and measured, marked, drew, and measured again.  Decided to try to do the young man again and see if I could get a better likeness and think, yes, even though I had to modernize his hair style a bit I got him.  He is definitely older as he should be with the longer face, still graphite on gray paper.  So on to working through the book and then I will try again to see if I can improve on him. Thanks for stopping by.

30 Day Challenge - Day 22- Young Boy

Took a few days off and got to sit down a few minutes to work on another portrait.  Obviously this isn't a mug shot and this boy isn't any criminal.  He has a sweet expression.   This is the first portrait I have used the proportional dividers.  I think as I get into a better position to be sure I am in the same measuring spot each time it will improve.   This is graphite on gray paper.  I am going to mark this and then Work through Lee Hammond's book, Draw Real People, and see if I can get better at capturing the likeness.   Thanks for stopping by.

30 Day Challenge - Day 19 - Auberge du Tresor WIP

The work on this picture continues.  You can see that I did go freehand now on the windows, but boy it stresses me out and makes me nervous.  Just not my thing I guess.

Anyway I have a lot more of the foreground in now and will pretty much for the main portions have just the horse and the carriage to go - but oh, let's don't be forgetting the next challenge is the wheels and those eclipse shapes.  Oh, can't forget there is going to be a lightly leafed tree in there as well and good for me, it should cover some of my windows.  Of course too I will have to put the name on the sign in gold leaf - it is only what should be expected.

This is giving me enough confidence that I probably will try some more landscape/cityscape type of pictures.  I have another down in the Lower town of Quebec, a street scene that I always wanted to do.  Maybe I will have a Quebec series heh?  I don't know, I have always shied away from landscapes thinking they just didn't work for me.  M…

30 Day Challenge - Day 17 - Auberge du Tresor WIP

Ok so I am deviating from the mugshots for a few days, but got to keep me sane and keep it interesting.  Interesting it is and I am excited about this picture for several reasons.

1)  First I have painted mostly on paper,  not canvas, and felt it was time to make the change as it simplifies framing issues and you can work larger.  Well, I got some deals when I went to the Goodwill store.  I always check for frames with mats or large size frames, but this time I got a bunch of decent sized canvases, 12x15" or larger for $1.91 apiece.  Yes, as you might recall I am cheap, cheap, cheap.  But I am just learning so recycled canvases seem ok to me.  What I did was sand this one down and then recoated with several coats of gesso with the last one being tinted with burnt sienna.  Yellow ochre, burnt umber and white and raw sienna and white are normally used depending on what is going on top.  I have also heard of people using red beneath as well.
2)  When I do these challenges, to give …

30 Day Challenge - Day 16 - Mugshot 16

Mugshot 16   4"x4"
Not sure how many more of these mugshots I will get done this month as I am now moving into the busy part of the month where I will have limited time and uploading issues.  So I am happy to say that I feel I am leaving on a higher note than when I began.  Of course, that is the object of doing these challenges, to focus and hope to see some improvement.  I have to admit it made me feel a bit weird using these folks given their situations, but I think I will continue to do them just to stay in practice.  You just can't imagine the unlimited expressions,  shapes, variety of hair colors/dos that you can find all in one place.  I think too once I get more comfortable I can throw caution to the winds and really have some fun with these.

This lady exhibits a pretty common skin tone for many darker skinned Americans.  Her skin tones lean towards browns and yellows as opposed to the purples and blues fo…

30 Day Challenge - Day 15 - Mugshot 15

Mugshot 15   4"x4"
I chose this person as she had what I call "sallow" skin tones with the overall color reading as yellowish.  I also was kind to her in that she hadn't done her roots in quite a while and her hair was quite a brassy/blonde color (I tried to mix it and since I applied wet-into-wet it didn't really read but blended into the earlier base tones of the hair).  So I compensated and gave this a wilder background.

I am trying now to not obsess so much on the techniques but try to capture the feeling and emotion of the person.  She looked to me like she was totally defeated.  Since these are mostly college kids I thought it was unusual that someone so young looked so down, but guess she had a rough day or night.  I have had a few folks with kind of pouty expressions and this mouth was set in an unusual way as well which I think added to her expression.

Thanks much for stopping by.

30 Day Challenge - Day 14 - Mugshot 9

Mugshot 9 - 4"x4"
Well I have to admit that what drew me to this person is the hair (I am betting that it is bleached since I see the dark roots) and that square jaw.  Again this is colored pencil, but now I am on Bristol board so it could blend a bit smoother but I wanted to leave strokes apparent in this one.  Normally I am a blender but again when you look at a lot of successful artists they show strokes instead of having a totally smooth transition.  So this is my shot at that.
Right now I started out working ahead and am maintaining that which is good as it really takes a lot of the pressure off.  I know I say this each time but the first week is almost on us and it has gone pretty good.  Not sure however that I am seeing lots of improvement but am trying lots of different colors.  I think I still have the eyes too dark so will need to experiment with finding other solutions for that but I do like his…

30 Day Challenge - Day 13 - Mugshot 13

Mugshot 13   4"x4"
This is my try at hispanic skin and I think when I first started I had excellent light black skin tones down right; which of course is too dark for hispanic skin.  So I tried to add more yellow and some green to these tones.  Again I am looking at trying some different skin palettes and colors.  I tired to work like yesterday, in from the darkest outside, but wasn't as successful on this portrait as seems to me the lighting gave a lot of midtown es - not super darks or highlights.

All colors are primarily being mixed right now with ultramarine blue, cad yellow lt, cad red, white and I threw in a bit of burnt sienna and some raw sienna so I could get something that either added a bit of yellows or reds.

I am a little frustrated because on all these mugshots I am getting really close to a likeness but not getting the likeness.  Finally my proportional dividers are here and will see if that…

30 ay Challenge - Day 12 - Mugshot 12

Mugshot 12  4"x4"
Well today has different color receipts as well as how it is applied.  I started with the darkest colors and came in from the outside of the face to the lightest highlights.  I still think the colors I am using are too orange or too yellow.  But will continue to preserve.  I do like coming from the darkest to lightest colors, sort of in bands - this technique is designed to use with oils so that you can blend.  Since I am using regular acrylics I tend to get patchy effect.  I am about to clean my palette and put in new paper towels (to keep the acrylics moist) and am going to put in all interactive and then I will try just spraying to see if I can get a smoother blend.

Thanks much for stopping by.

30 Day Challenge - Day 11 - Mugshot 11

Mugshot 11   4"x4"
You know some days it seems to come together and you think you got something and then it all goes away and it is like starting over.  Still was working with the premixed Sanden skin tones.  They seem to me however to get still pretty gray so back to the study books.  I have several books on portraits in oil and pastel and these colors seem so orange.  Will go over the colors used in those exercises to see if I can come up with what I think in my mind looks more normal.  Thankfully in a few weeks I will be able to love at the masters and see what colors their lustrous flesh tones are comprised of.

This again is acrylic and I think in this mugshot I finally concentrated less on technique and picked up some of the despair that you got to feel being in this situation.  Only thing is I don't think I made her look as aged and worn as the photo. But maybe that is the right of the artist and what sep…

30 Day Challenge - Day 14 - Mugshot 10

Mugshot 10   4"x4"
Ok in this mugshot I premixed colors for the mid and light flesh tones and for shadow and half tones. The halftones are primarily the grays that are his beard areas.  I then tried to mix from those basic flesh tones to get the others.  I am working on mixes on my color charts as well to see if I can find just the right colors that I want to move forward with.

For whatever reason, maybe because I really went to a small brush I felt this has more control and details.

Thanks much for stopping by and taking a look.

30 Day Challenge - Day 9 - Mugshot 8

Mugshot 8 4"x4"
Since I am working on the porch, because we finally got some cooler weather, I am back to working with color pencil and this is still on Stonehenge.  Again you get the grainy look because I don't have my pencils as sharp as they should be.

Anyway I saw this guy and he just looks so darn happy considering the circumstances.  Most of these mugshots are coming from the Athens, GA area.  I chose to go there because most of these folks are either DUI or committed some misdeamors, I don't want to do some hardcore criminal and around Atlanta, unfortunately, there are too many and they are way too young.

As you can see I am still working on the best colors to get the skin tones I want.  I am not there yet, seems to be too brown, too gray or blatantly too red.  But that is the purpose of this trying to find the right tones and get them down right the first time.

Thanks much for stopping by a…

30 Day Challenge - Day 8 - Mugshot 7

Mugshot 7   4"x5'

Ok, so now  have switched to pastel and decided to do this a little larger than some of the colored pencil pieces.  As I sort through these mugshots I am trying to find interesting low offenders and this girl certainly fit the bill.  Again she didn't look too upset that she was at the police station, oh well.

This is on the Stonehenge paper and it takes the pastel very well, but again there is a grainy look using this paper.

Thanks much for stopping by to take a look.

30 Day Challenge - Day 7 - Classic Ride

Classic Ride                                9"x12"                                Pastel Well woman can't live with just doing mugshot portraits.  This was done for this weeks DPW challenge of autos.  I don't usually work from my own photos, as picture taking isn't my strong suit.  But this was the perfect opportunity to do this car that we saw the last time we were in the mountains at Lineville Falls, NC.  This was a bold car just shouting to be looked at and admired.  We did.   It had been lovingly restored, we think it was from the 1920's.  The owners were driving the Blue Ridge Parkway the way it was meant to be driven.
I have been working on giving picture frame suggestions and since I sell mostly unframed, give an idea of what it would look like when finished with mat and farm.   What I would really love to do is to put the paintings in room settings, but haven't figured out how to do that yet.  I am sure there must be so…

30 Day Challenge - Day 6 - Mugshot 6

Mugshot 6  4"x4"
Ok I have switched both paper and media today and went to color pencil.  I am trying to use a pretty limited palette and took a shot at depicting dark skin tones.  Because I was working with pencil I felt like I had a bit more control.  However because the paper has some texture to it I have valleys with no color - tomorrow might try some Bristol board and see how that goes, or maybe hot press watercolor paper - both have really hard smooth finishes.  I think I might stay a while with this - would like to try doing pastel but am not really sure I can get fine enough details since I am working so darn small.  I might have to try to enlarge some of the future ones to get what I want - oh well, got to at least try to do these small ones for half the month.
Thanks much for stopping by.

30 Day Challenge - Day 5 - Avery

Avery    5"x4"
Taking a break from criminals, this is the daughter of one of my friends and she is really just growing up turning into a stunner.  They had some super pictures taken by a professional photographer and she was kind enough to let me take a shot at doing her portrait.  I got some of her, not all the likeness, and since I am working in such a small format am definitely going to do her again but larger so I can capture all the beautiful skin and features.  She also has on the cutest dress.

So Carey, please tell her not to hate to and I will get back to you guys with the next rendition.

Thanks much for stopping by to take a peek and Happy Labor Day.

30 Day Challenge - Day 4 - Mugshot 4

Mugshot 4 - 4"x5" Well this one felt a little better, and yes, she really did have the dark mascara and eyeliner around her eyes.  Again I am working on mat board but know that my colors are off a bit, I think I am getting too much gray into the skin tones.   I am still working with my color recipes (now you know why I am looking for Sanden's help) and will be switching in about two more paintings to Sanden's colors - fingers crossed.  This one I am still working in acrylics.  
Anyway I liked this lady's blue eyes and reddish hair.  Yes, these really are our neighbors, just everyday folks who made a bad decision I think somewhere along the line.  
Thanks much for stopping by to take a look.

30 Day Challenge - Day 3 - Mugshot 3

Mugshot 3  4"x5" Well it didn't take long did it until I got into the paints.  Got lots of things going on here that I am going to have to get worked out.  I have downloaded John Howard Sanden's color receipes and am going to try to use them along with his style of painting the stroke once (John Singer Sargent was the absolute best at that).  Yeah, good luck with that.  I usually end up massaging and smushing color glazes over it until I get something close.  But, that is the goal and we'll see if by month's end I can get closer to actually making that happen.
Sanden actually has a couple of flesh midtones, shadows and highlights premixed along with a minimum of 3 grays.   His colors come out much more orange than I am used to but am going to post what I have already finished and then try to incorporate his colors.   He also uses green and cerulean blue so I might finally fin…

30 Day Challenge - Day 2 - Mugshot 2

Mugshot 2 Still using the Artagain paper and not happy with it.  Tried this man with the scruffy look, the sort-of beard.  Again using the graphite and white pastel.  Really am struggling with the smaller features in getting the to look life like.

 Also the straight on views gives me lots of nose/nostril issues.  I have found a guy now on Youtube, art of Wei, that I am going to,watch a bit as he breaks down individual features.  He thinks main thing on nose is to make and shade like three balls, especially on the terminator line, and be sure to leave the reflected light under as that adds to dimension.

 As I am looking at this I can see that my angles are off between the main features eyes, nose and mouth.  One thing I am going to have to give up and do is really try to come up with a measuring system.  Ok, so that is the purpose of this month to get this stuff ironed out.
Thanks much for stopping by.

30 Day Challenge - Day 1 Mugshot 1

Mugshot 1 Well today begins the first day of the September 30 day challenge.  I decided to go ahead and participate, and am pretty sure I need my head examined.  But I always get so much out of it, especially if I can get myself past the third week.  I already know that participation will be to a limited extent as when we get to the end of the month I have lots going on.  I have started a few paintings at the end of August for those "can't get it done/I need a break days".  So we'll see how it goes.
Decided to try to do a theme this time and that I would work on miniature portraits.  I hope I haven't over extended myself.  So they will be probably in multiple media and are going to be 4"x4"or 4"x5" on either paper or mat board.  Listening to an interview with Karen Jurick she mentioned that all mug shots are public domain.  So thought that might be a good way to get an assortment of different shapes, sizes, colors and expressions (however, am…