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Friday, October 31, 2014

Value Study 6 (Anxious Baby)

5x7 inches oil on panel
Black and white

This one sort of ran to the grotesque as I was painting, and it was interesting to me, so I just went with it. Using the black and white simplifies lots of things, lots fewer decisions to be made,
 especially when working with only 5 values. It's a bit of a rest. I have fallen from the discipline of 5
and will get back on the horse. (The values are pure black for darkest dark, pure white for lightest light, medium gray made from half black and half white, and one dark between darkest dark and med. gray, and one light between medium gray and lightest light. Then you try not to mix further from these paint mixtures so that you are reducing large areas of the subject matter to one value that matches best to your mixed values. This reads back to me as insane, however this explanation is for those who asked WTF I have been doing.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Value Study 5 (D. and S.)

5x7 inches oil on panel
black and white

Now I'm looking for photos that have a strong light and dark pattern, so at least I am not struggling with a predominantly middle value scenario.  But I'm thinking, aren't most painting predominantly middle values? Will have to research.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Value Study 4 (D.)

4x5 inches oil on panel,
black and white

I might be in trouble when I have to turn all these in and submit to the scrutiny of The Russian, because they are getting away from me in that they are not as simple as I think they are supposed to be. I never knew it was so easy to get stuff down so fast...well, values stated, is a better phrase.  And I'm supposed to be sticking to 5 values. And I do in the beginning and then begin to wander off.  Am thinking now that color is an impediment to seeing value. OY!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Value Study 3 (I. W.)

5x7 inches, oil on panel
black and white

Yikes! On this one I kept at too long and lost my planes - Will try for deftness and brevity on the next one.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Value Study 2: Baby with Three Fingers

5 inches square
oil on panel, black and white

This baby I have painted so many times I have stopped counting them because it is so depressing that I'm not getting it. Best to have a Zen approach and think he will always be with me and will be a vehicle of some kind.  Problem is, the baby is completely backlit, so the flat front of his face is all in shadow and the only light  is leaking in from behind him. It was helpful to do a value study, to see how single valued his entire face is. It is single valued with major temperature shifts. Maybe I will be smart enough in future not to choose the shot with everything important drowned in shadow. What attracted me to it in the first place was the intense but grayed color of the skin in this photo, but I can't yet translate this into paint. And speaking of paint...
I have just used Gamblin's Flake White Replacement and I love it. It is sort of phosphorescent and beautiful on skin. Luminous!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Value Study No. 1 (N.)

6 inches square, oil on panel

So --- I'm taking a class, a tonal painting class, taught by a robust and opinionated Russian (who will not be reading this blog) and he is beating his ideas into me. I'm so happy.  This is a small tonal study for a larger painting. I did it all with a weeny brush and just moving back and forth between light and dark sculpting the shapes. I was surprised at how easy it was, and how thoughtful a process. There was a lot more play in the paint than the way I usually work.  The Russian says, hide 70 % of detail   and show 30%. (I'm not there yet.)  And also, make yourself do small studies because is easier to see the patterns of light and dark. So I am, and it's true, and pleasant and quick.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mug Shot (One Eyed Baby)

8x8 inches oil on linen panel

This one very fun to do and it went quickly. I am not lingering, just trying to get it done, and then another one done, etc. I need some experience with noses. I can eventually get it, but it takes me lots of fussing and I think a good run of noses will help me understand the actual structure of it AND how the paint has to go down as I build the nose itself. I will build some noses.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mugshot (Worried Baby), California House (No.1)

8x8 inches, oil on panel

Back in the USA, have gathered wits,  set up a new studio, made a dress out of a bean bag, etc.,
and here I am again at the starting gate. So to speak. I am fortunate that I have a whole long string of paintings that must be done - I love this - but I have to enter slowly and work up to my maniac speed. So these first ones are re-entry paintings.  One of the great aspects of warm ups is: (they don't really count), therefore there is no reason to be afraid.

8x8 inches oil on panel

This is also a beginner painting, my first landscape. It was interesting do it...not scary, sort of meditative, thinking about what was happening with the spaces, paying attention to the shifts that happen as the values go down. I want to learn this so that next year, in Italy, I can feel comfortable outside painting. This is from a photograph, but I want to be outside then, in the future, in my Italian life.