Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mom Reading

My first oil portrait from life: my mom reading and knitting.

8 inch x 10 inch, oil on canvas

I did this in two sittings, one about three hours and another a couple of days later that was almost two hours.  It was challenging for both of us---for her to sit so long and me to try and capture her in paint.  I had moments when I felt like I understood what I was seeing and doing, but mostly I felt sloppy and a little lost.  I can't wait to try another one and find more of those times that I feel like I know what I'm doing. I'm thinking I will practice from photos as well to get better with handling the paint so when I have a sitter I can be more efficient.  My mom was the perfect first subject. Thanks mom!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Tiny Yellow Roses with Cat Skull

Back to painting...

8 inch x 8 inch, oil on stretched canvas

I finished this today.  I had started it a while back with the intention of doing it alla prima but some distraction happened and I wasn't able to.  I kept the still life set up; the roses curled and dried and the leaves fell off but the rest was fine, a little dusty.  Luckily, I had finished most of it except for the skull---that's what I did today.  I'm glad to clear the space now and start something new.  Still working on my skin color exploration charts so possibly the next painting will be a portrait. ?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sketchbook Portrait: Prismacolor Awkwardness

Increasingly interested in not using photos I gave this portrait a try with the use of a mirror. My whole family said it's scary.  I did it in the evening with only one (harsh) light source---that probably didn't help nor did the resulting wonky eyes. Practice, practice, practice.

This week I'm going to do some color mixing charts in oil paint to explore skin color in preparation for my first sitter! That first portrait is going to be real interesting and probably a mess.  My youngest son just started school so it's the first time in many years that a block of time has opened up to work. I'm so excited and eager to find my rhythm again to be painting regularly. I can't wait to see what comes of it.... 

Prismacolor Marker & Graphite
Reflection #2

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sketchbook Portraits- this week in prismacolor

What really interests me in portraits is doing them eventually from life, that's what all my practice has been leading up too---feeling confident enough to ask someone to sit for me.  The last couple weeks I've attended an open studio life drawing session and tried my hand with the prismacolor markers I've been experimenting with of late.  My first attempts came out terrible, so much so I didn't want to post them.  I was happier with my second attempt---lots of practice is needed still, but I feel I'm getting better.  I sometimes question posting these in-between works, the growing pains, but I also like to see other artist's early works and their evolution. I hope it's interesting to you too.

So here's a few samples from my last live model session.  All the poses are 20 minutes only! Very challenging but extremely exciting to being doing them from a real three dimensional person.

All are prismacolor markers and graphite on paper: