Session #036, Work #026

Home late after the Emerald City Comicon, so I will make this brief.

I reverted to easier subject matter, and I included value again, but not color. I’m also working a bit on edges. Still focusing mainly on drawing though. This entire painting felt good, I knew that I had made some drawing mistakes but became too lazy to change. I like that I knew how the drawing comparison would turn out before I even did the Photoshop comparison tonight though.

 

 

30213

Overview

30213-setup

My hierarchy of painting importance

  1. Drawing
  2. Value
  3. Edges
  4. Composition
  5. Color

Drawing

30213-drawing

How can I improve the drawing

I knew, before I even finished the painting that the apple was too high, I just didn’t want to change it.

I worked hard on the banana stem, so I”m glad that turned out accurate. The curve of the banana seemed much harder to get accurate than I thought. The subtle curve was so long that it was super difficult to measure correctly.

 

 

Value

30213-value

How can I improve the values?

It has been a bit since I did some focus on value. This one turned out pretty far off the mark. What I have noticed during my paintings is that I push the lighter colors too far most of the time. Things would work better if I painted everything just a bit darker than what I actually thought. That would allow me to have the very top most range of values open for highlights or punches.

 

 

Edges

I still need to get an edge comparison layout going in Photoshop, anyway, I felt pretty good with the edges although I have not analyzed my accuracy at all.

Session #035, Work #025

Tonight’s painting was a failure. I’m cutting out all the BS on this post and just focusing on why this painting failed, or why I feel it failed.

My original idea was to knock down the drawing a bit that I had been working on for several sessions and then paint over top and try and render the still life accurately with  correct value and colors.  Before I started I was excited, I felt that it would be easy, I didn’t have to worry about the drawing that much at all, just get the values and color correct and I would have a great painting… it didn’t work out that way.

From the beginning I felt like I was being stagnated, it was like painting by numbers I guess. Have to stay within the lines, I felt urges to pick up a larger brush and just let it fly. Not too crazy of course but, at least some freedom. But I didn’t, I even pulled out a smaller brush and began doing details with it.

Even then I should have had  a well rendered painting right? No, for some reason I felt lost from the very beginning. I felt like I was always guessing, is this the right value, and second guessing. After about 35 minutes into the painting I was hating how the whole process felt and was wanting to quit. I pressed on though, in hopes that it would get better. It did not.

I had lost focus somewhere, I wasn’t calm, but agitated. It seemed like every stroke I laid down was wrong in some way, either drawing, value, color or edges. Plus I was hindered by all the lines and in some instances had to force myself just go over them.

I still can’t place exactly what went wrong. I think it was a combination of a very dark background making it hard to judge values and my overwhelming urge not to mess up the drawing underneath that was stifling any painterly spirit.

For the next few paintings I will be sticking to simple shape still lives. I will work to get the drawing perfect then I will obliterate it during the same session with correct color and value, making a point to not pay attention to the lines too much. I keep looking over at our basket of fruit and thinking that apples, oranges and bananas would be great. It would feel like freedom.

 

 

30113

Overview

30113-setup

Session #034, Work #025

More drawing today and I did some gesso tests with some inconclusive results. Not much to say about this painting now, this is my third session with it. The sessions are short, although I have a tendency to feel bad that the painting is taking very long. Which is pretty interesting, when you compare those feelings to all other master artists. Their paintings take a huge amount of time to complete. I’m thinking that my earlier training in Florida has conditioned me to think that speed is paramount. This is simply not true. Especially since I’m just learning again and trying to get skills better. Like Richard Schmid says “Take your time, speed will come with experience”

22813

Overview

22813-setup

My hierarchy of painting importance

  1. Drawing
  2. Value
  3. Edges
  4. Composition
  5. Color

Drawing

22813-drawing 

How can I improve the drawing

Drawing is good, I need to fix the bottom right of the base that is way off.

 

 

 

Canvas Gesso Tests

22813-canvas-gesso-3
3 coats of gesso
22813-canvas-gesso-2
2 coats of gesso
22813-canvas-gesso-1
1 coat of gesso
22813-canvas-gesso-0
0 coats of gesso

I did four envelope starts tonight. Mainly to test out if the different coats of gesso would make a difference when painting, but I found the quickness of the envelope and its freedom liberating. I should test the accuracy on these before I continue.

As far as the gesso is concerned I couldn’t tell a difference between each canvas although I made only a few strokes on each canvas. I wonder if I will ever see a difference between the coats when I work further into each canvas?

 

 

Session #033, Work #025

Tonight, more drawing, and a Gesso test. I broke the drawing session today into two parts, and took a small break in between. When I returned to the drawing my focus was still intense and accurate. I’m going to try and take a break every 30 minutes from now on. Hopefully break will lead to longevity.  Tonight there were too many distractions and I couldn’t get in more than an hour of drawing.
22713a
Before break drawing

 

 

22713b
Continued drawing after break.

Overview

22713-setup

My hierarchy of painting importance

  1. Drawing
  2. Value
  3. Edges
  4. Composition
  5. Color

Drawing

22713-drawing

How can I improve the drawing

I’m extremely happy with the drawing so far. I improved the drawing further from the last session and I didn’t even use the previous comparison to guide my changes. The top of the mushroom was drawn on pure measurement and its accuracy is almost perfect!

I really need to work on the face though, it needs help. The brush strokes are so tiny here that my hand needs to be absolutely steady in order not to make a mistake.

 

 

Canvas Gesso Test

4 canvases each with a number of coats of Gesso, and stained with burnt umber. To test which one I like best
4 canvases each with a number of coats of Gesso, and stained with burnt umber. To test which one I like best

Gesso test

So, I have several canvas boards and I’m not very happy with their painting surface, so I wanted to try some gesso and different number of coats to see what I like best. At some point I’m going to find some triple primed oil canvas boards and try those expensive things out, but until then I’m going with the budget solution.

First off, the gesso was sanded a bit with 220 grit sand paper just to make the surface a bit smoother. The surface of gesso reminds me of chalk, it seems like it would soak up a bunch of paint so I applied my usual ground.

Now, for this initial stage of the boards I will say that I like the plain Blick canvas board without any extra gesso applied. Its smooth after being sanded but not too chalky and the color applied to the canvas is much more even without the gesso brush strokes showing. I guess I could have used a non bristle brush to apply the gesso so that there was less brush strokes. I will try that only if the extra coats of gesso turns out to be promising.

Beyond that, I really don’t see that much difference between 0 to 3 coats of gesso. The true test is going to be when I start drawing on these. I will have to set them up all on the same day and start an envelope so I can get a direct comparison.

 

Session #032, Work #025

So it looks like 1.5 hours is my limit for drawing currently. That is a very small span of time. I need to work on drawing longevity or consciously take more breaks so I can last longer. It’s almost like standing at attention for over an hour. For this drawing I was very focused also, so I’m guessing the focus took a lot of energy.

I’m really happy about my focus though, I can see much more now then when I started over a month ago. I feel like my focus and these blog post analyzing the painting and drawing are speeding up my learning tremendously.

Tomorrow when I continue I will try for drawing perfection. I’m thinking also that I should actually take this painting all the way to the end, maybe three more sessions. One more drawing session, one value session and a color session.

 


22613

Overview

22613-setup

 

My hierarchy of painting importance

  1. Drawing
  2. Value
  3. Edges
  4. Composition
  5. Color

Drawing

22613-drawing

How can I improve the drawing

The drawing doesn’t look great, but the contour is very accurate. Except for the base which I kinda threw in real quick before stopping. I’m going to try and not use my Photoshop comparison to finish the drawing, I feel like using this too much could be a crutch.

 

 

Session #031, Work #024

Today I wanted to try out a change in my canvas surface because I felt that the last painting’s surface was very dry and scratchy, but I didn’t have any Gesso for the canvas board and I didn’t want to wait six months for an oil prime to dry, so I just used some red acrylic paint that I had. UGH!!! I will be getting some Gesso after I throw this canvas out, it is way too slick and the color is killing me.

Well, I drew for 1 hour and 15 minutes today and marked out everything. The problem is that I didn’t get the major shapes down before I started in on the details and I was really hurting for it. In most cases I couldn’t even see the bigger shapes. Below I did some Photoshop work to help me with that.

 

22513a
My first attempt tonight before wiping it out.

22513b
second attempt at drawing tonight, I wiped this one out right after taking the photo.

Overview

22513b-setup
the setup

My hierarchy of painting importance

  1. Drawing
  2. Value
  3. Edges
  4. Composition
  5. Color

Drawing

22513b-drawing
Drawing comparison of the second attempt
finding the major shapes on the figure.
finding the major shapes on the figure.

How can I improve the drawing

I was actually closer on the drawing then I thought, o well, its gone now. Doesn’t really bother me, I want it perfect, and repetition is the best way.

 

Session #030, Work #022

22413

Overview

The setup
The setup

Thirty days of painting and I have seen a lot of improvement, but I still have a long way to go before I reach my goal.

This was the second part of this painting and by being very patient and taking my time it turned out very well. I have an understanding now that drawing a subject for a huge amount of time is normal and not out of the ordinary at all.

 

My hierarchy of painting importance

  1. Drawing
  2. Value
  3. Edges
  4. Composition
  5. Color

Drawing

Drawing comparison
Drawing comparison

How can I improve the drawing

For now I will take the time necessary to get it correct. With experience speed will come.

 

Value

Value comparison
Value comparison

How can I improve the values?

No comments.

William Wendt

William Wendt (1865-1946) was an American landscape painter. He was called the “Dean of Southern California landscape painters.” Wendt was a founding member of the California Art Club, along with his wife Julia Bracken Wendt, and served as its president for six years. Wendt built his studio in Laguna Beach, California. A Laguna street, Wendt Terrace, bears his name.

 

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77614-Higher_Altitudes_Wendt

 

 

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picture

 

 

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Session #024, Work #021

Still working on drawing only. I finished the drawing from yesterday and I’m not sure how happy I am with my accuracy. I also started another drawing of a more detailed statue. I like the fairy figure a lot, but it looks to be a tough drawing. It’s going to take a lot of focus to get it right. I’m contemplating getting the major envelope down then taking photos, doing a comparison, and if it is too inaccurate starting over, then repeating till I get it correct.

Bandera Mountain Hike

Wonderful hike today. One hour from Seattle off of I-90 exit 45 is Bandera Mountain. The drive to the mountain was interesting, it looked like all the mountains had been sifted with powdered sugar, with a definite line where the melting point started on the mountain.

Jeremy Lipking

Jeremy Lipking b. 1975

In a remarkably short period of time, Jeremy Lipking has emerged as one of the country’s premier realist artists. His talent, which rivals that of the late nineteenth century painterly realists such as John Singer Sargent, Joaquin Sorolla and Anders Zorn, is outstanding for a painter of any age. It is all the more remarkable since he is only thirty years old. Like these great painters of the past, Lipking is a virtuoso artist. His canvases convey the magical aura of convincing imagery emerging out of a field of paint.

Session #022, Work #020

Like I said last painting, I’m going to do nothing but draw for the next few painting. This one was awful again. I really have a lot of drawing issues to overcome. What you will see below is a series of pictures throughout the drawing process compared to the original. See the captions for each photo.

John White Alexander

John White Alexander (7 October 1856 – 31 May 1915) was an American portrait, figure, and decorative painter and illustrator.

Alexander was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, now a part of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Orphaned in infancy, he was reared by his grandparents and at the age of 12 became a telegraph boy in Pittsburgh. His talent at drawing attracted the attention of one of his employers, who assisted him to develop them. He moved to New York at the age of eighteen and worked in an office at Harper’s Weekly, where he was an illustrator and political cartoonist at the same time that Abbey, Pennell, Pyle, and other celebrated illustrators labored there. After an apprenticeship of three years, he travelled to Munich for his first formal training. Owing to the lack of funds, he removed to the village of Polling, Bavaria, and worked with Frank Duveneck. They travelled to Venice, where he profited by the advice of Whistler, and then he continued his studies in Florence, the Netherlands, and Paris.

Jeremy Mann

Jeremy Mann(b. 1979) graduated from Ohio University with a Cum Laude degree in Fine Art-Painting. Afterward, he ventured out to California where he earned his MasterÕs Degree with Valedictorian honors at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Since then, Mann has garnered substantial attention in the art world. Praised by critics and collectors alike, his work recently graced the cover of American Art Collector magazine.

Jack Vettriano

Born in Fife, Scotland in 1951, Jack Vettriano left school at sixteen to become a mining engineer. For his twenty-first birthday, a girlfriend gave him a set of watercolour paints and, from then on, he spent much of his spare time teaching himself to paint.

Frank W. Benson

Frank Weston Benson, frequently referred to as Frank W. Benson, (March 24, 1862 – November 15, 1951) was an American artist from Salem, Massachusetts known for his Realistic portraits,American Impressionist paintings, watercolors and etchings. He began his career painting portraits of distinguished families and murals for the Library of Congress. Some of his best known paintings (Eleanor, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Summer, Rhode Island School of Design Museum) depict his daughters outdoors at Benson’s summer home, Wooster Farm, on the island of North Haven, Maine. He also produced numerous oil, wash and watercolor paintings and etchings of wildfowl and landscapes.

Joaquín Sorolla

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (27 February 1863 – 10 August 1923) was a Valencian Spanish painter. Sorolla excelled in the painting of portraits, landscapes, and monumental works of social and historical themes. His most typical works are characterized by a dexterous representation of the people and landscape under the sunlight of his native land.

Hike 2/03/13

Today’s hike was on three of the Cougar Mountain trails. Wilderness Creek, Wilderness Peak and Wilderness cliffs. Great hike, very refreshing and recharging. Couple quotes from Alan Watts that stuck out today.

Drawing

So after last nights painting I realized that the largest problem for me as an artist currently is my drawing. It seems pretty obvious what I need to do next, I need to focus on drawing with a brush. I feel that once I master drawing with a brush that there is nothing I can’t do with paint. So the question here is how do I focus on drawing with a brush, or what is the best way to draw with a brush.

New site colors

You may have noticed that my site has changed to a darker layout. I was surfing some other artists bogs today and I really liked the ones that were dark. As soon as I changed my site to a darker layout my images really popped off the screen. Hope you like it.