What I look for in a figure or portrait photo to work from is good lighting with plenty of shadow and high contrast lighting. If you have a favorite photo that you would like me to try painting it please email it to me.
I recently bought new brushes and I think I like them better than what I have been using. I am a little surprised. For over 20 years I have used synthetic bristle brushes, but this time I bought natural hog hair bristle brushes. They lay now less paint and work the paint into the canvas more. I like it.
I enjoyed this painting. It is larger than any I have worked on recently. It is much more challenging for me to work large because I use more paint and there is so much more surface to paint. I love the freedom of big strokes though.
These yellow iris were blooming down by the pond. They are such a pretty cool yellow color but they didn't last very long. I had to really work this painting after nearly losing it about 4 times. At some point the painting dictates what is left in or left out. I tried very hard to keep the color notes that I initially laid down.
This little green vase was a recent purchase from a flea market that we went to. I just felt like color. I added a few colors to my palette. As you know I have been working with very limited palettes. I added my favorite fuchsia to the mix of colors. My focus in this painting was to create as much depth as possible with the flowers. I premixed my black rather than using Ivory Black. I use a mixture of Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson, and Cad Yellow Med. You get a nice black and great harmony in the painting.
I pushed and pulled the values and color in this painting. The toe shoes proved to be a formidable challenge. It is important for me to push through the desire to finish a painting and patiently wait until it begins to take on a life of its own. I once had a professor who said that you know when a painting is done when it breaths on its own.
I love the stance of this little girl with her foot turned pigeon toed. She was standing in the middle of a very big room and was just content to observe all that was going on around her.
I used a Zorn palette in this painting. It felt a little limiting but I was able to get some of the color I was looking for. I think that this palette works very well for portraiture. I am ready to return to a palette with a fuller range of colors.
I took a photo of this little fellow quite a while ago. I had so much fun painting him. I used the Zorn palette. I will need to photograph again in the morning because the light was fading when I shot this. I have been wanting to do more figure work. I loved the stance that he took...he was new at walking! Cuteness!!
I love Gloxinia don't you? They speak to me of Spring, rainy days giving way to sunshine. In this little painting I used a limited palette of a new combination. (Cad Red Med, Viridian Green, Cobalt Blue, Naples Yellow, Magenta, White, Smidge of black) I love the greens that are created using Naples Yellow and Cobalt Blue. For a brighter green add just a smidge of Cad Yellow Light.
I am finding that I have to really concentrate to keep things fresh and light. My energy level must be up or I have a tendency to work things too hard. It is important to keep a light touch. I love the feel of the paint under the brush when you just gently brush the paint on.