Monday, October 22, 2018

alvaro castagnet workshop

Took a workshop last week.
The second day we went out to paint some Cape May streets a la Alvaro.
Normally I'd spend a good hour drawing an architectural subject; these I spent about 5 minutes on, then rushed in with big wet washes.
They're a mess but it felt kinda liberating.
Alvaro's comment,"Too many brushstrokes " was on the mark!
ps That mess in the sky on the bottom isn't calligraphy--it's supposed to be birds!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Magnolia wip

Working on an 11x15 magnolia painting trying to apply Birgit O'Connor's method. But it seems I skipped over one of the early important steps: evaluating the composition for drama. This may turn out all right, but it probably won't have that stunning element Birgit's have.

Friday, October 12, 2018

birgit o'connor rhodo

Finished, for now. I cannot work on this any longer!
I might darken the stamen shadows, but I already overworked them and the stamens, so maybe it's best not to draw attention to them!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

another wip

... from one of Birgit O'Connor's online classes.
Struggling a bit with this one--confused by my own drawing!
I do like her classes. They are pricey, but she does offer sales, and you have lifetime access.
I wouldn't approach everything I paint in this way, but I am thinking of some subjects that might work well. And, I'm getting comfortable with half sheets!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

value studies

These are fun and relaxing to do: not much drawing, one color ... Should have been more careful and kept the path of the water lighter.

Monday, October 08, 2018

color chart

Spent time this weekend setting up a palette for next week's Alvaro Castagnet workshop and made a color chart as several of the colors he requested--lots of warm reds, e.g. Mayan orange, pyrrol red--aren't on my palette.
(18 of the colors are his recommendations; I added 2: azo green and dioxizine violet.)
I got into the habit of avoiding warm reds, using burnt sienna instead, because all the ones I tried seemed pretty opaque and didn't make nice purples.
But these make some lovely mixes!

Thursday, October 04, 2018

chalfonte side porch

A small sketch, about 8x10, so not very detailed. But I think I might scale it up ... after practicing overhanging branches and dappled shadows.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

cape may point dunes

A subject I normally wouldn't tackle: feathery light-colored things in front of dark things.
I think if I did it again I'd try to be more daring in my color choices.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

chalfonte window

Started out well but 1) I overworked the shutters, exacerbated by going back before the paint was dry! Should have just put in a wash and left it alone! and 2) I was enjoying adding purple so much I didn't to assess what I was doing in time to stop ...
But, okay, hopefully I learned not to make those mistakes next time

birgit o'connor magnolia class

Getting there ...
One thing I am learning about myself is that I'm a lazy and sloppy painter! I do not change my water or clean my palette enough-- leading here to some grayed out light pinks that should be brighter. And I am constantly doing things like putting the heel of my hand in a wash or dropping my loaded paintbrush on the paper!
Also, I already knew this was a weak spot for me, but I really need to be more considerate about values!

Friday, September 28, 2018

more wip

Sorry all I have to post are wip! Having one of those weeks: can't seem to finish anything (the house is half clean, the garden half weeded ...)
I felt a little influence of Birgit's class as I began this: thinking about filling in shapes.

birgit o'connor class in progress ...

Working on the magnolia painting that attracted me to Birgit's online classes ...
It's difficult for me to be patient and wait for sections to dry, so I have some wobbly edges where she has crisp ones. But I like being able to take this up and paint just a few pieces if that's all I have time for (which has been the case this week).

The actual painting, a la Birgit, is a bit anticlimactic, though it's a pleasure to see the subject emerge.
The important part is what she does beforehand: evaluating and manipulating the reference until she has a pleasing simplified design--that is the thing I am learning in her class that I most hope to apply to my own original paintings.

Monday, September 24, 2018

dappled shadow refs

 Finally got these downloaded; now to use them for practice!



Delaware Breakwater Light

Lots of work + chores = less ability to focus to paint. I have started a couple of little beach scenes, but have been too distracted to work on them much.
The simplicity of this scene fit my mood and time constraints!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

birgit o'connor class

I signed up to do an online class with Birgit: the one I chose features a beautiful tulip magnolia.
To practice, I did these two exercises from her books.
She paints on 300lb paper, and these are on 140lb, which is all I have, but I may invest in the heavier paper as she does a lot of wetting.
I think the class will be a challenge for me mainly because it's very process-driven, which I most assuredly am not!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

North beach, fort de soto

Painted the top one on location, finished (such as it is) the bottom one at home.
My friend Mike and I pulled our kayaks into the shade, popped open a beer, and painted a bit.
So I can hardly complain ...
But, I am never happy with my dappled shadows ... these are too dark, and too vibrantly purple!

Subjects to study (thus far): palm trees, dappled shadows

Treasure island

I love this subject. This is my first attempt to paint it.
Tried to unify all the little shapes in the chairs by starting with a wet in wet underpainting ... not entirely successful.
But I think it's a subject that would benefit by being done larger--this one is 7x10--where I could really let the colors mingle.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

More incoming tide

Another go.
The difference in color of the underpainting and the "final" painting is due to my photographing them at different times of day ... it's been so damp here, had to wait all day for the underpainting to dry!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Incoming tide

I watched an Alvaro Castagnet video and, since I'm taking a workshop with him next month, decided to try his method of starting with a wet-on-wet underpainting.
This subject--from a photo I took of a receding tide from my kayak--doesn't, to say the least, lend itself to his dramatic style: once my underpainting was done, there really wasn't much for me to add!
But, I did feel myself to be a little freer in the underpainting, thinking of it as a fou dation that would be painted over!

Friday, September 14, 2018

song sparrow

A quick sketch ... too quick as I misplaced the eye. He reminds me of Paul McCartney.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

damp paper :-(

 No plan/inspiration today, so I decided to make up some dune grasses ... It quickly became apparent that the paper was defective, very absorbent. I've had this problem before; I think it may have to do with dampness + age. Perhaps it's a kind of mildew? I live in a humid area and this summer has been especially bad. I am feeling mildewed myself.
Going to keep my paper in large ziplock bags, as I do my yarn, and see if it helps.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

North Beach, Fort De Soto

Another painting from a photo I took at Fort De Soto last winter.
All that brown stuff is supposed to be wrack, mostly dried grasses, washed up along the tide line. I don't think that's very clear ... but it doesn't really bother me! In fact, as I was painting it was the part I was most frustrated but now I like it the best and dislike the rest!

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