Monday, January 23, 2012

dpw challenge

Last week's Daily Paintworks Challenge was to paint something using Pantone's "Color of the Year," Tangerine Tango.
I did the painting below, on hot press paper, first; then the one above, on cold press.
The hot press one is a bit overworked, I think--hot press can be deceptive: you can push the paint around so much, but it turns out to not be a good idea!
In the cold press version, I used more quinacridone colors, and also thought about what to do more, based on things I wasn't pleased with in the first version.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

value study

My teacher, Marie Natale, brought value scales to class for us. I have had a value scale (or two) laying around my studio ... but I never used it!
I did the quick study above using the scale, and even though I still have a hard time getting to the darkest value, I found using the scale really helped.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012


Two works in (barely discernible) progress: the boats are from a photo by Ruth Archer at Paint My Photo; the tropical foliage from a photo I started painting in New Mexico in October.
I'm feeling too mentally scattered to really commit to anything right now. It happens sometimes: I've been reading too many watercolor books, looking at too many watercolor DVDs; there's so much I want to attempt that I can't settle on anything.
It's even affected my baking: I made an apple upside-down cake this morning--what an elaborate recipe: three bowls, a saute pan, the standing mixer were all called for!--which came out dreadful: the sugar didn't carmelize, the cake didn't rise ... All that effort for something that looks like the apple desert in a frozen dinner.
Baking, like watercoloring, requires a certain quality of attention. For now, back to knitting, which, since I can, at this stage, only do the simplest garter-stitch projects, is wonderfully automatic.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

rookie painter challenge, 2nd go

My second go at the Rookie Painter challenge. There are some overworked bits, especially the base of the bottom bowl ... just cannot get it right. But I like the grayer (it's "palette" gray--a diluted mix of the colors in the palette mixing areas) background: it seems to make the white bowl look whiter, which I lost a bit in the first version.

Here is my first version, with a few more darks added and a light green glaze over the background.
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Saturday, January 07, 2012

rookie painter challenge

The current (until 1/16) challenge at Rookie Painter. There are a number of really beautiful interpretations of the reference photo on the blog. I'm not entirely happy with my color choices.
In reply to Renate's comment:
I think it's because, in the reference photo (not that it matters exactly; you could make the bowls any color) the two darker bowls are a more neutral color: but beautiful neutrals with color in them ... so that, when I look at them, I can't decide what color they are.
Maybe it's more the values than the color? I need to darken some parts of all the colored bowls.
I admired in some of the other interpretations how the bowls looked ceramic. I have to work on that.

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Friday, January 06, 2012

wip birds

I seem to be running out of steam on my birds, so maybe it's time to find a new subject for a while.

My friend Cheryl is going on vacation and asked me to recommend a couple of poolside reads to her, and I realized I hardly read any fiction in 2011. I think it's like with comedies, which I don't like to rent or go see, always afraid I'll be disappointed.
Starting this month, I'm going to read one nonfiction, one literary fiction, and one genre (mystery or sci fi most likely) fiction title every month. For January:
The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt
Parrot & Olivier in America by Peter Carey
Flower Net by Lisa See

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Wednesday, January 04, 2012


(10x14, pencil)

Feeling very unenergetic lately and unable to get to the paints, but from now on when I feel that way, I'm going to try a little drawing.
The pencil drawing is my blanket: I enjoy just starting at one end and working my across.
Below is my cat Smilla sitting on the railing in various poses: it's a challenge for me get her contour as she is never still for long.
Drawing it turns out is a pleasure in itself and not solely a substitute for painting.
(10x14, black pen)
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