Monthly Archives: July 2015

Birdhouse (acrylic painting)

Birdhouse (acrylic painting)

birdhouse-acrylic-painting
ABOUT THIS PICTURE

18″ x 24″ acrylic on canvas. This is one of the first paintings I ever did. I spent a considerable amount of time making a color chart, (featured below), being new to painting, taking note of how much white to mix with a particular shade of blue, for example, to get the color I wanted. The colors in this painting are very stark, bright, and not muted. I would have done better to work with a limited palette, but the explosions of color available to me, and my unfamiliarity with painting, made this more of a learning experience rather than a satisfying finished piece. This was still good practice using a reference photo, color mixing, sketching and planning a layout, and painting onto canvas for the first time.

 

birdhouse-colorsheet

 

Filed Under: Art
Lillian (graphite drawing)

Lillian (graphite drawing)

Lillian-graphite-drawing

 

ABOUT THIS PICTURE

Graphite on paper. A short sketch in which my primary focus and fascination was with hair, in this case, her curls. This was a good exercise for building up value, and focusing on contrasts, juxtaposing the light of the shine of the curl against the dark shadows. I was also working on practicing hatching and using it to build dark. The focus on her face was minimal, as that wasn’t the main objective of the sketch. You can see that her eyes aren’t even filled-in with shading. Even though her white eyes are the result of neglect, I found that I liked the effect; somehow it softens her features but makes her cool and aloof at the same time.

Filed Under: Art
Anita (charcoal drawing)

Anita (charcoal drawing)

Anita-portrait-charcoal

 

 

ABOUT THIS PICTURE

Charcoal and graphite on toned paper. I read about toning paper and got interested in how to do it. It’s super easy. I applied a watercolor wash over some heavy duty paper and let it fully dry before sketching. I like how the portrait I drew over the wash looks rustic. I’m not very adept at using charcoal, but I do enjoy for it certain applications, particularly for the gradients that are available with hair. More than any other feature in this picture I am pleased about the hair, the light white streaks against the dark powder of the willow charcoal.

Filed Under: Art
English Garden (watercolor)

English Garden (watercolor)

English-Garden-watercolor

 

ABOUT THIS PICTURE

9″x 6″, watercolor and ink on paper. This is my first real attempt in the realm of watercolor. I’d been keeping away from it, as I was intimidated by its fluidity and transparency, but it is actually a lot of fun to work with! You do have to modify you working methods, as opposed to working with oils or acrylics. Watercolor has a bit of a life of its own, but if you keep in mind a few simple guidelines, you can take advantage of its great instant-color properties. I’ve heard watercolor artists use the phrase “drop in color”, and that’s exactly what it is like. Dot your brush over an area, and out runs color directly onto the surface, no brushstrokes required. Starting with a drawing based on waterproof ink really helped me keep my color flow together, but a big part of the magic of watercolor is overlapping color, bleeding into each other to create dynamic new colors. I’ll likely be experimenting with watercolors more as they travel and clean up easily, and pair well with sketching.

Filed Under: Art
Resting Butterfly (colored drawing)

Resting Butterfly (colored drawing)

swallowtail-resting

 

ABOUT THIS PICTURE

Ink on paper. I drew this for a friend. It’s a resting butterfly, I believe one of the many varieties of beautiful swallowtails. My reference photo was an image I found online. The ease of instant dark, rich color with markers is so satisfying. I used up more than a few Sharpies working on this, particularly yellow and green!

Filed Under: Art
‘Picking Flowers’ (oil painting)

‘Picking Flowers’ (oil painting)

After-Renoir-Picking Flowers

 

ABOUT THIS PICTURE

18″x 24″, oil on canvas board. Done as an exercise, using Renoir’s painting Picking Flowers as a reference. I fell in love with the picture after being fortunate enough to see it in San Francisco, in person. Impressionism was a lot of fun to try, and gave me lots of room for me, a beginner, to be loose with colors and brush strokes, and not be strict about the end product. I learned a lot about blending, the handling of oils, which is buttery and slow to dry compared to acrylic paints. I loved the bright dots of color. Working wet-on-wet was also a new experience for me, and I loved it! This is definitely something I’d like to try again, but with my own work, using my own reference photographs.

Filed Under: Art
Granite Rocks (ink drawing)

Granite Rocks (ink drawing)

The beach is only about two miles away from my home, so you’ll be seeing lots of ocean-themed art by me. Here is some more line art. I really like the accessibility of this type of art — I just pick up my pens and go for it. No paint, prep work, or organizing. This is a good way to “keep it loose” and I’ve been enjoying it. I would definitely recommend it if you are having a creativity block, or need some space from a larger project.

granite-rocks-pen-drawing

ABOUT THIS PICTURE

9.5″ x 6″, ink on paper. The rocks in real life that I drew from are dark black with playful streaks of granite. A very interesting shapeset to work with. The lines started as a way to draw in the planes of the rocks, but as the drawing progressed I lengthened them and they became a feature of their own. Also, I really love any excuse I can think of to use my fat, size 2 Micron.

 

Filed Under: Art
Jagged Cliff (ink drawing)

Jagged Cliff (ink drawing)

It was my opportunity and pleasure to spend more drawing time near the ocean. Yay! It really is the most soothing thing ever, sitting in the sun, bring directly in front of the subject matter, all while being able to take in other sensory details to enhance the drawing. How does it feel to be next to the grand Pacific Ocean? Even though my feelings are not fully articulated in my language brain, the senses do aid in “telling the story” of the drawing.

jagged-sea-cliffs

 

ABOUT THIS PICTURE

Ink on paper, 9.5″ x 6″. This is basically a twenty minute study. I’m finding that tracing the horizon with my eyes and “drawing over” the ridges of the cliffs was a great exercise for looking, perceiving accurately, and capturing the natural movement of the shapes. This picture was made on the rocky Northern California coast.

Filed Under: Art
Seastacks (ink drawing)

Seastacks (ink drawing)

20150704_163316-cropped-brightened

 

20150704_163247

Line drawing at the beach

 

ABOUT THIS PICTURE

Ink on paper. I took my drawing to the beach! I felt very artsy as I sat in the sun, near the ocean, and drew the shoreline and picturesque dark rocks. Possibly I’ll color this later, but for now I like the simplicity of the dark lines and the white, clean paper.

Filed Under: Art
Italian Hillside (painting)

Italian Hillside (painting)

Houses on Italian Hillside (painting)

 

ABOUT THIS PICTURE

18″ x 24″ oil on canvas. After attending a Van Gogh exhibition in San Francisco (if you ever get a chance to see his work, run, leap, fly out of your house and go see it) I got interested in impressionism. As the old masters used oils, I gave it a try! I love the buttery, smooth texture, and the blending properties of oil. This painting was a lot of fun because I also got to use a quick-drying product Liquin which enabled me to extend and further blend colors, with the added benefit speeding up the drying time. I love the thick impasto flowers. I really enjoyed giving this picture some texture and some pop-out effect.

Filed Under: Art
Kinfolk Flowers (painting)

Kinfolk Flowers (painting)

Acrylic painting based on a picture.

 

ABOUT THIS PICTURE

18″ x 24″ acrylic on canvas. This is one of the first paintings I ever worked on. Even though it’s not at all what I wanted it to be, I learned from it, and had a massive amount of fun. It gave me a great appreciation for impressionism. I did eventually work out how to pick up multiple colors on the brush, and even did a fairly okay job applying them. This was also my first time using acrylic medium (matte). There is so much left to learn and experiment with. I got really interested and absorbed with making the texture of the bricks. If I did this again, I’d crop this image and change the viewpoint, minimize the bricks, and add more details. I really like acrylics because of their fast-drying properties, and in this instance working with them was forgiving and gentle. I’d love to try this with some supple, buttery oils in the future.

Filed Under: Art
Those Summers

Those Summers

We were pb&j with a spread of apple butter, smooth.
Calm as cucumber skin. We rolled our oats: small dirt-clad seeds
in the summer steam. We ploughed every field,
those small, outspread weeds just drifted in.

20150612_133413

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons