Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Stargazers - WIP

Here is what the mentoring group worked on this afternoon. It still has a few unresolved issues, mainly in the background. Too many hard edges, too incomplete in places, no ideas of where to go at this point. So, I will put it on the easel, where it can marinate for a week while we go on a motorhome trip. If nothing else, when I get back I will change it from a 16x20 painting to an 11x14 painting and crop around the flowers, I like those! There is always hope I can fix it, though. We'll see. The mentees did a great job on theirs!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Good news!

I am thrilled to announce my painting "Canyonlands Sunset" has been accepted into the Peoria Arts Council show "Celebration of the Artists". This show will be open for display between March 10 through March 20, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. This is held at the Pine Room, 8401 W. Monroe Peoria, AZ 85345.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mr. Wilbur - Final WIP?

I received some good advice and followed through with making the changes. One of the suggestions was to do more modeling on Mr. Wilbur's face, which in real life does show better than I can show in the photo of the entire painting. It is such a long painting that to get the entire painting in the shot you have to be farther away than I like to shoot photos of paintings. So, I did a blow-up of the details of his face to better show what it looks in real life. I fear I can't do much more with his face because the paper has lost its sizing from the adjustments I have made and remade so it will probably have to stand as is. I am considering this one done unless someone sees something really wrong with it. It was also suggested that I add the blue in his clothes to other parts of the painting so I punched up the window pane darks with this and added a bit here and there to the wood and woodcart.

Thanks especially to Jane and Rhonda for making the above suggestions. A very special thanks to Terri Wetzel, who took this photograph of her neighbor, Mr. Wilbur, and graciously gave the group permission to use it. I am wondering what Mr. Wilbur would think of what I have done to him, his barn and lawn if he saw this, but I did exercise my artistic license on this one.

Mr. Wilbur - WIP 4

I am again in the pondering phase of this painting. I am thinking I have to quit detailing the barn wood more so it doesn't become more important than Mr. Wilbur and the wood cart. I decided to make the foreground more about melting snow than with the green grass against the snow and bare tree limbs as it was in the photo. Without a ref photo and forgotten images of what snow looks like, I hope I am getting closer to that look. Also I am wondering if I have enough darks where they are needed.

I'll submit this to the WcW for critique on these ponderings and see what I do next. I like my bare tree limbs, though!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Mr. Wilbur - WIP 3

I got this far today before I got to the point where I was using my Mr. Clean Magic Eraser three times in about a 10-minute period. Walk away from the painting, Susan!

There are still many streamlining adjustments to be made around the figure and on the figure, but so far I am pleased with him (the use of the MCME above notwithstanding!). Right now, in looking at the photo and checking the painting again I see that behind his right foot I missed somewhat with the gravel color so it looks like his pant leg falls behind his foot and drags the ground. That is an optical illusion since it doesn't show properly in the photo.

I'll keep on keepin' on, this is still a cool photo!

Mr. Wilbur - WIP 2

Here is the second WIP for Mr. Wilbur. I still have more detailing to do on the window glass, frame and barn wall but want to do the denim clothes on him to see if I need to add more orange. Here's what I was thinking when I did the barn wall, I wanted to make it rustic-looking and since his denim clothes, being blue, are a complement of the orange I thought that would look good together. I will either kick myself or pat myself on the back on that decision, we'll see. Also on the decision-making part of painting this, there was a foreground of green grass in the reference photo which I found incongruous with the bare tree, jacket on Mr. Wilbur and snow on the ground by the building so I changed it to a larger gravel area with a few rocks which I will detail later. My apologies to Mr. Wilbur's lawn that I removed, but I thought that would also draw the eyes away from him and his wood cart so changed it a bit. Like I said, we'll see.

Everyone who saw me working on this at the Art Club studio yesterday was so taken with this photo and painting, so I am still very excited about doing it.

On to the denim, I love painting folds in cloth!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mr. Wilbur - WIP 1

The photo that inspired this painting for me was submitted by a WcW member who is also a very good photographer, with her generous permission for anyone in the group to paint. I was immediately inspired to paint this, it is so charming. The image size of this painting will be 17x30.
This is the grayscale underpainting. I will continue to post changes to it as I start adding color. By the way, the gray tree branches at the top are actually painted with masking fluid, they are not part of the grayscale painting.

Pueblo painting using grayscale underpainting

These photos illustrate what we did in the Watercolor II class yesterday. The main thrust of the class was to show how using a grayscale under painting can help establish values in the finished painting. While hurrying through this I think I have some less than plumb walls here and there, but at the pueblo some of the older buildings in the pueblo had those in real life, too; so I am letting them stand...wavy though they be.

I am evolving in a way that leads me toward starting all my paintings with a grayscale underpainting, it just seems to keep me on track better. We'll see how far I go with this, but have been using the underpainting for everything from landscapes, to florals and even portraits and I like it so far.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Here is my final version of Rhonda's portrait for the wcW Artist's Faces project for February. If you remember, Rhonda had her hairdresser put in some multicolored stripes as an April Fool's joke on her husband.

As usual, there are a few things that I should have done differently, and will watch for next time I do a portrait; but I don't hate this overall. I missed getting the mischievous glint she had in her eyes, but at least it vaguely resembles her and hope she will be happy with it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My SWAP painting received

Speaking of SWAP paintings, this is the one I sent to my SWAP partner, all the way to Zion, Illinois. I found this exercise in still life in an instructional book and decided it merited a try for my next SWAP painting. I liked the light vs. dark effects in this and was pleased that it turned out. The recipient was pleased, also, so it all worked out! Life is good.
Happy Valentine's Day to all....Susan

My SWAP painting came today!

My SWAP painting came today, and it was from none other than my good online buddy, Rhonda (see photo below!). This is so gorgeous and well-done, I am honored to hang it on my SWAP gallery wall in my studio. This is such a wonderful group to belong to, with over 50 artists from around the world participating. I never know from whom my paintings will come, and they don't know they will be receiving one from me. I'll post the one I sent when the recipient receives it so I won't let the secret out of the bag.

Artists Portrait Project

Here is the first WIP of my WcW project painting of our fellow artists. This is Rhonda, who played an April Fool's joke on her husband by havingher hairdresser apply some multicolored strands of hair, temporarily at least! She looked so mischievous in this photo I had to choose her to paint, plus I wanted to paint in those strands of color in her hair! I like it so far, except for the lips, and will work on those as I add the color. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ehrenburg Sunset V

This is the demo painting I did for the watercolor II class last Tuesday. This scene is one I have painted five times now and I never tire of it. Tomorrow we will be painting a Bird of Paradise and then Wednesday the mentoring session will feature painting stargazer lilies. Who needs flowers for Valentine's Day?

Check it out!

Check it out! The February project for the Watercolor Workshop group is to choose a photo from the member artists folder and paint one of the members. Rhonda Carpenter, who lives in Kentucky, chose my photo and that of another member to paint....she did two!
I have never had my portrait painted and think she did a great job, especially since she forgot to include any sags and wrinkles!
Isn't it something how we connect with good people online? I love the Internet!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Lady with Hat

Here is my project painting for the WcW online group. We were supposed to all paint from the same photo, of an unknown girl named Candace. Well, I decided this doesn't look like Candace does in her photo so I decided to title the painting "Lady with Hat". One of these days I will get the likeness down well, it is an evoluntionary process!

I liked doing that hat, though!

No paintings!

I think the reason I keep my blog more current is because I tire of seeing the same painting on top when I open my blog! Alas, no new paintings or WIPs today, but they will be coming. The current WIP is at the awkward teenage phase, and I haven't decided if I will allow it to grow up yet. Too strange-looking to share at this point! Another example of not doing dark enough contour shadows in the underpainting. We'll see if I can make up for that.

I am watching, chapter by chapter, a video on painting on Yupo paper. I am picking up lots of tips on smoothing and texturing the watercolor and will soon try another Yupo painting. Today starts the next phase of having our home interior walls painted so lots going on painting-wise other than fine art painting.

I'll check in later if there is any progress with my WIP portrait, this lady sure looks freaky right now!