Monday, September 27, 2010

Canyon de Chelly

I forgot to stop and take WIP photos of this as I was working on it but here it is in the almost done stage. I will let it dry well before softening some of the edges, lifting a few more highlights and a few more calligraphic lines. Not too much more to be done on this one. What to paint next, I wonder?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Canyon de Chelly WIP 1

This is my underpainting, using acrylic ink to establish my shadows, for my SWAP partner for the upcoming painting swap. I am not revealing for whom this is being painted, I just hope that he/she will like paintings of the Southwest!

We'll see how this grisaille approach works on this one. Life is more fun when you take a few chances? Like I said, we'll see.

Reference photo provided by a Grand Canyon Tour Guide, Marvelous Marvin.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Charcoal Portrait!

Last night was the first Arizona Artists Guild meeting of the "season". As usual, I drove a van load of artists to the event and it was a fun ride. The program demo was by Bill Lundquist, who is a wonderful artist in all media and especially I love his watercolors (big surprise!). We were there early and he was looking for a live model for the demo. I was asked by a program committee member if I would like to sit for the demo. When told I could keep the portrait I said yes. What an honor! All I needed to do was to sit and hold a pose for 2 20-minute sessions during the demo. That turned out to be more uncomfortable than I thought but I am so glad I did this, I love the portrait. He said to choose a facial expression I could keep constant so I chose not to smile. I agree that my countenance does look a bit severe here, but I do think he captured my likeness well in the short time he worked on this.

Bill used a variety of charcoal....powdered, pencil and vine charcoals. In the beginning he wet a large brush, scooped up some powdered charcoal with it and blocked in areas of dark. He then used a hair dryer and used vine charcoal to establish the eyes. I couldn't see any of this process so my friend, Ann, used my camera to do step-by-step photos.

This is after the first 20-minute session, during which I had five minutes to stretch my legs, etc. Interesting!

This is the final portrait after about 45 minutes of work. I love it, even though I do look a bit dour here. But, it was an experience to have my portrait done by such a great artist as Bill.

Now I have to learn how to spray this and with what to preserve it so I can frame it. Cool!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I finished (maybe???) this painting of Monument Valley this afternoon while with my art group. We were discussing the naming of paintings and we all felt bereft in this department. I thought, first, of Monument Valley 5since I have painted that many painting of this scene, or something else? I said that since this is of the "Mittens" area maybe it should be Monumental Mittens? Well, this was not accepted so I decided on just Mittens. I am trying to stay mostly loose and impressionistic and think I have done that, but am not sure I am finished. Any thoughts out there?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Monument Valley WIP 2

I spent just a little while laying in some colors to this, couldn't wait to do that! I still have lots of edges to blur and clean up in the background and middle ground, but I'm satisfied so far. I am mainly using quinacridone colors since I love their vibrancy and transparency. As the paint dries on that far left butte I can start to see some of the earlier acrylic shadows emerge through the colors.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Monument Valley WIP

I have been toying with the idea of using some of the acrylic inks to set the values and shadows in a painting before I glaze on color and, after seeing Vicki Green's lovely waterfall painting started in that way, I was convinced I needed to try that.

I used my shadow color ink to do the darkest darks and mid tones and will start adding color next.

PS...I neglected to say that when I arrived at the SCG art studio to start this painting yesterday I realized I had left my reference photo at home. No problem, I thought, as I have looked at so many photos I have taken of Monument Valley that I should be able to start this without the reference photo! Well, after unearthing the photo this morning, I see a few places that will need better modeling shadows so will work on that with the purple ink first and then post again with the second WIP.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Cool Study

By the title of this post I mean cool temperature colors, not cool as in I think it is a cool painting! It is a quick study for the Watercolor Workshop project this month to paint with cool colors. I did it as a quick study while painting with the watercolor group at the art club this past Thursday. I chose clayboard for the ground and seemed to have forgotten that the colors have to be a bit creamier for this ground as it soaks up the pigment more than watercolor paper. All-in-all, not one of my best but it served my purpose well, I did something for the project this month as well as got to paint with my buddies.

I also started an Alaska painting and will keep working on that to see if I can remember how to paint's been too long!