Friday, September 25, 2009

What's Goin' On!

We had over a week of cloudy days and some rain, so this was the first that I've been able to photograph anything I've been working on. No great loss, I'm sure, but I like to document the changes. And have there been changes! The Lyon painting now is sporting some windows when originally I wanted to make that aspect of the buildings very understated. I'm not totally happy with them and know there's more to do to get precise on the perspective. Probably why I'm exhausted at painting studio sessions. I don't like Geometry. The S. Padre Sand Dune II is coming along. I'm being very playful with the hues of the sand and wonder if it's a little too outrageous against the more traditional colors of the foliage and sky. I'm sure it is. Enjoy anyway!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


My sister-in-law's brother is coming to Austin this weekend to visit friends, so I invited him to drop by and check out my studio gallery and, if they have room, take a painting back home to my brother. Don't know if the latter will happen, but it's okay because I often go visit in November and can take it then. I am happy that he's coming to see my cool new space, though, and am also happy that I'm finally making good on my intention to paint his two long haired Daschunds. I think they turned out okay. I made the mistake of signing the painting instead of letting it sit a day, so had to go back today and do a red-violet glaze over all the lights so that they pop instead of looking chalky. That's the mistake of using white to lighten a color instead of just making a more intense lighter shade. The background was another issue because I had used white to lighten my yellow ochre and it looked awful and pastel-y today. I spent more time than I'd planned, putting in a few greens and browns, then scraped most of it off. Went over that with a cad red light and yellow ochre, scraped most of that off and pretty soon, I had a nice texture happening because of all the scrapings, so I did a glaze of cad red light, yellow ochre and a touch of white and feel like it can stand as a background now. [Update: the next day, the background and foreground looked too similar and lacked depth, so I worked on it again!] Having seen the error of my ways, when it comes to trying to match colors exactly to photos, I decided to mix Alizarin Crimson with a touch of black and used that where the darkest darks you can see the definition in the eye area! Such a simple thing, but so effective. [NP]I am also still working on the Lyon street scene in painting studio night. It's been such a big lesson on light and reflections. And using colors that I sure wouldn't have chosen on my own for interpreting atmosphere and light. It is a lot more magical than if I'd been left to my own devices, which makes me happy and yet sad. I thought I was moving ahead, but realize that what I would have chosen to do with this subject is so much less fantastic than what my teacher has guided me with his suggestions to do. So much less.