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.

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