Portrait Study IV

Working on a iteration IV of my Portrait Study (I, II, III). 12″ x 16″ acrylic on canvas board. This time I am using a dark, cool, geometric background and warm darks for the figure. My plan is to add black lines separating the background tiles and then soften all of the edges so that they look like an out-of-focus stained glass window. I chose darker tiles behind the face to accentuate the rim-lighting and lighter teal tiles in the back to silhouette the hair.

Still very much a work in progress. I have to finish all of the tiles before I start on the hair and the rim lighting because these go on top of the tiles. I’ll probably add one more base coat to the figure before dry brushing in the form with a very dark tint of Burnt Sienna.

Montana Color Study Update

Made some more progress on my 12″ x 16″ acrylic color study for the Montana landscape. My plan is to do another pass or two over the trees and the grasses in the middle distance and then I will start on some tall green grass and a fence line in the foreground.

At this point, I have only suggested the Black Angus cows by painting the grass around them – they are basically negative space cows. It is amazing how compelling they are as just a suggestion. It will be interesting to see if I like them better or worse once they have been painted.

Overall the study is coming along well and I’m feeling optimistic about embarking on a larger, more finished piece.

Another Red Onion

I started another red and green onion painting – same setup, different view point. This design is much more interesting than the previous one and I find I’m getting faster and faster and better at soft edges. After I did the initial block in, Gary gave me a color lesson by way of a demo – he painted the red onion. Now I plan to finish the rest of the painting and then start another and see if I can apply some of what he taught me in the demo.

Red and green onions are turning out to be really good models. They don’t complain and the don’t spoil before I finish painting. These onions are almost a month old and still looking great.

Drawing with water-miscible Burnt Sienna. I’m getting faster and faster with the drawing and initial block in. Probably spent about 15 minutes on the drawing.

I painted the background and then Gary painted the onion as a demo. It was a real lesson in chromaticity and the properties of Indian Red. The onion has a bit of almost every color on my palette.

Another year another still life

As the glorious summer fades and the nights grow cooler, it is time to head back to school. I’ve moved back in to my studio at Gage and joined three returning classmates and met four new ones. After a bunch of organizing and unpacking, I started on my first still life for the atelier.

I thought I’d start the year with green and purple chiaroscuro. I set up the scene about three weeks ago, but didn’t get around to painting it until this week. Was happily surprised that nothing spoiled and that the green onion began to take on interesting shapes as its shoots dried.

Here’s the combined sketch/underpainting. I’m getting much faster now. I drew the shapes with a paintbrush and then blocked in the values all in about 30 minutes.

After two brief sessions, the painting is coming along well. I still need to do a bunch of work adding volume, texture and detail to the green onion.

Here’s Gary’s 15 minute interpretation of the same scene. I like how he used more colors and brighter colors and how he brought the image up out of a rough masses.