Saturday, January 30, 2010

More School Work

Flowers and Teapot, 20 x 16

If this setup looks familiar, you probably saw it on the blog of one of my classmates in Laurel's alla prima class. In fact, Trish Siegel was nice enough to forward me her iphone reference photos, since the angle I had to work from in class didn't offer a very interesting composition. 

The class is exploring different techniques of blocking in a canvas. This one entails using a big brush to apply dark neutrals in very rough and dry form, then using a paper towel to wipe out lighter areas. Repeating these steps as necessary, you end up with a fairly accurate value study and block-in to paint into. I enjoyed this technique because it seems to help me to both loosen up and to work more quickly and spontaneously.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

School Work

Still Life for Class, 16 x 16

Here is a still life begun last Wednesday in Laurel's alla prima still life class. We started out blocking in values, using a dark neutral in various densities of paint, coverage, etc. Being a bit rusty, all my blocked in values seemed to come out the same — black.  Since we were to complete the piece for the next class and I couldn't reconstruct the still life at home, I continued on to full color, even though the correct value relationships hadn't yet been established. I struggled quite a bit with the values throughout the execution of this piece. Looking at this piece now, I think it is apparent that I never completely solved these issues, especially in the pitcher.

In any case, this turned out to be a valuable lesson, despite the less than optimal start, and maybe more so because of it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bull Creek Running

Bull Creek Running, 6 x 6

Thursday was the first paintout of the year for Plein Air Austin. It was a perfect day to be outdoors, and we found some pretty scenes along Bull Creek, a couple hundred yards upstream from the Bull Creek Dog Park. We've had some good rains in the last two months, so the creeks are all running and the reservoirs are catching back up to normal levels. For the time being, anyway. Enjoy it while it's here, I always say.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Can with Brushes

Can with Brushes, 6 x 6

The weather's been cold in Austin lately, so I haven't painted outdoors in what seems like forever. Today is turning out beautiful, though, so this post may be the first and last still life for awhile.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sunshine II

Sunshine II, 24 x 24

If this horse looks familiar, you probably saw "Sunshine," which I'm reposting below, and which was first posted back in August. Both of these were done with pallet knives, from photos I had taken a few years ago. Since the first one had been my only pallet knife painting to date, I decided to do a companion piece.

Now that these are finished, I'll be sticking with brushes for awhile. They were fun, but I'd like to take a class on the genre before doing more.

Shunshine, 24 x 24