This is a photo of the underpainting. Done in Burnt Sienna, this is how I place my image on the panel, develop the pattern of values and make sure I like the composition.
Here I have begun to weave the background of leaves that the branch I am focusing on is nestled into.
Here I have spent several sessions on the acorns and leaves in the foreground. Several more are required to finish the detail of the subject, and to balance it with the background.
The finished painting is found at the top of the post.
Once the Burnt Sienna has dried I begin laying in the color, keeping true to the values I had established in the original drawing.
Painting the reflective surface of not only the Mixmaster but the corrugated metal behind it was a fun challenge.
The completed painting is at the top of the post.
|This 12x16 oil on panel is Echeveria 2.|
|Tonal under painting for #2|
|#2's bold teen years|
|Tonal underpainting for #3|
|#3's quiet phase|
OK, perhaps I'm spending a little too much time alone.
|This is part way through my first day of working with color. The first step is to get the average of each color, abiding by the light and dark pattern I established in my tonal sketch.|
|Here I have completed getting the basic colors down and I begin refining. I look at how the light hits each object and develop it's light and shadow, and the overall relationships of color and value.|
I found these well worn, stacked galvanized buckets on the floor of a big barn. The doors were thrown open and the late afternoon light bounced off the concrete floor and illuminated these old work horses as if they were devotional objects. The notion of all the loads they'd carried, the powerful hands that had clutched their handles and the velvety soft muzzles that had carefully found every oat within them made me smile. I think I might have heard the angels sing.
Here are the first two steps I took in making the painting. I covered the panel with a layer of Burnt Sienna and then did a line drawing with my brush to place the objects. I then wiped the paint off the panel where I wanted to place light tones, and brushed in more Burnt Sienna in the areas I wanted dark. This helps me to place the objects and make sure it is a composition that I think is interesting.
After this initial decision making I got so caught up in the painting that I NEVER ONCE remembered to pick up the camera in the many days that followed. Suffice it to say that it was an epic battle between light and dark, warm and cool, hard edges and soft and painting time and sleeping time. I can only hope that all the right forces won out.
I am getting back to my art life after taking some time to focus on family matters, and boy does it feel good!
Here is a 12x16 in my Vintage Visions series. I stumbled on this box of beautiful old seltzer bottles in a big old barn of a building. They caught the light pouring through the door and glowed like jewels. Their beautiful green glass varied slightly from bottle to bottle as did the mechanisms at their top. Minor differences pointing to the fact that they were manufactured in a less industrial era. I envisioned local workshops essentially hand making small batch products. I smiled when I thought of what the workshops must have looked and felt like. Being a maker, I am always drawn to environments where something is being produced. My smile broadened when I thought of the elegant settings the bottles spent most of their career, sitting on polished bars putting the sparkel into countless festive evenings.
How could you not love these gems?
And now for something quite different… a painting from my series "Vintage Visions" which celebrates the artifacts that remind me of the huge cultural and industrial changes we've experienced within my lifetime.
I found this bucket of old wooden spools on the concrete floor of an antique store. Sunlight poured over the worn wooden forms from an open barn door... remember those? Although these were "standardized" parts, they had been made individually, and were subtly different from one another in size, patina and painted details. I loved the sculptural quality of the composition, the vision of the past it offered, and the echoes I heard of all the hands involved in crafting layers and layers of the necessary parts needed to produce the items we now take for granted.
Like tiny bubbles, this is a painting of some delightfully delicate pink berries I found lighting up
a bush in the Living Desert. The tiny berries were translucent, appearing to be lit from within
and glowed against the bright blue desert sky.
The 12x16 panel's first step - a fairly detailed underpainting in Burnt Sienna
In the next session on this painting I first laid in the sky and then began bringing the berries to life.
The next step was to develop the branches and blossoms while continuing to round berries
And finally bringing up the lights and pushing the darks, finding cast shadows and highlights
helped to capture the glow of these sweet little globes of light.