Wednesday, 25 June 2008

New Internet Group

I joined a new Internet Group-ArtBookWorkshop. It is a “forum to create paintings and works of art from selected art instruction books”. I really like this idea and in fact am a member of other Internet Groups also working though books. I have found that doing this way I actually do the exercises instead of just looking at the pictures.

I have volunteered to lead one of the
ArtBookWorkshop starting in August. The book I selected for review is called Daring Color Mix and Mingle Watercolor on Your Paper written by Anne Abgott. I’m a little nervous about this, but I have a month and a bit to get organized and plan out the exercises.

Daring Color Mix and Mingle Watercolor on Your Paper

Anne Abgott
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: North Light Books (July 18, 2007)
ISBN-10: 158180850X
ISBN-13: 978-1581808506
CDN $37.99 (US $29.99)

If you wish to borrow the book from your local library the Dewey Decimal code is 751.422 ABG.

The techniques provided in this book allow for intense colours without the need for glazing. I’m looking forward to going through this book and hope you can join me.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Work in Progress – Celtic Fire Part 3

So this is where I’m at today. I worked on the background only. I plan to work from right to left so my next round of painting will be with the silver of the jewel and then the jewel itself. I will then move on to the other half of the painting.

The colours used are Cadmium Yellow Medium, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue and Titanium White.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Self Critique

Sometimes I find it hard to judge my own paintings. It’s hard to look at a painting with a fresh eye, especially after hours of working on it. There are some things that I use to trick myself.
The easiest trick is to change the orientation of the painting by rotating it. Usually I rotate the painting so that the top is at the bottom. This helps me see shapes both positive and negative.

- Are the shapes the right size and in proportion?
- Are the shapes in an interesting arrangement?
- Have I repeated the shapes elsewhere in the painting?
- Are the negative shapes between the objects interesting?
I also squint at a painting; or take my glasses off. This helps me evaluate the values I have used.
- Are the values correct?
- Are the lightest lights and darkest darks near the focal point?
- Do the light/dark areas create an interesting pattern?
Looking at a painting through a mirror is also a good technique for tricking the eye.
- Is there depth in the painting?
- Is the painting predominantly warm or cool?
- Are the colours appropriate?
- Have I repeated the colours elsewhere in the painting?
- Do the colours and values lead the eye to the focal point?
- Is the focal point where I want it?
- Is there more detail near the focal point?
I don’t do all of these tricks for every painting and I don’t ask all the questions-at least not coconsciously. When I do notice that something is off, I make adjustments as I work. Often, when I finish a painting I sit it where I can see it daily. If I don’t notice anything that bugs me about it, I sign it and call it done.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Work in Progress – Celtic Fire Part 2

It’s been a little hectic for the past few days; so I haven’t got much done on the painting. I did get a chance to sketch it onto the canvas and lay down the underpainting. The colours I used for the underpainting are Cadmium Yellow Medium and Payne’s Gray.

I don’t really like using Payne’s Gray—I find it rather lifeless in colour, but since I have a tube anyway, I used it for underpainting.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Work in Progress – Celtic Fire Part 1

Here are a couple of thumbnail sketches I did for my next painting. Thumbnails give me a chance to work out the composition of the painting and determine where my focal point will be.

I’m going with the bottom sketch.

This painting will be done in oil and on a canvas 24 x 30. This is bigger than I normally work. I will be attempting to paint the jewel so that it will glow. To get this effect I will use the colour theory “law of field size”. This theory uses a large dark field/background with a smaller foreground of pure colour. For my painting, the smaller foreground is the actual jewel in the top brooch. The rest of the painting will be in various shades/values of grey.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Watercolour Technique


This is a little painting that I did just for fun. I used 140lbs hot press
paper a
nd wet the entire surface. I then splattered on some colours. When that was dry I applied some liquid mask. After the mask dried, I splattered on some more paint. I let that layer dry and then did some more splattering. I used a spray bottle to soften the…um…splats…so they wouldn’t have a hard edge.
I continued on in this manner letting each layer of mask and each layer of paint dry.



This is an extremely messy process and including the drying time was a long process. I did use the hair dryer on occasion but mostly let the layers dry on their own.On the last layer of mask, I removed some and then added more making sure to cross over some of the areas I just removed. After the last layer of splattering was dry, I lightly brushed on some green to get rid of the white. Once that layer was dry, I removed all the masking.