Our son was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society last night at his middle school. As part of the ceremony they were given roses. This is his. I painted it as fast as I could and limited my palette aiming to simplify.
acrylic on paper, 12×9″
I hadn’t painted outside in a while and I hadn’t used acrylics in a while. It was a slow adjustment this morning returning to both.
Typically I edit a scene down to what specifically interests me about it. Today I started taking baby-steps towards including more. I added cars, which I always omit. I also removed some trees, telephone poles and of course the wires. Lately I’m feeling an interest in including more information like the cars. I don’t know if that stems from the slower observation of my recent figure work or not, and I don’t know if it will be an improvement in my paintings. I do like the addition of the cars, but the top of the painting where the trees and wires were seems empty to me. If I can get out to paint this week maybe I’ll focus less on the buildings and more on the visual detritus that I usually ignore.
And while the kids played outside… I played outside. Ouch! Horrible drawing on that car.
Another figure in oils. I spent more time on this one. That was probably a mistake. I’m stopping because I think I could go on and on refining it and that wasn’t the purpose of these. Even the face has too much information. Back to acrylics or watercolors tomorrow.
Another day of figure sketches in oils. I feel like I’m struggling too much with the oil paint and it’s preventing me from focusing more on color and drawing. Tomorrow I may try one longer painting instead of three quick ones. Each of these is under an hour. I think I scraped off more paint than I left on.
I really didn’t want these exercises to become a process of retraining myself with oil paint. I just thought they’d be throw away sketches and rather than wasting my beloved acrylics I’d use up my old oils. One more day. After that I may switch back to acrylics or watercolors.
94 to go.
I realized I probably painted 100 plein air landscapes before I was comfortable with it and could do it reasonably well so I thought I’d charge into a lot of figures. I’m pretty terrible at it but I was terrible at plein air landscapes when I started those too. Here are three I did today. They are in oil paint and I haven’t used oils in a very long time. I have a lot of oil paint though and figured I’d use it up for these exercises. These are no more than 45 minutes each. 9×12’s
Only 97 more to go!
Here’s one of my kids. I started this from life on one of their snow days while they were watching TV but had to finish it from a photo.
I was up at 4 today and looked out the window. I made some mental notes on value and color so I could go back to bed. I painted this from memory and a little bit of looking at the scene during the day. It’s not a very good photo of the painting but…
Set up and looking out the window at the scene during the day.
And last night I made it to the Brandywine River Museum for a talk by Jamie Wyeth about his work. Fun.
The kids had a snow day today. Got to paint a little though.
I dared to try painting the figure in watercolor today. I took my acrylics just in case but left them in the van. I enjoyed the change from a forgiving, changeable medium like acrylics to the challenging unforgivingness of watercolors. I may try it again…. I dunno…. It’s hard for me to see (and show!) results as rough as these. I know what I get out of something like this but I don’t know that other people can see the value in it.
A quick one to loosen up a little. Student grade paper always performs poorly for me but probably the most interesting of the three today. I should’ve just done a bunch of quick ones.
This one is on QoR watercolor grounds that I tinted with acrylic paint. You can see the edge on the right where the paper is white and the toned ground was added. I needed opaque white to pull out the lighter areas. That was kind of a fun approach but much stiffer and controlled than I like with watercolors.
A bigger effort. Perhaps over worked. But I’m happy enough with it being my first try at using watercolors with a live model. I’m still clinging to reality a bit too much I think.
And this was a quick watercolor sketch I tried to try and muster some courage to take watercolors to our figure painting group.
I raced this morning to get all of my domestic responsibilities taken care of so I could go out and paint some more ice before it’s gone. I don’t usually get to paint plein airs mid-day. Today I got to paint two. I have a lot of studio work to catch up on but I couldn’t resist. It was warm today and the ice was melting as I painted it.