Thursday, December 04, 2008

Mantlepiece Portraits, Part One

Yup, I'm actually updating. School is starting to calm down, so I decided to paint tonight. The obvious choice, of course, is working on the portraits I'm doing of my roommate and I looking all regal and dignified for above our mantlepiece (that we don't have one is a minor technicality). They'll end up above our dining room table (folding card table) once they're done.

Started with a rough tonal sketch and after painting the dark purpley colour onto the canvas, sketched it out in paint.

My workspace for this part of the project, in case you're curious
Blocked in the lights and shadows
And the progress I made tonight.
Hopefully I will have more time to work on these and will be able to update again much sooner!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Quick update

Hello! No, I haven't been ignoring this. I've been without a computer for a month.
So, an update on a painting. I'll get to more and some new stuff later.
I had another week of class left and did a bunch more work on this. The obvious change is the darkened background, and a few other things as well. I'm working more on it, but have been too busy to get any of it done. I'm planning on adding more depth to the background, mostly.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Quick oil sketch

This is a quick oil sketch I did yesterday. I'd never done any kind of landscape stuff before, so I really wanted to give it a try. Needs work for sure, but am happy with it for a first attempt. Think I might do a few touch ups and glaze a few areas for some effect.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

a new start

Well, I've been ignoring this thing for ages, and it's about time I got around to it.
I've begun oil painting, and I decided it would be fun to post my process and paintings here, so hopefully I will do that with some regularity.
This post, to start with, will catch up on the painting I've been doing so far, though I've done a few small pieces that I'm not gonna post now. Perhaps later.

This is the first week of my first oil painting. I'd never worked with a palette knife before and had a great time painting the pot with that method. The pot itself was beautiful, and I don't think I ever captured it's smooth, Greek-like lines. It was a lot of fun, though.

This was the next week's progress. I was really focused on the drapery, for some reason. It had just fallen so nicely that week that I wanted to catch it. I like the painting at this state- it all seems to be leading to the pot, which I intended. The fold of the cloth above the pot was very dramatic, and I was fairly happy with how I caught it, though I still think it could have been more dramatic.

This is the finished piece. I was surprised at how much more lively the whole thing became when I threw in the bright colours- it made the previous stages look dull in comparison.
I'm fairly happy with it, but as always I would change things if I had more time. I'd love a chance to work at those green onions more, but I only had so much time. I was quite happy with the shallots, though. They were the last thing I painted, and I had such a fun time with them. I somehow managed to describe them quickly and I feel like I caught the warm, soft colours of them well.

This was a fairly quick self-portrait. I like it, and yet I really don't. The lips in particular- they're too small and at an odd angle, and the hair is too big. I also, yet again, could use more dramatic lighting, though this time that was somewhat due to the light I was painting in. I always seem to want to describe things just as they are- pushing it is hard for me, and I have to work at it. I suppose the likeness is fairly accurate, but it's hard to paint, or judge properly, yourself. It was fun to paint, though. I did it one morning before work and boy, was I tired that day. Painting is great fun and I love it dearly, but it can certainly be draining work. I put a lot into it when I paint.

This was a sketch, so no progress pictures. Had a lot of fun with it and am fairly satisfied. It's painted on salmon board, which I loved. I like the expression on it, though I didn't capture the model terribly well. I made him look more intellectual, or more handsome, than he really was. But in a way, even though it's a failing of it, I also kinda like that. I like that my mistakes err on the side of beauty- it seems much nicer.

This is a portrait after two weeks of class work on it. Don't have the first week's progress, unfortunately. It was a very different painting then- she had her eyes closed at that point. I look forward to glazing it. It was very strange, working in greeny tones, not worrying about colour. I discovered some of the ways that I used colour as a crutch, and I think on the whole that it was very good for me to do. Looking at this, I must change the background. Don't much like it at this stage.

This is today's painting. I was very excited to start on this- I love painting the figure but have never before had a chance to work with more than a 5 or 10 minute pose.
For a beginning, I'm fairly pleased with it. It's strange to write about something that I so recently worked on, after reflecting so much on the others. Next week's class will be filling in detail- especially on the legs, feet and face. I also was to work the background a bit more- paint the ground in the red tone I suggested in the one section. I'd also like to work on the hands some, especially the one draped over her chest.
I like this, so far, though. Am pleased with the overall rhythm and flow of the picture, and how her expression seems to fit it. Tim, my teacher, said that he thought it looked like she was dreaming, and I think that the picture as a whole suggests it. I like that.

Here's hoping that I keep this updated. Check back next week and I will hopefully remember to post progress pictures and maybe I'll get a chance to paint some for fun this week. I'd love to get out and paint the beautiful wildflowers that are all around my neighborhood right now- but I also have an important date with a stack of books from the library.