Friday, October 31, 2014

25 Painting Challenge - Day 5 - October 31, 2014

"Sunflower Welcome"  First Draft - Pastel - 5x7 - October 2014

"Sunflower Welcome" - Sketch - Pencil - October 2014

25 Painting Challenge - Day 5 - What to do when you are short on time and don't feel inspired?   Today was a hectic day.   Visit with family and grand kids.    I was short on time and not feeling particularly inspired.    What to do?    I was glad I had set up some reference photos the first of week and had varied the sizes.   I picked up the smallest one, a 5x7 and went for the sunflower.    Sunflowers are one of my favorite flowers and when I look back I have painted lots of them.    I started with a simple sketch.     I cropped the photo to get the sketch view.   I knew before I started that I was not satisfied with the composition of the sketch.   RED FLAG.   I should have stopped and relaxed and reworked it to think more specifically about what I wanted to capture.    But I proceeded and laid in some color.     After a few minutes I decided it was time to step away from the painting.   While I liked where the color was going - I was not happy with my overall composition.   Tomorrow is another day.
What did I learn?    Planning helps on days you are busy because everything is ready for you to paint.    If I'm not feeling inspired I will work on a smaller composition and choose a favorite subject.    Use the time to play around with composition and color and decide what you want in the finished painting.   
TOMORROW!! - I'll work on finishing "Sunflower Welcome" and add it to my collection of sunflower paintings.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

25 Paintings Challenge - Day 4 - October 30, 2014

"A Walk by the River" Final - Pastel - 9x12 - October 2014
Vogel State Park

Day 4  - 25 Paintings Challenge - Today I reworked "A Walk by the River".    I loved this scene at Vogel State Park.   So quiet and peaceful.   At first I ended up with a darker painting with dark tree trunks and a hard shore line, not enough sky.    Karen Margulis did a blog yesterday on creating lyrical trees.   The technique of going lighter on trunk and using the sharp edge and letting the pastel lightly touch the paper.    I reworked several things and it definitely helped this painting but I ended up with to much pastel on the painting and some of the corrections were difficult to achieve.    The good thing is I learned some more things.    Funny things that you already know but seem to forget when the pastel gets in your hand.
Lesson for the Day - Less is always more.    I put entirely to much pastel and hard strokes in a painting.   It really makes it difficult to rework sections of the painting.   I need to focus more on the right choices of color pallete before!!! I start.    I used the pastels I had handy and never got the right color for water and sky.   I did a thumbnail sketch before I did the painting.   Unfortunately when I finished the first draft and was not happy with it, I noticed that I had gotten away from the shapes and lights and darks of my thumbnail.    I need to depend on the thumbnail sketch until the bitter end - then check out the reference photo for the final icing on the painting.   I have a busy day ahead and am giving myself permission to call it a day.   So far 4 days and 3 painting.    Definitely on the right track.  I'm thinking of joining the local Camera Club.   A good chance to get in field trips for photos that I might not explore on my own.     

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

25 Paintings Challenge - Day 3 - October 29, 2014

"A Walk By the River" - Pastel - 9x12 - October 2014
Vogel State Park
25 Painting Challenge - Today getting started was easier.   My reference photos were selected for the week.   I had a paper mounted to foam board ready to go.   I did the thumb nail sketch and selected colors for under painting and the painting.   I decided to do an alcohol under painting.    The day came to an end and I had been back and forth to the painting. I was not happy with it!    I decided to take a photo of the painting which is my usual practice when I finished.   I knew I wasn't finished but in the spirit of making myself move forward I took a shot.    It actually helped me better clarify my next steps.   The shore line is to straight, the tree are to uniform, color scheme does not work.    I like the shape and feel of the piece however and will tackle the completion tomorrow.    So glad I mounted an assortment of sizes on foam board.    Since I will be finishing this one tomorrow, I will do a small study for my Day 4 painting.   

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

25 Painting Challenge - Day 2 - Prepare & Choose

"Quiet Stream" - Pastel - 9x12 - October 2014 - Vogel State Park
Day 2 of Challenge - October 28, 2014
- Prepare foam board with Uart paper.
- Choose the first 6 painting reference photos for the week
- Organize my painting space
- Paint

What I learned from this step.
- Organize supplies.   My finger had already selected a roll of Uart paper and I was eyeing some lovely pastels when I decided to look downstairs.   My problem is I've kept my supplies in my basement garage and they get lost.   As kids and grand kids leave "stuff", my garage is rearranged constantly.    I found some great mounted sanded paper that was bought who knows when that I've never tried.   I also found some pastels in their boxes.   I cancelled the order and one of my future projects will be to get some shelves so that I can organize my supplies in EYE SIGHT!!

- Create Space for Different Mediums     I love watercolor but haven't painted anything in months.    Last year I created a supply "box" for pastels, watercolor and acrylic.   Sort of a grab and run box.   I need to identify some space.    Time to plan a garage clean out!!

- Move on when you hit a Paint Freeze -  Several weeks ago I started a snow painting of my grand daughter.   I like it but hit a snag on the face.   It sat on my easel for several weeks.    What I should have done is put it aside.    Save for another day.

Monday, October 27, 2014

25 Painting Challenge - Day 1 - October 26, 2014

"25 Painting Challenge"

25 Painting Challenge Day 1 -
STEP ONE - My goal for this morning was to go through my photos and select 25 reference photos.    It took a long time but I was please with the outcome.    After I selected the photos, I printed small prints and on the back answered 3 questions.    Where? - Where was the photo taken.    What? - What will be my working title for the painting.   Why? - Why did I select this photo to paint?   What about the photo or place captured my interest.
  1. Organize - I need to organize my photos and sort so that I can find things when I need them.   Sort by place is where I think I will start.
  2. Proactive - Start a practice of placing reference photos in computer files by place each time I download from my camera or iPhone.    Print off the ones that I want to place in my "immediate" reference photo file.
  3. Reference Photo Folder - Create a folder with reference photos.   I think I'll find an small expandable folder that will allow me to sort them by some categories so I'm not just shuffling through tons of photos.
  4. Make a weekly Plan - Choose the set of reference photos for the week.  Identify Where?  What? and Why?   Set up my paper and boards for each.
  5. Practice Good Habits - After choosing the reference photos set up a good plan.   Do a thumbnail sketch - Choose my painting size - Choose under painting method and color palette - Choose painting color palette.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Expressive Painting - Karen Margulis Workshop - 10-25-14

"Mountain Meadow" - Pastel - 9x12 - October 2014 - Blue Ridge Mountains

Always love attending a Karen Margulis Pastel Workshop.   I had been wanting to paint from my reference photos taken on a trip to Blue Ridge Mountains this year and this Expressive Painting Workshop was the perfect time.    The challenge is 25 painting.   Karen has given this challenge before and I always seem to get distracted.   This time I plan on taking her advise and actually cutting and taping on form board 25 pieces of pastel paper and painting until they are filled.    My personal goal is to finish before Thanksgiving.