Friday, November 14, 2014

25 Painting Challenge - Painting 7 - First Draft - November 14, 2014

"Five Trunk Tree" - Pastel - 9x12 - November 2014 - First Draft
Painting 7 of the 25 Painting Challenge - This week I selected several reference photos.   I still had a couple of reference photos on foam board but I was drawn to this one.    This is of a walkway at Gibbs Gardens beside a five trunk tree.    It is a favorite spot for people to take photos.    On this painting I decided to try a different approach at the end.   What is it they say "if you do things the way you've always done them - then you'll get what you've always got".    Well my approach by the end of the painting would usually be to see what's wrong and know I don't like things about it - and plunge head strong to finish.    This time I decided I would try a different approach.  
- take a photo of the painting
- go back to my thumbnail drawing and compare the shapes and lights and darks
- make a list of the changes that are needed to get the painting in line with my original thumbnail
- focus on the shadows and carefully add color to help with the definition
- use very light strokes
- choose where the colors are not right and slowly modify identified areas of the painting.
Will re post the final and see if the strategy helps.

Friday, November 7, 2014

25 Painting Challenge - Painting 6 - November 7, 2014

"Little Girl in the Snow" - Pastel - 9x13 - November 2014
Painting 6 of the 25 Painting Challenge - Today's painting has been sitting around for a while waiting for the finishing touches.    Special thanks to Ann Cockerill of Red Cockerill Gallery for her 1-1 class today  and helping me with some trouble spots.    I love this painting done from a reference photo last year of my granddaughter in the snow.   Her big over size red coat and furry collar takes on the feel of Little Red Riding Hood.    No big bad woods in this forest!!   Just a friendly backyard to play in the snow.     I also dropped off 3 paintings to be framed.   A new show is coming up at Dog River Library in Douglasville in February 2015.   My goal is to have 25-30 all new works.    I've already done 25 but with the challenge it will push me up to 50 and it will be fun to be able to select the best of them for the show.   
Currently I have two paintings in the NOVAS Show at the Cultural Arts Center in Douglasville - "Mill House Road" and "Hydrangea".    There are two other paintings in the show at the Douglas County Courthouse in Douglasvillle - "Starr's Mill" and "Christmas Home".    

Thursday, November 6, 2014

25 Paintings Challenge - Day 6 of Painting - November 6, 2014

"Fall Tree" - Pastel - 5x7 - November 2014
Red Top Mountain State Park

25 Paintings Challenge -  My 6th day of painting since October 25, 2014 when I began the challenge.   Today I decided to just have fun with an old reference photo I took at Red Top Mountain several years ago.   I won't to go back and do this one again to get the right shape to the tree but I stuck to my guns on my approach.    I completed my sketch with values, then I did my best to put in light strokes.   When I found myself going back and going back, I stopped and laid it to rest.   There are sections of the painting that are overworked but overall I did a better job of letting go.   Nice to have set up the reference photos and paper in advance.   That is definitely helping me be more focused.   I have to more left on foam board.   Will assign weekends as a time to pick out next 6 reference photos and set up boards.    I think I will work in all 5x7 for the remainder of the 25 challenge.   That will give me a chance to try lots of things and I can go back and choose the one that would work well as larger paintings.

25 Painting Challenge - Day 6 - Painting 4 - November 6, 2014

"Sunflower Welcome" - Pastel - 5x7 - November 2014
25 Painting Challenge - Day 6  of the challenge is really day 12.   I'm discovering some things about myself.   First I may never become a daily painter but I have to give myself permission to be OK with that.    I have painted 28 paintings this year.   I have done 4 paintings in the first 12 days of the challenge.   I started "Sunflower Welcome" thinking it would be a quick study and found myself going back to it because I was not satisfied with the results.    Several days later....I finally return and rework and still am not satisfied.   But today I walk away and will file it in the later file.
What I've learned?    
1.   Resolve to paint more -  It's OK to not become the daily painter but I do need to push myself to paint most days.   The act of putting the pastel to the paper frequently does improve your skill - even when the results are not what you would like.
2.   Walk away from the painting -  I've discovered that I'm a one sitting painter.   I rarely am happy if I leave a painting on the easel and come back to it.   It always seems to leave me disappointed or I get stuck in the "get it right" mode.    I need to accept what I've done for the day and put it aside.   There are lots of other days of the year that I can get out my discarded paintings and decide if I want to rework them.    I can be more productive if I don't spend days languishing over an unsuccessful painting.    Remember the object of painting is to enjoy the experience.
3.   Keep on - Keeping on - When life gets hectic and I don't get to the easel or if something doesn't turn out as a would like I just have to keep on keeping on.   Get up and paint the next day.
21 paintings to go!!   Can't wait to see what the next few weeks produce.