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Monday, August 21, 2017

Cat w/Black & Orange



Completed. I've had the reference photo (Kenya M / PMP) for quite some time. Not sure why it took me so long to tackle it. When I first saw it I was struck by the palette and the graphics in the background. Consequently I've held fairly true to this reference. Although I'm happy with my results, since I've started working in a more graphic style, painting more realistic is much less satisfying. I am anxious to get back to my continuous line drawings, sketches (yes, you heard it correctly, the woman who said I'll never be a sketch artist) and the sheer thrill of creating something unique. I have a  wonderful idea for a new painting but I have to get permission to use some photos first. I managed to track down the photographers and a way to contact them. I've got fingers crossed they will respond back and give me the go ahead. Wish me luck!

Almost forgot...the Cat w/Black & Orange was painted with alcohol ink and acrylic paint on paper.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Establishing Values ~ lights and darks

My drawing/study

This is a preparatory necessity when beginning any painting, IMO. I like to find my lightest lights and darkest darks right at the get go. I've found a useful tool in my photo editor that makes this job very easy. BTW, I use Irfanview but I'm pretty sure every photo editor has a similar feature. I use 'decrease color' set on '2' which automatically greyscales my reference photo and reduces it to just two values. I've saved a few screen caps so you can see what I mean.






Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Clarinet Player



Inspired by yet another photo from franklin on PMP here is the clarinet man. The reference photo attracted me for a few reasons. I was also a clarinet player all through high school, in the orchestra and the marching band. I even earned first chair one year which is an honor. Oddly when I graduated I put my clarinet away and never played it again. This painting also goes with a more recent musically themed painting I completed, The Cellist .

I took a few photos of my process as I went along.

I fashioned a 'fabric' for the vest by gluing little triangles of
magazine pages randomly about the area. Tedious to say the least but worth it.






These thumbnails were color studies todetermine my color scheme.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Girl w/the Black Hat ~ WIP




I've been fiddling away at this one for the better part of a week. I could not bring myself to 'cartoon' her up so I went more realistic. I loved her pale skin tones with her red hair and I wanted to preserve her delicate features. Realism = fiddling for me. At times I was regretting my decision but now I'm glad I stuck with it. I think the BG could be tweaked. Maybe a stencil treatment...something. I haven't decided.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Drawing People Faces




I've got two more victims on the drawing board, both inspired by more photos courtesy of frankin (PMP).  I liked the idea that their hands made it in the photo but I was concerned I might have problems rendering them. It's been a long time since I drew a pair of hands. Boy, was I wrong. Much to my surprise the hands turned out to be fairly easy. The girl's hat however became a nightmare. I don't like ellipses. Or they don't like me. Whatever.....anyhoo it's taken me two days and I'm still not entirely happy with the hat but I'm going to make do.

Above: the man drawing 1. the original drawing   2. a continuous line drawing

the girl 1. & 2. two tries. I never did conquer the hat. I finally resorted to tracing the darn thing.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Cellist ~ complete



I did manage to finished this up yesterday but it was too late to photograph it. Sadly it's so dark and gloomy here today this took on a rather greyed down appearance but I did the best I could in my photo editor.

I'm quite pleased with the way things turned out. It all came together 1-2-3. Love when that happens! I'm happy with the textures, the colors and fun mood of the piece. Her hair got the same treatment as the border. The only difference, I used oranges and reds on the tissue paper. I used all Daniel Smith colors. A tip: try laying on a wet wash of DS Perinone Orange, then dropping on a bit of DS Duochrome Hibiscus and letting them both mingle on your substrate. Gorgeous. I had toned down the border with a layer of white acrylic (see prior post) but I wanted another border treatment. I taped off where I wanted to create another border effect, then lifted some of the white acrylic with 70% alcohol. Voila!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Cellist ~ WIP 2



Another quick update. I'm hoping to finish this today. We'll see. I had no clear idea where I was going with this when I started. I'm letting this painting tell me what it needs. All I know for sure? This is fun!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Cellist ~ WIP



Quick update. This is my latest project inspired by a photo I found on PMP submitted by franklin. I'm always trying new things and this time I decide to stain tissue paper with pure watercolor and tear into pieces which I then adhered to my working paper. I chose various violets and golds, one of my favorite palettes. I think the effect is quite nice but I'll have to knock it back a bit for this application. I don't want the border to distract too much from my COI.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Self Portrait ~ complete

After tweaks


I finished this yesterday but took a day to give it a good 'look'. I didn't take any more progress shots unfortunately. Once I started painting I was in the zone and didn't stop until I'd almost completed it.

When I started painting I wasn't quite sure what direction I was going to take this. I let the painting tell me instead. Am I happy? I can't say I'm not. It's a bit more cartoon-y than I had envisioned but I see that it's the thicker black outlines that create that effect. I seem to have a tricky face to capture and harsh lines around certain facial features create a loss of likeness. Another thing I need is a better brush for fine line work with acrylics. Too much Micron pen for me. I really didn't want that look however I am very happy that it turned out as well as it did seeing how this is a portrait which I rarely paint and I'm still learning how to work with acrylics. Note to self: maybe less texture next time if I want smooth line work.

I did wind up tweaking this. The missing line work on the face just looked wrong.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Self Portrait ~ WIP







In keeping with the collage portrait theme I'm doing a self portrait. I'm trying to remember to take photos as I work. So far, so good. ;)

Monday, July 03, 2017

A Redheaded Girl




Recently I've been interested in people's faces. Painting them, that is. I did a search of PMP and found some wonderful photos of men, women and young people to use as references and this is my first go. This lovely girl was not a redhead but I felt she should be. In fact I think all women should be a redhead at least once in their lives. I was for about 10 years and I loved every minute.

My approach was to start by adhering bits of tissue paper to my substrate, in this case an 8" x 8" piece of 140# watercolor paper. I wanted to create texture. When all was dry I used a couple of my homemade stamps to stamp most of the surface. I transferred my drawing to my paper, then added pieces of magazine pages to the girl's hair. With my palette in mind I began painting with acrylic paints and this is my result. It turned out the way I had envisioned so I'm pretty satisfied. 
I think for my next project I'm going to do a self portrait. It's something I've never done.


Reference photo courtesy of Neil A. Kingsbury (PMP)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Image Transfer w/Inkjet on Print Paper



I really didn't intend to wait so long between updates. We've experiencing an ongoing heatwave that has raised Cain with my lungs, even with the AC going. Of course the humidity piled on so I've spent the past few weeks just trying to breath. It's almost impossible to focus on art under these circumstances but I did get one new collage completed. I'm calling it 'Bohemian Sunset'. I also tried something completely new.

I was browsing Youtube videos or Pinterest, not sure which and saw mention of using printer paper and a laser printer to create image transfers. ummmm....maybe I can use my ink jet printer instead. Let's see what comes of this.

 Here I've applied a layer of gel medium to a piece of 140# watercolor paper, the reason being I want the layer of gel medium to protect the surface of the wc paper while I rub away the excess printer paper. I used the image of a butterfly, cut out and coated with more gel medium, then laid face down and left to dry.



And this is my result after wetting down the printer paper and rubbing it away. The inkjet ink did transfer. I like it! It's not crisp and clear but it has a funky appeal. Kinda vintage.






I thought this turned out really cool. I printed out the same image three times, then applied them one a time, allowing each to dry completely and applying a coat of gel medium between each addition. Some areas of the images got rubbed away so I added a suggestion of the missing part with Micron pen. Very vintage.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Playing with Matches



Milestone
Gossip

Yes, I was playing with matches. I got the bright idea to burn some painted paper and it turned out pretty cool. I put together this nifty little collage with my results. FYI, if you try this I'd highly recommend you do so in a well ventilated area. I found this out the hard way.



I also got to use my bottle of Windsor Newton burnt sienna ink. Rather than the reddish brown color the name implies this ink is a brilliant shade of vermilion however when it hit a surface it lost it's vibrancy. The only thing that I found that didn't dull the color was white paper towel. Ok! I can work with that. When the paper towel was dry I glued it on to a piece of tracing paper and voila.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Harbor Town




The title of this new collage is Harbor Town. It was inspired by another artist's work actually. I came across a collage while surfing on the 'net' that was full of rectangles and triangles and lots of red, white and blue. I immediately thought of the harbor in my own home town. Charlevoix is a popular summer tourist destination and is loved by natives and tourists alike who own boats because of it's beautiful natural harbor which can be accessed via a short channel and a trip under a draw bridge.

This collage is more representational that my others although I tried to make sure there was just enough wabi sabi to keep it interesting. Yes I learned a new phrase...wabi sabi. 

Ummm...looks like I need to touch those wave crests with some white paint. They look a little yellow on screen.


Monday, May 15, 2017

One Moon / Two Flowers


I don't think this one is complete. It needs something more. I'm just not sure what yet.
A funky little piece.When I added the crystalline paper onto a black background it looked quite dramatic. Btw, the colors are off in this image. It couldn't be helped.

Yes, two new collages. One a concept piece, the other about color. The concept was hatched during a recent cold snap in the area. Someone predicted it would end when the cold Moon had passed. If you live in a northern region you know what that means. Those hard moons and clear night skies that herald a frost. The second collage was about color and letting go. Let the piece drive itself. I gathered bits and scraps of harmonious colored papers and started gluing them down with no plan of action beforehand. When completed it made me think of two flowers in a vase.

Abstract is an interesting way to approach art. On one hand it's freeing because nothing has to look like anything if you don't wish it. No details to fuss over unless you wish it. Sometimes I'm finding too much freedom can be quite scary.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

A Walk in the Woods ~ feathers & bones


This collage features my distressed leather paper.

This collage was inspired by fellow artist and blogger Cecile Gravens' configuration box . I used bits and pieces of various papers to add suggestions of feathers and little bones, pebbles...things one might find and pick up while strolling through the woods. This reminded me of a cigar box I had at one time that I kept my forest 'treasures' in for safe keeping. Funny what will catch an artist's eye. One of my artist FB friends asked the question, "what weird little things do others collect?" She admitted she had an interesting collection of her own. When I took inventory I had a dead bumble bee, a knot of cat hair and an entire bag(or two) of feathers. Ha! 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Giving it another Go



My PC and my camera are now back on speaking terms so here's the new collage in it's entirety.  This one is my favorite so far.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Still on the Spring Theme



Spring continues to be my inspiration. The temps have finally begun to climb in northern Michigan. Today and yesterday we've seen 70°F and my windows have been open to let the breeze in through the window screens. Little green sprouts are appearing from the moist earth and my weeping cherry tree is budding. We're all praying to God we don't have a freeze and ruin everything.

I'm having issues with my PC and it's not recognizing my camera at the moment so I tried to scan this latest collage. Of course it was a little too large to completely fit on the scanner bed so this is the best I could do. You should still get the general idea. I've used homemade crystalline paper, painted brown wrapping paper, purchased papers, charcoal and this strange heavy duty paper I picked up somewhere. I can't for the life of me remember where, though. It's like really heavy interfacing. I've had to dye it, that is soak it in a colored solution overnite but I love the texture it adds. I've also added gestural marks with a water soluble crayon this time. The piece just called for it.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Birthing an Abstract Collage



I'm not quite ready to deliver yet but it won't be much longer. This is basically my process...try this one, try that one...no try another NO! NOT THAT! Ah, that works better. Yes, yes...okay.

There is method to my craziness. The rules of composition still apply and thankfully can guide me until I feel more confident to try something more daring. Know the rules before you break the rules. I love a good mix of texture, form and color and one of the things I'm enjoying most working on these collages is how easy it is to experiment with color, always something I can improve upon.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Walk in the Wood ~ Springtime


homemade and purchased collage papers, charcoal, cut photographs

I just called this one done one last night and wanted to share. I can't seem to get my mind out of the woods. I can't walk in the wood IRL anymore but I can go in my mind's eye. I spent many hours growing up playing there. I especially loved it down by the creek. So many cool bugs and neat toadstools and the various types of moss that reminded me of tiny little forests of their own. One would expect fairies to come flying out at any moment.

This particular collage celebrates the time of year when the redwing black birds return. Also morel mushrooms and the wild leeks appear, always a welcome time. Just bring a good steak, some bleu cheese dressing and your fork and let the feast begin!

p.s. See if you can spot the morel mushrooms. As always they can be hard to find.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Distressed Leather Paper ~ demo

I've crumpled the wrapping paper and am preparing to apply two coats of walnut ink. I'm assuming any brown ink will work as well. Apply your ink to only one side. This is important.

Here the paper has dried after both coats of ink. IRL this side looks more flat brown than it appears in this image.

This is the flip side and the side you want to use. It looks a little batik-y.
This is the appearance after a coat of acrylic medium is applied. I've taken a crop off an earlier collage to show you the effect.
I was going to combine this demo with my last post but thought better of it. I dislike (usually) overly long blog posts and am guessing I may not be alone in this particular dislike.

Always on a quest for interesting and/or unique collage papers I'm finding brown wrapping paper excellent for various treatments. I've put together a short photo demo of my take on 'faux' distressed leather.