Sunday, February 27, 2011

Practice, practice, practice...

I set up today to work with pastels.  I've always done pretty well with this media, so I wanted to revisit it.  Originally, I wanted to work with color on a floral arrangement I have in the house.  As I went to set it up I decided to make it more of a still life with other objects, but I really couldn't find any other items that I thought would work. In my search I spotted some ramekins.  I stacked them up in a rather challenging formation and sat down to work.  I set out to make this an exercise and not any sort of final work.  I needed to work on my values and proportions. 

I used  a 9x12 Canson Pastel Mi-Teintes 98LB grey/blue paper, with white pastel and a 3-6mm Farber-Castell Natural Charcoal stick. 

The most challenging part of this set up was the tilted ramekin.  It didn't turn out quite right.  I wasn't able to achieve the depth I wanted in the bowl with the proper shadowing.  Other than that, I am quite pleased with the result. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Competition Submission Update

So I did it.  I sent in my work yesterday to the Dave Brown Project 2nd Semiannual Competition.  The 4 I ultimately chose were: Custer Valley (renamed South Dakota), Minnesota Sunset (renamed Minnesota), Baxter State Park (renamed Maine), and Lake Towada Dock (renamed Lake Towada, Japan). 

Mr. Dave Brown has already provided me with some feedback, which I greatly appreciate.  He felt that images 2 and 4 (Minnesota, and Lake Towada, Japan) were the strongest of the 4.  What that means, not exactly sure.  Does it mean they're all bad, but 2 and 4 are less so? Not sure.  Will I make the top 25 or even the winning 7? Most likely not, but I'm happy I did it win or lose.  I'm not tyring to be all self-defeating here, just realistic. 

I've put the 4 images up here again.  If one wins or is recognized and you want a print, lets talk :)
South Dakota

Lake Towada, Japan

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Color Theory

How I wish I had taken or could take a class in it!!  There's an exercise in "Acrylics for Dummies" that does a one color, two color, and three color paintings.  Essentially you do three paintings of the same scene but with one color, then it's complimentary color, and finally three colors or you can use the whole spectrum.  So I started with a single color exercise in Ultramarine Blue.  Only white, ultramarine, and black were used.  Pretty excited how it came out.  I may just use Ultramarine Blue for a number of works so I can really get a feel and understanding of this color.  

Motivation to paint tomorrow?  I put a large glob of paint on my Stay-Wet palette that I desperately need to use so I don't feel like I'm wasting it.  So will definitely have to paint tomorrow, darn it! ;)

Feels good to paint again.  As the blogs name points out, I was interrupted by life (again).  I knocked out a first draft for a manuscript submission, paid the bills, and other general household hold ups.  My husband also gave me a "bedtime".  I need to be in bed no later than 9:30pm otherwise I can't make it through the day.  Thank goodness for Tazo "Awake" tea.  Kinda sad, but when I didn't make an effort I'd be up way too late.  Since completing this one piece took 2.5hrs, I can paint catch up on a little TV then go to bed.  I want to make this a daily habit.  Just need to make the commitment and stick with it!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Submission for a Competition?

So I signed up with a website that promotes art competitions. Some are free, some are not.  This one popped up this morning and I'm giving it serious thought.  You can check out ther Prospectus here: Dave Brown Project Prospectus  There's a $40 entry fee, but that seems pretty reasonable to me.  I've never entered one of these before.  I figure I don't really have anything to lose (except $40).  If it's picked great!  If not, no biggie.  My whole career and definition as an artist isn't based solely on this entry. 

The subject matter can be anything and the media can be anything.  I was thinking one of my photographs may be the most appropriate.  These are the ones I'm considering.  Tell me which one you like and why, please :)

Custer Peak Valley

Custer Peak Valley 2

October Aspens

Minnesota Sunset

Baxter State Park

Lake Towada Dock, Japan


This is just for fun, if you don't see one you think would be appropriate for submission, please tell me!  I don't want to look like a fool, I want to feel like I at least gave it my best shot.  I'm not telling which one is my choice before I see what everyone else thinks.  Thanks everyone!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New Works!

Yeay! Finally have some pieces completed!  This first was taken from a book I mentioned earlier (100 Creative Drawing Ideas).  Take an object and focus on a single point that does not represent the object as a whole.  Since I'm surrounded by toys, I decided to use what's around.  Can you tell what it is?  I intend to transfer this into an acrylic painting on a larger canvas. 

Which brings me to my next piece. I finally did it. I bought paints (Golden brand) and some new brushes.  I watched a YouTube video of an artist.  Her segments are called Karrie on Canvas.  She's really fun to watch.  One of her videos was an abstracted flower piece.  Now, I didn't follow her 100% but I used it as a source of inspiration.  The whole point of the exercise was to loosen up and just paint. So that's what I did!

It took some additional time since I am quite rusty with my color theory.  For example, the background was a much brighter red at one point, the table was purple, and the vase was yellow.  I think the end product is more than acceptable. Especially  since it's the first acrylic painting I've done in over 10 years. 

Speaking of color theory, I REALLY need to brush up on it.  I have an exercise I found in "Acrylic Painting for Dummies".  You paint the same scene, but the first one is in one color only.  The colors are to range from pure white to black with the color gradation in between.  The second piece uses 2 complimentary colors, and third with either 3 colors for the full color wheel.  I think I'm going to paint a really large color wheel that can double not only as a reference piece but also as an art piece I can hang in my living room/dining room and it wont look out of place (our house is full of bright colors). Since I don't have a work space, I work at the dining room table so it would be nice to have it right there.  

In conclusion, Yeay! I finished two pieces!! Feel darn right proud of myself.  I hope you enjoy them too.

PS. If you haven't go to the Google Art Project yet, you must go, go now! :)

Colors 1: Prisma Colored Pencils, Strathmore 80#
Colors 2: Golden Acrylics, canvas board

Colors 1

Colors 2