Friday, February 22, 2013

The Difficulties of Painting on Wood: A Look at the 2nd WIP

The title of this blog post should actually say "The Difficulties of Being Self Taught".  This is my second large acrylic painting on a 24x48 inch piece of wood.  I am not sure what type of wood it is, but it is definitely not that wonderful birch I painting on in the last post.  Live and learn.  This wood is so much more porous and getting coverage is really really really taking a lot of paint.  I put gesso down prior, but it probably would have taken a gallon of it to cover this wood properly.

I like the overall composition and the colors, but there are so many things I don't like and I am not really sure how to fix them without just painting certain parts over.

 I am okay with the way her face turned out...the shading is difficult, but this is nothing new for me.  What is annoying is that line you see by her left eye which I believe is from the wood grain.  I didn't even notice it until I took the photo.  The only way to change this is more coverage and I think it would take a lot of paint and then I would lose what I have.  Also, I can't figure out why there is so much glare?  Is it the acrylic paints?

 This is the floor...TOO RAW...but I have no clue how to make it better or to finish it.  I thought about painting borders around the squares in kind of a Klimt-ish style...but then it would tighten the work and I am trying to loosen up.

And her hands are too small.  If I paint larger hands I think I would have to entirely change the mattress and you would not believe the amount of time it took to get it to the point it's at.  It was a white blob for a long time and now at least it sort of looks like a mattress.

I am seeing now that this is why they say an artist should draw, draw, draw.  If you do this you have a much better chance at having proportionally correct hands and mattress edges.  :)

In a nutshell I need to decide if it's finished. Should I leave it raw looking and accept that it is likely the wood that is my problem (if it is a problem) ...or does it really NEED more and I will just have to risk losing the things I DO like about it and keep on painting it.   It may be a while before I decide either way.

♥ Lisa

PS:  Look what we got here in Wichita, Kansas!  We set some records...second largest snowfall from a single storm in recorded history...over 14 inches!  I leave you with a few images of our winter wonderland.  Even though most of us are feeling ready for Spring, it is hard to deny the beauty of snow and the fun it brings, especially to an area of the world that sees so little of it.
Our cat Bean leading the way for Hurley through tire tracks. Bean is the more seasoned pet of the two.

View from my studio window

Female Cardinal

Male and female Cardinals

Hurley our Golden Retriever... and his nose

After shoveling, shoveling, shoveling...I tried my hand at sculpting. Not bad, eh?  

Monday, February 18, 2013

Candela's Light and Painting on a Large Surface

Candela's Light
24 x 48 x 1/4"  acrylic on birch panel

  Recently I have seen and loved several pieces of art by various artists that paint on found wooden objects or wood panels.   After seeing these lovely works I decided to go to the hardware store to see what kind of wood I could find there.  It was surprising to find really large wood panels for less than ten dollars.

It was not just the wood surface that provided so much joy in painting this, but the size of the wood.  How freeing it is to be able to paint with long quick strokes and dabs within the large spaces.  I may have even raised my heart rate a little while painting the archway with all the bending and swooping at the easel.  I even got to do a little bit of "yoga" on the floor as I worked on the rug at her feet. 

The second painting on a wood panel is already off to a good start.  I don't know what I am going to do with these works, but perhaps they will be for the show next year.  Problem is, I need to figure out how to frame these inexpensively or at least put hanging hardware on the backs of these.  Any ideas?

Below are some closeups of the work.  

Thanks for stopping by!

♥ Lisa

The photo above is a bit misleading in the lighting it shows.  However, I left it here because this is the look of light I was trying to achieve...a glow from the various lamps.  For some reason the photo shows it, but the painting unfortunately is not all aglow like I wanted it to be.  Painting light is above my skill level for sure.  A real challenge.  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Giving Julie's Fracturing Technique a Try

Girl in Striped Scarf
9 x 12 oil on stretched canvas
     Last week Julie Ford Oliver released her video showing the fracturing technique she uses in her oil paintings.  It's such a beautiful effect and something I've wanted to learn more about.  Of course Julie makes it look very easy, but for me it was not. And of course I expected this since Julie is a professional and extremely good at what she does.

  Here's my first attempt at using the fracturing technique...done in oil paints which is not my usual medium of choice, though they are really nice.  I ended up softening her face and not "fracturing" it.  It started out fractured which you will see below, but I messed up and just could not achieve that look again, so I left it soft.

I highly recommend this video if you want to loosen up in your art work or if you just love to learn new things.

Here are some photos to show the process of this painting and the sketch I used to go by.  It was a lot of fun and I want to give this a go with acrylics, though I think it will be a lot harder to do since they dry so fast.  Julie talks about that in her video.

first layer of color

more colors, details and "fractures"

I wish I would have left it at this stage...I like her face, but the background needed work.  I ended up changing the whole thing because I accidentally got paint on her face which of course forced me to change it.

Sketch used
Graphite and Watercolor  on ivory paper