Saturday, December 19, 2015

Summer and Fall Production

Here's the rest of the production from the summer and fall:  two more landscapes and an attempt at an oil-painting portrait.

I can look at the first -- An Unnamed Tributary of Ben's Run -- and recall standing in the swamp with bugs and heat for a month of Saturday mornings.  I struggled with constantly changing shadows as the sun moved higher in the sky.  Eventually, I took a reference photo so I could preserve a moment in time and stop chasing shadows. 

Nature is dynamic!  When I started the painting below, everything was green.  When I ended it, all the leaves were gone.  Between start and finish, I was able to capture some color.  Sky and shadows look different every time you go out.  So, I realize that I'm capturing a composite scene.  The sky only looked this way once and when it did the rest of the scene looked different!

Finally, I wanted to try my hand at an oil-painting portrait.  I only had one (reluctant) human model.  So, I used a blurry photo from my daughter's wedding last year for most of this. I was able to plead with my model to pose for almost three hours (not all at once)!  Woo Whoo!

Here's how it turned out.  I told her that she'd love it in ten years.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Portrait and A Landscape

It's been a while since the last term finished in May, but I thought I'd post my final homework.  It's a portrait of my granddaughter done from a photo.  Marcia had it framed and it's hanging in a place of honor in our hallway -- not because it's great art, but because it's our granddaughter for crying out loud!  The medium is pastel.

Since class ended, I spent about a month being handyman around the house -- repairing, spackling and painting.   I planned to take a two-week intensive landscape painting course in June but it wasn't offered. So, I decided to use the leave I would have used to take off summer Fridays and practice landscaping painting (and, in a small way, practice retirement which may actually happen some day).

The result was that I went from painting the house to painting the house.  Well, from painting the house to a painting of the house.  In the composition was trying to capture the interesting angles and tall trees.  Here it is.   I think I'm done.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Portrait Drawing

I'm taking a break from oil-painting classes and slogging my way through a portrait drawing class.  I've learned a few things like:

  1. Portrait drawing is hard.  We're so good at facial recognition that a line or feature only has to be a little off to look a lot off.  And by little I mean a millimeter or two.
  2. It's a lot easier to draw from a photograph than it is to draw from real life.  It's hard to get someone to sit still for five to ten hours while you measure, sketch ... draw, correct; draw, correct, draw; draw, correct...forever.
Anyway, here are my latest attempts -- my last four homework assignments.  The first two are pencil and the last two are charcoal.  All are from 8" x 11" photos and the drawing sizes are 18" x 24". 


Three more classes and I'm done. And, although I'm ready for a break (it's not easy finding ten to twelve hours in a week to do this when you're working fulltime), I think I've learned a little something that will help my drawing gong forward. 

Now, if I could just take care of that having to work nuisance.