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cello

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Singing the Cello

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Singing the Cello, a Painting of a Young Woman Playing the Cello by Jenny Armitage

Singing the Cello (10 x 13 watercolor) Available

The saxophone and the cello are, for me, the two instruments that don’t just play, they sing with all the tonal freedom and nuance of the human voice.  I try to capture that freedom and nuance in this painting through color and abstraction.

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Cello Practice IV

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Cello Practice IV (11 x 14) $160

Cello Practice IV (11 x 14) $160

I like this second attempt at my niece much better. As usual it’s the painting that happened the fastest that I like the best. I simplified her face and exaggerated the light which improved the picture. I also broke the background up to create interest and center more attention on her face.

Once again I did all of my mixing on the paper. I expanded my palette to include four blues: cerulean, cobalt, phthalo, and Prussian. Prussian and phthalo blue are quite similar in color but Prussian blue lifts easier and isn’t such a tiger in mixes. In addition I used yellow ochre and burnt sienna.

Available on-line through my Etsy shop. Or purchase a print from Fine Art America.com.

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Cello Practice III

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Cello Practice III (11 x 13) $100

Cello Practice III (11 x 13) $100

This is my niece playing cello. I took the photo a couple of summers ago at my brother’s house. I just love her long limbs and fingers. Playing the cello shows off those elegant fingers like nothing else. I’ve heard her complain that she hates to see how she was holding her hands on the cello even a few months ago because her positioning is improving. I can’t tell good positioning from bad, but I like the way her hands look. I hope she’ll forgive me for immortalizing her two year old cello technique.

I had intended this painting to be looser, more painterly, and less illustrative than it turned out. That seems to be a painting at the gallery problem. Given an audience I tend to tighten up and draw with the brush. The First Quilt is another tight painting resulting from painting at the gallery. I need to pick my gallery subjects carefully.

But, it’s not a bad little painting. It’s just not what I intended. I do like the way her face and limbs pop out against dark background. I will probably try a much freer version this afternoon.

I used cadmium yellow and quinacridone deep red rose as a foundation for her skin. Other than that I stuck to a three paint palette of burnt sienna, phthalo blue and cobalt blue. I didn’t include a yellow at all. I like the color scheme and will probably keep it in the next version.

I created her appearing and disappearing necklace by first masking it and then removing the mask when the shirt was about half finished. I like the effect.


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