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Sneakers I: More Pouring

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Sneakers I (11 x 17) $125

Sneakers I (11 x 17) $100

This is my youngest daughter in a characteristic pose. I love the way she has clasped her hands in tight but spread her legs out with her feet pidgin toed.

I poured all of this painting except for her hands and feet and an under painting of the carpet. I painted her hands and feet first, and then masked them to protect them from the pour. I left the under-painting of the carpet pattern unmasked.

face and hand

face and hand

carpet underpainting

carpet underpainting

I masked and poured three times. When the mask came off: I adjusted the values, added shadows and shoe details; and touched up her face.

first pour

first pour

second pour

second pour

mask removed

mask off

I used Winsor red, alizarin crimson, and cadmium yellow for her face and hands. I used hansa yellow medium, burnt sienna and phthalo blue for the first pour. I substituted raw sienna for hansa yellow in the second and third pours. I direct painted with the pouring palette.

What would I do differently? Well I like this painting a lot as is. I would mask the hands and face before painting them and paint them after the pour next time. I think I would also leave the sunshine streaks across the carpet out.

I like the painting enough that I’m going to do it again without pouring.


Or purchase a reproduction of this painting at Fine Art America.com.

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The Counter-Weight Part IIA: A Pouring Demonstration

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After the last of the viable mask has been removed, I wet the paper generously to remove the last remnants of the of the mask. This is a necessary step because unless the masked area has been washed, it will take paint unevenly or not at all.

Then I laid in the sky. This time I went for blue (cerulean blue, and French Ultramarine).

With Sky

With Sky

From here on out it’s all detail. I used a mixture of French ultramarine and Windsor red for all of the brush work. I varied the temperature of the mixture to match the surrounding pour image and to cool shadowed areas. I mostly left the poured passages alone.

The Counter-Weight (11 x 14) ($100)

The Counter-Weight (11 x 14) ($75)


What would I do differently? Well, the current composition is unobjectionable but it lacks excitement. The early painting had movement and especially depth that this one lacks. I may go back to the bridge with sketchbook and camera in hand, but not today.

Here are some other examples of paintings I have made using the multiple mask and pour method:

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The First Quilt

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The First Quilt (11 x 14) $125

The First Quilt (11 x 14) $125

This is my daughter busily piecing her first quilt–so busy she let me walk around a taking photographs without bothering to complain. I liked the light coming in from window seat hidden off to our right and the look of intense concentration on her face.

I began this painting at the gallery yesterday, but I came home unhappy with where it was going. The basic shapes were right, but the fabric had stolen the center of interest.

Since the fabric moves the eye in into the picture from the left and her face hands and arms form a circular path, recomposing the picture was mostly a matter of toning down and removing everything else. I simplified the quilt fabric, which was brighter and patterned and removed an embroidered medallion from her shirt. I also removed the book shelves from behind her. I toned down the bright white of the sewing machine which had threatened to steal attention from her face and hands.

When I was finished, too much of the painting appeared to be of medium value; so I darkened up her hair to provide contrast for her face. That made all the difference.

Pigment Notes: I used cadmium yellow, alizarin crimson, and burnt sienna for her face and hands. An under-painting of phthalo blue defines the darks in her hair. I washed burn sienna over it. The table is also phthalo blue and burnt sienna. Her shirt is burn sienna and cobalt blue plus a little alizarin crimson. The lilac quilt squares are the same combination, but with more alizarin crimson. I used phthalo blue, burnt sienna and touch of cadmium yellow for the green squares. French ultramarine washes define the sewing machine. I used French ultramarine and burnt sienna for her jeans. The walls are burn sienna with a touch of phthalo blue.

This painting is currently on display at Art in the Valley, Corvallis, Oregon but may still be purchased by mail on inquiry.
Or purchase a reproduction here.

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Hat and Shoulders

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Hat and Shoulders (9 x 12) $100

Hat and Shoulders (9 x 12) $100

For this watercolor I worked from a candid snapshot of my niece taken a couple summers ago. She wore the hat everywhere we went. I don’t have many pictures of her in it though, because that was the summer she was camera shy.

I had fits getting this painting right. I tried it and failed twice on Tuesday.

Two problems. First, I love the effect of the strong light on her hat and shoulder, but the light on her face is very low contrast and the color temperature varies enormously. Getting the subtle value changes and temperature changes in her face was difficult. Second she doesn’t have much pink in her face under neutral light, but her blouse bounced purple pink light up into her face.

Both of my Tuesday paintings contained too much pink and exaggerated the temperature and value changes in an unflattering way—she looked like Rudolph of Red Nosed Reindeer. All of my favorite skin reds for light complexions reds (alizarin crimson, rose madder, and quinacirdone) stain so her red nose was there to stay.

Rudolph

Rudolph

I took Wednesday off to think and painted something else instead. I began again Wednesday after dinner, resolving to keep my palette limited and to introduce value and temperature changes slowly. I began with a unifying wash of cadmium yellow and cadmium red. Then I laid in the pinker skin with cadmium yellow and alizarin crimson wet into wet. I added the blue tones to the ailizarin mixture rather under-laying it. I used the alizarin crimson with cobalt blue for her blouse to unify the reds. The result was still a little too much, so I washed burnt sienna over her skin. That helped tone it down a little more.

I think she’s much improved although still not as pretty as the real girl.


Or Purchase a quality reproduction of this painting here.

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The Red Shirt

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The Red Shirt (12 x 16) $100

The Red Shirt (12 x 16) SOLD

I’ve read that it’s advisable to place the horizon low when painting the sea to avoid making the waves look like a wall at the top of the painting. It’s a rule I violate frequently.

When I walk along the beach I am drawn to the leading edge of the ocean. Looking out from the edge of the waves the sea does feel like a wall above me. And the breakers rise many feet above sea level. In winter they they tower over the beach.

Standing in front of all that raw power I am awed that something so elemental is also so beautiful. My eyes follow the waves. I rarely scan the horizon.

I want to catch that feeling of being small and looking up into the waves, so when I place people right on the edge of the beach I often place the horizon high, or as in this case eliminate it altogether.

Pigment Notes: The water is phthalo blue, cobalt blue, French ultramarine, all dulled by burnt sienna and raw sienna. The beach is multiple washes, some salted, of burn sienna, raw sienna, and burnt umber mixed with a a hair of cobalt blue. Winsor red and cadmium yellow for the boy’s skin. Quinacridone gold, raw sienna and burnt umber for his hair. Winsor red and raw sienna for the shirt. French ultramarine and cobalt blue for his pants.

This painting has sold, but you my purchase a reproduction of it at Fine Art America.com.
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Beginning with a Child

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Blue Eyed Duckling (8 x 10) $175

Blue Eyed Duckling (8 x 10) $100

It seems a good omen to begin my painting blog with a portrait of a child–particularly since she is a child who wants to be an artist. She is beautiful and funny looking by turns. But I have no doubt she will be beautiful in the end. Her cheek bones say it all.

I did this painting Friday at Art in Valley (Corvallis, Oregon) a cooperative gallery of which I am a member. Painting while working at the gallery is fun but tricky. The comments of patrons are fun. Making sure I can stop at any moment without wrecking the painting is difficult. So is working as neat as the gallery environment requires.

But this young girl has such a distinctive expressive face that the painting just fell together. Another good omen for a beginning blog.

I find I use more pigments for skin than I ever would have believed possible. Her skin is cadmium yellow and madder red on the sunlit side and cadmium yellow and alizarin crimson on the shadowed side. Cobalt blue helps define her eye sockets. The edges of her shadowed cheeks have a hint of yellow ocher. There are hints of burnt sienna at the hairline. Her hair is yellow ocher, burnt sienna, and more cadmium yellow.

The blues and blue grays are mixed from the skin and hair palette. Mixing the background from the main palette often leads to good lively grays that set off the subject. I think it worked this time too.

Like most of the paintings I will add to this blog, The Blue Eyed Duckling is for sale. Prices posted on this blog will be lower than those for my paintings elsewhere on the web because I do not have to pay a commission here.


or

Purchase a reproduction of this painting here.

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