Thursday, March 22, 2012

And Now For Something Completely Different


For several months, I have been experimenting with semi-abstracts. This got started because I found an ancient (1976) sketchbook in which I drew realistic figs and morphed them into simple line dwgs. They were in B+W. So I decided to see if I could render them in color. Here are some examples. I'll post more here as I do them.

Jul 2012 - I've added a couple at the end

The first four are 8 x 10 canvas panels
The first two are in black frames, for a local show

The banjo player

Still Life

Girl in Mirror

The Farm

This ptg was done as part of Wet Canvas! Acrylic Challenge, March 2012 - 9 x 12 on canvas paper

On an earlier WC Acrylic Challenge, the pic to interpret was "triceratops". So I did. This one is 9 x 12 on canvas paper and I sent it to my grandson Wyatt

This is from a WC Weekend Drawing Event - Jul 2012 
Caribbean, called Conch Salad, the name of the food stand. [For these on this post, I have been outlining in Sharpie]

Still life with wine glass - Jul 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

Portrait sketches from the Thurs Nite Sketch Group [TNSG] and elsewhere

In our town, we have a Thursday nite workshop. It begins at 1830 h and runs until about 2000 h. We have a different amateur model, usually a townsperson, each week. The model has the same pose for the entire time. He/she sits for 20 min, then we break for 5 min. If the acrylic sketch is really bad, I take it home to paint over. If it looks really good, I offer it to the model. The ones below were "others."
I've been attending the workshop for about 4 y. The ptgs below are representative (in no chronological order) of the hundreds I've done. They are all 12 x 16 on cheap canvas panel and they were all painted in the 1-1/2 h time period.

A while back, I viewed a YouTube where an artist claimed that he could paint portraits using just three colors  - burnt sienna, burnt umber, cad red med - and white and either mars black or Payne's grey. So I've been working in this limited palette (except where the clothing needs some color). I've listed these paintings with LP
A Sep 2012 change to LP. I've replaced mars black or Payes's grey with Ultra Blue. UB + burnt umber makes a suitable dark for shadows.
BTW - TNSG is shorthand for Thursday Night Sketch Group. We meet at Dunedin FL Hale . We meet 0815-2000 with a local amateur model.
This is my wife, Jean
She posed at a CAG meeting where I demonstrated acrylic portrait painting. I couldn't finish it because of 40 min time constraint 

An aside: The differences between doing demos such as the one above, and the Thursday Nite Sketch Group
In Oct 2012, I did a demo at a local art group
The setting was not conducive for portraits
The air conditioning wasn't working very well
The model was drawn by lots
The first two models refused to pose
The third wasn't too happy to pose, either
The model and I were on a 2 ft stage
She was sitting on a 'kitchen' chair
I was standing about 10 ft from her and could not back up enough to get proper balance in my ptg
I wanted to use a red prepped canvas but decided that the BG would clash with her purple blouse, so went to a grey-green BG
This turned out to be a poor choice as well
There was no control of the lights,
 so no definitive shadows on her face
And it was hot, hot, hot and very humid
About 5 min into the pose I was sweating
I am right-eyed and left-handed
Because of the set-up and those viewing my effort, I needed to stand away from my easel - NOT MY STYLE
The model said that she would not pose for more than 30 min, meaning that I needed to work more rapidly than normal
I spent first 20 min blocking and explaining acrylic paint combinations, brushes, my approach, my palette 
About half-way through her second sitting, she got a cell phone call and held the phone to the ear that I was trying to paint
To recap...
Bad lighting
Bad set-up
Heat and humidity
Bad model
Insufficient time
ALL IN ALL, a disasterous effort

Conclusion? NO MORE DEMOS!
On Wet Canvas! website, there is a Weekend Drawing Event Thread - The sketch above is from 20 July 2012 foto 9 x 12 canvas paper, ~1 h painting time
The sketch below is from 10 Aug 2012 foto
9 x 12 canvas paper, ~2 h painting time
Back to Thurs nite sketch group [TNSG] efforts
* * *
Below painting is 27 Sep 2012
The one several pics below is earlier - same guy
He was a volunteer victim because the woman who was supposed to pose didn't!

Below, Pam LP
Tough pose -
resting chin on locked fingers,
elbows on knees
TNSG - 4 Oct 2012

Below, Pam posed again for TNSG
11 Oct 2012

Below, 18 Oct 2012
Hand may be too large but
that's what happens in
~80 min of painting with no paint-overs!

Below, 25 Oct 2012
Done on an initially white canvas,
chosen because of her peach blouse
and white-white hair

Mark below has posed for TNSG before
On 20 Sep 2012, he posed again and I painted him twice
I've been trying to push more into impressionism
Mark is a good candidate - the first ptg below
was done in one sitting, about 20 min, again LP
on a green-grey prepared BG
Because I still had time, I decided to
experiment with a second ptg on black BG
The experiment is in the YELLOW
It is Indian Yellow, a lighter version of
Naples Yellow or Yellow Ochre
It produces a strange orange when coupled
with Cad Red Med! ~20 min time
Above - Profile - 12 x 16 on canvas panel
Red prep BG - LP + Yellow
TNSG - 6 Sep 2012
Above - TNSG - 23 Aug 2012
12 x 16 on prepared background
Face in Deep Shadow
Raw Umber + Ultra Blue added to LP
Above - TNSG
12 x 16 with a prepared background - LP
[Sorry about the upper right glare!]
Another TNSG
6 Jul 2012 - LP except for her dress
[Supposed to be turquoise but wound up as a  mixture of phthalo green and "light blue," whatever that is]
Lady's head was tilted down
because she was reading
Recall I said that sometimes the sketch is really bad?
Well, above is an example - TNSG
On a scale of 1 to 10, this is -1
The model was a 15 yo granddaughter of one of the sketch artists. Young girls have very few facial features and as a result there is very little to "sculpt"
[Plus the fact that this was my first sketch in more than a month and I was rusty as all get-out!]
PS - This is now a Paint-Over
I don't know if I said it earlier but when I do a portrait sketch, I always paint the eyes last. Unfortunately, for this one I simply ran out of time - LP
This one worked for a very simple reason
The canvas board was prepped in black and the model was wearing black. I'm gonna put this one in the "I really like this one" area as well
The same dude as above, this time in a Moorish outfit
Finished it in two 20-min sittings. Not terribly fond of face-on portraits. Character is better built with 3/4 profiles. Could have used the same pose as above but thot it would be boring - Both given to the model
LP except for blue+yellow=green for his outfit
Above a local Doyenne ~ 90 yo
(I made her look 20 y younger)
Pushed her head up too high but was trying to emphasize the fringe - TNSG
Above excellent model but not a good foto
Aove is one of the largest portraits I've done - 16 x 20
It was a done as a challenge on an online website - 2008
Above and Below
A local woman - TNSG
The lady below has posed twice
Here's the latest - 9 Aug 2012 - LP
Below is the earlier one - ~2009 - LP
[Both are pretty good likenesses - Really!]
 Above and below
Missus Rossi
Now in Assisted Living
Above - TNSG
Her husband used to paint with us
He called her 'Dutchess'

Above - TNSG
Don, one of our regular painters
Posed because the scheduled model didn't show
A bear of a man - TNSG
He was scheduled to pose again but died suddenly
LP (plus grn for his shirt)

Conrad, one of our regulars
He died in 2011 We miss him!
Above - TNSG
John Rossi, one of the founders
Died in 2012
The gal below is a local opera singer
now studying in Italy
The next few are from the on-line Wet Canvas!
16 x 20 From Thurs Nite Sketch Group
with background added later

When we lived in Akron area decades ago, we rooted for the Cleveland Indians AA minor league baseball team, the Canton-Akron Indians. Jim Thome played there in 1990, along with the Alomars, Kenny Lofton, and Joey (later Albert) Belle. His major league manager moved him from third to first where he excelled as a left-handed home run hitter, at last count over 600. I painted him wearing a 1990s Cleveland Indians outfit with his then-number 25
This is ITSO the Late Leroy Neiman, 16 x 20 canvas panel
The ptgs below are from Wet Canvas Weekend Drawing Event [WDE]. They are usually on 9 x 12 canvas paper (sometimes painted on both sides)

[The one below is 12 x 16]
ITSO Caillebotte (French Impressionist)
Working in three primaries

The above is a close-up re-do of the painting below
Some pencil drawings
[I'd rather paint than draw, however, every once in a while...]
The painting below is obviously from the same photo as the sketch above
In the painting above, the lady was holding a puppy
I don't paint animals so I created a flower
Italian flower vendor
Again, the Acrylics Forum of Wet Canvas once had a challenge known as MAPS. We were to reproduce a masterwork in acrylics, then do our own version using the master's technique. This one was a copy of a famous French poster artist
9 x 12 on canvas paper 
Here's yet another challenge
To redo a famous painting in acrylics
This was to be in the Picasso Blue period. Supposedly the guitarist is either drunk or dead. Then to do a similar painting in the style of the artist (ITSO Picasso). Ergo, lady violinist below!
Another challenge was to do a self-portrait
First a copy of a Van Gogh self-portrait, then a self-portrait in that style. 12 x 16 canvas panels 
[Luv the green!]
Here's one of the earliest paintings I did when I first returned to painting after 25 y or more (dated 2002!)
It's not in acrylic but in heat-set oils, 12 x 16 on stretched canvas (really!).
BTW, I quickly gave up this medium. Het-set oils stayed forever wet until exposed to at least 250F (100+C). The bugs in the garage loved the always-wet paint, the canvases needed to be small enough to fit in our oven, my DW hated me cooking the canvas in the oven to set the paint, the stretchers cracked and warped and oozed sap, and the brushes were bitches to clean!
After a few attempts with the medium, I gave away more than $100 in Genesis paints.
Coal miners, painted from a newspaper photo