Today was another day when I kept to the 30 day painting challenge, but not to my theme of painting without a source. I chose this photo from several years ago where I'd set up this geranium on an outdoor table. It was backlit with strong morning light so I really had to read into the dark shadows to lighten them and intensify the color for this bright effect.
I changed it up again today with the medium of watercolor. So fun to play off the whites of the paper and let some of those colors just run one into another. I also used a white gouache in some areas to control values.
I painted larger today and had a lot of fun with this one. The block-in was done yesterday afternoon. It is similar to a 36" x 48" painting I did a couple years ago, though in a different color scheme. So while it is scaled down from that one, it feels huge next to the one's I've painted recently! It was good to streeeetch out!
Celeste Bergin (fabulous and creative artist) asked in a comment whether I had painted my last post "Idaho Barn" outta' my head in compliance with my theme for the challenge. The answer is yes! But, I did take a long, hard look at the reference photo before I turned off my monitor and made a real effort to concentrate on the abstract shapes. However, today's post is one where I broke away from my theme and I did indeed, set up a little still life to paint from. This is a pitcher that was my mom's with a pear and a jadite plate. I just HAD to break away from the theme and now know, that if I do the challenge in the future....., I will not choose to work with a theme as it can be too frustrating on some days.
I checked out one of my photos from long ago to come up with this painting idea. After I'd turned off the computer and visualized the scene, I realized that what stuck in my head were the abstract shapes of the picture. The barn roof nearly blended into the sky and the other shapes were just that.....shapes without enough detail to be able to say quite what they were without the context of a landscape. it all provided another challenge and another day in the 30/30!
This challenge is making me feel like surely it's spring by now?? Oh, I guess it hasn't been that much time yet! Today, I really went for the color and had in mind some pictures I took in Wenatchee, Wash. a few years back.
Thanks to those who commented that they thought yesterday's post of this rooster looked finished. It reminded me that I was close, so not to over do it. So, today I spent about 30 minutes adjusting the color and warm cool balances and a few edges. That was it!
Regarding the 30 in 30 challenge, I have to say that today was both a success and a failure. While I got a good start on this painting......... I didn't finish! For myself in looking through other artist's work, I enjoy seeing painting stages so I decided to post this. We will see what tomorrow brings in the last stages of this one and hope I can pull off a successful finish.
I don't have a color on my palette called 'Romance Red', but I could have used it today for this idea. After doing a little shopping today, I was struck with the amount of Valentine's Day items out right now and red roses were in my head as I began to paint. This is more of a graphic style than the blended soft edges of the white roses a few days ago. But, it worked for the strength of the red against dark green for me.
Today I used an unusual palette again, but one that is a bit more broad than yesterday's. I blocked in the basic diamond shape that I had in my head for a bunch of grapes. That was done primarily in Ultramarine Blue Deep. I also used a few dashes of Terra Rosa and Indian Yellow. Those three colors with white, were my palette and I liked the way they worked together as I built up the middle and lighter values.The blue and terra rosa mixed a dark that was nearly black and it worked great for the drama of the shadows underneath.
Today I reviewed yesterday's post "Burst of Gold" and improved some of the edges, details and color on it. So, it is more to my liking now. In addition I painted this barn and a few chickens. I very rarely paint barns and I think it shows! I believe it would be more to my liking in a totally different color scheme. Rather than starting with the predictable umber, A coral underwash for example, would have helped me jump off into a fresh look I think. Ah well,,,, tomorrow is another day and painting!
This one is similar in approach to Red Birthday Bouquet . While I only had time for a smaller painting today, I actually wish I'd painted larger to get a few more subtle values and shapes in. Maybe tomorrow...... Mondays sometimes just dictate the way things are going to go!
Today I imagined one of those shady arches you find in the summer decked out with white roses. I used a limited palette of yellow ochre, transparent oxide brown, viridian and white. I don't know what made me think I could paint roses without a photo sources, but I tried to keep solving just one problem at a time and enjoyed the result!
For Day 11, I have an imaginary sky in a nearly monochromatic violet scheme. I added the blues in order to jazz it up a bit and add a little contrast. It was fun for the loose brushwork and also for just playing with the abstract shapes,
Happy Friday! We have fog and gray skies here and again my head is trying to counteract the gray with color! I love Hollyhocks for their color but also because they remind me of finding them when I was a child in the dusty alleyway behind our house. It seemed magical that these showy flowers would appear on their own, to give us the makings for little home made dolls and doll dresses.. Fun!
I was thinking about the warmth of Scottsdale in November again today, and these oranges came to mind. They were hiding in one of the trees at the place I stayed and I just loved seeing the surprising orange fruits behind bright green branches. I started with the darks of the background and then sketched in the basic shapes I wanted in paint. Then, I went for it with the stronger color and highlighted areas. And......it worked!
You will notice by the post title that I am not sure what day it is -haha! Well, I have done six paintings in the Challenge but I think everyone else is on Day 8. No matter, I will try to number the days consistent with the official Challenge from here out. This is my remembrance of visiting my sister in San Diego last summer. I kept looking up toward the hillsides that had late day sun creating silhouettes of the trees and everything in a warm glow.
Barrel Cactus with Yellow Flowers oil on panel 7" x 9"
Back to oil paint today for this one of a small barrel cactus. When I was in Scottsdale for a workshop in November, I took a few pictures of this small cactus that had tangled little yellow flowers around it. It has been in my mind, so today,as per my rules for the 30 in 30 Challenge, I took a look at the photo for several minutes and tried to hold the basics in mind. Then, off went the computer and I began to paint. I tried to visualize the finished painting and think about all the curved shapes working together. If I'd been working from the photo, I'm pretty sure my values would have been more distinct, but I like this effect as well and decided to call it finished.
I'm still painting flowers today, but switched things up with media and a very pronounced light/dark design instead of the soft blended edged of yesterday. I still don't feel like I have a pattern developing in my daily approach, but maybe no pattern is my pattern!
No it's not my birthday, but this is what came 'Outta my head' today for the 30 in 30 Challenge. I was thinking generally about using some bright color to liven up this really overcast and gray day. I didn't draw for this one, but began by patching together color for the inside of the flower mass.
More trees today for my second painting in the 30" x 30" Challenge. this one has a distinctly different feel with warm summery color and a view looking up into the sky. I did a little pencil sketch previous to this one just to 'get me going' so to speak.
Day 1 of the Challenge brought a bit of a snow scene to mind when I looked out my kitchen window. We have snow on the ground, but the days are mostly just bright and very cold. So, as I sat in front of my easel, I tried to think about the basic ideas and color for that type of painting generally. And Julie Ford Oliver is so right in her comment to my last post....painting from your mind's eye is so "easy/hard"!
I've decided it's time to take up Leslie Saeta's 30 in 30 Challenge for this January 2015! In case you are not familiar with it, the idea is that all 1,137 artists (so far) will be taking up the challenge of painting and posting for 30 days consecutively. (Yes I'm starting late, but who's counting?) Leslie's advice is to have a theme to paint from and mine will be:
"Outta My Head"....because maybe I am, and also that's how I'll be painting! The rules I've decided on for myself are these...
1. All paintings will be done from my mind's eye...
2. I can refer to a photo or landscape for a maximum of 10 minutes before beginning to paint, but not once I've begun.
3. I can use any approach regarding value or color or medium.
Each painting will be posted on Leslie's Blog which you can visit or get a daily update by signing up for my daily email update at the top of this blog. For all of you participating, I look forward to seeing your work and good luck to us all! My first painting will be posted on Jan. 2. Let the games begin...!