Monday, December 27, 2010

A Winter Wonderland

This picture is Mt. Trashmore under the 3rd largest snow storm to hit Virginia Beach in recorded history. Isn't it wonderful!!! My husband and I drove around in my four wheel drive jeep taking pictures today. Sometimes the simplest things are the most fun.
Right now I feel that I would like to simplify my life. I have put my art work on the back burner to get ready for and enjoy the Christmas holiday. Now I need to get myself organized and get ready for many upcoming art shows. (Notice I said I needed to get myself organized.) One of the things I need to do is update my blog to share the shows that I am doing as well as posting other updated information. I have some new ideas for my blog that I plan on trying out. I always feel that if I get organized then I will be able to get everything done. I sure hope so.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Memories

These are a few of my Christmas ornaments and mini paintings at the Artistic Creations Art Gallery in Pembroke Mall. I have been spending time making them and allowing Christmas memories to flow through my brain. When I was younger I would make ornaments to give as gifts. It was so much fun and I must confess it still is.

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas filled with love and happiness.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holly Berries

Here are my completed Holly Berries. Just in time for the holidays! In the first picture you can see that I took out the upper right leave to be repainted. I just did not like the shape or size of it so I decided to take it out and redo it. I also continued adding more greens and reds. My first background was in a lighter color scheme but I didn't like that either. So then I made the background darker and it really make the foreground pop. Then I continued working the leaves and the berries just darkening some areas so that the light areas look lighter and brighter. See how shiny the leaves and berries appear in the final picture.
I think that you can still appreciate the first colors that I painted in the final picture after putting many layers over it. It is in the nature of transparent watercolors that allows you to accomplish this look.
As I mentioned before there were a couple things that I was not pleased with in the process of creating this painting. This happens often enough. The longer I work with watercolors the easier it is to see what I feel needs to be changed to improve the painting and find the way to do it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holly Berries WIP

I have been working on this painting for my Saturday morning class. I saw the turquoise colors under the green colors and wanted the demonstration to show how to paint undercolors and have them coming through the later layers of colors. What I learned in the class on Saturday was that different people see different colors that they choose to express. This is part of what makes different artists paint in different styles. It is also one of the reasons I enjoy teaching as I am always learning something new!

In the first step I layed in the lightest colors and I varied the values of them to start to capture some three dimensionality. Then I started to add a variety of green as well as more blue and turquoise. I mixed dark green with red for the darker colors for the stem and created some texture by lifting some of the color down to the previous light yellow green that was there. I also put in the first layer of reds for the berries. As the painting moves on you can still see the first colors that I used.

In my next post I will show you how it looks so different with the background in place.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Portrait from Suzanna Winton's Workshop

Here is the portrait that I worked on in my class with Suzanna Winton. I took a worshop with her at the Art of the Carolinas a couple weeks ago. She is a wonderful artist and a great teacher.
Yesterday I posted a photo of the painting that was way too pink. I took it again today and I think the colors are a little better. I'm certainly not 100% satisfied with the results but it was so much fun to paint and I did learn so much along the way.
I found myself seeing values on a new level. I took my glasses off and I could really see the shapes and darkness of the skin tones. I wonder if that is like squinting? I saw the larger shapes of dark values as well as the smaller differentiations in value changes within the larger shapes.

I also worked on softening edges and blending the colors from darker to lighter. And I had so much fun doing the background with little circular and squiggly shapes.

I'm going to keep working on painting portraits. I really enjoy capturing the looks as well as the spirit of the person I am painting. I feel that I have a sensitivity to people that I can use to express their personalities and try and capture their essence.

Also a while ago I heard or read that painting portraits is similar to painting flowers by capturing the curves and value changes that represent the soft changes that they both have. I think it is true. I am certainly more comfortable with painting flowers than portraits but am ready to step outside of my comfort zone and work on something more challenging. Maybe that is why I feel I am ready to start working on my portraits again!

The next portrait that I work on I will post it in stages so that you can see the process.