Wednesday, March 24, 2010

All together

Four Buds on the 'Sil
Rarely (if ever) can I say I have finished a painting in one day. After spending three weeks failing at an underpainting for a previous work, I finally gave it up and decided to start fresh. I'm not sure if it was the freedom of letting go of something that just wasn't working, moving in a new direction, or that I had done this painting in my head over the past 6 months, but it just all came together today. The hand and the eye working harmoniously. My intention for this painting...loose approach and contrasting elements of design; contrast of color temperatures with dominance of warms, contrast of organic and geometric shapes, and contrast of textures.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Chair...take two

A few months ago I painted a small study, cropped version of a chair, junk out in "the yard". This week I am repainting that chair as a demonstration for a beginning watercolor class. For the "take two" larger version (16X20), I introduced an expanded palette of colors to include warmer tones in relation to what will be the "coolness" of the shadow. Placing warm intense color in front of cooler, less intense color will visually "push" the warmer shapes forward, creating an illusion of depth. "Chair" finale...coming soon.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Six Small Studies

This week I am helping a class of art students at Massaponax High School work through their first watercolor paintings. We began last week studying our subjects outside and working to develop an interesting arrangement and perspective, considering the design and composition of the shapes created from the cast shadows. We set objects in the sun to create a strong light source, good lights and darks and value contrast.
Having never done watercolor, it will be hard to see how each step will lead to a final painting. Using the images the students selected, I painted small color and composition studies that will serve as guides to working through their paintings. Not only for the class, but for studio paintings, I will often do a small study to "test" color selections, pigment mixes and properties.

Considering color harmony, I will choose pigments that represent each color family (yellow, red, blue) and vary in color temperature (warmness and coolness). Yellows: Aureolin yellow, New Gamboge Reds: Burnt Sienna, Brown Madder, Alizarin Blues: Cobalt, Ultramarine Blue, Pthalo Blue are a few of my favorite "staple" pigments.
My goal is not color accuracy, but rather to give the color more life allowing colors to mingle on the surface. One aspect of color illusion, is making a color appear to be what it is not.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Anticipating Spring

Some days it seems the winter will last all year, the chill and drear, but not today...sunny and sixty (degrees)...and a few signs of spring...buds of crocus...and hope for warm sun and color soon to come.
Signs of Spring
Watercolor on Aquabord
"There are always flowers for those who want to see them."
Henry Matisse