Friday, February 27, 2015

Charcoal drawing on gesso

This drawing is 20" X 26". It was done on 140 lb watercolor paper that was painted with tinted gesso. I used burnt sienna acrylic paint to tint the gesso and the concentration of color is stronger on the bottom half of the picture so that it fades to a lighter value on the top half.

Along with black charcoal sticks and pencils I used white "charcoal" pencils and some conte and pastel.

The image is made up. I started with the strong dark foreground and trees and added the farther horizon line of trees second and went back and forth to work on each section. Once in a while I glanced at the trees outside my studio to get ideas for shapes of branches.

At one point I sprayed the drawing with polyurethane to fix it so that I could coat it with acrylic gel medium as I do with my painting/collages. I felt that deadened it, however. So I went back and retouched parts of it to add highlights and try to bring it back to life.

Want to try some more drawings with added texture and more manipulation of the surface... I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

13 little paintings

 I don't seem to be able to stop painting! But I'm going to have to. For the next five days I'll be in the Baltimore Convention Center at the American Craft Council show...and away from my paints. 

These 13 paintings are all 5"X 7". I've matted them to go into my bin of unframed pieces. 

There is a lot of collage mixed in with the usual acrylic and charcoal...Bristol board and colored pencil, rice paper and watercolor with inks, pastel, conte, newsprint, sewing pattern tissue.

They were fun to do!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Triptych on canvas

I usually work on paper and working on canvas is quite different in terms of being able to manipulate the paint and the way the charcoal goes onto the bumpy surface, as opposed to the ease of drawing on smooth paper. Still, t'was fun.
Started with the idea of all the little animals in a row along the horizon. They were drawn on Bristol board, cut out and pasted onto the canvas.

It's primarily acrylic with charcoal and pieces of inked Yupo paper and Bristol board with colored pencil added. The three panels together measure 30"X 54".

This painting went through many incarnations! Colors changed. Details got put in and taken out and put back in... I think I'm happy with it and I have to be because it needs to be finished and ready to be the main painting in my booth at the American Craft Council show in Baltimore next week.

2 paintings 2 14 15

Two new paintings, 14"X 20", both acrylic and charcoal with inked Yupo paper, colored pencil on Bristol board, and some other painted paper bits.

Monday, February 9, 2015

2 paintings 2 9 15

I worked on these two paintings side-by-side. They each measure 14"X 20". I wanted to explore using more colors in layers, so that one could be seen under the other. Used the palette knife quite a bit, but also smeared with my hand or towel to avoid obvious brush stokes. I added bits of Yupo paper painted with ink. The main medium is acrylic, with charcoal and colored pencil on watercolor paper prepared with tinted gesso. So I started with a sort of ochre-colored base as a neutral tone.

When I do these paintings I tape the edges with drafting tape before I start. I use the tape over and over. Colors build up on the tape and the surface ends up getting quite beautiful. That's what gave me the idea to work with more colors in layers. I sorta pulled off what I was going for and now the tape is even more impressive!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

7 paintings 2 5 15

I worked on these seven paintings at the same time, letting the surface of one 'rest' while I fooled around with another. One is large, two medium and four small-ish.
I intended this one to be all big birds, but the cat insisted on being a part of it. Again, the cat and bird theme that showed up in the paintings from the last post. This time the birds got bigger, too. This painting is 20"X 26". It is primarily acrylic on gessoed watercolor paper, with charcoal, sewing pattern tissue, pastel, colored pencil, Bristol board, Yupo paper, and conte.
Two paintings exploring the same big bird shape. They are both acrylic and charcoal, with ink on Yupo paper, colored pencil on Bristol board and one reversed photo copy which is a salvaged segment from one of my Post Squares from last year. Both are 14"X 20"
The next four smaller paintings (each 8"X 12") are acrylic on gessoed watercolor paper with charcoal, pastel, some metallic leaf and, again, salvaged bits of those Post Square colored pencil drawings.

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Definition of Whimsy (Who Let the Cats Out?)

Trying to think of how to title this post showing my four latest paintings, I kept coming up with the word 'whimsy'....( \ hwim-ze \ n. 1 : WHIM, CAPRICE  2 : a fanciful or fantastic device, object, or creation esp. in writing or art ) 

  These first two paintings are studies for a larger triptych on canvas. I knew I wanted tall trees that started from below the image area. So I began by drawing those in, then the little cat showed up on this one first, and the trees and birds followed in the same playful style. I was having a lot of fun!
Both paintings are 12"X 18", mostly acrylic with charcoal pencil. The dark areas on the bottom (colored black intentionally to go with my intention to have more contrasting values in my paintings) are covered with sewing pattern tissue applied to the watercolor paper with matte medium.

I don't usually title my paintings, but I thought I could call these the "Who let the cats out?" series.
The dog and cat, also 12"X 18", were inspired by the little cats in the previous paintings. I wanted to see how that image would work on a larger scale. The dog, to go with the cat (I generally work on two paintings this size at the same time side-by-side on a single sheet of watercolor paper) came from a smaller piece I came up with as part of a series of 24 6X8 shadow boxes, so that I would have a "low-end" item for the ACC show this month. Pictures of the two dog designs are below.

This painting has the sewing pattern tissue over the whole dog and the green ground, to add texture and interest to the surface.
Same with the cat body and ground. In fact some of the lines from the pattern still show through the paint.
Here are two dog designs from the series of 24 shadow boxes I came up with for the show. These are prints of my paintings with windows cut out to show a word or phrase. The little bone is made of polymer clay and painted.
Other pieces in the series have various themes such as cats, horses, cooking, the beach, friends, love, garden, and inspirational. I'm working on a new website and they will be featured there along with my paintings. Don't worry, I let you know all about it!