Monday, June 27, 2011

Attempted Rescues

 The following paintings are a couple that I started painting eons ago and for whatever reason lost interest in them.

The painting of the magnolia started out as a watercolor but was unsuccessful so I decided to see if I could rescue it with pastel.  I think I like the technique of pastel over watercolor but I'd used hot pressed paper for the original painting and there wasn't much tooth to allow for more than a layer or two of pastel.

The poppies started out as pastel but it was a painting from my first attempts at pastels and all I had were pastel pencils and not very many of them at that.  I've done what I could to rescue this painting and I do like it better than the original but  it's still not what I hoped it would be.

I guess you can tell I'm STILL in the process of organizing my studio but I keep getting distracted when I find these old paintings!  One of these days I WILL have it done - hopefully before Dors arrives!  lol

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Acrylic Raccoon - Last Post

I think this will be my last post on this raccoon.  It's not that I feel it's finished as there are still some areas that need tweaking, but I've got other things that need doing and I'm out of paint that I've mixed for this fellow.  It just feels like a good time to stop for now.

OK, what have I learned about painting with acrylics?  What do I like or dislike about this medium?

Well, it's all color over color in layers and can be kind of tedious.  It's the same with pastels, watercolors and gouache (sometimes) so I don't know why I don't mind going over and over in pastels for instance but it's irksome to do it in acrylic!  Maybe it's all the brush cleaning in between as that adds more time to the painting.  Even with watercolor or gouache, I can lay down a brush with paint residue in it and not worry about ruining the brush if I don't clean it thoroughly right away. 

I so like the idea of acrylics going onto just about any surface or support.  And I like the fact that they don't have to be framed under glass unless they're on unmounted/unvarnished paper.  Those are certainly pluses for me.  And while I'm pretty slow right now, this painting hasn't taken much longer than the pastels I do.  I think in time I may even be able to paint faster, which would be another plus.

So, I don't know if the acrylic medium will ever become a favorite but at least I feel as if I've gotten a handle on the basics and won't be hesitant to do more paintings with it.  We'll just have to see, won't we?

Oh, any c & c is very welcome on this.  His paw isn't quite finished, the whiskers need some attention and the tree bark definitely needs work.  If you see anything else, please let me know and please suggest HOW to accomplish any changes if you can!  I'm always open to learning more!

I would heartily recommend Lee Hammond's dvd and book if you want to learn more about the mechanics of painting in acrylics.  I hate it when you buy a video and just get to watch someone paint.  Ms. Hammond tells you what colors she's using and mixing and shows you how she actually paints and I wish more artists were as thorough when they put out a dvd.

I'm going back to the garden, laundry, the kitchen and the rest of the house that I've sorely neglected recently so you may not see me again for a while!  But, I'll be back!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Acrylic Raccoon - WIP 2

I'm a bit surprised this morning as this painting actually appears to be coming together!  After yesterday I thought I'd never be able to do anything with acrylics but at least I see a glimpse of a raccoon staring back at me today.

Hammond calls these unfinished stages of the painting the "awkward" stages - most artists call them the "ugly" stages.  Most artists do go through stages in the painting that aren't polished or the subject even recognizable in some instances.  It's normal but when you're learning a new medium, it's very discouraging and you do want to throw in the towel.

So, I'm working on and hoping it will all come out.  I'm sure it will & I'm sure I'll get faster as I do more.  Right now I'm kind of plodding along feeling my way so I have a lot more to finish.  I also see some things to change and that's the one aspect of acrylic painting that I most appreciate - the ability to easily make changes.

I'll continue to work on this and may even finish it today or tomorrow!  Again, stay tuned!

Monday, June 13, 2011

"New" Medium - Raccoon in Acrylics WIP

I recently purchased the book and dvd, Painting Animals in Acrylic with Lee Hammond, and this morning I started an acrylic painting.  I've painted in acrylics before but really never got on with them that much.  However, I'd like to learn to paint with them so I can produce pet portraits that are less fragile than those in soft pastels.

I'm posting so I'll be more encouraged to continue with and finish this painting at least!  lol  Oh, the reference photo is from hotblack at MorgueFile.

Lee Hammond's method for painting in acrylics is to block in the base colors then start refining.  She works back and forth between colors building layers and I can see where that method gives more depth and finish to a painting.  Here I have the base colors pretty much blocked in and will be starting to refine next.  I have no idea how long this will take.  When I work in pastel, I'll often work in brief segments but with the drying time of acrylic paint, even with the stay-wet paint keeper (homemade), I don't think I'll be able to do that with acrylic paintings.  We'll just have to see if I can change my habits or find a way to work with them using acrylics.

OK, I expect you all to hold me responsible!  Let's see if this old dog can learn some new tricks!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pastel Persian Cat - Final

I think I'm finished with this.  I spent a lot of today working on it and think it's pretty overworked.  However, my husband thinks it's not overworked but finished.  I printed a card and took it to the pet shop where I have some of my work and the owner liked it a lot so I'm calling it quits.

It doesn't look anything like the ref but that's ok - it was for my own learning and not a commission.

BTW, it's titled "One P.O.'ed Persian" ------

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pastel Persian Cat - WIP 3

I'm moving very slowly on this painting - so many things to do lately that I just get to come in and make a few strokes then move on to something else.  It's coming along though and I hope to finish soon.

I think I've finally found the pastel combinations closest to the colors I want but have to go back and change them from the wrong colors.  I need to pay attention to those organized and thoughtful artists who do the test strokes on a scrap paper before committing the color to the painting! 

Oh, well, tomorrow is another day!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pastel Persian Cat - WIP2

I haven't managed to get much done on the cat this morning.  I've had a bit of problem finding the right colors to use in her fur.  I'm finding that it would be very nice indeed to have an extensive collection of pastels - unfortunately, I don't so will keep working and see if I can make do with what I have!

In the meantime, here's where I'm at right now - I'll keep plugging away with her!

Monday, June 6, 2011

New Painting - Persian Cat WIP in Pastel

This is from a photo reference at MorgueFile and I just could not resist that face!  Of course, I realize you can't tell much about it at this stage but I wanted to post it as a WIP to keep me moving on it.

This morning was spent putting up squash, doing laundry and just generally trying to get a bit ahead before the garden really begins to produce!  This is always such a busy time but is so worth it during the winter when good veggies are at a premium.

This is pretty small, only 5 x 7 inches.  It's  various soft pastels and pastel pencils on black velour and it's really going fairly quickly so I hope to have another update soon.  Stay posted!