Saturday, April 30, 2011

The "Face to Face" show

Here's my painting. I had some photos to work from, but still have not met Jen in person. I do not know if this is a good portrait of her or not. I made a lot of changes from the photos.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

William Shearer. Orkney.

When I was in Scotland last summer, Peter and I went to this shop for some provisions. Peter knew the proprietor, a descendant of the original shopkeeper, and when we saw him he had his arms full of colorful gardening gloves. They are the grass seed supplier to all of Orkney and Shetland.

He took us upstairs where they had bags of grass seed, including some from Oregon State!

Some lovely old biscuit tins on the shelf upstairs.
Mr. Shearer eventually asked me what I do in America (besides being an artist). "Color consulting," I said. He looked puzzled, so I said, "For example, say you wanted to repaint the front of your shop and you didn't know what color to use, I would choose colors for you."
"Funny you should say that," he said. They had just gone through the process of applying to improve an historic storefront, and needed new tile and paint colors picked out within a couple of days. Even when I am on vacation I can't turn down a good color project! P and I spent the afternoon getting samples and putting together a plan.

Samples. Green like the fresh-cut silage. Anthracite like the slabs of ancient rock on the Orkney shores. Blue-gray like the haze on a cabbage leaf. The light blue we didn't use.

After. In the office inside they have photos like this of the shop and employees dating back decades. I am so glad they kept the old lettering on the facade.

What a great memory. I hope I get to go back someday.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Portrait class demo

In the portrait class we are moving into limited color starting next week. Here's my demo piece, a value study, painted thinly since it's an underpainting. I was working from a sketch I did of Sophie last year. I used Gamblin's Asphaltum and my Titanium white warmed with a smidge of cad yellow light (I have this premixed in a tube--I bought a pint size can of white paint because it's cheaper, and found I far prefer using tubes. I had some empty tubes, so I filled them). Next Monday I'll demonstrate how to proceed into limited color on top of this painting. Sometimes I find that I like the value study so much that I don't want to do anything more to it. There's such a simplicity to a good value study--it's easy on the eyes. However, as a learning tool, it's a good exercise to establish values first and then add color while conforming to the already-established values. As Richard Schmid says, "Value does all the work, and color gets all the credit." Here's the sketch.