Friday, 25 March 2011

What is Happening in the Studio

This is where I left off last time in the progression of this painting. If you want to see the very beginning go here.
I am still in early stages. I have been drawing in the vine, starting to refine her skin and working out values (how dark and light I want to go.)
I think that is how dark I want the background, but I plan on more glazing to alter the colour. I gessoed the background with transparent gesso and only a single coat of white gesso behind the figure. I don't really like it. I feel like I am fighting with the wood panel to cover it. I prefer several coats of the white gesso, at least under the figure.

I have lost my interest in letting the wood grain show through.

Here is the other painting that I have been working on.
I am much preferring the texture of this one. It is painted over an old painting so there are several layers of oil paint underneath. If you want to see how I started it you can return to that same post.
Obviously I forgot to document a few of the stages in this painting.
I have been glazing the background to get it darker and richer. Again, I was trying out my darks and lights to get a feeling for the tones. Initially they are a bit harsh, but that is giving me a sense of my range. Later I will can put in more transitions to make it more subtle.

I am constantly reassessing the painting, looking at it as an entire piece and seeing what it needs. At any point I am willing to redraw and change.

With this last step I decided the painting wasn't having the feeling that I wanted. The vine was looking too incidental, as if it was just looped around her neck like a kind of necklace.
So I went back to my reference photos. I wanted more vine, for the viewer not to know whether she was wearing the vine or it was growing up and and over her.

I prefer the mood now, and I also think it is a more interesting composition.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Caught in Inspiration

I bought this bag at the thrift store for two dollars. It would be much improved by new lining, instead of its original horrible polyester black lining, but I can't be bothered as it has a zip coin pocket and other fiddly bits.

I am thinking of putting this beading on it. What do you think? I originally made the beading as a bracelet but the picture works better flat. I like it but it seems rather plain. What can I add that won't overwhelm the picture?

Do you ever get so caught up in inspiration, caught up in the high of possibilities that you don't actually do anything? Just jump from one idea to another, maybe noting them in your art journal but not actually physically starting a project? I find the internet especially dangerous for this. It is a commitment problem really, thinking that I will find some idea even more interesting around the corner. It is fun but not satisfying.

I just realized that my last refashion post was also ideas and possibilities and I wondered if I was caught in the inspiration merry-go-round.
Do you ever try on clothes in a shop and take a photo for inspiration? There is something very fresh happening in clothing, I think it is related to refashioning. The designers are getting ideas from the refashionistas. They are cutting away parts and adding bits that normally wouldn't go together.

This trench coat has an interesting cut. A little too cool for me - a hole in the back? but I like the idea of sleeveless.
I did do something with my stock of thrift clothes. At least I did some cutting.
This is a boring man's short sleeve shirt, way too big. I bought it for the cloth, I like the colours. For years I have been wearing pink and purple, suddenly I need to wear blue.
I cut off the sleeves and collar. Next I plan to sew up the sides and cut a shape for the neckline. I have more in mind, but you will have to wait, teehee.
These two are going into a dye bath. I have been buying my dye by the packet, quite expensive and I can only dye a little at a time. I have a cobalt blue for these; it will be interesting to see what colour the one on the left comes out.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Art Journal Backgrounds

I have been away in the big city last week, looking at art but not creating. After teaching my Art Journaling class yesterday, I thought I would be jumping back into the studio and my oil painting, but instead I felt the need to reconnect with my art journal. So I spent the day doing art journal backgrounds. Easy and relaxing.

The above background was done with gesso resist. I printed with leaves and flowers, when the gesso was dry I painted over the top with thin washes of acrylic colours. Here is more information on gesso resist.
This background is also done with gesso resist and a background stamp. Before the gesso, I put down some book pages in undercollage. That is collage under your background.
Gesso resist with leaves.
Gesso resist with dandelion flowers. For this background I put down a wash of cadmium red, then printed with the flowers and finally added a thin wash of alizarin red. Transparent layers of different colours give the pages depth.
Layers of acrylic paint over gesso.
Finally, another resist. This one was a little different. I painted a thin layer of burnt sienna on the plain paper, then I printed with bubble wrap. Instead of gesso, I used matt medium to print with. Matt medium also creates a resist, but it is clear so that the burnt sienna shows through. After that was dry, I did another wash of cobalt blue.