Friday, January 27, 2012

Un Gwen Elle

It might make no sense for me to explain why I titled this painting Un Gwen Elle and I don't want to inject specific visual suggestions, so I will just say two things in general about this painting.  I accidentally snapped a photo of something , I 'm not sure what, on or near my PC , while uploading pictures to my blog the other day.  The image was interesting enough that I decided to paint it.  The image in the photo was mostly yellow,  but  I wanted to convey subtle color changes.  About halfway through it began to transform into images from my subconscious, and took on a life of its own. So this is where it pretty much came to rest.

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Final" Abstract Landscape.

Final version of the Abstract Landscape. Although clearly it is not abstract, It started as an abstract and since I didn't use a reference photo for this painting, that, in my mind  qualified it as "abstract'.
In this detail, you can see how I allowed the paint to pool to form the shapes by putting color in, then pulling them out with fresh water.  There are times when I will add paint to these pools to create a shadow or highlight.
This is my final posting of the abstract landscape that I began last week.  If you want to see the total process that went into making this painting, you can refer to the post titled "UPDATE: Abstract Landscape".  This project inspired me to do more like this.  I found it frees the hand and good things come from this somewhat free form of painting.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"The Grab" drawing for 49er fans.

I decided to draw a picture of "The Grab". 49er faithful will know what I'm referring to.  It took me some time to get the logistics right.  I may or may not go into further details with the process.  It was pretty straightforward.  Get the angles and dimensions correct and go from there. This panoramic photo sort of shows the progression.  And here is the final, or close to final drawing.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Reworked Daily Painting: Side Fence

Jan 21st, Saturday:  The slightly reworked version.  The camera didn't quite capture the same hues as the first, but the handles have been lightened

Jan 19th, Thursday: I thought this would be a good shadow study when I first snapped the photo. My main goal was to make convincing shadows on the fence.  The odd shadow in the middle of the fence is the power wires on the roof.  I thought they added an interesting shape to the painting.  Might have to do further work on the shadows.  Haven't decided yet.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Serving breakfast at the Blanchet House

The Blanchet House of Hospitality

My daughter Grace invited me to help serve breakfast Monday morning at the Blanchet House of Hospitality in downtown Portland.  This organization helps "To feed, clothe and offer shelter and aid to those in need" When I was a kid my dad volunteered  here and hired some of the patrons to help with odd jobs around our house.  Now I can say  three generations of Neals have volunteered here. (This was my first time, but Grace has helped here before).  Just this small commitment of time made me feel invigorated and grateful for what I have.  It's great to get things in perspective. Every little bit helps.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

MOVING FORWARD: Lecia and Adrianne at Sauvies Island

First I have to say that this photo doesn't show the entire piece, but in order to get the details to show, I had to leave out part of the sky.  (I purposely avoided cutting the landscape in half in the actual drawing).
This last Tuesday I underwent surgery to repair my hernia.  I knew I would have the opportunity to get a fair amount of drawing and painting done.  So I took on another watercolor on Wednesday. It did not go well.  I was disappointed in my effort,  so much so that I didn't even want to post it.  This gave me cause to evaluate my ability to construct and execute paintings satisfactorily.  So on Friday I looked up a photo I had been wanting to paint from the moment I saw it. ...The photo for this drawingwas taken by my daughter Grace at Sauvies Island last year.  Grace has been able to capture some great scenes on camera, and I think this is one of her best.  In fact, both of my daughters have a very good eye for photography and I have added some of their photos to my list of potential pieces. (I am going to use a clause in my personal creative contract here that allows me to use anything my immediate family has photographed as  reference material). anyway...
I decided to literally go back to the drawing board in order to re-establish my  fundamentals. The first effort was Charlie Neal.  A good start, but not entirely satisfactory.  And now about this drawing.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Charlie Neal

A couple of weeks ago I asked my nephew,   Frank, (Charlie Neal) to send me a photo that I might use for a painting or drawing.  He sent me two, and this is the first one I chose to do. I am trying to focus in on fundamental drawing with attention to composition and value.  After somewhat of a grueling session, I was able to finish this drawing.  I would have liked to work a little larger because some of the details were hard to work on. The drawing itself is satisfactory, but I was not entirely happy with the likeness. He is manning a  50 cal. , one of my personal favorites.  By the way that's not the barrel in view on the right although it might appear that way.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

UPDATE: Abstract Turned impressionistic Landscape

 This is pretty much the finished painting I started last week.  I added a few more reds, and removed some of the distracting darks in the top left corner in an effort to balance it out.  It might not ever feel quite finished because I really had no reference other than colors and shapes in my mind.  The second photo is some detail to show how I was letting some of the colors pool to form shapes, hopefully giving it a more loose feel.

   Posting Photos can be tricky.  I tried to add captions to each of these first 3 photos, but they showed up as one, so hopefully this isn't too confusing. The top 2 photos are my final update to the original post.  
The third photo from the top is of the first washes.  I planned on doing a loose abstratct watercolor, but my sketch had me worried that it was going t o be unbalanced
and bland, so I changed it to a landscape.
Forming an idea. I didn't yet know where I was going to go with this . Whether I was going for a snow scene or water scene or put a road in. (Maybe if I grew a large Afro I would know where to put some "happy little trees")... Everything was very loose.  I began to worry about the composition but sallied forth without much hesitation anyway.

After laying in some light red and yellow ochre, the painting began to show a little more depth. I am now at the stage where some finishing touches will be made where necessary. Some things are not making sense, but I am happy with the overall composition.  With this one exception.  This looks like 2 paintings so I have been trying to tie the right side in with the left.
I got up early this morning and decided to paint the abstract painting that was floating around in my head. When I sat down to sketch it I started to worry because  I didnt have a solid idea in place and could feel myself getting impatient. I wanted to get a painting done today, not spend all morning working on the composition. I knew the color scheme I wanted.  Earth tones with cool blues and some reds....

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Yupo Watercolor challenge: Rose Bowl Champions

Congratulations Ducks

For the Oregon State fans...If you despise the Oregon Ducks, my apologies. In the past I have shied away from painting sports action scenes for two reasons.  Firstly, most of the photos from these scenes are taken by  professionals.  In my mind, this somewhat compromises the integrity of the painting because the composition is not entirely my own.  Secondly, there are licensing limitations to what I can do with such paintings. Having said this, I felt compelled to congratulate the Ducks by painting this photo of De'Anthony Thomas breaking away for a touchdown.  I've wanted to do more  action paintings because they can convey such high energy...about this painting...