Monday, May 27, 2013

Fixing up and moving on

I was all set to post the nearly final painting today.  When I looked at the photo I saw a glaring error in the composition that wasn't evident until I blocked in the neck area.  So rather than pointing it out I cropped the photo so I can fix it.  I wouldn't want anyone to key in on that error because that's all you would be looking at from now on.  I blocked in the neck and left some inconsistent areas until I can get a few more layers in there to soften the edges. I remembered the advice from Gary and Rhonda which was to minimize the lower portion so as not to take stray from the focal point.  So don't worry, there will be more minimizing there as I go forward...

By the way, I need to add that I recognized that I was not as focused as I needed to be when I went in to do the neck.  I moved ahead anyway knowing that as long as I didn't do anything drastic, I could fix it.  Hopefully I was right.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Stage Three: Digital Delay. Reference photo has no neck.

I got to the point  where I was ready to paint the lower portion and realized that my reference photo had been cropped.  I quite literally cut my own throat here. (thank you, that pun just popped into my head).  I have been grumbling about the digital frame I use for my reference photos.  It's difficult to navigate because the cheap buttons on the back don't always work.  In short, I need a normal  computer display to work from so the I can get rid of this thing. (or I can just work from life, but this one has specific lighting that won't look right if I do that)  The digital menu jumps around and I can't find the photo I need, then when I go to zoom it jumps out of the menu and I have to start over.  Hate is a strong word...I hate that thing.  By the way, my pc is just across the room and too far away to use, so Ill probably end up using my old pc as a photo holder and get a new monitor for that.
Now that I've vented, the actual photo is on this computer and I'll have to upload to the digital frame to go any further.  The danger of not being able to work on something when I'm ready is that I start to tinker with the finished parts.  So instead of tinkering, I decided to post this.  More as it develops.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Second Stage

Slowly, (and I mean slowly) but surely the painting is coming along.  At this second the way, who EVER has used that term in reference to watercolor.?..  It feels like I'm working on an oil painting.  This time however, it's because I'm putting multiple layers in the dark areas to build the shadows rather than putting color in and dabbing out the light areas. When I started this, I used only the colors that were on my palette, which made for some interesting color combinations.  But as I progressed into this stage, I ran out of paint and had to decide what I really wanted to use for color.  I chose raw sienna, Ultramarine Blue and of course my old standby for cool shadows, Cerulean Blue. I also dabbed some Davy's Gray on my pallet to add to the Ultramarine blue if I need it.  I should mention that just before I ran out of paint on my palette, I found a little well of Yellow Ochre.  I found this to work nicely to represent the lighter area of the shadow on the forehead.  I'm feeling like I could make a fatal error by not having an actual planned color scheme, but so far it's working just flying by the seat of my pants.  At one point I was thinking I should make some decisions on what I want to do, but  I think it's more exciting to just go by feel and see what happens.  And now that I've kind of seen whats working I will probably stick with that Ultramarine Blue, Davys Gray, Yellow Ochre and some of the reds that seem to have worked in representing the skin as it emerges from the shadow.  This is intended to be a dark painting, which in some ways helps.  As long as I get the values close it should work.  In the back of my mind I'm also thinking that if I lose this painting,  I have another one in me.  So in some ways, this is a "study" that might end up being an actual finished painting.  My favorite way of painting is with cautioned expectations. I end up painting more relaxed.  Notice the splashes and drips where I've thrown the color on.  That's the best part of watercolor to me.

As an added note. I always like seeing how the photos come out.  Seeing this in 2D helps me see some of the fixes that are needed in the composition.  And the compacted view helps me see if my value range is working.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Latest News: Self Portrait

I felt compelled to post something new today because I got tired of seeing the same post day after day.  It's a reminder to me that I've done nothing since then.  I drew the outline for a self portrait over the weekend.  I've been intending to get a self portrait in my portfolio for awhile and after taking several dozen pictures, decided it was time to at least try one.  This is the first stage of a large one I started this morning. So far, so good, but when I snapped the photo the reflection of the water that hadn't dried created an effect that wont be there later, so the nose actually looks better than it is at this point.  But as I said, I needed to get something in a post.  My intention is to create a fair amount of texture in the shadows to make the painting interesting. It's important to let the watercolor do it's thing.  Just need to nudge it in the right direction.

Lately my work schedule is not conducive to painting (or sleeping for that matter), but I've found time to golf so there really is no excuse not to paint as well.