Saturday, November 18, 2006

November 18 - Three Pears (SOLD)

Nothing like a day trip to a couple of museums to fire up your artistic juices! Today was my bi-annual "Instructor-Led Field Trip" for my online college students. They meet up with me at museum locations, and we tour the exhibits together. Doing smaller museums allowed me to take in two--the first being the Palm Springs Art Museum. I was totally impressed with the building and the artwork contained therein, and thoroughly enjoyed the exhibits, especially the desert landscapes and Masters of the West wings! Thomas Hart Benton, Clyde Aspevig, Carl Runigus, Charles Russell and Frederick Remington were all well represented! If you have a local art museum, promise yourself to go visit, because there is NOTHING quite like seeing art in person to affect your senses.  
 The second museum was the Riverside Art Museum, and I was not impressed by the contemporary balloon exhibit, and there was only one other exhibit showcasing Hispanic Heritage. Even though there were works by artists I know, I was disappointed that there wasn't more information about the work and artists, since they didn't have docents. 

Today's painting is from life, three pears on a purple plate, and my intent in doing this 6 x 12 study on gallery wrap canvas was to play up the complimentary colors and create dramatic chiaroscuro (grand value contrast) for an old world look. Can't stop with the brushwork, though!  Hope you enjoy it.
SOLD to Nancy Merrill of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Friday, November 17, 2006

November 17 - Mogo the Dachshund Finished!

Here's the commission painting, finished. You can see that I've done major revision to the dog, adding details and making corrections to the left ear, and added the collar. Mogo is a small dog, so I tried to enhance the feel of his smallness by alterin the proportions from the source material to push the feel. I added interesting details to the background as well, and coordinated the color of the shadow to the dog. I hope you enjoy the finished product, while I'm awaiting the verdict from the owner. (She loves it!)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

November 16 - Mogo the Dachshund, Stage Two Lesson

I spent my painting time today putting in the major color areas of the background, developing the body of the dachshund with broad brush strokes and refining the outer shape of the dog. Note that I haven't spent any time on the eyes, which will be the focal point. I do this, because avoiding the focal point means you'll spend time thinking on what's important and what isn't important in the rest of the painting. you see, if I can make the rest of the painting beautiful without the focal point, then I'm 80% on my way to a good painting. The focal point just is the icing on the cake. Note the lack of details and sharp contrasts int he background. That keeps your eye on the dog, yet those lovely colors support and uphold the dog in the composition by their brush direction and hues.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

November 15 - Going to the Dogs, Dachshund, Lesson Painting!

"Going to the Dogs" This is an ordered commission started for your enjoyment, as I heard so many nice comments on the last painting that went in several stages. A 9 x 12 oil, the owner of this dog is looking for me to capture the essence and vitality of Mogo's personality. Even at this early stage, I think I'm headed in the right direction. Specifics: I started with a tone to the canvas of Australian Red Gold by Artist Spectrum Oils, to both warm and get that high value white outta there. Then I sketched in the dog with broad brushwork (no preliminary drawing on the canvas) using ultramarine blue and burnt umber with about a #8 filbert. I wiped out to correct major errors on edges, and to lift out the placement of the jaw. The blue is to keep me reminded that his coat has a bunch of sky reflections. The upper right darker area is to counter-balance the weight of the dog's position. I'd need a much longer canvas to get the tail in, too! But if I did that, I'd sacrifice the focus on his head and expression. Note that the shadow shapes on the ground are in at this early stage, too. That's because they are very important to the overall design! Tomorrow, more canvas covering.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

November 14 - Artwork for the Bathroom, Roses

This morning I woke up to the task of hanging some art work in our home, including some of my own. Picking the pieces that would share positions of honor (a huge Robert E. Wood watercolor, an Ovanes Beberian oil, a Dan Mieduch western, a Zade Pollack of four sailors, and the Ralph Love desert piece) was an easy task.  Finding work that would fill the rest of the house brought up a really interesting dilemma. Here I have what seems like a bazillion pieces of my own work sitting around, up in the racks and framed, and yet I have to fill spaces in the house that seem to ask for a particular style or color scheme that I just don't have! I did a lot of looking over my work, and decided that a lot of it won't fit to make a cohesive whole for the house. Thus today's painting....for the guest bathroom that is mainly white, pink and gray green with a theme of roses. I thought the painting would be boring, as it is so pre-programmed to be one way, yet the actual painting of it satisfied many of my goals. I like the looseness of it, and how quickly it came off the brushes. Now I have something of my own that just fits that bathroom! Oh my goodness, it doesn't match the sofa however. Hahahahaha!! (12 x 9 oil, Not for sale)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

November 13 - Morning Sunrise, Texture in Acrylics

Well, here it is, in all its newly added texture!  After that first pass of yesterday, I went into some of the nifty jars of bottled texture that Golden Paints makes, using both glass beads and resin sand to palette knife up the texture.  Then I started painting the "real" painting on top of this, after it dried, of course. I just love what texture excitement does to the human eye!  So much to look at, and SO unusual for a pastoral, calm scene such as this sunset.  The paint skips over the high points and leaves the valleys in between with the under painting showing through. Like a lace overlay, perhaps. Although it has a strong appeal for me, some folks won't like it. But that's OK, because if we all liked the same things, there'd surely be some really crowded places on this planet! I hope you enjoy the idea that having fun with paint is a wonderful diversion from the serious museum pieces that also come out of the studio. 
  This is a 12 x 12 gallery wrap canvas, with texture all the way around the 1.5" edges, so it is very contemporary. $150 from my Daily Paintings website.

November 12 - When in Doubt, Paint it Out

"When in Doubt, Paint it Out" Someone asked me recently, "Elin, do you paint over old ones?" And I sure do. It is especially fun if you have an old acrylic painting sitting around. I don't varnish with a varnish that would negate the opportunity to revisit the surface, so here is the first pass on a 12 x 12 gallery wrap canvas that used to have a lot of texture on it from the previous painting. What this opportunity gives me is a chance to really texturize the upcoming layers after the early lay-in of the basic color ideas. I'm really going to go nuts on this one! However, I'm baring my soul to show you the first pass, when anyone with half a mind might say, "Elin, all that junk is going to compromise the finished surface!" Please hang in there until tomorrow, when this puppy is going to undergo a MIGHTY change! I put the light on it so you'd really see the texture I might be fighting, but not really!