Monday, July 27, 2009

Priya Loves Cherries

During my Mama Lisas group painting day on Saturday I started a portrait of our grandbaby Priya who just turned 2 years old last month. This is supposed to be a companion piece to the recently completed Life Is Good portrait of her brother Silas on his 2nd birthday (he'll be 4 years old in November). Priya is wearing her sweatshirt with cherries on it, and spent this summer selling fresh cherries in her wagon in the park in Lake City, Colorado. Priya has the rosiest cheeks, and I wanted to capture their "russety" color. And I especially like the rasberry/fuschia color of the background. I may have over-worked this a little, but could not help myself from fiddling to make sure the likeness was more true. . .and still there are a couple places I might adjust before I frame this. This is watercolor and acrylic on paper (watercolor for portrait and acrylic only for background). The newest grandbaby Levi now needs a portrait and I'm debating whether to do one soon or wait for his 2nd birthday. . .

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Figures, Figures... and hopefully more to come...

We did not have plein air painting this week, but I did make it to both Figure Group on Wednesday and Figure Drawing Class with Ben Shamback on Thursday. We had one of my favorite models for Figure Group - she has such an expressive face and has done great holding a pose. Here's my attempt to use watercolor and also apply some of the principles I've picked up in the Figure Drawing Class I'm also taking. We had pretty good turnout and hopefully will get enough artists to show up for the next couple of sessions before we disband for the rest of the summer. We are trying to figure out how to continue Figure Group into the fall and to determine where we will meet. More to come, I hope.

Thursday was our last session for the Figure Drawing Class. I've truly enjoyed this class and it has been a great refresher on drawing the figure: we've addressed contours, gestures, core vs. cast shadows, planes, etc. Although I missed the session last week, this week and last consisted of drawing one pose for the entire 3-hour class. Here is my attempt to apply all the principles we learned these past few weeks, plus Ben advised me to "lay in some of the background" to provide a reference value for the shadows and highlights on the figure - I kind of got carried away doing that. But it is amazing how many adjustments and improvements you can make over a 3-hour period. I think I'm about done with this one and am pleased with how it came out - only a few tweaks needed... This is charcoal (jumbo vine) on drawing paper.

Today I hosted my Mama Lisa painting group at my house. We had 10 of us participating in our monthly painting session and it was great fun. I started another watercolor portrait of grandbaby No.2 - I'll post when it is finished. It will be a companion piece to "Life is Good".

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Boats and Figures and Art Walk

Had a fairly busy week last week. Tuesday we had our monthly membership meeting at Cathedral Square Gallery, and I took two figure drawings downtown to hang in my space (Seated Madonna and Reclining Madonna, which I had previously hung at Chez Giselle). On Wednesday morning our plein air group met again at Scott's Landing. Here is the Live Bait boat I painted on site with oil on canvas (8"x10"), along with a photo of the scene I was painting. This is not finished yet, but I did get pretty far along - probably will just adjust the highlights and shadows and add a few other touch-ups. Trying to keep it simple this time.

Wednesday night I drove downtown for Figure Group, but our model did not show up this week (Bummer!). We did have a group discussion about the need for more participation and ways to get the word out to recruit more members into the group so we can continue to pay for models and rent for our space at Space 301. So any of you out there that haven't been coming or have always wanted to draw the figure from life, come on down on Wednesday nights! It's a wonderful opportunity to practice your drawing skills, and a very affordable way to provide for a model on a regular basis. You really can't beat it!

On Thursday I took my Silas watercolor portrait to Southern Art and Frame shop for framing. And we did have our Figure Drawing class with Ben Shamback on Thursday night. This week we focused on drawing planes to define the shapes of the figure, and shading the figure based on the planes. Ben brought a great book about a British artist (Eane Uglow) who is expert at using planes to define the forms of the figure. Here are a couple of my drawings attempting this exercise.

Then on Friday night I manned my space for my first Art Walk since joining the Cathedral Square Gallery. I did not sell anything, but we had a good crowd and I enjoyed talking to the visitors to the gallery. A few folks were interested in the dog and chicken painting (Vision Outside Fellini's) and asked whether I did pet portraits - which is something I would truly love to do.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Latest Figures...

Since my last posting, I've been plein air painting at a friend's house on Dog River and at the Blue Gill Restaurant on the causeway, and attended two sessions of figure group and two figure drawing classes with Ben Shamback. I haven't completed the plein air paintings to my satisfaction yet so will post them later. But here are a few of my latest drawings from the figure drawing class. The male figure from 2 weeks ago was concentrating on depicting "overlapping masses"; and the female figures were from last week's class when we were beginning to experiment with shading of core shadows vs. cast shadows. I like my last drawing since I seemed to have employed both the overlapping masses and shading in this one. (I also liked our model's new haircut.) Still trying to get the knack of it. My fellow classmate, Conroy Hudlow, did quite well with the "shadowing" technique - you can check his drawings out on his blog. We are loving this class!