Thursday, March 21, 2013

Step 17, Final Step - A Close Look at the Big Painting

 I took some close up shots of particular spots in the painting so you could see how I put it together.

For this painting I used a big, flat two inch brush, because I wanted it to have a brushy, abstract look.  It took some discipline for me on that part because I love my brushes.

These shots will give you some clues as to how the paint was laid down.

In some places I really spread the paint, especially on the lower layers, and in some spots I laid the paint down really heavily.  In places I splattered dots and line, going back in places to cover the colors, and to have only the raised texture showing.

Complimentary upon complimentary.

With the clouds, I used a lot of acrylic gel medium to spread the paint out and slow the drying time a bit.  I like the layers of color showing through one another, and enjoy the breezy feeling in the clouds.

This was somewhere in one of the trees.  Once again, they asked for something that was somewhat abstract.  The closer you look, the more abstract it becomes.
Close to the sun, I've got the light glinting through the leaves.  To do this, I mixed the complimentaries, violet and yellow, to get a nice neutral color.  My goal was to make it look as if the sun was showing through the leaves.

I think that might be the only spot in the entire painting where I did this; I agree with Matisse - he said he couldn't understand why artist mixed and muddied their colors, preferring the bright bold ones.  Generally, I just lay them down, side by side. But in some cases, mixing for neutrals is just the right touch.
This is actually one of my favorite spots in the painting, but one of my least favorite photos - the colors fairly shout and dance with each other.  However, it was impossible to get a true photo. 

Oh, well.  Got to see it in person.
There's nothing shy about this tree.  Opposite colors shout at each other.  I tell my students that complimentary colors are called that for a reason.  They sit next to each other and say, 'hey, good looking, you're looking pretty fine today,' or ' - do you look good sitting next to me!'

Throughout the painting, I used a lot of acrylic gel medium.  It allows you to see through layers of paint to the colors below them.

There is no black in this painting, although I went for some serious darks.  I used indigo, which is a deep, deep blue/violet.  It came across as black.

These colors came out pretty boldly, too - I went for colors close to each other on the color wheel - yellow, yellow-green, green, then blues to violets.  The reds in the background pop out because they're complimentary.

Sooo. painting done.  Now all we have to do is transport the panels and get them hung.  I have a feeling that that in itself is going to be no small job!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Step 16, An Artist's Process for a Large Painting

Here it is with the painting finished.  I am just one last coat of varnish between this and completely done.

Then once it's cured, it'll be figuring out how to haul the things down to the PACN and get them hung.

There's quite a glare going on here - on the bottom right panel going over to the middle panel.  There was simply no way to avoid the glare somewhere on the painting.  Just know that the true colors in that spot are a hot magenta/orange, with the dark trees being deep purple/blacks and seriously cool blues.

Step 15; Close-to-Final-Step - Finished Painting

FINISHED!  Here it is.  I'm calling it 'Bright Hope.'

The painting is done.  I ran out of varnish and have been having trouble getting the same varnish.  Because it's hazardous, I can't do a quick-mail deal.  So... tomorrow is my first chance to go down to Jerry's ArtaRama.

After the last varnish, a couple days' wait, and then the hanging.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Step 14, An Artist's Process for a Large Painting - Finished!

YAY!!!  I finished!  Today I added some more glazing to the clouds, tweaked some color here and there and did some splattering.  Very happy.  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures for you because I don't have any pictures for ME yet!

The last step was to do some splattering, which left heavy paint that would run if it was vertical.  So, I have the three panels now laying in our garage horizontally.  Horizontal was a must for another reason as well - I laid down two coats of high gloss UV varnish.  One more layer of varnish tomorrow and it will be completely done.  A day or two of curing after that, and we'll be able to transport it to its new home, the Pregnancy Assistance Center North. :)

I'll post pictures in a few days once it's finished and dry.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Step #13, An Artist's Process for a Large Painting - Almost Done!

Yay!  Almost done!  Our son, Grant carried the panels inside this afternoon.  I'm going to look at it tonight and see if I need to tweek anything.

Barring any changes, I'll begin the varnishing process, hopefully tomorrow.  It's always fulfilling to finish a painting that I consider a success. :)

Step #12, An Artist's Process, continued!

Okay, I'm getting really close now to being done with the painting stage.  Here I'm working on the smaller tree on the center panel, and moving around the entire painting with minor details to pull the whole thing together.

Closer yet.  Now I'm going to finish the minor details, lay the panels down and paint the edges all around, and lay down some drips and splatters in particular places.

Step #11, An Artist's Process for a Large Painting

I'm getting closer.  A little more work on the clouds, painting over some paint splatters I don't like, and cooling off the hot foothills a bit.  I'm going to glaze over them with some violet so that you can see the reds/oranges/fuschias through it.

It's a cool, chilly day.  Dry, and a little gusty.  Hopefully, the dirt and leaves won't kick up!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Step #10, An Artist's Process for a Large Painting

 Today was a busy day as well.  I began by gathering materials once again, and varnishing my students' paintings.  They're hanging around having conferences and dinner parties everywhere - in our house, in the garage, in my car...

Here's the brush I'm using for the entire painting.  It's a 2" flat.  I'm disciplining myself to use only this, to keep the painting looking very painterly with obvious brushwork.

Here's your interesting fact of the day; if you have fingernail polish on your nails, paint positively adheres to it.  Oh, well.

First step of the morning - paint in some shadows and details in the foothills to give them some dimension.  I also began adding some plants in the foreground.

More plants.  The vaguest tracery of a tree on the right hand side.

Ahhh... here's the little tree.  All greens and blues, with yellows on the sunny side of the street.

As the clouds are yellow in that spot, I added a tall pine in lush purples and blues to work the complimentary angle.

On the opposite side, the left panel, I did a tree in mostly greens and turquoise.  It's really hot on the bottom with the compliment of oranges/fuschias, and pleasantly cool with the sky background of blues and violets.

Here I've got this panel laying down because I wanted to do some drip/spatter painting.  Right after that, as it laid there with really wet, drippy paint, the wind kicked up and neighbors started blowing the street and raising dust.  We had to bring everything into the house.
As it's supposed to rain tomorrow, the paintings will remain inside.  I still have some details to lay in, and need to paint the edge.

I hope to finish the painting by Monday.  After that, some drying time, and then I'll varnish it. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Habitat for Humanity Doors to the Future Project

There are twelve doors touring Montgomery County right now.  Artists painted doors for Habitat to auction off at a gala coming up soon.  I just found out that my door is no longer at Woodforest Bank, but has moved to the Woodlands United Methodist Church with two other doors.

Step #9, An Artist's Process for a Large Painting

 All right.  I left off with having only the cartoon drawn on.  Now I'm loosely laying down some color.  I've decided to use only one 2" brush for the entire painting for two reasons:
I really love paintings that show broad, fast brushstrokes with a lot of the mixing done on the surface..  If I yielded to the temptation of using a smaller brush anywhere, it would add a lot of time to the painting.
NOTE:  THIS IS THE FIRST OF THREE PAINT LAYERS.  DON'T BE HARD ON ME - I KNOW THERE ARE PROBLEMS WITH THIS.  I'm going to lay colors right over those problems and we won't even worry about them at this stage.

I'm going to do some hills in the background, but most of the foreground is going to be covered with "Woodlands trees," as they asked.

Starting to lay in more color here.  By the way, my palette is just a styrofoam rectangle, left over from some project, I know not what.

I know the clouds look like bubbles or something.  I'll lay in refinements tomorrow, but most of it will be covered by trees, so it won't matter.  Also went too heavy with the reds and oranges on the left side; just couldn't resist the lush complimentary colors.

Mixing colors.

For the foreground I slathered on red, magenta and a nice tangerine orange.  It took me literally five minutes or less.  Most of these will be covered tomorrow, but I want to have them peeking through the underbrush and trees tomorrow.

Here's a closeup of a little part of the lower portion of the painting.  The colors are so lush, it's going to be hard to paint over them tomorrow!

You know it's a good day when you don't have time to cook supper and your daughter does.  Crawfish!!!  Yum!!!  Thank you, Melody!  After all that painting, this was welcome!

Step #8, An Artist's Process for a Large Painting

 Here's another one of my classes.  And yes, this is actually part of the process for my large painting.

Knowing PACN's need for cheery paintings on their walls to brighten things up, I am having a number of my students paint 12x12" paintings.

Here we are - AFTER painting our 12x12s, painting Matthew.  He deserves it because he's moving away from us.

Got him!

It's been really fun having eight girls and ONE boy in this class!

Somebody got patted on the cheek...

Painted feet.
And hands.
And jeans.
And socks.

A well-deserved rest.

This is my car.  It usually looks like this.  And it's often packed to the gills.  I call it the art mobile.

One step closer to having everything ready for the Pregnancy Assistance Center. :)

Step #7, An Artist's Process for a Large Painting

 Okay, we're slowly getting there.  With big paintings (this one is 6'x9', in three panels) it takes a lot of time to do the prep work.

Here I enlisted #2 son and #3 son to help gesso the panels.  Before that, Grant and I got out ye ol' power sander and went at it again.  Grant's been doing some paintings of his own, and we've been enjoying the driveway painting together.

The weather was clear with a low of 54 degrees, so I took the chance and left them out in the driveway. 

I've been gathering paints.  Here they are having a little love fest while they wait for me to finish sanding and gessoing.

All right!  FINALLY!  You've heard 90% inspiration and 10% perspiration?  Well, sometimes art can be 90% work and 10% fun.  Now, it's finally time for the fun.  Painting!

I've got the cartoon laid out.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Step #6, An Artist's Process for a Large Painting

 These are many of my students who are helping me with our project for the Pregnancy Assistance Center North as they move in to their new building.  I'm having my high schoolers and my Art 2 class students each paint a 12"x12" square painting to give as a gift to the Center.

I'm painting a 6'x9' painting, but that's not the only thing involved in this project, as you can see.  My students are also donating baby formula, wipes, diapers, etc. for the PACN.

Love these high schoolers; they're so much fun!

 Here's one of my younger groups; they got to do their own paintings, but I'm letting them keep them to decorate their bedrooms.  That's important, too!

I really love this picture - the Blue Man Group has nothing on us, man.

More young students.  Oh what a fun group you guys are!

This was the 'make a funny face' picture.  Love it!

Pretty much everyone's hands looked like this.

High schoolers.

Even my paint sticks were colorful by the end of classes.  Looks better than some of my paintings!

These guys are cool dudes.  We were out there in the big winds today.  Whew!

Here they are showing off the bottoms of their painted feet.

We had a little, uh, paint-in-the-hair problem.  When discovered, we had a little feminine camaraderie in the bathroom. I like the triangle shape in this photo.  Such fun girls!

Oh, what silly times we have!  Looks like a theatre class!

Just trying to keep the pavement (relatively) clean!

The photographer told us all to do the chicken dance thing; you can tell who the dummy was that fell for THAT one!

We were all a little windblown by this time, but very happy.

More painted hands.

He deserved his neck lock there; we were photographing painted people and he was inside washing up!

Lots of happy hands.

And painted, uh, everythings.

He couldn't fit his hand into the pic for some reason, so we put his entire body in.