Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tools of the Trade, Step 23

Finishing the painting, step 10

Back to the bird whistle...I refined it even more. It had gotten too fat on one side. Those gremlins were in the studio again with my paint brushes!

I then tackled the lettering on the vase, which I may darken a bit later when it dries. I painted the sheet music, went over the areas where I had roughed in the music bars. I decided it would be easier if I began with the clean paper, so I'll let this dry and then paint the music bars and notes.

The table has been really bothering me, and I finally decided that it was too horsey. I didn't like the color...looked too much like oak and it was too similar to the unicord. I went to e-bay and found a picture of an antique mahogany cabinet/chest which I can use as inspiration. I copied the image and put it in a document so that I can refer to it as needed. I repainted the cabinet area with a narrower ledge with black, Q-red, and yellow ochre rather than the black, cad red, and yellow ochre. The new color combo makes a richer color, even though I have strayed from the Zorn palette. I'll add a suggestion of drawers and handles when this is dry.

At this point, I have yet to do the music, finish the cabinet, and finish the clarinet. Probably I will find some other areas to pick at.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tools of the Trade, Step 22

Finishing the painting, step 9

As usual, I started out checking my drawing, and I found that the bird whistle on the drum still wasn't quite the right size...it wasn't large enough. With black and liquin, I glazed the drapery behind it to make it stand out a bit more.

I continued refining the tone holes and keys on the clarinet. I'm not quite done with them yet, but I can only work on them so long for my sanity. I added the red cords to the castanets, which look really neat. I was afraid the red might be overwhelming, but it isn't.

So after doing that, I got in a brightening mood. I brightened and lightened the wooden drumsticks, and the drum, the bow, the tambourine and its jingles, the hand painted design on the vase, and the bells.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tools of the Trade, Step 21

Finishing the Painting, step 8

I spent most of this painting time working on the clarinet...refining the tone holes and keys...making sure that everything connected properly. I'm still not finished but I had to work on something else.

So I worked on the vase...darkened the shadows around the edges, darkened the blue design, but didn't get far enough to start the lettering.

There was too much similarity between the keys on the keyboard and the vase, so I lightened the keys a bit. Next time I'll warm them up a bit and darken the top of the keyboard at the top of the painting.

I also added a highlight on the bow.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tools of the Trade, Step 20

Finishing the Painting, step 7

The drawing on the tambourine wasn't quite right. There were problems with the ellipse, which I have now corrected. I also lightened the front of it, giving it more dimension.

Then I corrected the reddish bird whistle which had been giving me a fit. I think it's correct now. Then I brightened the blue handle on the bells and the drumsticks on the music sheet.

Finally I am able to confront the tone holes and keys on the clarinet! No surprise there. I'll have to redraw them before I can paint them.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tools of the Trade, Step 19

Finishing the painting, step 6

First I straightened out the castanets. I don't know whether the light had changed, but the light I saw on them today was much nicer. So I repainted them with the better light and straightened out the drawing a bit. I like them so much better. I'll like them even better when the red cords are painted. Those red accents should really jazz up this painting.

Then my masochistic streak took over and I tackled some of the picky details...the rope on the drum, the keys and tone holes on the clarinet, the lettering on the gong, the wire on the unicord (again) and began the music bars. Lotsa fun!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tools of the Trade, Step 18

Finishing the painting, step 5

Moving on to the left, I wanted to finish the pitcher. But once I got started I realized I had to do the bird whistle first. It was considerably too small, not to mention that it is complicated, but I finally got it correctly drawn and painted. It still needs some refinement.

Once that was done, I moved onto the pitcher, which fortunately was already drawn correctly. I repainted some of the surface and started in on the decoration. Here was another case where I had to add some ultramarine blue...the gray just wasn't bright enough to be convincing. The surface where I had laid down the liquin was getting tacky and so I had to quit the design though I wasn't quite finished.

I then revisited the unicord and bow, which is still giving me fits. Part of the problem is that I have the bow discreetly taped to the unicord, and it moves! So I have to watch it every minute. I seem to have some sort of problem feeling those curves in the bow, but I think I've got it now. I darkened and narrowed the right edge, added some woodgrain, added the stretched wire and have pretty well finished.

Lastly, I moved back to the keyboard, refined the black keys a bit. The black keys, of course, go down behind the white keys so there has to be room around the actual keys. There's a reflected light on that surface which defines the shape. I added some nomenclature on the keyboard and I think that's done. The keyboard is a Yamaha and I have queried my customer to see if there's somewhere I can include the lettering. Often I have to pull out my artistic license and do something that isn't really there. I'll have to wait and see what she says.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tools of the Trade, Step 17

Finishing the painting, step 4

Today I did the jingles on the tambourine which were kind of fun. I then refined the bells just a little bit more, and brightened the highlights.

When I checked the drawing on the the remaining castanets, I found a drawing problem with the horn, the drum, and the castanets. Just a tad off here and there. When I was satisfied with the drawing I painted the castanets. They have a strange shape and color, which I mixed with black, white and cad red light.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tools of the Trade, Step 16

Finishing the painting, step 3

Again, I checked my drawing before starting to paint for the day. I still had the vertical tone blocks and the bird whistle to face. I decided I would deal with them, repaint the bells in a warmer gray and repaint the grommets, and finish the temple bells and drapery.

After much measuring and adjusting, I am happy with the bird whistle and tone blocks. The drapery went fairly quickly, and the temple bells were fun. I'm not sure I have the ellipse right on the top left one yet...will check that next time.

Basically, this part of the painting is finished. There are still a few details: the red cord that holds the castanets together and a black leather strap which fits around the top part of the triangle.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Tools of the Trade, Step 15

Finishing the painting, step 2

As always, I check the drawing first. After looking at the painting carefully, it seemed to me that things were still a bit out of kilter. I angled the clarinet more and checked the rest of the small instruments. I know the tall tone blocks aren't right...I'll have to deal with them later. I decided to continue on with the instruments on the drum. I really want to see what they look like finished. And they are fun to paint.

I worked on the castanets, the bells, the bird whistle, and started working on the drapery. You see, I am avoiding those tall tone blocks...just can't deal with them today. The bird whistle is also giving me fits! But I'll get them right eventually.

One of the problems with this limited palette is getting the colors right. I have worked on the bells, but they are too cool. I'll rework them adding more yellow ochre and cad red light to the gray. Since the bell handle is blue plastic, I will have to use some real blue paint. I tried manganese, thalo, and ultramarine...the ultramarine seems to work best.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tools of the Trade, Step 14

Finishing the painting, step 1

Perhaps I will work in the same sequence as before, beginning with the gong. I have refined it a bit, sparkled up the highlights, and am going to let it dry before I put in the lettering.

I think I'll do the keyboard next, since it is in rough shape, with the keys all out of whack. Making the spacing and the keys all exact is tedious, to say the least. I have gone as far as I can go...the paint is too wet to continue. I'm nearly done, just have some refinements to make.

Now onto the the unicord. I have made progress with it, but the bow still isn't right. It is really tricky! I'll have to work on it some more, but the same problem arises...the surface is too wet to continue. When I get back to it, I'll add some wood grain.

Some redrawing here: from looking at the overall set-up and comparing it to my painting, I knew that the vase wasn't quite right. Too long. So I have adjusted it...actually took about 1/2 inch off the bottom, moved up the bird whistle accordingly, lined up the edge of the table which was off all the way across, and angled the clarinet more. Always redrawing!