Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Inspirations, step 9

Finishing the figurine and picture frame

It was time to settle down and finish some of these areas. The figurine, though I thought it was finished, still needs some brightening the the lighter area. The frame needs to be finished. It still needs the detailing and the beading.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Inspirations, step 8

Painting the picture frame and more
When I measured the Degas print, I discovered that it didn't quite fit the frame, so I had to readjust the measurements.

I then repainted the frame...the limited palette worked beautiful for all the subtle colors in the silverish gold frame. I am letting the paint dry before I add the detailed carvings on it.

So, I went on and reestablished the books and worked a little on the violin. I also worked some on the paint tubes and painted the music sheets. It is all starting to come together, slowly but surely.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Inspirations, step 7

Painting Degas's dancers, the picture frame, and the inkwell

As I said earlier, nothing is ever easy. I don't own a quill pen and accompanying inkwell, and when I set out last week to the local antique emporium, I found that it had closed. Probably due to the economic downturn. The next nearest antique store is 25 miles away. So I am going to try to muddle through without the real thing in front of me.

I painted the print of the "Rehearsal" by Degas and painted over the place where the feather is. This way, I will not be constrained by any shape that seems the best for the feather. I roughed in the basic underlying shapes on the picture frame to prepare it for the decorative areas.

I googled quill pens and found a host of feathers and ink wells...I should be able to compile something from all these shapes and textures. Having been inspired, I tried a number of different shapes. I didn't like round because it mimicked the shape on the book beneath. I have settled on a version of the paint cup which I have placed in the set-up. I have elongated it a bit and narrowed the neck, which is a nice shape, for now.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Inspirations, step 6

Painting the Figurine

Using a modified Zorn palette of black, permanent madder deep, yellow ochre and white, I proceeded with the background drapery and the figurine. I substituted the permanent madder deep for the cadmium red light, as I found the latter too warm and too light. I needed the deep rich red of the permanent madder deep. It is truly a beautiful color and an accurate substitution for alizarin crimson. This so far gives me a cooler palette. I think I should be able to warm everything with the yellow ochre, if needed.

Since I'm not a purist here, when I find I need other colors to do the job, then I will use them.

The grays for the figurine were made with the above colors, but it still needs to be warmer. The drawing needs a bit of tweaking too, but not too much. I'm fairly happy with it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Inspirations, step 5

The underpainting

Using terra rosa and ultramarine blue, I worked first on the drapery. Then the books and the violin. For some subtle color changes, I added yellow ochre and the Torrit Grey.

Some of the drawing is lost because the background color needs to overlap the objects. The ideal procedure is to finish the background first and then do the items on top of it. But it never seems to happen that way because I like to have soft edges between the objects and the background.

Since much of this painting is a warm reddish brown, I may continue the painting using the Zorn palette of black, cadmium red light, yellow ochre and white. I can get such a wide variety of shades, tints and colors with that limited palette for a wonderful harmonious painting. Another advantage to this palette, is that it's so easy to re-mix a color, since there are so few options.

See below for my Zorn palette.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Inspirations, step 4

Redrawing the drawing

Nothing is ever easy. After I had finished the drawing, I got the sneaking feeling that my "table" was sagging. I checked it with a level, and sure enough.

My "table" is rather a Rube Goldberg contraption, because my still life box wasn't deep enough to hold the violin. So I had added a thin board to extend it. Well, it has drooped so that everything is off at the bottom about an inch.

I propped up the "table" with lattice strips, see below:

I redrew almost everything from the little picture and the figurine down. So I wouldn't get confused with which lines were which, I used Torrit Grey (from Gamblin) to cover the old lines. I had toned the linen with the Torrit Grey and so it all matches, sort of.

The painting is a real mess now, with all the wiped out areas and new lines. As I paint, I'll be checking the drawing with extreme care. I'll be able to see the drawing problems as I go is easier when I can see shading and lighter values to make the forms more realistic. The new finished drawing is at the top.

The next step will be to do the value underpainting.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Inspirations, step 3

The painted drawing

The charcoal on this canvas is very heavy because I reworked and reworked the violin, the books, the figurine, and the paint tubes.

Now I must very carefully wipe away all that charcoal as I paint the lines. This is a quick memory exercise...wipe it away and quickly replace the charcoal with paint, as shown above.

For this drawing, I used Indian Red and ultramarine blue. As I work, I dip my brush in some odorless mineral spirits just to thin the paint a bit. Above is the finished drawing in paint.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Inspirations, step 2

The charcoal drawing

In the last blog demo I said the antique glasses were the hardest things I had ever drawn. This violin is a close second! Again, nothing is parallel and the round edges are not circular arcs, but artistic transitions from one shape to another. A real challenge.

I have spent hours on this charcoal drawing, mostly on the violin. I carefully drew the books and the paint tubes. I didn't draw in all the figurine as I will do that more in paint. The same with the small framed print. The important thing is that these items are basically the correct size and in their proper places.

As I paint, I continue to check my drawing. It's not like "OK, the drawing is done and now I'll just fill in with color." The reality is that I am constantly drawing and measuring to make sure everything is just so.