Wednesday, October 17, 2012

'her name was red' ~ water soluble oils on canvas board, 4" x 6"

i've got oil painting fever, that's all there is to it.  i was going to post last night and the night before that, but nope, i had to go do a little something (ha!) to the painting i was working on...

i stopped painting with water soluble oils in early august when i realized that my brushes were becoming as stiff as boards.  water wasn't cleaning the paint out of them completely at the end of the day, and some colors, like phthalo blue and most of the reds, were practically impossible to get out of the brush while i was painting.  which led to a lot of research and ended with me buying the cleaners above.  they work!!  the maimeri brush cleaner is here at dick blick, and the master's brush cleaner and preserver is here if you want to read more about them.    i use the maimeri while i'm painting and the master's cleaner/restorer at the end of the day to thoroughly clean all of the paint out.  the master's cleaner is pretty miraculous stuff.   when i run out of the maimeri i'm going to try weber's turpenoid natural.  thank you, amy, for your help with this...

at the same time that i ordered the brush cleaners i ordered a palette knife.  janine, thank you for helping me figure out which knife to start with;  i had no idea there were so many sizes and shapes.   when i started painting the other day i'd almost forgotten that i ordered it, but wow, four days of using it have made me a palette knife lover.  surely they're an oil painter's best friend!  not only is smearing paint around (and dabbing it on) fantastically fun with it, it's great for scooping up one color to mix with another, and then smushing them together.  it's also perfect for scooping paint out of the tube if you just want a small amount. they're super flexible and just one swipe over a paper towel cleans the paint off completely.

the clear tray in the pic sits in the lid of the (non) airtight palette that i mentioned here.   i decided to put the paint on this instead of inside the actual palette.    it takes up less room on the table and i just stick it inside the 'airtight' palette when i'm done.

yep, i've already decided on my next  palette knife.  i'm almost out of white, so i can order it then.  ; )

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"A well composed painting is half done."

~Pierre Bonnard

Thursday, October 11, 2012

'celestina' ~ graphite and watercolors in stillman and birn 'gamma'

no, i didn't throw my 'daily book' out for the pocket moleskine!   no way!   the paper in a stillman and birn 'gamma' is so much more versatile than the paper in a moleskine sketchbook - in my opinion...

i think that i haven't been clear about why i'd *need* another book for smudgy faces.   it's because i like to use paper with a smooth surface for them, especially when they're small.   you can have more smudgy detail on a smooth surface. 

 'etta' ~ graphite and prismacolor pencils in pocket moleskine sketchbook

  i lightly erased the left side of etta just to see what would happen, and i think  it made her more interesting.  i'm endlessly fascinated by how the heaviness of a line affects everything about a piece.  and, re: erasing,  i can't say enough good things about the triangular eraser that i mentioned in the last post.  i no longer erase half of the nose when i'm erasing the mouth...

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

'marie therese' ~ graphite, prismacolor pencils and albrecht durer watercolor pencils

i'm still drawing a lot of smudgy faces...

manila tags smudge beautifully!

*and* i bought a pocket moleskine to draw them in, right page only so there's no worry about smudging the drawing on the opposite page.  the pencil is my new cretacolor 8B pencil.  i like it even more than the derwent 8B!  it feels almost weightless, sharpens beautifully, and lays down a gorgeous, dark line.

i got it last week in chico, CA at ellis art and engineering -  i love this store!  they have a good variety of stuff to try out...  i also got a pentel triangular eraser that's perfect for erasing in small areas, and a derwent turquoise green watercolor pencil.  it's greenish aqua, which is one of my favorite colors and not easy to find.

one street over i found this book in a used bookstore; i can't remember the name of the bookstore, but it's the big one downtown, and it has a *huge* art book section.  definitely worth checking out if you're in chico.

it's full of sketches and paintings that picasso painted between the ages of 11 and 25.

the images are high quality and  many of them are large.  and there are lots of images from his sketchbooks...

if you click on the link (above) you'll see that there are a  lot of used and new copies for sale at amazon, starting at $5.08 including shipping.  i highly recommend it.

'loves trees and parks' ~ graphite and prismacolor pencils on a piece of shell

left this at a park in chico.  now i'm back home, drawing more smudgy faces...

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 early last summer i was interviewed by lesley riley; she was in the process of putting together a workshop, and as part of that she interviewed ten artists that she feels have a unique style.    fortunately she told me what the questions were before the interview because the focus was on composition, which isn't something that i give much thought to in a rational, left brain sort of way when i'm painting.  i can honestly say that i enjoyed the interview a great deal! i felt like i was talking with a kindred spirit who totally 'got' what i was saying...  i could've chatted  for a long, long time, ha!   fast forward to now and her workshop, compose+yourself, is almost ready to start, and  i'm helping her spread the word.  she's incorporated the interviews into the workshop, but there's so much more - it's a three month course for heaven's sake!  if you feel at all inclined, please check it out...