Sorry – I haven’t been posting in a while. Here’s a work-in-progress painting of a Marbled Murrelet that I’m doing for Seattle Audubon. I’m planning to paint in a background of an old growth forest, but they have some important conversation actions coming up in March, so I also made this badge for them too:
The marbled murrelet is a bird that is endangered because its habitat depends on both the ocean and old growth forests. Although it’s a sea bird with webbed feet, it nests high up in old growth forests and lays a single egg at a time.
Things have otherwise been good. I’ll do another post soon. I’m taking Western Civilization this quarter, so more free time to work on projects like this murrelet. I’m also 4 weeks into an Artist’s Way class in Seattle and I’m just figuring out how to sell greeting cards on Etsy and Amazon. I can talk more about that in a future post.
We had an interesting discussion this past week about realistic (or hyper-realistic) painting vs. realistic
painting with fantastic elements. A fellow student shared some of the hyper-realistic paintings of Charles Jeong from South Korea. I shared Allen Williams’ If Beauty Were a Book, done in graphite.
I realized while I like representational art, I prefer works that convey emotion or story more than complete accuracy.
In our final assignment of the class (costume figure), I decided to change it up a bit and use color and value changes, and even changes in the model to alter the mood.
It great to get back painting again. I combined a gouache underpainting with transparent watercolor and then Faber Castell Polychromos pencils and little touches of Sennelier pastels for highlights. It was nice to see that all of the media seemed to work together.
Had a great time with the critique group through SCBWI last weekend. Now I have a week off before starting Concept Illustration.
It’ll be my first show. I’ll also have an elk cow and crow in the exhibition. We’ll be driving out on the first Friday, May 6th, 5-7 pm. Food & Wine will be by Springboard Winery and music will be provided by the Lincoln Elementary School Music Club.
I finished my watercolor portrait workshop with Hamid at Gage Academy this past week, but I still wanted to learn more, so I checked out Scott Waddell‘s Art of the Painting video. It’s great! His demo is for oil, but most of his principles work for all classical painting. He starts off ‘posterizing’ the major lights and darks, establishes the values, then shifts into conceptualizing mode, carving the face in 3D in color. I found the method straightforward and much simpler than just trying take in all the information at once. Scott supplements his painting with video illustrations of the behavior of light on 3D surfaces.
It’s been a busy quarter with two studio classes. In color, we started out with assignments to paint in different color harmonies – which forced us to experiment with non-usual colors. We ended the class this week with the topic of synesthesia – where senses are mixed in a physical experience, and then we were asked to create a work that was inspired by a response to music.
I had fun with this – and created this work with the woodpecker in a waterfall cascade of sound. It’s painting in gouache with a watercolor pencil for detail.
The color class was definitely the most challenging and new for me.
If you’re interested in the song the inspired the painting, I embedded it below from Soundcloud.
The Life Drawing class was pretty straightforward, but I found by just having to do so much drawing, it became easier to get a physical sense for what I was seeing, and then to appreciate the changes that take place with movement.
In one week’s exercise, we had to draw 24 hand positions.
Here’s my portrait of a wild turkey in gouche. Quite a bird. I also varied the background a bit by setting down saran wrap before the paint had completely dried.
I did get a chance to meet artists at Artists Connect in Edmonds (their tagline is Artists Helping Artists) and next week I thought I’d check out Evergreen Association of Fine Arts which meets in Bellevue. These a great communities – usually some demos, critiques, and opportunities to have art displayed.
My classes this quarter are Art History II and Perspective. I’ll post my papers on Max Ernst and Laocoon and His Sons from last quarter when I get a chance. The two paintings I’m working now both involve landscapes, so I’m definitely getting beyond my comfort zone. This week I collected examples of atmospheric perspective in paintings and I’ll share those too.
I had a breakthrough in painting this week, mixing more colors and getting more of a sense of the brush. There are still things I struggled with, but this was turned out much better than I thought and it’ll be a surprise for my cousin and her husband.
I was also searching this past week for creative commons sources for reference photos and I found a nice site called Paint My Photo which has a lot of high resolution photos of animals, landscapes, and portraits that I’ll definitely use. The site brings artists and photographers and each enjoys the other’s work.
I think I’m going to tackle another interesting bird for my next work.
Here’s blue kangaroo that I finished from my trip to the zoo. I found out that I’m probably using too little water and paint in my gouache. I had assumed that letting the paint dry up was fine as it can be reconstituted with water, but I found out that that’s not the case. I’m working on a portrait now and hope to have something to show soon.
I’m color mixing more now.
This beautiful Cooper’s hawk was on our neighbor’s roof this morning. Coopers and sharp-shinned hawks are pretty similar except I think this is a Cooper because of his big head. Here’s a close up of his head. I wish I had a little larger zoom lens, but this was still pretty cool.