Thursday, September 23, 2010

New student paintings-Have a look they're GREAT!

The first painting is Chrissy's. She worked from a photograph she had taken back east on the coast. The photo itself had some issues as all photos do. However, we've been working on making good decisions and really planning their paintings. Photos lie and you have to be aware of that when working from them. It helps if you are working from photos you have taken and places you have actually been. Your memory kicks in and helps you fill in the blanks that the photo doesn't capture. I had her start by doing several thumbnails to narrow down her plan and composition. Then I had her visualize her color pallette and actually work up a chart using those colors. then, with her plan in place, she was able to do this painting and she did a great job!
Joyce, on the other hand, is working on the same lesson about working from a photo but hers is still a work in progress. However, the abstract that is here is one we worked on from a landsacpe painting that failed. We looked at it from different angles to see if it could be saved. Well, by turning it sideways and looking at the beautiful melding of colors that she had going on, she was able to turn a failed landscape into a wonderful abstract painting. Loved the little gold touches which just make this painting pop!
Way to go girls-you really rocked it this week in class! I am so proud of you and couldn't wait to share your successes.
Happy painting, everyone,

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Painting portraits from photographs

It is always a challenge painting portraits from photographs, but sometimes, as in the case of my latest commission, it was the only way. The client wanted a sketch done from the only photo of her ancestors that she possessed. The heads in the photos were smaller than 1 1/2" which is usually as small as I like to go to get a likeness. Even for the Grateful Hearts Program, we like to have the heads in the photos be at least 1 1/2" to 2" tall at minimum.

Sometimes ,even though, the photo is not all that you may want as an artist, you can still achieve a good likeness and create a memory for your client. Hopefully, this is what I have succeeded at with this painting. The client has seen the piece in various stage of development along the way and is pleased with the direction the painting is taking.

I can not express more importantly that when you do commission work, it is vital that you involve your client. Afterall, it is their memory and vision you are ultimately relying on to create your work. Some artists have told me that they do not like commission work-feels it stifles their creativity and their voice. I on the other hand enjoy the collaborative effort to involve someone in the production of art. It is also satisfying to know that you have created something that your client will treasure and a memory that will be seen and shared with others.

So go ahead and try commissions, let loose your creative spirit and help it to live on thru others.

Happy Painting!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

New oil painting-work in progress

Every once in awhile, I like to try something new. This is a new subject for me-the Arizona landscape in winter. I decided to do an oil painting from a photo that I had taken in Arizona a few years ago. The starkness of the landscape and the wonderful cloud formations are going to be a challenge.
You never know, when you start a painting if it will be a success or not. Even the failures can provide valuable learning experiences and so should be pursued. The jury is still out on this work. I feel that I have achieved the starkness of the landscape that I felt when viewing it in person.
I also think that the clouds are coming along nicely. However, other parts are still haunting me so I will put this one aside for awhile and look at it again in about a week. Sometimes, you need a fresh eye to see what is working and what's not. Don't be afraid to critique your work-not everything you do will be spot on. I think most of we artists forget that from time to time.
You will never know how far you've come as an artist if you don't remember where you've been. Now go out a paint the world!
Happy Painting,