Saturday, February 28, 2009

WBO - Fractured

This week's paintings have been giving me some trouble. Frustration is more like it. I was able to get some help from Pattie when I "lost" my value pattern in my Fractured painting. I have a lot to learn about Photoshop and Pattie showed me how (once I learn) I can use technology to help me work out problems I'm having with my design or value layout. Thanks Pattie! Painting #2 is still a work in progress, having started it twice already, but here is #1. I'm including my grayscale version along with the full color final piece.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

WBO Paintings #9 and #10

It seems a long time ago that we had our last WBO class but it's only been a week. I started by playing with some value study ideas, using my little transparent overlays over generic values of black and white. It was interesting but didn't really leave me with a lighting bolt of inspiration. I had it in my head to do a diagonal shaft of light coming from the upper corner so I just went with that. It wasn't until Wednesday when I finally starting painting, having trouble getting going this week, so I started two paintings simultaneously. The first one didn't take the paint the way I had hoped so I just started pouring it on, masking areas, letting it dry and repeating the process. It was VERY messy and VERY wet so I did it outside (as evidenced by my blue-stained entry area!). Because it took so long to dry I worked on my second painting between "layers". The second one is just a geometric style I had been toying with in my sketchbook.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

WBO - Looking for Inspiration

Yesterday in WBO class Mike encouraged us to doodle, making thumbnail value sketches - but this time making abstract designs, just playing with dark, medium and light values. The idea is to come up with some interesting abstract value designs and then develope our painting (still life) over top of that design. I got the idea in my head to scan a simple drawing of my still life into Photoshop, copy it into WORD and print a dozen of the images on tracing paper - it works great! I'm still playing with the value designs - not as easy as it seems - and I tape the little tracing paper images over the value study to see if I like it or not! Cool! That's my tip for the day - I keep trying to throw my back out so I decided to take a nice hot bubble bath and read Art and Fear instead of draw. Okay, okay, I'm going to do it now!

P.S. The scan is a little hard to see but you get the idea.

Monday, February 16, 2009

WBO class today

Today we continued our lesson on values, trying to concentrate on just dark and light and how it flows or connects through the painting. Mike told us to think in works like "comglomerate, bundle, huddle, mass, fracture," etc. I decided it would be worthwhile to take the paintings I have done so far and change them to grayscale in Photoshop. That helped to see the values but then I took it one step further and cranked up the contrast levels so that the darks would "read" as just dark and not varying shades of gray. I think I will print out small copies to paste into my sketchbook to help me when I'm trying to work out future paintings. Value sketches still seem difficult to me so I'm hoping this will help.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

WBO - Week 4

This entry catches me up on adding WBO paintings to my blog. Since we have to paint the same still life every week we are constantly trying to approach it from a different angle. My goal for this first painting was to let the shadows sort of "melt" into each other and drip down off the tiled counter top. The drips were a little difficult to control and the colors didn't quite react as I had expected but all-in-all it represents just another approach to my subject.

The second painting was done in literally a few minutes, about 20 to be precise. I made a little sample in my sketchbook first because I was nervous drawing in permanent Sharpie on my nice watercolor paper. What the heck, it is just paper, right?! I am actually quite happy with this one - we aren't allowed to say "like" or "dislike" in class - it captured the loose quality I was aiming for so I'm happy.

WBO - Week 3

I've been getting some good- natured ribbing about my lack of computer savvy and not knowing how to download pictures to the computer. So, this morning I asked dear hubby to show me how. As it turns out my computer predates Triceratops and trying to add yet another hub to its antiquated system was not a happy prospect. I ended up loosing my Internet connection - which was weak at best anyway - so hubby disconnected it, fixed my connection and showed me how to download pics on his computer. Looks like I might be inheriting his PC since he now uses his Mac laptop. Yeah! Anyway, here are my paintings from Week 3 of my Watercolor Beyond the Obvious class.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

WBO Paintings - Week 2

My first week I kind of played it safe. I noticed that both of my paintings were on the small side - not covering much of the paper, so this week I decided to go for a bold statement and use every bit of the paper. While painting the first one I hit upon the idea of doing a gray-scale version with a little hot pink for contrast. I spent so much of the week hunched over that I was lucky I was able to eventually straighten myself out!

Watercolor Beyond the Obvious Class

After several years of wishing and hoping I could take Mike Bailey's Watercolor Beyond the Obvious Class, my time has finally come! So far so good! Each week we are required to paint two full-sheet paintings (that's 22" x 30" in case you are wondering!) of a still life that we selected at the beginning of class. Once we have established our still life set up we are not allowed to modify it in any way. By the end of the 10-week course we will have painted our particular still life arrangment TWENTY times! Yeah, you read that correctly, twenty times! We are allowed to take artistic license so that gives us a wide range of possibilities. Here my first several attempts.