Thursday, February 2, 2012

Everything Old is New Again

I am trying my hardest to use all of my available art supplies before I go out and buy new stuff!  The other day I went to Blick Art Supplies and told myself "Just get printer paper! That's all you need!" and still left with a new box of vine charcoal.  And masking tape.  But that's it.  I swear.

Anyway, this commitment to use what I have has led me to be pretty critical about the paintings and drawing around my studio - what is worth keeping, and what needs to be painted over?

I have had a couple of watercolor painting around for a while that I started during one of our group paint-outs in my friend's garden.  I was working in watercolor, and really was not pleased with the progress - the colors were not as deep as I wanted, I was having trouble with the aquaboard, just not getting anywhere, so I never did anything about it.

So, the first one in the purple sweater...I gave up on that one and covered it in gesso.  It will be painted over in the future!

The second one, I decided to use a semi-transparent layer of gesso/glaze and paint right over the watercolor in oil.

I am already so much happier with the painting.  I had to allow myself to let go of the previous intention of painting it in watercolor and find a way to make it work in a media that captured the colors better.

I also gessoed over a bunch of old charcoal drawing on watercolor paper mounted to foam core.  With a fresh pile of surfaces at the ready, I grabbed one for this 25 minute charcoal sketch from last night.

What's great about this surface is that it already had a bit of texture, color, and history, creating an interesting environment for the model.   

I also washed off an old aquaboard with another watercolor painting that I was never 100% happy with.

I liked parts of the painting, like her profile and neck, but never cared for the awkward hand on her chest.  So...I washed off the painting and primed the surface for oil.

And last night I painting from the live model on this panel.

I started with a quick sketch of the whole figure and the large shadow shapes.

Then I worked on the flesh tones and a little bit of background.

And to help make sure she was sitting solidly and I could establish the light source I continued with more flesh tones and blocking in the drapery.

I'm glad I am finishing up worthy pieces and brave enough to paint over others.  

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