Thursday, June 27, 2013

In Uniform - Newest Paintings from the Woodstock Series

Memorial Day in downtown Woodstock was absolutely wonderful.  The weather was sunny and clear, and a huge crowd gathered in the city park to honor the Veterans of the Armed Forces.  As I approached the park, I caught my first great photo of the day - a fireman bending down to hand a red hat over to a young boy.

I was pretty far away, so I kept shooting as I got closer.  I ended up combining a couple of shots to get the right pose of the fireman, the child, the firetruck, and the group of firefighters off to the right.

I was hoping to catch a good shot of the local fireman at some point - I often see them at Hot Dog Heaven, but this was a better shot - and showed a great side to their community spirit.

Later in the ceremony, I positioned myself at the back of the Veterans Memorial, where I could watch as several men in uniform came forward to lay a wreath at the base.  Again, I took multiple shots, and I combined a few elements - and left out some extra figures - to come up with this composition.

The gentleman in the middle was the eldest of the bunch, and I hesitated to add the cane, but at the advice of a friend I added it in, and that (along with the height of his waistband!) really helps to show his age.  I liked that contrast of the elder generation in the foreground and the young children in the back, doing their best salutes.  

It was a proud day to be part of the Woodstock community.  

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Rose Paintings are Ready!

A few months ago I painted a series of delightful small rose paintings.  A variety of colors, profiles and personalities bloomed on my easel.  Well, they are all dry, varnished, and ready for new homes!

I will be listing the series - priced individually - in my Etsy shop tonight around 9:PM EST.

Buy 3 original rose paintings -  I will refund 15% of your total sale.

Buy 4 original rose  paintings -  I will refund 20% of your total sale.

Buy 5 or more original rose  paintings -  I will refund 25% of your total sale.

You must purchase all of the roses you are interested at once, and you will need an Etsy account.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Portrait of a Redhead

I'm not going to lie to you.  This painting was painful.  I started pretty enthusiastically - I mean what's not to get excited about?  A beautiful picture with great lighting of a pretty girl wearing my FAVORITE color (purple BTW) and I get to PAINT it.  Nothing wrong with that!

So I started out by working from the photo in black and white - there was so much fun color to play with I felt I needed to just look at the light and get all the proportions and composition right.

I am working on oil primed cotton (for those of you keeping track!) First wash has blues and blacks with thinner.

I had a break in between painting sessions so the black was nice and dry when I went back and blocked in some local color.  

I blocked in the darkest darks - not really trying to get the right chroma, but the correct value.  

As I worked, the areas I addressed became smaller - face, shoulder, etc.

Continued to work into the details, such as the hands and the jewelry.  While I was happy with it overall, I never really thought the length of the neck was right, and I kept going back and forth with her jawline.  

At this point I almost called it "finished" - but the look on her face wasn't quite right.  She was more pensive in the source photo, and here she looked angry.

I was very happy with the hands and the purple shirt.

But the face was just not quite right yet.

So I scraped off the face and started working on it again.  For about 12 hours.  Paint was completely scraped off several times.  I was hitting a wall, I couldn't "see" the issues anymore, there was no progress being made (this is where you feel sorry for me...go on!)

Finally, I was getting closer.  The nose is actually now where the eye on the right used to be.  The jaw is slightly turned up, tilting her head a little.  I softened the eye on the left.

I adjusted the edge of her cheekbone too many times to think about.  Finally, it was much much better.

The adjustments to her head ended up pushing the composition a little closer to the top of the page than I had originally intended, but I think it still works.  

I am grateful to have the opportunity to work on so many portraits in a row lately.  Although I never feel like I have enough time in the studio, as I look at a group of paintings I can really see where my strengths and weaknesses lie.  I'm enjoying one amazing journey in front of my easel!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Casey Baugh Workshop Atlanta 2014

I am so thrilled to be hosting Casey Baugh next year at Studio 81 in Woodstock, GA.  Casey has just added the class to his website and I encourage you to register ASAP if you are interested - spaces go quickly!

You can see a re-cap of his April workshop on my blog.

My daughter snuck into this photo...Melvin Todd, me, and Casey from the last day of class.