Sunday, October 20, 2013

Wonderful Workshop in Daytona Beach

This past week's painting workshop was a great experience for all. The feedback from the seven participants, Judy, Debra, Trudy, Shayna, Dottie, Tammy, and Dawn told me I hit the mark. Painting white fabric with lace was touch and go but I pulled it out of the weeds.  One problem was the medium I was using had a smell that affected one of my students so I had to switch.  Tried something new and found the drying time took forever.  But it all worked out in the end.
Each morning was my time to teach beyond the brush.  We discussed schools of different painting processes and painting "intentions and concepts."  Tuesday night was a cruise on Spruce Creek leaving from Cracker Creek.  The sunset cruise with wine and goodies was breathtaking and ended with a demonstration on how to crack a whip hence the name "Florida Cracker."

During the day my ladies worked long and hard.  Lunch was provided by Shayna, one of our artist, and my husband, David.  He loves cooking so when he said he wanted to fix a traditional Southern dinner, there was no stopping him.

Here's Trudy jumping right in with a colorful block-in.

Debra found one of my wooded puppets and put him in a setting.

Dawn challenged herself with a piece of white cut embroidery to accompany fruit and glass.

Tammy found a piece of velvet tapestry and is blocking in building form first.

Initial block-in by Judy.  Another lace fabric to challenge her.

Trudy is from the Cayman Islands by way of Georgia and you can see how she loves color.  Mango anyone?

Looking through the viewfinder and cropping her still life, Shayna is planning and drawing first.  As I emphasized the entire week-"Honor Your Process."  There is no one right way to start a painting so my other message was "choose your process that supports your strengths and your weaknesses."  But this is a topic for another blog.

My next workshop will be in Fredericksburg, TX in February.  Contact The Good Art Co. for more information.

Next April 4-7 I will be hosting a visiting artist Karen Winslow who will be teaching the prismatic palette in both landscape and still life.  Contact me for more information.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Almost Finished

Sorry for the delay and the almost finished white lace painting.  Last week was my week long workshop and my attention went there even though the painting is finished.  As usual, I will look at it for a while and tweak it if needed. I will get a picture of the entire 30 x 40 inch canvas and post tomorrow.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Small Bites

If you have been following along on this painting, you may ask yourself, "How do you paint the intricate lace patterns?"  Okay, one bite at a time isn't a sufficient enough answer but describing the process in a verbal linear fashion may be impossible-but here goes.

 First, there are about four areas that are treated somewhat differently in the approach.  Top left lace is folded and draped on top of itself which means there is no distinct pattern and the values, in places, are very close. Brushwork is varied-dabs mostly.  I look for distinct open areas where the dark of the rug shows through.  That is painted in as the shape that I see.  Those small areas must be somewhat dry before I try to put in the small strings that cross the dark area.  You can see where one area has the strings and lower down it is still just a dark pattern.  On to the right of this area.

Top middle: one must see that value pattern that is underneath the string pattern and continue the light/shadow pattern first ignoring the lace (that was done earlier in the block-in).  Squint down on the band of lace in that area and ask yourself-"Where is it darker than the dark shadow already there?  Is it  warmer or cooler than the shadow pattern?"  I do this all across the top band.  On the far top right there is very little pattern showing because it is totally in shadow. This is about four hours of work.    So far so good.

Looking at the bottom, you can see the left block-in looks differently than the right.  That's because the left lace is draped such that the folds overlap in places.  That's where you see no blackish background.  In contrast, the bottom right is flat against the background with only a slight fold.

The same questions are constantly being asked in my head about values and temperature.  My colors are still pretty much the same,  I'm using Warm White from Gamblin to keep the light side warm.  Next installment, I hope to have the bottom finished. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Love Maybe

     Here I have massed in the light shapes and the shadow shapes.  This is the stage that goes quickly because I only have to decide is it light or is it dark.  It's like sorting laundry into two piles.

       Someone asked about the colors I use.  First let me say I paint with a small north light window but it's not enough light so I augment it with a 5,000K bulb up next to the window.  That "leans" the light a little warm.  Remember 6,500K is close to north light coolness.  Next because this beautiful fabric is old and has a yellowed aged cast to it, I want the light sides to be toward warm making the light perfect.  I'm using the new Gamblin Warm White as my base white.  It holds the warmness when mixed and does not cool the color or make it chalky like some whites.  This is an indoor atmosphere so I'm not using all the brilliant colors of the outdoor palette.  Shadows in the studio tend to be warm also.  My light is a mixture of the Warm White, a touch of raw umber (green shade) and a touch of Cobalt blue.  My lights are massed in at about 2/ 3 in value and all my lights then can later be adjusted with a range of the lightest light at a 1 and the darkest light at about a 4.  You can see the pattern clearly.  Shadows go darker and start at about a 6.  Again I can go up to a 5 and the darkest darks get to about an 8 but only in the dark creases of the folds.  Translucent lights need to be ignored at this point. 

How do you eat an elephant? Yea, one bite at a time.  At this point the progress slows down and my love turns to labor, like in pains.  I have to remember the elephant question or else I would give up.  How do I know?  Because when I paint this type of lace, it takes concentration and focusing on the values of the surface changes.  Then and only then do I focus on the strings of the lace.  One stroke then about thirty seconds to a minute before the next stroke is made. 

The open lace work is treated differently since the rug shows through in some areas.  The basic rug color is painted in and here is where I have negative thoughts running through my head.  When I look at the entire surface I feel like I can't do it but if I focus on one area and tell myself that if this one area gets completed today, that's great. Small bites.   I'll  think about the other lace sections tomorrow.  Now I sound like Scarlette O'Hara.

 Not finished but good enough for today.  Comments and questions are welcomed. 
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