Friday, August 29, 2008

Planning a Mural

I talked to a lovely couple about creating a mural for their living room. I met with them and saw the space. They looked through my photos of other murals I have done. They want a Live Oak tree with lots of Spanish Moss. I took some measurements and told them I would give them some options.

This is how I went about planning it out. I did a quick sketch of a tree the approximate shape and size of the tree on a layout of the size of the wall. I then used some software to vary the options of how the tree could be place. This is a starting point for our conversations. They have a visual reference for the options they have for the tree. Although I have my favorite, it really doesn't count. They have to live with it - so I want to paint something they will be happy with.

When I go to paint the tree, it will be realistic using natural colors. The sketch is just a rough way to work out the spacing issues before I go any further. Will keep you posted.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

'Reach In' - the illustration - part 2

OK, I have added the bars for the cell and decided to add the wording as well. I chose posterbondini font - I was looking for a strong font that echoed the bars of the cell. I framed out the hands and emphasized the hand reaching in. I like the results. I feel it is a strong image that really pops. It is simple and clean yet emotional. I hope they like it. Any suggestions or comments?

'Reach In' - the illustration

I have received a commission to create an image for 'Reach In'. The focal point of the image is the reach to a handshake. So I begin with that. I started with a few sketches and chose my favorite. I then used tracing paper to try the image a couple of ways. The image is to be a black and white silhouette, so I tried one that was very solid, one with a lot of heavy cross hatching and one less stark. The third was my favorite - however when I first scanned it in to my pc, it was not a good result. So I tried placing another sheet of tracing paper over it before scanning - to 'soften it a little' - that turned out just how I imaged it.

Next I will add the prison bars to show the hands reaching to each other through the cell walls. This has turned out to be a very strong image. I may recommend that my client consider using this one. It may convey what they want. Onto the next step.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Business of Art

Sat, Aug 16th, WACG, for our August meeting, had a great workshop on the business of being an artist. Amy Funderburk was our guest speaker. She was great, she was able to squeeze a huge amount of great information into the four hours. She was entertaining as well as informative.

The highlights of her presentation were:
1-you need to respect your art and yourself as an artist.
2- if you do not value your art, no one else will.
3- create a consistent professional personae for yourself as an artist.
4- always present yourself in a professional way.
5- put yourself out there.
6- be persistent - it takes an consistent effort to find the right outlet for your work.
7- follows the rules - both the specific ones for entering your art and the legal ones for handling your business.
8- take small steps to reach a large goal.

The response from the 20-sum people who attended was thumbs up all around. Thank you Amy for a wealth of info! Thank you Kate for putting the workshop together for the guild. And thanks to me for getting all of the refreshments together. Good job all around!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Fabric of Our Lives - Part 2

The next stage of the painting. I have started to add more colors and more texture. Hopefully as it get further along it will have the appearance of fabric - almost a quilt like effect. I like it so far and will keep plugging away.

Catchin the Wind - Part 3

I have played some more with my sailboat. I have cleaned up the smudges that occurred during transport home from the Open Studio. I have added texture to the water and increased the value contrast some. I still need to add my sailor. But it is coming along nicely.

Friday, August 8, 2008

August Newsletter on Web-site

I have published my August newsletter. If you want to read it and all past issues are available on my web-site plus I have added some new art photos to the site. If you want to have future issues e-mailed directly to you, send me your address to - I never give out or sell these addresses. If you ask to unsubscribe, I do that immediately. Any questions or suggestions are gratefully accepted.

The Fabric of Our Lives - Part 1

I started another of my 'Body Language' series. I did a sketch, tried out a mirror image of part of it, but I did not like the hard, horizontal line. So when I transferred the image to the canvas, I made some changes. Since the faces are important to the image, I painted them first to get them down. Now I can make decisions around them. Such as which way is up? I am not sure yet.

The concept is that there are many people who make up the fabric of our lives. They are interwoven into our every days. So much so that we do not always see them, but they are there in many ways. The challenge will be to interpret that into the painting. Watch and see how it progresses!

Catching the Wind - Part 2

Here is the next update of my painting. I added more colors in the sky. I added more texture, values and colors in the water. I have the boats painted in. I still need to add my sailors, finish the detail on the large boat and touch up here and there. Perhaps sometime next week. If not sooner I will take it to the open studio.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Catching the Wind

This is one of the ideas I have in my 'paint someday' folder. I finally got it out and started it. I think I want to paint this one with lots of texture and thick paints. That is how I did the sky so far. I just painted the water smooth, but I wanted an under painting so when I go back over with thicker paints, what is already there can show through and give some contrasting colors.

I like having a 'to do list' of what I want to paint. I feel I can get right into painting without having to decide 'what will I do today?' I may choose among the 10-12 I have selected, but its better than starting without clue of what I want to get onto canvas. My 'to do' list is always growing, I don't think it ever gets done. But it is sort of my top 10 of good ideas - so I can add to it when my brain is working that way and pick from the list when I am ready to work.

Most artists have a huge stash of things that they want to paint. But try narrowing it down every once in a while to a manageable 5-10 and have those ideas at the top of the list. So the next time you go to start a project, you have a reasonable number of ideas to choose from.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Autumn Live Oak - Completed

At our open studio yesterday, I completed the Live Oak in Autumn painting. I darkened the value of the shadows. I increased the intensity of the color of the leaves. I added more warm colors in the leaves. I like the result. I used my artistic license to give the live oaks additional warm colors to give it the feel of autumn. I used intense autumn colors on the ground to really show the season. I let more sky show through the leaves to give some 'lightness' to the trees which so many trees have in autumn. Overall I think it works. Enjoy!