Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Merry Christmas!

My card for 2009. Continuing the exploits of 'Little Crab' and the decorating of the tree.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bird Feeder - Class Demo

Here is photo of the latest class demo. I finished it on Thursday. I will start a new demo in January when classes resume.

The lessons that went with this painting are, in no particular order...

It is an example of 'arial perspective' - the distant trees are bluer and softer than the near bushes. You can paint a bird with just a dot and stroke or two - just get the shape and size right. Flowers are best when painted in three layers, a dark value, followed by a mid-value, followed by the highlight. Keep highlights all on the same side toward the light source. Make sure your cast shadows under the bushes are a dark value. To make an object appear 3-D you need 3 values - check the bee hive boxes in the front, one side is light, one medium and one dark to give them dimensions. Even the sticks need a highlight.

One day workshop on Thursday Dec 17 9am til noon $8.00 Everyone welcomed. Classes resume first week of January, 2010.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bridge in Color Pencil

I just completed this small landscape of a bridge over a boulder strewn stream in color pencil. It is an image I found interesting and thought it would be a fun challenge in color pencil. I do not use color pencils often, they are not my favorite medium to use, but I like to keep in practice.

No matter what medium you choose, the basic principles of composition, perspective, ariel perspective, value use and color temperature use are always the same. Kate told me that my personal style shows through even though its not my medium of choice - that made me feel good since I think your personal style remains the same no matter what medium you use.

Using different mediums will keep you versitile. What you learn in one medium will usually translate to your usual medium. Doing something different will also keep your work fresh. Although oils are my first choice, I like playing with almost every medium out there.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hammock Mural Day 3

The completed mural. I just need to put a protective coat on it tomorrow and pack up my stuff. I am very happy how it turned out, and so are my clients.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hammock Mural End of Day 2

The mural at the end of DAY 2

Hammock Mural Day 2

I continued with the mural. End of Day one had the sky, sea and sand started.

Day 2 I began the palms, painted the two trunks first. It is easier to keep them consistent that way. Then I painted the fronds. Not too many - wanted to keep the feel of the mural light and airy.

Friday I will paint the hammock and finish the sea and sand. That will leave just putting a protective coat over the whole thing on Saturday. I think it is looking good and my clients are happy too.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hammock Mural

Began a new mural project today. A beach scene with two palms with a hammock strung between them is the plan. Got the first layer on today, remembered to take a 'before' shot, but forgot to take one at the end of the painting session. Will try to get that tomorrow before I begin again.

Come back for the more interesting photos!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Class Project - 3 Vases - Part 1

Classes have resumed and so have my demonstrations. The first week I finished the rusty pail with onions and gourds. Then I did a quick seascape for the other Jackie. This week I finally began the first real demo of the school year.

This will be a simple still life of 3 vases. I will use it to go over basic principles, that if followed, will help you create a better painting.

1 - use your entire canvas. No matter what size your layout or the photo or sketch you are working on, make sure that when you transfer the image onto your canvas, you fill up the space you have so the image will have proper impact.

2 - vary the sizes of your objects. I like the Goldilocks principle best, have one larger, one smaller and one medium size. They do not have to be drastically different, just a small variation will do.

3 - no kissing! Either your objects should overlap (which gives the illusion of distance and space) or there should be a large enough gap between them that it is obvious. No 'just touching' or kissing allowed.

4 - objects should be sitting on a surface with definite cast shadows. The shadows are what 'glues' an object down, otherwise it will appear to float. The color of the shadow is a darker value of the surface.

5 - the background should be a lighter value than the surface the objects are sitting on. It can be a different color or not, but usually a lighter value.

6 - try to avoid having one object dead-center in the painting. If the objects overlap, try to have the grouping slightly off-center. This will make the painting more interesting and less static.

7 - vary the values slightly in large areas, such as the background. By varying the values and giving the area interest with varying brushstrokes, you make the background more interesting and easier to correct in the future.

8 - overlap the shapes of your objects with the background. You always want to finish the objects by painting over the background. So if the background sneaks into the object's area first, you can then paint over it. The overlapping brushstrokes will help the object appear in front of the background. Trying to butt two brushstrokes next to each other doesn't work well, you usually leave a tiny gap showing and it looks amateurish.

Whew! That was a lot that we covered in a short demo. More to come next week!

You are welcomed to join the class, Thursdays 9am til noon, Base Rec Center in Myrtle Beach near the new Market Commons area. All skill levels, all media welcomed.

Monday, July 6, 2009

New Life for a Faded Print

My friend has this print which she really likes, but it has faded over time due to exposure to sunlight. So she asked me to re-color it, which I did. I used the new Golden 'Open' acrylic paints. They worked great. They are transparent, so I used several layers to build up the color but kept the image intact. They needed very little water so the paper never buckled or wrinkled. The colors are bright and I did a 'sort of'' impressionistic style to capture the feeling of the sunlight on the subject.

First photo I just started the rocks. Thought that would be a good place to practice a little and if more layers were needed, it would not show up as much as it would in other areas. Then I completed the rest of the background, saving the figure for last.

She is out of town but I will deliver it later and let you know how she likes it. I am very pleased with how it turned out. What do you think?

Monday, May 11, 2009

WACG Breakfast

The WACG's general meetings have stopped til August.  Our museum show runs til May 22 at the B&C Art Museum.  Open Tues-Sun 10 til 4, free admission - great show, come by and see it.  I have 2 paintings in the show.

The casual breakfast meeting is tomorrow, Tuesday the 12th at Woodhaven Pancake house on S Kings Hwy.  You can come, its open to all.  9 am.  I will probably come for a short while.  Should go to Kate's class.  Its the last one of the Spring and our 'secret' assignments are due.  We were to create a painting that incorporates a frog and autumn leaves.  Gotta finish mine, almost done.

I want to get back in the habit of updating Twitter and my blog and my website.  Still recovering from my fire.  I had gotten into a nice routine of getting up, getting breakfast, going to the office, signing on, checking email and updating the sites.  Without an office or an easy place to sign on, I got out of my pattern.  Being a creature of habit is good at times but it makes it hard to create a new habit when the old one was so comfortable.

Still not sure how long I will be staying with Mom.  Do I get a phone line installed in the room so I can still use my dial-up? (yeah still dial up, a budget issue).  Or get road runner? - not many choices in this area.  But if I won't be there for a year, I cannot commit to a contract.

Been sooooo busy with work, illustrations, work, taxes, work, house inventory, work, visiting family, work, WACG workshop and show...  Oh and did I mention work?  My brain is fried most of the time.  So I plod on the best I can.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Class Demo - Sand Crane Part 2

The next stage in creating the painting of the Sand Crane is to plan it out. The background is dry, so I transferred the outline of the crane and placed it where I wanted it in the landscape. I feel where I placed it, it echos the trees. I also placed it facing to the right. That way it is looking out of the canvas, rather than sticking its nose into the tree.
I used some titanium white and 'whited' it out. This way I have a clean slate to paint on and the colors I use for the bird will remain true and have less of a chance of appearing muddy.
I used white chalk to sketch out the branches, the Spanish moss and the shore line of the pond. Planning is just as important as putting paint on the canvas. It is easier to erase chalk than repaint an area.
Don't remember who said it first but "Failing to plan is planning to fail.' and that holds true when creating a painting as well as most other areas of life.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Class Demo - Sand Crane

Class got off to a great start. As part of the class, about half way through the 3 hour session, I do a 10-20 minute demo. This session I began a painting of a sand crane based on a photo I took while visiting down in Florida this past June. I like the position and image of the bird in my photo, but the background is just OK. So I found another photo that has a background that I like much better. I decided to combine the two, use the background from one and the focal image from the other.

This is not an unusual practice. In fact, it a great way to develop a better painting. Most times a photo will not be the perfect image for a painting. But by combining features from two or more photos, one can create a composition that is more than the sum of all of these parts.

My approach to creating almost every painting that I do is to build up the composition. Think of setting a table, you need to put down the table cloth first, then the dishes then the food. Do it out of order and you get a mess. Same thing with a painting - I build the background first, then add the featured items, then add the finishing touches.

For this painting, I first blocked in the distant trees in the upper right quarter of the canvas. I used Dioxazine purple for my darks. This adds color to my shadows and a richness and depth to the distant trees. You can also use a mix of ultramarine blue and alizarin to get a similiar color.

I also mixed in chromium oxide green, some raw sienna, burnt sienna and ultramarine blue as well as some titanium white. The photo I was working from did not show any sky color. However, I personally think that by adding some blue into the distant tree colors, it adds some atmospheric depth to the image. I softly blended the area, then did a few upward strokes from the darker bottom area up to the lighter area giving the form of trees.

The grassy area is large strokes of the same green, browns and golds, but finished with a horizontal stroke. The watery, swampy area has more blue, but also the ground colors in it. I used some raw umber to block in the tree trunks and add some shadows on the ground. I kept everything soft. This will help create the illussion of depth to the finished painting. Items up close are in sharper focus than items in the distance.

I will let this stage dry. With the background filled in, once I start adding the rest of the images, I will not have to worry about painting around things or filling in small spaces. The stage is set it will soon be time for the actors to enter.

Class is held on Thursdays from 9 am til noon at the Base Rec Center. For more info jackie@artistjackie.com