Saturday, December 1, 2012

Wrap Up The Year

Yes, it is only the 1st of December, but I am in a mood to start tying up loose ends.

I have not posted anything on this blog recently - my life has taken a turn.  Since the beginning of July I have been in Florida helping my Aunt.  She is my Dad's little sister and my godmother and a good friend all of my life.  She lost her husband of over 51 years and has some heath issues of her own.  I have been staying with her, helping with all of the paperwork, doctors visits etc.  My energy is spent with all of that.  Things have stabilized enough that I feel that I can start putting some effort into my own work.

I have been sketching.  Exploring ideas for a book to write.  Planning to finally getting around to updating my website. 

I need to get photos and create a post showing my latest 4 painting that I did in the Spring.  They each can stand alone, be two diptych or what I like most is that they can hang 4 in a rectangle and create one large quad-tych.  Each is 3' x 2' and when hung like that the image is 6' x 4'.  I created it to be hung as part of a show called Big Art which was displayed at the Richardson Gallery at the Horry Georgetown Tech College at the Conway campus.  I really like how it turned out (and how easy it was to transport this way)

I hope the Holidays are wonderful for everyone.  My resolution for the New Year is to get back to posting on a regular basis.  I might just be able to keep that one :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Color Pencil on Dura-lar

On 4/21/12 the WACG held a color pencil workshop with Kate Lagaly showing us how to create images in color pencil on dura-lar (acetate with both side having a matt finish).  Using Prisma-color pencils.

Once you have your image to work with.  It helps to have both the photo or sketch  and a mirror image of it.

  • mark the dura-lar so one side is the side for the 'black & white' image and one side is the side for the color -  very important!
  • on the color side - outline your image enough to place the image on the sheet and to give yourself a guide to different value areas.  Not a detailed drawing.  I found if I did this sketch in a color, such as blue, it was easier to see later on.
  • on the b&w side - using black, white and grays do a detailed drawing of the image capturing the values.  You are creating a grissiale drawing.  If you prefer not to do it in grays, you can always use any color you want that will give you a good monotone value drawing.  (I found putting in the whites first helped save the light areas, since putting them in last was burnishing the pencil)  Working on the slick paper is very different from color pencil on regular paper, so you may want to go with a very light touch first.  You will want to work on a solid board or sheet of paper; it can be white although most of us liked something with color such as a manila folder or sheet of construction paper.
  • on the color side - erase the line drawing you did earlier.
  • on the color side - begin to add color to your image.  Keep in mind that it is a little like painting on glass - the colors you put on first will show up the most on the opposite side.  The value image you created first will save the values for you on this side.  You can flip the sheet often to see how it looks. You can always add more values to the b&w side and/or more colors to the side with color.  Try not to mix them up!  Very easy to do.
  • Decide which side is your finished side - either one is right, just choose which side you like the most.
  • When you go to frame the image, you can back it with either a plain white sheet of matt board, or a sheet of color paper or a painted background or whatever you want.  It is easy to try out different backgrounds or even plan out a related image to put behind it.  As most color pencil images they are best framed matted and under glass or plexi.
Although we did not get to finish our images, everyone was making very good progress and learning a lot.  This new technique offers many benefits: getting good values in your drawing, experimenting with colors without loosing your values and offering many looks by changing the background it is placed upon.

Thanks Kate for a wonderful workshop!

My monotone sketch with the mirror images of the frog.

The first is the side I added color to, then flipped it so you can see the b&w side.  I placed it over a blue/yellow beach wash paper and then placed it over a red paper.
The sky is the limit.  enjoy!

the BIG picture Part 2

Now that the 'priming' is dry, it is time to layout the design.  I used my living room floor to lay the four canvases out as one large painting.
I do not transfer the entire image.  I wanted to get the strong lines in, so I used blue painter's tape -easier for a large image.  I used blue chalk to mark the location of a few major objects.
I put in just what I need to save some lights and establish how the four individual canvases will relate to each other.
Next step is to begin laying in some background.  I will do some if that with the canvases on the floor, to make the transition appear seamless.  But once that is in I will work on one canvas at a time for convenience.  I can always put them back down on the floor to make any judgements I may need to make to be sure they continue to play well together.
Time to bring out more paint!

Friday, April 20, 2012

the BIG picture Part 1

I have begun a new project.  Millie Doud is putting together at the Richardson Gallery:  the big picture, the summer show at the Richardson Gallery on the Conway campus of Horry-Georgetown Technical College.  She asked me a while ago if I would like to participate and I just love painting large.  I enjoy doing murals and large canvases.  Most shows I enter have size limits so I do not get to do non-mural large works too often.  I went through many ideas and concepts and tried to come up with a way that will let me create a BIG picture that will fit in my studio, fit in my car and fit in the gallery.  I will document the process and hope you enjoy the ride.

For size and convenience I decided to make my entry out of four 36x24 canvases which will hang in a rectangle giving the final size 72 x 48 - that's big.  The individual canvases will be a size I can work with and transport in my car.  I want them to hang together but at the same time they can also be treated as individual pieces.

I swoon when I walk through tropical gardens.  Visiting my Aunt and Uncle in Florida gives me a chance to do so on a regular basis.  I have tons of photos I have taken especially at the American Orchid Society gardens (although they are now moving closer to Miami).   So I dug through my photos and came up with some of my favorites and put together a scene of a tropical garden.  It took many sketches and concepts to come up with a plan that unites the 4 canvases but will allow each to stand alone.

I ordered the canvases and today I put a base coat of yellow on each.  I like to use a base coat to unite all four.  It will give a good base to the canvas and I chose yellow to give a glow of sunlight behind the images.  Not much will show through, but if I do leave a gap in the paint, yellow will appear and not the white of the canvas.  I like to do a base of yellow on all of my landscapes just for that reason.

Once they dry,  I will use chalk and blue tape to lay out the image.  Then I will put in a background.  Once that's done I can work on one canvas at a time.