Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sketch for Still-life

Also I started considering objects and composition of a still-life piece for commission. This is the first version of rough sketch.

Quickly defining greens

Over this long weekend, I've been quickly working on the midsection, in other words, focal point of this painting, mainly center toward left. I tried defining the colors of greens against the dried grass color. I also put some reddish soil colors in the background to see the effect of greens.

Then I realized those greens were a little too light. Since they are still wet (even though I used some oil painting medium), I can't put any darker colors on top of them. It would just mud them up. I need to wait a couple of days at least.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fresh restart, again

After the last update, I abruptly finished Yakima River over the weekend. I thought it could be much better. But it didn't turn out as I expected when I started painting it months before. A part of the problems was it took too long. I could have finished a couple of months ago. Anyway, I'm now waiting for a short sun break, which is good enough to take a photo.

Then I came back to this piece Beyond the Horizon. The last update of this piece was (geez) more than two months ago. As you can see, there is not much dark part. Not much shadow in other words. I put the darkest dark along the green. Tone of this painting should be very light. I'll start working on the green and dried yellow ground around it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Finishing Sagebrush

I think this part is done. When I work on the water part, I'll curve out the edge of the sagebrush and the bank. And I might put some more highlight. But that's all I need to do to finish. I'll move on to finish the mid-section, water, next.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Kept Working on Yakima River

I continually worked on Yakima River today. After adding a little more touches on the trees, I moved down to the reflections on the river. I made the lightest part of the river showing up and kept moving down. Now I need to start working on sagebrush at the bottom. Making proper colors that work with the rest of the part would be the key for the bottom part.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Color adjustment on trees

After coming back from the opening reception of Georgetown Atelier, I worked on the trees on the right. I knocked out some greenish green, which wasn't matching any part of trees, then put lighter colors for highlighted part. They're still not exactly what I wanted them to be, but a step closer to the final. I might need to come back and put darker colors for the shadows. Most of the trees actually have much darker part. Maybe tomorrow.

Georgetown Atelier was set up in a unit of Sabey's Creative Space, re-developed from the old Rainier Brewery building. Very traditional drawing sessions from sculptures and from nude models were going on this quarter. I might have some skills to tackle those but probably don't have enough patience to continue doing that. After all I don't have any degrees in FA(Fine Art).

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Changing Direction

Recently I've been very busy and didn't have time to even think about my painting. I'm going back to work tonight but had some time before that to experiment what I thought I could apply out of the last workshop by Michele. The photo is the left top corner of Yakama River. I intentionally painted the lightest part before added more colors to surrounding areas. Even though the brush strokes are far from satisfaction, this corner of the canvas is getting vibrant and interesting, compared to the other dull parts. At this moment I'm not using medium but I might start using it to make paint flow.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Michele Usibelli's workshop on Whidbey Island

I took a day off on Friday to attend this Fri-Sat workshop at Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio, which is located at an artist's, Cary Jurriaans's, residence on the island. Day 1 we worked on still life then from photographs for day 2. In the photos above, four still lives are from day 1 and the figurative painting is from day 2 that I painted from a photo Michele brought in (the man resembles me but not myself). The size of the surfaces is relatively small. From top left toward bottom right; bread 8"x8", plum 9"x12", apple 11"x14", vase and fruits 12"x16", man in front of a painting 11"x14".

Even though I struggles with smaller brushes with smaller surfaces, which I intentionally avoided in the past, I've learned some key components of Michele's aproach, and many other artists' in this style, and found them applicable to mine. That means I need to make some changes to my own style.

Those key components are:
  1. first, sketch well with paint to define the composition and larger shapes. (Michele has background with architecture).
  2. use dark wash to define the darkest dark and some darker areas. Most of them shows up in the final painting.
  3. define lightest areas of focal points in this stage and work toward mid values from both sides.
  4. dark part is mainly thin only with thiner. Lighter part is thicker with medium.
  5. curve in the edge of shapes by painting surrounding background.
She uses the same technique with up to 3'x3' size. For bigger surfaces, she just changes brushes to bigger ones, according to her answer to my question.

I want to try some more with these components myself then adopt whatever works for my lanscape paintings, and other subjects. It might not work at all if my skills don't allow it. But I'm hoping I can transform my style to be better.