Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day 3 - Ned Mueller's workshop

These photos are from Day 3 of the workshop on Sunday. The first one is my original. Believe me. Ned didn't touch this one (only this one though). The original photo was taken by Ned in Central America or South America, somewhere. It had a blue pick-up truck and more people and goats in the background. I cut them off and left the mother and daughter figures and two goats. It's not too bad as a piece I spent only two hours.
Then the next one is obviously Ned's demo for a cottonwood. He didn't refer to anything but it looks very realistic.
The last one was a snow scene at somewhere. Those trees are mostly painted by Ned. I couldn't get these quite bright colors shining in late afternoon sun. He made these from Cad Red Light, Cad Orange Mid, Chromium Oxide Green, Hansa Yellow Light, and some Mixed(Titenium&Zinc) White. He made the highlighted part of snow warmer with Cad Red Light + Mixed White.

These are the all I got this workshop. The key issues I've learned are:
1) brush strokes I need to practice more
2) judgement of values in colors
3) drawing for landscapes and figures/bigger shapes
4) the way wet-in-wet works
5) don't afraid moving objects around or modifying them even for landscapes

After all it was very good and productive workshop over the weekend. By the way all canvas I painted on were 12"x16", which is my standard size for en plein air.

Day 2 - Ned Mueller's workshop

I started this in Day2 of the workshop after a couple of Ned's demos. But I couldn't get the oxen's proportion right as well as the colors of the man leading them. Frustrated. Then Ned comes in and brought it to this level.
Since the body of the front oxen was too thick(high), he made its legs longer to match. He didn't move the man toward left, which is the actual position of the man relative to oxens. Instead he made the man taller, especially his legs longer. Needless to say, he made lots of adjustment for colors and values at the same time.
Now this looks very good.

After the afternoon session, he provided a long demo (about an hour and a half) for portrait painting.
This is Steve, husband of the owner of Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio, Cary. Because the best model on the island (?), a younger woman, was not available at that time. Even though Steve's face was actually a little bit shorter (or wider), he captured the character of his face really well. He avoided painting a couple of major winkles intentionally, which made his face much younger (I think he's older than me). At the end, he got a little tired and the glasses are not in proportion between left and right (he admitted that next day). But it's still a great portrait without any doubts.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Big Achievment ?!?

  I've been joining Ned Mueller's workshop since yesterday. 3 day workshop at Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio. Before explaining what's happening at the workshop, I'll put a link to Ned's web site.

  Yesterday, after a couple of his demonstrations for a landscape and another w/ figures, we started paining in the afternoon. Look at the photo of MY outcome! Isn't it almost perfect?!? Well, it should. I spent about two hours to paint this piece from a photo Ned brought in. Then exhausted and feared to ruin if I touch it any longer. That's when Ned came to ask me "Would you mind ...." My immediate answer was "Go ahead, please". Then you can see what happened after that in the photo. He spent about half an hour to finish this painting by painting over what I did.

  This is a 12"x16" canvas I stretched and gessoed. I put it on the easel vertically and used a little more than half of it. So about 10"x12". Look at the colors he made and bold brush strokes with my #6 filbert brush. I couldn't believe what was happening 3'-4' in front of my eyes.

  First, I amazed with his decisions for colors and values to mix. Needless to say it's coming out of his 50 years of experiences. Then every brush stroke he made was completely different, if not opposite, from mine. I felt the same I was at the same studio on the island for Michelle Usibelli's workshop last time. Their strokes are with full of confidence. More intentional with each from start to stop. Ned used up quite amount of paints on my palette. Also he moved the big objects quite a bit to make the composition more interesting. Even added some objects, such as trees and stones, which were not on the photo. That's something I could hardly do.

  Obviously I couldn't sign on this piece but I might sell this piece to my neighbor who showed me some interest to my paintings, but gave up because my pieces are too big for her walls. So that I could easilly see it whenever I want to see. I need to wait until it dries up and re-mount the canvas on a smaller board to frame.

  Stay tuned with more progress reports.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A little more still-life

All right, all right, yesterday's was not much about art. I need to admit that. So, I was obligated to make some progress on my pieces. I did on the still-life piece this morning. I'm having some issues to shape the wine glass. Because it's very close from my eyes and looks different when I look at it with my left eye from when I did with right eye.
I guess I need to compromise. Making it precise would  just make the painting flat anyway. I need to keep moving on.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

"Empire Falls"

Well, you might guess this is nothing to do with my art blog. You're right, mostly. But....I'll get to that point later.

I just finished reading this book that was published back in 2001, and which I probably got at an airport while waiting for my plane back in 2004 or 2005. I can explain all characters and the plot here but that's not what I'm intending. Instead, I provide you a link to a good review of this book:
that explains all of these, which saves my time here a lot.

Why I'm introducing this book here is because two characters in the book are artistic. One of them is actually an artist and a young professor at a college, whose art is more spiritual based on his religious background. The other is an highschool girl whose father runs Empire Grill in Empire Falls. This girl seems to have strated showing some talent and have potential to become an artist in the future. The story suggests that might not be the case though. You need to read it why. She struggles between realism (how to satisfy her art teacher) and what she wants to express with her school projects.

Well, that's all I can offer here. I suggest you at least check the review for the rest.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Started coloring the main subjects

It's been a while (about a month?) since I updated last time. But I came back to the stilllife. Now I started working on the main subjects, red onion and apples. If I were Michele Usibelli, I would put more highlighted colors at this early stage. But I didn't. I'm still not determined how warm, or cool, those colors should be. Even though my studio (basement) is cooler than the other rooms of my house, I started worrying about the fruits and vegetable that might get pale in color soon. I might replace them with fresh ones. It looks like the time for the lime now.That's the main reason I started detailing the subjects.