Sunday, April 20, 2008

The real grisaille pears

Now that I've got the test grisaille done and (reasonably) to my liking, I started on the biggie. Well, 1/4 sheet's not THAT big but bigger than the test one. I may do another after this in full sheet size but first want to see how this'll come out.

It's done on Arches 300 lb cold pressed paper, 1/4 sheet (which is approx 10 or 11" x 14). The gray paint for the underpainting is Ann's recipe of French Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, viridian and a touch of prussian. A beautiful gray!

Here's the reference shot. I took the photograph myself specifically going for strong reflections in the table. Not mirror reflections but close. (I actually shot a lot of pear shots on that day so if interested, contact me and I can send you a pile - for use as reference shots only.)

Drawing, which had to be darkened a lot to show the lines. The reflections aren't perfect in the drawing but I'll fix that as I add paint.

Below, I had problems with the left pear's bottom - it was too flat. I didn't notice until almost finished adding the gray. So, in the shot after, I've fixed it by making it rounder. These are slightly darker to show the grays. I may add more paint to make them darker. I found in the test pear that when you started adding colour, it tended to mute out the grays and I want them strong so I may add more. I was going to add the cast shadows in now but thought I'd wait to add strongdarks once the colour is on. (A touch of WN Blue Black was dropped into the core shadows.)

I did this late last night but was too tired out to post it. (After a day of washing the kitchen floor on my hands and knees, lots of housework, and the very successful feat of removing the winter cover from the pool without getting a drop of the swampy water/leaf matter from on top of the cover into the clean water underneath! Sure beats the mess I had to clean out of the pool last spring! Wait for it to fill today, "open" the pump and lines, a quick vacuum and it'll be all ready for a swim! But I think I'll wait for that pleasure until the water warms up a bit.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

more of the test grisaille....

This is the latest of the test pear! It started with 2 glazes of DS hansa yellow medium over the grisaille. Then more glazes of WN burnt umber and DS burnt orange. For the red, I started with WN Bright Red but changed that to Perylene Red because I found the other too cool. A very small bit of sap green and this is how it ended.

Next photo shows the page this is taken from, along with notes I scribbled down as I went.

So now, with this test, I know what to expect and how to get what I want. I love the way the grisaille underpainting completes all the shadows at this stage. I really like this style.
Next comes the 1/4 sheet of Arches CP 300 lb. I'll draw it out and start tomorrow. Bedtime now.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Pear Grisaille

I've started work on the Pear Grisaille. This snap is only a test to get the colour I wanted.

What is a grisaille you ask? "Grisaille is a traditional painting technique which uses a palette of greys to build up the tonal values of the picture. It can either be left as a monochrome or colour can be added by glazing. While it was traditionally done with oil paints or tempera, the technique is suitable for use with a range of media, e.g. acrylics, watercolours, inks, coloured pencil...."

Two other artist friends (Ann and Rhonda) have been working at the same technique. Ann is in Oklahoma and Rhonda is in Kentucky and we often do painting projects together like this! The internet is great! (Ann gave me the perfect idea of using her blog to keep track of colour mixes and techniques used for a painting. I often put things down on paper but then lose the paper!)

So, my first step was to mix a nice gray. I could have used something on my palette but I wanted a soft gray with nuances of other colours in there, too. I used a watery wash of prussian, then a watery wash of sepia and for the darkest spots, I used a little touch of WN blue black mixed with some sepia. Otherwise, if I didn't use the WN blue/black, it just looked brown.

(A few years back, I bought a few batches of WN paint on ebay and a tube of blue/black was included. I love this colour! When it's finished, which will be soon, I am going to cry. Seriously. I can't find it anywhere for sale.)

This test pear is being done on Sennelier paper, which I do NOT like, but I got a huge pad of 100 sheets (8.5 x 11) in with some paint brushes and paint. Came as a package deal so I use it for scrap paper. I found that scumbling worked better with an almost dry brush but that could easily be due to the texture and makeup of this paper.

I plan on doing this on Arches 300 lb Cold Pressed paper, 1/4 sheet. Maybe if I get really brave, I'll do it on a full sheet! Before I put it onto the Arches though, I wanted to make sure I had those colours down pat.

So, next step is to put it on the Arches. (Arches is my absolute favourite paper!)

I've also been working at sketches for another painting I'm going to start. A huge painting of the Falls at Plaisance, which is such a favourite place of mine!!!! I have a lot of reference pics I've shot which I'm putting together in the planning. Perhaps I need to go back there soon for more inspiration and shots???

Off to work now....

ps - I really love having to stick in html codes here because Blogger won't give me proper paragraph spacing!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Calming sights

I haven't yet started on the grisaille pears - I've been too upset over finding out that one of my paintings is being sold on merchandise without my knowledge. A few years ago, I donated "the use of two paintings" to a project for a pet shelter in need of cash. The paintings were being put on a calendar and the calendar being sold with proceeds going to the animal shelter. I was flattered that my two paintings were going on the calendar and was glad I could help the animal shelter. Never was I informed that they would also be sold on merchandise! I hadn't even realized until I did a routine google on my own name. What a shocker and how upsetting. I wonder if the other artists know that the work they had accepted for the calendar is even being sold as small posters, greeting cards, postcards, t-shirts, buttons, mousepads, and a slew of other items.

And to top it all off, the same paintings are now being offered on a 2008 calendar! Without any notice at all. Does this artist not think it important to get permission first??? As an artist, does she not understand about reproduction rights?

I'm waiting until a friend arrives back from a trip to see what she says. Maybe her memory is better than mine. Her work is also there.

In the meantime, I'm posting a painting of a place where I need to go and meditate (painting is my meditation) and bring the blood pressure back down. This was painted after watching Tom Jones paint.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

another pear ....

This is one of the previous ones with some background put in. Not much of a background but I'm starting to get tired of working on these same pears!

Just for informational purposes (and because I have a memory like a sieve), colours used are WN Indanthrone, DS Sap, WN Winsor Yellow, DS Transparent Pyrrol Orange and white gouache. (Or maybe it was white acrylic. See what I mean about the memory?) Arches 140 lb CP paper, approximately 5 x 7.

I'm going to start the grisaille pear. Hopefully tonight!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Update on the pears....

I worked on my pears tonight! One thing I've learned is getting white gouache to look like good highlights is not so easy. (But if you use your imagination when looking .......)

Tonight I concentrated on getting some reds in there and highlights, as well as a background on the one I was happy with previously. Oh, and stems too. Don West made some more great suggestions and I followed them. Thanks again, Don.

Since it's 1:30, I don't have time to make this into a slide show so here they are separately. (note - blogger will not show it the way I'm formatting it and I'm just too tired to keep trying to fix it, so maybe tomorrow.) They're all looking a bit on the yellowish side - I photographed them in incandescent light.

(Above) Here's the original one I was happy with, now with a background. If you look at the enlarged version, you can see red stripe-y lines down behind the pears. I painted in the background with DS transparent pyrrol orange. (I love this orange!) Then I painted on rubbing alcohol after which I painted red lines. Good effect. I hadn't planned on using the alcohol - I"d wanted to paint the orange in, then make some watery stripes. But thanks to a monster cat who was very intent on annoying me, the orange paint dried before I could do anything. Hence, the alcohol. (He sat there, on the table, getting closer and closer, flexing his back paw claws into the table which made sounds like nails on chalk boards, rubbing his head hard on my own, finally laying down almost on the painting. All the while, I tried hard to ignore him, but he made it difficult so he was thrown out of the room with the door shut behind him.)

The bottom is Ann's recipe for gray that I was experimenting with and decided to use here. You'll notice the pears have some red areas in them too. I didn't dare use any gouache here. (You can also see the Arches logo in the bottom.)

This is not the loose background I should have done though. Next photo below will have a background of loose, swishy brush strokes.

(Above) I'm kind of happy with this one! It now needs a background which should be put in tomorrow. Any suggestions for colours? I thought the highlights looked good in the gouache, too.

(above) I definitely do not like the highlights in this one. Can you tell it's one of the first to get the highlights added? ;-)

(Above) No comment.

I kind of like this one, too. It's a bit of a strange little character but unique. Like me.

The greens in the slide show from a day or two ago are much more accurate, colour-wise.

I need to go to bed now.