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Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day-Flowers


Just a Happy Memorial Day from my garden-hydrangea, clematis, austin rose, dianthus, butterfly bush, and sweet peas.

We are all so fortunate to have this country, and a big thank you to all those who have sacrificed their lives for it

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Getting Started-Doll Party oil painting step by step


Getting started can be the hardest part of painting...and sometimes the finish is more difficult-wait, are there any easy parts of a painting? Laying out my piles of paint is easy, putting on good music is easy, and imagining all the bright prospects that lay ahead is easy.
A solution I use to get myself going is drawing in the composition. One can use this time to sort out the first areas of attack with the brush. This is a 40x20 oil primed linen canvas.
Do excuse my poorly executed areas, this is where my patience got the best of me. 2-3 hours is my max on the drawing-in phase. I realize I need to work the perspective of the blocks out, and this I will do in the painting process.

Is it better to render a new piece, or try a looser approach, hoping that the drawing will work itself out? My opinion rests in the middle, a place for everything should be found, but the inner details left for the painting phase. This way, one knows the composition will fit the canvas.

Here I begin the first phase of the block-in. It is important to get the darks in early on a dramatic lighting piece.

I used to quickly stain areas of the whole painting, with local color stains, or sometimes complimentary color stains. Lately the process has been to work in one area until it is mostly finished. By mostly, I mean that I have to go back and make adjustments to the earlier phases of painting, as the later phases come to a fruition. For example, the rose on the left could have too many hard edges or bright colors, pulling attention from other flowers that are in more important compositional zones.

Friday, May 20, 2011

New painting- "Little Dolls" & Color Comp


Here is a new painting called "Little Dolls" It is a 6x10 on gesso board. I took this shot at an antique doll convention. I plan on doing a few pieces in this theme.

Painting dolls is a little strange, one part familiar ( like painting the human portrait), and one part odd (frozen expressions and weird shiny skin tones.)
I just finished a big photo shoot with dolls and roses. This is my color comp- a 5x10 on gesso board.

The painting is going to be a 20x40, and I am currently sketching it in right now. Doing a comp can be very useful when embarking on a large busy painting. It can help with the organization of values and composition. The doll on the far right is wearing the new dress I finished, to be posted later. I can make a few different outfits so my "models" appear different in each painting.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

New painting-Abe Lincoln life study



Here is a new painting I did in Erik's Class. This was done from life over three sessions. William Peck is the model, he is an Abe Lincoln impersonator and very fun to paint. It needs a coat of varnish, as the darks tend to go flat without it.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dolls and Dogs



I plan to do some doll portraits in the near future-along with all the other things I want to paint! Antique French bisque dolls really interest me. They have quite a history, and a current following. Several rival companies in the 1880's competed for sales of the best dolls. These dolls were not meant as play things for most children, but as rewards to look at and sew for under careful supervision.


Companies like Bru, Jumeau, Steiner, and many more were top doll makers. Today a desirable Bru dolly can fetch 15-30,000 and up.


Alas, I won't be owning any of these lovlies. I have acquired some modern reproductions. My largest is a 24" Jumeau, the mid size is an 18" Bru, and the smallest a 14" Thuiller. Our dog Poppie is still afraid of the big girl, perhaps the glass eyes and large stature confuse her.


She loves the smallest one however, and tries to lick her face.

Our cat Badger has to give his stamp of approval as well.


Before I do my photoshoots, I must make them some new outfits.



I have finished a pair of leather shoes, and I am working on a silk and antique lace dress for the biggest doll.