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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

New Painting-Bear Baby

Here is a final finish to a piece I started for the Watts Atelier Friday Night Live painting demo. This was given to my new nephew-to-be for his nursery. It is a 9x12 oil on linen canvas.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Trip to Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho

 A couple of weeks ago my dad and I took a trip to Montana, Jackson Hole, and Idaho.  I scheduled a big photo shoot with a Native American coordinator. Although this shoot was planned for months and months, we did not foresee the weather being a factor in its fruition. The shoot was originally planned in take place near Jackson Hole Wyoming. I booked the flights and lodging and prepared for all the other things. The location was changed to Montana a few months after the booking. Of course, the flights and lodging were non refundable! I told my Dad we would need to drive to Mo for the shoot, which is about an 8 hour one way trip. I paid to change our flight to land in Montana and fly out of Wyoming, thinking that would save one 8 hour trip. We would fly in, get a hotel for one night and then drive out to Wyoming after the photo shoot. The first issue was getting a rental car, as the airport in Montana was sold out and they sent us to another location in town. It was starting to rain on the day of our arrival and the prospects of a photo shoot the following day were not good. The coordinator got in touch to re-schedule the shoot for three days later. We knew we would have to drive to Wyoming, stay in our lodge for a couple of nights, then drive to Montana for the photos, and back to Wyoming to get our flight home. The second issue was the rental car. Enterprise would not allow us to rent a car as we had only credit cards that are linked to bank accounts. Erik and I gave up our revolving credit cards years ago in a pledge to live debt free. My Dad follows that plan as well, so we were unable to get a car. To their credit, they tried all around town to get us a rental, and there were only two places with rentals for debit/credit cards-Rent a Wreck, and Avis.Avis was sold out for two days. Off to Rent a Wreck. The man at the counter got off the phone and told me he had rented the last car "just now." Well damn! We were starting to panic. I saw he had Uhauls in the yard, and asked if we could get a van. So, we rented a van, drove to Wyoming, and back to Montana it this:
It was terribly loud, uncomfortable, and huge, but it had wheels and an engine. 
The drive to and fro passes one through not only Yellowstone, but the Grand Tetons National Park.
Sunset through the Tetons was quite lovely

By day they have a majestic purple glow. We caught a lot of snow flurries on the drives

It was eerily gray and quiet, except for the loud popping sound of the rocks that got caught in the van tires.
The day after the storm was sunny, and had blue skies.
This was one of the first times my Dad used a digital camera, and he took a lot of great photos. Our legs and knees hurt quite a bit after the shoot, from squatting and maneuvering around.
After the shoot, we drove BACK to Wyoming (third time making the drive at 8 hours a pop!) Just to add to the drive, we went to Idaho, which is on the border. My Dad shot some aspens out there:
The photo shoot went well, quite worth the driving and expense of a remote photo shoot. Here, the coordinator puts the moccasin back on the little girl. It was a glorious day of sunny weather.

Monday, September 8, 2014

New paintings-finally!

 Here are a couple of new pieces, things have been really busy, but paintings are in the making right now. Above is a 9x12 oil on panel titled "Golden Beadwork"
This is an 18x24 oil on canvas titled "Coral Scarf." It is a larger version of a head painting piece done earlier in the year. I changed her scarf in this one to a coral red shade, and made the background a green tone.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Zorn palette and extended palette

I like to use a modified Zorn palette, which is generally the Zorn colors plus one or two additions. The Zorn palette does not have any truly transparent colors, so that is what is usually chosen. Above is:
Titanium white
yellow ochre
cadmium red medium
transparent maroon-winsor newton color
blue black.
The first order of business is to mix up a pile of "green" and "blue" using black, white and yellow. This opens up the Zorn palette and helps one to see the range of possibilities.
The reference is sketched with a mechanical pencil...for me it is less messy than a paint sketch and I can erase more easily.

(These shots were taken on the easel, and they have glare!) Darks are laid in with black and maroon, and a bit of red, plus the bluest blues and greenest greens are put in the background as a starting point.
The basic flesh tones are laid in using the full palette and the whole canvas is covered.
Highlights are put in with pale shades of blue,green and purple tones. These are super colorful, but help to give the warm undertones balance and show effect of outdoor lighting on the subject.
By contrast, the above is a general palette I use for everyday painting. From left to right:
titanium white
radiant violet-Gamblin
ivory white-Holbein
yellow ochre
cad yellow light
coral red-Holbein
transparent red oxide-M. Graham
cad red medium
permanent rose
transparent maroon-winsor newton-or Lefranc's Transparent red ochre (same pigment)
radiant magenta-Gamblin
compose green-Holbein
sap green
olive green
cobalt blue
royal blue-Lefranc
radiant blue- Gamblin
ivory black
monochrome warm-Holbein