Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Fan Dance or I Love Sunlight

Fan Dance
Acrylic on 11 x 14 gallery wrapped canvas 

This week I'm talking a bit about FAN DANCE, another in my figurative series. 

I pulled up a lovely couple of old photos of a boy and girl, that I felt had a “story”. They were from a batch of photos I took years ago at a RenFaire. I sketched out the boy and girl figures, and reworked their features/expressions to suit the story I had in mind. I did a quickie colour sketch that you can see in the upper left of the photo. With such great lights and darks to work with....the underpainting went quickly.

After laying in all the major masses of color, I went to work on what I consider the “ice cream” portion of a painting....the faces. For maximum sunlight in the painting, I kept the main costumes in the light range of's I could play off reflective light bouncing around. 

I included the little white awning and its support on the craft cart where the girl is selling her fans.....but I was a bit hesitant at so much stark white dividing the couple, in the composition. But it had “worked” on the bitty color sketch, so I went with it. In the sketch I had some sunlit trees and a pathway in the background, but later changed that to a gravel path leading up to the cart.

Here the features of both the boy and girl have been sketched in. I went on to adjust both the main characters' features and expressions to “say” what I wanted. I painted in the fans set out for sale and called this one....DONE!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Gazebo or Study in Shadows and Light

11x14 inches acrylic paint on gallery wrapped canvas

This week's blog post is about a bitty painting called Gazebo. 

This painting ended up being as much about the light glowing thru the latticework of an outdoor gazebo as the beautiful model. I started out with a snippet of a photograph I took at a long ago RenFaire. I rearranged some bits of the composition and started to work. 

The first challenge was getting enough highlights to show the modified model's face, (changed to look at the viewer) but keep with the theme of a backlit shadowed interior. I fell in love with the intricate latticework patterns of light and shadow and how the light seemed to skate off the edges of the latticework fretting.

I soon found that I needed guidance to keep with the straight lines of the latticework. I got out my handy dandy artist's tape and with a T square lined off the correct lines for the latticework and the sunlight that glowed thru the openings. 

After some sitting and looking at the painting I decided the the background tree and ground cover were too busy and competed with the main attraction of the sitter and the gazebo, so's I simplified and muted it a bit and called the painting......done!