Saturday, February 25, 2017

Primary Still Life in Yellow

Primary Still Life in Yellow
8x10 inches Acrylic paint
This week's blog post is about a third in a trilogy of small 8x10 inch canvases.....titled Primary Still Lives, one each in blue, red and today's: Yellow. These are of course, the three traditional primary colours of the rainbow or a painter's paint box. I wanted to do these leetle still lives as an experiment in colour composition.
I started this one out with a blue underpainting....yes, blue! The wine coloured drape I'd used for the background folds was a clear claret colour which I wanted to paint using glazes. When glazing a specific hue it's fun to put a different primary color down as a “base” or in this case a shadow. The first glaze is a kinda “road map” for how the painting is laid out. You can see I left white all the spots that were going to be the “star of the show” in yellow.

After the blue glaze was dry, I glazed in the magenta color that would rest in the background shadows and be highlit in the little flower vase and in the cloth folds in the foreground, plus a sprig of crab apple blossoms.

I had just begun to ghost in the yellows on the backlit leaf in the foreground, and the more muted yellow of Frank's abstract sculpture on the right. Since the visual focus of this painting was YELLOW, I leaned the background wine colour a bit towards purple, the traditional complementary colour to yellow. A complementary colour is one that is opposite one another on the traditional colour wheel.

After a lot more glazing and drying and adjusting I was finished. I decided to display this one on a shelf right beside Frank's carving I'd used as inspiration.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Do You Wanna Play? or Bridge Times Four - Act III

Detail of Do You Wanna Play?
Final Panel in a series of four 6x6 gallery wrapped canvases
Acrylic glazes on gessoed canvas layered with Prisma & Poly colored pencils

  This is the final chapter or act in the making of this artwork. For the final 6 x 6 inch canvas I wanted to show Bridge at his best....looking up at you.....just saying as plain as day: “Do You Wanna Play?”

In this part of the artwork, I switched from straight, slow drying acrylic paints, and painting in a semi-impressionistic style, to a tighter more realistic style. I wanted to show the different kinds of fur that “is” Bridge, from the short brindle ones on his muzzle to the longer “fluff” of his white collar with wisps floating over his black back coat which is almost blue it's so black.
To do this panel, I used a mixed media technique.

I painted multiple thin coats of gesso over the rough canvas, until it was mostly smooth with just a slight “tooth”.
I then laid in a very light coat of acrylic glazes (a bit of paint mixed with a lotta acrylic glaze medium) in the colour pattern of Bridge's face, muzzle and coat. This both gave me a “road map” to his features, and provided me with the perfect ground to use coloured pencils for his fur.
I then used various coloured pencils (mostly Polys and Prismas) to sketch in the darker brindling on his face and muzzle. I also used multiple strokes with dark coloured pencils over his back.

 I finished off his portrait with acrylic glazes on his eyes to get that lovely liquid reddish golden brown of his eyes....not forgetting the all important daub of white highlight for a defining shine.

I also finished up this gallery wrapped 6x6 inch canvas by painting the top part of Bridge's ear peeking up on the top face of the canvas and showing the blue chew toy on the side face below.


With just a bit of coloured pencil lettering on the white slats connecting the four pieces topped off with an acrylic varnish, and Frank's VERY clever hanger, (making sure that the four canvases hung STRAIGHT) I was finished with “Do You Wanna Play?”

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Do You Wanna Play? or Bridge Times Four-Act II

Detail of Do You Wanna Play?
This is act II of a three act "play" for my artwork: Do You Wanna Play? Featuring our dog, Bridge.

Frank had put together four wrap around 6 x 6 inch canvases, so's I could show a bit of the motion that “is” Bridge. I captured Bridge playing with his current favorite “toy” old chewed up blue plastic coffee can. He'll spend minutes....minutes!! I say!.....playing with this toy. And then he'll get distracted by birds flying overhead to give chase, and then break off barking at them to pace a passing car......inside a field fence row. 

In the second canvas frame, I've captured Bridge tossing up and catching his toy. In composing these square canvases, I wanted to used the abstracted and slightly blurred backgrounds as a foil for his lovely white fur on chest and underbelly and tail. While using background bieges and tans to show the bend of his back and the exuberance of his jumping forelegs. To pre-plan this I painted the background FIRST, to see just where I wanted all the lights and darks to best show his outline.

I then went onto the next square. In this one I had caught Bridge in a favorite pose.....the “do you wanna play?” bow. Just as in the previous canvas I painted in the background to make sure that I was able to highlight all the different outlines that said: “Play bow”.

Here he is in progress......

Next time around I'll finish up this “Do You Wanna Play?” artwork.


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Turkey Hollow

Detail of Turkey Hollow
This time around I'm presenting a "return guest" blog by Frank Lyne. He's continuing the saga of the making of  "Turkey Hollow". Oh.....and there's a kitteh involved!
A while back, I did a guest blog for Alison on wood selection. I chose a billet that had the beginning of a limb branching off because I knew that where it branched off it would include burl. Burl consists of lignin fibers that run at a different direction from the surrounding grain. Burl gives additional strength to the part of the wood where it appears, making it more like plywood in strength. I made a turkey head in the burl portion. Kitteh approved of the head and made recommendations on what to take off next. 

After the head and body were done, Kitteh didn't seem too concerned about whether it had any feet and kept asking, “When will it be ready to cook?” 

Deferring to Kitteh's impatience, I skipped making any feet, instead making it appear that the feet were hidden within the hollow where it is perched. It didn't seem like a complete lie when I told Kitteh that I had to take it inside to baste it before cooking it. Applying tung oil is sort of like basting.


I told Kitteh another lie that a bit of left over chicken thigh was her portion of Turkey and put Turkey on a shelf in the dining room.