In the Lab

My art space in my apartment. Gradually moving from just a corner to almost half the living room, yikes!

My art space in my apartment. Gradually moving from just a corner to almost half the living room, yikes! I made that bit of “motivation” hanging on the wall there, finally put it up!

Lots of movement happening in my little art world! Been spending the majority of my time these days thinking about and executing ideas for a group show that I’m going to be in towards the end of August! Yes, finally taking some bigger steps at getting exposure. It has been equal parts exhilarating and scary! More than ever I’m having to consider what my artistic voice is and maintaining a healthy level of confidence about it. There is so much more I can say about that, but that is for a later post!

For now I just wanted to share some excitement about this influx of creative energy and progress. Don’t laugh at my measly setup above (or fine, laugh, I don’t care lol). It’s been seeing a lot of action lately, despite it being a way less than ideal art space. So to those of you out there that think you need to have some sort of fancy art studio in order to create…you don’t. At least not when you’re just starting out! Just use whatever you have, seriously. So many of us really have no real excuse to stay stagnant about producing work. You see my spot, I don’t even have tables!

In preparation for this August show, I’ll be sharing bits and pieces of what’s gettin’ cooked up in “the lab.” So stay tuned for more updates and pics coming soon!


Figure Painting Workshop pictures – Day 3

Now it’s starting to get difficult.

I became really frustrated today while I was working on this study. I must’ve been having an off day or something, I don’t know, but it seemed like nothing I did looked right. Plus I think I’ve fallen behind too…everyone else in the class seems to have their paintings much more developed by the end of the day. My study doesn’t look terrible, I guess, but today I just couldn’t help feeling incompetent! Anyway, hoping that I’ll be able to work it out in the next class! Here are the couple of pics I was able to take:

Figure Painting Workshop pictures – Day 2

The exercises from day 1 weren’t worth photographing, but day 2 marked the beginning of the long pose that we’re going to work on the the rest of the week. Here is the progression of my study on the first go ’round:

I had to make some tweaks to the torso shape and the shoulders, then move the feet over a tad bit to readjust the weight distribution. The day ended with just a general blocking in of the light and shadow shapes, although unfortunately my light value ended up being too light. It’s not the worst thing though, I still have a chance to paint my way out of that!

Portrait/Figure Painting Class Week 6

So last week I left off at with an oil sketch in brown of the next pose in class. Today we continued on, and I added color to it. The color combinations of the skintones may look strange, but trust me I’m on the right track. haha…This technique is so new to me, but with this painting I think that I’m starting to grasp it better. Already I can see how my handling of the paint, and of color, is getting fine-tuned! Excited to see how this painting is going to turn out! Here are some photos showing the progression:

This was where I started today.

Added a Cadmium Red Light+White mixture for the skin in light.

Filled the skin in shadow with a Dioxzinine Purple+white mixture, then began adding other colors I saw in the skintone to show the planes in the form. (or tried to do that at least! haha)

This is where I ended class today. Deepened the colors and continued trying to show the turns and planes in the form. Hopefully I can keep it up for next week!

The Next Study

An underpainting of the model from class

Piggy-backing off of yesterday’s post, here’s what came out of me shifting my butt in gear and getting to class. I didn’t get to “finish” the previous painting because I couldn’t make it to last week’s class, but I’m not mad because I was getting tired of that painting anyway! I think it was because I had to keep on going back to it, and it started to feel like I was barely making any progress. I basically screwed myself because I used a huge canvas for a simple study, but I was only trying to push myself and I’m more comfortable working on a bigger canvas anyway. It was still a good exercise either way, because I learned a lot about using color than I anticipated. There are so many different techniques out there! I seem to learn a new one with every class I take.

The painting this time around is a lot smaller, and it’s a of a male – which is something I don’t get to paint too often. Apparently it’s not something many of the other women in my class get to paint either, as one of them said, “Go slow!” when the model was asked to remove his shirt. (Looks like I’m in the right class!)

This new painting seems to be off to a good start though. Now it’s time for me to mess it up by adding color to it…

Painting @ The Torpedo Factory – Week 2 recap

Started from here going into the 2nd day of class.

Well, now we’re getting to the nitty gritty: color. I know I should be champing at the bit about this as an aspiring painter, but I was just about ready to pull my hair out at the thought of it! I always experience a certain level of anxiety when starting a painting. It’s just like when I start anything new in life, I can have the best of plans going into it but I really don’t know what’s going to happen…and 9 times out of 10 it never turns out the way I thought it would (and that can be in a positive or negative way)! Week 2 of my portrait/figure painting class had me experiencing both outcomes.

First we’ll start with my homework. I was so excited to do it actually. I planned to do a still life and I was so confident it was going to turn out to be an interesting piece. The assignment was to spend no more than 2 hours on a color study starting with a hot orange for the light, and a cool blue for the shadow, and try to achieve the actual colors of the object (local color) from there. Well, somehow I forgot that I had to use the hot/cold colors to start off with and I ended up with this:

WTF? How the hell did I make this?! Terrible! Needless to say that I was NOT looking forward to sharing this with the class. I couldn’t decide which was better: bringing that sorry painting in as my homework or pretending that I just didn’t do it!

I decided to face the music like a man.

The good thing was, I knew that I can do better and I knew exactly what was wrong with the painting (besides completely forgetting about the color study setup – how did I do that?!). I needed to paint faster and thicker because for a 2-hour painting, it looks so undone. I also need to punch up those colors! So next time, I know I will be able to step it up correctly and possibly avoid some pitfalls. When it came time for the critiques, Danni, our teacher, basically said, “You tell ME what’s wrong with this.” Damn. Well, at least I expected that. I guess it could’ve been worse! 🙂

The upside to this though, is that Danni seemed to be impressed by my work in the actual class. I’m starting to better understand the concept of a color study, and after a bit of stalling by painting the background a little longer than I probably needed to (hehe) I finally dove right into it. Honestly I’ve been approaching this painting with a lot of hesitation. It seems like with every new piece I’m afraid that I’ll discover I’m not as good as I think I am. But I have to be brave and keep trying anyway, right? Funny how the things we learn in making art can apply to everyday life…

At first my painting was looking like The Thing from The Fantastic 4! Starting off with such extreme colors is so new to me, but I went with it and tried to recall the demo from the 1st week. Surprisingly, to me at least, Danni was pleased with my piece. She continued to give me encouragement throughout the day and reassured me that I was doing well. I was very skeptical at first, but I did begin to see what she meant as I kept going. I’m starting to get a bit of a luminous skintone just from the color I’m adding on top of the orange and green. Who knew!? Now I’m getting excited about how it’ll turn out. Here’s the progression throughout the day:

Added color for the background, and Cadmium Orange for the skin in light

Used Permanent Green Light (I think that's what it was) for the shadow, then started using mixtures of Permanent Rose/White on top to achieve skintones. LOTS of blending and pushing color into color.

Started dragging color to other areas of the painting. This is where I left off.

Homework for this week: A 2-hour color study starting with a Lemon Yellow/White mixture for the areas of light, and a Permanent Green/White mixture for the shadows. Pray for me ya’ll.

Work in Progress

Remember the sketch I started? Well I brought it into Illustrator and started tracing it out. It’s still very much at an early stage, but I wanted to show how far I’ve gotten since I introduced the idea.

I’m using several layers in the software to help keep the different parts of the illustration organized. The waterlillies were traced from images that I found online. For the lily pads I only traced one, then copied it several times and modified those copies so that there would be different sizes. The water stream was just one of the stock brushes in Illustrator. Although I’m working from a rough sketch, a lot of the elements I’m freehanding directly in Illustrator. I don’t have a tablet so I’m just using a regular computer mouse. Sooo there’s been a lot of Continue reading