Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Just off the Easel: Big Yawn

After some more fine-tuning, I'm pretty sure that this little baby is done!  

Big Yawn

This is Sennelier oil pastel on Arches Cover primed with Colourfix Primer in Terracotta.  The size is about 8" x 12".  The photo I used as a reference image is one of 300+ pictures that our friend (and awesome photographer) Frank took of Natalie when she was only 2 weeks old.  And the photos were taken almost exactly a year ago!  

When I stepped back and looked at the last version, I noticed that some of the proportions were off.  So I made the hands bigger, the space from the eyes to the top of the head longer, and worked on the shading.  

Mainly I wanted to make Natalie look like she was yawning, not in pain or grimacing!  I was looking for an "Awwww" reaction and hope that the sweetness is conveyed in the expression.  After all, who wants a picture of an unhappy baby?'s this for unhappy!?

We'll see if I can keep my hands off of this one and leave it as is... next I'm going to work some more on the WIP: Ride on the Beach.  I think I've figured out why I was having such a problem the other day with the paint.  More on that soon!

Monday, March 21, 2011

WIP: Big Yawn

Reflecting on the last year with our little Natalie.  We can't believe how big she's grown!  Almost a year ago our friend Frank took some incredible newborn photos of Natalie.

This is oil pastel on Rives BFK primed with Colourfix primer in Terracotta.  Size is approximately  8" x 12".

Big Yawn

This is close to being finished.  The colors and shadows need some tweaking, but I want this one to be a little more textured.  Resisting the urge to use some solvents and a brush on this and blend.  Mainly I want to give the skin tone more warmth, so that is the main goal for the next work on this painting.

Stay tuned for progress!

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Friday, March 18, 2011

WIP: A Ride on the Beach

Beginning a larger painting on canvas of this sweet Daddy and son on the beach.

The size is 16" x 20", medium is acrylic on canvas.  I primed the canvas a light salmon color rather than my typical red or terracotta since it is a light, beachy picture.

Here is what I did yesterday... sketching and underpainting. Pardon the terrible pictures... all I had was my Blackberry!  I'll get some better pictures tomorrow in the daylight with the real camera.  The colors are much brighter IRL and the Round 2 picture appears very different since it's nighttime and the lighting in the kitchen is poor.

And this is what I did tonight.  

I feel like I worked FOREVER on it and there isn't much difference.   I think I may break out the palate knife to work on the background, and maybe some gel medium to create some transparent layers. I noticed some proportions are off: the shirt and pants... he's looking a little wide! ;)  

I need to work on blending less! I think the palate knife will help in that aspect.  

Stay tuned for updates and better pictures!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

WIP: Vermont Roadside

For a change from portraits, I worked on one of my favorite subjects...BARNS!

We love visiting family in Southern Vermont during the summertime.  On our drives on various back roads, you can often find us on the side of the road with my head hanging out the window taking pictures.  "Pull forward, now back...I can't get it from in the car.  Can I just get out for a minute?"  (10 minutes later we resume our drive only to find another awesome vista around the corner).

We can't remember where this barn is... we'll have to ask Gigi (Nick's Gramma).  

Painted with oil pastels on rag board primed with Colourfix primer in Terracotta.  Size is 9" x 12."  Pictures are taken in-progress.  Top photo is after the color laid was laid down and blended with colour shapers and ResNGel.   See a Res-N-Gel tutorial.

Block in color, blend background

Middle photo has more detail and texture laid in, the highlights in the bushes and grasses are established.  

Begin adding detail and texture

Bottom has yet more detail, work on the barn itself, and shading on hills in background.

More texture!

I'll let this dry and the pastel harden for a day or two before I work on it again.  Stay tuned!
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