Sunday, September 27, 2009

Back to School - GPP Crusade No. 33

Michelle Ward has encouraged the Green Pepper Press Street Team to share what we are learning for our latest crusade. Being a curious person, I'm always learning. There are usually art books or magazines beside my favorite chair and beside my bed.
When I start a painting, I've been trying to remember to keep a record of the paints I use in a watercolor tablet. I learn what colors to mix for desirable combinations. This visual record can become the jumping off point for a new project. I'm learning that the tablet is an important tool for projects that are laid aside. When I return to the painting, the record helps me go back to the correct paint colors. Another lesson learned... if I DO NOT record my paints is bad. There is a painting that I will need to run color trials before I can work on it again since I don't remember exactly which paints I used and it's not a typical color palette for me.

Inspired by the book "Creative Computer Tools for Artists", I have been using my camera and Photoshop Elements to help me develop some of my paintings in progress. This image is an edited version of a wooden drawing model I photographed. I eliminated the model's stand and the background. I wanted to see if a figure in this pose would work on a painting in progress. After opening an image of the painting in PS Elements, I copied the model's image and pasted it on to a new layer of the painting's image. I could easily resize the model and move it around for placement.
This exercise was very helpful and much less stressful than adding an element to a very developed painting when I wasn't sure it would work.

I made progress on other paintings this past week because of my digital try outs. By using a translucent layer over an image of the painting, I could test the results of adding a glaze to adjust values. Next, I used the 'eraser' to remove the virtual glaze in areas I want to keep in the foreground. I was able to approach my painting with more confidence and did not worry that I would regret glazing over some of my lighter values.

Later, I photographed the adjusted painting. Because the painting has many hues, I made grey scale versions of the earlier photograph and the new one. In grey scale, I could more easily see that I had successfully adjusted the values.

There is another painting that is in its early stages, and I really liked how it looked. The problem was that I wasn't quite sure what to do next. After uploading a photo of the painting, I digitally painted more layers. I printed the results which I am using as a guide.

I hope to become more proficient with PS Elements through these exercises. There is a lot for me to learn about using digital brushes and I am excited about the prospects.

Have you used digital editing to help you with your painting progress?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Painting Progress

Just a portion of a 16 x 20 acrylic painting in progress.
This is on illustration board and I had a completely different painting in mind when I started it. Long story short, I blew the first concept and was inspired by a different idea and colors which covered up the original work very well. There are thick & thin layers of heavy body acrylic, heavy clear gel, fluid colors and airbrush paint. I am contemplating my finishing touches and hope to finish the painting in the next week.

This is a portion of a 4 x 4 work on canvas. The painting is one of four that work together. After base painting the canvas, I added a Golden texture paste. It's been long enough that I don't remember which one, but it is absorbant. It may be fiber paste. I let the canvases sit several weeks and just started adding colors to them this week. This is another project I hope to wrap up in this coming week.

I have two opportunities to display and sell my work in early October. I will have a display in a business, yet to be revealed, at the Marshalltown Art Walk '09 on October 8th. On Saturday, October 10th, I will once again have a tent at Nevada Uncorked - a wine and art event. More details to follow soon.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Inspired by Hydrangeas

The days are getting shorter, and there are signs that it won't be long before our gardens turn brown. But for now, the last surge of glory can be found. The hydrangea shrub at my in-laws was weighed down with bundles of blooms last weekend when we were visiting.
I used Photoshop Elements to alter one of the images I took. After cropping, I removed the color (making it b&W). Next I applied the watercolor filter. Then I added a green color filter.

I missed my blog anniversary last month & plan to celebrate somehow in the near future. I also hope to post more regularly in the coming days & weeks. I took a break from painting while my back was giving me trouble this summer. After following a new physical therapy regimen, I can stand at my art table again. It's been a rough start for me. Painting flows best for me when I can work with it on a regular basis. I have to be reminded of some of its nuances that are forgotten when I don't paint.

I have been drawing sketches to prepare for a mural project I'll be painting this fall. I'll keep you posted once I get started. This is an exciting challenge for me... my biggest "canvas" so far.

There are a couple of exhibits coming up in October, and I'll share more on them later, too.