Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dragon Boat - Work in Progress

"Work in progress" can be a bit like watching sausage being made. You may find it interesting, but you won't appreciate the result as much in the end. Yet, I do want to share this, so if you are not squeamish, read on:

(Click for a larger view.)

This is after a session of block in work.

Comparing to the study, you can see where the yellow and pink bands will provide a contrasting under-painting that is not a direct complement. I'm not really using a split complementary palette in those areas, but the color jump is about the same. Uh, the bottom line is that I liked how the underlying contrasts turned out in the study, so I am doing that again.

For all of the bright shirts and tank tops, I am following the "Cape Cod School" approach. I'm aiming at getting the pure color masses right at this point. The end goal is to create a bright shimmering impression out of pieces of pure color.

After the second session, the dark background is beginning to set off the figures more. The next step will be to decide on the right underpainting colors for the highlighted fleshtones and boat. I am not in too much of a hurry to work in the water at this point.

(Click for a larger view.)

And after the 3rd session:

The next session focused mostly on the yellow and orange shirts. Lots of broken color here. I am trying to get the shadow and light to read correctly and show form. I would like to get this done in fewer stokes perhaps. The paint surface is getting complicated (do you like a Monet grainstack or cathedral?).

(Click for a larger view.)

Results of the next session simplified the yellow shirt and brought the left side of the boat closer to completion.

(Click for a larger view.)

Another session brings the left side even closer. I like how the gloves and hat turned out. I also worked on the blond hair again.

(Click for a larger view.)

This update brings quite a bit of change. The right side gets the attention this time, plus I started some color notes in the water. Finally, I started to scumble the final color on the boat side at the left.

Next I worked on a couple of random hands that are not done. I was musing about how to handle Cat's back. I knew it would be a little more detailed since it will be a focal point in a busy painting. I just slipped into painting it to see how some glazing would look over what was already there. I just kept working and fairly far done.

After painting some rippling muscles, I went back to painting some hands, hair, and cloth folds. The changes are getting less dramatic at this point.

The next sessions involved scraping back some of the painting and continuing with Cat's head, arms, and back. I discovered a missing arm that I have to add to the painting. Can you spot it? BTW, there are two and a head missing in the study, so it can still look good with some "minor" mistakes.

Then I worked on the rail and side of the boat. It needed quite a bit of straightening. Then the next session I added some glazing to the side over the top of the blue underpainting. The effect worked nicely when viewed up close or from a distance.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dragon Boat - Drawing

It's 4 ft by 2 ft. It surprises me that is doesn't seem too big. I guess it is because there is a lot of detail in the photo from which I am working. I will have to concentrate on keeping the tightness (detail) out in favor of movement and the handling of the edges that I want.

If I wasn't sick today, I would have dove into the blocking in phase. I'll work on my procrastination tomorrow...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Delicate Arch

24" x 18" Acrylic on panel.
(Click the picture for more detail.)

I completed the Delicate Arch painting. I like the dynamic of including the small figure. When you notice it, it really draws your eye away from the arch and keeps the composition from being static. I liked this viewpoint of the arch. That morning the hikers were just arriving at the arch. We had hiked a shorter distance to a viewpoint across a canyon. I have a lot more material from this year's National Parks tour.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Delicate Arch - Work in Progress

24" x 18" Acrylic on Board

Here is an update on what is on my easel. This one is Acrylic which is a little departure for me. Last week, I painted a scene on location in Arches National Park with Acrylics with disastrous results. The paint dried out like a hair dryer was blowing on it (that was about what it was.) Here in the studio they work much better.

I like this start, but have some more work to do. I could possibly use this as an underpainting for oils, but will probably just stick with only Acrylic.